FASHION SAVAGE became an outlet for founder Meaghan Elizabeth’s love of all things fashion. Based in Toronto, Canada, FASHION SAVAGE reports on international fashion weeks, designer collaborations, fashion events, trends, industry news, beauty, and various lifestyle topics.
Following a world-class tour that included installations in Milan, St. Petersburg, Prague, and Madrid, MANOLO BLAHNIK: THE ART OF SHOES makes it’s final – and only – North American stop at Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum.
Unveiled to VIP guests and members of the press on Tuesday, May 15, the highly anticipated retrospective spans the 45 year career of one of the world’s most influential footwear designers. Introduced by Manolo Blahnik himself, the exhibition’s final stop was a particularly special one. “The reason why I’m here is the legend of Mrs. Bata that I really wanted to meet, but it wasn’t fate,” he explained to the crowd gathered inside the Bata Shoe Museum on Tuesday afternoon – a space he proclaimed to be a “temple of beauty.” An avid museum enthusiast, Blahnik says the BSM’s collection of more than 13,000 shoes and related artifacts is “incomparable” to anything he has ever come across.
MANOLO BLAHNIK: THE ART OF SHOES features 80 original drawings hand-selected by the designer.
On display through January 6, 2019, THE ART OF SHOES provides an intimate look at the designer’s personal journey, sources of inspiration, and career achievements. Featuring over 200 shoes and 80 original drawings that were hand-selected by Blahnik, and guest curator, Dr. Cristina Carrillo de Albornoz, the underlying theme of the exhibition – that shoes are art – aligns perfectly with his own approach to creating footwear.
For more than four decades, Blahnik – who still acts as the Creative Director and Chairman of his namesake company – has used his inventiveness and superb artisanship to cross the boundaries between fashion and art. Using architectural and sculptural lines within his work, the designer exquisitely captures the imagination by transforming everyday essentials into masterpieces of contemporary design.
Visitors to THE ART OF SHOES will get a step-by-step look at how one of Blahnik's designs – the 2017 “Josefa” model – is brought to life.
Visitors to THE ART OF SHOES will discover how architecture, art, botany, cinema, global cultures, and literature have played a pivotal role in Blahnik’s creations. Highlights include the designer’s exquisite collection of Marie Antoinette shoes, created for Sofia Coppola’s 2006 film, and exclusive footage of the craftsman at work. Titled “Manolo and His Workshop,” this behind-the-scenes portion of the exhibition provides a step-by-step look at the creation of his 2017 “Josefa” model, and invites viewers to hear directly from Blahnik through a video interview.
To learn more about MANOLO BLAHNIK: THE ART OF SHOES, including the Exclusively Manolo programming series, visit the Bata Show Museum website.
Established as The Fair Trade Show in 2014 by Rafik Riad, Buy Good. Feel Good. (BGFG) is now North America’s largest social enterprise marketplace. Taking place at Toronto’s Enercare Centre, the 3-day event celebrates conscious consumption by hosting more than 100 vendors from around the world.
Carefully arranged according to ethical focus – Environmental Impact, Social Impact, Fairtrade, Organic, and Local – the marketplace connects retail buyers and consumers with Canadian and international brands that are dedicated to giving back and making a difference. Products and services showcased at BGFG run the gamut from fashion, to food, to home and lifestyle, to renewable energy services.
Open exclusively to retail buyers on Friday, May 11, BGFG is shoppable for all on Saturday, May 12, and Sunday, May 13. Below, we share five of our favourite marketplace finds. Can’t make it? All items are also available online!
Fair trade is a concept that refers to paying fair prices for products, adhering to fair terms of trade, and providing decent working conditions. The well being of the workers and farmers, as well as the environmental sustainability of their lands and communities, are considered when determining prices and establishing trade relationships. Through fair trade, workers and farmers achieve greater stability in their lives and control over their futures.
