Fashion Art Toronto wraps up with edgy — and racy — looks from House of Etiquette, Pedram Karimi and more
By Karolyne Ellacott
The Pedram Karimi show (Images: Vasko Photography)
Over the second half of Fashion Art Toronto, things got a little bit racier. With the themes of the two days broken down into “Bodyscapes” and “Futurescapes,” very little was left to the imagination. Montreal’s Zent and Pedram Karimi stood out with their distinctive visions, while labels like House of Etiquette and Artifice Clothing brought the likes of PVC and latex down the runway, much to the delight of the crowd.
Zent’s sense of humour came across strong in a collection that managed to be both sporty and playful — with a dash of the club thrown in for good measure. Fairly simple men’s silhouettes were given a twist thanks to unexpected fabrics; shorts were done in a black sequin, a mohair collar stood out on a shirt and a button-down featured a PVC panel at the bottom. Although much was done in sheer fabrics, our favourite looks were the patterned ones. Red-and-white houndstooth pants were matched with a sleeveless beige-on-beige button-down, while a sage-green herringbone T-shirt paired with matching shorts looked very fresh.
House of Etiquette put forth a collection comprised entirely of latex, fitting the contours of the body perfectly. Although the garments were clearly intended to titillate, we felt that many of the pieces could be incorporated into a less risqué outfit. The opening look was a standout one: a red and black geometric bustier was paired with a black pencil skirt with a peplum. We loved a sea-foam green peplum top with a front zip, while a pencil skirt in the same shade of green could be paired with a concert T-shirt and a handful of necklaces for a look that reads more downtown than dominatrix.
At Artifice Clothing, we saw fetish gear with a futuristic twist. The garments were crafted from PVC and clear plastic, with a handful of them featuring glow-in-the-dark trim, lending them a sci-fi feel. A baby blue PVC dress referenced Victorian fashions thanks to full shoulders and a series of ruffles at the hip. A see-through plastic number glowed an icy blue shade under black lights, appearing to have been plucked from the set of Tron. Meanwhile, the traditional kimono was also injected with futuristic appeal, cropped above the knee and done in salmon-coloured PVC.
The strongest collection came from Pedram Karimi. Showing a series of androgynous looks on both male and female models, this Montreal-based designer played around with shape and proportion. Using a palette of black and cream, many of the pieces appeared to be something other than what they were; the opener looked like a dress worn over leggings, but was actually a single garment, with a piece of fabric extending to the knees creating a dress-like illusion. Another innovative piece was a pair of leggings fit with a back panel, creating the illusion of a skirt when seen from behind. A long black dress with side slits featured two inventive faux-hoods protruding from the back, resulting in a look fit for an urban warrior. Definitely one to watch.