THE IT: Holt Renfrew’s True Patriot Love

The culmination of the Holt Renfrew Spring 2011 runway presentation at LG Fashion Week. Photography courtesy of George Pimentel.

Fashion Week kicked off in high style this season with a special runway presentation organized by Holt Renfrew and featuring some of the hottest names in Canadian fashion: Jeremy Laing, Smythe, Pink Tartan, Line Runway, Denis Gagnon, Lida Baday, Wayne Clark, Wings and Horns, and Mikahel Kale. (I know, right?!)

The design talent on display was impressive enough, but equally remarkable was how smoothly it all went down. The FDCC’s Robin Kay and Coco Rocha gave brief yet warm opening remarks, then an introductory video inspired by Diana Vreeland ended by suggesting that “Magenta is the navy blue of Canada” (in homage to the legendary editor’s quip “Pink is the navy blue of India”). Then it was on with the show!

The Style Notebook talked to Jennifer Daubney, lovely girl-about-town and the communications manager at Holt Renfrew, who helmed the runway presentation.

What was the biggest challenge in organizing a show of this magnitude? What surprised you the most about the process?

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FASHION WEEK: Thumbs down

Overall, The Style Notebook team thoroughly enjoyed Fashion Week. The collections were strong and the crowd was fun. (Read our thumbs up here.) But we didn’t love everything…

DOLL PARTS

What sly mind first put forth the idea that Barbie is a style icon? An icon of childhood, sure, of feminist ire, absolutely, but of fashion? It isn’t just the Toronto scene who has fallen under Barbie’s perfectly proportioned spell—last year to celebrate her 50th anniversary, 50 American designers (Michael Kors and Diane von Furstenberg among them) created outfits inspired by her singular influence. This season at the Toronto shows, in addition to a (good) collection inspired by Barbie and created by David Dixon, there was an eight-foot-tall, hot pink box in which you could pose as if you were Barbie herself. And people did.

—Laura

RED-FACED SNAPPERS

We love technology (we are on the interwebs after all) but just because everyone has a rad digital camera and a blog does not make it cool for audience members to be flashing away at their favourite looks. It’s distracting and likely a pain for the photographers in the pit. A little etiquette s’il vous plait—we may be at the Ex but Fashion Week is not a carnival.

—Emily

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FASHION WEEK: Thumbs up

BEST SURPRISE

Joannie Rochette as the finale model at the Attitude by Sears show. The initial glow of Olympic medal glory may have dimmed, but Joannie’s courage and grace (the latter of which was in ample evidence on the catwalk) have a permanent resonance. And how many elite athletes could wear those gloves with such conviction?

—Laura

BEST SHOW

Comrags, with its combination of music, styling and fantastic model casting. For me, Comrags’s attention to detail and craft outshone all the other collections.

—Marq

BEST POKER FACE

Megan Loach. As the communications coordinator of the Fashion Design Council of Canada, Megan had to answer a question (or seven) from almost everyone. But she didn’t let the stress show—every time I saw her, she was calm, authoritative and beautifully pulled together.

—Laura

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