The closing show on Day Two of Toronto Fashion Week made one thing clear: Canada has two new kings of high glam. Designers Jose Manuel St.-Jacques and Simon Belanger of Unttld won their show as a prize in last fall’s Mercedes Benz Start-up competition. And they didn’t disappoint. Their Fall 2016 collection is a perfect rendition of modern power dressing. Imagine Tom Ford, Haider Ackermann and Balmain poured into a blender with a dash of ‘70s Yves Saint Laurent. Pyjama and tuxedo looks came in sleek black satin and shimmering gold. Black karate belts and tiny gold chains were the few flourishes, until a knockout finale of gold and silver chain numbers. The duo have a new sewer who worked for Givenchy. The quality showed.
St.-Jacques and Belanger are among a strong contingent from Montreal, which also included the day’s opener, LaMarque. Designer Ifigenia Papadimitriou pegs her leather line as “attainable luxury” but her strength seems to be jackets and coats in a range of skins. Two worth mentioning were the floral embroidered opening suede look and a shearling moto jacket.
Jackets also seem to be a focus for Ellie Mae, a relative newcomer whose many fans in the audience point to an already-established following. How could we tell? Several were wearing coats similar to one recently worn by Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau. There was lots in this collection that is first lady-friendly including the checkered look above.
Over-the-top knitwear by designer Katherine Phan was the standout in a group presentation called Select. Our favourite piece from her label, cleverly called House of Knot, was the chunky floor-length vest with a raw grunge vibe.
Edmonton’s Malorie Urbanovitch had more denim than ever before in her collection—good move. Two-tone jeans came with high waists and curved legs. The show closed with a ruffled one-shoulder maxi dress—fun!
Put kids on a runway and you are guaranteed a good time. There’s always one who seems to emerge, stunned by the lights, camera and action. But not Bustle designers Shawn Hewson and Ruth Promislow’s youngsters. They marched down the runway alongside adults like seasoned pros in bomber jackets and jogging pants from a new kids collection, Bustle Sprouts. Come on. Even the name is irresistible.
Marisa Minicucci is one of Canada’s greatest coat designers, and her experience shows. Her jackets, parkas and redingotes for Sosken Studios had just enough novelty to make them interesting, but not so much that they’ll look wrong a year or two down the road. A camel car coat had a faux beaver front. An officer’s style had buttonholes finished with tiny gold studs. And a classic mohair check was cut wide with cropped sleeves. We wish some others on the Toronto runway would exercise such restraint.
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