For World MasterCard Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2015, Vv Magazine’s fashion editor Philip Mak will be giving his daily doling of sartorial sass straight from the catwalks of David Pecaut Square. Like we’d have it any other way, right? Tune in for his take on the Good, the Bad, and the Meh of World MasterCard Fashion Week 2015.
Despite the bitter Canadian cold, the country’s premier fashion week was red hot out of the gate. As the city’s style elite poured into the big white tent at David Pecaut Square, the air unmistakably crackled with that familiar World MasterCard Fashion Week energy. There’s a certain routine that those of us who frequent the tents have come to know and love; Stacey McKenzie in an jaw-dropping gown (tonight’s pick: a black Sid Neigum number), editors huddled in circles outside like nicotine-addicted yaks, and Wi-Fi that’s about as effective as Mayor Ford social policy. We wouldn’t trade it for the world. Well, maybe the Wi-Fi.
What is different about World MasterCard Fashion Week these days is an increase in diversity. Whether it be an ever-growing range of ethnicities on the runways and in the seats, the event is moving away from the “ivory” tower of fashion, if you catch our drift. Furthermore, the style represented by those in attendance is also pluralizing. A few years ago, fresh-off-the-rack designer dresses and Prada bags were the name of the game (read: rich white lady style). Rather, the game was names. It was more who you were wearing as opposed to how you were wearing it.
While there’s nothing wrong with that –given that these are often the people directly supporting the local fashion economy– it’s nice to see more of a variety. Now, the social media generation is creeping its way in — think less branding, more originality. The sight of septum rings, street style, and boys in dresses are signs that Toronto is finally moving closer to that “world class” city distinction that it so frequently pines for. A healthy, democratized fashion community that has expanded beyond the wealthy elite is a good sign.
Toronto designer Mikhael Kale kicked off the festivities, sticking close to his guns. Inspired by Italian songwriter and producer Giorgio Moroder, his colourful designs featured heavy, ornate embellishments, a mixture of traditional and innovative materials (think faux fur juxtaposed with high-shine lavender leather), cut-out, and hemlines that had no business being in a fall/winter collection. In a word, it was sublime. Fresh off his win at the CAFAs, it seems universally agreeable that this designer is becoming a major player in the Canadian fashion scene.
CAFA and Mercedes Benz Start-Up emerging designer/golden boy Sid Neigum presented a collection very much keeping with his signature aesthetic as well. Weighing heavy in large, structural shapes (think a rose meets a jelly fish), jagged origami influences, and a relatively monochromatic colour palate, it was a welcome sight for our tastes. His presentation would be welcome on the catwalks of Paris or Tokyo’s fashion weeks; Neigum is fashion-forward and has a razor-sharp eye for conceptualization. The models walked at a sombre pace to the music of a live string quartet; it was like being at a beautiful funeral or a Tim Burton-themed birthday party. We say that as a positive, FYI.
Pink Tartan provided arguably the most authentically autumn/winter collection of the evening, featuring heavy knits, furs, and wool coats. The first act of the show felt heavily influenced by the 70s trend with nary a skinny pant in sight, and a multitude of earthy-coloured knits in hues of deep maroon, mustard yellow, and mossy green. The collection quickly took an about-face however and entered into more minimalist, cool-girl territory with more monochromatic stylings of high beanies, loose silhouettes, and beautifully constructed casualwear. Think mock necks, structured sweatshirts, and aprons over trousers. Oh yes, and lots and lots of fur.
The Good: Two words — Mikhael. Kale.
The Bad: I’m going to come out and say I didn’t care for the cloud in the middle of the Pink Tartan runway. It was an interesting idea but it honestly made it very difficult to get good snaps of the outfits, or even see them in their entirety for that matter. That striped fur they sent down the runway, though, we gladly could have missed.
The Meh: While I love Sid Neigum’s aesthetic (i.e. simple, structural, mostly black and white), it was a common sentiment that it was a little bit of déjà vu. Is this technically a “bad” thing? Not necessarily, in my opinion. It’s still fabulous — it’s just the same.
Trends: All-off-white-everything, all-black-everything, fun fur, the “new LBD” a.k.a. the Long Black Dress.
Spotted: Fefe Dobson, The Bachelor Canada‘s Brad Smith, and the artist formerly known as Joe Fresh (a.ka. Joe Mimran) in support of his wife’s Pink Tartan show.
What were your thoughts on Day 1 of World MasterCard Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2015? Let us know in the comments section below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.