Fashion-able: The final night at World MasterCard Fashion Week and our favourite moments

That’s a wrap! Another hectic, fabulous and successful fashion week has come and gone in Toronto and we enjoyed every minute of it. There were so many great looks from the Friday shows, but we can’t squeeze them all in here so we’ve chosen a few of our favourites to share. 
We’re a bit biased toward Arthur Mendonca, having represented him at last season’s fashion week, but we think everyone will agree that the designer is a genius with draping, colour and pattern. We loved these looks in particular, although we’d wear anything from his FW2012 line.
Beautiful, bright yellow

Tough, yet feminine
After seeing Travis Taddeo’s collection as part of the Mercedes-Benz competition last season, we were excited to see what he would do with free reign over the runway. Verdict: loved it! We wanted to grab most pieces right off the models’ backs.

Sexy and luxe, yet unfussy and easy
So many places to wear this

We were eager to see Rad Hourani’s Canadian runway debut of his unisex, a-seasonal collection. In summary, it worked! The women looked edgy and feminine, while the men were masculine while sporting the same structured apparel.

The final show of the evening, Dare to Wear Love, was a fundraising show in support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. With an army of celebrity models and beautiful creations by many of Canada’s top designers, fashion week ended with a party on the runway. A few of the best moments:

Trish Stratus carries an audience member down the runway


Dina Pugliese revs up the crowd in Adrian Wu’s creation

This little girl steals the show after earning the right to walk the runway for being a top fundraiser.
Image source.

Wishing you all a bit of a rest before the preparations begin for next season. Congrats to the designers, FDCC and everyone involved with putting on such a great week. What were your favourite looks on the runway? 

All images courtesy of George Pimentel (unless otherwise noted).

Do Me A Solid: Dare To Wear Love

You may remember from last year that we have a special spot in our hearts for the Dare To Wear Love show that closes every other fashion week. We’re excited that we get to work on the show again on Friday, March 16, and it promises to be just as inspirational as always. 

Amid all of the hustle and bustle during fashion week that focuses on style, clothing and make up, it’s nice to take a step back and think about how all this fashionable effort can be channeled into helping those living with HIV/AIDS in African countries.


The talented duo behind Hoax Couture have teamed up the Fashion Design Council of Canada, a number of amazing Canadian designers and some fun personalities to create a one-of-a-kind fashion show in support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

There are still some unique bits of the show to be announced, but so far we’ve got some pretty exciting elements: 

Show attendees can participate in a live auction in support of SLF, with pretty spectacular prizes – including a trip for two to Kenya, (provided by the Canadian Kenya Tourist Board and VoX International) featuring a wildlife safari!


CBC correspondent Wendy Mesley walks the 2010 DTWL runway wearing Kingi Carpenter for Peach Berserk
Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage.


There will also be live entertainment during the show, and of course, the bright and colourful designs from various designers that include Brian Bailey, David Dixon, Adrian Wu, Paul Hardy, Linda Lundström and many other talented Canucks. 
Breakfast Television co-host Dina Pugliese walks the 2010 DTWL runway wearing Ines di Santo
Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage.
You’ll be sure to spot familiar faces strutting down the runway including TV hosts Dina Pugliese and Tracy Moore, one of Canada’s leading gospel singers Kathy Grant, and Donisha Prendergrast, granddaughter of the great Bob Marley. 



The show is always a sell out, so we’d recommend buying now. You can purchase tix here for $75 (or a VIP ticket for $300, which includes a front or second row seat and two (!) cocktail parties)

Fashion-able: Our favourite moments from LG Fashion Week Beauty by L’Oreal Paris

It was a whirlwind week, full of inspiring looks for spring, hectic schedules, interesting presentations at the new Fashion Environment and the split-second hush before the music starts pounding on the catwalk. This was an amazing season at the ever-improving LG Fashion Week Beauty by L’Oreal Paris.

As the agency of record for the FDCC, we had our hands in blogging, seating, registration, coordinating backstage interviews, calming nerves, bringing bagels and water, and working with some great creative minds. We were everywhere, every day, and had a great time. 

Many thanks go out to the talented designers, the amazing PR teams, both internally and externally, who helped out all week, the FDCC crew, who are incredibly hard-working, the media who help give a voice to our talented designers, and of course, the volunteers. Literally, this week could not have happened without volunteers.

Here are our favourite moments, from the rock-it promotions team:

Debra:
The entire week fuels me with inspiration and energy. I love seeing the massive amounts of people that support LGFW and the fact that the Fashion Design Council of Canada (located in Toronto) produces the second largest Event of its kind in North America. It’s still quite young (only 12 years old, compared to say TIFF, which is 35 years old) and I am really proud that we are part of something that is growing so quickly.

In terms of shows, it’s never easy to pick just one, but I really enjoyed Thomas. I thought they had a really interesting execution to their show in terms of production (music, lighting, etc) and an edgy, but wearable collection. I look forward to seeing more from them. I also really enjoyed Denis Gagnon. He’s brilliant. Period.



TOFW SS 2011: THOMAS from istoica on Vimeo.

Christina:
My favourite moment during any fashion week is the first five seconds before a show begins, when the lights go out and cell phones light up around the fashion environment. The anticipation and energy is fabulous!


During this fashion week, I also had the chance to view the Denis Gagnon show from the Tech booth. It was *amazing* to have a bird’s eye view of the models stomping it out. 


Alana:
My favourite moment was the Pink Tartan show. Not only were the clothes bright, beautiful and summery, but the show was a bit of a family affair, as two of my sisters were there as well. One was backstage helping to dress the models for Pink Tartan and the other was enjoying the show with some co-workers. Fun!

