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Volume 21, Issue 7

1. Spring 2014 Runway Reviews
2. TFI's S/S14 Press & Buyers Brunch
3. Top Picks


1. Spring 2014 Runway Reviews
Spring arrived early in Toronto as over 30 Canadian designers and retailers showcased their looks at World MasterCard® Fashion Week (WMCFW) October 21 to 25, 2013. Held primarily under the tents at David Pecaut Square in downtown Toronto, the week also included spring trend presentations, an industry panel discussion, the Disconnect Fashion Film Festival and Fashion Saturday, a one-day consumer fashion happening. Over-arching themes for the Canadian collections included black/white, retro influences with 1960's graphic or tie-dyed prints, boxy or pencil silhouettes or 1950’s fit and flare cuts, and loose fitting, layered styles cut in soft, sheer fabrics. Here are some highlights:

Sisters Chloé and Parris Gordon (formerly of Chloé Comme Parris) channelled Sid Vicious in their subtle nod to ’80s punk fashion where slices of skin peeked through on pants, tops and jackets held together with safety pin-like hardware and buttons shaped like crosses. Boxy cuts in soft, pliable fabrics paid homage to the masculine/feminine reference in the brand's new name. Image: Edward James

Cara Cheung
The young, sexy rocker chick lives on at Cara Cheung where the Toronto-based emerging designer showed a strong and cohesive collection of short, midriff-baring looks. The dichotomy of hard-edged versus soft and feminine was nicely played in the mostly all-black and all-white line that featured exposed zips and asymmetric hems cut in jersey, mesh, organza and leather. Image: Edward James

David Dixon
At David Dixon, lady-like cuts took cues from the late 1950s with cinched waists, full skirts, band-collared necklines and trapeze jackets. Knee-length hemlines, black, white, laser-cut lace and sheer organza were key elements in the collection. Dixon's show also marked the runway debut of Chloe Rogers, daughter of philanthropist Suzanne Rogers and media mogul Edward Rogers.

TFI New Labels® 2011 alum Nikki Wirthensohn presented an assortment of precious, fancy frocks for her Narces collection of after-five and eveningwear. Taught by her mother Mitra, who worked in London handcrafting gowns for the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and other members of the Royal family, Wirthensohn's creations featured elaborate, intricate beading and embroidery embellished with miles of chiffon, tulle and lace, making a memorable impression for the designer's first showing at fashion week.

Melissa Nepton
Montreal-based Nepton, winner of Target's 2013 search for best emerging Quebec designer, showed loose, easy shapes cut in ’60s-inspired graphic prints and patterns. Checks, dots, squares and stripes appeared on flowing organza, chiffon or stiff, structured canvas. Lengths were either micro mini or ankle-grazing.

Mikael D.
Mikael Derderian, one half of the former luxe label Pavoni, introduced his first solo collection that stayed true to his talent of creating glamorous red-carpet looks. Gloriously over the top, with beaded, sequined and embroidered silk, taffeta, lace and brocade, the jewel-toned gowns and cocktail dresses would not disappoint Angelina Joie or Jennifer Lawrence. Image: George Pimentel

Pink Tartan
Creative director Kimberly Newport-Mimran drew inspiration from the late Edie Sedgwick, actress, model and muse to artist Andy Warhol. Crisply tailored skirt suits or twin sets paired with pencil skirts punctuated a mostly white and black collection that looked fresh and lady like. Image: Edward James

Sid Neigum
Laser-cut neoprene dresses, tunics and tops in white, black, cherry and chocolate were shown alongside draped jersey pieces with asymmetric hems to create one of the freshest and most forward collections during fashion week. Neigum, award-winning designer of TFI's New Labels® 2012 competition and a current TFI resident designer, presented his line just days after returning from Stealthprojekt Gallery in Paris, an exhibition of exceptional, international fashion talents. Image: Edward James

Caitlin Power
Making the leap from the small Studio runway room to the large runway venue may seem daunting for an emerging designer, but native-Calgarian Caitlin Power showed confidence in her boldly colour-blocked line for spring. Black, white, beige, bronze and gold were all accented with bright red in looks that ran the gamut from daywear separates to after-five. Image: Edward James

Paria Shirvani
Showing for the first time at WMCFW, 2013 New Labels® finalist Paria Shirvani played with colour blocking, boxy silhouettes and sheer overlays for her debut collection. Organza inserts on tops and tunics or cut as skirts or pants were layered over shorts or mixed with jersey in lightly tailored separates that could be worn for day to after-five. Image: Edward James

Laura Siegel
Tie-dyed cotton separates layered with printed chiffon or mixed with knits interwoven with strips of richly-embroidered Indian saris, created a raw, tribal energy throughout Laura Siegel's spring line. Blues, from indigo to turquoise to pale robin's egg, featured predominantly in the line where easy, loose silhouettes ruled the catwalk.

For the first time ever, two emerging brands shared the winners circle at the Mercedes-Benz Start Up Competition. Edmonton's Malorie Urbanovitch (near right, two images) and Montreal's Matiere Noire (far right, two images) will receive business mentoring, exposure in FASHION magazine and a coveted runway spot at next season's WMCFW.

Paola Fullerton’s The Shows, held the evenings of October 9 and 10 at Andrew Richards Designs, showcased Canadian talent living, working or selling abroad.

