Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Better Late Than Never: A Review of Toronto Fashion Week 2009

Hello,
My name is Carly Ekstein and I am a recent graduate from the University of Western Ontario. I graduated from an honours specialization in Sociology and Criminology. My intention were to continue on with law school, however, I have recently made the decision to follow my passion and try to step foot in the FASHION INDUSTRY. I have had the opportunity to be actively involved in diverse aspects of the fashion industry over the last few years. I have worked for the international retailer H & M as well; I have overseen five major fashion shows, including the Colours of Confidence and Free the Children shows. Most recently, I was employed by Canada’s leading manufacturer of women’s apparel; Phantom Industries Inc. In addition, I have been the assistant stylist for a number of print ad and commercial television projects such as the Dove Sleepover series which is a campaign to promote self-esteem (http://www.dovesleepover.ca/en/)


At Western, I was lucky to have had the opportunity to sit on the executive committee of theexclusive fashion club known as the Style Society (http://www.usc.uwo.ca/clubs/stylesociety/). Among its many other events and projects, this club produces a fashion and lifestyle magazine and so I have had the pleasure of being the co-editor in chief of The Style Review Magazine. I decided to take my passion just one step further and therefore I have experience running my own small-scale style consulting business which I plan to develop and expand in the near future.


I am going to tell you a little but about my fabulous experience being a lucky spectator of the runway shows at this year’s Toronto Fashion Week. I obtained these tickets and access to the fashion tent through an online auction being put on by Lawrence Park High School in their pursuit to raise money for a charity. Once inside the tent you realize just how exclusive the shows really are. Everyone is to wear their ticket (which is attached to a necklace type of thing) around their neck so that everyone is identifiable.

Fashion week VIP ticket

Many people at the shows are industry professionals such as media representatives, PR agents, sponsors, writers, fashion buyers etc. Besides scoring tickets through e-bay or some other online auction (like me!), the only two places I know where tickets can be obtained is through the Fashion Design Council of Canada or through the F-List (
http://www.f-list.ca/). Good luck to all of you fashionista’s who want to make an appearance at next year’s fashion week events – prices are quite steep…. Approximately $80.00/day. Fashion week spans about 5 – 6 days. In my opinion, it’s totally worth every cent.



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Fall/Winter 2009 fashion trends were vibrantly showcased at Toronto’s tenth anniversary fashion Week back in March. I had the incredible pleasure of attending LG Fashion Week for the majority of the week, March 16 – 21st, 2009. Fashion week was fun, exciting and overall a true experience. From the moment you approach the fashion tent, which is located just behind the outdoor skating rink at Nathan Philip Square, you become overwhelmed with hype, style, flare, passion and excitement. While I loved every single moment that I was in that fashion tent I will stop gabbing about how fast my heart was pounding and report on some of the key trends that will be emerging on the fashion scene for fall and winter 2009.


For a list of all collections and designers that were featured in this years fashion week, click here: http://www.lgfashionweek.ca/main.html

COLOURS – it appears to be all about greys, silvers and other neutral colours. While there were some lines that featured bursts of purples, blues, green and other such vibrant colours, they were the exception and not the rule. The rule of thumb for the upcoming season seems to be neutral and minimalist. OF COURSE black was a feature colour but that is a given, black is a fashion staple. In addition, there appears to be a resurgence of metallic inspiration. Shades of bronze, copper, gold and shiny silver were the focus of accessories, garment appliqu├ęs and other garment details.

FABRICS – while a wide array of materials and fabrics were used in the various collections, the most eye catching and likeable ones (in my opinion) were the heavy focus on vray and faux furs, leathers and feathers. Leather pants are making a hot come back and fur was seen as comprising full garments (jackets, zip-ups, headbands, vests) while also being used as the trimming detail on some other garments.

SILHOUETTES – It seems to me that anything goes by way of shape. The runway was showing every silhouette under the sun from tight skinny style pants to baggy harem pants. What was once called pedal pushers are now back in, however, they are more commonly known on the fashion scene today as three-quarter length pants. Wide leg pants, full pleated pants and leggings are still happening. With regards to length, the featured skirts appear to be on the shorter side. Above the knee was most popular. The power suit or more popularly known as the pant suit is back – in a BIG way. Matching jackets and pants/skirts are the way to go for fall 2009. Also, one piece jumpsuits or “onesies” are a key trend for the upcoming seasons.


Jeanne Beker (spokes person for Fashion Television) interviewing Joe Mimran - founder of Joe Fresh, Alfred Sung and Club Monaco

Shawn Hewson – one of the Project Runway Canada judge, as well as the founder of Bustle Clothing which was showcased at Fashion Week.

Ed Hardy Swim Wear Show


Other cool aspects of fashion week were:
  1. Seeing Toronto fashion legend Jeanne Beker – The face of Fashion Television
  2. Seeing Ashley Hart the model winner from last seasons project runway Canada, who also happened to go to my high school!
  3. Sitting directly in front of Imaan – project runway CANADA host
  4. Seeing Evan Biddle (last season project runway winner), Carly Wong and Lucian Matis’s last season project runway runner ups – showcase their new collections.
  5. Seeing/Meeting Robin Kay - a fashion designer but also the president of the Fashion Design Council of Canada and the founder of Toronto Fashion Week
  6. Seeing and meeting people who were models on Canada’s Next Top Model
  7. Oh! And… Travis Taddeo, one of the designers who showcased their line – he sat next to me for one of the shows and he is super cool! His line is young, fresh and hip…. He is currently stationed in Montreal but sells his stuff online. I would suggest checking him out.
Travis Taddeo's runway show

Ashley Hart, model for Linda Lundstrom - she was last seasons model winner for project runway Canada. She has had the opportunity to be on the cover of Elle Cananda magazine. She also went to my highschool at the same time as me.


me with one of project runway finalists...

Rethink Breast Cancer set up a booby booth (where women could go into a private booth and take a photograph of their TaTa's and then post them on the Rethink website) while I neglected to show off my twin's I showed my support by writing an inspirational and motivational message on the booby graffiti wall.
David Dixon Barbie Doll display.... he designed a real women clothing line inspired by Barbie and also to celebrate Barbie's 50th birthday

That is all for me at this time. If any of you have any further questions regarding the details featured in this article or if you would like to learn more about my fashion consultant business please do not hesitate to contact me: carlyekstein@rogers.com or 416-400-8094.

Stay fashionable and remember that “the world is YOUR RUNWAY” – be creative, confident and rock whatever you think is hip.

©X (Carly Ekstein)

1 comment:

Emilio said...

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good luck!! See you!