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

Photo by Joanna Wnukowska

Well this it – five days, 33 shows, 31 designers/design teams, somewhere around 40 hours spent at Heritage Court in and out of fashion shows, and the consumption of more Kellogg’s Special K bars than most people will consume in a lifetime (and if I ever see one of those damn things again I will probably snap.)

Yesterday was the last of the week-long spectacle that was Toronto LG Fashion Week, and over the last five days we’ve seen numerous designer’s interpretations of what will be the latest and greatest statements for fall/winter 2011/12.
Some collections stood out more than others, some for good reason and some for other reasons, but all in all, I think it’s safe to say, Canada, that we can be proud, as we have produced some truly excellent talent. These designers, in turn, have created some truly excellent clothes for us to feel and look great in.

Yesterday we saw a variety of looks from the remaining seven designers, among those were Sarah Stevenson, deipo, Klaxon Howl, Amanda Lew Kee and Line Knitwear. All the collections yesterday were fairly subdued – with the exception of Amanda Lew Kee’s, which was something else entirely, but I’ll get there in a minute.

Photo by Joanna Wnukowska

Sarah Stevenson presented a line of light, flowing pieces, most of which were dresses, in colourful summery prints of blues, pinks, greens, reds and more. I actually forgot within seconds of the show’s commencement that I was watching a collection for fall and winter, and it wasn’t until I was getting up to leave and thinking back on the pieces I’d just seen that I realized that I had not, in fact, been looking at her Spring collection. It was pretty, and it was delicate and romantic, but it just wasn’t fall.

Then there was diepo. The label’s two designers, Justine Diener and Kristin Poon, are the most wonderfully sweet girls who are used to showing at Toronto’s Alternative Fashion Week, but were recently picked up by the Fashion Collective, a creative and production management group who represented a number of the up-and-coming designers at LG Fashion Week. They were humble and gracious and grateful to be there (they even included handwritten thank-you notes in each of their little loot bags on the seats at their show).

Photo by Joanna Wnukowska

Known for their mesh of day wear and lingerie, diepo’s fall collection consisted of loose flowing separates in black, mustard-brown, forest green and white. The lingerie pieces in the collection were not so much vintage-inspired as vintage replicas, and the rest of the collection, while very nice and very now, was not very forward and not all that original. It will however, probably sell very well.

Photo by Joanna Wnukowska

At Klaxon Howl the runway was decorated with nautical props from a full-size ship anchor, to wooden barrels and crates, and the sail from a sailboat. The collection of ready-to-wear men’s wear was very well-received. It was tailored and consistent and although male models in general tend to make me giggle because they often look catatonic with their stiff walk and wide glassy eyes, it didn’t distract me from appreciating the fine garments on their backs.

Before Line Knitwear’s grand finale there was Amanda Lew Kee’s show which was rather, how should I put it, odd.

Photo by Joanna Wnukowska

Maybe it was because there had been such hype about her that we arrived expecting something incredible, but the collection was a mix of some very strange fabrics – one that looked like one of those thermal blankets that come in emergency first aid kits, but in a greeny-blue iridescent colour that looked like a fish scale, and another, a fringed knit of some sort that actually just looked like Christmas tinsel in bright orange and blue.

Photo by Joanna Wnukowska

There was also a dress made entirely of shaggy black hair (not unlike Heather Lawton’s). The collection as a whole consisted of black dresses and skirts with classic silhouettes and lots of exposed gold zippers, some of which were decoration and others that led to removable panels – which I’m assuming are meant so that the tinsel or thermal blanket layer can be removed and the garment actually worn. But strip the overly shiny, shaggy or sequiny away, and many of the pieces were quite nice, including the leggings with sheer panels running down the front or side of the leg, as well most of the pieces that didn’t include the tinsel or iridescent blanket.

Line Knitwear closed off the week-long event with a warm collection of beautiful knit and crocheted pieces from maxi skirts and dressed to shawls and sweaters, layered over flowing dresses or under one of their tailored, fur-trimmed wool or leather coats. The collection was mixture of wool, leather, fur, silk and velvet in a range of soft shades of plum, beige, greys, blues and browns and occasionally a lovely salmon colour.

I think my favourite pieces from the collection were the crochet maxi dresses – short or long-sleeved, they were all beautiful. They would, however, require a lining or slip if they were to be worn off the runway, as most places in the real world don’t usually let you get away with having your nipple act as an embellishment to your sweater.

Then again, you never know what you can get away with in the name of fashion.


Photo by Joanna Wnukowska


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