Toronto Fashion Week Spring 2013

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Our 12 favourite looks from Toronto Fashion Week spring/summer 2013

After several days of rogue runway shows and a full week of collections at Toronto Fashion Week proper, the city’s fashion lovers have now seen hundreds of new garments, from young emerging designers like Sid Neigum to brands with huge followings like Joe Fresh and Pink Tartan. We’ve sifted through the multitude of looks and chosen the most memorable and wearable of the lot. Find out who made our list.

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THE SCENE: the hijinks (and outfits) of the front row VIPs at Toronto Fashion Week

THE SCENE: fashion week’s front row

Perusing the designs on the runway is Toronto Fashion Week’s raison d’être—but ogling the socialites and celebs in the front row is often a lot more fun. This year, we rubbed shoulders with Suzanne Rogers and like-named social butterfly Suzanne Boyd, television personality Dan Levy, socialite Ainsley Kerr and a host of other actors, television personalities, fashion insiders and beautiful people. See them all in our gallery of the Fashion Week elite, spanning from early in the week (when everyone still had pep in their step) to the very last show on Friday night.

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Street Style Trend Report: the coolest, craziest shoes of Toronto Fashion Week

Nabbing a front-row seat at a runway show nets you more than just a stellar view of the clothes. It also means having a chance to show off your own style chops—especially your footwear, since a row of crossed feet inevitably makes it into runway shots. The situation may annoy the pit photographers (immediately before the Antonio Azzuolo show began, one shooter barked, “Front row, uncross your legs!”), but it’s great for anyone with statement shoes to flaunt. There were plenty of contenders for best-shod at Fashion Week this season, with grommeted, metallic and bright cobalt kicks all vying for attention. We’ve rounded up our favourite look-at-me shoes of the week in the gallery below.

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Toronto Fashion Week: office wear meets a Madonna cone bra at Vawkkin and Vawk spring/summer 2013

Toronto Fashion Week: Vawk and Vawkkin spring/summer 2013

Toronto Fashion Week ran 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.

DESIGNER
Vawk and Vawkkin, by Sunny Fong

IN A SENTENCE
Vawk and its sister label Vawkkin (now in its second season) are both helmed by Fong, a Project Runway Canada alum known for his use of diverse models and his belief that fashion is for everyone (according to him, “Vawk brings fantasy and Vawkkin brings reality”).

THE SCENE
The runway was slick with rain (or, our photographer suspected, a spilled drink), and volunteers’ efforts to mop it with T-shirts failed to prevent model mayhem. Several of the models slipped, scaring others into turning halfway down the runway. That made it hard for many guests to see the full collection: though Suzanne Rogers, Glen and David Dixon and The Bay’s Nicholas Mellamphy had a great view from their middle-of-the-runway seats, Miss World Canada Tara Teng (who of course wore her sash) may have had a tougher time from her front row spot near the end of the catwalk.

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Street Style Trend Report: rainbow hair at Toronto Fashion Week

On the first night of Toronto Fashion Week, Kimberley Newport-Mimran hired pink-haired model Charlotte Free to open the Pink Tartan show. It was a sign of things to come. Rainbow-hued hair was everywhere at the tents, whether it was punky green bangs, a fuschia buzzed patch or lavender-grey locks. To avoid clown comparisons, the runway fans sporting colour on their heads wisely kept the rest of their outfits neutral. If you count bejewelled epaulettes as a neutral.

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Runway Trend Report: playing with proportion at Toronto Fashion Week

There’s an old rule of thumb that says in order to accent the waist a voluminous skirt should be set off with a slim top. Think 1950s cocktail dresses, Oscar de la Renta gowns or even this Lady Gaga outfit. Several bold Toronto designers broke with convention for spring/summer 2013, though, pairing full, feminine skirts with roomy tops. Joe Fresh’Joe Mimran put a neoprene hoodie over a pleated skirt (left), Lucian Matis showed a printed pairing (centre) and Pink Tartan’s Kimberley Newport-Mimran styled her skirt with a structured v-neck (right). For all three, the look is unexpected, attention-grabbing and definitely worth trying.

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Toronto Fashion Week: Arthur Mendonça shows gorgeous saturated hues for spring/summer 2013

Toronto Fashion Week: Arthur Mendonça spring/summer 2013

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.

DESIGNER
Arthur Mendonça

IN A SENTENCE
Mendonça, celebrating his tenth year at Toronto Fashion Week, is known for his luxurious, elegant womenswear—it’s the kind of clothing you could picture on Jerry Hall at Studio 54.

THE SCENE
Glen Baxter gave designer Philip Sparks a hearty hug before the show, while the Toronto Star’Derrick Chetty coveted the free macarons (we stole an extra for him) and fashion week regulars Suzanne Rogers, Hilary Farr and Stacey McKenzie all nabbed front row seats.

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Street Style: 18 looks at the runway fans at Toronto Fashion Week

Street Style: Toronto Fashion Week

Picking an outfit to wear to a fashion show can be daunting. The industry insiders are intimidatingly chic; the disparity between the October chill and the sweltering temperature inside the tent demands multiple layers; and the bevy of street style photographers flocking the entrance raises the stakes considerably.  The runway fans at David Pecaut Square this week carried it off admirably. They played with texture, draping themselves in velvet, fur, leather and denim. They displayed a range of colours and prints (apparently, the fashion elite don’t always dress in black). And, most importantly, they each showed off their sartorial point of view without fear—and with conviction.

