'Ain't nobody dope as me, I'm just so fresh and so clean' - so sang Atlanta hip-hoppers Outkast on a record spun by a rather exuberant DJ before the packed Joe Fresh show on Wednesday evening. Its buzz grows every season, so Joe Mimran's line of grocery-store couture had a lot to live up to. Luckily, the show, spurred by a slinky sixties sex kitten vibe, delivered something, yes, fresh.
Opening with a clip from 1966’s Blow-Up featuring doe-eyed model Verushka writhing around for her captivated photographer, the fall/winter 2012 show wore its 1960s influence on its sexy turquoise sleeve.
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The standard ‘basics with a twist’ refrain is no longer sufficient to describe Joe Fresh, which has grown into a trendsetting, runway-centric brand since its inception six years ago. For fall, the sweaters - including this neon-on-grey number - were a standout.
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Accessories included big, woolly tuques in bright hues, furry details such as stoles and structured purses both big and small (with one burgundy bag so large it could double as a cat carrier).
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Many Toronto Fashion Week designers played with fur, both real and faux, this season. At Joe, the faux stuff appeared most effectively in the form of big, lush sleeves on an otherwise sleek wool coat.
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The palette stuck closely to traditional fall hues like navy, burgundy and burnt orange, but some pieces got an injection of bright colour from accessories, such as the blue neoprene belt on this grey topper.
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Shoes were distinctive - kitten heeled pointy loafers in a mix of patent-leather and tweed, patent low-heeled knee-high boots - and offered a final surprise as models clacked their way backstage: the brand’s signature orange splashed across every sole.
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Earlier in the day, VAWK designer Sunny Fong also tried his hand at more-accessible fashion, introducing his label’s new sister collection called VAWKKIN, featuring tailored, office-ready separates worn on the runway by real women the designer cast using an open call.
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Fong’s collection for VAWK, however, was designed for a different kind of working woman, specifically, a ‘Sci-Fi Samurai’ unafraid to don leather headgear, statement coats and flashy gowns to get the job done.
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Working mostly in black, the designer threw plum silk and copper sequins into a collection that was more than half dresses, some cinched with Obi belts or toughened up with leather panels. A very feminine warrior indeed.
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Veering again toward very wearable, John Muscat and Jennifer Wells’s collection for their label Line was full of huggable, interestingly shaped knits in multi-hued patterns and pleasing shades of grey.
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Many featured slouchy, oversized collars, but Line’s sweaters and ponchos were far from dumpy, especially when styled with fierce stiletto booties and look-at-me leather/fur gloves - to say nothing of a ruched charcoal mini dress.
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