Spring 2012 starts with Braganza, Matis, Clayton and more
The first week of Toronto’s Spring 2012 show season kicked off last Tuesday with Greta Constantine‘s presentation in a lofty King West warehouse and wrapped up on Friday in the ballroom at The Ritz Carlton where Todd Lynn’s collection took the catwalk.
In between them, Lucien Matis, Thomas Tait, Calla Haynes, Jessica Mary Clayton and Jean Pierre Braganza all presented collections but only Clayton’s installation, in the Spadina offices of Tendril Design and Animation, maintained the rogue spirit the semi-annual preamble to LG Fashion Week proper was once known for.
So before we talk about the clothes, let’s get that usual reflection on on-site/off-site politics out of the way.
There was a time when labels choosing to show independently ahead of the hyper sponsored but still pricey for designers “official” fashion week was a refreshingly independent statement. On Thursday afternoon though, as editors wandered down Wellington to the Ritz for Tait’s 4 pm opener for The Shows, an off-schedule runway series backed by equally substantial marketing bucks, the timing seemed plain inconvenient. There, across the street from the hotel in David Pecaut Square, were the LG tents being erected and you had to wonder why all of these off-site events in spitting distance of the main venue, couldn’t happen in the same week?
Schedule them on the half hour, hire a crossing guard and get on with it already.
But back to the clothes and kudos for the stand out collections. Out of the Tait, Haynes, Braganza, Lynn quadruple bill, Braganza impressed us most. His contemporary homage to the roaring twenties included art deco-inspired prints and dropped waist dresses. There was also an obvious attention to the craft of clothing construction that’s very in fashion this season.
Matis’ frothy frocks also focused on meticulous dressmaking through surface embellishments like tulle florets on sheer gowns and dense clusters of metallic sequins on beige bodysuits.
And at Jessica Mary Clayton, a lookbook image gallery, a trio of mannequins and a moody fashion film all featured the designer’s beautiful ink-in-water photo prints.
FASHION WEEK MONDAY: The shows move on site with an evening of presentations by Holt Renfrew, Juma and Arthur Mendonça.