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Volume 24, Issue 2, TFW 2016

2. Support TFI New Labels 2016
3. Scene & Heard
4. Thank You TFI Donors
5. Fashion Calendar

Toronto Fashion Week kicked off March 14 - 18, 2016 in the tents at David Pecaut Square in Toronto with a stellar line-up of talent. Here's our pick of the top shows:

Greta Constantine
Fresh from their Paris fashion week runway debut, Greta Constantine design duo Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong sent out one of the strongest collections, both for the clothes, and for the hair and makeup. They channelled the 1920 surrealists. A sequinned lushly-lashed eye, and full, pouty lip, appliqued on silk/wool bow-scarves were recurring motifs throughout the line, echoed in the models’ glittery black eye makeup, and red, cupid-bow lips. The show featured one standout after another: a series of colour-blocked, cropped leather jackets with pagoda-peaked shoulders, a cherry patent leather jacket and metallic wine-coloured skirt, a gray silk/wool bubble dress with a detachable panier puffing it at the hips, a blush silk/wool off-the-shoulder blouse with peplum and leg-o-mutton sleeves. (We could go on…a teal column dress with keyhole neckline, a cropped cowhide jacket that looks like pony, a black satin, ankle-grazing skirt with cropped bronze evening jacket…). Gold, silver, bronze—lamé appeared everywhere, in pleated and flared skirts, skinny pants and jackets, as well as a trailing trapeze gown with a tucked and pleated grosgrain trim along the neckline, and a gold off-the-shoulder dress that screams ’70s-bridesmaid-gone-disco. In honour of their 10th anniversary, they also sent out their signature black jersey dresses and pieces from their archives, like the bodysuit with plunging neckline that Miley Cyrus wore for a photoshoot, and the seatbelt outfits inspired by their previous Audi collection. To cap off this celebration: a high school marching band and a confetti canon.

José Manuel St-Jacques and Simon Bélanger of Montreal brand UNTTLD proved they deserved their Mercedes-Benz StartUp win. We loved everything about the show and the collection, from the professional line list (the first of the week), to the dry ice travelling like an ominous fog down the runway, to the collection inspired by a cast of characters from a Renaissance court. Although the execution was theatrical, the clothes were more about clean, well-cut lines and subtle details: an oversized black satin kimono evening coat and tuxedo pant, a sleek, bias-cut, plunging halter gown with black-belt detailing, a black cape dress trimmed in gold chain, a liquid gold bias-cut slip dress, a chiffon pajama-like suit embroidered with gold glass beads. And for the finale, an off-the-shoulder statement dress draped in gold chains.

Hilary MacMillan
Any Mean Girls movie fan knows that on “Wednesdays we wear pink!”. But Hillary MacMillan’s cruelty-free, animal-friendly collection shown on Wednesday had a warm and fuzzy ’70s vibe and was as far from Mean Girls as you can get. Pink faux fur was everywhere—on coats, vests, skirts, scarves, boots, and even rings and eyeglass frames. Other fabrics included wool, alpaca, silk and cotton in an edited palette of pink, black, and winter white. Inspired by love, a series of dresses and ruffled tops and pants featured a recurring pink watercolour lip print. Feminine lacy dresses, all-pink or black suits, perforated faux leather and lingerie-like velour dresses rounded out the line.

Veteran Montreal designer Marisa Minicucci is the designer behind new outerwear brand Søsken. The concept of this season’s collection is a New York City artist, dashing from place to place, inspiring others. “She’s a mystery girl…. You always see her outside in a coat,” says photographer Arline Malakian, who collaborated on the show and designed the accessories for the runway. Among the standard neutrals like black, grey, brown and beige, are hits of red, navy, cobalt and plaids, in luxe alpaca, mohair, felted wool, and faux lamb. They’re all in Minicucci’s signature minimalistic silhouettes, with subtle seaming details; they look so soft and sophisticated, they almost make you long for winter.

