TORONTO - No need to choose between wool, suede, leather or fur for your cool-weather coat of choice: stitching together multiple fabrics within one garment is emerging as a strong outerwear statement for fall and winter.
From trims to full-scale sleeves, homegrown labels presenting collections on Day 4 of World MasterCard Fashion Week on Thursday were wholeheartedly embracing the mix-and-match approach on coats and jackets.
Heart Truth: Ladies in red strutted, shimmied and sauntered down the runway in a special style showcase aimed at promoting awareness about heart health.
The Heart Truth Fashion Show made its return to World MasterCard Fashion Week with celebrity models taking a turn on the runway clad in crimson-coloured dresses. But this year's event was made particularly poignant by the inclusion of everyday women who have survived serious health scares.
Heart disease survivor Janet Parr and Heather Nutt-Christensen, who suffered a stroke at age 33, received a rousing welcome as they kicked off the evening's festivities with their confident catwalks.
The duo was followed by more than a dozen notable names from the worlds of sports and entertainment, many of whom stepped out of their comfort zones in support of the cause.
A pregnant Jamie Sale pumped up the crowd and playfully rubbed her belly as she stepped out in a lacy red number with a sweeping train by Farley Chatto as Alicia Keys's hit "Girl on Fire" blared through the speakers.
The champion pairs skater and Olympic gold medallist said the subject of heart disease strikes a deeply personal chord.
"I have had a great aunt pass away with heart disease, and my own father's having open heart surgery next month — and he's had a heart attack," Sale said in a backstage interview prior to the show.
"Obviously, a lot of women don't know it's one of the leading causes of death in women .... So I think this is bringing a lot of great awareness."
Olympic silver medallist and champion curler Cheryl Bernard donned a ruffle-front cocktail creation by Ross Mayer. Four-time Olympic medallist and hockey star Hayley Wickenheiser channelled old Hollywood glam with her floor-skimming number from Something Blue, and couldn't resist miming a stick-handling pose in front of the flashbulbs.
Actresses Lauren Holly and Sonja Smits, singer-songwriter Liona Boyd, "So You Think You Can Dance" choreographer Stacey Tookey and rock and blues singer Nanette Workman were among the other celebrity participants. But it was a trio of seniors who were the star attractions to close out the showcase.
Dubbed Models of Health for their embrace and promotion of healthy and active living, Margaret Abbott-Brown, 75, Claire MacDonnell, 83, and Gladys Wenger, 91, had the capacity crowd up on their feet and cheering as they took their catwalk turns.
VAWK: Creative director Sunny Fong presented his contemporary vision of the great outdoors with a stylish ready-to-wear collection for VAWK.
Dubbed "Nordic Fauna," deer and wolf-printed tops and wintry woodland prints on a coat and slim-fit strapless gown were among the whimsical touches features on the elegant garments.
Fong added refined touches to his well-edited array of separates, such as pleated hems on wool coats, tufts of fur adorning a fitted strapless dress and peek-a-boo sheer panels and side cutouts on luxe gowns. But he largely kept things spare in the cleanly-cut, tailored wool coats and suited separates which proliferated the line.
Rudsak: Channelling the days of disco as inspiration, Evik Asatoorian dialled up the glam factor with the Rudsak's fall-winter collection.
There was a tough, cool, yet sexy feel to the line, with eyelet-studded jackets, gold lame miniskirts, sleek leather sheaths and a pair of pants swathed in shimmering metallics reminiscent of gold dust.
The polished, tailored outerwear garments that have been standard bearers for the label were out in full force, boasting a full slate of asymmetrical parkas, motorcycle jackets, wool coats and down-filled jackets embellished with contrasting leather sleeves, fur trims and collars.
Soia & Kyo: Soia & Kyo showcased the power of simplicity with its outerwear offerings which incorporated leathers, suedes, textured and patterned wools and down blends.
The fall-winter collection from the Montreal-based label was spare on embellishments and excessive adornments. The touches used by designer Ilan Elfassy were decidedly more subtle with leather-collared trims and contrasting leather sleeves on elegant wool coats. The slick moto jackets, fur-lined parkas and fitted down jackets were showcased in bold burgundy and navy shades as well as more muted khaki and mocha hues.
UNTTLD: A blend of cool sophistication and street chic radiated throughout the fall-winter collection from Montreal label UNTTLD.
The all-black line from design duo Jose Manuel St-Jacques and Simon Belanger employed use of a diverse slate of lush textures and fabrics from sheer silk georgettes to boiled wools and shimmering satins and lames.
The glam garments offered an updated twist on looks befitting a modern-day femme fatale with luxurious draped-back dresses, sheer blouses, pencil skirts, glimmering capes, tuxedo-style jackets and shaggy fur toppers. Wispy feathers which adorned a sheer, short-sleeved top and asymmetrical-hem dress were among the more avant-garde in the collection.
Day 4 also featured a presentation from Matthew Gallagher.
Fashion Week concludes on Friday.
See more looks from Toronto Fashion Week: