Set against the opulent backdrop of Trafalgar Square’s Canada House, Curated Canadian Collections was a unique opportunity to view pieces from some of the country’s most talked about emerging brands at London Fashion Week, as well as meet the designers themselves. Hosted by the Canadian High Commission, in conjunction with Toronto Fashion Incubator and the City of Toronto, the event featured SS19 collections from 13 designers in contemporary womenswear and accessories. From show-stopping evening wear to edgy faux leather, timeless pieces, innovative structured textiles in bold silhouettes, and true sustainable fabric technologies, this was a celebration of the best and brightest young talent Canada has to offer.
Bold statement accessories showed a sustainable and eco-conscious slant using ethically sourced materials; from Monoxide’s visual storytelling style to maximalist random acts of glamour in vintage stones by Alan Anderson and bold Greek-influenced geometrics from Victory of the People.
Also in attendance, Michelle Ross’s nostalgic motifs and one-of-a-kind pieces crafted from sustainable timbers by innovative eyewear brand Loch Effects.
Canadian First Nations designer Lesley Hampton’s collection ‘Foyer de la Vice’ drew inspiration from the works of Edgar Degas and notions around perfectionism, with each piece embodying both a costume element and performance wear in a primarily monochromatic palette of dramatic onyx silk against the implied innocence of white ruffles. The focus was on high-octane and elegant evening wear in embellished lace, sequins, tulle, organza, and mesh. SS19 was a visualisation of Hampton’s fascination with the world of the Parisian bourgeoisie from the Impressionist era.
Mississauga native Michael Zoffranieri’s influences for his tongue-in-cheek SS19 collection for Zoff was ‘Stronza al Spiaggia’, which translates as ‘Bitch at the Beach’. Zoffranieri’s vision was Barbarella in retirement, with playful cocktail and evening wear pieces that referenced pop culture whilst simultaneously creating a visual dialogue about the sexualisation and empowerment of the female form. Rich pinks and crisp greens were a part of Zoff’s SS19 colour palette, on the sheen of silk satins, tulle, flowing organza, and metallic tweed in a high-drama, high-impact collection.
Toronto-based contemporary womenswear brand Moskal expresses designer Stephanie Moscall-Varey’s fascination with shape and construction; the latest collection was inspired by her current muse Rita Bishop, an 84 year old ‘no nonsense’ Mid-Western farmer. We saw Moscall-Varey’s unique take on utilitarian workwear; silhouettes were strong and dynamic, using a unique double Pellon bonding technique to achieve the characteristic structure throughout the collection.’ Rita’ explored how our geographical landscape has been shaped by North American farming practices, with an earthy colour palette of copper and warm neutrals alongside bold pops of colour in rich mustard yellow and deep teal.
Designer Jilian Naiberg was inspired by the contrast of light and dark; pairing structured textiles with white eyelet cotton and soft denim for SS19. Naiberg’s brand Jonah Jay is entirely produced in polyurethane, keeping the integrity, aesthetic, and feel of a high-end leather but in a completely vegan and eco-conscious material. The label’s aesthetic is edgy, re-imagined cruelty free fashion with a distinctly contemporary twist on casual wear.
Miriam Baker designs timeless pieces geared towards women with larger busts for her eponymous label; Baker’s ethos is centred around inclusive sizing, pragmatic detailing, and tailored looks that can easily go from day to evening. SS19 saw very wearable neutrals alongside feminine lilac frocks and curvaceous tops in bold fuchsia pinks.
Katherine Soucie’s brand Sans Soucie paid homage to strong women and their contribution to fashion and art for SS19. Using waste textiles, deadstock, and remnants, the brand is proudly zero-waste and employed a proprietary eco-friendly and metal-free dyes to create colourful multi-tonal pieces with vibrant clarity. Soucie uses a sequential dye process to further eliminate waste and run off.