Are you ready for the next 4 Souls Years Giveaway? This week I have items by design duo John Muscat and Jennifer Wells known for their women’s knitwear collection LINE Knitwear.
The first time I was introduced to LINE Knitwear it was back in 2010. I recall watching an episode of Fashion Television where the designers prepared to debut their spring/summer 2011 collection at New York Fashion Week. The episode took viewers behind-the-scenes into their office and show room, and then the craziness of show day in New York. When I saw this I was so impressed and taken aback, “Can one really wear knits in the summer?” Why yes John and Jen proved this with a collection in earth-tone shades, floor length crochet dresses and sexy loose-fitting tops.
Fast forward a few years later the designers have launched a diffusion line simply called John & Jen which is youthful, colourful, fun and affordable. Who doesn’t love a combination like that? I’ve also met John and Jen several times and they’re just as friendly as they are talented.
For this week’s 4 Souls Years Giveaway one lucky reader can win two, that’s TWO, John & Jen summer sweaters valued at more than $200. Amazing, how can you not enter?!
Here’s how you can win John & Jen summer sweaters:
When designers show their collections off season, outside of the regular fashion week calendar, two things come to mind; the first is that you have a lot of cojones and the second is you have a strategic plan for revealing your creations to the public later than your peers.
Greta Constantine designers Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong had these ideas in mind when they presented their spring/summer 2013 collection in the Distillery District on Thursday, just over a month after Toronto Fashion Week was put to bed. The late showing also allowed for them to close the gap between the collection’s presentation and when customers can snap up their latest designs.
Kirk and Stephen have always marched to the beat of their own drum and after reading several interesting articles by the Toronto Star on the duo’s efforts to sell their clothes during Paris Fashion Week, I was salivating (in the fashion sort of way) to get my first glimpse of the clothes.
My seat mates for the Greta Constantine’s show were Richard and Marc of Toronto Is Fashion, and as we happily tweeted ‘til show time a server appeared out of nowhere with Stolichnaya vodka shots. Vodka shots on the runway you say? Oh yes, it happened. I politely declined the offer after visions of sliding to alcoholic oblivion, then onto the catwalk to become runway road kill flashed through my mind.
Once the show started I was transfixed by the graphic elements and subtle Japanese influences of Greta Constantine’s designs. The collection was developed in only three colours – navy, black and white – and the various silhouettes from cocktail dresses to one-piece jumpsuits and long flowing gowns had me adding every garment to my mental shopping cart. It was also very interesting to see their use of a new microfibre knit fabric, which I’m sure contributed to the fold detailing at the neckline and chest incorporated into the clothes throughout the collection.
The end is near! Actually, what I meant was that this blog entry concludes my Toronto Fashion week reviews. Hallelujah, cue singing choir of angels!
Day five of Toronto Fashion Week, the last day, a Friday; it was rainy and wet, and I had enough time to go home after work, change clothes and then zip down to the tents to catch the VAWK spring/summer 2013 runway show by designer Sunny Fong.
Funny thing when you reach home after a long day’s work, you never want to leave. The VAWK show was schedule to start at 8:00 p.m. and by 7:10 p.m. I was rushing out the door to make my way into the city and of course, because it was raining, traffic was stop and go the entire drive in. Didn’t these people know I had a fashion show to go to?!
The time was now 7:50 p.m. and I was stopped at the intersection of King West and Simcoe Street, and with only 10 minutes left until show time I was getting antsy especially when I still had to park my car and walk over to the tents. AH! By 7:58 p.m. I made it into the tents found my seat and all was well in the world.
For spring/summer 2013, Sunny Fong named his latest collection ‘Dita Khalo’ drawing inspiration from “the artistic and personal styles of Madonna and Frida Khalo… bold and sexy female, integrating shape, colour and structure.”
The first look on the runway was a sheer black and nude dress with cut-outs and lace overlay at the bust and midsection; this was followed by a leather Todd dress with. Look by look, I was captivated by the designs and then the other shoe dropped… Sunny incorporated a brass cone into the collection. You could hear the crowd roar and everyone’s cell phones flash as they snapped a picture of the model as she walked the catwalk with complete confidence. Cone bra a la Madonna!
Afterward I headed back stage to congratulate Sunny and I couldn’t resist asking him about the cone bra which was on everyone’s lips post show.
