Toronto Fashion Needed a RESET

Toronto Fashion Needed a RESET

See the emerging talents to come out of Canada's very own fashion week.

See the emerging talents to come out of Canada's very own fashion week.

Text: Madelyn Chung

When you think of Toronto, a few things come to mind: Drake, for starters. The Weeknd, the Raptors, the Blue Jays… the list goes on. But when it comes to fashion capitals, Toronto is often an afterthought, especially in comparison to New York, London, Milan and Paris.

That’s not to say there isn’t talent in Toronto — in fact, T.O.-based designers are some of the most talented in the industry. But Toronto’s fashion scene has seemingly had a bit of an identity crisis for the past few years, especially with the city’s numerous fashion weeks (RE\SET Fashion, FashionCan, Toronto Women's Fashion Week, Toronto Men’s Fashion Week, Fashion Art Toronto and Toronto Fashion Week), none of which aligned with the schedules major fashion weeks… until now.

This season, both RE\SET Fashion (produced by Toronto-based management, consulting and production agency, the Collections) and Toronto Fashion Week (which was taken over by Freed Developments after IMG pulled out, citing a lack of local support and funding) took place just before New York Fashion Week in an attempt to get buyers to consider the showcased collections before the rest of the major fashion weeks. And while TFW brought in the big guns for its reimagined showcase in Yorkville Ave. (special guests Jean Paul Gaultier, Petra Collins and Francesco Carrozzini, son of late Vogue Italia’s Franca Sozzani and collections from already established Canadian designers, including Pink Tartan, UNTTLD and Lucian Matis), over at the other end of the city, RE\SET was making its mark as the younger, cooler and more hip presentation of the two (if TFW is meant to be like NYFW, think of RE\SET as MADE NEW YORK).

Held at the Great Hall on Queen Street West, RE\SET 002 was a multi-platform event which showcased the work of 26 emerging and indie Canadian labels in an interactive setting. Thanks to its flexible format, designers were able to customize their shows to their liking, whether it be a traditional runway, a central showroom space, or a static presentation.

Sid Neigum, one of Canada’s most promising talents, chose to present his spring/summer 2018 collection via virtual reality (and also offering a see-now-buy-now concept), while Vancouver designer Alex S. Yu held a runway show in a classroom setting (lockers and desks, included). Choosing more traditional runways were unisex label WRKDEPT and luxury prêt-à-porter womenswear brand, Maram, though really, no bells and whistles were required as the designs spoke for themselves.

If RE\SET’s mission was to disrupt the traditional fashion model, it succeeded. Not only did it offer both a practical, yet creative approach for designers to showcase their work, but it also encouraged consumers to experience Canadian talent up close, and in turn, encouraged them to buy and support local. RE\SET wasn’t so much about who was sitting in the front row or getting street style photographed — it was about celebrating homegrown talent in a fresh, new way. Toronto fashion was in dire need of a reset, and that’s exactly what it got.

ALEX S. YU
Credits: Artist: Maxwell N. Burnstein @bymaxwell

Post Production: Alexander Jamall

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