Bustle is one of two menswear runway shows during Toronto Fashion Week. Think about that for a second—that’s two out of about, what, 30? There are some offsite menswear shows, but not many, so despite Bustle’s issues with editing last year, it was still a collection we wanted to see. Model Stacey McKenzie opened the show wearing lipstick so red we swore she had just eaten a pint of raspberries, eye makeup so dark and runny we swore she’d been crying backstage, and a pair of teeny daisy dukes to show off her powerful gams. But she didn’t steal the show—that honour goes to the hot models dressed as cowboys (obviously).
Canadian tuxedos dominated the first half of the collection, with suede or leather patches on the shoulders of denim shirts and jackets. The denim fit models better than it ever has with Bustle, and we especially loved what we’re dubbing “farm-fit” jeans—a nicely fitted seat and a close, straight fit along the leg. The details were less ostentatious in the first half of the show—we’re used to seeing reverse plackets on 30 shirts of the same style, but here we saw subtle details, like suede or leather pocket flaps on a jean jacket, and the imprint of suspenders adorning a jean shirt. Bolo and rope ties were the big accessories on this runway, and we especially loved the bright orange version paired with a dark navy tailored shirt.
Unfortunately, not everything was a hit—dark-washed jeans with exposed stitching seemed much too young for the banker-turned-weekend-cowboy who buys Bustle’s clothes, and in the latter portion of the show, we did end up seeing Bustle’s old-hat reverse plackets and waistcoats over a shirt. McKenzie’s jacket and designer Ruth Promislow’s T-shirt read “This Ain’t My First Rodeo,” and the statement rings true—Shawn Hewson and Promislow have been showing for many seasons now, and this time the fits were almost all right. It just goes to show you that by combining good fit, a cowboy theme and some painfully hot models, you too could have a successful collection. Congrats to Shawn and Ruth for finally editing their collection down to something that wasn’t so long it required runway caesars (although, we would love a runway caesar).