The spring 2013 collections at Toronto’s World MasterCard Fashion Week served up everything but the expected: Legends made cameos, a loser turned out to be a winner and the past (especially the sixties) felt newer than ever. Here are the event’s most inspiring – and surprising – moments
Teamwork proved to be a recurring theme in the tents, first with standout footwear collaborations from Aldo with both Pink Tartan and Montreal’s Travis Taddeo, set to hit stores come spring. The week’s most surprising pairing: Vawk’s Sunny Fong teamed up with Toronto-based jewellers Angie Tingas and Michael Proteau (the couple behind the label Niki & Lola) to produce accessories for Fong’s risqué spring 2013 tribute to vintage Madonna. Their hand-formed brass cone bra, shown here, paid homage to the Material Girl’s most famous collaborator: Jean Paul Gaultier.
The tenured artist
It has been 10 years now since Toronto’s Arthur Mendonça first made a name for himself as a designer of glossy, superbly tailored women’s wear. For his anniversary show at Fashion Week, he revived the signature looks that have pushed him to the top of the Canadian fashion hierarchy: printed silk jumpsuits, razor-sharp suits and sleek gowns in sizzling colours. The collection, however, was far from nostalgic. For spring, Mendonça drew inspiration from the Orient, showing kimono dresses with obi sashes, fitted evening jackets in embroidered gold Chinoiserie fabric and precisioncut pantsuits in fresh pink and white, the colours of Okinawa at cherry-blossom time.
Duy, the 11-year-old Montreal label from Duy Nguyen, walked away with the Mercedes Benz Start Up prize, but it was Edmonton native Malorie Urbanovitch who, after presenting a spring 2013 capsule collection in the same competition, left the lasting impression. Inspired by the Canadian coasts, she combined the texture of rock and sand with the transparency of the sea, mixing raw and sheer silks with soft jersey cottons in oceanic hues that, sure enough, made waves.
While the Canadian catwalk was graced by a selection of international beauties (Alana Zimmer and punk model of the moment Charlotte Free among them) the week’s best mannequin import was Pat Cleveland. Watching the 70s legend vamping down the runway at Joe Fresh wasn’t just performance art; it set the tone for the playful collection.
The decade: Sixties spirit
This year, as Canadian designers mined the breakout trends of the early 1960s, the spirit of Edie Sedgwick was everywhere. Golnaz Ashtiani showed geometric tops and minis inspired by the master of mod, French fashion designer André Courrèges, along with streamlined see-through PVC raincoats of the sort that Jean Shrimpton might have worn on Carnaby Street.
The decade: ultra-modern
At Pink Tartan, Kim Newport Mimran’s pastel-coloured collection featured ballooning high-waisted skirts, skinny pants and ultra-modern block-heel shoes whose metallic details owed a debt to Paco Rabanne
The decade: groovy
At Joe Fresh, Joe Mimran paid his own tribute to the decade with an op-art-inspired collection in graphic black and white and groovy metallics. Call it the new Factory Girl.