The opening of the fall 2014 collections in Toronto marked the return of designer Mikhael Kale to the tents at David Pecaut Square. The 21-piece collection was presented in the Studio, a smaller runway space that offered a more intimate view into the designer’s detail-oriented world. One of the first looks on the runway was a sheer black blouse and matching skirt with strips of coiled organza. A black patent leather motorcycle jacket worn over the shoulders completed the look. Cashmere coats and jackets in various lengths played a big part in the show.
Pink Tartan creative director Kimberley Newport-Mimran put forth a collection inspired in part by “The Great Caravan,” the legendary fur-filled 1966 Vogue editorial shot by Richard Avedon. Enormous fur gloves and an exaggerated knit scarf worn as a hood opened the show and set the tone for the looks that followed. Newport-Mimran’s omnipresent 1960s esthetic was presented this season in a more comfortable way. A model in a quilted duvet coat trimmed in fur looked as if she had just rolled out of a very chic bed, Courrèges “eskimo” sunglasses and all. The closing look was not for the faint of heart: a voluminous metallic skirt layered over fur pants topped with more fur in wrap form. It may be hard to envision the finale look as a realistic option, especially as we head into spring weather, but come winter 2014, mink trousers just might be the answer.
Matthew Gallagher, a relative newcomer to the scene, closed the week with his highly anticipated third collection. The Italian-trained illustrator and designer delivered an attractive collection of finely tailored pieces that underscored his austere approach to dress making. Gallagher’s work may be strict upon first examination but his looks are perfectly put together and very sexy. Hemlines stayed for the most part below the knee and thoughtfully placed openings exposed just the right amount of skin. Emphasizing the shoulder was a central idea in this collection, revealing Gallagher’s astute attitude to sensual dressing, an approach indicative of Charles James and the kind of off-the-shoulder come-hither straps that he added to evening gowns in the 1940s and ’50s. A camel cape in mohair was shown over a high-neck black dress — an attractive combination that oozed relaxed luxury on the runway and looked equally fantastic backstage before the show.