The shOws hit Toronto last week premiering the Spring/Summer 2014 collections of four prominent Canadian designers. The shOws are Toronto’s pre-fashion week, if you will, a showcase of some of Canada’s best emerging, and established, fashion talent. The shOws are held in the loft of the Andrew Richard Designs building and hosts crowds much smaller than fashion week. Twice a year, four designers are selected to present their collections and this year’s designers were: Bellavance, Calla Haynes, Steven Tai, and Jeremy Laing.
Nolan Bellavance and Ava Hama, the design duo behind Bellavance, can find inspiration from almost anywhere. In their post-runway-show interview, they revealed that some of the knits in their collection were inspired by Nolan’s socks. While, the designers spoke casually about their inspiration, the actual labour that went into its creation was revealed. Their patchwork pieces came to life by sewing multiple strips of fabric together until it formed the shape that they were looking for. Lightweight knits and loose fitting pieces made this collection approachable despite the sheer time and talent that went into producing each piece.
Starting the show to the famous Beach Boys’ ‘California Girls’ tune, Calla Haynes’ presentation saw brightly coloured one-piece swimsuits, models donning baseball caps with pin straight brims, and dresses with scuba-cut shoulders. Calla’s Spring/Summer collection was made up of lightweight knits, tweeds made of paper, and multi-layered prints. This collection was a great blend of complex innovative fabrics disguised under bright, fun and laid-back pieces.
Steven Tai’s Spring/Summer collection brought with it a characteristically Parisian feel. Minimalism was achieved by the incorporation of loose fitting pieces with basic shapes, including fuller skirts. Monochromatic style was achieved by pairing white-on-white pieces. Subtle accent colours, such as a light peach shade were used, in addition to a bright yellow dress, were integrated into the collection. Overall, this collection was as chic as effortless chic gets.
Jeremy Laing is no rookie to the shOws. Having capped off many a season of the shOws, his presentation is always the highly anticipated finale. In his Spring/Summer 2014 collection, Jeremy gave us a glimpse into some of his favourite childhood memories, including Tiger-Tail ice cream (which he has learned is a Canadian thing). The 90s don’t exactly bring up memories of high fashion. But, this collection made transparent jackets, subtle midriffs and candy-coloured clothing seem chic and current. Perhaps the only thing that was missing was slap bracelets.
To read more about the shOws, visit the website here: http://theshows.com/index.php