Greta Constantine S/S 2012

Written by: Steven Carver

It’s another season for Toronto fashion week(s), and another series of shows to attend. Whether at the tents or offsite, there will be plenty of things to see. The first of the rogue presentations – held off the official LGFW schedule – was the eagerly anticipated Greta Constantine show. And anticipated it was, since guests waited almost two hours for the show to start.

Unlike previous seasons, this show wasn’t held at the Audi dealership, but the Century Room. A curious choice, to be sure. But, there was an obvious reason to show in a smaller space: to see the details of the clothes up close.

Starting off with a series of draped jersey looks in juicy tones – persimmon, berry, aubergine, et al. – was a tonal explosion for the eyes. It’s not like this was a surprise, since designers Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong are known for their flair with this kind of fabric.

After the sweet, came the sombre. It was a Rick Owens moment. Think of it as Gothic lite. The blacks, whites and greys felt a bit off after being presented with such lively colours. It was a mind f**k, of sorts, which is what the designers wanted to achieve.

Showing more daywear than usual, there were plenty of separates on the runway. The layering options veered to the casual, rather than the dressy, with a selection of tops, tanks, shorts and shirts. Long, short, and every length in-between, there was a variety of looks: a great pair of pants, a beautiful, kimono-inspired LBD, long column dresses, leather accents, slits up to there.

While their Ezra Constantine menswear skews more urban – and less pretty – than their women’s line, this time the shapes had a more feminine touch. Comprised of mostly clingy tank tops and hoodies, and drawstring pants (most resembling those of the sweat variety) with dropped crotches, it wasn’t designed for a 9-5 kind of guy. True, it might be an acquired taste, but the line does have its fans.

With 51 looks (40 women’s and 11 men’s), the collection had too many options to choose from. Covered up? They got it. Show some skin? They got that, too. Relaxed fits? Yup. A bit more structure? Yup, again. A stricter edit would’ve elicited a tighter vision. It can get overwhelming (What am I going to buy?!), but that’s the point; Greta Constantine wants you to buy it all.

(Photos courtesy Jenna Marie Wakani via