L’Oreal Fashion Week
March 18, 2008 Day 2 by Doris Montanera
I’m bad. I couldn’t make it to the scheduled press conference. But, according to my cheat sheet and a chance catwalk meet-up with Toronto mayor David Miller, the gist of it is a new one-year scholarship for four Toronto fashion design graduates to study at a top Milan fashion school. Living expenses will be partially covered—talk about opportunity. (We’ll try to get more information for the next edition of TFI News.)
1 p.m. Lewd
Unfortunately, I just missed the show and caught the end of it on the big screen. Think sporty and casual.
1:30 p.m. Hibebe by Salem Moussallam
This was Salem Moussallam’s first time showing at the official LFW venue (although he has showed offsite once before). Moussallam staged a small installation of eveningwear pieces in the fashion environment main room. A troupe of dancers led off, then exited to let the models step into the spotlight. One champagne-coloured pouff dress with fur shawl grabbed the attention of media and industry alike the previous night at the Holt Renfrew cocktail reception. Not bad; Moussallam is still a student at the International Academy of Design and Technology in Toronto.
2 p.m. Preloved
After the devastating fire that demolished its Queen Street store a few weeks ago, any showing by Preloved deserves a hand. This line is more sophisticated than a few Ts ripped and pieced together. It looked like it raided the closets of Bay Street for all the pinstripes it could find and revamped them into careerwear for young, creative types who aren’t afraid to show a little leg (the hemlines did not pass “Go”, stopping somewhere mid-thigh). Plunging, patchwork sweaterdresses oozed urban and cool.
3 p.m. Evan and Dean
In a very Proenza Schouler-like move, prairie boys Raymond Boutet and Lyle Reimer named their label after their nephews. Fall ’08 was draws on “southern rockabilly, refined kitsch and references to the ‘70s and ‘80s”, they say. The ‘70s and ‘80s definitely comes through. Not too sure about the southern rockabilly. Do they mean the creamy “featheresque” fabric (appropriately, it looked a bit like feathers), fashioned into a couple of coats and a gown with sheer bow detail across the bustline? They were nice. As were their treated fabrics: blouses and a black, bow-front linen dress that shone with a lacquer glaze, as well as slick lacquered lambskin jackets and skirts.
4 p.m. Talenti Moda Milano
Eight graduate designers from Milan showed off their talents in this compilation show. There were a lot of architectural pieces and deft tailoring. “Students have a lot to learn from them,” says Barbara Atkin, vice president, Fashion Direction for Holt Renfrew, especially noting Alessandro Vigilante of IED Moda Lab. “These were refined clothes. They look seasoned.” Not a puckered seam in sight.
5 p.m. Lucian Matis
Lucian Matis was also a contestant from the Canadian version of Project Runway. His latest line makes you wonder whether he shouldn’t have won. His designs were feminine yet wearable, with interesting details: a ruffled poet blouse with grey trousers; a high-collared pinstripe blouse with bows tied around the sleeves; a kimono-style jacket with slits along the bottom arm seam. Styling wise, he accessorized the models’ messy updos with veils or tiny, shiny black hats. He has some great ideas and his line was very cohesive. One caveat: occasionally there was just a little too much going on at once.
6 p.m. The Heart Truth Fashion Show
The celeb-saturated show, designed to raise awareness about the risk of heart disease and strokes in women, featured models such as actor Catherine O’Hara, singer Eva Avila and television host Cheryl Hickey in red dresses created by Canadian designers. O’Hara took two tumbles. No worries—it was all for comedic relief, she said on her way out after the show.
FYI: Water rationing leads to dehydration headaches. 250ml of liquids is not enough to get you through a full day.
7:30 p.m. NADA
Even without the clip from the opening credits of ’80s television series Dynasty, Nada Shepherd’s inspiration is “crystal” clear (pun intended). The teased hair, the strong shoulders, the exposed zippers all had that powerhouse feel. Studded leather belts and insets of fuchsia at the shoulders and waists, along with a music track of ’80s songs (Billy Jean and Boy George’s You Spin Me Right Round) all helped send the message. She’s a designer to watch and groom, says Atkin.
8:30 p.m. Bustle
The almost all-men’s collection was typical Bustle, with whimsical details to illustrate their Casino theme: playing cards sewn onto a suit jacket pockets and playing card-print lining. American dollar bills were strewn along the runway to the back where the models pretended to play at a blackjack table. A western yoke on shirts and jackets were a casual touch (alluding to oil money? Dallas?). Both shiny pinstripes and wider awning stripes adorned shrunken suits. Men, buy small.
9:30 p.m. Joeffer Caoc
As usual, Joeffer Caoc explored the wild side of life. He said he was going for the naughty side of nice—the look was dark, mysterious, intelligent and sexy. The best thing about Caoc: the garments seem simple. Emphasis on the word “seem”. There were myriad panels and drapes and tucks and folds on liquidy indigo viscose dresses and aubergine jerseys. The invite to editors included personalized, scandalous letters alluding to secret affairs. He echoed it in dramatic, plunging cowl backs, with faux bra straps showing through. “Now seeing a bra strap is sexy,” he says. He also debuted his line of bags. They were mega-sized—perfect for all the stuff you’d need for an evening rendezvous.
10:30 p.m. Philip Sparks
It was a long day. Only die-hards stuck around for Philip Sparks, the Stratford Festival costume designer who made the switch to menswear designer a few seasons ago. Those who left missed a tight, cohesive, consistent menswear show of sweaters, riding jackets and collarless shirts. The pieces were clean and understated with impeccable fit. “That’s what men want,” says Atkin.
SCENE + HEARD by Gail McInnees
Lush Magazine drew the fashion crowd east to the Berkeley Church for their Menagerie soiree. Guests were offered a mask when they first arrived, but few accepted the offer. At midnight, a snake-totting burlesque dancer took to the stage and attempted to charm the crowd. The new issue features Leelee Sobieski. Visit
http://www.lushmag.com/ for more information on the magazine. Right: Jarrett and Sarah, Ford Models Agents, at the Lush Magazine party.
AFTER PARTY PIX
Susie Love schmoozes with actor Amanda Brugel at Lucian Matis' after party at Circa
Contributors: Susan Langdon, Nina Facciolo