Toronto Fashion Week

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How to wear (and not wear) the seven biggest fall trends from Toronto Fashion Week’s runways

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(Images: George Pimentel)

Now that Toronto Fashion Week is over, it’s time to look back at the runway presentations and evaluate all the finery. From dozens of shows and hundreds of dramatic looks, we identified seven extremely wearable trends—including fuzzy accents, moss tones and high necklines—that we’re confident will be wildly popular come fall. Of course, some interpretations were more successful than others (there’s a fine line, for instance, between a chicly fluffy vest and a muppet costume). Here, the best and worst looks of the season.

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Street Style: the 12 best off-the-runway looks at Toronto Fashion Week

Street Style: the best looks spotted outside the tents at Toronto Fashion Week

(Image: Jenna Marie Wakani)

While we spotted some ensembles outside the Toronto Fashion Week tents that were slightly over-the-top, other outfits wowed us with their thoughtfully edited, one-of-a-kind style. Our favourite looks were all about the details: quirky manicures, statement shoes and handfuls of amazing hats. Here, the best outfits we spotted at David Pecaut Square.

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Street Style: Fashion Week attendees tell us about their favourite style finds

(Images: Jenna Marie Wakani)

Putting together the perfect Fashion Week outfit takes serious thought, especially if your closet doesn’t happen to be brimming with designer names or haute couture. If there’s one thing we noticed at the tents this season, it’s that you don’t need to dress in head-to-toe Helmut Lang to pull off an ultra-chic look. We asked a few creative show-goers to tell us about their favourite pieces, and discovered that—with a few runway-ready exceptions—most of the best ensembles consisted of thrift store finds, Joe Fresh T-shirts and hand-me-downs from mom. Here, some of the coolest clothing stories from Fashion Week.

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Street Style: Fashion Week showboaters share their strategies for standing out

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(Images: Jenna Marie Wakani)

Toronto Fashion Week is a magnet for sartorial exhibitionists—look-at-me attendees who steal the show (outside the tents, at least) with their “more is more” style philosophy. On Tuesday, we asked some of the most outlandishly dressed show-goers to share their tips for standing out in a well-dressed crowd. The answer? Kaleidoscopic colours, bedazzled accessories and—most importantly—a boatload of confidence. Here, fourteen looks that prove peacocking street style is alive and well in Toronto.

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Street Style: veteran show-goers share their Fashion Week survival essentials

(Images: Jenna Marie Wakani)

Toronto Fashion Week started off strong yesterday, with runway presentations from hot tickets Pink Tartan, Sid Neigum and Mikhael Kale. The kick-off attracted plenty of veteran show-goers (people like buyers, bloggers and editors who attend season after season) intent on scoping out the best looks for next fall. We spotted more than a few high-powered industry insiders hanging out in David Pecaut Square—some of whom have attended the event since its inception—and asked them to tell us what exactly they haul around in their sleek clutches, handbags and totes. Here, the city’s stylish elite share their essentials for surviving Fashion Week (hint: they can’t live without their iPhones).

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Toronto Fashion Week: some of the best—but mainly, the most ridiculous—outfits from day five

(Images: Jenna Marie Wakani, George Pimentel/Getty Images)

(Images: Jenna Marie Wakani, George Pimentel/Getty Images)

Between Stephan Caras’s glittery gold pantsuits and HD Homme’s metallic blazers, the final day of Toronto Fashion Week was the flashiest yet. (Especially compared to yesterday’s relaxed separates from designers like Soia and Kyo and Malorie Urbanovich). Show-goers were treated to high-intensity looks, particularly from Mikael D, who presented a collection of elaborate gowns and even sent a model down the runway in a dramatic wedding ensemble. The best outfits came from Brit Wacher and Mikhael Kale, whose asymmetrical silhouettes occasionally landed in that sweet spot between avant-garde and wearable. Here, the best (but mainly, the most ridiculous) looks from the final day of Toronto Fashion Week.

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Toronto Fashion Week: Grecian gowns, shiny sweaters and 13 more of the best and worst looks from day four

Toronto Fashion Week: stunning Grecian gowns, tacky metallic sweaters and twelve more of the best and worst looks from day four

(Images: George Pimentel/Getty Images, Jenna Marie Wakani)

The fourth day of Fashion Week was chock-full of pretty pieces that you’ll probably actually want to wear come spring. Unlike day three, menswear took a backseat to some stellar outfits for girls, including uniquely layered looks from Sam Kong and casual knit dresses in rich greens and burgundies from Malorie Urbanovich. (Toronto-based designer Matthew Gallagher’s collection of elegant gowns was also a favourite.) Of course, there were some sartorial misses, too, like this tacky metallic sweater from Rudsak. The best surprise? Perhaps when Montreal brand Soia and Kyo sent models down a grassy runway with a few adorable French bulldogs in tow.

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Street Style Trend Report: Fashion Week attendees channel off-duty models in distressed denim

Street Style Trend Report: Fashion Week attendees demonstrate eight ways to pull off distressed denim

(Images: Kayla Rocca)

Whether it’s a ‘90s nostalgia thing—or just a comfort thing, as Fashion Week draws to a close—show-goers have been ditching fancier outfits in favour of relaxed, distressed denim. Along with pretty midi-skirts and patterned pantsuits, we spotted plenty of worn-in, ripped-up Levis, plus a few Canadian tuxedos. It’s a cool, laid-back look, and best accentuated with a bold red lip, punchy accessories or a chunky heel.

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Toronto Fashion Week: the best and most absurd looks from day three (including pieces from Mackage and Klaxon Howl)

Toronto Fashion Week: the best and most absurd looks from day three (including Mackage and Klaxon)

(Images: Jenna Marie Wakani, George Pimentel/Getty Images)

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.

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Street Style: Toronto Fashion Week style setters pose hard outside the tents

Street Style: Toronto Fashion Week's most stylish hams pose hard outside the tents

(Images: Kayla Rocca)

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.

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Street Style Trend Report: the Fashion Week crowd makes a statement with silly clutches

Street Style Trend Report: the Fashion Week crowd makes a statement with quirky clutches

(Images: Kayla Rocca)

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.

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Toronto Fashion Week: the best and worst looks from day two (including bigshots Bustle and Target)

Toronto Fashion Week: the best and worst looks from day two designers, including bigshots Bustle and Target

(Images: George Pimentel/Getty Images, Jenna Marie Wakani)

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.

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Street Style: how do you look cool at a party packed with models and celebrities?

Street Style: Joe Fresh Party

(Images: Kayla Rocca)

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.

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Street Style Trend Report: fall coats take a backseat to luxe vests at Toronto Fashion Week

Street Style Trend Report: show-goers trade fall coats for luxe vests at Toronto Fashion Week

(Images: Kayla Rocca)

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.

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Toronto Fashion Week: the best and worst looks from day one

Toronto Fashion Week SS'15: the best and worst looks from day one

(Images: Jenna Marie Wakani)

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.