Pre-Fashion Week Part 1

Once again fashion week in Toronto gets a head start with off-site shows.  From Evan Biddell’s invitation-only affair at SEVEN CONTINENTS on Tuesday to Philip Sparks presentation in the Burroughs Building on Wednesday, then over to Evergreen Brickworks for the Art of Progression Thursday night, the fashionable crowds crisscrossed the city for a sneak peek at Spring 2011.
Philip Sparks presented a hybrid runway show of menswear mixed with new womenswear pieces – love the boyfriend jackets and cute romper.  The watery colour palette was an ode to spring rain and included Spark’s first custom digital print.
Philip Sparks
Thursday’s Art of Progression show sponsored by Audi brought together Joeffer Caoc, Dmitri Chris and NADA in a group show.  Each designer featured a short video (all but lost on the audience) punctuated by a slick Audi driven down the runway.  The collections themselves were light and wearable.  We may not be sure what it was all about, but for the adventurous, the rough Brickworks venue turned an ordinary fashion show into a night of discovery.
Before it’s environmental overhaul, Evergreen Brickworks sat vacant for years, serving only as a secret destination for ravers and graffiti artists.  The owners have kept much of that character in tact, perhaps as a nod to the “urban” in urban revitalization.
Joeffer Caoc
Caoc’s line was coined “the Comfort Zone” and featured easy maxi dresses, stretch fabrics and warm weather suits. It was one of the more casual lines I’ve seen from Joeffer in a while.  It didn’t seem to wow the crowd, but every piece was likable and wearable.  In the cold chill of the October night I imagined myself wearing these outfits… in Los Angeles.
Dimitri Chris
Dimitri Chris opted for laid-back spring suits as well.  His typical dapper-ness was dialed down for washed out colours and pajama print stripes on short jackets and shorts.  I labeled this piece the “girlfriend jacket” for coming off a little too small and a little too pink.
NADA’s collection was tight – simple and ladylike.  I love her knack for injecting incredible colour and wildly interesting prints into a collection without letting them overtake the show.  And great draping on the finale blue dresses left the audience madly twittering.

Shut Up and Drive

Audi Downtown Toronto threw a fete Thursday night for the official unveiling of their new “masterpiece showroom” that merges design, architecture and fashion. The suit-filled audience of car lovers likely appreciated partying in one of the largest Audi workshops in the country, but the city’s fashionistas were in full force to scope out Bustle‘s limited edition Audi collection. Guests enjoyed cocktails in the showroom, but the runway show took over the spankin’ new, spotless service bay area. (Photo above: Bustle designers Shawn Hewson, aka Project Runway Canada judge, and Ruth Promislow welcomed the crowd before the show.)

Bustle’s looks bounced between sleek and sexy to prim and proper preppy, but all reflected some model of Audi. The trendy sportswear collection (which included ladies’ clothing, too) was auctioned off at the grand opening event with proceeds going to Sick Kids Hospital. Big applause for the hot rod (and mod) leather jackets…if they play their design cards right, they could give Mackage and Rudsak a run for consumers’ money.