Last week David Pecault Square on King Street played host to World Mastercard Fashion Week where the city’s top designers showed their Spring/Summer 2014 collections; otherwise known as five days of “Organized Chaos”. Fashion week ended five days ago but I am just now coming out of my fashion coma after attending several shows on behalf of Toronto Fashion Academy. After a week of brunches, lunches, runway shows, interviews, dinners, parties, after-parties, and after-after-parties, it’s sometimes easy to get forget some of the collections after the week is over. BUT then there are some collections that standout so much that even after all the madness, the clothes are still etched in your mind. On that note, here’s a round-up of the collections that left a mark on me last week (in no particular order):
PINK TARTAN | BY KIMBERLY NEWPORT-MIMRAN
Always a must see for me…particularly because I have a mild obsession with designer Kimberly Newport-Mimran, but truly because I am a fan of the brand’s clean aesthetics and classic tailoring. Plus, they really made the midi-length skirt supremely sexy again. Although there were a lot of pastels and whites – I know…I know…not so groundbreaking she still managed to somehow keep things super fresh in this vignette with jacquard fabrics, bell-shaped skirts and 3/4 sleeve cocktail dresses . Newport-Miran teamed up with Fashion Magazine Editor-at-Large and Stylist Zeina Esmail this time to the perverbial “rodeo”, which helped bring some more edge to the runway looks. Exhibit A) leather…leather…leather (albeit vegan leather) but still looked amazing nonetheless. I squealed in my seat when I saw the cropped trouser and perforated button up shirt walk by me and the best part of these “leather” looks; they are completely machine washable, part of a long time project the designer has been working on with Tide.
The beauty inspiration for the show was evident by the model’s very full eyebrows. Kim, along with the rest of us in the industry have literally become transfixed over model Cara Delevigne’s bushy set. Pop-art was also an inspiration and the brand even used the quote, “I had a lot of dates, but decided to stay home and dye my eyebrows” by Andy Warhol, when discussing the collection with the press. You could definitely see the mod references throughout the collection with a vignette dedicated to a series of graphic, black and white prints.
CAITLIN POWER | BY CAITLIN POWER
THIS GIRL CAN DESIGN. SERIOUSLY! I first fell in love with the Calagarian turned Torontonian emerging designer in March during the Fall/Winter collections and last week this beautiful talent showed her 25-look collection in the runway room for the very first time and even under all that new pressure, she did not disappoint the droves of cranky fashionphiles who were in attendance at the tents late Thursday night.
Power stayed true to her phenomenal tailoring and used the best of the best in regards to fabrics – silk organza and printed leather for her Spring/Summer ’14 collection which was inspired by a recent vacay to the French Caribbean. The collection which Power explains is meant to “make women feel like the ultimate power figure” (pun intended I’m sure) while “exuding confidence, sophistication and poise.” It’s no secret that I love leather, the first Caitlin Power piece I feel in love with was an army green leather dress, so I was blown away by the tribal-techno, bright prints and form fitted leather dresses…like the ones that closed the show. INSANITY!
MACKAGE | BY ERAN ELFASSY & ELISA DAHAN
When you see a gold runway being laid down pre-show, it pretty much means some realness is about to go down, which is just what everyone expects from co-founders and designers Eran Elfassy and Elisa Dahan of Montreal based cult leather and outerwear brand Mackage. I got a chance to speak with the dynamic duo backstage before the show to get the goods on what their favourite items were from both the men and women’s collection; Elisa’s pick was the shrunken leather and army moto jacket, which was paired with an ethereal, white, ultra sheer mini…perfection! Eran’s pick – the quilted joggers, naturally, which he now regrets not making for women. However, he clarified that I could totally wear the men’s version and it would work. Needless to say, I will be waiting with breath that is baited for them to be available for purchase.
Last season was the brand’s first time expanding the label and introducing handbags. This season the bags are back and even better than the Fall/Winter collection, if you can believe. The runway show also debuted the limited edition NOMAD bag, which is the covetable collaboration between Mackage and the Purse Blog founder, Meghan Mahoney Dusil. I loved the uber short hemlines and ultra sheerness for the summer, not to mention the bright pop of orange leather on some of the female models. White leather motos were also in full effect, which is always a good look for spring and summer and super versatile!
MAISON MATTHEW GALLAGHER | MATTHEW GALLAGHER
This was Matthew Gallagher’s second time showing at WMCFW and clearly he did not suffer from the “Sophmore Slump”…I think it’s safe to say that he wowed the pants off of everyone last week who was in attendance and those who unfortunately missed the show are still talking about the photos. For the duration of the presentation, I felt as though I was not in Toronto but rather London or Paris Fashion Week by the jaw-dropping designs and craftmanship. Hands down, this is the most feminine, delicate, and beautiful collection I’ve seen live on a runway in…well, in forever and every single piece actually looks wearable.
MMG used summers in the Italian Riviera and south of Italy as his source of inspiration for the collection, which is ironic because two of the gowns looked like something a young Sophia Loren would have worn during her prime. There was no absolutely no complaints or snarky comments amongst the attendees about boring neutrals and pastels…the macaroon hues were sublime and worked so well with the fabrics and embellishments Gallagher used. I’m not really sure how he did it but he managed to make each look sexy and sophisticated simultaneously with understated elegance. I’ve become completely obsessed with the floor length skirt with the “up to there” slit paired with the crewneck tee. Not to be outdone by the seafoam green dress that will turn any woman into a goddess!