TORONTO - Crisp, cool conditions outside the tents at Toronto's World MasterCard Fashion Week on Tuesday had many clutching to their coats just a day after the city was hit with a late-winter wallop.
Inside the cosy confines of the Fashion Week runway room and studio, stylewatchers got a look ahead to the outerwear offerings set to hit stores when the temperatures dip again in the coming fall and winter.
From overcoats to capes, fur-trimmed leathers and bomber jackets, Day 2 showcased an abundant array of fashionable cool-weather wear.
David Dixon: With its range of polished power suits, ladylike coats and capes and luxurious dresses, a socially-conscious spirit infused David Dixon's fall collection.
In his liner notes, the designer lamented the stigmas and inequalities still faced by the world's women. And yet while clothes aren't the cure-all, Dixon did his part with a collection seeking to embrace feminism and celebrate women. In doing so, the longtime womenswear designer brought his signature elegance to the fall 2013 line which boasted strong silhouettes and slick, ultra-feminine looks.
With the tunes of female vocalists and empowerment anthems pulsating throughout the runway room, the first half of the collection showcased garments befitting the modern professional: bow blouses, peplum jackets and pencil skirts, lace-adorned houndstooth pants and wool coats.
Bursts of bold colour punctuated the latter half of the showcase, with a jumpsuit and fitted strapless number infused in a vibrant purplish-blue hue. But as is typical with Dixon, it was the eveningwear offerings — and their intricate embellishments — that were the standouts, such as spiral chiffon adornments and a tulle skirt dotted with textured floral appliques.
Sid Neigum: In the introductory video played prior to his runway show, Sid Neigum spoke of his affinity for traditional uniforms and historical clothing with meaning and reason beyond its functional purposes. What followed was a spare, scaled-down selection of separates from the Alberta-born designer largely steeped in black and white.
Models sporting towering leather-bound ponytails spiked skywards wore minimalist designs free from excessive adornments, save for the zippered sleeves on a woollen jacket or leather accents and trims and coats. Slender, fitted blazers offered a striking contrast to the high-collared dresses and revealing slits in lengthy skirts.
Line Knitwear: Design duo John Muscat and Jennifer Wells gave some of their luxe looks the gilded treatment, with sheer metallic blouses, gold prints and oversized sequin paillettes on sweaters.
While there was a fair share of classic knits like funnel neck dresses, boiled wool wraps and cable sweaters, leather featured prominently, from trims and sleeves on cardigans to mid-length moto jackets.
Duy: Duy Nguyen made a well-received return to the Toronto runway after taking home the top prize in last year's Mercedes-Benz Start Up program for emerging Canadian designers.
The Montreal-based designer behind the high-end, ready-to-wear label Duy channelled homegrown cool with his Canadian winter-inspired fall line.
Bathed in shades of icy blue, cream, white, grey, black and moss green, Nguyen showcased menswear-inspired silhouettes in jackets and pants contrasted with luxe feminine looks, such as sequinned skirts, leather and silk crepe tunics, as well as tiered lace and swan-neck dresses. Florals figured in as well — but not in conventional print or pattern form. Nguyen used tufts of fabric flowers to accent vests and dresses.
Klaxon Howl: The hat-sporting, guitar-strumming soloist served as the perfect parallel for the Western-inspired styles from Klaxon Howl.
Models walked in circular formation in rhythm to the Western-tinged guitar riffs, taking turns to pause in fixed spotlights illuminated in the darkened studio space. The collection had a decidedly rugged esthetic and feel, and tapped into cowboy cool with its Western-style shirts, denim and rope-style ties.
In the sea of muted grey, khaki and olive tones, splashes of orange and purple added punch to slightly abstract camouflage-print vests, shirts and pants — a fashionable flash forward in a collection largely reflective of styles from the past.
Day 2 also featured a presentation by Laura Siegel.
Fashion Week continues until Friday.
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