There was something missing from the last catwalk day of Toronto’s fashion week and I’d venture to say it was effort with a capital “E”. And I’m not talking about us folks in the audience (we’ve been crying tired since day one). Some designers last Thursday brought a care-free attitude to the runway and we’re not talking “easy chic.”
The apathetic mood was most pronounced at Paul Hardy's 7 pm show. Hardy is known for blowing audiences away with his quickly assembled (but still in a state of deconstruction) collections so as models wandered out in various states of undress (black sheaths topping beige silk underwear and bustiers over skirts with nappy studs around their hem), the audience seemed sated. But when a skirt appeared with a long, easily clipped thread trailing from it, we started to look closer. Badly stitched grosgrain ribbon puckered the back of vests and muff accessories were crafty and deflated. This show stumped. Nada Yousif’s presentation wasn’t necessarily careless but the young designer is still not ready for her fashion week close-up despite her bold spring frock landing on the cover of a recent issue of Toronto Life. Ideas were disparate (an oversized, pink cotton shirt followed a purple cocktail dress wrapped in ribbon) and when pieces did sparkle (Yousif’s candy stripe cocktail frocks are colourfully fun and flirty), construction suffered.
All the day’s designers didn’t throw away their timeslot though. Zoran Dobric's printed pieces continue to evolve into a true, wholesaleable collection. Sheaths were screened with tromp l’oeil necklaces and a watercolour pattern blended streaks of lime, turquoise and chartreuse.
RUDSAK sent out an army of dove grey leather jackets in various trench, duffle and balloon coat shapes. There was a vintage Balenciaga feeling in the form of trapeze pieces with bulky ruffles around their hems while a leather tunic with smocking across the bust looked entirely unique. Squared off bags in a tomato orange shade added a complimenting hit of fall colour.
Pink Tartan added Doc Martens, fingerless gloves and a punk soundtrack to its catwalk making sure no one would pull out predictable PT adjectives like “prim” or “preppy” to describe the exits. The London look wasn’t only in the styling but in black motorcycle jackets and dresses saturated with gold zippers and a purple taffeta coat with a ruffled edge that added a dash of softer Victoriana to the hard mix. Pink Tartan staples still have legs especially inflated, balloon skirts that were as light as a cloud of meringue.
Above: A Selection from Paul Hardy.