Hayley Elsaesser, Mercedes Benz Start Up, Bustle and Lucian Matis take the runway
Hayley Elsaesser’s neon poodles: This Austalian-Canadian designer always brings the fun to the fashion week runway and this season was no exception. We couldn’t resist her outlandish designs – especially the pieces printed with neon cartoon poodles. More than the clothes, we applaud her exceptionally diverse casting that covered an array of ages, sizes and ethnicities. The best part? Every single model was fitted perfectly and looked bomb in Elsaesser’s dynamite designs.
Beaufille’s boho lady bosses: The sister-run brand has been trying to nab the big Mercedes Benz Start Up prize for a few seasons now, but sadly it fell through their grasp once again. It wasn’t for lack of talent. Beaufille’s S/S line was a grown-up version of the girl they’ve always dressed, now ready to take over the boardroom. We loved the suede-on-suede ensembles in rusty reds and olive greens embellished with cutout metallic rings that gave the garments some edge and brought the whole show together.
UNTTLD’s suit stunner: The grand winners of this year’s Mercedes Benz Start Up competition and the $30,000 bursary that comes with it kicked off their collection with one of the most perfectly tailored women’s suits to ever hit the fashion week runway. Audience members could be heard gasping, gawking and complimenting in the seats. While the rest of the collection was relatively minimalist, save for some well-placed tassles, this opening look was clearly solid enough to bring home the big prize.
Lucian Matis plays it yawningly safe: We were so excited to see fashion week favourite Lucian Matis return to the schedule after a long absence, but were disappointed at his lackluster comeback collection. Sure, there were a few standout pieces – particularly some intricate floral embroidery – but, overall, it looked the former Project Runway Canada contestant was designing for a department store with one-tone frocks and cuts that we’ve seen a dozen times before. If his goal was to sell to the big retailers, maybe he succeeded. If it was to remind the fashion crowd of his greatness, he sadly fell short.
Bustle takes the court: The popular menswear line broke out some funky tennis-inspired prints on Ts, tanks and tracksuits. Toronto men are traditionally a bit more… well, traditional when it comes to their fashion choices, but we hope these get some buyers. We also spotted 90s-esque tearaway pants– perhaps the start of the trend’s big comeback?