The third day of Toronto Fashion Week saw a mix of shows from established labels and up-and-comers. Luxe outerwear brand Mackage went for colour this season, presenting chic spring coats and bomber jackets in bold blues and yellows. Great menswear pieces appeared throughout the day, including timeless looks from Christopher Bates and Klaxon Howl (just not this odd fisherman’s outfit). Our favourite collection was from Australian-based newcomer Hayley Elsaesser, who closed out the evening with a whirlwind of flirty separates in mix-and-match candy-hued patterns.
A compendium of the latest store openings, hottest parties and runway shows and all the buzzy fashion gossip. Sign up for the Style newsletter for weekly updates
Toronto Fashion Week: the best and most absurd looks from day three (including pieces from Mackage and Klaxon Howl)
Attracting attention is serious sport for many Toronto Fashion Week attendees, and the competition can be fierce. So when the rain—and the champagne hangovers—finally cleared on Tuesday afternoon, sartorial scenesters hit David Pecault Square en masse, and they were dressed to kill (or at least to appear on a local fashion blog). Among the most distinctive dressers, one clear trend emerged: from French-fry phones to pop-art prints, ’90s nostalgia is still out in full force—especially among those who were barely alive in the ’80s.
For toting around Fashion Week necessities this season (like lip balm and an iPhone charger), we’ve noticed many stylish women favouring silly bags over practical purses. Last week, we recommended this eyeball-covered clutch as a daring statement piece, but the crowd at David Pecault Square seems to have some bold ideas of its own: yesterday, we spotted a range of unconventional purse choices, including a furry orange number and a Taxi-themed clutch.
The second day of Toronto Fashion Week was crammed full of opposing looks: there were gothic, drapey suits from Thomas Balint, glittery formal gowns from Narces and playful beach attire from Bustle. Target deviated from the springtime theme by sending models down the runway in puffy down jackets, plaid shirts and knee-high boots from its fall/winter collection—the only Fashion Week looks Torontonians won’t have to wait until spring to wear. The best pieces of the day were made from ethereal, barely-there materials, like Melissa Nepton’s gauzy blouse and this shift dress from up-and-coming Toronto label Elan and Castor.
It may have rained on the first night of Toronto Fashion Week, but that didn’t stop the fashionable people from converging on David Pecaut Square for Joe Fresh’s invite-only celebration. (The lucky few who managed to make it past the velvet rope were treated to a set from DJ—and reigning queen of avant garde—Solange Knowles.) So, how do you dress up for a party packed with models and style icons? Party-goers (and party hopefuls) generally erred on the conservative side, although we did spot a few outfits worthy of a Knowles sister—including Stacey McKenzie’s gold lamé gown and George Stroumboulopoulos’s style shout-out to East Coast/West Coast hip hop.
While swapping a fall coat for a sleeveless vest isn’t the most effective way to brave chilly temperatures, it’s a chic way to layer up without hiding too much of a carefully chosen ensemble. During the first two days of Toronto Fashion Week, subtle leather vests were spotted on runway fans eager to display attention-getting garments, like boldly-printed blouses or ruffled frocks. In other cases, show-goers let luxuriously fur-trimmed vests make a statement over casual jeans and t-shirts. Here, the style setters at David Pecault Square demonstrate seven cool ways to sport a vest.
Toronto Fashion Week started off strong yesterday: style heavyweights Pink Tartan and Sid Neigum each had individual shows, and the Mercedes-Benz Start-Up competition presented looks from six finalists, including Fashion Week alumnae Beaufille and Laura Siegel. For a springtime fashion event, day one was surprisingly devoid of colour. At the Pink Tartan show, Kim Newport-Mimran left behind last season’s pastel midi skirts and crop tops, and showed a collection heavy in black and navy layers. But our favourite looks from Fashion Week’s kick-off came from west-coast native Eliza Faulkner, whose chic chambray ensembles were perfectly put-together and a nice departure from all the black and white. Here, the best and worst looks from Day One.
Since its birth as a small pop-up shop in 2010, Zane has been peddling coveted accessories from cool new designers out of its Queen West flagship. (Known for its selection of mid-range handbags, it was one of the first places in Toronto to stock Rebecca Minkoff‘s collection back in 2011.) Now, the boutique has opened a second location on Cumberland Street, bringing its collection of designer bags, hats and jewellery to Yorkville. Residents of the posh ‘hood can stock up on chic totes from Sophie Hulme, patterned clutches from Clare Vivier and large boho bags from Hoi Bo. Other accessories, including sunglasses from Karen Walker and watches from Daniel Wellington, are well-stocked, and delicate jewellery from brands like Grace Lee Designs rounds out the selection. Prices for most items clock in at a few hundred dollars and up, but the shop’s range of on-trend designers gives some cool-kid cred to Cumberland—and another alternative to Holt Renfrew‘s first floor.
