Toronto Fashion Week: Now Shipping

Toronto Fashion Week: Now Shipping

While the Canadian city might not be on the traditional fashion calendar, Toronto is quickly growing as a fashion capital.

While the Canadian city might not be on the traditional fashion calendar, Toronto is quickly growing as a fashion capital.

Text: Maxwell N. Burnstein

The growing pains of a slow Canadian fashion industry show change. Loss of sponsorship and government funding pushed national talent abroad until a focussed direction gave disgruntled designers a reason to stay for SS19.

A reaction to a climate that champions global success saw an inversion from September 03-06. Toronto-based designer management and production agency The Collections partnered with Toronto Fashion Week as an assimilation of the countries leading presentations for media and buyers.

The fourth iteration of this combined attack titled RE\SET reforms fashion for Canadians at a commercial and direct to consumer level. Select apparel and accessories have been made available for global retail through Hudson's Bay.

At the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) womenswear designer Mikhael Kale was reminiscent of Westworld. An opening sequence of jazz performers in pink windbreaker-hazmat suits set the tone for the moving presentation. Dinosaur fossils marked the final position for models to display bleached cowboy boots, reconstructed tracksuits and updated tartan dresses.

Based in Montreal WRKDEPT embraced the cities European ease. Bathing caps and wooden accessories added playful whimsy to a sophisticated collection. An unexpected departure from the logo and image heavy commercial apparel available for both genders at HBC. Elevated with mens’ inspired dress shirts, pleating and a feminine blue pallet WRKDEPT is finding success in simplicity.

Sid Neigum became the face of a million dollar business without comprising. An otherworldly runway was set up in a parking lot that melded underground with luxury. The derelict setting heightened the lightness of his womenswear collection while airy sci-fi inspired designs moved with ease. Unique architectural elements in shape and fabric are a nod to Neigum’s use of mathematics in construction while spectacle is good business.

The design duo behind menswear line WIL STUDIOS have become a sensation. Grammy nominated Daniel Caeser sat front row for the SS19 collection titled “Ball Boy” as the unofficial face for the brand. The runway was a garden path of grass, dirt and white wooden arbors mazed through an exposed concrete room. Utilitarian cargo pants and oversized slouchy button downs were retrofitted for hype. The “WHAT I LIKE” label feels inaccessible while retailing online right now.

Beyond The Collections cannabis company San Rafael ‘71 sponsored the Hendrixroe show. Performances from rapper Jazz Cartier played to the brands boisterous pop vibe. DJ on the runway, bondage masks, electric raincoats and bedazzled sunglasses played to the tastes of Jeremy Scott and local bloggers The Beckermans.

Canadian culture is expressed in a wide range of diversity. The Collections presenting designers pushed this message with a range of tastes and cultural reference for all consumers. Translating this diversity into the fashion industry helps shift the discussion to success at home instead of outside the country.

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