Joe Fresh knocks it out of the park for ladies with his fall/winter 2012 collection, but what about the fellas?
It was a strange scene at last night’s Joe Fresh show. Not only was there no gargantuan lineup to get into the runway room, but all operations ran smoothly without a hitch (none that we could see, anyway—the show was more or less on time). Guests piled in, including Catherine and David Nugent, Joe Mimran’s wife and Pink Tartan designer Kimberley Newport-Mimran, Holt Renfrew’s Moira Wright and Jennifer Daubney, king and queen of the Loblaw throne Alexandra Weston and Galen Weston Jr., CBC’s Kristine Stewart, Dragons’ Den’s Arlene Dickinson, philanthropist W. Bruce C. Bailey (who enthusiastically got down on one knee to offer Mimran a single orange flower during his finale walk), society columnist Shinan Govani, designer Evan Biddell (who returned to Toronto last night after over a year in Vancouver—he’s taking over Wayne Clark’s old studio), PR bigwigs Suzanne Cohon and Susan Chong, MTV host Aliya-Jasmine Sovani, plastic surgeon to the society stars Dr. Trevor Born and more. Needless to say, people with a little bit of cash and people with a lot come for Joe Freezy, and we’re happy to report that the show went ahead without any major sartorial misses—but there were some minor ones.
The ’60s-inspired show opened with a jacket with elbow-to-wrist brown fur sleeves—’twas an evocative first look, and to be perfectly honest, we weren’t sure we liked it. But we had opportunities throughout the show to see the same treatment on other jackets, and with more exposure, we began to see Joe’s use of texture as something positive (the same cannot be said for a panel of chenille-like fabric on an orange jacket that looked like curly dog fur). Next came a mustard-yellow felt wool riding jacket, which was tailored perfectly to the model’s body, and colour continued to be a strong focus throughout the show, with vibrant orange in a knit or two, rich greens in funnel-neck jackets, mustard sweaters, and Joe Fresh orange soles on heels and patent leather boots. Most of our favourites are from the womenswear collection: a mostly-hidden-by-a-jacket forest-green tailored shirt; a navy pleated semi-sheer skirt with a floral print; a red and white sweatshirt (please make it for men with a crewneck); a geometric-print dress with a flat square back; a tweed T-shirt (honestly, one of the most simple and beautiful items of the bunch); and what we can only imagine is a hallucinogen-inspired two-piece suit (it was awesome).
Unfortunately, the men were the ones to get shafted, which is strange considering there was such a strong showing of menswear for spring 2011. We loved the men’s felt wool jackets in mustard and a variant of Joe Fresh orange, a pair of perfectly fitted dark denim jeans and a couple of oversized toques, but we were puzzled to see the return of the wide-legged pants Joe has such a penchant for—how many impressively tall and thin men are shopping at Joe Fresh? Given the explosions of colour and patterns in blazers, jackets and sweaters from spring 2011, the small sampling of repetitive men’s looks this season made it seem like ol’ Freezy gave up on the fellas, which we found disappointing (although someone at Joe Fresh assured us there would be much more in store).
Overall, the major focus was knits. The show included warm-looking chunky cable knits for men and women, short-sleeved crewnecks and even a sweater vest that took its cue from fall/winter 2011’s popular landscape sweater—except this one had a monkey on it (at least, we think it was a monkey). Other impressive womenswear included fruit-roll-up-like jackets in a glossy burgundy patent leather, a wool chevron dress with leather sleeves (it was absolutely beautiful, but given past seasons, we’re almost certain it won’t we produced in leather), a well-structured houndstooth skirt (there was also a houndstooth dress and tailored shirt) and a simple but perfect fine black knit crewneck sweater. Ladies are going to love Joe Fresh come fall. (Just saying.)