LG Fashion Week in Toronto may have been filled with ‘rogue’ representations (hello: Philip Sparks, Evan Biddell’s OZ Studio Boutique and a 3D fashion show a la NADA) not to mention impromptu venue changes (read: The Allstream Centre). But amidst the chaos and last minute additions were strong and stable statements and fashion expression. Whether they hailed from uptown, downtown or were simply from out of town; stylish types seemed to be less focused on “the right look,” or “the right outfit” and more concentrated on staying true to themselves. Instead of pulling put-together runway looks, they instead whipped up their own creations and threw on whatever made them feel happy and haute. And what were those choice closet selections? Spring-ready trench coats, military jackets and copper jumpers, sky-scraper stilettos and generous platform shoes, a few moody fringe-leather-zipper accessories, halo headdresses, a little Western tuxedo appeal and a whole lot of sparkle. Take that, recession!
*model: Dajana, Elmer Olsen
Several designers have held their fashion shows weeks ahead of the regular LG Fashion Week schedule–now being dubbed “rogue” fashion week here. It’s been keeping us style writers on our toes! The early shows and attention-grabbing displays (including a 3D show from NADA this week) are causing even more confusion amidst a disorganized Toronto fashion week show set up for Fall-Winter 2010 collections. Just two weeks before its March 28 kick-off date the entire tent venue was changed for the second time in a month to the Allstream Centre, a new and larger venue located near the Exhibition grounds. In the midst of the chaos, Toronto’s resident l’enfant terrible is among the handful of designers ruffling feathers this season, opening a store right before showing his new futuristic collection on March 30.
Evan Biddell, who was the first to win the design challenge on the season premiere of Project Runway Canada has recently opened his new art-and-fashion space, OZ Studio Boutique at 134 Ossington Avenue, which will be open by appointment only until the end of LG Fashion Week and resume regular hours once the dust has settled and stilettos have been laid to rest. A welcomed addition to the bar strip, to be sure!
See my additional store coverage on TorontoLife.com
FTKTK: What projects are you working on now? Also, tell me a little about TeenVogue.com and the cool work you’ve done for the blog.
The Beckermans: “We just finished a Beckerman for Uniqlo collaboration. We did a T-shirt collection for them. It was such a fun collaboration: we did a makeup monster T-shirt and a popcorn monster shirt! We are also doing the Freed Fashion House and designing Floor 2 in downtown Toronto. It’s such a wicked collaboration because it’s like living in your own fashion dollhouse! For TeenVogue.com, we covered Spring 2010 LG Fashion Week in Toronto. It was such an awesome experience working with them. The best was going backstage and taking pictures of all of the models all lined up–we had a blast goofing around and having fun! We also covered street style in Toronto, so we went to Queen Street and Ossington Avenue and had the best time meeting some very cool dressed people. We also covered five of our favourite vintage stores in Toronto including Gaddabout, I Miss You Vintage, Tribal Rhythm, Value Village, and Vintage Mix 1.”
FTKTK: Which Canadian designers do you love at the moment? Other international artists?
The Beckermans: “We love Dean Davidson jewelry. The jewelry that he did for the Pink Tartan show at Spring 2010 LG Fashion Week took our breath away. It was African, geometrical and it had a big chunky silver vibe. We also love Danielle Hession’s art. She is a very cool artist that uses vintage photographs in her art. As an artist, she has such a great energy–it’s always so inspirational to us.”
FTKTK: Sibling design teams have proven to be successful combos especially in Canada (read: Dean and Dan Caten of DSquared2). What are the pros of working with your sisters? Cons, if any?
The Beckermans: “Definitely all pros! We all get crazy and have fun together! Especially with our dog Cubby, who is a Pomeranian. They say that successful design teams ARE the ones that have dogs, and we totally agree! After all, even YSL had a French bulldog. Also, as sisters we really push each other to be creative and to work really hard to challenge each other with design ideas. We design our own prints and jewelry and we are always crazy busy with side projects and our Beckerman Biteplate Blog.”
FTKTK: What’s great about New York City? Toronto? Favourite hangouts?
