Summary by: FT Intern Dana Marson
Date Published: April 02, 2012
The Canadian fashion scene has yet to make a big mark on the global scale, and for new designers it can be terribly difficult to make an impression at all. However, Toronto Fashion Week drew a slew of Canadian newcomers who brought forth their very best in Fall/Winter ready-to-wear, and gothic glamour seemed to be the common thread. Laura Siegel, Sid Neigum, and Chloe comme Parris showed us how we can be stylish during the coldest months of the year with an edgy punch of metallic studs, black leather and exaggerated knitwear. These newbies are all under 25 and, with their fresh collections, proved they've got what it takes to be a competitive Canadian fashion designer.
Laura Siegel, a graduate of the acclaimed Parson's fashion school in New York City, gave us a shock with fabulously-messy sky-high beehives and grey bride-of-Frankenstein highlights as the models walked the runway. She brought inspirations from her global travels - she spends most of the year in India - and showed us why it pays to work with organic materials and artisans from around the world. Her attention to detail was especially noticeable with her knitwear; large maxi-scarves and elbow-less sweaters showed us how to be super-warm while ridiculously fashionable.
Layering textures like wool and leather, Sid Neigum's Fall/Winter 2012 menswear collection reminds us that being mysterious is über-sexy. Hailing from Western Canada, Neigum played with classic menswear staples like bomber jackets and blazers to create a sleek yet unconventional look for the boys who like gothic pieces, chic outerwear, and heavy boots. Doc Marten's partnered with the collection and gave it that final touch, and provided goodie bags to guests of the show - that's always a plus!
The collection from Chloe comme Parris was widely attended and for very good reason: they came out with a stunning list of 1920s-inspired silhouettes and punk-rock hardware in their collection. The Gordon sisters, known for their flowing garments, added a darling flare with studding and chain embellishments. The collection took a chicly feminine angle on gothic glamour, and made me wonder where the gorgeous accessories came from. Well, these girls certainly are talented; Parris Gordon crafted these extra bits herself, along with a few new members they've brought onto their production team. Burgundy lips, hollow eyes, and wispy braided halos framed the models' faces and let the garments and accents speak for themselves.
Marketing and brand-management group The Fashion Collective has recognized the need for support for home-grown talent, and have helped propel the careers of these Canadian up-and-comers. Their efforts in creating outstanding shows and cohesive branding inspire a greater interest in Canadian fashion.
Next up: Spring/Summer, our eyes will be peeled for what these designers have in store.
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