Andy The-Anh underwhelms at Toronto Fashion Week
Andy Thê -Anh's show inspired nothing in me so much as déjà vu. The flowing gowns that I loved of old have been mostly replaced by a somber, nearly-all-black series of overcomplicated or uninspiring dresses and separates that had me hankering for the Andy shows of old.
A lot of the pieces had a sort of late nineties/early noughties vibe to me: there was a maxi-skirt with the beaded waist and single large cargo pocket, and a wrap-dress cut from a thick pinstripe-like leather.
The more striking pieces weren't terribly exciting, and also had an air of decade-ago about them, like the graphic-print frock with the black crinoline, or the few lovely trousers, including a gaucho pant and the high-waisted pair with cargo pockets and skinny legs.
Even Andy's specialty--the fabulous gowns--were lacking. There were few full-length options, and the shorter ones were overladen with too many too-done design flourishes (a thick zipper here, a flap of fabric there, and ruffles, ruffles everywhere).
Take the one flowing silk gown in the almost-army print--the bottom of the dress was a bit on the bias and swirled beautifully around the model's mile-long legs, but the top was too complicated. A piece that worked somewhat better was the same dress, but with a simpler halter-neck (although there was still a distracting ruffle down the front--always with the ruffle!). It all felt a little early Proenza Schouler, and not in a good way.
The reception to the pieces was lackluster, too, I thought, but the crowd did clap enthusiastically for the designer himself. We're Canadian, after all, and it's the nice thing to do. Here's hoping he will return to form next season--we'll be there to welcome him back.
Photos by James Kachan