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Street Style Trend Report: polka dots at Toronto Fashion Week

The weather’s too cold for teeny weeny yellow bikinis, but the fashion enthusiasts at David Pecaut Square this week are still showing love for polka dots. We’re not talking about understated, elegant little dots; these are full-grown spots adorning blouses, leggings, bow-ties and sweaters. The polka dot-clad are fully embracing the playfulness of the print, layering dots on dots (on dots) and mixing prints—one even threw in an oversized velvet bow. Hey, if you’re taking Minnie Mouse as a style icon, you may as well go for it.

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Toronto Fashion Week: Joe Fresh delivers a crisp spring/summer 2013 collection to his adoring fans

Toronto Fashion Week: Joe Fresh spring/summer 2013

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.

DESIGNER
Joe Fresh, by Joe Mimran

IN A SENTENCE
The buzz surrounding Mimran’s minimal but cheerful take on modern sportswear grows every season, making this the most hotly anticipated of the week’s runway shows.

THE SCENE
As expected, the social set—and society oglers—were out in force. Just before the show began, we spotted Pink Tartan designer and Mimran’s wife Kimberley Newport-Mimran and PR maven Suzanne Cohon making a last-minute dash to the bar, and Loblaw magnate Galen G. Weston sharing a joke with his wife Alexandra on their way into the tent. Once inside, the couple took a seat in a power-packed section of the front row with Catherine and David Nugent and philanthropist W. Bruce C. Bailey (who somehow managed to sneak his drink past the army of PR girls). The house cheered and whistled as model Pat Cleveland opened the show with a sashaying walk and a classic model pout—which one onlooker called “maximum fierceness.”

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Toronto Fashion Week: Mackage proves leather can work for spring at its spring/summer 2013 show

Toronto Fashion Week: Mackage spring/summer 2013

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.

DESIGNER
Mackage, by Elisa Dahan and Eran Elfassy

IN A SENTENCE
The Montreal-based outerwear designers’ expertly cut leather jackets have earned them international attention and fans like Eva Mendes, the Kardashians and Jessica Biel.

THE SCENE
Even though CBC bosswoman Kirstine Stewart and her husband Zaib Shaik of Little Mosque on the Prairie showed up well before the show began, the size of the crowd meant they still had to brave the outdoor queue to collect their tickets. Mackage undoubtedly has a large following of its own, but we suspect the brand also benefitted from its plum time slot directly before the blockbuster Joe Fresh show. Jeanne Beker, FASHION editor Bernadette Morra and philanthropist W. Bruce C. Bailey were among many who attended both.

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Toronto Fashion Week: Lucian Matis shows nipples, croc leather and bustiers for spring/summer 2013

Toronto Fashion Week: Lucian Matis spring/summer 2013

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.

DESIGNER
Lucian Matis

IN A SENTENCE
Matis, a Project Runway Canada alum with a penchant for the daring, has both a diffusion line and this, a more mature (read: expensive) editorial collection.

THE SCENE
The crowd amassed early and we spotted Suzanne Rogers, along with CBC’s Kristine Stewart and Zaib Shaikh in the throng. One model lost a bangle on the catwalk, but MSN’s Christopher Turner snatched it up before any pileups occurred. Matis, always a showman, walked to the very end of the runway and did a slide before catching up to his models.

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Street Style Trend Report: furry friends at Toronto Fashion Week

With the rise of Rachel Zoe in the mid-2000s came the rise of the fur vest and its more affordable, less politically loaded cousin the faux-fur vest. Judging by how many such vests we saw on spectators at this week’s runway shows, the look is still a favourite among fashion-forward folk. Only now their fur repertoire is significantly expanded with pelts pinned to collars and slung over shoulders. We also saw purple fur, animal print fur, fur hats, fur jackets, and something approaching a fur dress (more caveman than Park Avenue, if you ask us).

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Street Style Trend Report: mad hatters at Toronto Fashion Week

The pretty young things who hang out at Toronto Fashion Week are embracing hats (either that, or there’s been a rash of bad haircuts recently). We spotted all manner of headgear at the tents: striped turbans, wide-brimmed fedoras, cloches and a fur pillbox. There were also several leather baseball caps—plus the requisite Dsquared cap—and, of course, the all-Canadian toque topped many heads. (Though we did note a glaring lack of berets.) With hats, the style is in the attitude, and the city’s fashionable set are wearing their toppers with panache.

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Toronto Fashion Week: Bustle’s spring/summer 2013 collection makes Hawaiian print sexy

Toronto Fashion Week: Bustle spring/summer 2013

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.

DESIGNER
Bustle by husband and wife team Shawn Hewson and Ruth Promislow

IN A SENTENCE
The menswear label tends to be one of the more spectacle-filled shows of the Toronto fashion scene: last season we saw Canadian tuxedos and plenty of shirtless male models, and that was only for fall/winter.

THE SCENE
Based on the models’ hijinks, we imagine there was a Mr. Jaytype backstage telling them to “just have fun with it!” They tipped each other’s hats, chased one another down the runway and generally rabble roused. The buff (and sometimes scantily clad) dudes had some in the audience atwitter, others oohing and ahhing and probably a few making plans to dig that Buns of Steel video out of storage.

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