The rogue fashion week crowd (which is arguably more legit than those at the actual Toronto Fashion Week tents) came out in troves on Tuesday night to take in NYC based duo Bellevance and Steven Tai’s Autumn Winter runway presentations at The shOws. Taking place at the Storys building, the third floor event space was packed to the brim with Toronto’s fashionable elite.
New York based duo Eva Hama and Nolan Bellavance of Bellavance began the evening with their intricate, highly calculated collection in subdued colour tones. Subtle stripes and sanded iridescent stitches were all over the collection which began with a series of models in pleated stylized garbage bag looking garments. Argyle was executed using a knitted combination of mohair and merino for a fluffy, yet rigid chain link looking skirt and cropped top, while raw denim was stitched into elongated trench coats and mid length dresses, finished with hand distressed seaming. The chain link motif continued on screen printed silk in an impressive graphic drawn by their friend Sonia Dison. The models walked to an old Crystal Castles track at first and the finale threw back to No Doubt’s 2009 track “I’m Just A Girl.”
Textile scientist Steven Tai was up next showing his collection for the fall winter season, inspired by a girl who had just broken up with her boyfriend, cutting up his clothes and wearing them. First presented back during London Fashion Week at the Somerset House showroom, the collection was just as well received in the Canadian market earlier this week. Jacquard, panelled, fringed, and laser cut at different points, the collection had a lightness in the colour palette of white and yellow, balanced with midnight blue and teal. Dr. Alexandra Palmer, the Senior Curator of Textiles & Costume at the Royal Ontario Museum examined the technique he used to create the fringe look across the pieces, starting with a type of luxury fabric called Lorax, and removing the shiny strands from the fibre one by one, over the course of many hours (which Tai quantifies by the number of movies they watch while labouring away strand by strand). For instance one garment take about the time it takes to watch four movies back to back, panel by panel.
From season to season we’ve come to see Steven Tai not only as a master of textiles, but also as a layering expert, both with fabrics, colours, and textures. Yet again his fall winter collection taught us that wearing baggy pants and long pleated skirts is a-ok, that stylized graphic flowers don’t always need to look cute, and reminded us how much we love Charlotte Gainsbourg (his tune of choice for the show). We had the chance to sit down with him and talk a little more about the collection, so stay tuned for that!
Meanwhile, take a look through the photos and instagram videos below from the first day of The shOws below.
BELLAVANCE AUTUMN WINTER 2014
STEVEN TAI AUTUMN WINTER 2014