Last night, Humber’s Fashion Institute hosted their annual fashion show Walk It Out: From Dusk to Dawn, at Toronto’s historic lakeside landmark the Palais Royale. The fashion show was produced and directed entirely by the 2011 graduating class of Humber’s Fashion Arts program, with graduating students from Humber’s Cosmetic Management Diploma program and Donato Salon + Spa collaborating on hair and makeup. Co-presented by the Fashion Institute, this year’s show featured local emerging designers Natalie Good (Andy Hall) and Taessa Chorny. Attendees were also treated to a retrospective on UK-based Canadian designer Todd Lynn, who flew in for the event and also showcased highlights from his London Fashion Week SS11 and FW11 Collections.
“This is the real thing; the students invite designers, hire models, supervise media coverage, plan a budget, lure sponsors and organize fund raising events. Their enthusiasm, passion and pride are apparent,” said Alvina Cassiani, Dean of Humber’s Business School. Like members of a fashionable little Special Ops force, the girls in black, with headsets in tow, did an excellent job with the fashion show. Media/industry/attendees were given clear directions (and a free drink) from the moment they entered, the seating arrangement allowed everyone to get an excellent unobstructed view of the pieces, the models were the real deal (many were at LG Fashion Week), the audio and lighting were better in quality than a lot of the fashion shows I’ve attended, and the choreographed live band was a nice touch. Sorry guys, there really isn’t an ounce of constructive criticism that I can offer you. It really was perfect.
Andy Hall – Toronto native Natalie Good’s label Andy Hall was launched in the summer of 2009. Good interned with designer Debora Kuchme when she was only 15 and went on to study fashion at Toronto’s George Brown College. Why Andy Hall? The name, inspired by pop artist Andy Warhol and the iconic female role of Woody Allen’s Annie Hall, both “serve as daily reminders to always push the boundries, think outside of the box, and stay true to the strength of femininity.” I can’t say that I found the collection as cutting-edge as claimed, but Good had some great casual draped jersey pieces, including slimming chevron printed dresses, a beautiful plum coloured cardigan, and fun Breton striped V-neck dress. I’m not a fan of black tights as pants and wished Good used less of, or a variation on this nasty relic from the 90s. Left uncovered, these tights basically Saran wrap a woman’s private areas and expose us to either a detailed anatomy lesson or genitalian peep show. If you’re going to go with tights as pants, why bother wearing anything at all?
Taessa Chorny – The second up-and-coming designer of the night was the very fetching architect turned fashion designer, Taessa Chorny. Having launched her label in 2009, Taessa’s designs balance a love of vintage fashion with a sexy modern approach. Each of Taessa’s pieces is one of a kind so that no other girl will have the same one. I can attest to the sexiness of her collection, as I found myself hitting on a Taessa Chorny-clad Taessa Chorny uncontrollably last night. The sexy design goddess was dressed in one of her one shoulder, ‘buckle-dresses’ that she admittedly snagged off one of the size 1 models after the fashion show. From two-piece bikinis (pictured below) to a spectacular white crochet dress (I think that there’s a low-cut variation as well), Chorny’s Southern France, vacation-inspired collection is almost as smoking hot and sexy as she is.
Todd Lynn – The London-based designer has designed for rock star heavyweights U2 and the Rolling Stones. Proud Canadian and Central Saint Martins graduate, Todd Lynn is one of the most important fashion designers to have come out of this country. Winner of the British Fashion Council’s 2011’s Fashion Forward Award, Todd presented a retrospective of his work along with highlights from his SS11 and FW11 collections. He was cool enough to swing by his hometown of Toronto in support of Humber’s Walk It Out fashion show. I’m a huge fan of Lynn’s work and feel that he’s one of the few true futurist/modernist fashion designers out there who work in that same edgy, fashion forward vein as the late great Alexander McQueen. His collections have been pure genius. Lynn is a master of illusion. The manipulation of texture using natural leathers, reptilian skins, as well as synthetics creates daring avant-garde designs that magically slim the physique and elongate the torso. He takes fashion into uncharted territory, exploring psychosocial themes and challenging our preconceived notions of modern individuality in the process.
For more photos of the Humber Fashion Arts Walk It Out: From Dusk To Dawn please visit the It’s All Style To Me Facebook Page. For interviews with the designers please click on the YouTube videos embedded in this post.