The Sid Neigum presentation during RE\SET in Toronto. Image by: George Pimentel
Did RE\SET, Toronto’s new designer showcase, shake up the city’s fashion scene?
For the past few months, Toronto has been settling into a post-Fashion Week era. After global management company IMG (which also oversees New York, Berlin and Sydney fashion weeks) pulled out of staging the twice-annual event July of last year, and the industry let out a collective “what now?” shrug, we’ve begun to rebuild — and hopefully reinvent. Although the city lost its international backer, the pool of designers remained, as did a supportive community ready to attend whatever new iteration of fashion week came next.
The aptly named RE\SET, started by Toronto-based production agency The Collections and the Fashion Design Council of Canada, was the first event to take up the void this season (the newly formed Toronto Women’s Fashion Week and the second instalment of Yorkdale’s FashionCAN event are coming up later this month).
RE\SET was not a traditional fashion week – nor did it set out to be. The two-day event, which took over a West End concert venue, The Great Hall, featured eight shows by names like Sid Neigum, Beaufille and WRKDEPT. In addition to these presentations, up-and-comers like jewellery brand Dolorous, denim brand Triarchy and unisex designer S.P. Badu showed off their wares tradeshow-style, which attendees checked out between shows. Many designers cited their established relationship with The Collection’s founder Dwayne Kennedy as a reason for partaking.
On the first day it became clear that runway shows are no longer the norm – most designers opted for static presentations. “You can see the clothing up close, and I’d like to think you can walk up and touch it,” said Toronto-based womenswear designer Sid Neigum, who used the event as a platform to show his spring 2017 collection, which hits stores now. “It makes sense [for me] to show an in-season concept,” says Neigum, “Toronto Fashion Week was always more of a consumer event because we didn’t have a lot of international press.”
Designers Chloe and Parris Gordon of Beaufille pose with their models. Image by: George Pimentel
It’s worth noting that Neigum and Beaufille, arguably the biggest names on RE\SET’s lineup, opted to re-show spring 2017 collections we’ve technically already seen. Neigum showed his collection at LFW last fall and returns there this month for the fall/winter 2017 shows. Beaufille, run by sisters Chloe and Parris Gordon, showcased its spring collection at New York Fashion Week in September 2016 and is there for the fall shows this week. Although the Beaufille duo continues to manufacture in Toronto, showing during NYFW has “helped get a lot of international traction and retailers and press,” says Parris Gordon.
One thing the press and consumers have in common? We look to fashion for the next wave, and up-and-coming brand Markoo is one to watch. Designers Tania Martins and Moona Koochek presented their fall 2017 collection at RE\SET, their first showing since launching the brand in 2013. The look was a high-low mash up of luxe materials like satin and leather and streetwise silhouettes. “We went for an inside-out vibe, employing quilting and things that you would see on the inside of garments on the outside,” says Martins. When asked why they chose to show at RE\SET, they praised the intimate nature of the event and the timing. Crucially and unlike Toronto Fashion Week, RE\SET took place “ahead of schedule,” allowing buyers time to pick up collections to carry in stores for the following season—a hope for fledgling brands like Markoo, who opted to show a fall collection instead of taking a see-now, buy-now approach.
The Markoo presentation at RE\SET. Image by: George Pimentel
For Vancouver denim label Triarchy, who displayed their collection in the showroom, the event allowed the founders tell a story on their own terms. “A lot of people don’t know that our clothes are sustainable and low-water [consuming] and that’s something we were able to tell everyone here,” says co-founder Ania Taubenfligel. Designer Hilary MacMillan, who went against the grain with a runway show for her retro-feminine fall 2017 collection, also pointed out that entry fees are lower compared to the “well-oiled machine” that was Toronto Fashion Week.
For Canadian designers, international success is still very much contingent on leaving the proverbial nest (Tanya Taylor and Kaelen are examples), so time will tell if RE\SET and its ilk are the way of the future, and, perhaps more importantly, if they are what local designers need to grow their presence locally and abroad.
Tinashe Musara of Montreal-based artsy streetwear brand WRKDEPT, the final show of RE\SET, also puts the responsibility on retailers. “Canadian [shoppers] are still obsessed with [foreign] brands,” he says. “In cities like Copenhagen they support their own brands because they are well represented in stores.” “They have a clear point of view and it’s important to push that so that Toronto can be seen as an innovative city that’s moving forward.”
The WORKDEPT presentation during RE\SET. Image by: George Pimentel
But, in an ever-changing fashion landscape where see-now, buy-now is the watchword and L.A. is the promise land (brands from Rachel Comey to Tommy Hilfiger have opted to show there this season) cities need to take an individual approach instead of attempting to play catch-up with the Big Four. Take Sydney, which switched to showing resort collections in 2014, thus aligning local designers to the international buying schedule. Berlin, meanwhile, kicked of its Mode Salon project a few seasons ago, which sees dozens of designers take over a single space, with press, buyers and influencers dropping in at leisure during the city's fashion week. The pop-in concept maintains a more intimate show atmosphere, but alleviates crowding – something that was hard not to notice at RE\SET.
