TORONTO - After five years in Australia, Canadian designer Hayley Elsaesser marked her return to home soil with a whimsical collection which was initially inspired by famed '60s sci-fi fantasy film "Barbarella."
"I'm pretty much always inspired by what's going on in culture and pop and movies and music ... especially from the past," she said backstage at Toronto's World MasterCard Fashion Week on Wednesday.
Elsaesser, who originally hails from Cambridge, Ont., dubbed her spring-summer collection "Heavenly Bodies" as a play on the line's intergalactic theme of planets and stars as well as paying homage to the female form.
"That was specifically what I wanted to do this time around: to celebrate femininity and literally the female body and just kind of the magic of being a woman and mirroring that with the celestial elements."
Elsaesser married space-themed imagery with more unconventional patterns, with shooting stars and rings of Saturn showcased alongside bold, graphic prints depicting hands, mouths and illustrations of women.
The designer said she was inspired by the late '60s and early '70s for her line, notable with the inclusion of jumpsuits in the range. The collection was steeped in both vibrant shades and creamy pastels and encompassed a mix of separates such as sleeveless dresses, cropped tops, graphic tees, A-line skirts and both flared and wide-legged trousers.
"It's a bit old school," she said. "I like to juxtapose stuff a lot, so mixing old with new and print with colour and different ideas. I just really like to look to the past and bring that idea into the future."
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