Christopher Paunil
Christopher Paunil’s eveningwear rocked Hollywood glam circa the golden era. There were high/low lengths, fit and flare skirts, mermaids, and slinky silver dresses “so comfy you can sleep in them,” says Paunil. Thrown into this vintage mix were gowns with stretched silhouettes and mammoth shoulders, punctuated by cartridge pleats, that introduced an interesting counterpoint to the collection. “Strong women always inspire me,” says Paunil. To that end, “I want to dress Sophie Trudeau. I’m putting it out there,” he says. His pick for Sophie? A harness dress from his bridal grouping, because “she has a strong presence”.

Farley Chatto
Furrier Farley Chatto was inspired by the romantic ballet La Sylphide and the novel-turned-hit-TV series Outlander about a time-travelling woman who falls in love with a Highlander from the 1700s. “Sylphide and Outlander are both about love triangles and playing with opposites—the rough with the soft,” says Chatto. Among the pairings: a red beaver plaid coat with a red kilt, a red fox hooded capelet with a plaid suit, and a shearling coat with a tweed skirt and black corset. Between the fur and the fine jewellery by Myles Mindham worn by the models, it was an expensive and stunning runway show. Of course, channeling sexy Highlanders guarantees you a hit right there.

Jennifer Torosian
In their first show since participating in TFI New Labels® 2015, Jennifer Torosian and Raed Ali showed a tight collection of womenswear looks for their Jennifer Torosian brand. Continuing with their signature sporty athletic daywear meets corporate boardroom esthetic, the duo paired unexpected patterns and textures such as a persian lamb jacket paired with a wide-checked dress or a stunning silk jacquard evening coat with blue persian lamb collar. Outstanding was a simple LBD in silk jacquard.

With the wooden runway, winter forest scene playing as a backdrop, and the name of the collection “Savage Spirit”, Montreal brand Rudsak transported us to the Canadian wilderness. But even if the inspiration was 17th-century coureur des bois, the result was all 21st-century city dweller. Among its signature assortment of coats and leather pieces, look for puffer ponchos, leather jackets with a zip-off sheared-shearling bottom, and dresses, skirts, and long tunics (for the guys) with wide bands of leather and giant blanket-stitches on the hem. The show ended with a mysterious band of drummers, clad in black from head-to-toe, playing to the song Everybody Wants to Rule the World. A fitting end, because for that moment, Rudsak ruled the runway.

Mikhael Kale
Mikhael Kale Frankensteined aged denim and velvet into a streetwear collection of pants, jackets and asymmetric tops, complete with metallic beading embellishments. Plastic played heavily into the line as well, as a layer over a denim trenchcoat, and sock-like sleeves over the models’ shoes. Kudos to Kale for creating multiple front rows; the models walked the runway, turned and walked through aisles created in the stands, giving as many people as possible an up-close look. Yet, the show got the most play from the models who kept slipping at the end of the runway.

Sid Neigum
In a repeat performance of his London Fashion Week presentation, Sid Neigum showed an edited selection from his fall/winter line on models positioned on risers on the catwalk. Guests enjoyed viewing Neigum's looks in the 360 while getting an opportunity to appreciate the workmanship and fabrics up close. The colour palette included caramel and grey along with black. Details on voluminous shapes cut from double faced neoprene, metallic taffeta and textured wool included contrasted bound edges, asymmetry and laser cutting.

David Dixon
David Dixon’s show was a touching homage to his sister, Susan, who passed away suddenly last spring. On a front-row seat in her name lay a bouquet of flowers. The tightly edited collection of 18 pieces featured pretty dresses and skirts in tulle and silks, some of his sister’s favourite materials. A white, grommet studded trench coat was designed especially with Susan in mind. “She had every one of my coats,” Dixon said post-show. In the aftermath of Susan’s death, he struggled with his design muse, until he was contacted by Ovarian Cancer Canada to collaborate on a project to spark conversations about women’s health. Although Susan didn’t die of cancer, Dixon wrote in his line notes “Meeting with the organization and learning about their commitment to educating women about ovarian cancer—the most fatal of women’s cancers—was inspirational. Their dedication reminded me of the passion with which Susan lived her life, and prompted me to honour her legacy by helping to spread the message that when it comes to health, ‘knowledge is power’.” Entitled The Gene Collection, Dixon played on words, both with the fabrics—dark jean dresses, embellished with grommets and studs—and with the idea of fashion being individual—our genes making us who we are. At the end of the show, he walked out flanked by his mother-in-law on one side, and a woman scheduled to undergo her last dose of chemotherapy the next day on the other. Behind him was a host of female cancer survivors in jeans. He received a standing ovation.

