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Fashion & Style

Feminine collection hits Men's Fashion Week runway

Posted by Natalia Manzocco / August 15, 2014

toronto mens fashion weekAfter being pulled from the first-ever Toronto men's fashion week just days before his runway show, allegedly due to concerns that the clothes were too "androgynous" and "femme", Mic. Carter's L'Uomo Strano line was reinstated to the runway yesterday - crop tops, full skirts and all.

Carter went public with the TOM event's staff decision to can his collection just days before it hit the runway, saying they were worried that media would skewer them for showing "womenswear" and suggesting more masculine stylistic changes. (TOM executive director Jeff Rustia maintains that it was due to the construction and quality of the collection itself, not the androgynous designs.)

After he posted his side of the story on Facebook, his complaints spread around social media and finally hit local news outlets. Carter says he was hit with "a really surprising outpouring of support ... I was quite taken aback, but really encouraged."

On Wednesday, the event's staff sent Carter a message asking him if he'd consider showing. Though he was initially conflicted about taking the offer, "I wanted to honour the collection, honour the positive energy that the fashion community - and people outside the fashion community - had projected into the idea behind the collection."

Though he showed early on the last day of TOM, his show was greeted by a relatively healthy crowd - a few of whom were journalists who turned up specifically for Carter's collection. Despite TOM's complaints of quality, there was very little that was sloppy or unfinished about Carter's pieces.

toronto mens fashion weekAndrogyny? Yep, the collection had that in spades, with voluminous skirts, a smattering of crop tops and Victorian-inspired neck ruffles mixed in with more aggressive and futuristic pieces, like his closing look, a showstopping sculptural black metallic jacket. Male models stalked the runway, shoulders forward, in pieces festooned with traditional markers of femininity - bell sleeves, pastel-coloured chiffon, peplum ruffles, and a few bonnetlike straw hats. Mixed in were nods to men's dress not often seen in Western fashion, like mega-voluminous pants and men's slippers from India.

toronto mens fashion weekThe effect was, by turns, jarring and thought-provoking. That's in line with Carter's stated goal as a designer - "continuing the dialogue within the fashion community about gender binaries, and really finding spaces for different masculinities and femininities."

toronto mens fashion weekHe's glad for the support that made that exploration possible at TOM. "You definitely have the power to do that, provoke societal change. But people have to be on board with that, right? And people were."

toronto mens fashion weektoronto mens fashion weektoronto mens fashion weektoronto mens fashion weektoronto mens fashion weektoronto mens fashion weektoronto mens fashion weektoronto mens fashion weekPhotos courtesy TOM/Shayne Gray



nutsack / August 15, 2014 at 12:02 pm
Pretension masquerading as art.
stephen / August 15, 2014 at 12:05 pm
get real.
bleh / August 15, 2014 at 12:15 pm
Regardless of whether it is "too feminine" or not, it sure is ugly.
Sean Patrick Sullivan / August 15, 2014 at 12:26 pm
Banning this designer because his menswear was too feminine would have been just plain wrong. But this isn't menswear at all; it's womenswear modeled by men! That's on top of poor fit, tacky textiles, uneven hemlines, and an early 1990s East Hampton colour palette throughout--the sort of work you'd expect from someone ejected from a third or fourth episode of Project Runway: Albania. But, as usual, the whining over diversity worked, and the line has been re-instated. A huge relief to the other designers at Toronto Men's Fashion Week, I'm sure. They'll all look like Thom Brown by comparison!
notafashionguy / August 15, 2014 at 12:28 pm
Yea, these are pretty ugly. My guess is that they didn't really feel any of this had market value because of it's femininity and therefore it's lack of audience--not because the organizers were sexist and don't like femininity.
Joey / August 15, 2014 at 12:35 pm
What the hell is this nonsense? Is this really what Mic Carter thinks men are going to wear walking down Yonge Street? Get real. No wonder TOM originally pulled the collection.
FUCK THIS / August 15, 2014 at 12:45 pm
Mic. Carter trollin'
Thomas / August 15, 2014 at 12:48 pm
Before start flipping out. Please recognize the difference between Haute Coutour and Prete a Porter fashion. These clothes will not be sold I stores and people will not be wearing them and that was never the intention of them. They are the initial steps in a trickle down effect where they will become something totally different only inspired by the basic bones of what you see here.
Kitty Cucumber replying to a comment from Thomas / August 15, 2014 at 01:13 pm
AND how many kilts caught on when we last had the skirt craze? Very few, I think. Thomas, you would be taken seriously if you knew how to spell.
reason / August 15, 2014 at 02:17 pm
It's hardly haute couture. It's just really bad.
Just Saying / August 15, 2014 at 03:43 pm
Technically speaking, haute couture must be at least 70% made by hand and approved by the Chambre de commerce et d'industrie de Paris...
SilverEdit / August 15, 2014 at 03:50 pm
I think individual pieces have potential, however a new stylist would have to be hired.
linden / August 15, 2014 at 06:43 pm
looks terible, especially the last three pictures
PP / August 15, 2014 at 07:42 pm
Congratulations L'Uomo Strano. We need more designers in Canada that take risks and have a vision and actually understands history. ANYONE can design a boring sellable collection and end up looking like everyone else. I think this is great work. I love the colours and shapes, each piece speaks for itself. Women are allow to wear men’s clothing, but when it's " perceived" to be feminine on men, society disapproves. Men have been wearing silk, cotton gauze, lace and soft draped silhouettes, elaborate jewellery for centuries. Men became conservative, adapting and changing to modern culture, be it baggy-boxy no frills to slimline shapes. Social class and our environment condemned the "masculine" male to look a certain way and mirroring each other. Canada lacks culture and identity and does not support "Canadian" designers and artisans like New York and other world class cities. Even most global major brands do not set up shops in Canada which speaks volumes. So keep your options open and don't give up.
Nolia / August 15, 2014 at 07:55 pm
What is this!!! seriously.This is just for controversy nothing else!!!
whutisthisshit / August 16, 2014 at 03:52 am
I really wouldn't dislike this collection if the clothes weren't so ugly. They have bad shape and ugly colours. Guys in skirts, totally okay. I'm sure there were a hundred more successful ways to put guys in skirts and still make them look gorgeous. Nice idea. Horrible outcome.
Objective Observer / August 16, 2014 at 04:18 am
Amazing. This guy used social outrage to get his women's wear into men's fashion week. How is a guy in a dress innovative? And ugly dresses at that.
Well, he's laughing while all the activists feel proud to have been duped.
JaDE / August 16, 2014 at 09:22 am
If I were a male model there would be no way in hell that you could get me to wear any of this crap in public.
Everybody! Look at Me!! / August 16, 2014 at 09:25 am
I feel sorry for the model in the fifth photo from the bottom; the one with the sensible blue dress, heavy necklaces and the awful Sunday-Going-To-Church hat. I don't blame him one bit for pulling that hat right down over his face.
cathie replying to a comment from Thomas / August 16, 2014 at 05:14 pm
I get that but how does this particular company make any money in the first place? Check out their website - based on their designs I can't imagine that anyone but a handful of people are buying their clothes, so where does their cash flow com from? because it can't possibly be from the sales of its product.
??? / August 17, 2014 at 01:30 pm
This is horrifying. The clothes look like something I pulled out of my grandmothers tickle trunk. I feel terrible for these poor men that had to walk down the runway wearing this garbage, and not even get paid. Yup, that's right, models at TOM were unpaid. It's all just so pathetic. This is embarrassing Toronto fashion even more then it has already been.
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