Time travel: Paging Betty Draper: '60s styles are still swinging. It was hard not to envision the female lead character from the hit TV drama "Mad Men" with the array of circle skirts, shirtdresses, cocoon coats and capelets which emerged on the runway. Bandeau-sporting models in both the Pink Tartan and Miz by Izzy Camilleri shows perfectly captured the style and mood of the definitive fashion era. From the not-so-distant past, '90s styles made a resurgence, from the cool, eclectic grunge vibe from Chloe comme Parris to the large-scale logo tees, message sweaters and studded denim from Joe Fresh.
Mix and match: Designers stitched up a twist with the inventive blend of seemingly contrasting fabrics and textures within one garment. While many expect to see fur encircling collars and hoods, leather was a breakout this season as a choice embellishment, notably with trims and contrasting sleeves on coats. For those seeking to further ratchet up the edginess in their outerwear, eye-catching studding and embroidery on jackets also stood out.
Cool capes: Get ready to wrap yourself in luxury. While capes aren't an entirely new addition to the fashion landscape, there seemed to be a greater than usual number populating the fall-winter runway. Women seeking an outerwear alternative may consider shrouding themselves in the luxurious garment. Golnaz Ashtiani offered a sleek take on the cape in her Ashtiani line, featuring a richly-hued burgundy wool number fashioned with patent leather shoulder details and mohair.
Hot hues: Black, white and neutral colours loomed large in fall-winter collections, but designers also embraced rich jewel tones like emerald green, sapphire blue and ruby red along with an array of wine-coloured shades. Menswear label Bustle showcased plenty of pattern power with polka-dotted suited separates, richly-hued florals and paisley patterns. Lucian Matis also embraced bold plaid patterns and multi-hued prints incorporating leopards, feathers, and shimmering forest pools.
Ladylike looks: The ruffles continue to make ripples in womenswear. The peplum — a ruffle or short overskirt which attaches to the waistlines of garments — was seen on plenty of tops, skirts and dresses in new collections. With a range of polished pencil skirts and tailored sheaths on display, classic, feminine fashions remain a perennial style favourite.
Hair's the story: While the main focus is on the fashions, cosmetic styling is an integral part of rounding out the runway looks. The slightly askew wigs and darkened brows on the models at Pink Tartan aptly captured the essence of Kimberley Newport-Mimran's "favourite disturbing blondes" which inspired the line: Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from "American Horror Story" and Marnie Edgar (Tippi Hedren) of Alfred Hitchcock's "Marnie." Black, pixie-cut wigs were teamed with the edgy '90s styles from Joe Fresh, while towering, leather-bound samurai ponytails paired well with the spare, minimalist designs from Sid Neigum.
Star power: Notable stylewatchers earned their share of attention from celeb-spotting Fashion Week attendees. Actress Elisha Cuthbert and Toronto Raptor Rudy Gay were in attendance at the VAWK show, while actor Shane West and "90210" star Jessica Lowndes took in the Rudsak presentation.
Model novices: A pregnant Jamie Sale traded skates for shimmering heels as she joined fellow celebrities from the worlds of sports, stage and screen in the Heart Truth Fashion Show. The heart-health awareness showcase always has the crowd in a festive mood. But the runway event had an added poignancy with heart disease and stroke survivors joining notable names on the runway in their red designer gowns.
Standout show: After taking home top honours in last year's Mercedes-Benz Start Up show for emerging designers, Montreal-based Duy Nguyen was warmly welcomed back into the Fashion Week fold.
The collection from his high-end, ready-to-wear label Duy drew inspiration from Canadian winter, steeped in shades of icy blue, cream, white, grey, black and moss green.
Nguyen covered all the bases, from ultra-feminine dresses crafted from leather, lace and embroidered tulle to menswear-inspired silhouettes in jackets and pants. Double-breasted coats, fur-trimmed leather jackets, tailored blazers along with cosy knitted wool tweed scarves were among the extensive range of offerings in an elegant collection that was both comprehensive and cohesive.
See photos from Toronto Fashion Week Fall 2013