toronto fashion week

The top trends & surprises at Fashion Week (so far)

We're three days into World Mastercard Fashion Week, and the shows are moving along like a well-tuned machine: Models sweep the David Pecault Square runway each hour, fashionistas eagerly (at the start of the week, at least) queue to see the latest collections, street style photogs are snapping the city's best-known fashion players, and everyone at the tents is beginning to look chronically underslept. As we head into the final two days of shows, here's how the week is stacking up.

BIGGEST TRENDS:

White. And white. And white on white. Sometimes with black. Sometimes kind of cream-coloured. Mostly just white. These may be spring/summer collections, but designers had their minds stuck firmly in winter all week, with loungey shapes and relaxed minimalism ruling the day. Of course, each designer's aesthetics varied massively, but I was starting to get a little snowblind, not to mention counting down the seconds until I saw the next wash of sheer fabric.

For the first half of the week, even those who went for hits of colour stayed mostly tone-on-tone, with entire looks in the same hue - blues at Travis Taddeo, Laura Siegel, emerald green at JNBY, lemon yellow at Pink Tartan. The sunshine rolled in later in the form of coral, peach and orange tones, which snuck into Melissa Nepton on Tuesday and was peppered liberally through the Matthew Gallagher, Mackage and Joe Fresh collections.

FAVES SO FAR:

Melissa Nepton's Japan-influenced collection paired voluminous shapes with pixelated prints and textures in the ever-present black-and-white palette. (I still haven't gotten over that ingenious sheer/opaque windowpane fabric.) And after a week's worth of minimalism, I could have hugged the designers from Mackage, who infused each look in their incredibly wearable collection - made up largely of neutrals so soft you could almost feel the buttery and leather from the seats - with a healthy mix of colour, texture and shine.

BIGGEST SURPRISE:

Fashion Week regulars were abuzz after the Mercedes-Benz Start-Up competition for the first time crowned not one, but two rising designers as worthy of the top prize. Edmonton's Malorie Urbanovitch (who showed fluid, '90s influenced pieces) and Montreal firm Matiere Noire (who featured voluminously tailored looks with a dash of menswear influence) will split the honours, receiving coverage in FASHION magazine, a spot on the Fall 2014 runway, and industry mentoring.

MOST SCATTERED COLLECTION:

Tatsuaki's 2014 offering was a little all over the place - though the collection was segmented into satiny blacks and flouncy florals, and he adhered to knee-length shifts or fit-and-flare dresses, patterns, colours and details were essentially limited to single looks, so it was tough to find a common thread. But the designs themselves were sweet, with dashes of drama, and in a week full of minimalist slip dresses and monochrome loungewear, florals for spring actually did feel groundbreaking.

BEST RUNWAY WALK:

Model Mel Hwang's fantastically chill saunter down the runway at Tatsuaki.

BEST RUNWAY TUNES:

Beaufille might take the title for their live psych-rock duo. Second place goes to Travis Taddeo for mixing in the Velvet Underground's Sunday Morning during the finale. Honourable mention to Joe Fresh, for excellent use of Work Bitch.

BIGGEST EVIDENCE OF A SECRET FASHION WEEK STAR CHAMBER:

There have been an awful lot of sheer skirts with granny undies or hot pants on underneath. David Dixon, Joe Mimran, Melissa Nepton, Paria Shrivani: Are you guys trolling us?

YOUR PHOTOS AT FASHION WEEK: Whether you're Instagramming or have your DSLR in hand, we want to see your photos from Fashion Week. Add them to our Fashion Week stream by tagging them #FWblogTO in Instagram or by uploading them via this page.

Top photo of Travis Taddeo via George Pimentel / Getty Images World MasterCard Fashion Week Facebook page.

Thanks to MasterCard Stylicity for sponsoring our coverage of Toronto Fashion Week


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