One of Canada’s leading lights, Marie Saint Pierre (winner of the CAFA Award for Outstanding Achievement in 2015) started the second day with a presentation of her graphic silhouettes. Next up was newcomer Jennifer Torosian (shown above) who is quickly making a name for herself with her athletic-tinged sportswear. The mix of big successes and upstarts worked especially well at #FashionCAN. There was a democratic mix of runway and presentation, plus interviews by Jeanne Beker and inclusion in the pop-up shop, which blended seamlessly for each designer.
Another respected designer, Marisa Minicucci also used the presentation space to great effect for her Sosken Collection of outerwear. Models gathered on risers in the space allowing for close-up looks of the styling and design. (Note to self–pick up a handful of jeweled brooches for my favourite coat.)
Christopher Paunil started with exquisite bridal gowns before jumping into the fire with vivid fuchsia, orange and purple evening wear. A solid showing from a red carpet favourite.
Several established designers travelled back to the 70s with a retro spin. Kim Newport-Mimran of Pink Tartan chose a Mary Tyler Moore mood with her signature suits and toppers. Greta Constantine slipped into a disco vibe with a departure from their much loved jerseys into the collection they recently showed in Paris–a celebration of sheers, lame and sequins. So sexy, so chic, so perfect for their ongoing expansion around the world.
My WOW moment came from the UNTTLD show. Montreal designers Jose Manuel St-Jacques and Simon Belanger continue to go from strong to stronger. Earlier this year, they won the Swarovski Emerging Talent prize at CAFA. They’re now one of Canada’s leading design teams with a collection that focused on lean silhouettes and detailing such as draping and lacing. It was a knock-out show that proved they have the design chops to make it, big, globally.
#FashionCAN proved that there’s no need to return to the traditional runway formula. Their clever mix of runway shows, presentations and the all-important shop (because who doesn’t want to shop after being so inspired?) is the logical progression for a Canadian fashion showcase.
(Style Expert Lisa Tant can be reached at Lisatant.com.)
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