Holt Renfrew showcase gives fashion week a major boost

Holt Renfrew showcase gives fashion week a major boost

(Image: Jenna Marie Wakani) 

Last season, when one of the best fashion shows was staged not on the official LG runway but inside the Holt Renfrew café, tongues were a-wagging. The country’s top designers (Jeremy Laing, Denis Gagnon and Lida Baday among them) weren’t on the fashion week bill but did present a handful of looks for the intimate preview. So we assume it was a good day for fashion week organizers the FDCC when Holt Renfrew told them it was bringing its stable of Canadian talent to the official schedule and onto the runway. They even made the showcase the week’s opening event. Held last night, the tony department store’s With True Patriot Love presentation featured five looks from nine of the country’s most loved labels—all available at Holts, naturally.

There was Jeremy Laing, who presented his full collection in New York, and his gorgeous draped dresses that looked as though they’d been fashioned from the sails and fishing nets of a shipwreck. Janelle Monáe’s “Tightrope” played as Lida Badays models walked down the runway, but the clothes were more corporate ballerina than funk-pop princess. Wayne Clark did ultra-glam red gowns—five of them. With complicated systems of straps, Mikhael Kales dresses looked hard to put on and difficult to pull off (is someone dreaming of Gaga?). Also, Smythe blazers, a preview of Pink Tartans spring line (the show is tonight), menswear from Wings and Horn (rolled cuffs, rolled sleeves, rolled shorts), Line Runways fantastic high-waisted shorts and casual dresses, and stunning fringed frocks from Denis Gagnon.

See all the looks in our slide show below >>