Anastasia Lomonova

Anastasia Lomonova wins TFI New Labels competition but House of Groves has my heart

The Toronto Fashion Incubator's annual New Labels competition went down at the ELLE Event's TFI fundraiser last weekend, with Montrealer Anastasia Lomonova taking the prize, and Toronto's House of Groves winning the hearts of everyone else. (Also-rans include Diepo, Birds of North America, and Paris Li.)

Anastasia LomonovaAnastasia Lomonova

I've been a Lomonova lover for a while, but I always thought of her as more of a high-end streetwear designer, what with her simple, cute frocks. Her winning collection--which netted her a cool $35,000--was a nuanced, mature variety of dark looks that blew the crowd away with their detailing and offbeat silhouettes. Where did this collection come from?!

Sheer spiderweb-like dresses draped with sumptuous jersey or delicate silk ruffles, a minidress made from silk petals, and a gorgeously draped seventies-Halston-like swathe of gorgeousness shows that Lomonova has scooted up a few levels in her sartorial skills.

House of GrovesHouse of GrovesHouse of GrovesHouse of Groves

She may have won the competition, but another winner was present in the form of House of Groves, which was, I think, actually the superior collection. Jennifer Waters' collection was definitely a crowd favourite, and also showed an eye for timeless cuts, excellent fit, and classy carnality that was pretty impressive. She could've just as easily won.

Her equestrian-meets-A Clockwork Orange collection--complete with sexy-ass riding crops and wee top-hats--was, simply, exquisite. Check the leather-bodiced cocktail frock, the wool circle jacket, the femme sleeveless lace blouse, the full skirt, the sharp leather shortie jacket, and the leather-trimmed blazer with the puff sleeves.

I super-swooned, too, over the sleekly sporty jumpsuit with the ruffled neck and buttons up the back--sometimes covering up can be sexier than revealing all! I wants.

Damn, House of Groves--you should have won after all. I think I love you.

(Oh, and for the bonus round, each designer had to craft three Barbie-inspired Little Black Dresses. I was quite disappointed with Birds of North America's main collection, but one of the LBDs she produced was a classic, classic stunner. House of Groves' piece was perfect as well.)

House of Groves Clockwork OrangeAnastasia Lomonova Dress

Photos by Jonathan Loek.


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