The TFW runway just got real! Here’s how to make it yours.

It’s no secret that we love a good Fashion Week extravaganza. We wait for show season with baited breath, not just because we love the pomp, the cocktails, and fantasy of it all (although we totally do, don’t get it twisted) but because we love how Fashion Week lets our imaginations run wild thinking about all the ways we could incorporate the fantasy into our real lives – and those of our gorgeous Handled clients.

The F/W 19 shows at Toronto Fashion Week inspired dreams galore, because there was just so much going on. From the lectures and podcast recordings to the street fashion to the showroom and of course to the shows themselves. We could seriously talk for aaaages about the statements and curiosities we were bombarded with over the course of those intense three days. And of course, as we watched the models stomp, skate, lay their ways down the catwalks, we made our mental “Lust List” from each show.

Normally, that’s where Fashion Week dreams would come to a screeching halt – but the F/W19 season is different.

This season we found more reasons than ever to talk about Toronto Fashion Week in new terms. Because – along with the incredible creativity and execution prowess of our city’s multidimensional talent – Toronto Fashion Week is increasingly showing us that it’s more and more about inclusivity and accessibility not just on the runway, but in real life as well.

As we watched and reviewed the shows, we couldn’t help but pluck pieces for each of you (ok, one for you, one for us) that we just know will give your clothing collection the currency that comes from being part a true moment in Canadian Fashion.

We’ve narrowed down to our top objects of affection from our three favourite shows of the week. Until our pre-orders arrive, we’re gonna dream about strutting our stuff in a piece of the Toronto Fashion scene – IRL! – no matter our age, size, or background, or gender. And, we bet, so will you.

THAT’S a #TorontoProud Fashion Week if we’ve ever seen one.

Lesley Hampton

One of the newest designers to the Canadian Fashion scene, Hampton has been showing since 2016 but you’d never know it. She’s already a celebrity favourite and has been featured in Vogue UK, Glamour UK, CHLOE Magazine, has had viral features in Marie Claire, ELLE UK, COSMO UK, Daily Mail UK, and Allure.

Her construction and techniques are not only jaw-droppingly beautiful but she draws very purposefully on Indigenous craft and traditions, enmeshing them with her identity as a “Third Culture Kid” whose international and nomadic childhood has itself been representative of the indigeneity and identity that her collection explores.

She’s fierce in her aesthetic, her belief system, her design, and her label’s community (known as the Wolfpack) and we love everything about her.

Lust List #1:

This dress which would take us from conference calls to cocktails in a heartbeat (comes in a gorgeous red too!)

This bead encrusted statement coat over everyyythiiiing and crepe wide-leg pants that we know will be a fast, easy to wear/easy to pack favourite.

The “forever piece” that is this stunning beaded evening gown.

Hilary MacMillan

Toronto design darling HIlary MacMillan keeps getting better. Though she’s been on the scene since 2013, she’s been getting more and more press in recent years as her aesthetic develops and her message becomes clearer (we’re still coveting her famous FEMINIST jacket… ok all her jackets).

One of our favourite cruelty-free designers, her manipulation of man-made materials into sumptuous, wearable items keeps us wanting more – to say nothing of her celeb cred. MacMillan has been worn by Mme. Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, Kim Cattrall, Elisha Cuthbert, Fefe Dobson, Cheryl Hickey, and Liz Trinnear amongst others.

Lust List #2:

A new take on the proportions of menswear inspired suiting we could see mixing and matching these versatile pieces all work week long!  

Oooooooohhhhh this coat! Luxe with a touch of “badass” and so easy to wear. Why would anyone go for plain black when this beauty is possible?

We. Can’t. With. This. We’d actually look forward to rain if we had this jewel tone trench to rely on.

No lies about MacMillan’s jackets. We want them all. This contemporary blend of cool girl and corporate is perfect in our eyes.

Stretchy and it has pockets?? Yes please! Smart and just edgy enough, this is a piece we’d wear day or night with a quick switch of accessories. Oh, and on the runway? She matched it with a plaid manicure. We’ve already booked an appointment.  

NARCES

When it comes to NARCES, gone are the days of “no white after Labour Day” –  and we’re not mad about it! We loved the consistently glamorous look sent down the runway at this show, which we’re choosing to call “ethereal toughness.” These are the pieces we want to always have on call for special occasions that call for something extra.

Creative Director and Designer Nikki Wirthensohn Yassemi  is the go-to for truly special, special occasion wear. And she came by it with some serious pedigree – being surrounded by art and design her entire life. We imagine a few ‘take your daughter to work’ days with her mum, who worked with esteemed British tailor to the Royal Family, Victor Edelstein, would naturally mean some of the Diana glam sprinkled onto Yassemi from Day One.

Whatever happens in the life of a NARCES woman, it happens after 5 o’clock.

Lust List #3:

#Sorrynotsorry we haven’t yet completed our jacket wardrobe yet. Now that it’s entered our consciousness it would be ridiculous to imagine life without an organza moto jacket! After all, nobody’s done the ‘evening wrap’ in years. And yet, nobody’s replaced it with anything worth having – until now.

Sweet yet simultaneously super daring, we can’t stop thinking about the galas to which we’ll be wearing this head-turner. Of course, it could really be quite down-to-earth with the right pieces supporting it (say something a little more beneath than just a nipple cozy?).

But then – oh nevermind! We love the white sequined pant to much!

This might be part of the F/W collection but we see ourselves taking this sweet dress on warm weather vacation to the French Riviera. Don’t you?

The runway just got REAL you guys, and we’re ready. Which pieces can you see working into your wardrobe? Are there Canadian designers you’d love to see more of?

Cover images courtesy of Hilary MacMillan and Narces

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