Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Toronto Fashion Week: Ashtiani and Biddell shine on Day 2

The Globe's Deirdre Kelly delivers highlights from Day 2 of Toronto Fashion Week

1 of 15

A past winner of the New Labels show for emerging designers, Toronto-based Golnaz Ashtiani is making a name for herself as a one-to-watch. Her luxe sportswear collection for spring 2013 draws inspiration from the early 1960s. “But I didn’t want the clothes to look old, rooted in the past,” explained the 28-year old designer following her standing-room only Studio show. “I added pastel colours and textured cotton, creating a peek-a-boo sense of style that to me sums of the simplistic chic of the 60s.” This pleated blouse with patent leather is paired with front-slit trousers in light pink.

Jenna Marie Wakani

2 of 15

Embracing the geometric shapes of the early 1960s designers, Ashtiani here works with triangles in configuring a sleeveless shirt with oversized organza flaps.

Jenna Marie Wakani

3 of 15

This silk organza coat has patent leather detailing in pink.

Jenna Marie Wakani

4 of 15

This loose peplum-style top has a striped cotton detail while the front-seam trousers are made of a microfiber

Jenna Marie Wakani

Story continues below advertisement

5 of 15

This grey and white organza sleeveless shirt is closed with a zipper in keeping with the collection’s overall 60’s modern retro aesthetic.

Jenna Marie Wakani

6 of 15

For his much anticipated return to the Toronto runway after nearly a two year absence, 2008 Project Runway winner Evan Biddell did not disappoint. His spring2013 collection of sumptuous silk dresses and edgy leather jackets was jaw-droppingly gorgeous. This burnt-out moss green dress was originally designed as a gown. Biddell pinned it up in layers to make it less Wayne Clark and more his own. Paired with a lambskin leather jacket and a pair of Rita Tesolin earrings, the look is edgily feminine.

Jenna Marie Wakani

7 of 15

This tiger printed jersey caftan with purple peacock feather detail was the knock-out opening number, which Biddell obviously loved himself, as it kept parading through the show, start to finish.

Jenna Marie Wakani

8 of 15

This pop-art print closing number showed Biddell going back to his roots as a computer-generated print fashion artist. The cling-on silhouette highlighted the elongated elegance of the female form while paying tribute to some of Biddell’s favourite 20 th artists, among them Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol.

Jenna Marie Wakani

9 of 15

As far as fashion shows go, this one was a nail-biter. Who would win the second Mercedes-Benz StartUp program offering the winner increased access to business experts (read: people with money) and retail opportunities? There’s no cash prize. But the benefits of the program co-produced by IMG Worldwide Inc., and the Fashion Design Council of Canada do pay dividends. Calgary's Lauren Bagliore combined flowing opaque silks with transparency in a black and white palette, underscoring the designer's inherent romantic sensibility.

Jenna Marie Wakani

10 of 15

Vancouver's Pure Magnolia designer Patty Nayel showed bridal gowns and 1950s-inspired cocktail dresses that were pure bliss: Tulle, lace and rhinestone embellishments. Who can resist?

Jenna Marie Wakani

11 of 15

Inspired by the glittering beaches of their native Prince Edward Island, Dreamboat Lucy designers Louanna and Hilary Murphy presented retro swimwear in sparkle material.

Jenna Marie Wakani

12 of 15

Working with a muted palette of ivory and celestial grey, Edmonton's Nicole Campre presented a collection of elegant, feminine, proudly Made in Canada separates and dresses.

Jenna Marie Wakani

13 of 15

Menswear designer Christopher Bates channelled Daniel Craig for this standout collection of tailored separates and re-imagined evening pieces. A designer to watch.

Jenna Marie Wakani

14 of 15

Malorie Urbanovitch of Edmonton presented a strong collection of well-proportioned separates such as this cornflower blue crochet ensemble here.

Jenna Marie Wakani

15 of 15

And the winner of the second edition of the Mercedes-Benz StartUp showcasing Canadian fashion design talent. Montreal-based DUY wowed the judges with his knitted jeans, made from strips of faded denim painstakingly knit together. "I can only make one such piece a week," said DUY of the $900 jeans. "It's like couture for denim."

Report an error Editorial code of conduct