the big LGFW Fall 2010 review post

Last week was LG Fashion Week here in Toronto. I gave myself a break this season from trying to provide some sort of timely coverage (so many others do it better, check FASHION Magazine for one), but some have been asking very politely for my thoughts on the matter.

So I’ve been trying to sort out what I think and feel about it all.  LG Fashion Week is always a week of intensity.  The whole circus keeps getting bigger, outgrowing venues season after season.  I am not great with crowds.  It sort of feels like going back to school – assignments and awkwardness, in crowds and outcasts.

In the end, I don’t think I have the emotional energy to sort it all out, so I’ve decided to just collect together a bunch of amazing photos, generously shared by Peter from Studiolit, and intersperse them with some of my random thoughts and unsolicited opinions. Its a big scroller of a post. So, I’m sorry, or, you’re welcome.

My first show of the week was Jules Power.  I had high hopes for this show, mostly based on some nice things I’d heard from friends, and my admiration for a very tastefully done website.  Jules Power is most known for her tapered sweat pants. (I guess this is the new Butikofer?) And while the sweatpants are without a doubt some of the best of their kind I’ve ever seen, they didn’t quite carry the show.  Lots of cute plaids and jerseys veered into mall-ishness. I think I just saw a shirt just like that in American Eagle the other week.

The styling was gutsy, as in I couldn’t tell if it was good or bad.  Tucking a t-shirt into skin tight leggings is surely meant to provoke – a stylist next to me said it was as bad as panty line.  The wilted bouffant hairdos, the abundance of animal print, evoked a hipster Peggy Bundy.  Now, I get that Married With Children was a satire on the hunky-dory conventions of family sitcoms, but I’m still not sure if it translates into fashion. Much like the TV show, Jules Power’s debut fashion show lacked a certain level of finesse needed to create a true classic.

Jules Power also committed the cardinal sin of sending a pencil skirt without a vent down the runway.  Don’t say I didn’t announce this is my personal pet peeve!

Preloved‘s show did a successful job of managing to evoke a certain type of girl.  The simple hair, vintage glasses, and utter cuteness of the models set off Preloved’s blend of upcycled cast-off clothing just right.  This outfit above was the one in the show which managed to look brand-new despite its provenance.  I included in in a paper doll wardrobe.

The expertly assembled jumble of patchwork patterns is what we have come to expect from Preloved, so for the most part it was a show without surprises.

Zoran Dobric also did not deliver surprises, but that is not his nature.  Dobric slowly develops his aesthetic of prints, interesting fabric treatments and shapes each season, with the patience of an artist.  You can see a certain effort to create clothing that is more mass-producable, and more wearable, but at the same time the essence of the Dobric DNA is obsessive detail.  Its difficult to assess his collection the same way I assess other designers collections, and he is certainly one of the designers who, despite showing at the official venue every season, seems a very uneasy fit amongst the glitz of LGFW.

LOVAS by Wesley Badanjak delivered a very polished, grown up collection again, though with definite aspirations towards youthfulness.  LOVAS uses interesting ideas – like grommet trim – but doesn’t let the ideas take the lead away from very wearable clothing.

He certainly has some of the best sewers in the city working for him, as the craft on some of these pieces has to be seen up close to be believed – subtle top stitching on the cuff of a satin blouse seems effortless, revealing the tremendous skill it takes to execute so finely.

Perhaps LOVAS’ best strength is in outerwear.  His crisp, solid coats always look super-polished.

I took my boyfriend Ray to see his first fashion show on Tuesday night, Evan Biddell.  Though we were at the very back row at the wrong end of the runway, it was totally apparent that Biddell really brought his A-game, conceiving his designs with daring shapes that looked interesting from every direction.  Also, the music – three variations on a Kate Bush classic – was amazing. This is a collection I look forward to seeing more of – hopefully in editorials – and in person.

The sophomore season of Attitude by SEARS continues to deliver the holy grail – really chic, wearable clothing that people can actually afford.  Beyond that, there just isn’t much to say.

Andy The Anh I would characterize as Canada’s Giorgio Armani.  His epic collections of beautiful clothing are always captivating and classical, though they lack a sense of humour.  Then again, when you make such stunning gowns and daywear, fit for a Hitchcockian cool blonde, I suppose there’s no need to be funny about it.

Pink Tartan‘s aviatrices were my overall favourite of the week.  Using touches of long, airy furs, designer Kim Newport-Mimran created a collection which was evocative and adventurous.  The models appeared like long haired cats, fluffing their way down the runway.

I think what defines Newport-Mimran as a total pro is that she approaches fashion as something that ought to be useful and amusing.  Her collections always have the go-to items, but they also have pieces that are delightfully ridiculous, all combined with the aplomb of a woman who is confident in herself and her taste. The terrific lightness of a collection inspired by aviation was quite breathtaking, and if just a few looks seemed clunky and out of place, it still somehow fits with the daredevil attitude of a fashion designer at the top of her game.

Joe Fresh‘s audience was a suffocating cluster, the kind which only the professionals at Brill seem to be able to organize.  Once seated, we were bombarded with the collection – so many looks, so quickly, it was hard to concentrate on any one very closely – probably why they call it fast fashion.  This season Joe made a point of including a couple models (two) cast for variety in age and size – including veteran Kristen Owen, above.

The next day started for me with BASCH by Brandon R. Dwyer.  Dwyer has all of the right people behind him – I was told that Eleventh Floor Apparel, the same company that now runs Lundstrom, is backing his collection, hence the rebranding.  This is a dream come true for most designers, however it can’t be as easy as it seems. Dwyer’s real strength in my opinion, is eveningwear – he has a real sense of wild glamour. Last season, I even called him out as a possible successor to Wayne Clark. But this season, his collection was a lot tamer. Day dresses. Jersey t-shirt dresses. Hmm.

This was the only dress which hinted at what Dwyer is truly capable of – imagine if you stripped off the heavy-handed styling, how stunning it would be!  It was a fashion week moment that didn’t happen.

Lucky we have Lucian Matis, or there would be no dreamers left on the official runway.  Matis shows always have a lot of stuff going on, over-styling is part of the charm.  The best part is in addition to throwing it all out there, Matis also offers some new ideas – like these little peplum things over the hips.  I think we should call them hiplums.  Are you with me?

“What do we call this fabric?” I asked my seatmate Russ as these big shapes appeared rendered in a stiff yet squishy-looking silvery stuff.  “Ombre neoprene?” Russ seemed to think that was plausible.  Ombre neoprene! So fun to say, and it looks cool too.

The final, perfect ending (for me) for the week was Comrags.  Joyce Gunhouse and Judy Cornish created a nostalgic scene – oldies on the radio, shapeless sack dresses and shadow plaids, static cling and misbuttoned cardigans.  Truly, the best shows of fashion week are the ones that transport you into a scene inside the designer’s minds, and it was nice to leave fashion week still feeling cozy thanks to Comrags.

All photos thanks to Studiolit.

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5 thoughts on “the big LGFW Fall 2010 review post”

  1. Thanks for the round up! I loved the Matis show, but couldn’t figure out the best way to describe the ruffle at the hip…Hiplum it is!

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