“Paris” is not an inspiration: this is our first thought of LGFW’s fourth day. We’re late to Aime Luxury’s runway debut but catch word the collection’s called “Paris, Je T’Aime.” Merde. When will designers unsubscribe to such glossy, meaningless cliches?
After watching the show, we feel “Parisian-style cafe in Yorkville” is more like it. Belted slips of jersey, hip-hugging skirts, and nearly sheer tops came in such sweet shades: creme brulée, cafe au lait, cuvée rosé. (Perfect for a date at MoRoCo, perhaps.) But if ideas or even shapes are present, they make light impressions; an hour later we couldn’t sketch a look if we tried.
We do, however, recall meeting designer Monica Mei, twenty-six and recently graduated from Ryerson, back at TFI. Swooning at one soft touch of those pale or peachy knits, we asked who they were made for (ideally speaking). She told us she was designing for the “uptown-downtown girl.” Perhaps we should have asked for whom they’re not made.
Cynicism aside, Mei scored points with us for using the vraiment French version of Ladyhawke’s “Paris is Burning”; with editors like Nathalie Atkinson for gift-wrapping macaroons on front-row seats; and with the eco set for sticking to sustainable fabrics (silky bamboo, organic cotton, and the like).
As of today, it’s okay to ask us what we loved most so far. We have an answer. “Nada.” Kidding! It’s NADA. Designer Nada Shepherd, formerly a scientist, laid claim to something far more like art in her most forward Fashion Week showing yet. Geometric texturing was brought to a high shine in leather and metallics. Ruffles and rope details showed themselves to be NADA’s sharp flourish of a signature. Vampiric lips and blanked-out brows were right on trend, making up for the cheap-looking hair extensions.
Among all the surprise and delight about this show, we’ve heard whispers that Selfridges buyers are interested. Canada’s NADA in fairest London? A thrilling prospect. More certain is the London in NADA; the designer’s visions of avant-garde are much in the school of Saint Martins. Endless leather leggings, faintly masochistic harnesses, DIY fringed sandals, and a showstopping dress of quilted leather with squared-away hips all recall echoes of Giles Deacon or the NewGen.
Is that a complaint? Yesterday it was, but perhaps we were just tired. Or hungry. (“It’s bitter day today,” said Final Fashion blogger and illustrator Danielle Meder; even after a sweetening sip of, er, something at the Ruffian: Inside Out book launch, we had to agree.)
Today, we’re more appreciative of Ms. Shepherd’s brave, beautifully sewn efforts—perhaps because we have a proper show catalogue to admire. (Toronto designers, sit up and note: a full-colour, professionally modelled lookbook is the way to a fashion writer’s so-open, so-often-disappointed heart.) And then, we’re reminded of the saying that all the greatest artists are thieves. Will the price points make those covetable ruffled chiffons, pleated peg-legs, and hot-and-heavy chain belts a steal, too? Toronto’s Twittering fingers are crossed.
Day Four’s second new arrival is Carlton Brown, and this one’s for the boys. We didn’t stay to watch the runway dandies ourselves, so will leave judgement to the amazing photographer Pete Lytwyniuk. (We’ve been borrowing and adoring his runway shots all week.) He captioned the following photo thusly: WTF.
If, like us, you were too fatigued to weather the probable storm of flashbulbs at Fashion House for the Women x Women opening and party, you can see the photography exhibit—featuring Canada’s top fashion photogs, period, and never mind that they’re all female—today or tomorrow at 560 King Street West. You can also read this great little interview with event co-founders Alice Keith and Angela Young over at our best frenemy, BlogTO.
All photos by Pete Lwtyniuk / Studiolit.