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Holt Renfrew proves that it carries the brands most women want on night one of Toronto Fashion Week

There’s always a place at Holts for models (Image: Jenna Marie Wakani)

Toronto Fashion Week began as it always does: street style photographers like WWD’James Lourenço found many targets, like America’s Next Top Model’s silver fox Jay Manuel, accessories designer Maryam Keyhani, chanteuses Jully Black and Keshia Chante, designers Callianne and Samantha Beckerman, street style photographer Tommy Ton and more. Even society favourite Suzanne Rogers—or “stay-at-home mom” (her current occupation)—made an appearance, decked out in her finest Mary Katrantzou dress, with gal pal Jenna Bitove, wearing the same Stella McCartney number Rogers was seen sporting at the Hello! Canada TIFF party this year. Current FDCC head Robin Kay, with the council “for 25 seasons” (she says with a fist pump), gave her typical drawn-out speech, complete with multiple mentions of this season’s theme, “CanadaCool,” which still doesn’t have a space between the two words and still means nothing to anyone in attendance. (Kay says it means that each journalist endorses Toronto; as great as it sounds, this can’t be true, since we heard at least 20 journalists complaining about being there.) But it wasn’t all long drawn-out performances, because when There’s No Place Like Holts: Celebrating Canadian Fashion began, it picked up and kept moving (despite the earlier delay involving fashion journalists being pushed 12 times and being herded like cows on their way to Bovine University). Check out Holt Renfrew’s spring/summer 2012 runway show, featuring looks from Jeremy Laing, Smythe, Naked and Famous, Twentycluny, Denis Gagnon, Dennis Merotto, Wings and Horns and Lida Baday after the jump.  

Check out our complete gallery from Holt Renfrew’s spring/summer 2012 runway »

Laing continues to prove that girls want to wear his clothes: an off-the-shoulder two-toned dress got the “I would wear that” nod of approval from style scribe Sarah Nicole Prickett, and we loved the printed shirt dress, which seemed so casual it could even be worn as pajamas (and which, if we had it our way, we’d wear all the time). Smythe continued to impress with its jackets, a staple in many wardrobes now that Kate Middleton has famously worn one on a plane. A similar tuxedo-style blazer was sent down the runway in rose pink, robin’s egg blue and a black-on-blue mix, which just goes to show us that they’re in the business of making jackets women want to wear (or that Middleton wants to wear). Naked and Famous did what they do best, sending denim down the runway, including a pair of plaid jeans which we thought was a fun update, while Twentycluny sent down a series of train wrecks that included three dresses that were so tight, they could never comfortably fit a woman who isn’t a model (and they barely fit them). If Twentycluny is attempting to be Canada’s Betsey Johnson, we recommend maybe trying something beyond the sequined micro-mini dresses that we’ve seen in her past two seasons. Other highlights included Gagnon’s ragged silk dress with flouncy tuxedo shirt pleats (although we’ll reserve judgment until we’ve seen the entire show), Merotto’s simple colour-block dress, the many menswear basics of Wings and Horns and Lida Baday’s designs for the ladies who lunch.