STYLE

Designers channel wide range of style influences on Day 3 Fashion Week

03/14/2012 10:37 EDT | Updated 05/14/2012 05:12 EDT
TORONTO - The diversity of homegrown talent isn't just distinguished by the creations featured on the runway but the widely disparate influences designers channel for their unique looks.

From futuristic fashion to retro revamps, the swinging 60s and modern-day rodeo, on Day 3 of Toronto's World MasterCard Fashion Week on Wednesday, designers dipped into their vast creative wells and found no shortage of fashionable inspirations.

Joe Fresh: The affordable apparel brand delved back in the rich catalogue of 60s-era fashion with a fall-winter collection which drew inspiration from styles that defined the decade.

Joe Fresh brought its signature bright hues and rich jewel tones to a vast spectrum of designs including fitted motorcycle jackets, swing coats, elegant skirts, shimmering minis and slender pencil skirts that coloured the collection.

Neoprene V-neck pullovers and draped back colour-blocked dresses were among the more overtly 60-inspired styles, but the line generally evoked a more contemporary feel with its spin on the classics.

Strong patterns defined the collection with colourful abstract patterns featured on menswear-inspired blazers and trousers, and an abundance of boldly graphic houndstooth embellishing shirts, dresses, trousers and heels. There was ample use of fur accenting coat sleeves and trimming jackets.

Looks for men were decidedly prim, with dapper tuxedo-style shirts, turtlenecks and pea coats alongside boldly patterned houndstooth shirts and trousers for the more daring fashion fans.

Kitten heels and towering patent high boots were among the footwear offerings, which featured bold splashes of Joe Fresh's signature fiery orange hue colouring the soles.

Melissa Nepton: From slinky separates to cosy coats and chunky knits, Melissa Nepton covered her bases with an expansive collection of contemporary creations for fall and winter.

The Montreal-based designer took to the runway with her latest collection, dubbed Eolia, which featured stark contrasts in colour, pattern and structure of garments bathed in warm neutrals and creamy pastels.

Colour blocking was in abundance from tank-style jumpsuits to cigarette-slim leather pants. The collection also featured a striking array of sensual sheer separates fashioned from delicate silk chiffon.

Nepton's strengths were in the elaborate embellishments distinguishing her myriad outerwear looks, with voluminous cowl collars, draped sleeves and fanciful ruffles.

Bustle: The sportswear label saddled up in Stampede-inspired style for their latest twist on modern menswear.

Husband and wife duo Shawn Hewson and Ruth Promislow brought their signature playful approach down to the rodeo-inspired runway, complete with a chuckwagon and bales of hay marking the entrance to the catwalk.

Befitting Western-themed wear, there was a fair share of denim from lighter-wash chambray shirts to dark-coloured indigo jackets and jeans. But the label put its whimsical touches on the standards, with colourful check patterns on collars and sleeves and patterned suspenders printed on button-down shirts. Bolo ties accented with cattle pins offered a vintage flair to traditional-style Western shirts.

Despite the foray into cowboy-inspired fashion, Bustle didn't stray too far from the suited separates that are the label's bread and butter, using vibrant coloured corduroy and wool in crispy tailored blazers and trousers.

Line Knitwear: John Muscat and Jennifer Wells continue to broaden the boundaries of knitwear with their latest range of stylish wool and knit capes, cardigans and coats infused with earthy hues.

The design duo unveiled their fall range for Line Knitwear which boasted multi-hued stripes and abstract patterns.

Washed lambskin was also in the mix, featured stand-alone in funnel collared jackets and form-fitting skirts. The material was paired effectively with knits in sleek pants and wool coatdresses.

It wasn't all about the knits despite the label's moniker, with metal-encrusted collared shirts, slinky jersey and silk tanks, shimmering skirts and a wide variety of trousers, including tuxedo pants and pleated trousers.

VAWK: Sunny Fong brought contrasting but cohesive visions of the modern woman to the runway as his luxury label and debut affordable apparel line shared the stage.

With its "Sci-Fi Samurai" theme, the designer's main label, VAWK, included a tightly-edited selection of jackets, skirts, dresses and outerwear emblematic of a futuristic urban warrior with ample hints of Japanese style influences.

Models sporting leather headgear donned wool blazers with stainy lapels and slick cashmere and leather coats with tufts of fox trim accenting sleeves, shoulders and waists. Obi belts added eye-catching detail to lustrous, draped-sleeve kimono dresses and shimmering copper sequined gowns.

There was a decided contrast with Fong's affordable sister collection, VAWKKIN, which saw the Toronto-based talent put his signature touch on everyday essentials for the workday and weekend.

To drive home the message of a more accessible collection, an open casting call took place with more than 100 submissions whittled down to 16 women of different ages, heights, body types and ethnicities walking the runway.

Steeped in a palette of black, grey and pops of rich teal, VAWKKIN featured a range of polished separates including wool blend coats, blazers and pants, flared hem skirts, chic chiffon blouses, reptile print tops and wrap dresses.

Day 3 also featured a presentation from Eva Chen and Cara Cheung.

Fashion Week continues until Friday.

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