By Day 5 of World MasterCard Fashion Week, the fatigue amongst the fashion crowds was clearly evident: many fashionistas had traded in their sky-high stilettos for wedges and boots, concealer was being liberally re-applied to black undereye circles in between the shows, and more attendees were choosing their beds over the multiple after parties offered every night. However, despite the exhaustion that naturally accompanies such a week-long event, everyone at Toronto Fashion Week was ready for another day of impressive fashion. Day 5 of World MasterCard Fashion Week was definitely my favourite day on the docket for me, with impressive collections from Travis Taddeo, Caitlin Power, Lucian Matis and Pavoni that all had the crowd on their feet by the final walk-through.
Travis Taddeo F/W 2013
Images via George Pimental
Montreal-native and World MasterCard Fashion Week staple Travis Taddeo stayed true to his downtown, cool-girl style with lots of wearable separates done exclusively in black, save for the beautiful North American Fur Auctions (NAFA) furs – seems to be a bit of a trend amongst Montreal designers showing in Toronto this season (see: UNTTLD), no? A variety of scarves, jackets and vests done in beautiful white and light brown furs softened and added some refinement to the variety of separates created in black jersey, mesh and leather. Creating a collection that focused on “rawness, simplicity and hard edge”, the collection was without hesitation one of the more memorable and well-executed collections of World MasterCard Fashion Week.
Caitlin Power F/W 2013
Images via George Pimental
Also a staple on the World MasterCard Fashion Week circuit for several seasons now, Calgary-born Caitlin Power produced a Fall/Winter 2013 collection that was the most inspiring and in my personal opinion, most improved collection of the week. Always creating beautiful pieces for the young professional woman, Caitlin stepped up her game significantly with a much more directional and edgy collection that separated her from other designers targeting this coveted market share.Taking inspiration from a trip to Paris last fall, Power’s collection was inspired by romanticism, new, modern buildings and classic architecture that resulted in a beautiful, geometric collection. Featuring colours like cornflower blue, oxblood, cream and black done in leather, silk and vinyl, the collection proved to target a more edgy, trend-conscious woman than done in previous collections by Power. Regardless, come next fall I will be coveting that high-collared red vinyl and black wool coat, as I’m sure many throngs of other fashionistas are as well.
Lucian Matis F/W 2013
Images via Jenna Marie Wakani
Later in the evening, the fashion crowds made a mad dash after Caitlin Power’s show to One King Street West, the former Toronto Dominion Bank that was converted in 2006 into one of the most coveted hotel and condominium spots in the city. Treated to Bailey’s Irish Cream and petit fours at a pre-presentation cocktail reception, the ambiance was elegant, sophisticated, and more light-hearted than that observed under the tents back at David Pecaut Square. A change of venue proved to facilitate more interaction, or perhaps it was due to the food and alcohol.
Lucian Matis has always been one of Toronto’s shining design stars ever since he first showed at Toronto Fashion Week (when it was called L’Oreal Fashion Week) with his Fall/Winter 2007 collection. Having studied at the Sibiu Art Institute in Transylvania prior to moving to Canada, Matis honed his technique at Ryerson University’s Fashion Design Program and graduated in 2003, earning several awards. Matis chose to work with a monochromatic theme to allow an emphasis on the shapes of the clothes. Titling his collection “Monochromatic Fantasy”, Matis created a variety of fur, felt, wool and silk pieces that could have easily shown at Paris Fashion Week. Matis clearly has exceptional tailoring skills, and implemented those through boxy silhouettes, voluminous skirts and shoulder detailing, and classic fur coats. Without a doubt, Matis and the PR team behind his event produced the most luxurious and internationally appealing show of the week.
Pavoni F/W 2013
Images via Michael Ching
Closing World MasterCard Fashion Week in style, Pavoni has long been known to bring the “wow” factor to Toronto’s Fashion Week with exquisite evening gowns and dresses that have been frequently seen on the red carpets of Paris, New York and Los Angeles, Headed by two Montreal designers, Gianni Falcone & Mike Derderian met the crowd’s high expectations with a collection titled “L’Age D’Or” – and my, did it ever represent the Golden Age. Jewel-encrusted evening gowns, intricate lace overlay, metallic quilting and black spikes gave the collection a modern, yet classic feel. Dresses came in all shapes and sizes: tight, bodycon pieces were juxtaposed by beautiful long, flowing gowns to make sure there was something to appeal to all tastes. Always wanting to display a bit of showmanship, the collection finished off with an explosion of silver confetti falling from the rafters of the tents, adding yet another element of glam to the end of a fantastic show, and amazing week of collections. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some of these exquisite gowns on the red carpet, in Canada and internationally, very shortly.
So what are my thoughts overall on this edition of World MasterCard Fashion Week? I was extremely pleased with what I saw – while there were a significant number of Montreal designers who chose to skip Montreal Fashion Week in favour of Toronto Fashion Week, the quality of designers in this country knows no provincial boundaries. Most people will never recognize that Canada has a blooming and talented roster of designers, which is truly unfortunate given what our own designers can produce. The most important thing we as a nation can do for our talented designers is promote their amazing work – through magazines, word-of-mouth, and blogs like my own, hopefully we can give these talented individuals a bit of the fame that they so truly deserve.