Travis Taddeo, the boy-wonder designer from Montreal, presented a very cohesive collection for spring. It was one of those rare instances when a young designer puts on a show that feels fully realized without going over the top or trying too hard. Taddeo has a considerable following among the young and hip – something like that which Toronto’s Sid Neigum and Chloé Comme Parris also enjoy – and all were out to see his latest effort.
Speaking after his show, the designer told me that his inspiration came from “Portuguese tile called azulejo, which depict a story about pain and pleasure.” Thus there was the juxtaposition of hard leather harnesses over soft, heather-grey jersey. “The whole theme was ‘Port of Pain and Pleasure,’” said Taddeo, “so we had a sort of nautical feel.” This came through in his expertly draped dresses whereby knots tied at the midsection or shoulders created the cut. Even with this design narrative, Travis is sure not to forget about the reason for his success – his loyal clients – remembering them when he chooses his fabrics. This means that the majority of this collection was made up of high quality jersey (it’s “never going to pill”), paisley printed silks, and leather, which he has found to be in high demand, even in the warmer months, with customers asking fie leather shorts and a wider variety of jackets, leading to a particularly desirable bright white leather moto jacket. Taddeo is also in with Canadian shoe powerhouse Aldo, who lent him wedge high-tops for the female models and made him part of the Rise program wherein he could design his own menswear shoes using Aldo’s considerable resources. If the support for this young designer continues, there is no reason why he won’t be doing bigger and better things next season.