The closing look in the Stephen Trigueros collection.
On a slow day in the tents, with attendees falling into a lull between Tuesday’s big-name shows and Friday’s closing festivities, attention drifted from the runway to the rumour mill. All week, tales have been spinning of a certain VIP’s erratic behaviour and, shall we say, unorthodox face-powdering techniques. “Look at her eyes!” insisted a dandyish attendee wearing a VIP pass over his pinstriped vest. “She’s, like, actually on crack.” However, after an up-close inspection of the Fashion Week presario, Torontoist is relieved to report that the eyes in question don’t look druggy at all—just over-Botoxed.
Left: the runway before the Fashion Takes Action show; right: afterward, veteran designer Pat McDonagh chats with Jeanne Beker.
Perhaps in an attempt to compensate for the massive generators keeping the tents running all week, the day began with Fashion Takes Action: a presentation of environmentally friendly and sustainable designs by ten of Toronto’s best, including Thien Le and Pat McDonagh. (Her small outing here aside, McDonagh is notably absent from the week’s schedule, as is Arthur Mendonca; both are expected to show for Fall 2008. Fingers are crossed.) No burlap-textured hemp knits here—instead, most of the clothes, from Annie Thompson’s hippie-gothic maxi dresses to Farley Chatto’s elegant suits, were crafted from soft bamboo cottons and silks by SYKA textiles.
Left: Suniya Khan collection; right, eco-friendly ensemble by Sarah Nicol.
At Stephen Trigueros, a two-year-old label trickily named after design team Tanya Stephens and Maria Jose Trigueros, tanned models sashayed to Feist’s “Sea Lion Woman” in a series of tropically-hued bikinis, day dresses and silky, lounge-y separates. All highly sellable, to be sure, but it felt more like a resort collection than spring fashion—that is, until the last model appeared in an exquisite chiffon gown that was the exact colour of cappuccino foam and looked equally weightless. Yum.
On the other side of the commerce/art equation, Ula Zukowska presented a collection of weird, imaginative workings in iridescent earth tones. There were dresses that looked like paper bags for princesses, asymmetrically cut and crinkled jackets, and pantaloons made with varying degrees of puffiness—and these were the things that looked remotely wearable. (Others, like inflated and complicated sack dresses that made even the slenderest of models look preggers, were completely out of the question.) Amid all this artisanal experimentation, the styling left something to be desired (footless tights—really, still?), but local jewellery designer Susie Love‘s outré bangles, fashioned from what looked like Bakelite and rocks, added avant-garde cool.
Left: A citrine swimsuit by Stephen Trigueros; right, black lace bondage at Aqua di Lara.
The day ended early with Aqua di Lara’s swimwear collection. As slinky models paraded elaborately cut-away one-pieces better suited to Caribbean cruises than our Canadian “beaches,” some front row’ers looked visibly tired, their notepads noticeably absent. (Male photographers, on the other hand, were mysteriously captivated.)
Left: Boytech; right: Daniel Wilson [photo by Sarah Prickett].
The shows were fewer and further between yesterday, leaving room for performances by Boytech, a Montreal dance-pop duo who pump the bass and the iron on stage. (Yes, they work out while performing. No, we don’t know why either.) Their glittery, impossibly tight shorts were either painfully ironic or, we’re guessing, just painful.
Meanwhile, in the main tent, Fashion Week’s resident DJ (and stylist) Daniel Wilson did his part to keep the smaller-than-usual crowd energized, spinning uptempo MIA and Bloc Party remixes; when it came to the shows, though, he seemed a little more downbeat. “Nothing’s really blown my mind so far,” he shrugged. “But I’m hoping!”
A trio of looks from the Ula Zukowska show.
All photos by Henry Roxas, unless otherwise noted.