Another autumn, another World MasterCard Fashion Week. I don’t mean for that to sound as bored as it does. In fact, I pretty much live for this shit. There’s so much to be excited about when it comes to the growth of this city, not only as an economic hub but also as a North American fashion hotspot. After New York, Toronto’s fashion week is the second biggest on the continent. Who knew? Being a Montrealer, it truly pains me to say that Toronto may – finally – be the cultural capital of Canada. Mon fucking dieu.
At this point, it is undeniable that #WMCFW has become competitive on an international scale. The only serious Canadian exhibition of talent following the collapse of Montreal Fashion Week, coupled with the injection of globally-recognized names such as Joe Fresh, Target Canada, and Pink Tartan, means that the tents of David Pecaut Square are now our sole way of showing the sartorial world that we are no longer just America’s farm team.
While international recognition is fabulous and everything, it’s the local creatives that keeps me interested. Call it a Montreal-style obsession with the underdog if you will, but I love to see homegrown talent succeed. In my opinion, the greatest benefit of increased media attention and bigger brands at World MasterCard Fashion Week is the fact that it gives smaller designers the opportunity to get a little limelight as well.
So, to start our World MasterCard Fashion Week coverage off, here are the designers we are most excited to see more of at the tents.
Anybody who was at the Emerging Menswear Designer Award (EMDA) catwalk competition during the inaugural Toronto Men’s Fashion Week in August will tell you that Som Kong should have won. It’s not even controversial; it’s just plain fact. That said, the rising Torontonian talent is essentially unstoppable at this point and we cannot wait to see more of his structured, futuristic designs for both men and women at World MasterCard Fashion Week.
A Canadian that’s already huge in Australia? Tell us more! Hayley Elsaesser got her education at the Queensland University of Technology and has since gone on to show at L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival’s National Graduate Showcase and, earlier this year, at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Sydney. Her aesthetic is street-style-chic, with playful silhouettes, punches of colour and pattern, and pop culture references. Fun, right?
BC-born and trained in London, Eliza Faulkner’s designs combine sporty details, classic silhouettes, and luxurious natural fibres for outfits that are totally on-trend. Conceptualized and manufactured on Vancouver Island, her lookbooks promise a balanced collection that will be youthful yet classic.
Another designer that was educated in Europe (Milan’s Istituto Europeo di Design, specifically) and returned to Canada, maritime boy Mathew Gallagher launched his collection at World MasterCard Fashion Week last year. While other designers are moving towards a more street-style, casual aesthetic, Gallagher totally embraces the luxe. His looks feature opulent materials, dramatic silhouettes, long hemlines, and very short ones as well. European aesthetic with Canadian sensibility, perhaps?
Elan + Castor
Making their World MasterCard Fashion Week debut this year, Elan+Castor’s got it down for the high-end Urban Outfitters crowd (joking, this is way better) with their bohemian aesthetic. “I called this collection the Regeneration Collection,” says designer Leah Antoinette, “After our heavy winters, I always look to spring and summer to give me a feeling of renewal and freshness.” Designed and constructed in Canada, their Spring/Summer 2015 collection is loaded with signature hand-woven knits, silk screening prints, and leather details.
Who are you most excited to see at Fashion Week this year? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.