Toronto Fashion Week: Fall 2014 Roundup

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I suppose it’s not a bad thing that spring is taking its sweet time getting here, because last month’s Toronto Fashion Week Fall 2014 shows feel as relevant as ever. Even if I am getting quite fed up with my winter clothes, I wouldn’t mind wrapping myself in some covet-worthy leather jackets, beautiful printed dresses, and fuzzy mohair sweaters that I saw on the runways in March. This season, thanks to Best Buy Canada and VIVA Beauty from Best BuyI was fully prepared for the craziness of fashion week – my survival kit included a fancy Canon DSLR camera, complete with a brand new SD card, and some beauty goodies to get me through the week looking fresh – it was a lifesaver! This season, I also didn’t attempt being in several places at the same time, but selected a few days and a few designers to support, and I have to say that it really worked out well for me. I didn’t feel as burnt out as usual, and I still got to see and shoot some amazing Canadian designers at work.

One of the highlights of my week was Beaufille. The latest collection from Chloe and Parris Gordon was full of standout pieces worthy of a good catfight. Loose silhouettes, paired with cleverly placed slits and hook-and-eye embellishments, embossed leather and of course the piece that stole my heart – the red moto jacket of my dreams – it was all very wearable, modern, and oozed the cool factor. Definitely my favourite collection from the Canadian sisters. The only thing I hate about this is the fact that I’ll have to wait forever (6-8 months) to get my hands on my fave pieces.

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As usual, the Joe Fresh show was complete and utter mayhem. Even without a top model headliner, the show was packed, with people spilling out of their seats, and for good reason too. Once again, Joe Mimran showed a collection of affordable pieces that still managed to get hearts racing, and that will pretty soon be available not only in Canada and the US, but in 23 other countries worldwide! Not too shabby for a brand that began at a grocery store, non?

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But despite the big expansion news, Joe Fresh Fall 2014 collection was as Canadian as they come, what with a ton of cute jackets (wool, moto, puffers, you name it!), intarsia sweaters, and faux fur dominating most of the looks. But perhaps because winter and I, we are done professionally, my personal faves were the lovely dresses printed with ethereal images of landscapes and nature. Once these hit the stores, be prepared to fight me for them. Elbows up, ladies!

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Pink Tartan Fall 2014 was another collection quite heavily influenced by Canadian winters. While Kim Newport-Mimran stuck to her signature ladylike aesthetic, she mixed in a few unexpected patterns and fabrics, making this one of my favourite Pink Tartan collections ever (with the exception of this one).

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The collection was very “glam cocktail hour at the chalet”, what with cozy intarsia sweaters, black and red buffalo check, fur stoles, and ginormous fur mittens, mixed with full skirts, metallic dresses, and leather pants. Practical and chic? I would like one of each, please and thank you.

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Always a personal favourite, Mackage Fall 2014 show definitely did not disappoint. With scattered faux maple leafs lining the runway, the models rocked some of the best outerwear pieces I’ve seen all week. Clearly, co-creative directors of the brand Elisa Dahan and Eran Elfassy know what Canadians both want and need from their winter wares – style and function, and boy did they deliver!

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Fur trims, quilted leather everything, pops of fuchsia, Black Watch tartan pieces, oh my! It was unfair how good everything looked…and also quite dangerous for my wallet. And don’t even get me started on their bags! Simply put…this collection was the bomb-dot-com.

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More after the jump!

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Toronto Fashion Week: Best Hair and Makeup Looks For Fall 2014

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Greetings Lovely Readers! Toronto Fashion Week has officially wrapped up and although I’m still exhausted, it was a phenomenal experience watching the hair and makeup “magic” happen backstage.

Here are my favourite hair and makeup looks from the Fall 2014 season of WMCFW, with some handy tips on how you can achieve the same results at home. Enjoy!

