Montreal-based label MARTIN LIM has teamed up with Canadian retailer Reitmans on a capsule collection of holiday dresses. The Mercedes-Benz Start Up winning duo of Danielle Martin and Pao Lim have designed 10 cocktail party-ready dresses to be carried exclusively at Reitmans, including petite and plus-sized styles.
The collection is priced very reasonably from $85 to $120, and MARTIN LIM fans will be delighted to find that the designs have a similar aesthetic to the Fall 2012 collection for their main line. I’m loving the Sandy dress with its blouson top and faux leather insert skirt. Which piece are you eyeing?
MARTIN LIM for Reitmans hits 28 stores across Canada and reitmans.com today.
Images courtesy of Reitmans
FASHION Magazine Editor-in-Chief Bernadette Morra in MARTIN LIM
May 6, 2012 marked the second annual SPARK Gala, a fundraising event hosted by the Children’s Aid Foundation in support of children and youth living in the child welfare system. Held at The Carlu and co-hosted by Global Toronto anchors Anne Mroczkowski and Leslie Roberts, the Gala honoured five inspirational Canadian luminaries, including FASHION Magazine‘s Editor-in-Chief Bernadette Morra, actress Lisa Ray, rock musician Randy Bachman, figure skater Patrick Chan and singer Jackie Richardson.
The rousing performances, which followed an exquisite brunch created by celebrity chef Mark McEwan, certainly lived up to the Gala’s theme, “Rhythm and Soul.” In addition, Montreal-based designers Danielle Martin and Pao Lim, winners of the inaugural Mercedes-Benz Start Up design competition last year, presented their MARTIN LIM Fall 2012 collection, a beautiful reflection on the contrast between structure and movement.
All in attendance were fabulously dressed, including SPARK Gala chair and co-founder Andrea Weissman-Daniels in a stunning Oscar de la Renta dress and Kara Alloway in an electrifying Manish Arora jacket and festive Brian Atwood ‘Mojito’ sandals. Fashion luminary Bernadette Morra showed her support for MARTIN LIM, donning a dress from the Spring 2012 collection that won the design duo their MBSU crown.
Andrea Weissman-Daniels declared the Gala a tremendous success, having raised over $400,000 towards helping create opportunities for youth to engage in sports, arts, and cultural activities. For more information about the Children’s Aid Foundation, please visit www.cafdn.org.
Fashion Designer / Creative Marketing Director of Ports 1961 Tu Ly
Spark co-founder Andrea Weissman-Daniels in Oscar de la Renta
Kara Alloway in Brian Atwood ‘Mojito’ sandals
During last season’s Toronto Fashion Week, the folks at Mercedes Benz Start Up generously handed over the reins to their Twitter account to me to live tweet the finale of their inaugural, nationwide fashion design competition. Well, I must’ve done a bang up job (read: refrained from tweeting anything NSFW), because Andrew Serrano of IMG and team called me back for a second round of fun (thank you!).
This time, I was covering the backstage preparations and live runway show for the very first MBSU winner, MARTIN LIM. A Montreal-based womenswear brand designed by Danielle Martin and Pao Lim, MARTIN LIM was awarded a fully-produced and sponsored runway show at this season’s edition of World Mastercard Fashion Week as part of their MBSU prize pack.
Having seen what the duo is capable of at the MBSU finale, it came as no surprise when I saw just how good their Fall 2012 collection was upon my arrival backstage on the big day. It was all I could do to keep myself from trying on a lovely brocade jacket for size, throwing on that black and white leather top (so up my alley!), or dancing around in the gorgeous finale dress. But I managed to keep myself in check…though just barely.
When the models finally hit the runway, I did what I’d been tasked with: tweet, tweet, and tweet some more. It was an easy job for me, considering (a) I’m addicted to Twitter, and (b) immediate reactions to the collection were both numerous and unanimously positive on Twitter. With their cohesive range of edgy separates and pretty eveningwear in an eye-catching colour palette, Martin and Lim proved once again that they deserved that MBSU crown.
Congratulations to the MARTIN LIM and MBSU teams on a fantastic show! And thank you, Pao and Danielle, for lending me your stunning Spring 2012 finale dress for the occasion.
Models backstage, moments before the runway show
Bernadette Morra, Editor-in-Chief of FASHION Magazine, in MARTIN LIM Fall 2012
A model in my favourite look from MARTIN LIM’s Fall 2012 collection
Me, in MARTIN LIM Spring 2012 (with Brave Leather belt, Marni x H&M cuffs and Burberry shoes)
Image Credits: Runway photos by George Pimentel, all others by The Backseat Stylers
On October 18, I had the pleasure of updating my Facebook status to this: “Currently sitting in supermodel Jess Stam’s hotel room. For effing serious.”
That right there? Highlight of my LG Fashion Week. All thanks to the lovely folks at IMG, I have fond memories of watching The Dr. Oz Show, listening to country music, and chatting about ATTITUDE by Jay Manuel with one of my favourite models, ever. The best part is, I was on very official business. As the guest tweeter for Mercedes-Benz Start Up, it was my job to ensure that the Twitterverse knew that MB Start Up judge Jessica Stam would be wearing a Marc by Marc Jacobs dress and Lanvin for H&M bow pumps to the competition’s finale show; key information indeed, and I was more than happy to share.
Of course, Stam’s hotel room was only the first stop of my live, behind-the-scenes coverage. My guest tweeting duties also took me backstage of the LGFW tents, where up-and-coming Canadian designers Cassie Dee, Martin Lim, Travis Taddeo, Triarchy and UNTTLD were in the final stages of preparation for the runway show that would culminate in the selection of the very first MB Start Up winner. With an audience of program judges and mentors, fashion insiders, celebrities and VIPs in attendance, one very deserving finalist would be selected to receive mentoring from a hand-selected group of industry experts, an editorial feature in FASHION Magazine, as well as their own, fully produced runway show at next season’s LG Fashion Week.
Backstage, as finishing touches were being completed in hair and make-up and models were being dressed in the finalists’ Spring 2012 collections, I found myself blown away by details I may have otherwise missed on the runway: the fierce metal accessories from UNTTLD (that necklace! those shoes!), the cool, goggle-like sunglasses and medical bandage tops from Triarchy (styled by Ania Taubenfligel, one-third of the sibling team behind the brand), and the pretty feathers embellishing a dress design by Travis Taddeo.
Fast forward to the show itself. From Triarchy’s perfect-fitting premium denim to Martin Lim’s pastel-coloured feminine dresses to UNTTLD’s dark and edgy designs, the MB Start Up runway show presented five very different aesthetics (see complete runway photos at Toronto Life). The judging panel, made up of Bernadatte Morra, Editor-in-Chief of FASHION Magazine, Robert Ott of the School of Fashion at Ryerson University, Shawn Hewson of Bustle Clothing, Robin Kay of the Fashion Design Council of Canada (FDCC), Jarrad Clark of IMG Fashion and guest judge/model Jessica Stam, had one very tough decision to make, their deliberations taking longer than expected. When Danielle Martin and Pao Lim, the duo behind Martin Lim, were finally crowned as the winners, the audience and Twitterverse approved, and so did I.
Thus came to an end my MB Start Up adventures, for this season anyway. Thanks to Andrew Serrano of IMG for bringing me along for the ride! Round 2 of the competition promises to come back bigger and better than ever, expanding to four additional semi-final cities: Halifax, Ottawa, Quebec City and Edmonton. I’ll need some time to recover from the first edition and to bask in the glow of my Stam encounter, but when the action starts up again, I’ll be there to cover it!