Tartaned Up in Halifax

Atlantic Fashion Week is well under way in Halifax, and tonight’s highlights include Katrina Tuttle, fresh off her LG Fashion Week debut, and Veronica MacIsaac (above). Veronica’s specialty is rooted squarely in, well, her Scottish roots. She grew up as a highland dancer and with a nod to her kilt-making mother, was sewing by the age of four. Her parents run the critically acclaimed MacIsaac Kiltmakers in St. Peter’s, Cape Breton Island.

Veronica’s Celtic designs are thoroughly compelling thanks to a keen eye for contemporary trends (check out the one-shoulder tartan dress) and ability to balance the youthful with the elegant. All pieces are custom made-to-order and available in wool, silk, or poly/viscose blend fabric. You can also choose any tartan. And thankfully – we’re pretty sure you don’t need Scottish roots to rock these babies.

Veronica shows tonight during Atlantic Fashion Week at Olympic Center, Halifax.

Runway Recessionistas

All eyes will be on the runways this Spring to see how the recession scare plays out in real life.  While the bottom line impact has yet to be fully felt, designers have already started to pull back on spending.  In New York Betsey Johnson and Vera Wang, among others, had announced plans to forego the Bryant Park tents for cheaper, more intimate shows.  Now three labels – Mara Hoffman, Sergio Davila and Nicholas K – are teaming up for a joint show in the tents, which means each label cuts their expenses by about 40%.

It got me thinking about our own fashion weeks in Canada.  While we may not have the same financial turbulence seen south of the border, it’s always been tough to be fabulous in fashion here.  IMG’s new sponsorship role in Toronto’s LG Fashion Week ensures their shows will go on, but the economy could be an excuse for smaller fashion weeks on the west and east coasts to disappear.

But wait – there isn’t just ONE west coast show. There’s BC Fashion Week and there’s Vancouver Fashion Week. Come to think of it, on the east coast they have Atlantic Fashion Week and Atlantic Canada Fashion Week.  Seriously, you ask?  Oh wait, it doesn’t stop there… in Ottawa they have a Capital Fashion Week plus Ottawa Fashion Week. Ok, you say, now you’re talking crazy. But I’m not.

Let’s ignore the fact that there is just no good reason for Vancouver, Ottawa or Halifax to have two fashion weeks. (But perhaps some ego checks are in order? Asap?)  I’m no economic expert, but my hunch tells me it’s going to be harder to find double the sponsors and designers to fill two fashion weeks in these smaller locales.  So in the name of recession, can’t we all join hands and get along?