Farley Chatto, fall/winter 2018/2019 and a 30-year retrospective

March 15, 2018

Undoubtedly, the biggest highlight at Toronto Women’s Fashion Week this season was Farley Chatto’s elegant and glamour-filled runway presentation.

Celebrating his 30th anniversary in the fashion industry, Chatto promised an unusual twist—“What would the world be like if Jane Austen had a luxurious red carpet through the 1980s/90s, with the prim rose filtered lenses through the 1800s?” inquisitively asked the runway notes for his show. Specifically, Chatto’s focus this season was centred on the popular obsession with celebrities, selfies and the spotlight.

The collection was a splendid combination of Chatto’s many talents, featuring pieces from his past and current lines, going back all the way to the 1980s, and ranging from his fur pieces, to his menswear and womenswear. Stunning lace dresses, silver fox boleros, colourful suits, tulle gowns and bomber jackets flooded the runway: the presentation was perfectly cohesive and coordinated, while still featuring pieces for a variety of tastes.

It’s important to note that Chatto’s designs are made exclusively with Origin Assured furs, which are sustainably produced in countries with governing regulations surrounding the fur industry. The majority of the furs used are from species native to Canada, where the Ministry of Natural Resources maintains the responsibility of the fur trade by establishing controlled seasons for hunting and trapping, as well as enforcing strict quotas to prevent over-harvesting.

Though Chatto now calls Toronto his home, he trained in France and also did his apprenticeship there many years ago. First working as the “première” at YSL, Dior, Chanel and Lacroix, and then setting his heart on bespoke Italian menswear tailoring, the Regina-born designer launched an eponymous line of couture menswear in Toronto in 1988. Though fur has always been part of his fashion vocabulary, he was recruited and retrained as a furrier in 2008 after falling in love with the medium that allowed him to make his mark around the globe while promoting Canadian fur tradition and heritage.

Throughout his 30-year career, Chatto has dressed many notable celebrities, including Kurt Russell, Drake, Sarah Jessica Parker, Laurence Fishburne, Eve and George Clooney. His global clientele includes high-profile business leaders, politicians and heads of state, as well as an impressive list of corporate clients, such as MAC Cosmetics, Virgin, HP Canada, Barbie, Veuve Clicquot and Louis Vuitton. Included in his resume is clothing for several Broadway musicals, television and movies, such as Hannibal, Suits, Crimson Peak and XXX: Return of Xander Cage. In-house designer at Four Seasons Fur Co. Ltd., Chatto is also the international creative instructor for Studio NAFA, and teaches menswear, fur and leather at Ryerson University.

Here are the key looks and highlights from his latest show, which received a standing ovation from the audience when it was presented on Monday in the heart of Toronto’s downtown.

By Hannah Yakobi
Photography by Tara West

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