Fur, feathers and finery at Fashion Week 0
Toronto Fashion Week "Canadian Catwalk" Fall 2012 collection at David Pecaut Square, Toronto. Canadian designer David Dixon, started the evening off with a clip from Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 movie "The Birds" starring Tippi Hedren and then drew off the look of the movie to style his models and incorporate feathers into every stunning outfit. (Jack Boland/QMI Agency)
Backstage before her highly anticipated show, designer Kimberley Newport-Mimran said the Pink Tartan woman is always evolving, always moving forward. The fall/winter collection presented soon afterward was certainly a confident step ahead for her muse.
"I took this sort of Beatnik beauty and mixed her up with this lone ranger and brought her into modern times," said Newport-Mimran, wearing a leopard print jacket and her own flared slacks behind the runway.
"I did a lot of sort of bell-shapes ... There's a consistency with the feminine pieces down to the more androgynous pieces that I love this season."
On the runway, the skittle shape translated to flared pants with Newport's signature sheen, skirts that ended with a little swing and peplums decorating fitted shirts, one creating a powerfully feminine effect in striking emerald green with flared pants in the same hue. (Imagine what the Bond girl in a '70s re-make would wear, but the gal who's a savvy spy for the other side -- not the arm candy in the beginning that Bond forgets by the second act.)
Although Pink Tartan boot-cut pants were some of the best bottoms seen at fashion week thus far, pin-straight slacks in black and ruby red balanced with heavily dyed fur coats. Newport also brought back the riding jacket in navy and red -- her modern woman may have Boho-vibe, but she may also be the type to belong to the riding club.
Montreal-based label Rudsak -- which seems to be adorning more limbs of the urban Canadian each season -- showed a largely black collection of unisex coats, footwear, handbags and accessories. Slim leather coats, as well as puffer jackets with a leather and nylon mix, came with fur-lined hoods that we've seen a few times this week.
Rudsak, however, went one step further in fur, with full blocks covering jacket fronts, shoulders, collars, lining zippers and even peeking out from under cuffs. Fur also added texture to handbags, which came in all shapes and sizes of pebbled and smooth leather, with gunmetal hardware and raw edges.
If Rudsak dresses the urban huntsperson, Ezra Constantine, an off-shoot label by Greta Constantine designers Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong, dresses the rustic Canadian's arty younger brother.
Turtlenecks -- now a definite trend for fall -- got the designer touch with thick woolly knits, two-tone necks and large gooky safety pins that added a unrefined quality to carefully cut pieces. Many slacks were loose through the hip and snug at the ankles in wardrobe-friendly colours like charcoal, black and cream. The everyday man would find some pieces in the collection outlandish, like a black jumpsuit, a harness-like vest and space-age silver pants -- which were actually pretty great.
In what David Dixon referred to as his darkest collection yet, models wore mostly in black with sleek bodices and skirts made 3-D by petal chiffon and plastic sequins. Embroidered lace added ladylike panache to cream coats, while peplums bounced daintily on sleeveless tops over slim cream and black skirts that ended just over the knee.
Though feathers have appeared in several shows this week, none were used so graciously as those on Dixon's creations; his inspiration for the line was Alfred Hitchcock's dark aviary thriller "The Birds." The first dazzling peacock hue made an appearance on the runway, immeditately winning the audience over.
The tunes: Ezra Constantine's minimalist line was appropriately matched with late '90s hits: The Prodigy's "Firestarter," The Chemical Brother's "Block Rockin' Beats," and Marilyn Manson's cover of "Tainted Love".
The stunner: David Dixon's strapless peacock blue cocktail dress in a floral and feather pattern, with notes of royal blue, gold and what looked like sequin, which sparkled down the runway on a fiery-haired model.
Trend: Proving that houndstooth isn't a trend just for mass market-friendly lines like Joe Fresh, high-end labels Pink Tartan and David Dixon showed smaller versions of the print in dresses, skirts and slacks.