Daniel Christian Tang
When faced with the challenge of how best to showcase jewellery in a runway setting, designers Mario Christian and Heng Tang of Daniel Christian Tang rose to the occasion with an installation of just six, bold, dramatic looks on models wearing black bodysuits. All of the pieces, which included necklaces, neck collars and body armor, were 3D printed and silver plated. The line was inspired "by the world's great architects", said Christian. The duo are both graduates of the prestigious Masters of Architecture (M.Arch) at the University of Toronto.

TFI Press & Buyers Trade Show
Returning for its fifth year at Toronto Fashion Week, the Toronto Fashion Incubator's two-day TFI Press & Buyers trade show welcomed over 100 retailers and media on March 16 and 17. The event took place in the runway room which allowed for only 12 of Canada's most promising apparel and accessory lines. Winner of The Stylist Box Designer of the Season award was Alim Arif whose Bano eeMee collection of textured and perforated luxury leather jackets won over the judges, Stylist Box co-founders Gail McInnes and Christian Dare. Arif receives six-months free representation in The Stylist Box. Baker received over $4,000 worth of services, with $72,000 worth of exposure.

2. Support TFI New Labels® May 3, 2016
The Toronto Fashion Incubator's annual fundraiser and fashion show, TFI New Labels®, takes place Tuesday, May 3 at One King West Hotel. While quantities last, get your tickets through Eventbrite. TFI members can get 25% off ticket prices by contacting Tania at 416-971-7117 ext. 21.

Guests will enjoy an open wine bar, step-and-repeat photo opp, delicious hors d'oeuvres and a fun but suspenseful conclusion to TFI New Labels®, a six-month fashion design competition, as four finalists battle it out on the catwalk to win The Suzanne Rogers Award for Most Promising New Label (a $25,000 cash prize) and a feature in FLARE magazine. This year's finalists include:

GUN CONTROL, a fresh and innovative, music-inspired 'street couture' line and a visual representation of the travels and spirit of the designer, Defne Husrevoglu (right). All garments are cruelty free.

Peggy Sue, founded by Peggy Sue Deaven-Smiltnieks (below right), whose mission is to revitalize the North American farm and fibre industry. She works directly with farmers, start-up mills and artisans to design sustainable clothing that celebrates their skills. She has spoken at both New York University [NYU] and the Rhode Island School of Design [RISD] on sustainable sourcing.

KQK, launched in 2012 by Montrealer Karen Quirion (below left), an avid traveller with a thirst for different cultures who has studied in Italy, Argentina, and the United States. KQK is a fashion label offering sophisticated and easy-to-wear apparel for the modern woman who embraces a masculine aesthetic. Elegant and minimalist, the collection blends deconstructed urban style and femininity with tailored cuts.

ANGELËNE, designed by Angelene Fenuta (above far right), a student of Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design in London, England and Ryerson University’s School of Fashion. The collection, combines utility and strength in architectural shapes, inspired by Japanese culture. A contemporary womenswear label that builds upon core components of the female wardrobe, the line is known for its precision tailoring and unique pieces.

Sponsors for this year's gala include:
Mantella Corporation LEADING sponsor
City of Toronto Founding partner
FLARE magazine and Rogers Communications Media partners
Suzanne Rogers Award benefactor

Gold sponsors:
Toronto Premium Outlets
Salon Daniel
One King West
Colgate Optic White

Silver sponsors:
Jackie O Floral Affairs & Event Design
Wines of Portugal
Hudson's Bay Company
L'Oréal Professionnel
The Image Is
Faulhaber Communications

And gift bag contributors:
Kerastase Paris
The Perth Soap Company

3. Scene & Heard

Glamour and Celebrity at 2016 CAFA Event
The Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards (CAFA) wowed guests with an impressive roster of celebrity presenters and award recipients at the third annual gala. Seven hundred glamorous guests, dressed in their Canadian best, attended the event held at the iconic Royal York Hotel. Canada's first lady, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, presented The Fashion Impact Award to TFI resident designer Laura Siegel who beat out Browns Shoes and Obakki in the category for a Canadian designer or brand that has made a significant social or philanthropic impact in the Canadian and/or international community. The Vanguard Award Presented by Hudson’s Bay went to Australian supermodel Elle Macpherson and The Outstanding Achievement Award went to Canada's king of eveningwear, Wayne Clarke.

