W4W Toronto

Club and Event Previews and Reviews

L’Oreal Fashion Week Spring 2008 – October 22nd through to October 27th, 2007

The Fashion Design Council of Canada (FDCC) will host its fourteenth season of L’Oreal Fashion Week Spring 2008 – October 22nd through to October 27th, 2007 at Nathan Phillips Square for the first time.

The motto? “Who Are You Wearing?”

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REVIEWS

Paul Hardy

Calgary designer Paul Hardy didn’t think his regular ready-to-wear collection would be compelling enough for the runway so, with only 12 days and his staff already up to their necks, he conceived, cut and sewed a capsule collection himself.

Upping the drama quotient is a European tradition, and a trick more Canadians should follow. “I designed each piece with the intention of making myself smile,” Hardy said after the show.

The billowy duchess satins, a way-off-the-shoulder trapeze, shimmery jacquards, plunging Grecian goddess dresses and light-as-air knits will make Hardy fans, including actress Kate Hudson, smile too.

Tevrow + Chase

Fashion is having a love affair with the art world. Marc Jacobs collaborated with artist Richard Prince for his spring collection for Louis Vuitton and Stefano Pilati had some Jackson Pollack-like splashes of paint on dresses for YSL’s resort collection.

Here in Toronto, designer Paul Sinclaire used the colour-blocked canvases of Joe Bradley as an inspiration for his Tevrow + Chase label, shown informally in his studio and retail space on Adelaide St. W. Solid blocks of bright colours were printed on the legs of white jeans and the sleeves of white blazers. Dresses were also entirely made of grids of colours.

Other stellar collectables: Palm Beach bright cropped pants, a rubber ducky yellow coat and a sharp looking white suit piped with black trim. This severely chic, yet accessible, line is sold at Saks in the U.S. and Harvey Nichols in the UK. It would be great to see Tevrow + Chase stores around town. Our answer to J. Crew.

RUDSAK

The Montreal outerwear and accessories brand went on a safari sojourn with a palette right out of Africa — taupes, beiges and corn. Urban jungle dewellers will do well with the safari jackets and sexy short shorts, and the short jackets with trenchcoat details. And they can act out their own fantasies of soaring over the Serengeti in the awesome washed leather aviator jackets. Another outstanding item was a dress with the stiff cowl neck and collar. Obviously they are placing bestseller hopes on this item, since they sent it down the runway numerous times in every shade of the desert. With two stores in Toronto and another two on the way next month, the label continues to offer great leather bags, with styles for next spring that are a bit more structured. However, the recently launched footwear has quite a way to go to catch up with the bags in terms of quality and chic factor.

PINK TARTAN

Designer Kimberley Newport-Mimran is a supreme classicist. Not one to feverishly follow the changing winds in fashion, her spring collection for Pink Tartan, staged during a luncheon in the Avenue Bar at the Four Seasons Hotel, hit on all the classic items in a woman’s wardrobe. There was the immaculate shirt (worn with the new Pink Tartan cufflinks), the crisp shirtdress, the perfect pencil skirt and the simple shift. Some of these items were punched up with bright colours, which looked fresh and could be work-horse items for professional women on the go. But the overall ’60s flavour put the collection in an era that has been exhaustively mined in recent seasons. And the cinematic flop Factory Girl pretty much nailed the door shut on that archive.

COMMON CLOTH

Hamilton-born sisters Melanie Talbot and Kristina Bozzo of Common Cloth have a cool Queen St. W. store and a following to match. They do men’s and women’s wear, and a dog collection named Fetch, but it was just the women’s spring ’08 designs that came down the runway to the raucous rock band Famous Lovers live onstage. The spring collection’s strengths are its dresses, including the floor-length mustard jersey wrap that opened the show, the simple, loungey hostess gowns, and the summery frocks that knotted between the shoulder blades like scarves. The grey jerseys also worked, in a romper, a one-shoulder gown, and quirky T-shirts. It’s such dashes of spirit that will keep Common Cloth basics like cuffed shorts and skinny jeans from looking run of the mill.

GRETA CONSTANTINE

It was an anxiety-inducing prospect, a 10 p.m. show at an extravagant new hot spot. But one of the several enclaves at Circa made a shining, convivial setting for the spring ’08 presentation of Greta Constantine, above, a line buoyed by the sassy personalities of its designers, Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong. There were boys, too, in the latest male swimwear, which has come back to brief, as in bikini styles in colourful jersey that made clear why poet Patti Smith might once have compared men’s crotches to lilacs. The guys punctuated the procession of nervy women’s wear that included a romper suit in black, a very short dress of white jersey that was not made for getting in and out of cars – or maybe it was – and jersey gowns, in red or burnt orange. Some had twisted necklines, wrung from the fluid cloth. Others were strung so the body of the garment was suspended like draperies. There were also a couple of short, stretchy numbers in bold blocks of colour that were two of the best of the million dresses unveiled in town this week.

FRANKE

A former model and current contestant on Project Runway Canada, designer Kendra Francis staged her spring runway show for her label Franke at the Spoke Club. The lineup featured tropical-hued silk dresses, white suitings, and swimsuits in delicious, metallic colours. Speaking after the show, Francis said she was inspired by something that happened on an episode of the reality show. Without going into details – other than it involved the phrase “French Vanilla” – the designer said she started researching how the French brought the essence from Madagascar. Inspired by the native dress of the islanders, she experimented with innovative folds and pleats on her trousers and shorts, and sari-like draping on those silk dresses. But perhaps Francis should have focused her energy on those beautiful drapey dresses, which could be retail hits. Aside from a standout saffron-coloured coat, it was the dresses that really captured the exotic flavour of that sunny island in the Indian Ocean.

Andy Thé-Anh

The gleaming white Para paint used on the runway might boast to be non-scuffing but the slick look proved treacherous for the models, sending one poor thing tumbling several times. Such are the workplace pitfalls of the professional catwalker. But Montreal designer Andy Thé-Anh strides confidently. His spring collection was a showcase of the width and depth of his strong dressmaking skills – sharp tailored suits, high-waisted pencil skirts and enough eveningwear to dress an entire red carpet procession. For next season, the designer opted for a washed-out desert palette – beige, taupe, sand, putty – a departure from his usual love of bold colour. But the details were there in cascades of ruffles, tiers of frills and a bounty of rosettes. While there is never anything wrong with his collections, there are no surprises or challenges, either. He serves exactly what he knows his customers will like. And therein lies the danger. Even the most faithful will get the itch to look elsewhere for excitement.

BUSTLE

Not just horsing around, Shawn Hewson and Ruth Promislow, the get-around couple behind Bustle, went to the track and boldly put their money on tailoring. First out of the gate was a suit, with a double-breasted, double-vented jacket, flat-front trousers and bow tie. Of striped cotton, it was a leisurely suit that, like most of the clothes, paid off on the quinella of cloth and colour, though bets on cut were not so well-rewarded. The models’ built bodies were part of the problem. Biceps bulged in jacket sleeves like meals in a snake, making it difficult to tell deliberately shrunken looks from those that simply didn’t fit. Big uppers arms also seemed to interfere with the way jackets hung, not just relaxed but indifferent to the contours of the torso. Double-breasted pea coat styles and double-breasted vests over printed shirts were snugger and more successful.


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October 28, 2007 - Posted by | L’Oréal, Reviews, Toronto, Toronto Nightclubs, Toronto Reviews | , , , ,

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