Hello, Toronto, it’s been a while since we last saw each other! While I have definitely become a Montreal girl at heart since moving there four years ago, Toronto injects a kind of invigoration into me that I rarely find in La Belle Province. Maybe it’s the skyscraping condominiums and office towers, the palpable buzz of being in Canada’s biggest city, or just being reacquainted with a city that I’ve spent years traveling back and forth from, yet never permanently living in. Regardless of the root cause, I’m extremely thankful for said buzz to have kept me moving yesterday after a hectic day of academic presentations, promptly followed by rushing for a plane in order to get me to the shows five hundred kilometres away and on time. It was all a rather deja-vu feeling from last year at this time…
If there’s one thing I’ve learned since I began covering fashion weeks almost two years ago, the key lesson is not to run yourself ragged. Between the incessant afterparties, massive quantities of alcohol and little (if any) food, hours spent standing in uncomfortable footwear – it’s quite easy to end the week in a poor mental and physical state. Despite arriving in time to catch the first show, I decided to take it easy and attend the last two shows of the evening: Mackage and Joe Fresh.
Mackage F/W 2013
It’s very difficult for me to ever criticize a collection by Mackage, the Montreal-based label designed by best friends Eran Elfassy and Elisa Dahan. This lack of criticism isn’t due to a professional commitment to promote the brand, but due to the designers creating collections that I always want in their entireity and predicting what I’m going to want to wear several months from now. I really can’t put my finger on what exactly about this collection captivated me last night – perhaps the extensive layering, punches of tangerine mixed with navy and merlot, or just the general edgy, Montreal vibe that eminated from every aspect of the collection: the clothes, the hair and make-up, the soundtrack, all of it made me instantly nostalgic for the streets of Montreal, less than five hours after leaving Montreal.
This was also a critical moment for Mackage as a growing company. While Mackage has created beautiful outerwear for several years now, this show proved Mackage could be one of Canada’s few designers who has the potential to be successful on the international fashion scene. Having diversified into ready-to-wear in the recent past and launched an already coveted line of handbags this season, I can only eagerly wait to see what comes about next for this promising brand.
Joe Fresh F/W 2013
All runway images by George Pimentel
Joe Fresh featured a primarily monochromatic palette, complete with punchy word phrases that decorated sweaters, hemlines of skirts, and were temporarily tattooed on models’ arms. While the collection maintained its well-known preppy, minimalistic vibe, the collection was significantly more edgy than those of past seasons. Think lots of white leather, most notably seen as a jacket heavily decorated with spikes and as a mini-skirt. Vinyl detailing also played an important role in the collection, decorating the side seams of trousers and the back of jacket collars. My favourite part about seeing a new Joe Fresh collection is knowing that there will always be something for everyone: whether you’re more of a knee-length jacquard skirt kind of woman who’s looking for a new piece to wear to work, or a 20-something year old gal with a penchant for blingy, sequined miniskirts, I never fail to find one or two pieces that I adore from a Joe Fresh collection.
Hat: Topshop // Jacket: Zara // Sweater: Editorial Boutique // Watch: Michael Kors // Earrings: Juicy Couture // Bracelet: Juicy Couture // Ring: Gift from Italy // Skirt: ASOS // Tights: Wolford // Shoes: Maison Martin Margiela x H&M // Bag: Balenciaga
As for my look on my first day of Toronto’s fashion week, I decided to go for bold hues and lots of leather. After being smothered by snow in Montreal on Monday night, I was feeling desperate to bring some kind of spring-like element into my life – for now, I guess I will have to make do with the colours of my outfits.