TORONTO - Toronto's World MasterCard Fashion Week took on a decidedly international flair as the event kicked off on Monday night showcasing designs from top-tier style stars from home and abroad.
The semi-annual event launched its 27th season under makeshift tents at David Pecaut Square with a lengthy runway presentation featuring nearly 70 separate designer ensembles from Holt Renfrew.
While the luxury retailer has largely focused on featuring homegrown designers in its recent Fashion Week shows, high-profile brands from beyond Canada's borders were incorporated into the showcase.
From an azure blue draped sleeved satin dress from Yves Saint Laurent to a colour-blocked coat from Celine, a patterned Prada suit and sleek tuxedo from Tom Ford, the looks on display offered an extensive range of apparel and accessories, with outerwear, eveningwear and everything in between.
While a large portion of the designer showcase was devoted to international labels, homegrown talents had their time to shine, either featured in standalone looks or teamed with apparel and accessories from foreign brands.
A satin-lapelled black blazer from Toronto-based label Smythe was worn atop a classic white T-shirt from American designer Alexander Wang. A slinky black sequin dress from Twenty Cluny was teamed with YSL shoes and a Christian Louboutin purse. A fur-trimmed hooded parka and puffer coat were among the offerings from Canada Goose, while a pair of floor-skimming gowns from Wayne Clark — one white, one black — were among the closing looks to the runway show.
Lida Baday, Jeremy Laing and Dsquared2 were among the other Canadian labels showcased.
Meanwhile, there was plenty in pink from Pink Tartan among the pretty pastels in the latest line of ultra-feminine looks from the homegrown label helmed by Kimberley Newport-Mimran.
In a recent interview, the designer revealed that her latest collection dubbed "The Shape of Things to Come," was inspired by the use of geometric shapes, which she incorporated in skirts and pleats featured in the new line.
There was a definitive retro vibe in the succession of demure separates that coloured the runway, which featured butterfly prints and floral cutouts among the intricately patterned looks.
High-waisted shorts and slender capris, skinny brocade pants, bustier crop tops, full mid-length skirts and bell-sleeved coats conjured up visions of 50s and 60s era styles.
"There's certain elements that are sort of DNA to the brand and I feel that they're part of what I do so I like to show them on runway," Newport-Mimran said.
"I'm always loving a shirt-dress, and I truly love working on these cutouts on shirt collars and things."
The swells of orchestral music that filled the runway room ahead of the closing show were particularly fitting with the series of majestic gowns presented by Pavoni.
The luxury fashion label co-founded by Montrealers Mike Derderian and Gianni Falcone has garnered A-list clientele with stars like Celine Dion, Katy Perry and Carrie Underwood sporting their red carpet-worthy fashions.
The latest line, dubbed "Le Chateau de Versailles" continued the trajectory from the duo's Toronto Fashion Week debut earlier this year with a range of ornate, painstakingly embellished dresses.
The new creations straddled the divide from barely-there minis to mermaid-style glamour gowns in lace, silk chiffon, taffeta and organza swathed in sequins, beading and crystals. Intricate patterned detailing was a hallmark of many of the designs, from sunburst sequins to embroidered tattoo-effect adorning creations.
While bolder accents loomed large, Pavoni also showed less is more with a romantic, silk chiffon gown featuring a back train, with a subtle criss-crossing of fabrics highlighting the garment.
Fashion Week runs until Friday.