Hair by Redken

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Pink Tartan hair was one of my absolute favourites last week. The collection told the story of a Canadian girl living a normal everyday life so the hair reflected that natural and lived-in look. The hair was set off-centre, with soft waves and looked pretty without looking structured. They really wanted the hair to have movement, making it look effortless.

Star Products: Pillow Proof Primer, Forceful 23 Super Strength Finishing Spray

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As a huge fan of Joe Fresh, I was very excited to see what the fall hair would look like. For hair, Joe wanted to have a more bohemian feel so the models wore a dishevelled side braid with lots of texture. Again, they didn’t want it looking too polished but rather wanted something with more of a grunge feeling with soft wisps framing the face. One great tip that Jorge Joao, Lead Stylist for Redken gave us was to take the elastic and tie the hair at the top before you start the braid. Once you are done, cut the top elastic so your hair and braid looks fuller and not as structured. The big focus of this look was to make the models look chic and effortless.

Star Products: Pillow Proof Primer, Redken Fashion Waves 07

Narces

Narces hair had more of a classic feel to it. It was all about being sleek, stylish, but again without looking like you spent hours doing your hair. As a result, sleeked back, smooth hair was pulled into a classic small bun at the base of the head. As with other looks, hair was once again primed with Pillow Proof Primer, prepped with mousse for texture and then finished off with Forceful 23 Super Strength Finishing Spray to get rid of flyaways and give the hairstyle that polished sleek finish. Definitely a look you can wear to the office or after work for some drinks!

Star Products: Pillow Proof Primer, Redken Full Frame 07 Volumizing Mousse Foam, Forceful 23 Super Strength Finishing Spray

More after the jump!

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Toronto Fashion Week: Mackage Spring 2014 Collection

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I know I’ve mentioned my Mackage obsession before, but after seeing the brand’s Spring 2014 collection designed by by Elisa Dahan and Eran Elfassy…my crush has totally intensified. We may be talking about love here, people! You see, Mackage does great winter coats, but that’s not all! Mackage Spring 2014 collection included beautiful leather skirts (in shiny leather, red leather, see-through chiffon), perforated leather tops, moto leather jackets in a variety of colours (my fave were in white and red), cotton and leather trench coats, and bags, bags, bags! I’ve actually been quite obsessed with Mackage’s bags since I first saw them at last season’s show, and I have to say that the new spring pieces were just as covetable. With those cool arrow closures, structured designs, and a great variety of leather finishes – those bags are (still) firmly on my wishlist.

Overall, I loved Mackage Spring 2014 collection - it was sleek, modern, and wearable, and I honestly am very excited to see these pieces hit the stores. Is it spring yet?

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Toronto Fashion Week: Joe Fresh Spring 2014 Collection

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If there’s one thing that is certain during WMCFW is that Joe Fresh show will always draw the biggest crowd. This season was no exception. With a packed front row that included actress Elisha Cuthbert (I miss Happy Endings!) and her beau Dion Phaneuf, his Maple Leafs teammate Joffrey Lupul, Joe Mimran’s designer wife Kimberly Newport-Mimran, among others, and Canadian beauties Alana Zimmer and Heather Marks strutting their stuff on the catwalk to Britney’s latest and super catchy “Work Bitch”, this one was the best show for people-watching. And people-watch I did, from my front row seat…in the photographer’s pit.

I put my new Canon Blogtography skills to good use, and snapped away as models walked down the runway, showing off what seemed like an endless lineup of looks that will be in stores come Spring 2014. While the majority of the collection was heavy on the navy (colour, not naval warfare), my favourite pieces (aka what I’ll be stalking next spring) included the red floral dress with plenty of slits to show off the gams, silver leather (pleather?) two-piece skirt suit, red leather dress and pants, shiny black (but also iridescent) tulip skirt, Japanese-print pajama-like ensemble, and a Chanel-esque black and white jacket.

