By Justine Woolcott
Photography by Omer K
The sixth season of the Ottawa Fashion Week started with a buzz of excitement from the crowd.
The audience was eager to see international and local designers, showcasing their work from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1.
The recently-finished Ottawa Convention Centre turned out to be the perfect location for the runway shows.There was plenty of room for attendees to shop for jewelry, bags and clothing from exhibiting vendors, or sip on wine, while listening to acoustic music sets provided by the band on site.
The new venue also proved to be a hit with a 30-metre long runway and a spacious room with plenty of seating.
Each night was separated into three shows, and each show, in turn, featured two or three designer collections.
Birds of North America
Hayley Gibson’s spring/summer 2012 Corpus Neum collection highlighted the designer’s attempt to capture the human spirit, hidden deep beneath the layers of clothing that people mask themselves in.
True to the Birds of North America aesthetic, Montreal-based Gibson accented cotton dresses with bows and pockets. Bone buttons, navy blue and A-line dresses gave the collection a nautical theme. Although Gibson used mostly neutrals, the pops of vintage red and navy injected the line with a spring/summer feel.
In a unique styling decision, models donned bandage-like cage elastics around their legs, with white masks on the lower half of their faces and bright pink lipstick. The dresses were versatile and wearable for daytime, and we can expect to see knee-length, fitted waist cuts next year.
Valerie Dumaine, also based in Montreal, was another designer who showcased her eponymous line at the Ottawa Fashion Week this season. Using understated neutrals and a daring print of a pile of rope, Dumaine created a collection that oozed sophistication.
The young designer stuck to simple silhouettes, highlighted by high-waisted skirts and breezy dresses. Back cutouts and bold textures brought Dumaine’s designs to a new level, and were a testament to her attention to detail.
Danish-born jewelry designer Camilla Jørgensen blew the crowd away with her wearable art, featuring one of the top models in Canada: Herieth Paul.
The collection focused on bold statement pieces: from a beautiful body vest made of copper-coloured chains to large stacks of entangled pearls, and chains piled high on the model’s neck.
Orange accents and spiked hardware popped against the simplistic electric blue strapless dresses and kept the focus on the jewelry.
The Anomal spring/summer 2012 collection was a lace, sequin and leather affair.
Setting the tone for the show was the first look: a black, full-sleeved bodysuit.
Full-length lace dresses shared the runway with strapless bodysuits, elegant wide-sleeved robes and form-fitting high-waisted shorts: all highlighting the body.
The Montreal brand opted for minimal colour, using burnt orange and deep purple accents in the black, white and cream designs.
RUD by RUDSAK
Rud by Rudsak’s inaugural show at the Ottawa Fashion Week was the most anticipated collection of the night.
Inspired by street style and bloggers, the collection featured asymmetrical black and camel leather jackets with eye-catching zippers.
Detail was the focus on the trenches sent down the runway, with trim on sleeves, belts and pockets, while raised hemlines was the brand’s modern take on this classic staple.
Coverage from OFW day 2 and 3 to follow.