Let’s talk about Wesley Badanjak. He recently took over as designer at Basch, a position formerly held by Brandon Dwyer, but has continued working on own his label, Lovas, which in the past has typically catered to older women. He’s in the business of making money, as most designers are, and if he can’t do that with two collections, then surely there’s something wrong (plus, all of fashion’s cool kids design or have designed more than one collection). Last night at 99 Sudbury, “celebrity” guest host Amanda Brugel (sold to us as playing some character on NBC’s cast-off-to-Saturday-night The Firm) MC’d to a crowd of guests including heartthrob designer Arthur Mendonça (many were swooning), womenswear designer David Dixon, fashion editors Nathalie Atkinson and Andrew Sardone and a smattering of bloggers on the front row (who were not yet high-profile enough to come with bag-carrying assistants in tow). The show itself was a mix of highs (ombré tweeds and cobweb knits) and lows (sequined dresses), and Badanjak demonstrated that he’s really narrowed in on the woman who wants Chanel tweed but is tired of looking like her ladies-who-lunch friends. Our full rundown of the show after the jump.
The show opened with an ombré tweed jacket and skirt with a painterly gradated pattern, which we dug because it looked as though Badanjak had splattered bleach to create it. Paired together, the pieces seemed perfect for his over-40 clientele, but worn as separates, they could be equally appealing to a younger crowd (we’d propose wearing the skirt with a leather jacket and sheer white blouse—just saying). Badanjak’s feather-print opener was pretty dainty with a modest peplum at the waist—perfect for garden parties, ironic croquet matches in Trinity Bellwoods Park or cheering on a man-friend who has joined Toronto’s axe-throwing league. Even the use of cobweb knits seemed less typical, and we especially liked the treatment in a floor-length finale gown—perfect for girls who are still reminiscing about The Craft and Fairuza Balk (there are a lot of you, and we like those things too). Where Badanjak lost both ladies and girls was with his sequined dresses, complete with flouncy skirts (we immediately thought that if fashion students were tasked with making a dress out of a garbage bag, it would look like that). The striking royal blue piping on some skirts and sheer reptilian blouses and dresses also seemed out of place for such a demure collection, but he bounced back with a series of micro-chenille jackets that were quite elegant and streamlined in nearly every iteration. Now, if only the two generations of women that Lovas is trying to represent could just understand each other and get along.