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LG Toronto Fashion Week: Day 1 Round Up

The tents are up, the lipstick is out, and it's that time of year again - Fashion Week. Yes, LG Toronto Fashion Week (Beauty by L'Oreal) began yesterday evening, and this season, the Fashion Design Council of Canada has taken David Pecaut Square in the heart of the Financial District by storm.

The Scene

The first night of Fashion Week on the new site was an adjustment for all. Disgruntled media members and industry darlings waited in a long queue outside the tents to collect their passes and rumours of there being no washrooms on site (a lie) swirled, but the shows got on their way - fashionably, 45 minutes late.

After a brief speech from Ms. Robyn Kay welcoming attendees and introducing 'Canada Cool', the theme du season, Holt Renfrew got the party started for the restless crowd with 'There's No Place Like Holt's', a round up of the biggest and brightest names in Canadian fashion. Featuring much loved designers like Jeremy Laing and Denis Gagnon, the Holt Renfrew show was a gentle reminder of just who is boss in Canadian Fashion retail.

The Looks

The best looks of the Holt Renfrew troupe came from Jeremy Laing, who continues to find interesting ways to position nudes, Smythe, whose eye-catching colour blocking was unexpected and well received, and Twenty Cluny whose take on whites for spring was structured, yet playful. Denis Gagnon's presentation was lovely and feminine, but a mere tease; his runway show will close LG Fashion Week on Friday evening.

Looks from the Holt Renfrew show. 

After shuffling back to the Fashion Environment (read: foyer), the crowd split into two kinds of fashionites: those who air kiss and sip on bubbly by the bar, and those who put their elbows up and get in line for the next show. Brother-and-sister duo Juma was up in The Studio, and their presentation was upbeat, funky and truly fresh. Some of my favourites from the Juma presentation included a muted remix on their much loved geometric jersey dress, printed canvas bags and plenty of eye-catching versions of what the pair do best: printed silk scarves.

Next, the crowd pushed and shoved their way back into The Runway room just in time for Arthur Mendonca, whose collection lived up to the hype I'd gathered about it while fighting my way through a bottleneck crowd into my rightful media seat ("elbows up" really is the best Fashion Week advice I can give anyone). One of my favourite parts of Mendonca's show was the juxtaposition of femininity - sheer maxi skirts, flowing belted dresses - with a nod to les garcons - loose fitted suits with heavy pleating whose soft printed materials made them just as chic and glamorous as any of the gowns.

Looks from Arthur Mendonca. 

The last show of the night - and a late one at that, beginning well after 10PM - was LaLa Berlin. This show had a healthy representation from the coy pastel palate, but Berlin made it her own by juxtaposing the girlish shades with bright, solid primary colours via bold, knee-high yellow boots. Designer Leyla Piedayesh also played around with camouflage prints, but her best work came in the form of a sheer cream and watermark-printed silk blazer and pant set.

Looks from LaLa Berlin.

L'Oreal Fashion Week runs until Friday, October 21, 2011. Visit for more details.



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