By Julia Eskins
Photography by Robin Gartner
Last week, World MasterCard Fashion Week cast its spell over Toronto, transforming David Pecaut Square into “The Tents” and bringing out Canada’s fashion followers and tastemakers in droves. With five days of darting show to show now behind us, FAJO Magazine reviews our runway favourites for this season.
In a nature-inspired fall/winter collection entitled “Nordic Fauna,” Toronto-based designer Sunny Fong blew some fresh air into fashion week. Minimalistic and refined looks in midnight blue, black, ivory and moss green made VAWK a highlight of the week – and not just for womenswear. Alongside chic gowns with on-trend cutouts, pleats and fur detailing, we were introduced to VAWK menswear, including a blazer in the elegant winter camo print and a military style wool coat.
Photography by Kareen Mallon
In a sophisticated showcase at One King West Hotel & Residence, Lucian Matis presented his fall/winter 2013 collection, aptly titled “Monochromatic Fantasy”. In turn, we were transported to a Paris Fashion Week-esque dream and introduced to Matis the sculptor. A Canadian fashion industry favourite, the designer is known for his impeccably tailored creations. The first piece to grace the Grand Banking Hall was an ornately embellished gown using glass from Baileys Irish Cream bottles. The dress took 125 hours to craft and was reminiscent of the intricate style of Matis’ fall/winter 2012 collection. This season’s garments took a more minimalistic, sculptural approach. Elegant, architectural designs in rich wools and silks were layered over ivory turtlenecks and infused with Matis’ signature artistic flair.
After setting the tone with a video about women’s rights, David Dixon continued to make a statement by sending female power suits set to female power anthems down the runway. Sleek silhouettes created with pencil skirts, peplums, structured jackets and capes dominated the first half of the show. Dixon also brought his signature touch to eveningwear, which was embellished with spiral chiffon, tulle layering and floral appliques. Looks were complemented with chunky crystal jewelry and ballerina bun hair. While the collection was mostly monochromatic, pops of blue and brocade and python prints offered a fresh take on the strong-striding glamour girl.
Ashtiani by Golnaz Ashtiani
With modern geometric shapes and a collage of textured fabrics, London-trained designer Golnaz Ashtiani showcased a futuristic and chic collection. Panelling, sheer accents and patent leather detailing served to flatter the silhouette and give a cool spin on autumn essentials. Standouts included a sleek aubergine cape and layered dresses that used a blend of fabrics to add shape and texture. Neutrals paired with rich royal blue and shards of chartreuse were a pleasant departure from this season’s sea of black and white.
Luxury label Pavoni can always be counted on for embellished gowns that get top marks for glamour. As the final show of World MasterCard Fashion Week, co-founders Mike Derderian and Gianni Falcone did not disappoint. The label met fantasy-gown expectations with decadent cocktail dresses, fishtail flairs and flattering frocks that were accentuated with lace, ruffles and layered tulle. With plenty of eye-catching pieces, this was one collection that gave attendees a final moment to appreciate fashion as a spectacle.
From street chic jackets to Mackage handbag debut, designer duo Eran Elfassy and Elisa Dahan brought the slick edge that Canadians have come to know and expect from the label. Structured wool coats with leather sleeves and cool bomber jackets were stylized with coloured fur, plaid and pops of red. Effortless layering, including leather shorts over pants, hit the grunge trend mark. Many ensembles combined elegance with downtown edginess— perfect for the city slicker on the go.
Montréal design duo José Manuel St-Jacques and Simon Bélanger are known to bring an avant-garde touch to womenswear and their fall/winter 2013 collection was no exception. Utilizing all-black textiles, including satin, boiled wool, lamé and fluid silks, many looks creatively combined flirty and dark elements. From sheer peekaboo details to deconstructed suits, the collection hit the right androgynous notes without veering into “unwearable” territory.
Inspired by Paris’ blend of modern and classical architecture, Caitlin Power created a collection infused with asymmetrical lines and geometric blocking in red, plum, royal blue and black. The use of metallics, leather and mock turtlenecks was edgy and on-trend, while the lack of jewelry made for a minimalistic statement. The mix of separates, including elegant blouses, tailored jackets and high-waisted pants enables effortless wearability and an easy transition from day to evening.
In an intimate self-narrated show, Christopher Bates showed Toronto the finer side of European-style tailoring and innovative menswear design. All eyes were on the slim-cut charcoal suits and sharp jackets in cerulean blue and camel. Wardrobe staples were given an edge with leather accents, exposed zippers and on-trend fabrics like waxed denim. From the electric blue goatskin gloves to signature red lips on the dress-shirt collars, Bates’ attention to detail did not go unnoticed.
Photography by George Pimentel
1960s-inspired sophistication was in full swing at Pink Tartan, where a parade of Betty Draper look-alikes stormed the runway in chic capes, cigarette pants and classic shift dresses. Timeless ensembles in royal blue, bright pink and tan were paired with colour-coordinated fur stoles and leather gloves. While the ill-fitting fake blonde wigs distracted from head-to-toe elegance, many pieces were luxe enough to keep eye lines below the neck.
MATIS by Lucian Matis
For fall/winter, Lucian Matis served up an array of office appropriate looks for his more accessible and affordable MATIS line. With wardrobe staples like jersey frocks, draped waterfall jackets and basics in muted prints, many pieces fell safely in the realm of nine-to-five wear. Aside from the final look; a long sleeve plaid gown, the MATIS fall/winter collection delivered comfortable and casual staples for the everyday girl.
Leave it to Toronto-based design duo Shawn Hewson and Ruth Promislow to bring cheekiness to menswear and push the gents in a bold new direction. Bustle’s fall/winter 2013 collection did just that, while throwing conventionality out the window. Two-toned blazers, polka dots and loud paisley patterns were abound. Many of the looks featured a mix of multiple patterned pants, vests, coats and socks that clashed (in the most artful way possible).
Montréal-based label Rudsak is a mainstay for fashionable Canadians seeking to bundle up without compromising style. This season, the brand celebrated its 20th anniversary with sleek motorcycle jackets and fur-trimmed quilted coats. Many jackets were paired with black leather mini skirts and slim-fit pants. Knee-high boots, metallic accents and sheer apparel added to the label’s sexy spin on outerwear. With most pieces in black, brown or metallic, Rudsak went urban chic for fall/winter without skimping on practicalities or flattering details like tapered waists and over-sized collars.
For fall/winter, Joe Fresh took a turn away from signature bold hues and instead opted for a black-and-white palette with metallic embellishments. The Parisian rock and roll-inspired collection was mostly made up of clean-cut basics and trendy pieces that a fashion-forward shopper would covet. Textural pairings further added to the contrast of hard and soft, including black satin button-up jumpsuits, velvet polka dots, studs and faux fur accents.
Always a high-energy show, Korhani Home can be counted on to deliver carpet couture and entertaining surprises. While the last two seasons saw piglets and parrots on the runway, live animals were left out of the showcase for fall/winter 2013. Instead, we were introduced to witchy women with a dark dramatic edge and a trip through the 1940s and 1970s. From oversized capes and fur trimmings to graphic prints, Korhani reminds us that stylish interiors are just as important as a stylish wardrobe.