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A model shows a creation by Joe Fresh Style during Toronto Fashion Week in Toronto Wednesday, October 20, 2010. (Darren Calabrese / CP/Darren Calabrese / CP)
A model shows a creation by Joe Fresh Style during Toronto Fashion Week in Toronto Wednesday, October 20, 2010. (Darren Calabrese / CP/Darren Calabrese / CP)

Joe Fresh points Canadian fashion in the right direction Add to ...

Somewhere, Phyllis Nefler was smiling. Remember her, the wealthy carrot-topped housewife played by Shelley Long in Troop Beverly Hills (circa 1989) who had the moxie to makeover the Wilderness Girl uniforms into chic khaki ensembles?

Well, on the same day that Joe Fresh and Scouts Canada announced they would be teaming up to overhaul the uniforms for 2011, the clothing label's namesake, Joe Mimran, unveiled a spring collection that introduced a new level of refinement to the notion of roughing it.

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Call it the new leisure class and, as per usual, get ready to see it at your local Loblaws Superstore.

To be clear: the look was not actually that camp - double entendre intended. In fact, there were many activity-driven themes presented over the course of the show - perhaps the strongest of all being tennis.

A short clip from the 1970s film The Garden of the Finzi Continis offered some context before the show got underway: a group of beautiful young Italians on bikes in tennis whites, circa 1930.

To that extent, perfect white collared shirts (for men and women), knee-length city shorts in khaki, white A-line skirts, trench dresses and a pixilated print that seemed vaguely camo-inspired merged work with play.

The Scout influence appeared as patches, peeking out from pant pockets or affixed to knitwear. Mid-calf ankle socks used for styling with several of the outfits leaned more towards prep school.

The final series of looks conveyed a glam seaside message: Breton striped jumpers paired with indigo-hued sequin pants and sequin tunic tops

Retro cut swimwear in solid shades of olive, navy and neon brights looked stunning on the models and will likely attract a wider audience than anything super skimpy. The net knits were a nice touch.

There is a reason why Joe Fresh remains Fashion Week's uncontested tent pole show; the clean, sporty aesthetic (think Prada's Ligne Rossi or Michael Michael Kors) is blueblood chic at blue plate special prices. It's not directional fashion - if anything, it was utilitarian this season - but it leads Canadian fashion in the right direction.

Duly noted was the absensce of a strutting supermodel this season. But really, who needs Crystal Renn or Theodora Richards when the clothes come across so well as worn by Canadian players Amanda Laine and Tara Gill.

Incidentally, Mimran admitted after the show that he doesn't even play tennis. But he and wife Kim Newport Mimran (of Pink Tartan) did manage to purchase bicycles recently and rode together in the city throughout the summer.

There's got to be a badge for that.

Follow on Twitter: @amyverner

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