 
Photo courtesy of blogTO
Lisa:
The Dare To Wear Love show – the entire production was fantastic, and it was fun to see Dina Pugliese ham it up on the runway in her Ines di Santo gown and toss her bouquet into the crowd. It was really incredible to see the number of people who came out to support the Stephen Lewis Foundation. What a feel-good way to end the week!

Photo courtesy of Sun Media/QMI Agency
Pssst… if you missed the show, you can still bid on last year’s stunning dresses in support of the SLF.

Rachelle:
The ethereal, barely-blue wedding gowns at Romona Keveza’s show. It made me want to get married again.
Photo courtesy of She Does The City

Abby:
This was my first-ever fashion week, and I thought it was great. The most memorable moment for me was the first show – Holt Renfrew’s opening night. I was dazzled and excited to actually be seeing a show live, rather than on TV or a website. I loved the sneak peek of Pink Tartan, and have been dreaming about the Smythe jackets ever since last Monday night. I am also slightly jealous of the teased, curly hair. It rocks.
Photo courtesy of blogTO



Michelle:
So many good moments to choose from! I loved seeing all my favourite fashion media in one place. And of course, working with Hoax Couture on the Dare To Wear Love closing show was fantastic. This is my second year working on this fundraiser, and it’s so inspiring to work with a charity in the context of LGFW. A great way to close the week – the Stephen Lewis Foundation does important work. Plus, the designs were so fun. 

Photo courtesy of George Pimental

We can’t wait for the next shows (well, after we catch up on some sleep).

Fashion-able: Dare to Wear Love

 

So, as we promised earlier this week, here is more about the incredible show that’s closing LG Fashion Week Beauty by L’Oréal Paris, Dare To Wear Love, this Friday at 8 p.m.

This is a feel-good part of LG Fashion Week, featuring amazing local creations to stare at down the runway. 

The show is an exciting collaboration between Hoax Couture, the Stephen Lewis Foundation, the FDCC and more than 25 incredibly talented Canadian designers. The task for each designer is to create an African-inspired look, for men or women, from six yards of brilliant fabric, sourced from the continent. The designs will be complemented by African music and dance.

Some of the designers showing are Brian Bailey, Evan Biddell, Damzels In This Dress, David Dixon, Comrags, Linda Lundström, Lucian Matis, Pat McDonagh, Jason Meyers, Nada, Kingi Carpenter, Izzy Camilleri, and many more. Phew! 

Nada’s concept for the 2010 DTWL show. 

A very cool part of the show is the eclectic mix of professional models, celebrity models and friends of the family that will model the creations. Some announced celebrities include Arlene Dickinson (Dragon’s Den), Tara Spencer-Nairn (Corner Gas), Dina Pugliese (Breakfast Television) and pop singer Keisha Chanté. Word on the street is that Evan Biddell’s mom will walk the runway for him (awww). 

Tickets are open to the public and available to purchase online for $59.99 or $300 for a VIP package (which includes one front or second row seat and a special gift bag). All tickets are being sold (no freebies!), with all proceeds going to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. The Foundation works with grassroots organizations in Africa to help combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic. 

Targeting grassroots organizations to receive funding is important – they’re on the ground, working directly with people affected, and can help implement solutions without as much bureaucratic red tape. Very cool. More info at their website.

 
  Money raised through ticket sales and auction benefit people affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa, especially orphans and grandmothers. Image: Hilary Hall.

Another cool part? The fashions from last years’ show will be auctioned off to raise additional funds for the Foundation. The auction is online and is live today at 3 p.m.! More than 20 gorgeous gowns will be sold at a special auction site until Tuesday, November 2. 

Linda Lundström’s 2009 DTWL desgin, being auctioned now!
 

Please come out and support this very worthwhile show, and enjoy some fantastic fashion at the same time! We’ll see you there.

Rave: LG Fashion Week beauty by L’Oreal Paris

LG Fashion Week beauty by L’Oréal Paris is here! In case you couldn’t tell, we’re excited. We like the fashion, ideas, creativity, beauty and ugly-pretty (you know what we mean). We also like the craziness and madness that goes with working with a production of this size. It’s energizing. 

This year, LG Fashion Week beauty by L’Oréal Paris is at the gorgeous Heritage Court, and has some very exciting new, as well as veteran, designers on the runways. We’re looking forward to all of them.

Here are some things you may not know about LG Fashion Week beauty by L’Oréal Paris:

1. There is an extremely cool design collective showing, featuring the fashions of hip young Toronto designers. The collective is helping these up-and-coming designers show at LG Fashion Week. They will put on a stellar show.

2. Coco Rocha is coming.

3. All of the shows will be live-streamed here. So, if you can’t make it, you can still watch the models stomp it out.

4. Not a designer, media member or VIP? Not to worry! You can still come – tickets are available to the public. Buy them here.

5. Dare to Wear Love, the closing night show, is presented by Hoax Couture and the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Proceeds go to the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which helps fund grassroots organizations in Africa fight HIV/AIDS. The night features African-inspired fashion, music and dance – and you can go. More to come in a blog post this week!

6. This is the TWENTY-THIRD season. That’s a lotta fashion.

7. This year, there are four spaces within the Fashion Environment for designers to show in, at Heritage Court. Not everyone needs to do a runway show – some of the rooms are smaller and treat the designs and models more like installations. Cool.

8. LG Fashion Week beauty by L’Oréal Paris is the second largest fashion week in North America.

9. Phillip Bloch will read an excerpt from his new book, The Shopping Diet.

10. Robin Kay is rarely seen without her two Maltese puppies, Gracie and Lulu.