Just two weeks ago we were celebrating Canadian fashion in all its forms at 1 Yonge Street, where designers for TOM* (Toronto Men’s Fashion Week) and TW FW (Toronto Women’s Fashion Week) were showcasing their latest collections for the Fall/Winter ’18 season. An escape from the humdrum and winter blues of life here in the great big North, a rose-tinted venue hosted designers, photographers, stylists, buyers and fashion lovers from near and far. This was my third season attending, aside from the odd shows I attended as a student, and every season has felt so uniquely different in its attitude.
“This season could potentially mark the beginning of something more for Toronto.”
Canada doesn’t play a huge part in the international fashion market. But the constant and vigilant efforts of the Fashion Design Council of Canada haven’t gone unnoticed. Where Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks aim and attempt to keep the events exclusive, Toronto remains an inclusive playground for the celebration of fashion. It makes perfect sense, we’re trying to draw a crowd to the growing fashion scene, we want the attention. And this season could potentially mark the beginning of something more for Canada. Hermes brought the spotlight on Canadian fashion in their latest collection through their Canadienne jacket only a week prior in Paris. The straightforward and sharp leather number is very representative of elemental Canadian fashion. Frankly, I have always found the Canadian fashion market to be on the conservative side, suitable for the chilled zeitgeist of the land. Canadian fashion in its core is minimalist and edgy, black being the trademark colour. This was quite evident in the streetstyle looks I noticed within minutes of walking into the One Yonge Centre on Day 1 for TOM*. Yet a place like Toronto, a hub of diversity, resonates with more. And there was.
Designers from both TOM* and TWFW presented innovative collections, among a pool of customary and sellable looks. The shows were entertaining and the overall mood electric.
Here are some of my favourites from the fall/winter ’18 collections:
Presenting both a menswear and a womenswear collection, Shelli Oh stayed true to her signature style- preppy and downright playful. Still chic and very wearable, the menswear collection included popped collars, a few work essentials, and asymmetric lapel play on double breasted coats. It’s true fashion elegance, being able to take a fundamental wardrobe piece and tweak it only slightly for a show-stopping look. Take note, gentlemen.
Her womenswear collection was equally flirty and elegant. Little party dresses with dainty embellishments and taffeta skirts shone through the collection that included a few winter coats. I love the metallic bustiers contrasting the embellished organza from the very first look.
Vogue Italia and the British Vogue certainly have taken notice of the Shelli Oh charm since the first show I attended two seasons ago. Curious to see what direction the brand goes into next, maybe Bachelor Canada will take a style lesson from this darling designer!
A menswear collaboration focussed on using tweed as the primary fabric.
Here are some of my favourite looks:
A collection that was inspired by mental health awareness brought colourful prints and black silhouettes onto the runway. It was the unveiling of a woman, and overcoming insecurities.
Runway looks included asymmetric and deconstructed styles in rich hues and contrasting fabrics. It was the first time I took notice of the brand, and what I love the most is the contrast in each look. And the Artisan mood is perfect according to WGSN trend forecasts for F/W ’18 😉
You can leave dressing princesses to Lebanese designers. If the design details of Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad gowns send shivers up your spine then you are sure to fall in love with Mikael D. Delicate lace with exaggerated and constructed circle skirts bring the right balance of tradition and modernity to these fashion forward gowns. It comes as no surprise that designer Mikael Derderian brought his Beirut influences into the collection, through luxurious draped fabrics and beautiful illusion lace. There is no escaping plunging necklines and deep style lines in the coming seasons, and I’m completely on board with this body positive movement.