Toronto Fashion Week

Toronto Fashion Week Fall 2012 Preview

Toronto Fashion Week hits town next week from March 12-17. Here's a guide to help make sense of it all.

The name: Imagining itself to be subversive, the city's fashion crowd has banded together to take back the week by refusing to acknowledge its title sponsor. For the moment, we're plainly calling it Toronto Fashion Week, but I'd put money on how fast that attitude changes if Mercedes-Benz ever steps up (seriously, it'll be like a Publishers Clearing House win up in here). And of course, no one's quite subversive enough to wave off the free Peroni drink tickets handed out between shows.

The place: Under the big white tents at David Pecaut Square. They're convenient and spacious enough, but likely won't have any bathrooms. Inconvenient? Yeah. But it's also nice to know that no matter what row someone sits in, they still have to piss in the public toilets.

The people: Traditional media, some B-list talent, bloggers who'll be accused of seat-stealing if they come within arm's length of the first three rows, fancy socialites, and people who pay to watch the shows all the way from the back of the room. Those interested in the latter can purchase passes here.

My picks of what shows and designers to check out:

Monday, March 12
7:00PM - Korhani Home
My advice? Skip it. Opening night in the tents is like being trapped in a high school cafeteria from hell. Everyone will be sizing each other up, sizing their seat assignments up, and progressively getting bitchier as it becomes clear neither meets expectations. That said, I'll probably brave it all to see Korhani's seasonal spectacle of costumed awesomeness.

Tuesday, March 13
2:00PM - Adrian Wu
4:00PM - Sid Neigum
5:00PM - ChloĂŠ Comme Parris
Critics are divided on whether Wu's just what the doctor ordered or the city's most self-indulgent young designer since Amanda Lew Kee. Personally, I like him a lot. Neigum's collections are perfectly dark, futuristic, and androgynous. Sisters Chloe and Parris Gordon are known for their signature cutouts and getting the details right.

Wednesday, March 14
4:00PM - Vawk & Vawkkin
7:00PM - Bustle
9:00PM - Joe Fresh
Vawkkin is set to walk "real" women down the runway, although their definition of real still means over 5 ft 6 and preferably between sizes 2 and 8. Bustle makes the blazers my boyfriend looks hottest in. Joe Fresh is less about great fashion and more about the spectacle, celeb models, and the colour orange.

Thursday, March 15
5:00PM - Caitlin Power
7:00PM - Ezra Constantine
8:00PM - Pink Tartan
Last season, Power used Star Trek: The Next Generation as inspiration, so I'll forever respect her and the bold womenswear she creates. Ezra Constantine will feature more drape and jersey than most men could ever pull off. Pink Tartan will look uncannily similar to Joe Fresh, but higher end.

Friday, March 16
6:00PM - Joeffer Caoc
8:00PM - Screening: Five Years of Rad Hourani / Rad by Rad Hourani
9:00PM - Dare to Wear Love
Caoc is a master of sophisticated simplicity and the art of dressing socialites. Screenings at fashion shows have worried me since Denis Gagnon's never-ending, sponsor-splattered offering last season, but Hourani's return to Canada is a must-see. Dare to Wear Love asks top designers to create an outfit using six yards of African cloth to raise funds and awareness for the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which helps fight the HIV AIDS pandemic in Africa. Tickets are on sale here.

View the full Fashion Week schedule here.

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