Fashion Column: Peek at Fashion Week
I flew to Toronto to attend LG Fashion Week’s 25th season two weeks ago. It’s North America’s second largest fashion week after New York’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
Twelve years ago, the first Toronto Fashion Week took place at the prestigious Windsor Arms Hotel close to the fashion and entertainment district of Yorkville in downtown Toronto. In later years, the venues were quite numerous and in various downtown quarters.
This year, big white tents replaced the more intimate and less mobile venues of past seasons and allowed for this season’s attendees to experience the first true New York-like fashion week atmosphere. The runway tents were set up right across from the famous Alexandra Theatre on King Street West in Pecaut Square similar to New York’s set up in Bryant Park.
In a Toronto Standard online story, freelance lifestyle writer and former FASHION Magazine editor Leanne Delap said she liked this year’s venue because the concept of tenting in the middle of the city made it feel like a true fashion week to her.
LG Fashion Week stayed truly Canadian, as 40 Canadian designers showcased their spring/summer 2012 collections to the media, public, buyers and other major fashion heavyweights.
Being part of media for Calgary Fashion I was able to attend all runway shows and sit comfortably in media reserved seating (sometimes I had the privilege of sitting front row), mingle with other journalists, fashion bloggers and designers, and had the great fortune of finding myself backstage more than once.
At first, the number of people wandering in and out of the tents was overwhelming and a little daunting. People were everywhere, ready to network, talk fashion and business and wanting to have their photo taken. I did not once encounter an unfriendly face and by mid-week, I realized most people shared the simple common love of fashion.
Runway shows were incredible to be a part of. The excitement, the fashionable people sitting front row, the rowdiness of the media pit that housed well over 60 photographers and videographers, and the runway shows themselves made for a bone-shivering experience.
Shows that stood out were those that incorporated conceptual art attitudes toward the showcasing of their designs (Krane), and designers who were able to keep things interesting by the inclusion of unconventional runway styles like having models barefooted (Laura Siegel), models smiling widely while skipping down the runway like innocent school girls (Denis Gagnon) and quantum physics as the inspiration behind a collection (Adrian Wu).
Another highlight was going backstage to film designers being interviewed. I would follow my colleagues Daniela Codreanu and Jacquie Jardine with my camera and capture them in action. Being backstage was possibly one of my favourite places to be as I find the behind-the-scenes aspects of things much more gripping and motivating.
Seeing make-up artists talk about what eye shadow to use for the next show, hairstylists spending hours on a model’s hair, and PR people running around frantically making sure everything is going accordingly really opened my eyes to the hard work put into delivering it to the masses in such a perfect and timely manner. We couldn’t help but feel special for being a part of the behind-the-scenes of fashion — this secretive world that isn’t usually experienced by the general public.
Watch for Calgary Fashion’s LGFW coverage in the coming up weeks at calgaryfashion.ca. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @Clairemig.