The ShOws (David Szeto and Ruffian F/W 2012)


Although most fashion capitals schedule their fashion weeks to last approximately 5-7 days, Toronto extends theirs to include rogue presentations. Included in these are The ShOws, held at the Ritz Carlton.

Conceived by Paola Fullerton, The ShOws are designed to host Canadian talent who normally show abroad and don’t have the infrastructure to produce shows in other cities. This season, David Szeto and Ruffian presented their latest collections on one day (Jean-Pierre Braganza and Jeremy Laing showing the following day) on a rather luxurious runway.

David Szeto kept the audience’s attention with his F/W 2012 collection. It was only after the first few looks that it began to make cohesive sense; it was a new vintage. Imagine old paper bag shapes in modern fabrics. Check print dresses and tops with well-cut wool cropped pants and some great black coats (especially one with a chevron detail). But, it was the series of crepe dresses with pleats in front and chain belts woven through, acting as belts, in shades of moss and navy that stood out.

Brian Wolk and Claude Morais, the men behind Ruffian (pronounced roof-eee-an) are known for their take on women’s clothing that pushes male-centric tailoring. For F/W 2012, they took a long walk down an English countryside. Hints of Downtown Abbey were not unintentional. Their woman was prim and proper, buttoned-up to the neck. The look was emphasized with heavy checks on wool melton coats, houndstooth patterns, leather trims, corduroy, and velvets in grey, brown, and black (with the occasional shock of red, blue and fuchsia).

Canadian designers may not always show on its native ground, but their talent is being acknowledged on a global scale. Creativity is not localized, it’s international.

Written by Steven Carver

Photos courtesy of Steve Alkok (www.stevealkok.com).

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