Routinely, the gentleman over the microphone requests that attendees please take their seats. The show is about to begin.
However, tradition serves that a fashion week may not begin without words from Robin Kay, a woman most love to hate.
As the head of the Fashion Design Council of Canada, she has spearheaded a Toronto fashion renaissance, at least one that takes place in a controlled environment – with LG embellishments and lady schick razors aplenty. As she thanks Joe Mimram, her voice trickles down into a slurred montone – she is talking about her fondness for LG, a sponsor who has remained loyal throughout the years. The sentiment seems lukewarm at best.
Press kits began to rustle, toes tapped and smart phones glistened as guests patiently waited in their seats. But wait, a member of the LG family needs to say something. As a speaker, this man is not skilled. However, what he lacks in charisma, he makes up for in word play. Who knew you could use the word power so frequently, in such a limited time frame. I was excited for the runway, I was anxious to find out what power in fashion really means.
IZMA Fall 2010
IZMA is a collaborative effort – designer Izzy Camilleri teamed with ex-Fashion File-r Adrian Mainella to produce a take on Canadiana free of moose, hockey and the ever-emblematic maple leaf (for all three, see: D Squared).
Instead, IZMA sourced quality pelts from sustainable distributor, NAFA (North American Fur Association) – perhaps a nod to Chanel F/W 201o but more likely an allusion to Canada’s once-thriving fur trade. With these ethical pelts, magic happened. Skirts (like the one modeled above) effortlessly transitioned to capes and gloves to leggings. Fur was made practical on the runway and Izzy’s background in adaptable clothing showed.
I have always found that fur has a nouveau riche quality to it. Whether it is a large fur coat or a cherry red ferrari, flaunting wealth has always seemed tacky to me. I hoped IZMA would challenge my perception and they did – fur made a statement, but the shock was grounded by ivory body suits and black leather – instead of being repulsed by its decadence, I was compelled to take a second look.
As for the menswear? Thank you IZMA! I am glad that the first show of the season contained a small fraction of mens clothing. Albeit, it was disproportionate to the amount of ladies on the runway, but baby steps everyone – soon menswear will have its glory. I would have liked to see more men in fur coats or perhaps some experimental fur pants – apart from the handful of accessories (trapper, linebacker-esque fur shoulder padding, oversized shoulder bag) and pullover, “the untamed remoteness of the vast Canadian forest” was a girls club, three boys allowed.