Young Labels LG Fashion Week

Young labels at LGFW: KRANE, Adrian Wu, Anu Raina

Label: KRANE, by Ken Chow
Founded: 2004
Looks like: The modern urban male
You'd wear it if: You don't wear Klaxon Howl
You wouldn't wear it because: You wear Klaxon Howl
We'll see this in stores: Already on the racks at places like Barneys and Fred Segal Man in the US, and boutiques like the UPC here at home

Could have done without: The theatrics. I enjoy ingenuity in runway presentations (yet am annoyed by installations), but it's important to know when enough is enough. Broken into three acts featuring: "harness"-like collar concoctions meant to double as a form of men's statement jewellery; beachwear like short shorts that may not be a practical investment for men; and more traditional looks with new tailoring details like belted jackets one step above the trench.

The point: When I wrote about Krane last season, it was a solid collection limited to bags and basic menswear. This season - his second on the official schedule - Chow branched out in big ways; ways that most men will either like or like less. The bags are still spectacular, though, and new trickery in construction appear like jackets that convert into carry-ons.

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Label: Adrian Wu
Founded: 2010
Looks like: COMME des GARÇONS
You'd wear it if: You aspire to be a Lady Gaga-alike... or Daphne Guinness
You wouldn't wear it because: Who wants to look like either of those gals?
We'll see this in stores: Yes, actually. Wu is set to open a store-slash-studio somewhere in the core by the end of this year
Could have done without: Less hyper-conceptualization, more ready-to-wear

The point: Wu is self-taught, and you'd say he's ambitious too. Those two things can be a deadly combination, especially when one tries to make a living that depends on selling clothing that women would actually want to buy. This may be the reason a lot of people - both from word-of-mouth and subsequent print reviews - just didn't get what the young - but obviously talented - Wu was trying to do. I will give him credit for being completely different than any of his contemporaries. With a little more experience and just-right-for-his-britches vision, I'm betting his ready-to-wear pieces will convert a few of his harsher critics

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Label: Anu Raina
Founded: 2010
Looks like: The perfect thing to wear to a wedding
You'd wear it if: You're older than the median age of all the models, give (not take) five years... or you're Betty Suarez 2.0
You wouldn't wear it because: You don't look good in a tube dress or loud prints
We'll see this in stores: I hope. Raina's collection is simple, and was universally dubbed "pretty" by the post-show reaction
Could have done without: That one lime green/yellow tie-dye number

The point: Last season, Raina's first fall collection on the official schedule made me sleep while sitting. It was dark, predictable and less than you'd expect from an LGFW newcomer. But the girl has got mad skills in prints, and she's back with a smart collection because they're concise looks designed to sell. Raina, a Sheridan grad, is a textile master, and this is where she really shines. When she shoots, she scores.

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Photos by Jesse Milns


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