In the tradition of respected design schools such as London’s Central Saint Martins and San Francisco’s Academy of Art University presenting the compelling and creative work of students and graduates during major international fashion weeks, Seneca College staged its RED: Emerging Designer Showcase on the final day of World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto.
Featuring a small batch from the work of eight of its School of Fashion alumni, the show was the standout of the Toronto calendar this season and undoubtedly rejuvenated the (few) jaded editors who were in attendance, myself included. The scope of ideas was refreshing in its optimism and worldly influence, and the abilities of these young designers (some of them creating coordinating accessories for their collections) seemed almost boundless. Particularly impressive was Vandal’s fusion of tailoring and traditional samurai fare, and Blue Collar Tribe’s nod to familiar (raw denim) and new (3-D printed appliqués) materials.
Unlike a show from CSM – its notorious grads include Lee Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, and last season it boasted a collection accented with the odd faux phallus – this runway presentation was free from the sensational quirks that usually overshadow any fledgling or so-called alternative fashion show. It’s telling that most top editors and bloggers didn’t make it; we’ve all seen our share of up-andcoming design that showed more promise as spectacle than sartorial savoir faire that would actually translate to our readers. But that’s the danger in a few radical apples – one can easily miss a great bunch. The charming Yayoi Kusamainspired collection by Wanwei Huang and the graphic leatherwork of Feyanki Law were overlooked by the tastemaking horde, sadly. But hopefully it won’t be for much longer.