10/21/2013 12:51 EDT | Updated 10/24/2013 09:27 EDT

Toronto Fashion Week 2013: Top 10 Things You Should Know

Toronto Fashion Week begins on Monday, and nobody needs to go into it blind. But instead of getting overwhelmed at, well, every aspect of the five-day long ‘fest, we’ve rounded up a few points to take note of so that you’ll have at least somewhat of a touchstone.

Let’s do this.

1. There’s A New Public Event This Year

World MasterCard Fashion Week can seem a little insider-y (even to insiders), but this year, it’s been opened up to the public thanks to “Fashion Saturday” – a pop-up show that will fill (potential) consumers in on the best of the spring 2014 collections. Taking place on October 25 at David Pecaut Square, you can hit up the last Fashion Week shindig for $75 a ticket that you can get at

2. You’ll Have A Chance To Update “The Canadian Tuxedo”

There’s nothing any of us can do, Canadians: we’ve been stereotyped. But instead of making even more fun of our affinity for denim on denim, Fashion Week has given attendees a chance to update the look and bring it into 2013. In celebration of Stylecity (the official retail program of World MasterCard Fashion Week), MasterCard is urging Canadians to redefine “the Canadian tuxedo” for a chance to win a $2000 prepaid MasterCard. (Details available on the official site.)

3. You Can Acquaint Yourself With Stylecity

So what exactly is Stylecity (she asked hypothetically)? Stylecity is “the official retail program of World MasterCard Fashion Week.” Consisting of a network of local retailers, spas, and restaurants, it offers MasterCard holders a unique experience in Toronto during the week’s events. It ends on November 3, and is super interactive, so head to the official website to check out how you can involve yourself (if that’s your thing).

4. There’s Room For Vintage Clothes, Too

If you’d rather thrift and vintage shop than wait for spring 2014 trends, you too have a place in Fashion Week. On Sunday, October 20 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Vintage Clothing Show will go on at Wychwood Barns and will offer the crème de la crème of one-of-a-kind pieces from across Quebec and Ontario. You only need $8 to get in, too.

5. Get To Know Mikhael Kale

Mikhael Kale will be the first show of Toronto Fashion Week, so even if you can’t see his show live and in colour (since his collection debuted on October 18), make sure to acquaint yourself with the designer deemed worthy enough to get the party started. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Nylon, Dazed and Confused, and WWD (to name a few), and he’s dressed everyone from Beyoncé to Jennifer Lopez. You can check out his official site here.

6. You Can Watch Shows Via YouTube

While it is not always feasible to attend Fashion Week, that shouldn’t mean you’re deprived from watching collections debut. Fortunately, highlight reels will be uploaded to the World MasterCard Fashion Week YouTube as the week progresses, further attesting to the industry’s commitment to digital outreach. Fashion should be for all of us, after all.

7. Joe Fresh And Target Will Unveil Their New Lines

Target is hell bent on making its mark on Canada, and inserting itself into Toronto Fashion Week is arguably a great way to do it. (See: Joe Fresh’s success in recent years.) Joe Fresh will debut its spring collection whereas the American retailer will be featuring holiday apparel for men, women and kids, and dates and times are available online.

8. Fashion Week Actually Cares That You Care

There seems to be a running theme this Fashion Week: please, Canadian public, be a part of it. Granted, it just isn’t possible for everyone to make their way into the city or into a fashion tent, but thanks to YouTube and Toronto Fashion Incubator, you can watch not only this week’s shows, but the International Fashion Incubator Conference (a.k.a. the event that sees industry expert talk about what’s important, what needs to change, and a whole lot of other useful stuff) from October 21 – 25. There’s a place for everyone in fashion, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

9. And Let’s Get To Know NARCES And David Dixon While We’re At It

Toronto Fashion Week boasts some pretty big names, and in addition to lines by major retailers, NARCES (the daughter of Priness Diana’s dressmaker) and David Dixon (who’s designed for Katie Holmes) will also be joining the events. NARCES (helmed by Nikki Wirthensohn) is a Toronto-based women’s line, while Dixon has earned praise for several of his recent collections thanks to his sleek, unique, and elegant take on women’s fashion. They’re local, and they’re worth paying attention to – so let’s.

10. Toronto Fashion Week Prides Itself On Local Talent

In a recent interview with The Province, Jarrad Clark, global creative director of IMG Fashion Events & Properties, stated the importance of local fashion – especially since Toronto Fashion Week falls so far after New York, London, and Paris. “This timing really allows local designers the chance to have their moment in time,” he said. “We’re just trying to better understand their goals and objectives beyond just (those) two moments in Toronto.” A functional local scene is super-conducive to creativity – who wouldn’t want to get behind a week that stresses Canadian talent on top of trends?

See photos from Toronto Fashion Week Fall 2013

Toronto Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2013