By Katherine Ellis and Jill Adams
Photography by Kalynn Friesen
The latest Ottawa Fashion Week dates have been announced! It will run from February 6 to February 8, 2014, at the Hilton Lac-Leamy.
While you are getting ready for the shows ahead, let’s look back at the last season — here are some of our favourite collections!
Bernice & Barclay
The looks of Bernice & Barclay, created by local designers Lorianne Hawdur and Jamieson Nesbitt, were a breath of fresh air. The distinct ’60s vibe — from the hair styling to the choice of music — excited the audience as a variety of shirt dresses (from striped to solid colours), flirty dropped-waist dresses with miniskirts, and floral patterns made their way down the runway. Stand out pieces included a blue dropped-waist dress, a coral top and high-waisted blue pencil skirt. Truly emulating the carefree easiness of the Italian Riviera — the inspiration for the designers’ second collection — the ready-to-wear looks had a distinctively young and fresh vibe.
A stark contrast to other lines shown on Friday, Brit Wacher brought an edge to OFW. Completely black and white, the collection’s pieces ranged from sheer dresses draped over models’ bodies and worn with a vest, to a stiff jacket, paired with a white high-collared blouse and pants. Many looks mixed different textures, sometimes giving almost a patchwork feel to the garments.
The use of monochromatic colours did not deter from the collection, but rather made the audience distinguish the details in all designs. Both flowy and constrained, powerful and soft, Wacher’s collection was visually appealing, yet not overly designed.
A big draw on opening night was the show of this renowned Montréal-based designer. A brand that is sold in more than 55 international markets, Joseph Ribkoff knows how to dress a woman, no matter her size, shape or age.
Loose-fitting tops and pants, shift dresses, suit jacket and skirt combos were among the looks that appeared in the veteran designer’s ready-to-wear collection. With 34 looks, a few trends spotted during his show included sheer material used to create colour-blocking with a solid background; bright and pastel-coloured florals; black-and-white combinations (from patterns to small details on outfits, including piping and cut-outs); and stripes.
At this presentation of past pieces, Lucian Matis officially opened the new Mirari Studio at Ottawa Fashion Week for VIP guests and media. The studio, which was created to bring artists together, is also meant to bring the audience closer to the artist.
Montréal designer Iman Nakhala opened the second night of Ottawa’s fashion week, showing dazzling eveningwear with a vibrant palette inspired by four elements: fiery red, emerald green, champagne and bright blue.
Staying close to her Muslim heritage, Nakhala’s second-ever collection featured silk and intricate beading. Integrating classic North American silhouettes, she delivered full-length gowns — some with plunging neck lines and others with demure, yet suggestive cutouts — and embellished dresses and jumpsuits.
Jana & Emilia Fashion Design Studio
Jana Hanzel and Emilia Torabi’s new line, Duality, focused on graphic prints and their aesthetical mix of fabrics and textures. The design duo focused on menswear — after popular demand from clientele — in addition to their signature women’s line.
An interesting blend of evening wear and refined separates for women was balanced with flashy, tailored men’s looks, featuring floral, leather, paisley and silk jackets that were paired with subtly printed or leather-trimmed pants.
Acclaimed Toronto designer Rachel Sin presented a tasteful collection of tailored dresses, jackets and separates with an ever-popular white-and-black motif.
Her line also featured taupe and deep purple dresses, as well as a recurring geometric pattern. Sin offered a modern twist on classic silhouettes with sheer panelling on knee-length dresses, racing stripes on cigarette pants, and contrasting details and insets.
Beaucoup Fashion House
Young Toronto-based designers Godfrey Mensah, Tolu Ogundare and Ebenezer Osei Afriyie of Beaucoup Fashion House offered casual looks for men and women, with a mix of hard and soft fabrics and relaxed silhouettes. Accents of purple, blue and lime green were interesting counterpoints to the largely white and black collection. The sportswear featured loose, collared and fitted dresses for women, while the men sported shorts paired with button-ups, mesh tank tops or distressed tops.
Y!D.N.A by Andy Nguyen
Y!D.N.A had a sense of drama by covering the entire runway in a reflective material before presenting an all-black collection — with the exception of a monochromatic silver suit.
His womenswear collection consisted of flowing full-length dresses, relaxed jackets and leather tops paired with leather shorts or skirts. A similar motif was consistent in his menswear as models strutted down the runway in full leather. Hard to miss were crowns placed upon some models’ heads and on a doll that was poking out of one model’s backpack.