Now that official Toronto Fashion Week has wrapped, it’s yet again, time to summarize what was good, what was so-so and what was well, not-so-good. This season, I am calling it A.I.N.I (Amazing, Interesting and Needs Improvement). As with last season, I loved the space. Having tents in the core of the city, close to public transportation and comfortable to walk short distances after dark was a good thing. But what about everything else? Here’s the Fall/Winter 2012-2013 Collections A.I.N.I. List:
The Media Lounge: Last season, we were annexed to the building next door, meaning that we had to walk out into the cold just to get into shows. Having our own entrance into the runway and studio area was also a good thing, since didn’t have to deal with the massive crowds that evening shows tend to bring (especially Joe Fresh and Pink Tartan). Not to mention the fact that there was always some food (in the form of apples and oranges in addition to trail mix bars) and coffee. I’m hoping to see this kind of set up again in October.
Lucian Matis: I loved both his “regular” collection which was shown off site at the Royal York Hotel as well as his Matis line presented at the main venue. Gorgeous, artistic designs and detailing that could work with many different body types (especially with the Matis line). Sometimes, I don’t get why he was the runner-up on Project Runway Canada.
David Dixon: Gorgeous feathers, detailing and eye-popping peacock shades made this bird-inspired collection one of the most beautiful this season. It wasn’t just any kind of “wearable art,” but “wearable art” in the sense that many women would find comfortable wearing. In other words, the pieces were not made to look good only on models. With the proper alterations, even women shaped like me (short and small-framed) could pull many of the pieces off.
Arthur Mendonça: Elegant and sophisticated with a wide range of colours, yet still subtle and lady-like. Only thing is that there could have been more range in skirt shapes.
Streaming on YouTube: This was great for those who weren’t able to make it to David Pecault Square, making Toronto Fashion Week more accessible to all. In addition, video highlights really help fashion writers with things they might have missed while watching the show live.
Ashtiani: Perhaps it was the wide line-backer-y shoulder seen in many of the pieces or the Princess Leia-esque dresses towards the end, but something about it screamed either “cultish” or mid to late 20th century sci-fi to me. This goes for some of the simpler designs as well.
Adrian Wu: I’d put it into the Needs Improvement section if it weren’t for his amazing artistry. As I’ve said, I’m not a big fan of collections that look like they could only be seen as art rather than wearable art (see David Dixon). I also couldn’t make the connection between Anonymous/Guy Fawkes and the line. Besides, it’s not like the masks do anything to improve the wearability of the collection.
Needs Improvement (aka Dislikes):
Media Lounge: Yes, that’s right. I have the media lounge listed twice. The room was extremely dark, making it very hard to see where the outlets were to plug in our computers. Not only that, the outlets had covers that one has to keep open when attempting to plug (not to mention the fact that it was often too dark to see WHERE one was supposed to plug it in). On top of that, those of us with Macs (probably more than half of those in the media area) unwillingly hogged the outlets due to size (see image above for explanation). Where were the standard power bars? And as usual, the Wi-Fi was a bit spotty, especially in between shows when many of us are either blogging or uploading images.
No Installations: The past few seasons had some designers opt in for an alternative to a more traditional runway presentation. Installations allowed media as well as general attendees a closer look at the collection, perhaps even the ability to touch the material. Usually, the designer is on hand to speak with media without the need for them to rush backstage between shows for interviews. Hopefully, we would see some of these again for the spring collections in October.
Seating: If you RSVP to a designer, you should have an assigned seat with your name or media outlet/blog on it unless otherwise noted. With the exception of Joe Fresh, I was regulated to a general media area. I don’t mind sitting up in the “nosebleed” area, since I’m not exactly FLARE or Elle Canada, but would have preferred that I get an assigned seat if I had emailed or spoken with PR directly to confirm attendance.
Credits: Adrian Wu image by George Pimentel