For the third and final day of Toronto Fashion Week A/W ’19, three womenswear designers with very different aesthetics showcased their collections at the Royal Ontario Museum.
First up, cruelty-free brand Hilary Macmillan. A series of colourful head-to-toe plaid looks opened the show, followed by corduroy, vegan patent leather and faux fur. “Inspired by the silhouettes and heartfelt love of plaid in the ’90s,” says Macmillan, “this collection gently updates the decade for 2019, by infusing it with undertones of London street style complete with contemporary accents such as lacing, ruching, and exaggerated menswear finishes.” In 2016, the Toronto-based brand began working toward becoming cruelty-free, eliminating the use of leather, fur, exotic skins and feathers in its pieces, and is now 100% vegan, having removed all wools and silks from its garment line-up.
Next was Mani Jassal, whose collection of Indian eveningwear and bridal looks was full of romance. Titled ‘With Love,’ it featured floral prints, ruffles and intricate embroidery on saris, lehengas and flowing maxi dresses. “This collection is a love letter to women in fashion and to the amazing team who have been instrumental in bringing it to life”, shares Jassal. Many of her seamstresses are Ryerson students or graduates, and joined Jassal on the runway for the finale. Designed and manufactured entirely in Canada with several looks featuring hand-sewn details, the line was influenced by romantic ballads of the ’90s. “With Love is inspired by that feeling you get when you first fall in love; the butterflies and all the rest,” says Jassal. Major ‘moment’ of the evening: when the model in the finale look stopped, threw back her veil, and then strode down the runway to massive applause.
The last womenswear show of the evening, NARCES, delivered all the statement dresses and gowns it’s quickly become known for. The eveningwear label, founded by Nikki Wirthensohn Yassemi, specializes in cocktail, bridal and special occasion clothing, and this latest collection was full of drama: exaggerated pleats, ruffles and bows on everything from slinky column dresses to pouffy gowns. Metallics dominated many of the looks, and eye-popping colours like neon green and fuchsia pink also made an appearance. The show-stopping final look, a white mini dress with an extravagant train and bow, came accessorized with a giant floppy hat: a look that wouldn’t be at all out of place for a glamorous St Tropez bride.
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