Me: Was the cone bra a must or was it added at the last minute? Sunny Fong: The bra came in at the last minute; we collaborated with jewellery line Niki & Lola this season. I told them our theme and they said let’s do it!
It’s Thursday, day four of Toronto Fashion Week, and I got cozy beside Nelia in the second row for Arthur Mendonça’s spring/summer 2013 runway show – blogger besties like to stick together you know.
I’m a huge admirer of Mendonça’s work and have been waiting to see his show for weeks; especially, when it was announced that this season marks his 10 year anniversary and that the collection was inspired by Japanese culture. Would we see kimono robes and models in geisha like makeup? We would soon find out.
The lights dimmed and the runway show began. First look was a white kimono-style dress tied with an obi belt, followed by pieces that showed the Japanese influence which inspired Mendonça’s collection without making it look too costume-like or overdone. Structured suit jackets in grey and coral showed off the sharp tailoring skills of the designer, while origami pleating emphasized strong lines and shaping in a strapless purple cocktail dress.
Now let me go on about the shoes…the moment the first model walked down the runway and got close my eyes zeroed in on her shoes. What were these curvy creations in pink, black and white complete with ribbon tie? And where can I get my hands on them? I snapped a picture with my faulty iPhone and uploaded it to Instagram.
In front of me blogger friend Anita (I Want – I Got) was also flipping out over the shoes. I leaned over to her and said, “Anita you tackle the model and hold her down while I steal her shoes, com’on we can take her!” I was only half joking.
The lights went up and the show ended, I was delighted to be among the crowd to witness Arthur celebrate his career milestone. Now…I think it’s time to have a serious chat with him and find out where I can get those heels!
When I tell my friends and coworkers that I’m attending the Joe Fresh runway show at Toronto Fashion Week their eyes widen and I’m instructed to provide a detailed runway report the following day or else painful torture will ensue.
So there I was inside the tents at David Pecaut Square on day three of Toronto Fashion Week. Lucian Matis’ runway show had ended and before I knew it the time had flown by and it was already 9:00 p.m.
My seatmate for the Joe Fresh was Anya (I’m the It Girl), it was our first time meeting and after an intense fashion blogger bonding moment and shoe comparison – we wore the same silver Maison Martin Margiela pumps – the show started. We whipped out our iPhones and our eyes were locked on the runway to document one of the most anticipated shows of the week in real time (aka: on Twitter and Instagram).
70s model Pat Cleveland opens Joe Fresh spring/summer 2013 runway show at Toronto Fashion Week
Legendary 70s model Pat Cleveland opened the show dressed head to toe in a harlequin print shirt and pant, her sassy catwalk combined with groovy dance music got the crowd pumped and I was on the edge of my seat resisting the urge to bust a move.
For Joe Fresh’s latest collection Creative Director Joe Mimran said it was “one of the most cohesive collections the brand has ever produced. By manipulating textiles, playing with colour and mixing textures we were able to create a fresh take on modern sportswear. I was inspired by op art from the ‘60s and used that to mix futuristic patterns, colours and cuts with a sophisticated twist.” Joe, no need to explain any further you had me at “Hello.”
The models were streaming onto the runway and I was adding practically every piece of the collection into my mental shopping cart for spring; a white leather doctor’s handbag and bolero (image #6), two metallic laser cut floral shift dresses (image #7 and #14) and a silver bolero jacket (image #17).
Naturally, with an older iPhone (which I have) it takes a bit of time to tweet and snap pictures instantaneously. Then the unthinkable happened… my phone crashed mid-show. NNOO! The screen went black and I got the half eaten Apple image, and all the while models paraded down the runway without a care. It was one of those moments where you wish you could PVR life, hit pause, rewind and then press play. Eventually my iPhone revived and I was able get a few tweets onto my Twitter feed before the show ended.
Once Joe Mimran took his bow for the finale I turned to Anya to ask her opinion on the collection and she said, “I liked the collection and I can afford it.” How true that is!
It was Wednesday, day three of Toronto Fashion Week, and the time was 4:15 p.m. I was tied down to my desk at work and thought there’s no way I’m going to beat rush hour traffic, park my car and walk over to the tents to see Lucian Matis’ spring/summer 2013 show for 6:00 p.m.
I sent off a quick e-mail to bloggers besties Nelia (Style Blog) and Sharon (The Backseat Stylers) to let them know of my predicament and I got rapid fire responses back.
