L’Oréal Fashion Week kicked off this morning with an 11 a.m. press conference at Queen’s Park. Seems the Ontario government excludes fashion from its definition of culture. So members of the Fashion Design Council of Canada want fashion visionaries to get the same recognition as their colleagues in art, dance, theatre and music. Clearly Toronto Fashion Week isn’t the same kind of high-octane glamathon as Paris or Milan. In fact, most shows will be held in one venue—The Liberty Grand—so instead of rushing from venue to venue, most buyers and editors have to cool their heels in the hallway between collections.
Who are the designers previewing their Fall/Winter 2007 collections to retail buyers and the press? Here’s a quick peek at the week’s most promising collections.
When you wear menswear designer Philip Sparks’ gingham shirts or tweedy trousers, you feel like a character in a really good story. It’s not surprising that Sparks has worked in wardrobe at the National Ballet of Canada and completed his Fall 2007 Collection (his first) while simultaneously toiling on costumes for the Stratford. Not everything always fits just so, but it manages to look good anyway.
Quebeckers Elisa Dahan and Eran Elfassy are the brains behind the trendsetting outerwear line called Mackage. Over the last five years, the team has become known for being terrific cutters of materials such as wool and leather, so expect them to shine during the Fall/Winter collections.
A Toronto institution, the Comrags the fashion equivalent of a Hidden Cameras show (without the naked dancing). The design duo of Joyce Gunhouse and Judy Cornish make homey clothes for the ideal Toronto gal. Everything is sewn in-house. And the whole production is put together by the extended Comrags family (Jimmy Moorhouse does the styling, friends walk the runway alongside models, and Joyce does the music). Fun!
Pink Tartan is bound to be the week’s slickest show. The most international of Canadian collections, Toronto designer Kimberly Newport-Mimran has a knack for creating clothing that looks of-the-moment without being too esoteric. Which is to say, Pink Tartan is like Calvin Klein with more colour.
Fan’s of Kendra Davis’ late, lamented store Franke at 920 Queen St. W., will be glad to know that the label is back with its largest collection ever. Few local designers can make fabric skim and drape over the female body as well as Davis. Let’s hope her runway presentation can top those intimate shows at her old shop.
Photo by blainekendall.com from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.