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Toronto Fashion Week: Duy Nguyen triumphs at the Mercedes-Benz Start Up finalists show

Toronto Fashion Week: Mercedes-Benz
Toronto Fashion Week runs from October 22 to 26, in a large—and stylishly appointed—tent at David Pecaut Square. We’re posting full galleries from the buzziest runways. It’s time to forget about the chilly weather and imagine what life (or at least fashion) will be like in spring/summer 2013.

The Mercedes-Benz Start Up National Final, featuring designs by Caitlin Power, Christopher Bates, Dreamboat Lucy, DUY, Lauren Bagliore, Malorie Urbanovitch, Nicole Campre and Pure Magnolia

Mercedes-Benz Start Up is an ongoing project—started by, who else, Mercedes-Benz—that connects young designers with industry insiders in a mentorship program.

The room was as full as we’ve seen it this week (perhaps owing to eight contestants’ worth of friends and family—or perhaps the Mercedes-Benz team beefing up numbers). Fashion magazine editor-in-chief Bernadette Morra, Holt Renfrew’s Barb Atkin, Jeanne Beker, and erstwhile FDCC president Robin Kay were on hand to pick a winner.

Each of the eight designers presented a small collection to give a taste of their aesthetic. We thought it would come down to either Nicole Campre’s drapey collection with pleats, greyish lilac fabrics and jersey dresses or Malorie Urbanovitch’s brocade dresses and mint green silk blouses. In the end, however, Montreal’s Duy Nguyen took home the prize (which includes a solo show at the fall 2013 collections in March).

We’ll hone in on Duy’s collection here, as he is the big winner. Our favourites are the charcoal grey blazer with slim trousers and the mint green top with a white peplum. And we’ve got to give Duy points for being the most Canadian: his was the only collection with a denim vest.