With this week marking Fashion Art Toronto 2017, the runways at Daniels Spectrum in Toronto have been home to all manner of alternative and avant garde designs. With Day 1 featuring a signature theme of Feminized Future and Day 2 focusing on Reflections, emerging designers have been unveiling everything from flowing skirts to embellished dresses. So far, FAT 2017 has revealed a series of ladylike yet slightly rebellious creations. From Odrea to Sara Umar, Real Style was seated front row centre at the first two days of shows. Here’s our runway review of the highlights at Fashion Art Toronto so far.
Toronto-based designer Andrea JungMin Oh revealed her new “Translucent” collection, which stayed true to Odrea’s usage of delicate ivory shades. The all-white line featured chiffon fabrics, along with lace accents and sheer looks. Models were an angelic sight as they strut the catwalk in high-waisted shorts, crop tops and airy dresses. Meanwhile, asymmetrical hems and bell sleeves added visual interest, and kept a monochromatic collection of striking whites from appearing staid or dull.
Major Looks: All white hues, dainty lace, sheer fabrics, flowing and lightweight frocks
Sarnia, Ontario-raised designer Brooke Syrie trained in fashion at George Brown College, and later launched her eponymous label. For 2017, Syrie turned to a theme of Lusty Lita, and combined elements of Victorian garments with 1980s trends. The end result was a bevy of candy-coloured frocks juxtaposed against rock and roll elements. From thigh-high black lace stockings to chunky black platform boots, the featured accessories were just as funky. Fringed hems, high vintage inspired necklines and puffed sleeves also offered a ladylike touch.
Major Looks: Victorian rebel, pastel hues, fringe and lace
Damzels in this Dress
Founded by Toronto dress designers Kelly Freeman and Rory Lindo in 1994, Damzels has become known for its vibrant frocks. The label turned out a bubbly and free-spirited Spring 2017 collection, appropriately titled Giddy Up! due to its cowgirl influences. Freeman and Lindo drew their inspiration from the designs of dressmaker Nudie Cohn, who attired country musicians like Dolly Parton. On the FAT runway, this translated into plenty of Western styling, with fringed jackets and belted denim dresses. Rainbow embroidery, flared hems, cheery splashes of florals and tassel accents brightened the charmingly old school collection.
Major Looks: Cowgirl chic, embroidery, flirty frocks, vivid brights
Oakville designer Sarah Haunts, who focuses on ethical and locally made fashion, presented her new Neoteric Paradise collection. Inspired by the creations of late artist Georgia O’Keeffe, Haunts Fashion’s latest pieces were emblazoned with flowers. Feminine floor-length frocks were detailed with busy floral prints, while laser cut lace brought detail to the collection. Watercolour shades, a signature blue and pink pattern and the occasional solid look in lavender completed the colour scheme.
Major Looks: Georgia O’Keeffe influences, flower power, playful watercolour colours
At Sara Umar, the emerging Pakistani-born and Toronto-based design talent quite literally took a trip down Memory Lane. Umar reflected on her time spent embroidering with her grandmother, as a young girl. Her Memories collection involved plenty of embroidered and crochet accents, with a rich black, off-white and gold aesthetic. Models walked the runway in soft golden beige lace dresses, sheer black blouses and structured strapless creations.
Major Looks: Gold and black, detailed embroidery, femininity
All Photos: Jonathan Hooper