Toronto Fashion Week: Steven Tai uses silicone, magnets and alien spaceships in his fall 2013 collection

Toronto Fashion Week: Steven Tai uses silicone, magnets and alien spaceships in his fall 2013 collection

Each season, The Shows invite a handful of high-profile Canadian designers (many of whom now show in New York, London and Paris) to preview their collections in the days leading to Toronto Fashion Week. We’re posting full galleries from the buzziest runways. Here’s what trendsetters will be wearing in fall 2013. 

Steven Tai

The cerebral Vancouver designer decamped for London a few years ago and has already racked up a long list of achievements: a degree from the prestigious Central Saint Martens school, internships at Viktor and Rolf and Stella McCartney, and the inaugural Chloé design prize—plus 15,000 euros and Yohji Yamamoto’s approval—at the Hyères Festival last year.

Though an event for fellow London designer Roksanda Ilincic was happening at the same time across town at The Bay, the show space at Andrew Richard Designs still had its share of fashion scenesters, including fashion curator Rui Amaral, eLuxe’s Susie Sheffman and stylists Corey Ng and Dwayne Kennedy. After the presentation, Tai brought out a few looks from his award-winning spring/summer 2013 collection and laughingly conceded he found inspiration in book-binding techniques “because I’m a big geek.”

Tai said he was inspired by skiwear this season, but the collection also looked like a high-fashion take on 1990s rave culture. Shots of bright yellow showed through the slits in a pair of swingy, wide-legged navy pants, and Tai’s experiments with poured silicone resulted in vibrant textiles that looked like quilted pleather. The most memorable pieces, however, were the sweatshirts printed with pastoral scenes from Italian artist Franco Brambilla’s “Invading the Vintage” series (at first glance, they looked like Norman Rockwell scenes, until closer inspection revealed creepy alien spaceships hovering overhead).

Oversized navy coats with butter yellow or dusty pink silicone panels look warm enough for the blistering cold, and cool enough for the city.