Runways and Showrooms

Toronto Fashion Week: Holt Renfrew Presents Fall 2011 – Can’t Live Without Canadian Fashion

With Toronto’s Rogue Fashion Week having come to a close with the Greta Constantine and Ezra Constantine show, it seemed almost symbolic (of what, I’ve yet to determine) that designers Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong’s lines then took part in Holt Renfrew‘s opening show for the official LG Fashion Week mere days later. Joined by top Canadian designers Denis Gagnon, Jeremy Laing, Lida Baday, Pink Tartan, Smythe, Todd Lynn, TWENTYCLUNY, Wings + Horns and, curiously, Canada Goose, to make up this season’s line-up, the cast of the Holt Renfrew Presents Fall 2011 edition looked almost identical to the Spring 2011 show but felt quite different. Gone were Mikhael Kale and Wayne Clark, replaced by Canadian-born, London-based designer Todd Lynn and TWENTYCLUNY by Sara Rabkin.

Todd Lynn Fall 2011

The show opened with a fur jacket by Todd Lynn and it was a stunner, to say the least. What could be more luxe than a fur coat with an over-sized collar and the perfect white colouring? As the model rounded the corner, I let myself daydream, for a brief moment, about the glamourous lifestyle that comes with such a piece. I was brought back to reality by the scarlet-hued dress that followed, which was a highlight as well.

Greta Constantine Fall 2011

Having attended the Greta and Ezra Fall 2011 show just a few days before, you’d think I wouldn’t be all that excited to see the same looks at the Holt Renfrew show, but I was. The runway environment was incredibly different – the lighting infinitely better at Heritage Court than at the Audi dealership. I rather enjoyed seeing my favourite looks – and those Greta Constantine x ALDO shoes! – again under the bright lights at LGFW.


Denis Gagnon Fall 2011

Denis Gagnon held the coveted closing time slot at LGFW last season, and his collection was unanimously admired. This season, he was oddly slated to show on Tuesday at 1pm. The five looks Gagnon presented at the Holt Renfrew show were strong, and enticed me to make the trek to the “tents” the following afternoon to see the full collection (post to follow).

Pink Tartan Fall 2011

Kimberly Newport-Mimran also presented a five-look sneak peek of her Pink Tartan collection, to be shown in full later in the week. The ostrich feather skirts were a welcome upgrade in taste over her fur skirts from Fall 2010 and the jackets were very sharp. Lured by this preview, I would once again brave the crowds to see the full collection the next day (post to follow).

Wings + Horn Fall 2011

Wings + Horn is right up Mr. Backseat Styler’s alley. Or perhaps mine, since I do most of the shopping for the family. This shawl collar cardigan is of the type I’ve been stocking up on for the Mister like they’re going out of style – which they’re not, according to the folks at Wings + Horn. I’ll be picking one of these grandpa sweaters up come Fall.

Smythe Fall 2011

The chance to preview what Smythe designers Christie Smythe and Andrea Lenczer have in store for next season is what I looked forward to the most at the Holt Renfrew show. Though I’ve often made bold statements about giving up my Smythe addiction, it looks like it’s here to stay…until Fall 2011, at the very least. The fair isle coat with fur-trimmed hood stole my heart the minute I spotted it. The dove grey wool blazer with contrast leather elbow patches and the black and white plaid jacket are also vying for a spot in my Fall wardrobe.

Lida Baday Fall 2011

Perennial favourite Lida Baday put very wearable Fall classics on the runway. I own a few Lida Baday pieces myself and the line is a great source for chic office-ready garb.

Canada Goose Fall 2011

Canada Goose parkas unexpectedly made an appearance at the Holt Renfrew show. I own one and am forever indebted to it for keeping me warm during the frigid cold Canadian winters.


The show also brought me my first exposure to the line TWENTYCLUNY. I spied a few covetable pieces and I look forward to seeing the collection up close and personal at Holt Renfrew come Fall.

Jeremy Laing Fall 2011

Jeremy Laing closed the show with an edgy five-look lineup. His aesthetic isn’t quite my style, but there are certain pieces, like this hand-print over-sized t-shirt, that would work its way very easily into my wardrobe rotation.

All in all, Holt Renfrew’s carefully curated show was a great way to kickoff this season’s LGFW. Did this high note carry through to the end of the week? Stay tuned to find out as we work our way (slowly) through the week’s shows!

xx, S

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