Outerwear reigns on the Canadian runways
The Fashion Week calendar has long been over in major fashion capitals like Paris and Milan, but in Canada, following stops in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, runway presentations are just coming to an end with one last runway event happening in Toronto, April 18 to the 22.
From the eco-friendly men’s styles seen at TOM* in March to the body positive movement that sparked international headlines during Vancouver Fashion Week earlier this month, Canada’s unofficial “fashion month” welcomed well-over four dozen brands and designers.
On the Canadian runway, if there’s one item that stood out this season it’s outerwear and the ability of Canadian designers to combine fashion with function and warmth with style in this Canadian staple.
Kicking off the Canadian runway calendar on February 28 as part of FashionCAN, Canadian outerwear brand Sentaler presented a collection of chic outerwear in hues of pink, blue and red. The luxury outerwear company, established in 2009 by Bojana Sentaler, is known for its signature Wrap Coat with Ribbed Sleeve made of a blend of wool and alpaca. The runway event was quite the show too, as ballerinas danced down the runway modeling the fall/winter collection.
At FashionCAN, Canadian outerwear veteran Rudsak also hit the runway, showcasing their recent collection of leather jackets, as well as down and wool coats for both men and women. The line from the Montreal-based company, which has been around since 1994, was both fashion-forward and functional.
Fellow Montreal-based brand Lamarque, also known for its staple leather designs, debuted several leather and wool coat styles as part of its fall/winter 2017 womenswear collection at FashionCAN as well. Styles for men and women were both fitted and at times avant-garde.
Though not present on the Canadian runway this season, Rudsak and Lamarque face stiff competition from the likes of Mackage and M0851, two fellow Montreal outerwear brands that specialize in leather and retail at a slightly higher price point.
Meanwhile at TOM*, men’s outerwear designer Pascal Labelle made his runway debut, showcasing a large collection of outerwear for men. Styles varied greatly from leather moto jackets with shearling collars to military style pea coats.
Toronto-based startup North Aware also made its TOM* debut this season with a unique take on the parka. The company broke a Canadian record with their Kickstarter campaign that earned more than $3.25-million last fall for the launch of their “smart-parka”, the only winter coat of its kind with built-in gloves and scarf, special tech and glasses pocket, and several other features. The Smart Parka comes in a variety of colours and styles, including three for men and four for women.
Furthermore, at the inaugural season of Toronto Women’s Fashion Week (TW), Joseph Tassoni's Fall/Winter Collection, titled "The Queen of the North", was characterized by outerwear styles such as capes, Mongolian fur vests and several wool jacket styles. Styles were modeled by both men and women.
On April 18th, Toronto’s alternative fashion week, Fashion Art Toronto (FAT), will kick off. Though there are no dedicated outerwear brands presenting, I wouldn’t be surprised to catch some standout outerwear pieces among the runway collections that will be presented.
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