Where the heck are all the Cadbury chocolate bars? The once-upon-a-fashion week sponsor didn’t come out to gift its treats this season and the style crowd is all the hungrier and sugar-deprived for it. It seems de rigueur to begin fashion week coverage with some non consequential anecdote like that but now on with the shows.
Fashion week kicked off with Project Runway Canada winner Evan Biddell's first reality TV free collection. There were satiny wrap pieces cinched in with obi belts. There were signature dresses stitched together with bands of ripped silk. There were full length gowns made from undershirt-thin, ribbed eco cotton. And then there was Biddell taking his runway bow and flipping the audience the bird. Shouldn’t a designer wait to see if his show is slammed before flashing a very supportive crowd the fuck finger? You’re so bad Biddell. Bad to the bone!
Russian designer Max Chernitsov’s show was worth the price of admission just to see the parade of uni-browed models. Chernitsov’s most successful silhouette focused on a tight, body conscious shape in fitted jackets, mini skirts and short shorts with volume bursting from the shoulders. The occasional flouncy look watered things down but metallic balloon coats and boleros offered a better juxtaposition to his body consciousness.
Vancouverite Mellinda-Mae Harlingten crowned her haute West Coast looks with diminutive top hats while Montreal’s Nadya Toto surprised the audience with beautiful black knits that mixed into earthy florals and sheer, embroidered dresses.
For his return to the runway, Denis Gagnon took sweater dressing to new heights, presenting the most fashion forward and editor coveted collection of the night. Bands of ribbed, sweater edging criss-crossed and wrapped oversized coats, ponchos and vests. Leather pants and dresses were stitched together with body contouring panels.
Canadian super model Coco Rocha opened the Joe Fresh show with such a powerful gait that the less seasoned model that followed her stood no chance of maintaining the booming momentum with her shy shuffle. Next fall, your local Loblaws (if your local Loblaws is a super store at Queens Quay and Jarvis, Bathurst and St. Clair or Dufferin and Wilson) will be stocked with Joe’s usual cheap and cheerful separates but it’s fall’s accessories that will sell out fast.
Equestrian caps, berets topped with exaggerated curls of fleece, tight cable knit toques and tri coloured patent pumps stole the show. I was most excited by finally handsome menswear options including slim, nylon motorcycle jackets and oversized plaid dress pants which work equally well on women if Rocha’s final exit was any indication.
Above: A selection from Denis Gagnon