Wednesday’s Toronto Fashion Week schedule was the heftiest lineup of the week but, luckily, Damzels in this Dress and Playdead co-presented a multimedia fashion extravaganza that began the day on a light, fashion-should-be-fun note. Damzels kicked off the grindhouse double bill with a film chronicling the resurrection of their long loved label.
In the movie, two damzels leave the roost, wander some railway tracks, pummel some back alley bullies and arrive home at designer Kelly Freeman and Rory Lindo’s Doll Factory by Damzels Leslieville boutique.
As the film ended, a quartet of models walked like articulated Barbie dolls onto the catwalk delivering my first goosebumps moment of the week. The shivers were followed by a sweet collection of cotton dresses in colourful prints accessorized with pin up pumps and fluorescent fishnets. A model wielding a chainsaw revved up her power tool in a turquoise, black and white floral print, one shoulder frock poofed up with a tulle crinoline.
Playdead’s flick followed a rebellious rock chick as she sped through town in a hearse collecting an army of other rebellious rock chicks. The Playdead fashion lineup included denim minis and jackets painted with their signature death fairy skull.
Next up was Kendra Francis’ Franke collection. A small group of industry and media folks decamped from the Nathan Philips Square tents to the Spoke Club for Franke’s capsule spring collection of lamé bathing suits and angularly constructed separates. A fan of pleats formed a paper bag style waist on a series of wide legged trousers. An oversized box pleat on the back of a canary coat scooped back below the waist twisting a traditional trapeze shape.
Back at city hall, Montreal’s Andy The-Anh sent out a series of frothy, embellished glamazon gowns. The subdued colour palette (think the spice section of the panty hose department) showed off high waist, corset seaming and rosette details. Unfortunately for The-Anh, the show will always be remembered as the one where a model finally took a tumble. This poor mannequin took two in fact on a runway that’s had slippage issues all week thanks to a new type of Para paint that is, miraculously, scuff free but also missing any stiletto-friendly traction.
I ended my night with David Dixon’s Newport-inspired looks. It was all about the fabrics at David Dixon as models walked past a series of five silk sails cascading down the runway in dresses and daywear made from laser cut florals, a painterly black and white rose print and a fabric called shimmer with the liquid look of a bottle of glossy nail polish.