Truth be told, when I was younger, thoughts of tartan conjured up images of bagpipers or Highland dancers doing a …
Fashionably LateBy Nicole Trask | Jun 20, 2011
It’s true what they say. Sometimes it is good to save the best for last. The Atlantic Fashion Week Designer Showcase Gala on Saturday night proved this by really stepping things up a notch. The show was one part flamboyant art mixed with a healthy dose of wearable, flattering styles. It began a touch later than the Emerging Designer Showcase and there were breaks between runway shows but it was worth the wait.
Jade Nohels presented a crowd-pleasing collection of Mad Men inspired frocks. Womanly models sashayed down the runway in 60s style shimmering sheaths. Knee length hemlines, belted waists and elbow length gloves oozed sophisticated yet simple glamour. Props like cocktail glasses, clutches and vintage books added to the elegance of this spot-on collection.
I was really looking forward to seeing Veronica MacIsaac and Victoria Bouchard’s new collection, Vice & Versa, and it didn’t disappoint. Inspired by MacIsaac’s love of the 1950s and early 60s and Bouchard’s love of the late 60s and 70s, the looks paraded down the runway were playful and covered a wide range of well-known styles. I’d have to say that my favourites included a striped tailored romper, a flowing printed maxi dress and several of the simple mod shift dresses. This collection was pure unadulterated fun and even the models looked like they were enjoying the upbeat and whimsical theme.
Props should also be given to Jere Brooks. In my last post, I commented that the AFW looks had been very “young”, but Brooks’ collection made me eat my words. She presented a very wearable show that I think would appeal to a multitude of women. My favourites included her 70s inspired prints in rich reds and golds, a luxurious coat with oversized faux fur trim and cuffs (think glamorous Russian spy) and a subtle yet sexy lemon hued dress that was clingy in the right spots with a simple tie at the waist.
Moving on to the more theatrical, I thought that Sebastian Couture stood a world apart with unabashedly dramatic headpieces that were certainly more works of art than wearable. Bustles, jacquard patterned corsets and antique lace constructed frocks permeated this collection. Designer Sebastian Blagdon, was also a standout for me at NSCAD’s Wearable Art Show taking cues from 1920s flapper girls as well as Alice and Wonderland imagery.
There were some delightfully flirty printed summer dresses from Cranky that made me nostalgic for hot summer nights (do we even get those here?). Additionally, I was impressed by AFW mainstay Veronica MacIsaac’s most recent modern take on tartan. Buzz-worthy looks include her mermaid style Nova Scotia tartan gown with a deep plunging neckline, fitted waistcoats, wonderful tartan and feather hair pieces and a black and white mod mini dress perfect for someone who has mile long legs.
During intermission, I couldn’t help but notice that several ladies made a dash to the next door marketplace to snap up the chunky costume necklaces by SuTa with vintage brooch centerpieces. However, I found myself more drawn towards the beautiful Tori-xo long necklaces with delicate skeleton key pendants.
AFW veteran Kim Munson’s Orphanage closed the gala and this eco-savvy designer has taken the art of deconstructing and reconstructing to a new level. I think it would take a whole lot of attitude to pull off some of Munson’s edgy designs but the work she puts into these garments is undeniably intricate. Consequently, Orphanage received a hearty standing ovation from the audience.
In essence, I left that evening feeling proud of the talent we have here in Nova Scotia and I certainly tip my hat to all the work that went into making this week a varied melting pot of fashionable success.