Toronto might be preparing for its own Fashion Week, but we started the fall 2013 season in Montreal (montrealfashionweek.ca), where a fresh group of young designers debuted their collections. Here's the scoop:
The show: On opening night, Iranian-born Pedram Karimi sent androgynous layers of wrap coats, turtleneck tunics and basketball shorts (pictured) down the catwalk. The looks were accessorized with cycling caps and towering Buffalo platform sneakers (the same brand once sported by the Spice Girls).
The space: L'Arsenal is a 40,000- square-foot shipbuilding factory-turned-private-gallery in the Little Burgundy nabe. (Arsenal opened a Toronto outpost in Bloordale last year.) A main runway room rigged with a booming sound system hosted headliner shows by the likes of Martin Lim and Nadya Toto, while a smaller space supported by Target introduced newer lines including By Thomas and Nisse.
The crowd: Montreal's young tribe of stylists, bloggers and photographers makes for fierce people-watching. Women in vintage fur coats and cat-ear headbands mingle with men wearing geisha robes and draped black everything. Will Smith caused a ruckus sitting front row at the Ralph Leroy show.
The Toronto connection: Toronto Arts and Fashion Week presented a series of fashion films on February 5. We spotted Shopgirls' Michelle Germain scouting new labels like Faith & Love for her Parkdale store.