TORONTO - A monologue featured in a song by electronic duo Daft Punk struck a creative chord for Mikhael Kale.
Kale kicked off fall-winter runway shows at World MasterCard Fashion Week on Monday with a collection inspired by the words of prolific Italian songwriter and producer Giorgio Moroder.
Moroder collaborated with Donna Summer on some of the disco queen's biggest hits including "Love to Love You Baby" and "Hot Stuff." He is also behind the film score for the '80s gangster classic "Scarface."
The Daft Punk track "Giorgio by Moroder" features the disco innovator describing his musical career and how he channelled inspiration from sounds of the '50s, '60s and '70s, while also aiming to include "a sound from the future."
Kale opted to open and close his colourful, opulent showcase of embellished ensembles and slick leather looks set to the soundtrack of Moroder's monologue.
"I think the idea of taking something that's been done, and then using a specific lens and doing it in a new way I think is really interesting and has always appealed to me," he said backstage following the show
"Here he is creating music that references the '60s with this modernist vibe. It's incredible. It really is amazing."
The award-winning womenswear designer translated the past-meets-future influences into his collection, which incorporated orange, red, maroon, pink, black, white and metallics.
Kale showcased both the conventional and cutting-edge with his use of leather, from shift dresses, A-line skirts and dress tops to a boldly oversized jacket flaunting sizable circular cutouts.
The showstoppers in the fall-winter range were the lavishly adorned skirts, dresses and jackets trimmed with shaggy Mongolian shearling or dotted with vintage beads. Sometimes, he opted for both adornments, in addition to incorporating pleating, cutouts and wisps of organza into the mix.
Susan Langdon lauded the show as "amazing."
"To see all the detail in the beadwork, the cutouts — it was almost like haute couture," said Langdon, executive director of the Toronto Fashion Incubator, a non-profit business centre that has fostered numerous designers and style entrepreneurs.
"I've been to his studio and I know he does everything by hand, and it's mind-boggling the number of hours that must have gone into creating that line. It was just breathtaking."
Langdon said the unlikely fusion of fabrics and styles within one design is a Kale signature.
"I think that's why I enjoy his show — because he mixes it up.
"He has some severe leather pieces and then next to some frothy Mongolian fur in a lilac (colour) and then a jolt of orange that hits the runway.
"I think that keeps all of us interested and it captures our imagination."
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