arts and fashion week

The top 5 looks from Arts & Fashion Week, 2012

Last week the rich aroma of chocolate wasn't the only thing drawing crowds down the otherwise sleepy Sterling Road. Lit up with bright red lights and pumping out beats by DJ Daniel R. Wilson, Toronto Arts & Fashion launched its 7th annual week of runway shows and art exhibits under its new moniker (Toronto "alternative" fashion week was axed). The new venue treated crowds to a spectacle of 200 national and international fashion designers, visual artists and performers.

Though much of FAT ends up being more spectacle than wearable fashion the below five designers stood out for the unique yet wearable collections.

armour seema

As part of Tuesday's theme, Landscapes, Armour by Seema made a statement with her flowy collection of dresses, skirts and tops in ultra girly florals and petal shaped chiffon accented by panels of caramel and black leather that bound itself around shoulders, waists and torsos. Drawing inspiration from historical masculine body armour, the collection perfectly embodied girly and feminine with a hint of edginess. At Saturday's fashion market, the leather armour pieces were flying off the shelves.

rachel sin

Crowd favourite Rachel Sin kicked off the runway on Wednesday for Cityscapes. Originally trained as an architect, Sin's collection reflected a strong attention to detail and many trends seen in past fall collections of Stella McCartney and Balmain including colour-blocked double-breasted jackets, sleek tuxedo-style pants with lace panelling and zig zag sequin minis with exaggerated shoulders. Jewelry and accessories from Demu Label added the perfect accent of spikes and fur.

zent 2012

Menswear label Zent got some buzz prior to Thursday's Bodyscapes show and didn't disappoint with its reinterpretations of classic manly looks like leather pants, jeans and t-shirts. The collection had a Euro-beachy vibe as models strode down the runway in flip flops and light fabrics that really defined (and sometimes clung) to their well-maintained bodies. Micro-herringbone, hounds tooth and punches of tomato and cobalt kept the otherwise neutral palette fresh and summery.

david wigley

Following right after Zent was Worth by David C. Wigley, a sustainable and eco-friendly collection centering on the theme of life and death, rebirth and reincarnation. The first few models were bathed in heavy blankets, chunky knits and draped tartan followed by lighter looks with metallics, fringe and bright kaleidoscope prints. If the juxtaposition wasn't clear enough, accents of skulls and bones, birds and feathers were used to drive home the theme.

pedram karimi

On the final day of shows, Pedram Karimi put Futurescapes in perspective with his structural collection of unisex pieces focusing on clean lines and minimalist shapes. Boxy tunics, leather panelling, structural back details, rounded shoulders, zippers and raw cut edges presented a modern futuristic look that was in no way gimmicky. The off-white and black palette kept the focus on shape and structure.

Writing by Simone Olivero. Photos courtesy of Vasko Photography.

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