Rogue fashion week

Rogue fashion week and the shOws preview

Toronto's unofficial rogue fashion week starts Tuesday with a busy schedule of designers who want to exert more artistic control, get out from under Joe Fresh's shadow, or soften up the media with a few free cocktails-- sometimes all of the above. Whatever the motive, rogue fashion week always boasts some of the season's buzziest shows. Unfortunately for fashion fans, they're all invite-only (although The shOws plans to stream collections live). Here's the rundown.

Tuesday, March 6
6:00PM - Basch & Lovas (99 Sudbury)
This will be Wesley Badanjak's first collection for the label formerly known as Basch by Brandon Dwyer. Expect a line of cocktail dresses and eveningwear that looks like a looser, slightly sexed-up version of Laura Petites, if Laura wanted to get laid.

Wednesday, March 7
7:00PM - Mackage (55 Mill Street)
The Montreal-based duo usually shows at New York Fashion Week, so it's a big coup for Toronto to get them back here. The brand specializes in outerwear (imagine that, being from the frigid North), but also does everything from shorts to dresses. Expect sleek silhouettes with a modern edge.

Thursday, March 8
7:00PM - Roxanne Nikki (TBA)
Winnipeg-born Nikki does separates that mix, match, and encourage wearers to break all the rules. Expect an abundance of textures and a futuristic spin on things.

7:00PM - Amanda Lew Kee (The Hoxton)
Lew Kee rocketed out of Ryerson in 2010 with a collection that was applauded by just about everyone (that doesn't happen here), only to disappoint over the next couple seasons as she stepped out of her black-toned comfort zone. A promo-GIF for her upcoming show is titled "ALK Rises," hopefully signaling a return of Toronto fashion's Dark Knight.

Friday, March 9
7:30PM - Greta Constantine (Arcadian Loft)
The masters of drapery are one the most-anticipated shows each season (and one of the hardest for bloggers to get into, but I'm sure that has nothing to do with why traditional media like it so much). Expect lots of luxe eveningwear, designed and priced for socialites and hockey wives.

Monday, March 12
6:00PM - Lucian Matis (Fairmont Royal York)
This Project Runway Canada alum always puts on a good show that draws everyone from top editors to ladies who lunch. Glam eveningwear is where he works his magic, and as long as he remembers that real women have curves, it should be a great collection.

Monday, March 19 - the ShOws
TBA - David Szeto (The Ritz Carlton Toronto)
TBA - Ruffian (The Ritz Carlton Toronto)

Tuesday, March 20 - the ShOws
TBA - Jean-Pierre Braganza (The Ritz Carlton Toronto)
TBA - Jeremy Laing (The Ritz Carlton Toronto)

The shOws aims to bring some of Canada's most talented and creative designers home each season to present their collections without incurring any production costs (thank you, P&G). Expect architectural artistry from David Szeto and culture to clash with counter-culture in cult label Ruffian's show. If NYFW is any indication, Jeremy Laing will show fewer tent-like dresses and jumpsuits, and more tailored separates. I'm most looking forward to Jean-Pierre Braganza's sharp shapes and clean graphic prints.


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