Denim was also ever-present this season. Far from plain and boring, Joe Fresh Spring 2014 denim looks included lace applique, jumpsuits, frayed hems, acid wash, as well as camo, stripe and floral print. The rest of the collection was more restrained, and delivered what most Joe Fresh customers expect from the brand – classic suiting, and work-appropriate blouses, dresses, and skirts. And while I can’t resist a new pair of simple Joe Fresh slacks each season, I do hope that most of the more intriguing runway pieces make it into production. Fingers crossed!

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What I Wore: Fashion Weak

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Toronto Fashion Week came and went, and as it happens every October, I caught a cold. I am not sure if it’s the skimpy-ish outfits that one ends up wearing all week, or all of the hugs and kisses from the people I haven’t seen in a while (a week or longer is an eternity!), but…oops, it happened again.

This season, I did my darnedest to stay warm at the tents – I wore sensible outerwear, I kept my toes hidden, but none of it helped. Next October I will wrap myself up like a mummy in a mish-mash of blankets, hats, and mittens, and will only give hand-waves and peace signs, instead of hugs, handshakes, and kisses. This blogger is sick and tired of being sick and tired.

BUT…despite being a cold weather lightweight, I still got some pretty great fashion week mementos, thanks to Max Kopanygin, and Stefania Yarhi – talented Canadian street style photogs, who were outside all week long, shooting tirelessly rain or shine (and I didn’t even see them sniffling). I may be a weakling…but at least my new What I Wore photos look great. Silver linings, anyone?

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Look 1: Cardigan, Blouse – c/o Ann Taylor; Leather Leggings – Zara; Shoes – Valentino; Bag, Brooch – Chanel
Look 2: Dress, Necklace – Zara; Coat – Topshop; Faux Fur Clutch – Prada; Boots – c/o ALDO; Ring – Jenny Bird 

Photo Credits: 1, 3 – Max Kopanygin, 2 – Stefania Yarhi

Toronto Fashion Week: the shOws Spring 2014 Photo Diary

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Earlier this month, I was invited to participate in a Toronto Fashion Week Photography Bootcamp with Steve Carty and Canon Canada. The 3-hour hands-on session was meant to give us some useful tips for shooting runway photos, prep us to deal with less than ideal lighting and less than ideal seating, and teach us a few more Canon Blogtography tricks on getting the best possible photos under (fashion week) pressure.

Well, last week all of those lessons came in handy when I attended the shOws Spring 2014! As usual, showcasing a handful of seriously talented Canadian designers (Bellavance NYC, Calla, Jeremy Laing, and Steven Tai), the shOws was every Canadian fashion junkie’s dream event of the season, and I came prepared with my Canon EOS Rebel SL1 in tow.

While I couldn’t take Steve Carty’s advice of sitting in the pit during the show (seriously, if you want the best pics without much effort – the photographers’ pit is where it’s at), I still managed to take some fun detail shots from my front row seat. If you are looking for tips on how to shoot fashion shows here are few I learned from the great Steve Carty!

My Favourite Runway Photography Tips after the jump!

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Toronto Fashion Week: VAWK Fall 2013 Collection

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By the time the 4th day of WMCFW rolled around, all I wanted to do was NOT make my way to the tents, and stay at home, wrapped in a cozy blanket watching bad TV…but if there’s one show that I simply couldn’t miss it’s VAWK, so off to the tents I went.

As usual, Sunny Fong did not disappoint. VAWK Fall 2013 collection was once again chock-full of drool-worthy coats and stunning dresses. He does those so well! Fong’s fall collection was inspired by hunting, and featured custom-made prints created by the designer himself, plenty of fur accents, as well as stag and wolf leather appliqué tops, that even the models backstage were swooning over.

I, on the other hand, was swooning (and still am) over VAWK’s outerwear and gowns. In less experienced hands, details like pleats on a coat could’ve been all wrong, but in Fong’s masterful hands, the end result was subtle, elegant, and simply stunning, making me want to rip those beautiful clothes off the models’ skinny backs and run into the night with my precious VAWK loot.

What do you think of VAWK Fall 2013 collection? What are your favourite pieces? Share in the comments.

