World Mastercard Fashion Week
David Pecaut Square
Wed, March 18
This year I am only able to attend one day of World Mastercard Toronto Fashion Week. I had hoped to attend more but sometimes life gets in the way. On this day we find ourselves outside the iconic white tents at David Pecaut Square readying ourselves for a full frontal fashion assault. Between shows, legendary model Paul Mason is seen jetting up the steps, probably hurrying back from grabbing a bite to eat before being rushed back to the stylist chairs to add some colour to his cheeks and maybe comb his iconic beard.
That’s all he needs really before he barrels down the runway like the man’s man model he is. Inside we chit, chat and schmooze over drinks with Daniel Wilson and model JayJay Kings.
Wilson was once heavily involved with Toronto Fashion Week in an official capacity as lounge DJ and unofficially as extreme-fashion-watcher and personal trendsetter. Tonight though he and Kings are more involved with FAT, but they return to their old clomping grounds to watch two shows, Triarchy and Klaxon Howl, with the rest of us.
They say the family that sews together stays together. Okay, so no one really says that, but it’s great that the brother and sister trio of Ania, Adam and Mark Taubenfigel have made a business together. For fall/winter the Triarchy trio set their runway show in a fictional camp and begin their presentation with a written welcome statement, rules and regulations of said made-up camp shown on screen before the show gets underway. It’s all rather, um, camp but it sets the mood for the fun fashions that will soon be seen on the runway (which in my mind is really a well worn trail deep in some forest of the camp they’ve aptly named Camp Triarchy.)
A camp though is an odd choice for their fall/winter collection considering most people attend camps in the summer (at least I did, and this is where that well worn trail through the forest memory comes from). Aside from some interesting stretch jeans with long rectangular patches on the knees for women, the men’s collection of denim plays it somewhat safe. Words like classic, marketability and wearability stroll through my mind. Their denim jeans, jackets are nothing we haven’t seen before, but Triarchy have personalized them this season by adding customized patches, decals and patchwork to most of these pieces. “It’s very Diesel two seasons ago,” my know-it-all friend and model Travis L’Haneff whispers as a model struts past us. Diesel is one of the few large brands that I actually like, so even though this collection is much more mainstream than I’m used to, I still enjoy it. Minus the patches. They are not needed. It’s almost like they were trying to make their basics styles more interesting at the last minute. But my days as a Boy Scout are over, I no longer need patches to show the world what I’ve done or what I’m about, and I’m not sure any grown man needs to either.
Klaxon Howl is a bit more eye opening on two levels. First designer Matt Robinson uses a diverse cast of un-models for their fall/winter runway show. Dreads, hipster side-mullets and even turbans are rocked by these male models who seem just a bit left of the usual limited model spectrum and speak loudly of Klaxon Howl’s actual Queen West client base.
Second, and most importantly, their presentation is clearly rooted in the early to mid 20th century but updated. Modern vintage is how Travis puts it. Words like historic, rustic and timeless, run through my mind as the models come down the runway. Made by hand and in small batches Klaxon Howl is built to last using solid construction techniques. Double-breasted pea coats with wide collars, fitted suits and sports jackets in bright colours all speak to me. Buy me they cry. And Buy them I shall.
Though these two very marketable collections seem to speak to two differing consumers they could easily be paired together. And in the end, isn’t that what transforms fashion into personal style?