Zane, 124 Cumberland St., visitzane.com
Toronto Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015, which begins this evening, will bring with it a slew of springtime shows from Canadian labels. For those who’d like to bag the designer looks on the cheap, American shopping site Gilt is holding a five-day flash sale devoted to north-of-the-border style. Each day this week, Gilt will hawk apparel from a different Toronto Fashion Week participant. Today’s deal is Sid Neigum, a Toronto-based designer with a minimalist, architectural aesthetic. During the rest of the week, shoppers will be able to stock up on items like cool, laid-back apparel from Beaufille (October 24), ethically hand-crafted basics from Laura Siegel (October 22) and made-in-Canada outerwear from Soia and Kyo (October 23). At up to 60 per cent off, this is a great opportunity to support Canadian fashion and snap up looks from talented local designers, whose work can be pricey and hard to find at Toronto boutiques. An added plus? All prices include duties, so your credit card statement won’t contain any surprises. As with all flash sales, shoppers should hit the site early to take advantage of the best possible selection.
Quirky clutches are definitely having a moment: this past month saw street-style stars around the world grasping bags shaped like all sorts of strange items, including a ham hock, a box of Digestive cookies and even SpongeBob SquarePants. There were also a fair amount of eyeballs (a trend that’s been going strong since Kenzo’s bold eye-themed collection in 2013). This Toronto Fashion Week (which starts on Monday), bag the trend—and support a good cause—by picking up this “Evil Eye” clutch. Hand-embroidered by women living in northern Pakistan, the purses are being sold by Far and Wide Collective, a Toronto-based online boutique dedicated to peddling one-of-a-kind goods crafted by artisans living in struggling countries. The playful pattern and bright blue hue are sure to add style cred to any outfit, and if you happen to get snapped by a photographer outside a show, you’ll be able to prove you’re not a fast-fashion follower. $199
Available at farandwidecollective.com
Canadian expat Tanya Heath has brought her eponymous footwear label to Yorkville, two years after launching her first boutique in Paris. When Heath realized she was spending her days wearing shoes that didn’t jive with her busy lifestyle, the designer (along with a team of fourteen engineers) spent four years developing a line of stylish shoes with removable, interchangeable heels. Now, women can purchase a single pair of quality leather shoes, and, depending on the occasion, pair them with either a comfortable low heel, a chunky mid-height heel or a tall stiletto (heights range from 4.5 to 8.5 centimetres). Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
Stockholm-based J. Lindeberg, an upscale lifestyle and sportswear label with flagships all over Europe and the States, is opening its first Canadian store at 433 Queen West, just east of Spadina. The brand, which showed its latest menswear collection at New York Fashion Week, specializes in sporty apparel for golf and ski enthusiasts, plus cozy knits and fur-trimmed scarves. (Its luxe winter apparel is currently stocked in stores like Sporting Life.) According to its new website, the flagship will open in a few weeks—just in time for the Collingwood crew to stock up on all their après-ski essentials.
Stephen Grant is one of Toronto’s top divorce lawyers, the man one-percenters like David Thomson and Michael McCain go to when their marriages falter. He’s also a city guy who never dreamed of owning a cabin in the woods. That is, until he met his wife, Sandy Forbes, in the early ’90s. She’s a lawyer too, a partner at Davies who specializes in commercial litigation. She yearned for a weekend escape from their frenetic schedule. “Sandy wanted a cottage,” says Grant, “and like any sensible husband, I said yes.” (His line of work has made him an expert on matrimonial arbitration.) Their decade-old retreat is on a forested lot in Haliburton facing a quiet lake. But its design, by architects Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe, is thoroughly urban. The structure is encased in Shim-Sutcliffe’s signature rusting steel, and the burnished concrete floors belong in a downtown loft. In these modern surroundings, Grant has learned to enjoy the relaxed pace of country life: while Forbes lounges for hours with a paperback, he passes leisurely afternoons trying out recipes from Saveur and Bon Appétit.
Store Guide: Latre Art and Style, a unique concept shop stocked with African artifacts and military apparel
Latre Art and Design is a new boutique in the Junction from Brian Vu, an artist and former restaurateur who makes his own line of reclaimed unisex apparel in the shop’s basement studio. His philosophy for the store is refreshing: bring together simple, high-quality items that incorporate elements of nature. In addition to selling his own pieces, Vu sources work from local artists, artifacts from West Africa, and vintage Native American jewellery to create a space that’s part boutique, part gallery and part museum. (It’s all for sale, except the taxidermied wolf, which was a gift from a friend.) Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
Montreal-based online menswear retailer Frank and Oak is hosting a ten-day pop-up shop on Queen Street to showcase its new collaboration with the Toronto FC—which seems to be trying to cement its status as the city’s most stylish sports team. The simple eight-piece collection subtly displays the Toronto FC logo on casual t-shirts, twill pants and varsity jackets. (Our favourite piece is a black-and-grey knit sweater with a large T on the back.) The capsule also includes a few fall-appropriate accessories, like a great leather weekend bag, and prices are similar to the brand’s main line, ranging from $38 for a t-shirt to $345 for one of the wool varsity jackets. For those who’d rather not sport a team logo, the label’s signature chambray button-downs, tailored trousers and chic blazers will be on display, too. This pop-up is also a preview for something more: after opening its first bricks-and-mortar shop in Montreal, a permanent Toronto destination is on the way for early November.
Oct. 15-25. 567 Queen St. W., frankandoak.com