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Toronto Fashion Week: Pink Tartan Fall 2013 Collection

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The  morning of Pink Tartan’s Fall 2013 show, I read the interview Flare’s Emily Ramshaw did with Kimberly Newport about the new collection, and was pleasantly surprised to find out that Pink Tartan’s president and head designer is a fan of American Horror Story. Such a fan in fact, that her entire fall collection was inspired by one Constance Langdon. If you watched the first season of AHS, you already know that Constance (played by the glorious Jessica Lange) was one classy lady. Well, a husband-murdering lady, but classy nonetheless. And Pink Tartan’s fall collection was spot on Constance – elegant, with a vintage flare, and just the right hint of mischief. The collection definitely felt older than spring’s Charlotte Free-inspired butterfly-printed line-up, but it also felt more timeless. Classic (and flattering) silhouettes, and statement outerwear dominated the fall show, and I found myself drooling at the sight of some pieces…like the blue fur coat, which sadly, I won’t be able to afford, but can certainly daydream about.

The wigs seemed to cause a bit of a controversy among the show-goers I spoke to, but as a huge fan of AHS, and Jessica Lange, I loved this particular styling choice, and was delighted at the sight of an army of Jessica Lange lookalikes strutting their stuff. If I squinted hard enough, I could almost imagine that it was the real deal.

All in all, I really enjoyed Pink Tartan’s Fall 2013 collection, but hope that the next show isn’t inspired by the second season of AHS, because asylum chic might be a little too much, even for a die-hard fan like myself.

What do you think about this collection? Are you a fan of AHS? Share in the comments!

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Toronto Fashion Week: Jeremy Laing Fall 2013 Collection at the shOws

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Canadian designer Jeremy Laing is known for creating quietly cool clothes that are the opposite of flashy. His strength is in well-thought-out details and immaculate cuts; his clothes don’t shout, they whisper. But it seems for his Fall 2013 collection, Laing has decided to spice things up.

Most of the collection was still signature Laing, with beautifully-cut pieces, leather detailing, flowy skirts (and dresses), and classic palettes, but…added to the mix was gold lamé seersucker. Present in more than a few looks, the shiny (yet lightweight) pieces were a (good) shock to the eye, and added that certain je ne sais quoi to the designer’s fall collection. And though I wouldn’t be brave enough to wear gold lamé head-to-toe, I would certainly love to add a shiny motorcycle jacket to my growing collection of fun outerwear.

Apart from the not-so-lame lamé, I fell in love with the black and white striped print – a result of a collaboration with a Toronto-based artist Vanessa Maltese. The “broken” stripes paired with a pop of yellow was my favourite combo on the runway that night.

At the end of the show, Laing gave a quick interview, walking the attendees through the inspiration behind a few of his favourite pieces, sharing that his clothes are “hard to sew” but “easy to wear”, and having seen his pieces on cool-girls like Anita Clarke and Sarah Nicole Prickett (worn effortlessly, it seems), that statement certainly rang true.

What do you think of Jeremy Laing’s Fall 2013 collection? Share in the comments!

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Toronto Fashion Week: Jean-Pierre Braganza Fall 2013 Collection at the shOws

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It’s official! Jean-Pierre Braganza is one of my absolute favourite Canadian designers. His Spring 2013 collection took my breath away last year, and I simply loved his Fall 2013 show. With Asian-inspired prints, origami-like folds, and elegant outerwear, Braganza’s fall collection was a treat to see up close and personal.

My favourite pieces included the elegant structured blazers and flowy draped gowns, and while last season’s prints were more my steeze, I appreciated Braganza’s fall prints all the same. The mesmerizing photo-print tunic was definitely something I would  add to my wardrobe next season.

All in all, I was really happy to be able to take in Jean-Pierre Braganza’s Fall 2013 collection in person at the shOws. He’s an incredibly talented designer, and it’s thrilling to watch him succeed.

For more photos, please visit our Facebook.

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