It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
Around the world, fashion fanatics are permanently logged on to style.com as next fall’s collections hit the runway. It all started with menswear, traditionally the earliest shower timed to international men’s trade shows, which was presented in Milan and Paris over the past week and a half.
The trends emerged quickly. Embellished lapels (subtly corded at Burberry or boldly inlaid with metallic silk at Alexander McQueen) marbled fabric (most extreme in black and white splattered suits at Jil Sander), tie silk pants and thick soled creepers.
It was a very individual season except for one styling cue. Apparently, we’ll all be tucking our sweaters into our pants next fall fellas. And not finely knit V and turtlenecks, but chunky jumpers that add a good 10 inches to your waistline. And by the way, those pants, to accommodate that wooly bulk, they incorporate an accordion’s worth of pleats. The resulting silhouette is bloated with a touch of “I overstuffed my crotch today.” Click through the Missoni show for a look at the fad’s biggest offender.
More than one show review was quick to blame the stylist (those Missoni cardigans would be quite handsome un-tucked) which is sort of like blaming the messenger but also represents the growing influence of the profession on the industry.
Styling is a tricky job. Most novices think they can slap a pair of horn rimmed specs on a model, make a Revenge of the Nerds reference and call it a day. When people call me a stylist (usually when I stop into a shop to borrow items for a shoot and the cash register clerk calls out to the owner, “the stylist is here to rip the store apart”), I shrug off the title. The quick turn around of a weekly magazine doesn’t allow me to mull over a look as intricately as my pro stylist peers.
There are lots of those peers in Toronto. The city’s three main agencies, The Artist Group, Plutino and Judy Inc., are buzzing with bookings (check out Plutino’s new website for a look through their artists’ portfolios). As fashion week and look book season begins, I like seeing how this very internationally style savvy group articulates collections by our Toronto designers. The way they assemble and accessorize a line can instantly elevate its look and increase the number of media and buyers interested in having a look for themselves.
One of my favourite Toronto stylists, Laura Minquini of Judy Inc., is making the move to Paris this weekend. Laura has been the fashion editor at The Look and has had her hand in issues of Flare, Strut, The National Post and GQ. Her styling is effortless, smart and, when the story calls for it, modernly whimsical.
I wish her bon voyage and share everyone’s envy. And I hope she never tucks a sweater into a pair of pleated pants.