It’s that time of year again – Toronto Fashion Week.
Toronto’s very own World Mastercard Fashion Week (or #WMCFW for the un-initiated) has hit David Pecaut Square with Canadian-made Spring 2016 collections, and the city’s best-dressed have come out to play. Famous designer exports like Pink Tartan, Rudsak, and Mackage are back, along with homegrown favourites Preloved and Narces, and an exciting roster of talented newcomers, like Hayley Elsaesser and Rachel Sin.
The first night of Fashion Week saw Canadian designers Mikhael Kale, Preloved, and Matthew Gallagher showcase their new collections. Matthew Gallagher’s work was stunning, and along with the incredible music and seating concept – the front row was actually on the runway, with the models weaving between the seats – proved to be a great start to the week. A fashion, runway show is one of the coolest, most electric experiences. There is a feeling of suspense; an indescribable energy in the air knowing that this is the first time a collection is being shown to the public. Rows are packed with industry professionals and media, photographers and videographers are everywhere, and you can always spot a famous Torontonian in the front row. The great thing about WMCFW is the fact that you do not need to be a “somebody” to take part – tickets for the shows are available online and many of the weekly parties are open to the public. At Toronto Fashion Week, it’s easy to immerse yourself in the fashion world, even if only for a few days.
Although watching the runway show is always an adventure, the best part of attending Fashion Week is getting to experience the hustle and bustle before and after the show. David Pecaut Square is transformed into a fashion hub, and designers, brands, and stylists take over King Street West with fun events and marketing opportunities. This year, a roadside Le Chateau food truck gave away free food to those who engaged the brand on social media. In the Fashion Week tent, a Windows Surface booth demonstrated 3D printing by literally printing wearable bowties, and Maybelline Canada and Juicy Couture traded makeup for shout-outs on Instagram. As a last hurrah to the week, FASHION Magazine hosted the Toronto Fashion Week Awards, a big bash to celebrate and honour the designers and stylists for their work. Held at the Design Exchange, the Awards are a great party for people watching and networking with the fashion industry.
Through Fashion Week, a number of noticeable trends have made an appearance in Toronto street style. Overall, there was an influx of decadence and richness in the outfits – a stark contrast to the minimalist “norm-core” movement that we’ve seen in the past year. As our bi-annual Fashion Weeks always fall in March and October, fur is always a major trend at these events. This time around, colourful fur in all shapes and sizes made many appearances. Unique printed jackets were also very popular, with traditional leopard print making way for a more geometric take on the pattern. Pastel and jewel-toned hair, the colours dusty-rose and oxblood, and leather backpacks were other evident trends. White sneakers are still in heavy rotation; notable brands were vintage Tommy Hilfiger tennis shoes, platform Vagabond sneakers, and Supergas. Lastly, retro, 1970’s glam, and pattern mixing and matching were also seen among the Fashion Week crowd.