Out on the streets of Toronto, a bevy of fashion media raced across the rain soaked pavement last night to attend Philip Sparks’ Spring/Summer 2011 preview. For my hair, it wasn’t perfect, but for Philip’s show – which was inspired by rain – it was poetic.
Although Philip is first and foremost a menswear designer, he challenged himself by undertaking a women’s line which was youthful in spirit and ever-so-wearable. Seen above is an example of Sparks’ modern suiting in pale blue, while the printed romper highlights fashion’s present fascination with all-things-print.
Above the knee short options continue to trend well into 2011, but instead of pairing them with a blazer a la Cape Cod, Sparks chose to explore other, more practical terrain. Seen above is a model wearing a weatherproof jacket topping a simple khaki-coloured short.
A double-breasted Mack-attack on the runway boasted the perfect plaid complement for a muted pant. According to Sparks, we can expect the cuffed pant/sock-less shoe combination again this spring. As someone who very rarely wore socks this past summer, I consider the forecast a blessing.
You should also notice that Philip’s shirting had a strong presence this season – modern in fit, the shirt options are tailored to the body to provide a slim silhouette. The same outcome can be seen in everything from a blazer to a modest pant. You can tell that Philip longs to make men look at their best, which will not be difficult given his impeccable craftsmanship.
Philip really does it all, from shoe collaborations with Town Shoes and the finest leather satchels and messengers, rivaling brands like Porter and Fullum and Holt. For the ladies and the fellas, accessories offered a distinctive heritage bent – each piece possesses an heirloom aesthetic that will inspire long-term wear and use.
And then there was a check above any other that immediately caught my eye. The colours were not only eye catching, but the fit was superb. It is a staple piece that could easily blend with any man’s working wardrobe. Not pictured (sadly) was a lighter tan leather rucksack that is not only practical but bad ass beyond compare.
I spoke with Philip earlier in the week, probing for details about his upcoming women’s wear collection. I wanted to know if there would be strong menswear elements so as not to completely depart from his traditional aesthetic. Wanting to create a wide-reaching range of looks, he noted that there would be some menswear-for-women (like the above photo), but his goal was to create a series of looks for a variety of women. Not only did he succeed in transitioning his menswear inspiration to a female clientele, but he explored territories gone unturned in his career. As seen in the romper earlier, Philip did not merely show a strong collection as he typically does, but he represented himself as a distinctly versatile designer. The man really can do it all.
photos by Kevin Naulls