TOM*FW – A first of many firsts
Photos courtesy of TOM*FW and Shayne Gray
TORONTO - A three day week of uninterrupted men’s fashion kicked off on Tuesday August 12th at the regal Fairmont Royal York hotel. Coined as TOM*FW, this is a first for our city and a first for our country’s designers. Toronto is the 8th world city to host a menswear week and we should applaud this. It’s no secret that womenswear dominates most fashion scenes so it can’t hurt to separate the two, non-discriminately, to highlight the world of menswear.
Day 1 – The Future is Now
Worth by David Wigley
According to David, spring summer 2015 is about wrestling onesies, digital imagery, slouchy sweaters, and mullet shirts or high ‘n low’s - I stood corrected by my photographer - in a colour palette at times quiet in stark whites and other times rambunctious with injections of colour.
The opening look was a white notch collared jacket with a gradient cascade of digital bees falling from the shoulders onto the front, back and sleeves. Those same bees were also on a pair of white briefs; if that were real life, that model would not be walking as stoic as he was.
A full blown abstract honeycomb with greater colour and life adorned a couple other looks, including a varsity jacket. There also came moments of blossom with a floral varsity jacket quite pleasantly partnered up with fuchsia club shorts.
David played with what I call “Dexter plastic”, what I’m guessing to be some polyurethane concoction. He worked it into an all-white short onesie with elastic waistband and textured sleeves and black panels on pants running the height of the calf. One shirt had a hard chest panel of this material in burgundy (maybe oxblood – my second row seating impeded me from telling the difference) that protruded and stood away from the chest like armour.
With the ominous music especially, the collection felt like a futuristic end of the world moment. These men lived off the grid and made their own fashion. They used unconventional fabrics and construction in their unconventional realm. It was otherworldly and futuristic.
Video courtesy of TOM* Fashion Week
Christian L’enfant Roi
In Christian’s world, there is such a thing as a fencing samurai. Make that a fencing samurai in pyjamas; certainly not a breed of athlete you want to mess with. Spring summer for this designer was about duality – harmony and chaos all rolled into one collection that was inspired by fencing. The sport is one of agility and movement and if carefully paid attention to, provides its athletes with apparel that is both strict and fluid. This is the juxtaposition the designer played with.
Steel grey, Adriatic blue and white were worked into a utilitarian, softly combative array of contemporary fencing jackets, loosely draped pants with roomy waistlines tied in knots, and work shirts in stripes and minimal prints, such as, what seemed to be by my failing vision, a man in an acrobatic position. Hung from suspenders were dual leather utility belts and strapped around the arch of the shoes were black and white wraps with instances of lilac.
Simplistic in its lines, this collection was both structured and comfortable. It was calm; at times eerie as a result. The jackets and shirts were so sleek anything could roll of their backs and their pants so roomy, they could ninja kick, tree pose or backbend without obstruction.
Tothem shared the same sentiment as L’enfant Roi and Worth - that pyjama comfort is in and that digital prints are all the rage. Tothem stood uniquely on his own, though, because of his patterns and prints. Coat, jacket, shirt and pant ensembles in a pixelated purple and pink skeletal print darkened by conspicuous black, or a dark grey and white manic striation print. There was also a celestial print and one that resembled ridges in the earth with ink running through them, aptly called, by me, the “ridge print”. Clever right?
Comfort was key for this spring summer collection. The fit was relaxed, sometimes boxy, but never oversized. The wearers didn’t lose their shape. The style lines were straightforward and uncomplicated, perfect canvas for his interesting prints.
Tothem SS 2015 (Photos by Tricia Sam)