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Canadian Olympic uniforms
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IN: Junction Flea
On an empty lot at the corner of Dundas West and Indian Grove this summer, a Toronto shopping hit was born. The monthly Junction Flea market is a proper home for our indie retailers and designers, fuelled by food vendors pushing sample-sized grilled cheese sandwiches and bowls of dumplings. It's moved east for the winter, inside to the Great Hall, but we can't wait for warmer temperatures and al fresco Sunday shopping to return.
IN: Conscious shopping
While Vogue creative director Grace Coddington's memoir, Grace, is stealing all the style publishing buzz right now, the biggest industry game-changer on bookstore shelves this year was Elizabeth L. Cline's Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost Of Cheap Fashion. One part over-shopper confession and one part in-depth study of the current sorry state of fast fashion production and hyper-consumption, it started a serious discussion on how unsustainable our shopping habits have become.
IN: The overstyled store
As trend forecasters and retail analysts keep pushing the questionable concept that customers are craving intimate, authentic shopping experiences in store landscapes littered with big global brands, the usual mall suspects are overloaded with boutique-style fixtures and props. You can't see the merch for the salvaged furniture and weathered knick-knacks that clutter a Club Monaco these days.
IN: Target anticipation
The American retailer mounted a serious schmooze campaign to build buzz for its Canadian arrival in 2013, trying to get into our good graces with stunts like opening a Target hotel for celebs and press during the Toronto International Film Festival and giving free taxi rides in bull's-eye-branded cabs earlier this month. It's also offering the winner of this spring's Toronto Fashion Incubator New Labels Competition the chance to design a capsule collection that will hang on its racks.
IN: Designer and editor switch-ups
More eyes were on the HR offices of big fashion houses and magazines than on the runways this year. Raf Simons left Jil Sander for Dior, Hedi Slimane took over at Yves Saint Laurent, and Alexander Wang replaced Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga. On mastheads closer to home, long-time Flare chief Lisa Tant became Holt Renfrew's first in-house editor, and Fashion's Susie Sheffman decamped for e-tailer eLuxe.
OUT: Fashion Television
The formative style program for many a designer, editor, blogger and fashion follower, Fashion Television ended its 27-year run with one tweet from long-time host Jeanne Beker last April. In this day and age, when catwalk images are instantly Instagrammed around the world, FT's once groundbreaking format had lost its lustre.
OUT: The Fashion Design Council of Canada
After building up Toronto's biggest fashion show event for over a decade, the Fashion Design Council of Canada and its headline-making leader, Robin Kay, sold it to global event manager IMG in August. While designers hope the deal means more international press and sales attention, and attendees are craving a better-edited and consolidated show schedule, we'll have to wait and see whether IMG can make any of those things happen.
OUT: Canadian Olympic uniforms
Does Canada mean khakis? The designers of our 2012 Olympic uniforms seemed to think so, dressing London-bound athletes in slouchy chinos and red zip-ups for the Games' opening-ceremony parade of nations. The look was, to put it politely, polite, especially compared to the Czech Republic's cheeky brollies and blue rubber boots and the technicolour ponchos worn by the Mexican contingent.
OUT: Store closures
We said so long to lots of great retailers this year, including shoe mecca Chasse Gardée, Yorkville high fashion spot UPC Boutique and one of the earliest champions of contemporary Canadian designers, Pho Pa.
Though we hit on lots of 2012 trends in our style spreads this year (black-and-white, artful prints and layered metallics, to name just a few), style is moving at a pace that means fads are back in again before they have a chance to be out. That, of course, won't stop us from prescribing what's new for spring in next week's 2013 style preview.