Pom-poms and plastic pants: Toronto Fashion Week's most cutting-edge looks
Start stocking up on fuzzy pink accessories and toilet T-shirts now...
"Who wears this stuff, anyway?"
It's a common refrain among non-fashion types when photos from runway shows surface, and a question that has many answers.
Sometimes, that answer is "rich people" – oil magnates' wives, European royalty, eccentric old money billionaires, Kardashians.
In other cases, the answer is simply "nobody." Regardless of whether a piece is available for purchase, some couture looks can only ever be consumed as art. Case in point: The literal human backpacks Rick Owens had his models wearing at Paris Fashion Week in October (or, more recently, his full hair helmets.)
Toronto is not Paris, or any of the major fashion cities we've come to expect more bizarre runway styles from. And yet, as we all well know, Canada is far from devoid of creativity or innovation.
Much of what's seen at Toronto Fashion Week is wearable, but not a season goes by without at least a few gems that raise eyebrows – and interest – among the people of our home and native land.
Here are some of the coolest things we've seen so far at Toronto Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016:
Mikhael Kale's plastic (half) pants
Clear, plastic leg warmers? They may not be for everyone, but Mikhael Kale's conceptual approach to design works for the likes of Beyoncé, Gigi Hadid and J-Lo – all fans of his magazine cover-worthy work. The Central Saint Martin's grad and 2015 CAFA winner is one of Canada's most notable fashion talents right now. Maybe he's on to something? Plastic pants could very well prove popular among our country's more fashionable fishermen one day...
Hayley Elsaesser's 'Gutter Ball' collection
Inspired by The Big Lebowski, Hayley Elsaesser's eponymous Australia-born label injected Toronto Fashion Week with a solid dose of fun Thursday night. From the bright, bold milk carton prints to the bowling alley graphics, Elsaesser's "sartorial imagining of pop culture" was a blast to watch come down the runway. Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry are fans – though it remains to be seen if either will rock a toilet shirt.
Frosty brows and cozy legs at Mackage
Montreal-based outerwear brand Mackage staged an off-site show during Toronto Fashion Week at the nearby Canadian Broadcasting Centre (which, full disclosure, was rather convenient for us!)
Also cool were the icy-looking eyebrows that the brand decked out models with to compliment its luxe "Winter Warriors" collection, inspired by "the idea of a fashion-forward urban metropolis overrun by a winter superstorm." Colourful fur and fuzzy footwear were present in spades – at this show and in several others throughout the week.
You can replay our Facebook Live video stream from this show on CBC News' Facebook page, or below:
Hilary MacMillan's fuzzy pink accessories
Is there such a thing as too much pink? No, if the reaction to Hilary MacMillan's fall/winter show at Toronto Fashion Week is a barometer. This was, to date, one of the most-praised shows of the season in Toronto on Twitter – not only for how cute attendees found MacMillan's pom-pom rings, pom-pom shoes, and (again) fuzzy leg warmers, but for the fact that the entire collection is 100 per cent cruelty-free and animal-friendly.
WRKDEPT's 'Bed and Breakfast' clothing
WRKDEPT, established in Montreal by designer Andy Long Hoang, is described as a "satirical contemporary street brand" – which is about as cutting edge as anything Toronto Fashion Week has seen, perhaps ever. The "unisex experimental" clothing line's fall/winter 2016 collection is called "Bed and Breakfast." Hoang's goal was to transform basic household objects into wearable garments – hence these interesting wooden necklaces: