FASHIONISTAS UNITE – Day 1

These are copies of my blogs for Lush Magazine from LG Fashion Week Beauty by L’Oreal Paris March and April 2011.

They can also be viewed on the Lush website under ‘blogs’ at www.Lushmag.com

Photo by Joanna Wnukowska

It may feel too cold for spring, but you wouldn’t have felt it inside Heritage Court for Day 1 of LG Fashion Week, as everyone started to get excited about fall/winter 2011-12 looks.

The week kicked off last night at 6 p.m., when the doors opened and across the red carpet strutted the fabulous, fierce and finest of Toronto’s fashion community, to scope out their must-haves for next fall.

Holt Renfrew presented the opening show, a collection of their finest fall garments from a number of outstanding Canadian talents like Denis Gagnon (who will present his F/W 2011/12 collection at 1 p.m. today), Greta Constantine, Jeremy Laing, Smythe, Pink Tartan (who will also show today), and among many others, the down and coyote-trimmed coats no stylish Canadian can conquer winter without – Canada Goose.

Following the Holt’s show was the luxurious Canadian fur designers, IZMA, who displayed everything from coats and shawls to shiny printed velvet jumpsuits, and even a lavish (possibly a little too extravagant) full fur gown.
It seems the 1970s trend we’ve been seeing the last few seasons is beginning to change. By that I mean it’s not moving away from the 70s, but rather through the 70s. The earthy tones and free-flowing boho-chic silhouettes we saw for spring have evolved to incorporate the sheen and glitzy glamour of disco.
But of course the week has only begun and there are still 28 more collections to see before we can fully conclude what Canadian designers have in store for next fall.

Last night’s closers certainly weren’t following any trend but their own. JUMA, whose presentation was the last of the evening, was flowing and free. It really wasn’t retro 70s at all, but rather a modern exploration of Eastern culture.
Inspired by Tibet and Thai and Chinese tapestries, the collection showcased silks with kaleidoscopic prints of warm and rousing shades like midnight blue and burnt coral, as well as tangerine, olive and more.

Photo by Alex Cirka

There were dresses as well as gracefully androgynous tunics (for men and women), sleek and effortless drawstring pants (which despite how they sound still managed to look absolutely charming), cut-outs and racer backs and a number of gorgeous silk scarves which, in my opinion, certainly wore the prints best.

Jamil and Alia, the brother and sister design duo behind JUMA, have spent years traveling the world and it is clear through their work that this is where they draw their inspiration. Every garment was relaxed and elegant and could be worn comfortably in many climates. Unfortunately a real Canadian winter might not be one of them. I fear that the JUMA’s have spent so much of their lives abroad they’ve forgotten that in the dank frigid December days, silk, tencel, and even Korean wool – no matter how pristine their cut and beautiful their print, and no matter how elegantly you layer them — just won’t keep you warm.

Nonetheless, their unique and modern twist on eastern tapestries and translation of the cultures into undeniably serene looking garments is certainly an accomplishment to be recognized. And overall, the collection was both beautiful and inspiring — it inspired me to start thinking about purchasing a plane ticket and spending next winter in Thailand.

We’re off to a good start, and with today’s schedule including LABEL, Chloe comme Parris, Joe Fresh Style, BUSTLE, and even a special runway collection by Korhani Home Rugs, among more, it’s a full day of must-see shows.

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