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Toronto Fashion Week: Pink Tartan goes feminine cool

The throngs of street-style photographers and their neon-clad subjects may have subsided on the fourth day of Toronto's World MasterCard Fashion Week, but designers still came out to play. Strong showings from some of the city's finest rounded out the day, most notably from Ezra Constantine's Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong and Pink Tartan's Kimberley Newport-Mimran. Who needs a stylish passerby when the tents hold the real sartorial talent?

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Previously shown alongside its sister label Greta Constantine, Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong presented a men’s wear collection that held its ground. Focusing on the idea of armour and protection, the line incorporated boiled wool, heavy knit sweaters and light touches of bondage alongside their signature draped cottons.

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The label paid tribute to its Eve’s rib philosophy: The line started out after the success of the women’s wear. Naturally, it’s okay to borrow from the ladies. Sequins, which appeared on casual tops, managed to look masculine and completely wearable.

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Another piece borrowed from the girls was a rounded shoulder top that was paired with slouchy silver pants. The looks were assertive, pitting tough fabrics with soft lines.

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Playing with textures beyond soft cotton and jersey and new shapes proved a smart move for the duo. Knits were joined by boiled and square-woven wools, most notably in form of trousers draped like sweat pants.

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Meanwhile, Pink Tartan designer Kimberley Newport-Mimran continued the love affair she began last season with the 1960s, showcasing sharp, swishy looks with a nod to Parisian cool. Slim tailored trousers made an appearance alongside coats trimmed with luxe fur – which permeated the collection in various forms and colours.

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Ponyskin and astrakhan were among the textures here. When the two were combined, especially monochromatically, it worked to a beautiful effect. The styling, it should be noted, was done by Flare’s fashion director Liz Cabral, giving the often preppy collection a much more forward edge.

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No one can cut a coat like Newport-Mimran, and the show’s highlights included more play with outerwear. Those furs flowed alongside the label’s signature girlish blouses and trousers, but the knife-sharp wools proved to be incredibly covetable.

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Feminine vintage details such as peplums popped up throughout, most notably in a green silk suit. The monochromatic effect – and there was a lot of it – was often repetitive, but the jewel-toned separates could easily be mixed in with the label’s other pieces (and into customer’s closets).

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Calgary native Caitlin Power, perennially labelled as one to watch, proved that she can deliver consistently season after season. This time around, her namesake line drew inspiration from science, technology and atmospheric purity, according to the liner notes.

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The theme manifested itself into graphic lines on coats, blouses and rounded shoulders – but gave off more of a surf feel, especially in the round shapes and neoprene fabrics throughout the collection.

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There was something for guys, too. A leafy printed dress shirt and drop-crotch trousers were particularly notable and worked. More directional sheer tops with vests for men, though, were a bit forward. But take the pieces apart from the styling, however, and the men’s separates stood out on their own.

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Graphic elements were present even in the jewellery, which was cool and understated, designed by Toronto’s Ana Bogdanovic. (Yes, she made the silver toe caps on the stilettos, too.) Necklaces were often styled with button-up blouses in silk, most effectively this cream number with green piping.

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