Nelia: “You are cray, Kim ;)”
Sharon: “It’s LUCIAN MATIS!”
A few more e-mails followed between us, it included a lot of exclamation marks and caps lock on high use. Needless to say I got my butt in gear, hurried up to finish my work and miraculously made it into the city on time for the runway show. The verdict after seeing Matis show off his latest creations? I’m glad I didn’t miss it.
Titled MOSAIC the designer was inspired by the “beauty of the Moroccan art and its ornate elements.” The collection combines fabrics, such as silk, leather and fine cotton in a mixture of colours; earth tones, grey and blue in the beginning, and in the latter half metallics, red and black. The most coveted pieces on my list from Matis’ collection were the bustier with matching high waisted skirt (image #3 and #6), and a sheer silk blouse (image #5).
Ten runway shows down and an over flow of style concentrated at David Pecaut Square in the downtown core marks Toronto Fashion Week, also known by its official name World MasterCard Fashion Week.
We’re now into day three of T.O. fashion week and in previous seasons the focus of the runway shows are, of course, on the clothes and less about the accessories. Shoe worthy buzz during fashion week in Toronto is virtually non-existent or not very exciting; however, this week it was announced that Canadian womenswear label Pink Tartan will launch their first footwear collection with ALDO RISE, ALDO’s fashion week collaborations program. Finally some good shoe news!
Titled and based on the idea “The Shape of Things to Come” the Pink Tartan x ALDO RISE shoes made its debut during the label’s spring/summer 2013 runway show on Monday night. Audiences got a look a collection of trapeze-shaped heels plated in metal and available in the classic colours of black and white.
Pricing and a release date in spring for these geometric pumps has yet to be announced but stay-tuned my friends, I’ll make sure to let you know. In the meantime, let images from Pink Tartan’s latest collection take your mind off the wait for these shoes… only five months until March 2013!
Ever since Canadian designer Philip Sparks partnered with Town Shoes to create a collection of men’s footwear I’ve been persistently asking him when he would introduce shoes for the female persuasion. A few years have passed and now at the end of his partnership with Town Shoes he’s come out with a brand new collection of footwear for spring/summer 2013 in addition to accessories. And guess what? It includes shoes for women – woo hoo!
Last week Philip previewed his latest collection inside his store and I pulled him aside to talk about his latest creations.
The Souls of My Shoes: Was it a natural progression from making clothes to shoes?
Philip Sparks: Originally, I focused mainly on menswear and I had a lot of women buying clothes for men and requests coming from them to do women’s sizes with the aesthetic used in the menswear collection. The urge as a designer to do the odd dress or a jumper beyond men’s pieces was a natural progression and the same sort of natural progression happened with shoes. We’ve got men’s boots in the store and every woman who walks through the door says, “Do you have these in women’s sizes? Are you doing women’s boots like this?” A lot of it was due to demand.
Can you describe the process of making women’s shoes versus men’s shoes?
I follow the same process when making men’s shoes, there’s always a vintage reference in everything and I’m always trying to keep that within the brand; it’s not any more or less technical to do men’s shoes than women’s shoes.
What are your criteria for a well-constructed and well-designed shoe?
I’m obsessed with leather soles and leather linings. Leather soles can be winterized by putting a rubber patch put on them and if you need to repair them they can be fixed and resoled because they’re made to last. The same with the leather linings, they break in nicer and are more comfortable – I guess the components are my obsession.
Do you have a favourite shoe out of the entire women’s collection and why?
It’s either the strappy yellow heel or the woven flat in the grey.
If you had to impart a bit of shoe wisdom what would that be?
Look for things with leather soles and leather linings, if you’re going to spend money on shoes look for those things, because they can be repaired and they last longer.
What styles of shoes do you like?
In terms of women’s shoes, I’m moving towards the taller boot for the fall and a pump with less of a platform, a more refined feeling shoe rather than something clunky looking.
What styles of shoes do you dislike?
It’s less about what I dislike but just a couple of things that I’m moving away from right now.
Most memorable shoe you’ve owned or seen to date (can be from the past or present)?
The powder blue or yellow brogues from the collection, but before McQueen passed away he went into that clunky shape with the inverted vamp which was a really unique take on footwear.
What future footwear projects do you have planned?
I’m planning to continue with women’s footwear.
Off figure images courtesy of Philip Sparks Tailored Goods Inc.