Toronto Fashion Week Highlights
Rock’ n Karma
For their first runway show, ROCK ‘N KARMA channeled grunge and punk aesthetics with studs, ripped denim, patchwork, and dark hues. Sequinned statement jackets topped off the looks, one in particular spelling “I WILL NEVER STOP WEARING BLACK”. The beauty look was inspired by concert-goers, with voluminous teased hair and a black smokey eye.
Rock N’ Karma is a Canadian Fashion label founded in Toronto and Designed by creative sister-duo, Naomi, and Devorah. Each piece is infused with a street-chic influence using an addictive signature “Miracle Fabric” exclusive to Rock ‘N Karma. Clothing can be purchased both online and in person at its Queen West boutique.
ZOFF x Alan Anderson showed a collection of bold glamour titled “Divine Deviance” for FW 19, which featured opulent gowns and eveningwear. Styled with Alan Anderson’s statement jewelry the offering was modelled by a diverse cast of women including Judith Maria Bradley and Rachel Romu.
Founded on the principle of “Art is Movement,” Michael Zoffranieri’s eponymous line received the Suzanne Rogers Award for Most Promising New Label of 2017 during Toronto Fashion Incubator’s New Labels competition. ZOFF was nominated for the Swarovski Emerging Talent Award (Fashion Design), at the 2018 Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards (CAFAs). We chatted with Michael back in 2017, after his runway show at the Super Wonder Gallery.
For his Fall 2019 collection Dixon incorporated bubble wrap into his collection of elegant men’s and womenswear looks to draw awareness to a worthy cause in collaboration with Osteoporosis Canada. In shades of cream and aquamarine, overcoats and dresses were splashed with tie-dye patterns. Cuts varied, juxtaposed by translucent plastic bodices and shoulder harnesses.
Starting out at the Toronto Fashion Incubator, David Dixon began wholesaling and manufacturing his namesake line and in 1999, David left the incubator to his own design and production studio based in Toronto.
Today, the brand is sold across Canada, the United States, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, Germany, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Producing designs with a rejection of the notion of radical trend, Dixon’s innovative designs incorporate a quiet elegance, combining luxury with the functional and fantasy with sensibility.
Lesley Hampton’s Fall 2019 collection was an homage to the designer’s Indigenous roots. Featuring an opening performance by vocalist Iskwe and a cast of all Indigenous models. Entitled “Eighteen Seventy-Six,” a reference to the year in which the Indian Act was ratified, the collection featured expertly crafted eveningwear juxtaposing traditional textiles and colours with contemporary cuts and silhouettes. The colour red, present throughout the collection, stood as “symbolism around the missing and murdered Indigenous women movement,” where “each embroidered dot represented one of the women that we’ve lost.”
Founded on the principles of inclusivity, identity, awareness, and heritage, Lesley Hampton brand’s inspiration is defined by the characteristics developed from being a Third Culture Kid and critiques their application in present-day society in fashion, media, and pop culture. Diversity is at the core of every piece created by LESLEY HAMPTON; with a focus on evening-wear and occasion-wear. The brand draws inspiration from notations that embody inclusivity, and broader perceptions of beauty that leads to mental health awareness and body-positive advocacy.
Pedram Karimi’s latest offering for FW 19′ was titled “One Undone.” Backstage the designer elaborated on the concept, “the purpose of One Undone is to inspire youth.” The designer emphasized flowing fabrics in soft pastels and earth hues layering structured pieces over sheer fabrics.
PEDRAM KARIMI Is a gender-free brand established and produced in Montreal since 2013. The vegan inspired line aims to push social and political boundaries by creating no gendered minimal yet poetic looking garments that can adapt to anyone’s wardrobe with an imagination. The brand believes in sustainability and survivability of a product and its design continues to present high-quality garments for everyday wear.
Hilary MacMillan’s Fall 2019 was all about mixing menswear pieces and giving them a feminine twist. Clean sleek outerwear was rendered in primary colours and slick vegan leather, while dress and stocking combinations were splashed in vibrant plaids. The styling was pared back and monochromatic in shades of black, making for a foundation that allowed the loud colours to shine. In an email release about the collection, MacMillan noted that the collection “gently updates the [‘90s] for 2019 by infusing it with undertones of London street style, complete with contemporary accents such as lacing, ruching, and exaggerated menswear finishes.”
Hilary MacMillan is a contemporary, Canadian, cruelty-conscious womenswear brand. The self-titled brand was founded in 2013 with a focus on offering a breadth of styles at accessible price points. Hilary MacMillan apparel is for the adventurous and fashion savvy woman who likes bold prints and inspired fabrics, which make fashion effortlessly conscientious.
NARCES‘ latest collection emphasized grandiose flair for Fall 2019. Bows and statement ruffles were sent down the runway in shades of pastel, rendered in sheer and slick fabrics. Proportions were exaggerated, including the shows closing number; a flowing asymmetric white dress paired with an oversized wide-brimmed hat, which enveloped the models face.
Narces is a Toronto-based womenswear line that specializes in special occasion, cocktail, evening wear, prom, and bridal dresses. Designer and Creative Director Nikki Wirthensohn Yassemi brings her international background to her aesthetic, having been born in Austria and growing up in Iran and the UK before moving to Canada, where she now resides. Throughout her upbringing, Nikki was surrounded by design, art, and fashion. Her mother worked with esteemed British tailor to the Royal Family, Victor Edelstein who is renowned for having created some of Princess Diana’s most iconic gowns. Inspired by the romantic glamour and elegance of mid-20th century, Nikki’s flirtatious yet refined approach to evening dresses is becoming popular in North America, Europe and the Middle East.
Thomas Bálint’s Fall 2019 collection was inspired by his grandmother’s patterns to create his version of impeccably tailored menswear. Centered around the concept of family, a source of stability and love amidst chaos, the offering imbued the traditions and craftsmanship of his family’s trade into a contemporary aesthetic, each creation becoming an homage to his heritage. Classic menswear staples including overcoats, vests and top hats were presented in earthy shades, juxtaposing traditional prints and colours with contemporary cuts.
Thomas Bálint the namesake label of Michael Thomas Bálint who studied sculpture at the Ontario College of Art and Design. Following four years of designing as a private label for boutiques in Germany and Canada, Thomas Bálint opened his first brick-and-mortar Boutique and Showroom on Toronto’s Queen Street West in September 2012. The brand looks to the past, modernizing classic styles with innovative design techniques. With an approach steeped deep in Sculpture there are two raisons d’être for designer Michael Thomas Bálint; to respect the past, but to always attempt to create new ideas.
Cody Rooney is a Glossi Mag contributor.
He is a photography aficionado, masters candidate, fashion enthusiast, avid Ariana Grande fan and lover of all things aesthetically pleasing.