AFW Emerging Designs – Part Two

L-A: So, as previously mentioned, there was so much happening at the Wednesday night Emerging Designers show that writing about all of it would result in an epic sized post. Forget Titanic, we’re talking Gone with the Wind sized epic (minus the budgets that either of those films had…see “camera, sucky” and “batteries, dead”). That’s why there was an intermission between my post on Wednesday and this post.



So, first up after our intermission (which actually happened at the show) was Kirsten by designer Susan Johnston. Named after her grandmother, Johnston’s line was based on the decades of fashion that her grandmother lived through – from the 1920s to the 1980s.  There were some great pieces in this collection that captured the spirit of these decades without looking costumey.


There was a champagne coloured gown in her collection that was total dress porn (in my books anyway) and her 60s inspired dresses were adorable and fun.  We can expect her collection to be release in Spring 2010, so watch for it.

Next down the runway was Brittnay Naugler’s Lycheelime line.  The NSCAD grad offers custom clothing that are meant to be “wearable, whimsical and fun”, which I could definitely see in the collection. Lycheelime totally made question two of my fashion hats: gold lamé and asymmetrical dresses.  Even if I would never go near gold lamé (y’all know what I think of the laméland that is American Apparel), I thought her mini-dress with a tutu was fun and there was a dress that appeared to be made of jersey (I suck at guessing what a fabric is) with peacock feather embellishments that I loved.  I also dug a blue asymmetrical dress.


While the name of John Michael Brewer’s line – Drunk Gurl – is a bit questionable,  his collection was not. The description of Drunk Gurl in the programme said it is “not necessarily the most desirable clothing to wear”, but I thought it was actually wearable. Not by me, but by someone ten years younger who has way more stamina for dancing at the clubs than I do.


I’d recommend wearing leggings, so as to avoid flashing your goods, but otherwise – cute! There was also a dress with a pink crinoline that was totally Betty Draper-esque. The only trouble is that satin is an unforgiving fabric, but I think this is something that anyone who works with satin experiences, so it isn’t something I’m going to harp on.

The designs by The 3 Elements was a bit of a departure from much of what we saw all evening. While most of the designs were more youthful, The 3 Elements seemed to be something an older set would wear. Not that this is a bad thing.  Not everyone buying clothes is a leggy twenty year old, so kudos to them for going in a different direction.  My only real complaint with this collection is that their choice of colours where more of an earthy, fall palette rather than a bright, springy one.


Monica Nauss’ Maxwell-John Designs was described in the programme as fun, flirty and urban, which was definitely there in some of the drapey, off shoulder jersey dresses and tees. What really stood out for me was a pair of trousers in a subtle plaid that I would love to have for work (not kidding. I’d probably wear them to my new job on Monday).  The trousers didn’t really fit with the overall collection, but I like them enough to ignore that.


Closing the evening was Akshay Tyagi with a collection that was inspired by Halifax weather. Personally, if I were taking inspiration from the weather around here, it’d involve a lot of drab greys and it would be the most depressing line of clothing ever made. It’s a good thing Akshay is the designer and I’m not (you can thank my fear of the sewing machine for quashing that dream).  Some of the pieces are more conceptual than wearable, but it was overall stunning.  I liked it. I also learned that it is hard to photograph a clear plastic coat.



You can see by the faces of the audience in that last shot that jaws were dropping. (I do apologize to the model in the first pic there…I caught her in a blink and I was getting the very last juice out of my batteries, so I couldn’t try for a second photo).

I have to say, I was really impressed by what I saw on Wednesday night. I really had no idea what to expect from the emerging designers. Having never been to one of these shows before,  I wondered if it would be obvious that it was student/newer designers. But holy crap! Not even a little bit. The designs I saw on Wednesday could have easily been on the same runway as those I saw on Thursday.  It was clear that the difference between Wednesday and Thursday’s shows doesn’t lie in the talent or the vision. The emerging designers put on one heck of a show. Serious golf claps to all of them.

And go check out Haligonia’s video coverage of the event.

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