At the end of Day Three, when we thought we couldn’t walk another step, we didn’t have to. An old-timey service elevator whisked us up to the sixth floor of the recently party-ready Burroughs Building for Evan Biddell’s afterparty. Co-hosted by the Helders (who, appropriately, sipped RockStar energy drinks) and attended by everyone from laced- and tarted-up vintage shopgirls to cocktail-dressed execs, the cool downtown jam was a fitting celebration of Biddell’s strong sophomore show.
Faux-loft parties are no place to talk shop, we know, but we couldn’t resist cornering the man-of-the-hour into explaining the uber-cool hybrid garments he’d shown earlier that day. What, for example, was that sort of grey, sort of meshy, weirdly hooded (or cowled, or scarved, draped) one piece… thing that drew on-the-spot applause during the show?
“Oh, that was the… sport eyelet hoodie onesie!”
Right, yes. It had been just on the tip of our tongue…
Next up: with fabrics in every conceivable colour and upholsterable floral, Thien Le‘s blissfully unedited offerings looked more like a textiles show than anything related to this thing we call fashion.
“Well,” said one editor rather diplomatically, “Thien has a very… loyal clientele.”
And when the audience has nothing nice to say, they text.
Anonymous Attendee: “What. The. Fuck.”
Torontoist: “I. Know. !!!! But, at least it’s not golfwear. Last year it was golfwear.”
AA: “Please. I’d rather shoot 18 holes of golf every day for the rest of my life than wear anything on that runway.”
TO: “Not even the red wedding dress?”
AA: “Shoot me in the face.”
Admittedly, a collection of canvas sacks could have followed that act and garnered a standing ovation, but burlap isn’t exactly Andy The-Anh’s kind of beige. Montreal’s god of glamour sent out earth-toned dresses and separates for the jet set, finely tailored in silk, jersey, and pleated chiffon. Pantsuits were built to flatter with curved seams and contrasting panels. And while The-Anh’s not known for newness, his idea of adding clingy sheer underlayers to elongate daytime silhouettes is something we’ll be copying come spring.
All of this socialite chic was accompanied, in true soiree style, by a solo violinist whose beyond-impressive performance practically charmed the pencil skirt off Fashion Television hostess Jeanne Beker.
This being our third season in attendance, we no longer find it extraordinary that L’Oreal Fashion Week’s must-see, can’t miss, squeezing-room-only show is… Joe Fresh Style. Yes, it’s available with your Tic-Tacs and Us Weeklies at the nearest Real Canadian Superstore. And yes, we’re finally cool with that. (If only because it’s better than, say, MANGO and BUFFALO DAVID BITTON: the new, inexplicable, obnoxiously capitalized additions to this year’s schedule.)
For Spring, Joe opened with a recording of what sounded like a therapist’s voice, gently urging the audience to sit straighter, deep breather, and get ready. It only took us two seconds to make the “retail therapy” joke in our heads, yet the recording dragged on forever, making our inner children rather impatient. No matter: all was forgiven when, right on schedule (for once), in burst lanky models carrying PVC totes full of Sunkist oranges and wearing (UV) protective eyewear that looked both geeky and sweet. The clothes themselves weren’t particularly special, but then, neither are the prices. Guaranteed to fly off the racks: a grey romper with acid yellow zipper, a few prepster sweatshirts over crisp white blouses, and bubble skirts that, in no less than six pastel hues, looked like puffs of cotton candy. And screw the Labour Day rule: we can’t wait for spring to get our feet in those $59 white leather brogues.
All photos by Pete Lytwyniuk / Studiolit.