I headed to The Shop on Friday night, the sweaty basement dance bar at Parts and Labour.
My hair stylist, Jenn Kim, from Grateful Head on Dundas.
The last and most impressive show of the season was presented by Denis Gagnon of Montreal on Friday night.
It’s not that the line was flawlessly appealing, but his craftsmanship was the best in show. Much of the collection focused on fringe that was layered, cut, stitched, swagged, and twisted to create amazing textures and movement.
Even his basics were original. This striped tank was double layered, with two distinct necklines and four vertical seams that created a zigzag pattern. It’s hard to match repeats when working with patterned fabric on the bias, but it was perfect.
I was also pleased that Gagnon’s detailing went all the way around, because there’s nothing more annoying than design work that’s only on the front.
His two-toned fringes were especially striking. This piece was like Indian ink on wet paper, the tone and shape of darkness changing with every step.
This is what I call a catsuit.
Some of his designs were convoluted, however. These colour variances detracted attention from the the ornate knotting, which should have been the focal point. This dress would have been punchier in a solid colour.
Here again, there was a lack of harmony. The black sheer underlay was too ornate and placing it sideways fought with the vertical colouring of the dress.
This piece, on the other hand, was perfect. The dress was methodically detailed, it was a lovely sage green, and the length was classy.
Though this bridal piece, however short, was stunning. The metallic fringe shimmered like a placid lake at dawn.
Like his clothes, Gagnon has unique personal style. Thick YSL-inspired glasses, a striped salwar kameez shirt, and high tops? Yes please! No wonder Holt Renfrew snatched him up.
Lauren Bagliore presented her first full collection – The Resurrection: From the Dark to the Light – on Thursday night. The New York native studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology and has worked for Vivienne Westwood as well as Zac Posen and Libertine.
Her monochromatic pieces were nicely cut, draped, and finished (for the most part), especially the form hugging jersey dresses and harem pants.
I liked how the exaggerated, gathered shoulders looked soft; and yet, they were also very angular, which complimented the asymmetrical front. The shoulders could have had more structure across the top though, because they drooped slightly.
This was my favourite look. The Victorian buttons were elegant and I liked the high contrast shadows that the pants created.
The bolero above was my favourite piece, but the cameltoe bodysuit was awful. This girl would have looked great, had she been wearing matching matador pants . . . and underwear.
The hood on this jacket was so dramatic, but the lace top and tights were too reminiscent of American Apparel.
Lauren Bagliore’s last piece, while seemingly simple, was quite brilliant. The shoulder swag was attached to the bottom of the dress and so it could be worn any which way. You could drape it over one shoulder, wear it as a halter, cinch it at the waist towards either the front or back . . . anything! The collection wasn’t as strong as I would have thought, considering her fashion pedigree, but I’m excited to see her develop.