Designer Breeyn McCarney’s collection, entitled Hardboiled Wonderland after the novel by Japanese author Haruki Murakami, centered around the idealization of women and collapse of culture. Did those references appear in her doll-like offerings, little-girl dresses and crafty knits? No. Fairy tale frocks didn’t spell mass destruction, but rather, sweet escape.
The show took place at The Courthouse on a superslim runway So much so, I tucked my feet so as to not trip the models. Being that close to the clothes can be dangerous, with every flaw noticeable and unfavourable shoes all the more jarring. Thankfully, McCarney’s show was styled by Toronto talent Mariko Lauren, who smartly worked a dove gray shoe and hosiery combo into every look. It grounded the airy frocks while still maintaining their angelic softness. Also impressive, McCarney used only natural fiber textiles and reclaimed or locally-trapped fur.
McCarney counts herself among London’s Central St. Martins and Tower Hamlets College alma mater, where she honed her tailoring skills. Surprisingly, her strongest statements were loose-gauge knits. A baby-girl pink mohair and silk sweater-dress had black leather petals whimsically peeking through. A white leather bodice dress with a hand-knit shawl created hard and soft tension. A a wool and rabbit fur star-strewn pullover merged nature with fashion’s current love of mixed-medias.
With only twelve looks, the designer didn’t stray from her innocent aesthetic. While there will always be a place for beguiling pretty fashion, we encourage McCarney to create options for those who consider cute a dirty word.