Beaufille

What it's like to show at Toronto Fashion Week

Beaufille may be a name that's new to fashion week. But as the masterminds behind the recently rebranded Chloe comme Parris line, designers Chloe and Parris Gordon are old pros.

"This is our seventh season showing, so we kind of had time to understand the ins and outs and what you need to be prepared for," Chloe says over the phone.

For the Gordon sisters, that meant not batting an eyelash when none of their models' shoes fit on show day.

"Basically we ended up with every model having shoes that were two to three sizes too big," Chloe says. "That's stressful because you don't want a model to trip or be uncomfortable. But it all worked out in the end - all the models really roll with these things.

"I think at this stage, Parris and I don't get too stressed out. We're more just excited - it's an opportunity to show the audience what we've been working on."

Show day passed in a whirlwind for the sisters - Chloe describes waking at 7:30 before tackling a litany of last-minute tasks like running errands, fitting garments to models, steaming garments and polishing jewelry.

"Our collection's been done since July, so it as basically just the stress of organizing a lot of little things," Chloe explains.

At 1:30, there was a rehearsal with a psychedelic rock act called Shakinghands. "We wanted a Quentin Tarantino rock-y sound" to complement the slick, gangster-influenced collection, Parris says.

"Basically, before you know it, after the rehearsal it was just getting girls into their looks, finishing touches for hair and makeup, and then the show began," adds Chloe.

The collection drew from both '80s mobsters (in the vein of Michelle Pfeiffer's character in Scarface) and the Italian renaissance, in keeping with the Gordons' tradition of pairing a historical era and a modern theme on the runway. Minimalist pieces in pure white or subtly ornate patterns were held together with ornate rows of grommets and festooned with crosses.

At 30 looks, the whole show was over in about 10 minutes. A 6:30 show time meant the designers were free to spend the rest of their evening kicking back, grabbing dinner and drinks with friends.

"I definitely feel proud today," Parris says. "I definitely feel accomplished. We put a lot of work into this collection. We tried to create a perfect atmosphere, and our vision was executed exactly the way we wanted it to be."

The sisters say the show, the first under the Beaufille name, was a milestone of sorts - one that makes the renaissance theme seem all the more appropriate. "This one kind of had a different significance for us, just because of where Parris and I are at," Chloe says. "I think our vision is more solidified as designers, and this is definitely a reflection of that."

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.

Photo from backstage at the Beaufille runway show on Monday October 21st 2013 by Mauricio Calero


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