toronto fashion week

6 designers to watch for at Toronto Fashion Week

Next week (March 14 - 18), hordes of people dressed to the nines will flock towards David Pecaut Square (and a handful of offsite venues) for Toronto Fashion Week. Industry insiders and those lucky enough to snag invites will see just what Canadian designers (and a smattering of international names) have in store for Fall 2016, sweeping and sashaying live on the runway.

Though social media will make photos of the collections available instantaneously, attending a show is more than just a visual experience, and this season's lineup is particularly promising.

Here are the designers I'm looking forward to seeing the most at Toronto Fashion Week.

Mikhael Kale (Monday, March 14 at 6 pm)
Having won the 2015 CAFA for Womenswear Designer of the Year, Mikhael Kale never disappoints. Though Canadian fashion is often considered "safe," Mikhael Kale's designs are far from it - season after season he experiments with cuts, textures and embellishments. Even the models' beauty looks are strange and stunning!

Malorie Urbanovitch (Tuesday, March 15 at 6 pm)
Malorie Urbanovitch's womenswear collections are mostly made up of modest and basic silhouettes, though the choice of colours and fabrics are anything but. I first fell in love with the Edmonton designer when she competed (and won) the Mercedes-Benz Start Up competition in 2013. Expect unexpected details like chartreuse velvet and feather sleeves.

UNTTLD (Tuesday, March 15 at 9 pm)
As Tuesday's last show, UNTTLD will no doubt end the night off with a bang. The label's Montreal designers JosĂŠ Manuel St-Jacques and Simon BĂŠlanger consistently shake up the balance between masculine and feminine, presenting edgy pieces that are still somehow absolutely exquisite and timeless.

Mackage (Wednesday, March 16 at 9 pm)
Every season, Mackage packs the runway room like sardines; their always-theatric presentations make them a must-see for everybody. This year, they're doing something wildly different by completely taking their show off-site to CBC Studios. I'm hoping for an elaborate set design; maybe a live band? Fur-clad aerial dancers suspended from the ceiling? Who knows.

Hayley Elsaesser (Thursday, March 17 at 8 pm)
Having just opened a head-turning candy-coloured flagship store on Queen Street, Hayley Elsaesser had to make it on this list. Not only are the men's and women's designs a sensory overload of wild prints, the casted models are always so unique and diverse that the entire show is an unreal experience. If I could only go to one event this season, I'd pick this show.

Greta Constantine (Friday, March 18 at 8 pm)
Closing the week is none other than Greta Constantine, a womenswear design duo made up of Toronto's very own Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong. Their attention to detail alone is worth gawking over, not to mention the design quirks they never fail to whip out!

What are you looking forward to during Toronto Fashion Week? Add your suggestions to the comments.

Photo by Mauricio Calero.


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