Ottawa Fashion Week 2010 – a Variety Fair

November 10, 2010

Text by Hannah Yakobi.

Photos by Dmitri Moisseev.

A model wears a piece by Emilia Torabi.

As the National Gallery of Canada filled up with designers, models, journalists, photographers and fashionistas at the end of last month, the expectations from the collections at the Ottawa Fashion Week were high. And the organizers of the event did more than meet them.

The number of fashion shows during this Spring/Summer 2011 edition was truly remarkable. Eight designers showcased their work on the first day of the event and they were all strikingly different in their style, flair and craftsmanship.

Karen McClintock, who is an emerging Canadian talent in the jewelry business, presented a stunning collection this season. McClintock launched her first collection with the Ottawa store Shepherd’s in 2005. Within a year, her line was purchased by Holt Renfrew. Almost every piece was sold during the launch. Her jewelry can be now found at Ogilvy’s, Holt Renfrew, Cicra Ici and Andrew’s across the country.

McClintock is well-known for combining sterling silver with semi-precious stones, Swarovski crystals, exotic woods, mother-of-pearl, freshwater pearls and antique coins. Her focus at the fashion week was on oversized semi-precious stones. She played mostly with Earth colours – think grey, brown, black and dark green.

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Emilia Torabi’s focus continued to be her love for textures and fabrics. Torabi, who is a graduate of the Italian Academy in Florence, said that her motivation for this fashion week was to convey that “designs are timeless and can be modified into any fashion trend.” Her work was a meticulous blend of smart casual and business wear, ranging from silk dresses to flared skirts.

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Montreal designer Keera Sama presented a collection with a strong ethnic influence. Sama, who has lived in Africa for a brief period, seems to have truly blended the beauty of traditional African clothing with modern Canada. Bold prints, bright patterns, silks, halter dresses and deep V-necks – there was something for every self-respecting fashionista.

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For those looking for casual wear, Nixxi was a hands-down winner. The collection’s focus was on soft and natural fabrics, comfort and solid colours.

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And last, but certainly not least, Modasuite presented a superb Trive collection. Men often feel left out from the fashion scene, because most designers tend to channel their energy towards dressing women. What makes it worse is that many styles that are currently popular are not particularly wearable (a typical example is the UK Esquire 2010 Best-Dressed Man competition).

Modasuite’s spring/summer 2011 edition is definitely aimed at a modern, fashionable, sexy male, who likes to attract attention via his straight cut suites, linen shirts and bright-coloured blazers.

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The collections were photographed at the National Gallery of Canada by Dmitri Moisseev.


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