The evening’s runway shows began with Evan Biddell, the inaugural winner of Project Runway Canada, who has not shown at Toronto Fashion Week for several seasons. The presentation began with a fashion film, and perhaps it is my love of film or my anticipation for this collection, but I really could have done without it. All I want is to see the collection moving in front of my eyes. Biddell’s “aMUSE : collection” kicked off with a floor-length spotted animal print gown and several animal looks followed, along with textured prints, leather and lace overlays (consistent with what we’ve seen a lot of so far this season). Known for breaking the rules, the collection lacked cohesiveness; patterns used in the collection appeared like they were selected on a walk down one aisle at the fabric store. Personally, I was more interested in the chunky costume jewelry going down the runway.
The next show is always a favourite of mine each season, the Mercedes-Benz Start Up National Final showed capsule collections from 8 designers from across the country. The capsule collections were judged by Canadian fashion powerhouses including Jeanne Beker, Bernadette Morra (editor-in-cheif of Fashion), and Robin Kay (president of the Fashion Design Council of Canada). The winning collection was Duy, which I wholeheartedly agreed with. Featuring strong hues of red, complemented with superior tailoring and construction – it was a clear win to the judging panel, the audience and me. This should be the core of Canadian Fashion Week, encouraging the work of talented, undiscovered designers and promoting Canadian design on an elevated platform. I look forward to seeing the Duy show next season. Other past finalists Triarchy and Travis Taddeo show in the studio later this week.
Snagging a front row seat at the Mélissa Nepton show is a little disappointing since all the footwear was by Hush Puppies. Though not avant-garde to look at I am sure the models were happy to give their feet some much needed relief. This collection took me on a seaside vacation, which was a welcome reprieve from the relentless rain and fog on Tuesday night. The collection was accompanied by a look book and I am definitely the kind of person who reads ahead and enjoys TV show spoilers. I loved how the clothing was shot for the look book, but I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed with the way they presented on the runway.
Closing the night is one of the most fun shows of the week, the ever-cheerful Bustle. Full disclosure, I love a Bustle man, I think if there were more men dressed like this, I’d somehow be a happier woman. It is unfortunate then these looks may not find their way into every man’s closet. The floral heavy collection feels like a risk for sure, but there is definitely great casualwear and summer suits to choose from in this collection. A man for all seasons, indeed.
Rain can’t keep smiles away with a solid Day 2 and much more to come!
All photos by Paul Ross & Mirian Njoh for OPIQUE /Top of the Runway