Fashion

L'Oreal Fashion Week: F/W 2008 review

Elle Canada
Fashion

L'Oreal Fashion Week: F/W 2008 review

Evan Biddell
Fresh off his first place win on Project Runway Canada, the much buzzed about debut collection from Vancouver native Evan Biddell kick started the 15th edition of L'Oreal Fashion Week. Inspired by Japanese anime warriors for Fall 2008, models were swathed in raw silks, airy organic cottons and heavy knit wools to exemplify his philosophy of sustainable, yet sexy design. All fabrics for the collection are eco-friendly and renewable leaving little footprint on the environment. Although some may argue that his aesthetic hasn't evolved enough from his Project Runway days (namely the pleated and hooded cocktail dresses), the talent was mostly in the details: Bright silk Obi-inspired belting in shades of olive and fushia, sexy cowl-neck backs and oversized bell sleeves. At once bold and architectural, Biddell's collection exemplified casual chic, which is sure to be a favourite for all of the young fashionistas in the crowd.



Paul Hardy
Calgary designer Paul Hardy continues to impress. Music that was at turns carnivalesque and cabaretesque played in the background as models strutted down the runway in equally theatrical creations. Blushing nudes and layered blacks dominated the show, but how colour was presented (in the slit of a skirt or the folds of an appliqué) kept the neutral palette interesting and evocative. We loved his bustiers and skirts adorned with giant flower appliqués. Kimonos and bows added an elegant oriental flavour to the mix, and fur vests and feathered capelets offered a glam finish. Even the swim caps adorned with glass embellishments were chic. The beaded bibs, however, were simply curious.



Preloved
They may have lost their flagship store to the Queen West fire, but Preloved founder Julia Grieve and head designer Peter Friesen, rise from the ashes with their impromptu appearance at fashion week featuring a collection, appropriately dubbed, No Love Lost. With smokey eyes and fire engine red lips, models walked the runway in funky designs constructed from reworked vintage sweaters and suits that were a sexy take on après-ski with an infusion of old-world European charm. Grieve and Friesen took their bows to a standing ovation at the end of the show, as “Burning Down The House” by Tom Jones and The Cardigans blared from the speakers.


Joe Fresh Style
Leave it to Joseph Mimran of cheap chic label Joe Fresh Style to close day 1 of L'Oreal Fashion Week with a bang! When the lights came on, fashion “it girl” and Toronto native, Coco Rocha turned the corner and stomped down the runway (oh so fierce!) with her signature strut, bringing more than a little supermodel glamour to the tents. Part equestrian (twill jodhpurs, fitted jackets, equestrian hats), part mod (tulip coats, jumper dresses, berets) with a few killer accessories thrown in (must have patent leather gloves!), this collection will have fashionistas running to Superstores for a hit of Joe in the fall.
Nada
‘80s soap opera Dynasty proved to be the inspiration point for Nada's fall
2008 collection. The show's leading ladies: Dominique, Krystle and Alexis
were immortalized in the collection by way of sharp wool pinstripe powersuits, one-shoulder cocktail dresses with studded details and jersey wrap dresses. The colour palette was a glamorous mix of saturated colours: cobalt blue, magenta, copper and black while the silhouette was strong with big shoulders and cinched waists. Although most of us are skeptical of the ‘80s return in fashion, this was an example of how good it can be.



Joeffer Caoc
Joeffer has always been one of our most anticipated shows and this season he did it again. After a spring collection of bright neon hues, Caoc presented a more muted vision for fall 2008, but rest assured, this was far from dull. The purple liquid viscose sheath dress had our mouths watering as did the pony aubergine coat with vinyl trim. The draped matte jersey dresses became an instant obsession while the black skin stretch bomber jacket paired with classic double wool pants was a must-have for the office. Caoc has consistently proven that sophisticated tailoring, and classic cuts will never go out of style. Lucian Matis
With black as his theme, Romanian-born designer Lucian Matis set out to shine a light on the many sides of black with his dramatic collection of structured coats, laser-cut dresses, sheer overlays and shiny black sequined gowns. In spite of varied (almost confusing) interpretations, the collection rarely left the realm of the somber, making it not entirely unlike a funeral procession of eccentric European aristocrats. Impeccably executed, with intricate detailing for days (ruffles, pleats and piping galore!), each piece (though in need of some editing) was a definite showstopper.

Andy The-Anh
Montreal-based designer Andy The-Anh explores the dualities of soft and hard, fluid and rigid in his latest collection for Toronto Fashion Week. Sophisticated chiffon gowns and billowing blouses set off chic, tailored jackets, high-waisted trousers and shiny metallic power suits to perfection. Dramatic collars, cinched waists and float-y transparent layers celebrate the female body in ways that are bold yet graceful, proving yet again, that no one designs women's clothing quite like Andy. And starting in May, Toronto style mavens will be able to get their Andy fix at his new Yorkville boutique.

Nada
‘80s soap opera Dynasty proved to be the inspiration point for Nada's fall
2008 collection. The show's leading ladies: Dominique, Krystle and Alexis
were immortalized in the collection by way of sharp wool pinstripe powersuits, one-shoulder cocktail dresses with studded details and jersey wrap dresses. The colour palette was a glamorous mix of saturated colours: cobalt blue, magenta, copper and black while the silhouette was strong with big shoulders and cinched waists. Although most of us are skeptical of the ‘80s return in fashion, this was an example of how good it can be.

Rudsak
Rudsak made it know that theirs are the must-have coats of the season. While many of the samples paraded out were slight variations on signature styles of yore (long, lean wool coats with interesting collar and leather detail, as well as sharply tailored leather jackets), the Quebec label added plenty of statement-making newbies to its repertoire. We loved the super-rich cream, chocolate and smoke grey shades. And the ultra-feminine puffed A-line coats that were cinched at the waist and voluminous at the sleeves and collars were our favourite silhouette. Fur continues to be big (vests, collars and fur-lined hoodies), and the loose 80s-style leather jackets are sure to be a hit.

Pink Tartan
It was all about Gaellic punk at the much-anticipated Pink Tartan show. Dock Martins, tartan and pleated school girl skirts led the collection that sometimes veered into new romance territory, even as white button-downs stayed true to the label's preppy roots. Bubble dresses added whimsy, and cobalt electrified in myriad forms. Chains draped from pockets, zippers and military buttons added interest. The ghost of Oscar Wilde appeared in pants both skinny and trousered, tailored coats, vests and ties. Altogether, entirely wearable, yet fashion-forward, which is why we love this label so.
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L'Oreal Fashion Week: F/W 2008 review