It was a brisk Fall Friday evening in Toronto, but the Startup Fashion Week (SFW) Toronto Runway Show was the hottest ticket in town! Emerging designers, representing ready-to-wear and bespoke collections, delighted a room full of show attendees with their smart, sassy, glamorous, practical and even technological approaches to fashion.
The evening’s festivities started with a magical collection of children’s wear by Lulu et Gigi. The young models floated down the runway in fancy confections reminiscent of princesses and fairies. Each piece has some type of handwork to make sure each and every creation is unique. Through beading, embroidery or embellishments unique elements are added to each piece to ensure, that there are no two garments exactly alike.
Monkland Village, designers and producers of high-end outerwear for women showcased luxurious yet practical jackets made employing cruelty free and eco-friendly processes. The Montreal based company uses natural and sustainable materials for high-performance luxury, but with an ethical alternative to down filling and fur.
Jehan, a Canadian fashion fusion brand launched its first collection of Mosneaks. Mosneaks is the congregation of a thousand years old traditional handcrafted footwear “Mojaris” from South Asia, with a sleek white sole that has been inspired by the modern day sneaker.
Ukrainian born and raised Canadian designer Christina-Mariia Tsoklan presented Christina-Mariia, an elegant line of lingerie inspired by the French fashion of the 1920s Renaissance tradition made of Chantilly lace and Italian silk. Not only does Tsoklan (below centre) design the collection, she is also a model for the brand.
The House of Sass & Magic lived up to its name showcasing stand-out pieces that let the imagination run wild and free. The brand was founded on the belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to express themselves. The collection included elaborately embellished corsets, dresses, pants and accessories. The company offers both limited run ready-to-wear and custom-made outfits.
Streetwear brand, Ageselao presented a collaborative collection that incorporated Tap2Tag technology. Tap2Tag produces devices that help designers ward off counterfeiters and safeguard their intellectual property.
Another technology company SEAM, presented The Lotus, a personal safety wearable device that, when paired with the SEAM app, lets you record and share your GPS location with streaming audio, access your voice assistant and communicate hands-free at the touch of a button.
Ecommerce brand LUXFINDZ showcased a sumptuous, sexy and glamorous collection of stylish pieces that can be worn comfortably every day. The philosophy behind the brand is that even though a woman’s body may change over time, she can still look pulled together and show herself in her best light. It provides the modern woman a one-stop-shop for her wardrobe needs and allows her to mix pieces that are reasonably priced and well made with luxury designer items she may already own.
Celebrity guest model, Melanie Ng (below left) of Breakfast Television (BT) graced the runway wearing a LUXFINDZ faux fur camel coloured jacket and a black lattice-work inspired dress.
ISK-KA swimwear line displayed a sophisticated and feminine line of bikinis, one-piece swimsuits and accessories made of Italian fabrics and hand sewn in California. Created by Rachel Fox, the mission of ISK-KA is to create beautiful bathing suits that fit well, didn’t lose their shape or the brilliance of their colours.
Designer Oyuna Tuyssuzian of Kai & Klo has her roots in designing for the military and tailoring for high end designers. She brings this expertise to her collection. She believes in flattering a woman through great tailoring and fit. Her clothes are clean, modern and, most importantly, flattering.
Jonah Jay offers an alternative to real leather clothing. The line, manufactured locally and made of vegan leather, offers chic and hip ensembles that will convert even the most die-hard real leather lovers. The collection featured capes, jumpsuits dresses, skirts and blouses.
Bennett Bespoke Clothiers celebrated individuality and superb workmanship with a runway of custom made suits modeled by the clients who purchased them. Models included Paul Parisi, President of PayPal Canada, Brandon Olsen, Owner of CXBO Chocolates, Collin Joseph, Festival Director of Pride Toronto, Tim Jones, CEO, Artscape (owner of Daniel’s Spectrum), Steven Branco (pictured below), Editor-in-Chief & Publisher, Swagger Magazine and Devo Brown (second picture below), Host of Entertainment City and Your World This Week on City TV and Rogers Channel 2 respectively. Devo Brown was also the host for the evening.
Gigi Wang closed the evening with her wonderous showcase of Chinese inspired pieces. Ornately crafted dresses and costume-like pieces with intricate embroidery and details transported us to mystical lands.