toronto fashion week

How to do Toronto Fashion Week without an invitation

To fashion lovers without industry connections, Toronto's fashion week may seem like an impenetrable fortress. And while it truly is largely focused on the fashion industry, there are still plenty of opportunities to get a taste of the action -- even if you're the editor-in-chief of nothing in particular. There's a party happening almost every night, and while a few are top-secret, invite-only affairs, it's worth a shot trying to get on the list for others.

I scoured our events section (and my own social calendar) to find fashion-focused events that are open to the public -- and a few that are RSVP-only, but don't require formal invitations. A few of them aren't officially part of World MasterCard Fashion Week, but they're handily capitalizing on the influx of media, designers, stylists, and other fashionable folk into the city over the week. (Chat up that kid all the street style photographers are swarming, and maybe they'll let you know who to email to get on that list...)

Of course, parties aren't the main event at Fashion Week (actually, that depends on who you ask). If you're interested in catching a runway show, there are still tickets available to the public -- unless you're looking for a hot-ticket show like Mackage, Joe Fresh or Pink Tartan, in which case you may be out of luck.

Grab a ticket for the early shows, which often have space to spare, and you can see some great Canadian talent hit the runway for $25.


Danielle Meder, fresh off sketching runway fashions at New York Fashion Week, is bringing her artistic prowess and trend savvy to the Drake on the eve of Fashion Week. Her "performative lecture," Silhouettes and Signals, will be part live sketching demonstration, part dissection of fashion trends throughout history, with Meder examining the way clothing cuts and shapes reflect the attitudes of each era. Fashion nerds, don't miss this one. Admission is $10.


Toronto Fashion Week Launch Party
Spiro Mandylor, the man behind It's All Style To Me, teamed up with Philip Princeton Events to throw this WMCFW launch bash at the Thompson Hotel. (It's also an afterparty of sorts for VAWK, with designer Sunny Fong set to attend after his runway show earlier that evening.) Get there early (right at 9) and dress to impress (obviously -- this is Fashion Week, people). To get your name on the list, RSVP "yes" on the event's Facebook page, and email with your name, affiliation and guests. (Mandylor's also planning an afterparty for Triarchy Thursday night; check his Twitter for details.)


Christopher Bates Official After Party
Christopher Bates designs sharp suiting and menswear, so it only stands to reason that his afterparty, a part of Brassaii's Les Nuits series, will be a glitzy, bottle-serviced sort of affair. DJ Undercover and Mike Toast will provide the tunes. Email to RSVP.


Midnight MRKT
The "pop-up night market" comes to Toronto way more often than twice a year, but the event's one-year anniversary bash happens to dovetail nicely with the conclusion of Fashion Week -- they're even billing it as a WMCFW closing night party. Expect tunes (from Lucie Tic, Johnny Hockin, Just b and DJ hey! dw), snacks, and a whole ton of indie fashion for sale (including pieces from Emily Woudenberg and Homegrown Boutique). Admission is $5; bring extra dough for all the stuff you'll want to take home.


Mackage Preview and Appearance
Fashion Week's wrapped up, but even though they're bringing down the big top at King and John, Mackage's design team are sticking around to bring their fresh-off-the-runway designs (yep, the ones they were showing four days ago) to Holt Renfrew on Bloor St. The design duo, Eran Elfassy and Elisa Dahan, will be available to meet the public, so you can congratulate them on the sweet leather jackets we already know will be all over the runway. For mega-early adopters, special pre-orders will be available for certain handbags and outerwear.

WMCFW Closing Party
Rumours have been swirling for the past few weeks that New York mid-2000s super-DJs the Misshapes would be headlining a post-WMCFW party. Turns out that dream is real: The duo (featuring front-row fixture Leigh Lezark) is set to spin at Cube, at a party that will feature "Canadian supermodel (that cannot be named)". (So, y'know, if anyone sees Coco Rocha hanging around this week, you let just let us know.) Check their Facebook event for more info.

What did I miss? Add more ideas to the comments below.

Photo by Mauricio Calero

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