VAWK by Sunny Fong Spring 2011
Sunny Fong is more than just the winner of Project Runway Canada season two. The man has been creating "luxury" long before his re-introduction to Toronto fashion post-reality TV. With the help of model agency owner Ben Barry, the brand has been reinvented to assess a more luxurious clientele. The venue selected - the AGO - accepts this challenge positively by providing, as one editor puts it, "an intimacy that cannot be matched by any show during fashion week."
Light cascades through the high-ceilinged art space as models - sometimes awkwardly - walked the makeshift runway, but with "intimacy" as an important effort in Fong's production, each member of the audience is up close and personal with the hits and jarring misses.
The most expensive looking pieces were an assortment of embossed croc-leather boleros, paired with slim fit pants that did not necessarily always look as elegant. For one model, a pair of black silk pants were so slim, an unfortunate camel toe could be seen that distracted from the head to toe look represented on the runway.
Wonderful-yet-inconsistent was a multi-coloured tassel dress, fit snuggly to emphasize a waist - even placement of the tassels could have dismissed the allure of this garment, but careful selection ensured that fringe hung where fringe should (anywhere but the hem of the skirt and bust).
Mesh options were oddly detailed, with rock beads sewn on to the tight fitting black sheer garment. The look read more crafty than elegant.
Although there were distractions, Fong's use of suede and leather more than made up for any catastrophe. Suede skirts with intricate patterned cut outs (see: symmetrical diamond duo cut-outs) seemed effortless, despite the amount of work it would take to construct. A leather bodice could easily be adjusted to finish the look, but for runway the breasts pointed in a deceptively intentional way. The result - if intentional - seemed a bit 80s and a more rounded shell-breast would have seemed more refined and natural.
Last but not least is the variety of models represented on the runway. Ben Barry used his arsenal of "real models," ensuring that varied shapes and ages displayed wearable clothes (mostly) for a vast marketplace. An effort I can certainly get behind.