David Szeto mixes feminine and masculine details for his spring, er, fall/winter 2012 collection
Just when we think we’re out, we get pulled back in. Though Toronto Fashion Week officially ended last Friday, the last of the shows come from “the ShOws,” a designer spotlight at the Ritz-Carlton. “The ShOws” (we can’t get over how much we despise that capital O) focus on bringing Canadian talent that shows internationally back to Canada, and first up was David Szeto, a Vancouver native who is now based in Belgium but presents in Paris—Szeto has had his own label since 2004. The ShOws are thought to be a more exclusive invite than Toronto Fashion Week (you can’t purchase a ticket for these), which is a great idea in theory, but in practice, at the 5:30 p.m. show, it meant a lot of empty seats. We spotted typical fashion faces like Flare’s Liz Cabral, InFashion’s Glen Baxter, designer Jeremy Laing (who will show tonight) and the Bay’s Nicholas Mellamphy, but perhaps due to last week’s fashion overload or timing, many front row seats were left empty until organizers told guests to move forward. The funniest moment came at the end of the show, when the heavy overhead lights remained on but the music stopped, leaving guests (except editor David Livingston and Baxter, both of whom bolted quickly) glued to their seats for fear of ruining a photographer’s photos, whilst awkwardly exchanging glances with others to see if it was all right to stand.
Szeto trotted out feminine outfits with ruffles (on sleeves, shoulders and backs of jackets, and up the centre of a black and white dress), which contrasted with more masculine details like the Thom Browne–esque oversized cuffs on trousers. Our favourite looks were the dresses, elaborately pleated in navy and forest green that incorporated built in gold hardware belts (they felt like Halston at Studio 54), and a long cream tunic with a charcoal back. Szeto’s one misstep for us was the the square-print geometric pattern (seen in silk dresses and tops), which looked more Reitman’s than haute couture to us. We applaud Szeto’s decision to have some models walk in flat sandals (models are tall enough), but one nearby editor was puzzled: “This is for fall and winter?” Maybe Szeto is just preparing for the inevitable, when there is only one sweltering season.