The Beckermans: “We love Value Village! And the Aberfoyle flea markets. We always bounce around Toronto searching for amazing flea markets! Also Second Cup is our favourite place to get hot drinks. We stopped drinking coffee (which is insane, we know) but we are somewhat more relaxed people now, which is a good thing. Our favourite drink is London Fog with steamed soy milk–made extra hot! It’s perfect with a Morning Glory muffin.”
FTKTK: Tell me about Agyness Deyn? How did you meet and tell me a funny story about the short videos you made on the Beckerman Bite Plate blog site.
The Beckermans: “We are great friends! We have been friends for a few years now and we always have fun together especially making the Beckerman videos. We met while waiting in line for a concert. We love just goofing around–and that’s exactly how the videos turn out! We also are good shopping buddies and always hit up the Hell’s Kitchen flea market together.”
FTKTK: What’s next for the Beckerman sisters? Will you hit the design table soon?
The Beckermans: “Right now, we are working on our Beckerman Biteplate blog full time and having fun! Our Biteplate documents our daily outfits, parties we go to, flea markets, TeenVogue.com coverage and art shows.”
While they were few in numbers (only a handful of designers were on display this season), Canada’s notable fashion names offered an array of strong shapes, colours and inspirations for LG Fashion Week S/S 2010 thanks to some home court advantage.
Dust off those paperback novels ladies (and boys, ahem): get ready for a Spring collection that makes us believe in love again–or at least in sexy-and-stylish trysts! Throw on one of Nada’s latest little numbers and you may find yourself simply entangled in a steamy love affair with the Harlequin romance gent of your dreams (if he just happens to be lounging bedside in your estate home somewhere in Neuilly-sur-Seine).
What, you don’t have an estate home? Pfffft.
Sky-high bouffants, pearls, ruffles and lace: Nada showed us how to channel our inner rebel Marie Antoinette and as always, made us rethink our current closets. Ah, so you doubt that come Spring you’ll be wearing a silk pastel flower print jumper? But, Nada says you will. And while some of the pieces gave fashion critics a déjà vu kind of feeling (read: plastique trench a la Sonia Rykiel’s Spring 2010 collection) Nada did what she does best, offering an original collection along with the dark and brooding aura we’ve come to anxiously expect from her.
The model-off-duty style that Alexander Wang has so effortlessly perfected, also appeared in Pink Tartan’s latest collection. And the interpretation? Well-heeled ankle boots, Robin Hood felt hats, leather shirt-dresses, some sporty gaucho-length bicycle shorts (read: Marc Jacobs), and a dash of sparkle in mini skirts and Happy-Hour-ready frocks. Nautical stripes made it into the mix as well: a cardigan here, a loose-fitting tank there–but all of it barely thought about (or that’s what Kimberley Newport-Mimran and her expert stylists want us to think, sneaky, sneaky).
Call it a success: it was as if the collection was given to the models 15-minutes beforehand, and the girls just picked their favourites. And there’s no such thing as effortless style dear readers (throw that into the myth box along with the Tooth Fairy). African inspired jewelry by Dean Davidson also helped put the finishing touch on the collection.
With star walkers like Canadian model Tara Gill trotting down the runway (she also walked for Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander McQueen and Jean Paul Gaultier this Spring), Pink Tartan‘s collection was just a peak at what the cool kids will undoubtedly be wearing when the weather warms up.
For Canadian outerwear and accessory purveyors Rudsak, this Spring season was all about showing off a lot of skin.
Like leather. Get it? Get it?
Anyway, while Rudsak presented a Spring collection set to outfit style mongers come April, we all sat in our seats thinking about immediately dashing backstage once the show was over to purchase a few of these little leather and suede numbers wholesale and straight off the runway (or at least I did)! Rudsak showed shorts and tapered pants with 80′s inspired cuts, large lapels with studs and utilitarian pocket details. They also churned out long coats and bomber jackets in ebony and a spectrum of high hues. The palette included blood orange, pewter, purple, dove grey, emerald and blue.
And with a sexy revamped website (thank-you models) you can see the looks on-figure, now.