OPEN CALL For The Best & Brightest
DYK? Many of the collections shown at Toronto Fashion Week and finalists in this year's CAFA awards are, and were, TFI Resident members? At TFI, we challenge emerging brands to become better, to learn about the business of fashion and to excel in the highly competitive fashion industry. Our success rate of graduating Canada's top talents speaks for itself; now you too can join the roster of award-winning designers and brands such as David Dixon, Greta Constantine, Laura Siegel Collection, Miriam Baker and Sid Neigum by becoming a TFI Resident. Start, grow or relocate your business to TFI and let our proven track record of mentoring some of Canada's best fashion businesses help you accomplish your goals! Applications are available by contacting TFI at 416-971-7117.

Canada's PM Takes GQ's Top Honours
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau leads GQ magazine's 2016 list of The Most Stylish Men Alive. First it was a full-page feature in Vogue, then he was named The Sexiest Man Alive by the same publication. Trudeau's newest honour was based on his ability to look red-carpet-ready 24/7, his confident style and his "really good hair". Fellow Canadians Drake and Ryan Reynolds also made the list.

Regina Hosts Indigenous Fashion Week
On April 23 and 24, eighteen indigenous designers from Saskatchewan and Ontario showcased their work over the two-day Indigenous Fashion Week held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Regina, Saskatchewan. Featured collections included menswear, daywear and couture evening gowns. Founded by Chelsa Reil five years ago, the event was originally named Aboriginal Fashion Week and runway looks were mostly in-season. After visiting fashion weeks in New York and Cannes, Reil revised the name and concept; the next event will be in October 2016 for the spring 2017 season.

The Queen's Wardrobe
Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen's Wardrobe is on exhibit at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, April 21 - October 16, 2016, at Buckingham Palace from July 23 - October 2, and at Windsor Castle from September 17 - January 8, 2017. In honour of her majesty Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday, 150 couture garments are on display designed by British couturiers including Norman Hartnell, Ian Thomas and Hardy Amies. From childhood frocks to elaborately beaded ball gowns and to the royal wedding dress, the exhibit provides a rare glimpse into a monarch's wardrobe.

Is Karl Retiring?
The fashion world was abuzz last week with rumours of Karl Lagerfeld's retirement. The 82-year old, German born uber designer has been creative director for Chanel for the past 33 years and at Fendi for over 50. According to Vogue UK, a Chanel spokesperson dismissed the rumour, citing that Lagerfeld has a "whole life" contract with the House.

Pink Slips at Klein
Calvin Klein's women's creative director, Francisco Costa, and men's creative director Italo Zucchelli, are both leaving Calvin Klein as part of the brand's "global evolution" said Steve Shiffman, CEO of Calvin Klein, Inc. While Shiffman is on the search for a talent who can "unify all Calvin Klein brands under one creative vision", former Dior designer Raf Simons appears to be on the short list thanks to his experience in womenswear and menswear, and from couture to sportswear. Simons has been living life low key since departing Christian Dior.

4. Thank You TFI Donors
Thank you to our donors for your support of our non-profit organization. Your financial contribution enables TFI to carry on its important work of encouraging job creation and economic development in the community. This month we thank Patron Debra Anissimoff for donating a 15% of proceeds from her fashion sale to TFI. Her very kind donation will help support community programs offered by TFI.

If you like reading TFI News, please make a donation to our non-profit by clicking here. Donor categories: Contributor, $50 and under; Supporter, $50 to $100; Benefactor, $100 to $500; Patron, $500 and up.

5. Fashion Calendar

May 3, 2016
Please join event chair Suzanne Rogers and the Toronto Fashion Incubator as we showcase and celebrate the finalists of 2016's TFI New Labels Fashion Design Competition. Tickets are available by calling 416-971-7117 or visiting here.

Halton Hills
May 14, 2016
Join us for a FREE reception at Toronto Premium Outlets where you can meet & greet with finalists of TFI's New Labels competition

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