By Hannah Yakobi
Photography by Danielle Preston
Sketches courtesy of Greta Constantine
The fashion world was abuzz in Toronto last Friday, as icons from the industry gathered at the Audi Downtown showroom. As socialites popped out of their cars, assisted by porters who opened the car door for every single guest, the venue slowly filled up with some of Canada’s most renowned faces.
By 8:30 p.m., the massive showroom was densely packed with models, fashion reporters, photographers, stylists and every respectable fashionista who knew that this was the place to be. The cause of celebration? The Greta Constantine fashion show.
Over the last six years, Greta Constantine has become one of Canada’s most sought after design duos, now dressing many Canadian celebrities. Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong bring a unique touch to the brand, through their dedication, originality and creativity. The name of the label is derived from the names of Wong’s mother (Greta) and Kirk’s grandfather (Constantine).
Their fall-winter 2011 collection for men and women was a collage of fabrics, colours and styles.
First came the confetti, then came the funky music. Think a combination of ethnic tunes, Missy Elliott and everything in between.
Who knew that grey could be so popular and sexy? The Greta boys did. Although various shades of grey dominated the collection for the first half of the show, the audience was pleasantly surprised that the Greta team wasn’t afraid to experiment.
Cobalt, burning red and a deep purple were just some of the other colours that were injected into the women’s collection (Greta Constantine line). Fabrics were skillfully paired, ranging from the strongly present melton and double-knit, to fur, leather, neoprene and the pair’s favourite jersey.
Himalayan and oriental influence was undeniable. Floor-sweeping coats, layered skirts, geometric layers and wide leather belts added a unique touch to the collection.
Large scarves were tightly wrapped around each model’s neck. Massive totes were one of the many highlights, as were the paisley boots that were made by Aldo especially for this collection, and draped with fabric provided by Pickersgill and Wong.
Oversized Kimono-styled jackets with bell sleeves, asymmetric dresses, fingerless gloves and large brooches were a perfect example of what the designers described as the “aesthetic that goes well beyond the constraints of geography or time.”
The men’s collection (Ezra Constantine line, with Ezra derived from Wong’s father’s name) juxtaposed drapery with structure. It was tough, masculine and sexy. Hoods and capes took centrestage, with a focus on greys and blacks.
A typical Ezra Constantine man wore an angular coat with soft draping, a hoodie with a long zipper or a cowl-neck cotton sweater. His feet were adorned with black leather lace boots.
Although most outfits provided maximum coverage, with barely exposing any skin, occasional slits at the back for both men and women were also present.
The show was concluded with a huge applause and a traditional parade of models down the C-shaped catwalk, with Pickersgill and Wong at the end of the line.
The design duo was then joined backstage by various fashion celebrities, including Jeanne Beker and Robin Kay. Later, hundreds of guests sipped on martinis on the showroom’s upper level, while others departed to the after-party at Maison Mercer.