TORONTO – As homegrown designers share their visions for spring-summer 2016 style, some noteworthy seasonal pastimes are serving as prime creative inspiration.
Here are Day 2 highlights from Toronto’s World MasterCard Fashion Week.
Under the sea: Mermaids inspire Helder Diego
A mythical aquatic creature served as real-world inspiration for Helder Diego’s latest collection.
Formerly known as BLAK.I, the womenswear brand helmed by Helder Aguiar and Diego Fuchs sought to chart the evolution of the mermaid in its spring-summer line.
With shimmering sequins symbolic of scales, the collection transition from the multicoloured hues in the ocean to black and silver. The line of mainly form-fitting garments encompassed everything from mesh cowl tops, blazers, long-sleeve tees and jeggings to pleated jumpsuits and shorts, and of course, a mermaid gown.
“For us, we’ve always been inspired by powerful women,” said Fuchs. “Our woman from Day 1 has been one who loves herself and is confident in herself, and who will wear our stuff and be 100 per cent confident.”
Ticket to ride: Hayley Elsaesser opens “Carnival of Curiosity”
Step right up: The carnival has come to the catwalk.
Hayley Elsaesser brought an amusement park twist to the whimsical, colourful creations that have become hallmarks of her label.
After a pink-haired model rolled along the runway in a four-wheeler to open the show, there was no slowing down for this fun house ride which Elsaesser dubbed “the carnival of curiosity.”
The designer brought her inventive take on the theme with ultra-bright prints emblazoned on shirts, pullovers, jackets, culottes and dresses featuring “admit one” tickets, poodles and even the Grim Reaper in a bumper car.
The line was awash in boldly vibrant hues from rainbow-striped separates to metallics steeped in electric purple and green hues.
Elsaesser said she loves the opportunity to bring a sense of levity to her designs.
“I just think that a lot of the fashion industry like to take themselves a bit too seriously,” she said backstage following her runway show.
“Fashion and clothes should be fun. It kind of transforms you when you put something on… and that’s what I like my clothes to do.”
Game, set, match: Time for tennis at bustle
Bustle served up its take on tennis-inspired style with its typically cheeky approach to sportswear.
Models sporting headbands and toting racquets showcased creations with both subtle and more overt nods to the sport.
Alongside the refined coloured trims on blazer pockets and piping on pants, there were colour-drenched images of courtside scenes screened on T-shirts and zip-front jackets.
There were athleticwear staples aplenty, including hoodies, shorts and sweats. Among the more playful takes on the tennis theme? The graphic tees sporting the slogan: “Love means nothing to a player.”
Lucian Matis makes fashionable return
After several seasons away from Toronto’s fashion week tents, Lucian Matis went to great lengths to deliver a personalized touch in his return to the runway.
“I wanted it to be a collection of personalities more than the same look changed in different ways, so that was really my main focus,” he said backstage following his spring-summer showcase.
“I did a lot of experimenting with textiles… All the prints are created by me. So everything is designed in-house.”
Matis brought deft and delicate use of craftmanship to the line of lush, ultra-feminine dresses and gowns, from the embroidered florals to beaded accents on watercolour-like prints. Pearls featured quite prominently in the designer’s collection, put to most dramatic use in a show-stopping, floor-skimming gown with a sweeping train swathed in strands of the luminous beads.
Fashion Week continues until Friday.