For their first runway presentation ever, Bellavance designers Nolan Bellavance and Ava Hama played with the idea of control and fluidity, using sportswear silhouettes and stripes in prints and pattern construction. Among the mix of structured, yet easy-wear, ribbed dresses and sweaters, was a white, blue and peach piece constructed from 142 different pattern pieces, and jackets and cropped pants with fine ticking stripes which, if magnified, is a repeating pattern of the brand’s logo.

Toronto-born, Paris-based Calla Haynes went west to California for a girly, beach-inspired collection of flirty mini dresses, and fitted pants and cropped tops. The collection looked fresh in shades of lilac, vibrant pink, green and blue, but what really set it apart were the textiles: permanently crinkled fabrics with a waxed surface, tweed woven from paper yarn, and lots of textured Japanese floral motifs (to resemble cracked surf wax) in viscose.

Steven Tai
On the surface, Steven Tai’s sportswear collection was casual and wearable. In pale lavender, and ice cream shades of mint green, orange sorbet, and white vanilla cream, the sweatshirt-like shapes, and relaxed skirts and pants rocked an almost geeky vibe. But add in his fabric explanation, and it’s outstanding. Among the tech textiles: pastoral prints that were pixelated, then collaged, laser-cut, silkscreened and bonded to resemble a computer image post-virus, and eyelet-like perforated skirts that are actually a grid of mini squares made by fusing two layers of crepe, then silkscreened and laser cut.

Jeremy Laing
Jeremy Laing’s men’s and womenswear collection was about chalk, stripes, ice cream and nostalgic summer days in the early ’90s. Boxy, oversized, tech-poplin/cotton tunics and gathered culottes (think of parachute fabric) came in “Orangesicle” and “Dreamhouse Pink”, and orange-and-black cotton blazers and jumpsuits in Tiger Tail ice cream, while a dark grouping of stretch-linen shorts and shirt-jackets were marked with “chalk” stripes. Sheer glass organza shorts and anoraks, and burnout windowpane-print tees and skirts rounded out the line. In a post-show interview, he said male and female clothes are just a matter of sizing and most looks were, indeed, unisex, except for our faves: a mesh-bonded jersey body-conscious zipped bustier and layered silk dresses.

2. TFI's S/S14 Press & Buyers Brunch
On October 23 and 24, the Toronto Fashion Incubator hosted its semi-annual TFI Press & Buyers Brunch (PBB) for the second consecutive season at World MasterCard® Fashion Week. From noon to 2:00pm, top fashion retailers, media and industry VIPs explored the curated spring/summer 2014 collections of 21 promising apparel and accessory designers in a boutique trade show platform. The delicious brunch was once again catered by upscale hotelier, the Ritz-Carlton.

Exhibitors included womenswear brands Aime by Monica Mei, Alysha Alex, Bernice & Barclay, Diane Kroe, Geneviève Lima The Label, Hilary MacMillan, Chicago Fashion Incubator designer Lagi Nadeau, Laura Siegel, Mayana Genevière, Matière Noire, Moose & Beaver Apparel, Setara Singh, SKINNY SWEATS, New Labels 2013 finalists SEVENTHIRTYONE; jewellery brands ARMED, DAWSON-REPANOVICI, Laborde and Slashpile Designs; travel accessories brand Ebby Rane; menswear brand Killigrew; and outerwear and accessories brand Jameson Kane. TFI corporate sponsor Rowenta provided an interactive ironing display and held door prize draws for its Partner of Fashion Iron. Designed with the fashion community in mind, $1 from every iron sold in 2013 will be donated to TFI. The iron launched in March 2013 and retails for $129.99 at The Bay and Home Outfitters stores across Canada.

Image collage: Stephen Thomas Maciejowski

The TFI worked with an expert panel of judges from TFI, IMG, Faulhaber PR and the City of Toronto to select the most inspiring design talent to exhibit at the show. More than 30 hopeful applicants submitted press kits that were assessed on trendiness, newsworthiness, cohesiveness within the collection, cohesive branding, overall press kit presentation and marketability.

Faulhaber Communications, TFI's public relations agency, secured 39 media hits for the TFI Press and Buyers Brunch, reaching an audience of over 80 million. Notable media include: CBC News, CBC Radio, Flare, Fashion magazine, ELLE Canada, Steven & Chris, The Marilyn Denis Show, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and Global News, which featured a different PBB designer each day during fashion week. Retailers in attendance included Andrews, Fresh Collective, Hudson's Bay Company, La Closette, Linea Intima, Madame Moje (Vancouver), Shop Girls, Shop High Standards, Shop Sauvage, TNT Boutiques, Trend Trunk and Purely Fashion (NYC).

The trade show will return to World MasterCard® Fashion Week in March and October 2014.

TFI gratefully acknowledges support from this season's event and gift bag sponsors:

3. Top Picks

Images from World MasterCard® Fashion Week designer shows

Global TV talks men’s fashion with TFI Outreach member Mitchell Darragh from Killigrew

The F Drive takes a spin at TFI's Press & Buyers Brunch

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Editor-In-Chief, Susan Langdon
Senior Editor, Doris Montanera

© Copyright 2013 The Toronto Centre for the Promotion of Fashion Design (O/A Toronto Fashion Incubator, TFI). No part of TFI NEWS may be copied or duplicated in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the Toronto Fashion Incubator. This publication is distributed for information purposes only and with the understanding that TFI is not responsible for the results of any actions taken by any person in reliance on such information, nor for any errors or omissions contained herein. TFI expressly disclaims any and all liability arising out of the use of this publication or any part thereof by any person.

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