VARIETY SHOW – Day 2

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

Yesterday’s schedule at LG Fashion Week in Toronto was jam-packed with shows that offered many different takes on fall styles. From the huge candy-coloured knits at Denis Gagnon and the insouciant styles at LABEL, to the dark vibe we saw from the Gordon sisters at Chloe comme Parris and of course, the surprising runway presentation from Korhani Home Rugs.

Earlier in the afternoon, in an intimate studio setting, LABEL presented their fall lineup of loose and comfortable, 1990s grunge-inspired layered looks. The collection was an interesting mix of cottons, silks, velvet and leather blocking in shades of olive (which seems to be a very popular colour choice for fall), browns, blues, and of course blacks. There were shirts worn as skirts, and long-sleeved cotton maxi dresses that resembled old-school men’s nightdresses, as well as velvet harem pants paired with cropped cotton shirts. The silhouettes were both fitted and flowing, and all the garments were paired with Doc Martin boots and accessorized with some great pieces from the Leather Atelier (their “Best Friend” clutch is now at the top of my fall must-have list).

Following the LABEL show we saw some ruffled and polka- dotted swimwear by SHAN, which was inspired by classic films from the 1940s and 50s. Paired with large floppy hats, huge sunglasses, the collection included one- and two-piece styles in classic cuts from that era (which in reality, aren’t the greatest for most body-types), as well as some chiffon dresses and cover-ups in bright prints of pink, blue, yellow and green, and some flowing pants and rompers.

At Chloe comme Parris we saw a very dark, gothic-inspired collection from the two Gordon sisters, who seem to have done a complete 180 from the soft light linens they showed for Spring, although they did incorporate similar details, like the cut-outs and asymmetrical shapes and hemlines. Embellished with belt buckles and epaulettes, the collection was referred to by one on-looker as “very Resident Evil.” Their collection was largely black and charcoal in colour, low-waisted with high slits, elongated hems and skin-bearing cut-outs. It was a mix of velvet cigarette pants and maxi skirts, leather shorts with belted hems, capes with metal tassels, lambswool jackets, and a general trend of high-low hemlined dress shirts which curved high around the hip bones on the sides. The overall wearability of the collection, however, is debatable, as the wrap skirts and cut-outs left little to the imagination. But their mix of menswear fabrics, velvet, leather and soft chiffon panels was well executed and the collection as a whole was generally well-received by the audience

By 7 p.m., Heritage Court was packed with hordes of people lining up for the Pink Tartan show. The presentation, which was scheduled for 7:30, did not get under way until well after 8 p.m., where moments before the staff were still trying to herd the crowds of people, desperately searching for seats, off the runway and on to the sides.

This was unquestionably the busiest show of the day, with people squeezing in next to one another to sit on the stairs while the rest huddled on the floor at the end of the runway.
So I was excited to see what Kimberly Newport-Mimran had in store and if it would be worth all the fuss. As usual, she delivered a beautiful and cohesive collection which was worth every bit of that chaos.

Photo by Joanna Wnukowska

For fall, she presented a naval and military-inspired collection of classic silhouettes in black, grey, olive, navy and a gorgeousgem-toned purple. The collection was a mix Newport-Mimran’s definitive preppy and romantic style with the harsher military-esque theme.

There were silk blouses and shirt dresses, tailored pants and pea coats, flowing and feminine skirts with thick leather belts, feathered skirts, epaulettes, some beautiful cable-knit sweaters paired with skinny leather pants, tulle skirts and even a olive flight suit and camo printed leather gown. The collection was accessorized by long, green and black leather gloves, military caps, and thigh-high laced leather boots. All the pieces had great structure and poise.

Photo by Joanna Wnukowska

My favourite piece was the strapless, olive, crinkled parachute silk gown with leather sash and belt. I loved that it evoked this sensation of elegant power – somehow striking a balance between being perfectly ladylike while exuding dominance.

I was sitting next to Cosmo TV‘s Jacqui Skeete, who showed up to the show in an incredible fuchsia romper from Pink Tartan’s S/S 2011 collection. She told me it was just that balance of strength and femininity that makes her such a big fan of the brand.

“When I watch her shows I can see how she has such a strong female figure that inspires her, and then she finds this balance and it really comes through in her collections. Like those strong military tops paired with the delicate tulle skirts.”

Another aspect of the collection that I really liked is the fact that all the pieces could, 100 per cent, be worn in fall and winter. The great thing about the Mimrans (Joe Mimran also demonstrated the same understanding in his Joe Fresh collection presented afterward) is that they have a realistic interpretation of what actually works in a Canadian climate.

I would gladly own any and all of the pieces in Pink Tartan’s F/W 2011/12 collection. In fact, it actually made me long for fall so I could start wearing some of those pieces immediately – as well as the huge paycheque that would make all that possible.

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