From trendy hats to feminine ballet slippers, find out the latest news in the world of fashion.
We're going to suffer from "hat headâ this season. It was the first time in half a century that hats were fashion headliners on the runways. Most designers, from Prada and Dolce & Gabbana to Jil Sander and Michael Kors, topped models with everything from flowerpot and raffia hats to leopard and zebra prints. Almost any hat is a must-have-although the mushroom caps at Chado Ralph Rucci and the coneheads at Pollini were best left to the brave.
When wearing jeans and an untucked shirt over his baggy sweater, and with his long brown bangs sweeping over one eye, David Dixon looks more like a regular guy who made a wrong turn into a fashion show than one of Canada's hottest designers. Although he has won several awards-including the City of Toronto Designer of the Year--and has mentored several emerging designers, including current boy wonder Arthur MendonÃ§a, Dixon remains charmingly unpretentious. Ask him about his celebrity clientÃ¨le and he quietly says, "I should know this, shouldn't I?â (For the record, some of Dixon's celebrity fans include Wendy Crewson, Kristen Booth, Ashley MacIssac, Damhnait Doyle, Ivana Santilli, Sook-Yin Lee and Paul Gross.) Dixon's clothes also may have debuted in Jennifer Love Hewitt's action flick The Tuxedo, shot in Toronto. "I think most of the clothes in the pool-party scene are ours,â he says. "The stylist cleaned out our back room, but I haven't watched the movie so I'm not sure.â
Despite the celeb endorsement, Dixon doesn't seem interested in fast-tracking it to the top. This spring he celebrates the line's 10th anniversary, a feat few Canadian designers can boast. "I believe in evolution, not revolution. I'm aware of what's happening, but I've never been one to follow other designers.â
One of Dixon's signatures is fabric. Each collection highlights at least one unique accent. This past season, it was ostrich feathers used on skirts, pullovers and dresses. Each feather was individually sewn onto organza at a small mill Dixon found just outside of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Glamour is a word that people often associate with Dixon's work. He says that glamour-- the kind he saw on â70s television shows like The Love Boat--
was what attracted him to the business in the first place. As a kid growing up in Toronto, he used to hold design competitions with one of his older brothers, Glenn (now a guest designer on the TV show Take This House & Sell It), to see who could create the best dress. As for his own casual style of dressing: "I'm trying to look more established as opposed to looking like a new designer, but it's not a big deal to me,â he says. "I'm more into making clothes.â
Fashion meets compassion
Matt & Nat is about fashion with a conscience and a catchy marketing name. The MontrÃ©al handbag label is vegan-friendly, using only high-end synthetic leathers and the occasional funky material, like the stuff they use for boat windows. Inder Bedi began his company, Via Vegan, as a project for his university marketing class in 1997, while Matt & Nat came four years later. 1-888-304-2334; www.viavegan.com.
Madonna once again stars in a Versace ad campaign. Launched in February, the ads, shot by Mario Testino, portray Madonna/Esther as a regular working girl. Her friend Donatella Versace says of her muse, "She's an icon; she relates to women of all ages.â The contract is worth a cool US$10.5 million, plus free clothes for two years.
Photo courtesy of Marcio Mediera