Although Toronto Fashion Week (TFW) is all about showcasing Canadian designers and their newest collections, this fashion week was more than just about what came down the runway, and what people were wearing.

 

There were also great, heartfelt, delicious, and hilarious moments that took place at David Pecaut Square, and CBC studios, where the shows took place. Now that TFW is well behind us, here is a recap to some of the week’s best highlights:

 

 David Dixon’s heartfelt tribute to his late sister

 

This season, David Dixon brought show-goers to tears as he presented a deeply personal collection in collaboration with Ovarian Cancer Canada, an initiative aimed at raising awareness for the disease. Although David’s “Gene Collection” was original, and his use of resilient denim was seen as a parallel to personal strength, it was David Dixon’s heartfelt tribute to his late sister that brought teary-eyed show-goers to their feet in standing applause. From the opening video prior to the show, where Dixon said the collection was dedicated to all sisters — especially his own, to the moment the designer stepped onto the runway with women whose lives have been touched by ovarian cancer, David Dixon managed to not only put on a great show, but more importantly touch move every spectator in the room on a human level.

 

 

Rudsak’s dramatic drum finale

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Photo Credit: George Pimentel

For FW’16, Rudsak’s show was nothing short of a dramatic, dark, and almost cinematographic. While the show started off with a torch-lined runway, where the models walked to a heavy stump, the mood in the room was that of survival, appropriately so as the collection was named Savage Spririt, and almost reminiscent of this winter’s Oscar winning movie, The Revenant. It was the climatic closing to the show however that left all of us in awe as we awaited in darkness and in silence for the models to return to the runway. Loud and dramatic percussion slowly filled the room as drummers took to the runway before models took to the stage again. Although Rudsak’s collection will have us well-equipped and prepared for the cold next winter, it was the show theatrics itself that left us in shivers.

 

 

Hayley Elsaesser’s real models

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Photo Credit: George Pimentel

Not one to shy away from bold statements, prints or colours, Hayley Elsaesser’s show was statement making for much more than just her designs. The designer’s stance on runway diversity is to be applauded onto itself. Using models of diverse size, race, gender, and age is something the designer is known for and stands by unapologetically, making her runway show stand out for so many more reasons than just her amazing pieces and their mix-and-match assortment. Congrats Hayleu Elsaesser for reminding us to be ourselves (and to have fun), in the midst of a week where a lot of pressure is put on the industry, and sometimes even show-goers alike.

 

 

Wet Runway at Mikhael Kale

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Photo Credit: Mark Blinch/The Canadian Press via AP

Mikhael Kale’s show was nothing short of spectacular. The designs were edgy, and intricately detailed, and the models falling, one-after-one-after-one took nothing away from the designer’s beautiful creations… but fall they did. As the opening show to TFW, one can only wonder if the floor was wet from the rain outside, or not fully ready for models to take the stage, but as soon as the models approached the camera pit at the edge of the runway, they fell to the ground, one after the other. It was so systematic at first, that show go-ers wondered if this was planned, but soon realized it wasn’t as other models made their way free of slip and fall. Thankfully, no models were hurt, and none of the clear plastic leggings (culprit?) they sported were damaged.

 

BONUS: Pizza at the Mackage after party

…because Pizza.

Nothing ends a show, and a busy day full of events, better than pizza during Fashion Week, where food is scarce and the unofficial motto is “don’t feed the models, or the show-goers”. Thanks Mackage for not only fulfilling our heart’s desire for a stunning off-site show, but also for pulling through and making it great till the very end. Our hearts (and bellies) were more than satisfied!

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