L’Oreal Fashion Week
March 19, 2008 Day 3 by Doris Montanera
2 p.m. Carlie Wong
As usual for the early afternoon shows, there was a disappointing turnout. But Carile Wong (the third contestant from Project Runway Canada this week) was worth a look. Her collection riffed on the quintessential wardrobe staples: the little black dress, and its sister, the little black separates. Some of her bra-top variations were more courtesan than cocktail, but her sheaths and halter gowns, with twisted details on the bodice or at the waist, hit that hard-to-reach note of subtle sex appeal.
3 p.m. Miss Rowe
Ashley Rowe of new line Miss Rowe set up a rack offsite at restaurant hotspot Brassaii. Austere minimalism was the trend in Europe, and so too, here. Nary a dart in sight. Rowe constructed her all-black leather and cotton T-shirt tunics, baggy pants and man-style shirts using only side seams. All hint of embellishment was hidden, including buttons, which were both covered in cloth and by plackets. Her looped knit coats were inspired by a vintage ’70s bomber jacket she found in her mother’s closet.
6 p.m. Jeanne Beker and Bratz present Diesel Kids
Speaking of dolls, Bratz has created a fashion reporter doll modeled after Fashion Television host Jeanne Beker. Between her doll, her new book (Passion for Fashion: Careers in Style) and her birthday, she had a banner day. Kudos to the kids who modeled the Diesel collection. It’s tough walking a 90-foot runway, with lights flashing and people clapping. The clothes were cool but the kids were even cuter.
7 p.m. Comrags
Fans of Joyce Gunhouse and Judy Cornish know that they can always rely on this design duo for completely confident urban looks that don’t stray too far from their signature spare, sturdy style. This collection is called Stand, for the stand of trees on the invitation. The symbolism? “It’s about making your own personal stand, being strong,” says Gunhouse. “We’ve created a long, strong look.” The tree-hugging theme also comes out in the earthy, winter colours: dusky midnight blues, browns, clays and olives, as well as a leafy-print sewn into sleeveless sheaths and rolled-sleeve tops with fur edging only the front of the hems. Comrags’ finale of linen wool twill skirts and wide-legged pants looked as if they had been dragged through salted streets. Finally, someone has made this unwitting winter look a style statement. Love the galoshes over the John Fleuvog men’s shoes.
8 p.m. Andy The-Anh
The show started late, but there was plenty to see while waiting uncomfortably in our seats. Actress and former model Monika Schnarre got up from her prime front-row seat at the end of the runway and posed for the cameras—just like in the good old days. She’s the ambassador for the Women Build Campaign Toronto and is hosting a fundraising event Thursday night for Habitat for Humanity.
As for the show, the soundtrack gave it away. It was a series of duets starring Tina Turner, with a host of male singers such as Tom Jones, Rod Stewart and Bryan Adams. That yin-yang duality played out in the collection, which included a mix of masculine double-breasted suits and boyfriend pants alongside flowy, feminine gowns in pleated chiffon. “This season I want to emphasize what I do best,” says The-Anh. “People come to designers to buy the philosophy, the soul behind the collection. When you buy a fashion piece, you can go to Zara or H&M. I’m trying to push Andy The-Anh.” The necklaces, made of black glass and fabric linked to look like an oversized jacquard, were part of his newly launched jewellery line.
9 p.m. David Dixon
David Dixon’s show nearly burst the tent with the capacity crowd. You can always count on Dixon to provide a little ambience and mood-setting. This time it was a park in winter projected against the back wall, two lampposts flanking the runway and a sprinkling of snow previewing the opening model. In keeping with his theme, “The Long Way Home”, were a succession of easy pieces that could be dressed up, down with layering. Voluminous funnel-neck jackets with beading details to dress it up, pleated men’s trousers, skirts with pleats starting below the hip. A tunic-length black dress made from layers of laser-cut silk petals was notable. It can be worn over alone or over leggings, with or without a belt. His magenta plaids lent the right burst of colour. Some of the models’ pumps were from his new footwear collection for Town Shoes.
Scene + Heard by Gail McInnes
DRAGONETTE HAS FLARE
The hardest invite to get this season was the Flare magazine and Fido party at the Drake Hotel. Guests were treated to some fantastic hors d'oeuvres and martinis, but the main treat was an intimate performance by Canadian-born, U.K.-based pop band Dragonette. The stylish quartet took the stage for a mix of style mavens and a technology-savvy crowd. Visit www.dragonette.com to find out when their tour hits a city near you.
LUCINDA'S NEW FRIENDS
Fashion pundit and culture maven Lucinda McRuvy from fashion blog Rags and Mags hung out between shows with two of Toronto's fashionistas, TFI's Susan Langdon (left frame) and celebrity stylist Linda Gaylard. Fortunately, the two classy ladies didn't comment about Lucinda wearing the same Joeffer Caoc outfit from the night before.
Contributors: Susan Langdon, Nina Facciolo