I met Caitlin Power around this time at the Spring 2011 Toronto Fashion Week; only last year her show was at The Drake – off-site and after-hours. Exactly one year later she showed her Spring 2012 collection to a jam-packed audience, on site, at the official LG Fashion Week tents. So what? That kind of growth is scary. You know what else is scary? How mind-blowingly brilliant her 2012 collection was. As I watched each look sway and turn on the catwalk I became more and more certain of one thing: “She nailed it”.
image: Brendan Adam Zwelling. BAZphotography.com
I did it. Yes, indeed. I wore Uggs to LG Fashion Week and nobody cared. But which is more alarming? That I wore Uggs to Toronto Fashion Week or that NOBODY cared? I tend to think the latter of the two is what we should all really be concerned about. Maybe it was the dreary weather or maybe someone should have swept the leaves, mud and gum wrappers off the red carpet that lay soaked in water, with two white tigers at its helm, in front of the tents at David Pecaut Square. Street style photogs convened in a circle talking about zoom lenses (presumably) more so than actually using their DSLRs. The pinnacle of glamour was the girl with the Mad Hatter top hat – I bet she’s in every single magazine and on every blog right this moment. And I bet you all know exactly who I’m talking about. Like my google analytics line graph on a post-fashion week weekend, the general chicness of TFW took a nosedive.
This was my outfit yesterday. I wore a royalist of blues, wool bustier designed by Caitlin Power. Fashion blogging and such aside, she is a personal favourite. Her clothes appeal to my penchant for architectural structure with a hard femininity. The peplum bustier from her 2010 collection anticipates the peplum propagation on runways all over the world this season. Visionary, driven and a joy to talk to I’ll be featuring an entire write-up on the designer first thing next week including what she said to me just minutes after her show at LGFW and photos of the breathtaking collection.
I mean, her said collection was inspired by Blade Runner – how can you not love her?
Ready-to-Wear. These three words have had the power to tip the scales for a designer since the very inception of the idea of buying clothes off a rack. Some, like McQueen and Viktor & Rolf have always eschewed instantaneous wearability in favour of design bravado. Others, such as Chanel and Givenchy, put out two collections each season: one ready-to-wear, ostensibly for the racks, and the other couture – solely for the Oscars. But we’re in Toronto, not Paris. Let’s face it. Designers survive on wearability (just look at our powerhouses: Joe Fresh, Jay Manuel, Pink Tartan, and Holt Renfew). It’s just the nature of the beast and until we get more breathing room to play a little with even the thought of haute couture the closest we’ll ever get to design bravado, in and of itself, is the Korhani Rug Show.
If at first you succeed, don’t dust yourself off and stop trying. Remember Amanda Lew Kee’s very first Fall/Winter collection debuted two years ago? What a winner. Magazines, newspapers, blogs (well, the 4 that existed back then), and fashion collectives all around Canada didn’t think twice about heralding the then teenager, Canada’s next top designer. Six months later after numerous editorials, an appearance on True Blood and just as much fame as Toronto can afford a 19 year old, Lew Kee had a packed house of salivating devotees anxiously awaiting some edgy fresh meat. She threw us sardines instead. A grecian-inspired collection left most of us lukewarm, some even confused….
image: Brendan Adam Zwelling
Fashion Week. A time when the claws come out. Malnourished journalists will steal your lunch money; Joes leave their homes with birds perched on their shoulders in the hopes of making BlogTo “street style”; sitting on a white piece of paper with your name printed on it becomes the only thing that matters and must be regarded, at all times, as no big deal. Months of hard work culminating in 10 minutes of gloss is not the only thing going on in those three tents that inconspicuously just showed up smack in the middle of Metro Hall. Oh, the gossip. Blacklisting, Back talking, Backwash. Twitter frenemies meet for the first time and exchange business cards. Malocchio being given left, right, and centre. Oh, I’m sorry, didn’t mean to steal your interview with Jay Manuel. *fashion snicker* Someone actually had the audacity to ask me how many subscribers I had on my blog. But, actually? We were both seated in the fifth (last) row. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the last place one should be discussing numbers.
As ‘the sweetest bitch you’ll ever meet’ of the Toronto fashion scene, I try to keep a low profile amidst the madness. That’s probably why Brendan and I saunter around pretending I’m The Blonde Salad and take outfit photos. Some good, some very bad. Enjoy
Save the best for last – this token expression was not abjured at Arthur Mendonça. The collection began on a ‘hmmm’ and ended with an ‘ahhhhh!’ The, what I think was herring-bone, patterned daywear – modest dresses and suit blazers – were executed a bit too perfectly to arouse any sort of unfounded approval. Ok, they’re great to wear to the office and I’m sure the type of person who wears Mendonça to the office found some key prospective acquisitions. But you know, I waited around 45 minutes in a sea of tall people, regretting not having packed the 2 ativan sublinguals I keep just-in-case I have a panic attack amidst a sea of tall people; I was banking on something more than office wear. Besides, I don’t even have a job. Or an office for that matter.
It’s been 2 years since my last shopping spree at Holts, forgive me. A rude salesperson who judged me by the drape of my sweatpants (like haven’t you read my blog – I’m OK with spending $1,000 on a winter coat) and thus refused to get me my size in the Prada jacket, which I was ready to buy, because she thought I wasn’t serious. Bitch, when it comes to fashion, I am serious.
I was also never much of a sycophant BUT I will give credit where credit is do.
Last night the fuscia pink retail monolith opened the Spring 2012 “Canada Cool” Toronto Fashion Week with a runway show featuring eight Canadian designer brands you should know: Jeremy Laing, Smythe, Naked & Famous, TwentyCluny, Denis Gagnon, Dennis Merotto, Wings + Horns and Lida Baday. You should also know that their collections retail at, you know…
Here are my 10 favourite looks from HOLTS:
image: Eurotrash in the Tents, Day 1, LGFW
A few months ago the lovely people at Shoppalu.com sent me an email to say “HEY!” and let me pick out some pretty little things from their site to wear to LG Fashion Week. It was hard to choose from all the delicious vintage goods but I narrowed it down to a crochet top and white Woodsward’s ballet flats. Hand delivered over Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes, I couldn’t wait to showcase these pieces! The Vancouver-Toronto team of just a bunch of it-girls selling vintage have won over my heart.
shop vintage at Shoppalu.com HERE!
The Simultaneous Dress
On her dress she wears a body.
Woman’s body is as bumpy as my skull
Glorious if you are made flesh
Couturiers have a foolish profession
As foolish as phrenology
My eyes are kilos weighing the sensuality of women.
All things that swell advance in depth
The stars hollow out the sky
Colours disrobe by contrast
‘On her dress she wears a body.’
Under the heather’s arm
lurk shades of lunala and pistils
When the waters swirl down the back over sea-green
And the double conch of the breasts passes beneath
the bridge of the rainbow
And the perpendicular cries of colour fall on the
Sword of Saint Michael
There are hands stretching out
The drapes conceal the trick – all the eyes, all the
flourishes and all the habits of the Bal Bullier
And on the hip
The poet’s signature.
*As promised, I found the poem referenced in my review of Jean-Pierre Braganza’s runway collection at The Ritz Carlton, Toronto.