As I waited to get into Beaufille’s presentation, the crowd clad in Vetements long sleeves and furry toppers (it’s February in Toronto, after all) was packed so tight that I heard someone mutter “this better be Bruce Springsteen.” Then I thought of Triarchy’s Ania Taubenfligel, who offered a different take: “the ice storm didn’t keep anyone away. That should tell you something.”
With files from Elaine Jyll Regio
Whether you're celebrating Valentine's Day with a longterm bae or hitting the town with your girlfriends, we rounded up 27 of the prettiest beauty gifts, so you can start dropping hints now.
Cupid Bath Bomb ($5.25), at lush.ca.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in shades Pinky Promise, Pink Tank, and Pink Up ($9.97 each), at walmart.ca.
Demeter Fragrance Library First Kiss ($20 for 30 mL), at demeterfragrance.com.
Rimmel London My Grey Collection Lasting Finish Lipstick By Rita Ora ($5.98), at walmart.ca.
From January 30th until February 15th, receive a free Maybelline New York Colour Sensational Creamy Matte Lipstick in the shade Siren in Scarlet when you purchase purchase of an item from the Aldo Love To Love collection. Available at participating Toronto and Montreal locations.
David's Tea Raspberry Cream Pie Tea-Infused Lip Butter ($6), at davidstea.com.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Dusty Rose ($26), at anastasiabeverlyhills.com.
Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Nude Lip ($33), at sephora.com.
Beautycounter Be Mine Valentine¹s Day Duo ($47), at beautycounter.com.
Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Champagne ($30), at sephora.com.
Herbivore Botanicals Coco Rose Body Polish ($47.49), at herbivorebotanicals.com.
Philosophy raspberry sorbet shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath ($23.70), at philosophy.com.
Jonathan Adler Vodka Pop Candle ($55.30), at jonathanadler.com.
Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate Eye Collection ($79), at sephora.com.
Christian Louboutin Rouge Louboutin Loubilaque Lip Lacquer ($115), at holtrenfrew.com.
Dior Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet ($100 for 100mL), at dior.com.
Mermaid Shampoo & Conditioner ($60), at mermaidperfume.com.
Guerlain Météorites Happy Glow Blush ($69), at thebay.com.
Diptyque eau Rose Eau de Toilette Roll-On ($65), at holtrenfrew.com.
Wildfox Love At First Sight Eye Mask ($79.00), at wildfox.com.
Chantecaille Rose de Mai Body Oil ($95), at chantecaille.com.
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Gift Set ($132), at thebay.com.
Prada Candy Eau de Parfum Spray ($124 for 50mL), at nordstrom.com.
Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer ($499.99), at thebay.com.
Gather your friends, put on your favourite dress and join us for an exclusive evening for the official launch of the new feminine fragrance by Guerlain. Be the first to experience the fragrance inspired by Angelina Jolie. Indulge in hors d’oeuvres and cocktails as you wander the exquisite Guerlain boutique and receive an exclusive appreciation gift with your purchase. PLUS, all guests will receive an exclusive parting favour.
110 Bloor St. W, Toronto.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Tickets: $25* (for two guests)
Space is limited
Click here to RSVP and confirm your donation of $25*.
*Partial proceeds will be donated to the UN Refugee Agency
First women marched, and now, we strike. The date? March 8.
The organisers of January's Women's March on Washington (which then grew into a massive upswell of women marching in capitals and small towns alike across the world) have announced the date for their promised "Day Without A Woman", aka a general strike for women and their allies on International Women's Day.
Details on what this will actually look like—and how you can get involved—are still TBD, but the announcement helps flesh out some of the ideological background / reasoning about why this doing something like this matters now:
In the spirit of women and their allies coming together for love and liberation, we offer A Day Without A Woman. We ask: do businesses support our communities, or do they drain our communities? Do they strive for gender equity or do they support the policies and leaders that perpetuate oppression? Do they align with a sustainable environment or do they profit off destruction and steal the futures of our children? We saw what happened when millions of us stood together in January, and now we know that our army of love greatly outnumbers the army of fear, greed and hatred. On March 8th, International Women’s Day, let’s unite again in our communities for A Day Without A Woman. Over the next few weeks we will be sharing more information on what actions on that day can look like for you. In the meantime, we are proud to support Strike4Democracy's #F17 National Day of Action to Push Back Against Assaults on Democratic Principles. This Friday, February 17th, gather your friends, families, neighbors, and start brainstorming ideas for how you can enhance your community, stand up to this administration, integrate resistance and self-care into your daily routine, and how you will channel your efforts for good on March 8th. Remember: this is a marathon, not a sprint. #DayWithoutAWoman #WomensMarch
Pink pussy hat optional.