Spring 2009 is in the air kisses at L’Oreal Fashion Week, but it’s very much fall in real life. While candy cottons and shoulder-baring frocks dominate the runways, the rows are filled with ideas to steal right now. (And anyway, in many ways, Toronto’s trend set is far ahead of our all-too-conservative designers.)
Our five favourite looks, you ask?
1. Menswear on the tent’s most stylish women: think pleated trousers or jeans rolled up to show off bare ankles and natty brogues, vintage scarves worn as ties, and super-slouchy blazers and cardigans. Canada’s Former Top Model Stacy McKenzie and Eye Weekly’s Rea McNamara have both been caught borrowing from the boys this week, with sharp results.
2. A flock of winged headpieces, worn by a number of aspiring “it” girls, including a couple “birds of a feather” from SheDoesTheCity.com (Olga Barsky and pal).
3. Jodhpurs, dhotis, Hammerpants: whatever you want to call them, draped and dropped-crotch trousers are everywhere. Even the National Post‘s Nathalie Atkinson is wearing a chic little black pair today, although we suspect the choice has more to do with Fashion Week fatigue than anything else (she’s got them on with flats, after all).
4. Almost-black lips, a la YSL, demonstrated by local stylist Jessica Tjeng at the shows Tuesday and model/friend-of-designer Carli Stephens-Rothman at last night’s Speech Jewellery launch party.
5. Lace, lace, lace. From headpieces to toeless tights, and a number of lovely dresses in between, lace is showing up on anyone in the know—or in the tents—this week. We think it’s a look well worn with plaid flannel or motorcycle leather.
On to yesterday’s shows, after the jump.
It’s a rather sad state of affairs when people who sell clothes talk more about their environmental impact than do politicians who win elections. But that doesn’t make us any less happy to see said clothes looking so good. Toronto’s League of Lovers and Thieves and Vancouver’s Evan and Dean both showed beautiful, wearable, well-thought-out collections made entirely of eco-friendly and organic materials (which, if you’re still wondering, look just as silky and cottony as traditional silks and cottons).
The whole tent was high on Morales after the young, fast-rising Montreal designer (first name Renata) presented her first collection in three years—and by far the best we’ve seen in three seasons. No lie, the show (click to see FASHION Magazine’s photos, and see why we couldn’t choose just one) left us nearly speechless (er, keyboard-less?). Chiffon frocks in confectionary shades, with cascading ruffles, painstakingly pleated skirts, and bodices twisted and tufted into textural wonders, were the best of the best. (We thought of Rodarte’s early handiwork, or Alexander McQueen’s bird dresses.) Seemingly incongruous, but somehow perfect, were the Yoshitomo Nara print maxidresses, the animation layered over glittering gold sequins. And with all those heady accessories in metallic black or profuse floral, the overall effect was that of a fantastic tea party, held by the Marie Antoinette of Sofia Coppola’s imagination, at which every guest is a Mad Hatter.
“Everyone can just go home now,” we heard one particularly enthralled stylist gush as she collected her things. “That was way too good to even, like, show in Toronto!”
We had to agree, but stayed for Rudsak’s polished leather offerings, followed by the tropical punch-serving party that was Gsus Industries. With bird-of-paradise prints, clashing pastels, and hibiscus hairpieces, the Holland-born streetwear line came off like a resort collection, if by “resort,” you mean “Spring Break.” At least the male model on a gold bike was super-cute. And when they trotted out kidswear, we reluctantly realized that a seven-year-old blonde-bobbed cherub had one of the fiercest runway walks we’ve seen all week.