The LG Fashion Week Diaries: Day Two
After a few winks we were back in the swing of things yesterday, with the first show taking place at 1 p.m. Following her somewhat disappointing fall/winter 2011 collection, Amanda Lew Kee was wise to show a more tightly edited collection in the smaller studio space, ignoring the hype that seemed to be her downfall last time around.
The 15-piece collection saw sheer and flowing pieces in taupes and creams being paired with kaleidoscope-like prints of London, New York and, thankfully, Toronto. Our favourite look was the opening one: a sheer printed silk dress-shirt worn with leather-fronted biker shorts and lustrous brogues. While we liked the idea of the closing looks — silk chiffon maxi tube dresses in either a print or solid — the execution was off, with bunching zippers distracting from the line of the fabric.
Joeffer Caoc showed next, with the likes of Liz Cabral and Bernadette Morra spotted in the front row as elevated sporty looks were paraded down the runway; we liked a baby blue tweed sports dress that had a whiff of Chanel, in addition to an orange, fuchsia and grey colour-blocked shift.
Michi and Tosca Delfino both saw ladies wearing lingerie and swimwear looks that left little to the imagination; the Michi gals oozed vicious sex appeal in their sport-meets-S&M pieces (with some models getting into it more than others, much to the delight of passers-by, peering in through the glass windows), while the Tosca ladies were far more sun-kissed, donning bikinis and such that were inspired by, specifically, the Cayman Islands. A one-piece printed with the Toronto skyline was a crowd favourite, and the second Hogtown-inspired print of the night (we’re guessing that the local gal is heading straight to the islands from the city).
We then moved on to the Mercedes-Benz StartUp national final, an initiative that supports new Canuck talent. The finalists were Unttld, Triarchy, Cassie Dee, Travis Taddeo, and Martin Lim; each design team sent select looks down the runway before they were judged and Jessica Stam announced the winning team. Martin Lim snatched up the title, with Danielle Martin and Pao Lim charming the room with their gracious acceptance speech. While their collection of flowing colour-blocked pieces was likely the most commercially viable, we couldn’t help but fall for Unttld’s self-proclaimed contradictory looks. A shredded white dress with metallic beading was stunning in an off-kilter way, and we thought that both the spiky silver jewellery and shoes were highly covetable, if not a wee bit dangerous.
Much to our disappointment, we missed the Chloé Comme Parris show due to timing confusion (though we heard that many were turned away due to overcrowding anyways). We did catch Lovas, with Wesley Badanjak being another designer to reference the island life; this vision featured looks in a mostly subdued palette with pops of coral. We liked a sophisticated coral dress with a black and white belted effect, falling hard for the tousled braids worn by all the models.
Meanwhile, Laura Siegel’s sustainable creations (a.k.a island life round three) had more of a shipwrecked feel, with garments appearing sun-bleached and wave-ravaged. We loved a floor-length macramé dress coupled with a slouchy sand-coloured blazer and tie-dyed scarf in a washed out shade of teal.
The day ended with Attitude Jay Manuel, which drew a packed house and many a media notable (Anita Clarke, Lisa Tant, Derick Chetty and so on). Before the show began, the patterned runway was briskly unwrapped to reveal, well, a surface that looked suspiciously similar to the one everyone had just walked upon, albeit shinier. Dry ice wafted down the runway as a model emerged in a look that instantly reminded us of Carmen Sandiego: red trench, flowing brown locks, and a tilted fedora.
Yasmin Warsame stomped out next, unfortunately appearing at the moment in time when the no-longer dry ice met the sheen of the runway, resulting in a bit of a tumble that left her laughing on the ground and a lucky front row-er with a hug. Overall the collection was filled with simple and wearable pieces — often in neutrals — that were paired with bi-coloured prints, giving the collection an urban gypsy (or “gypset”) feel. Following a well-heeled bow from Manuel, we were off to rest before day three.