Let’s pretend it wasn’t -19 this weekend, and instead look forward to spring and spring fashion. Last season of Toronto Fashion Week was one of my absolute favourites, with Canadian designers showcasing some serious talent. And while some designers like Matthew Gallagher create made-to-order garments only, others like Hayley Elsaesser have online stores, where you can pick up your fave spring pieces very soon. As such, I put together a list of my favourite pieces from the shows I attended last season. Supporting Canadian fashion industry means investing in clothing made by Canadian designers, so next time you’re considering a special occasion purchase or looking to add some excitement to your wardrobe, give one of these amazing designers a try. You may just become a lifelong fan.
Hayley Elsaesser has firmly established her reputation as the go-to for crazy-fun but wearable clothing. Her prints are always on point, and her Spring 2016 Carnival of Curiousity collection was both printastic and fabulous. Once again, Hayley cast models and non-models in a wide range of ages, sizes, and ethnicities for her runway show, proving that literally ANYONE can pull off her clothing. Standouts from her collection included rainbow-printed faux leather dress, poodle-printed everything, and “Admit One” sequin pieces.
For his Spring 2016 show, Matthew Gallagher sent a line-up of vibrant and luxurious garments, complete with floaty capes, sexy cutouts, and exaggerated skirts. The collection was seriously beautiful! Even Lady Gaga is a fan. The ribbon dress was my personal fave – both a piece of art and something I could see myself wearing comfortably and often. All garments are hand-crafted and made-to-measure in Gallagher’s Toronto studio. You can get in touch and order your very own gown here.
More after the jump!
Did you know that the Government of Ontario does not recognize fashion as art, at least where art funding is concerned? Well, it seems Malorie Urbanovitch disagrees – she literally put art on her Spring 2016 collection in collaboration with artist Bernadette Paets. Paets’ lovely paintings adorned tees, skirts, dresses, and accessories, and I loved it all. The soft colour palette was both romantic and modern, and unsurprisingly I loved Urbanovitch’s signature knits. This spring, you can pick up pieces from Malorie Urbanovitch Spring 2016 collection at Simons and Gravity Pope.
Mikhael Kale has been a favourite for a while now. I treasure the Kale leather jacket I bought at The Room ages ago, and am so happy with how well-made it is. Kale’s Spring 2016 collection was definitely awe-inspiring. Probably as couture as it gets in Canada, his garments looked like exquisite confections, with intricate floral embellishments, cutouts, pleats, and ruffles. Apart from the usual runway stroll, models walked along aisles, stopping inches away from the attendees, letting us admire the stunning designs and craftsmanship up close. In Toronto, Holt Renfrew carries Mikhael Kale’s designs, and I highly recommend that you stop by and get to know this exciting Canadian designer.
From floaty day dresses to seriously glam gowns, Helder Diego Spring 2016 collection had it all! Season after season, this talented Toronto duo seems to create more and more interesting clothes, and this collection is a definite fave so far. Helder Diego has several Canadian stockists, so make sure to check them out here this spring.
I absolutely adored Pink Tartan’s 70’s-inspired Spring 2016 collection. There was definitely a lot to love about it, but my fave pieces included everything striped and colourful. If you’re looking to add a pop of colour to your spring wardrobe, Pink Tartan designs can be found at The Bay, Holt Renfrew, or on the brand’s own website.
Photo Credits: WMCFW