Alternatively, Fairtrade is an independent, third-party certification body for products made in the Global South. The display of the Fairtrade Mark indicates that the ingredients of a product have met social, economic, and environmental standards as determined and enforced by Fairtrade.
Both fair trade and Fairtrade products are available at BGFG.
What Is A Social Enterprise?
A social enterprise is a business – either non-profit or for-profit – that builds positive social and/or environmental goals into its operational framework and bottom line for an outcome of equal or greater importance to its financial profits.
Social enterprises contribute to sustainable development through innovations in healthcare, microfinance, renewable energy, and more – empowering communities, and creating fair employment opportunities for the world’s poorest and most marginalized groups.
For more information on Buy Good. Feel Good., visit the website.
On Monday, March 12th, Toronto Women's Fashion Week kicked off its third season at One Yonge Street. Taking place over three days, the event showcased a total of 18 designers, including runway regulars like Lesley Hampton and Stephan Caras, emerging labels such as Claire Lemaître-Auger and MOSKAL, and Montreal-based unisex outerwear brands Pascal Labelle and Rudsak.
Elise Gasbarrino was just 21 years old when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Lucky to be surrounded by an amazing support system, the young cancer survivor still felt that something essential was missing from her treatment experience. Disconnected from women her own age who were facing the same issues, Gasbarrino was inspired to create a way for her peers to conquer the illness together.
With this ambition in mind, the Pink Pearl Foundation was born. A not-for-profit organization made up of more than 25 volunteers, Pink Pearl is dedicated to maintaining a network of women between the ages of 18 and 40, who are battling all forms of cancer. Through a range of innovative programming – including day-long and overnight wellness retreats, in-hospital support packages, local social gatherings, family support days, and post-secondary scholarships – the Foundation empowers young women who are courageously working through the social and emotional challenges of the illness.
Originating in the Niagara Region, the Pink Pearl Foundation has touched the lives of nearly 1000 young women in the Greater Toronto Area, and continues to expand its reach each year. 2017 was particularly significant for the organization, which hosted an overnight wellness retreat in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood, and established a stronger presence in the city’s downtown core through the introduction of local social gatherings.
With more than $300,000 raised to date, special events including Pink Pearl’s annual fundraising evening, Black & White with a Touch of Pink, are vital to the organization’s ability to fully fund participants’ experiences. Taking place at The Great Hall on Friday, April 13th, this year’s affair will be hosted by CTV News Toronto Co-Anchor, Michelle Dubé, and feature live musical entertainment by The Doubts and DJ Pierre Bois.
Attendees are invited to bid on silent auction items, enjoy a top-shelf open bar, and snack on tasty eats from local restaurants, including Gangster Cheese and The Food Dudes – trust us, your taste buds will thank you.
Opening with a freshly-painted lamb leather jacket, Fall/Winter 2018 was a nod to designer Xian Wang’s love of goth and punk subculture. Titled ‘VEIN,’ the collection combined high and low textiles, including fur, leather, and neoprene to establish a street luxe aesthetic – each look emanating a confident, cool, and collected rock and roll vibe. Wang’s lower priced diffusion line, G.W.T.X., hit the runway alongside his more indulgent pieces, with a selection of graphic tees, hoodies, and bomber jackets catered toward the brand’s younger fans.
Presented in a predominantly black colour palette – XIAN’s signature – the collection was accented with touches of white and oxblood. Looks were styled with fox fur trapper hats by Montreal label The Malahai, unique top hats by Jaycow Millinery, and sunglasses from Holly Eyewear.
Closing out Day 1 of Toronto Men’s Fashion Week’s Fall/Winter 2018 season, Kollar Clothing’s latest paired the label’s popular premium denim with a selection of track and bomber jackets. Presented in a predominantly dark colour palette, the signature super skinny jeans came in an array of ripped, distressed, and dip dye options.
Styling was kept simple – pairing easy-to-wear streetstyle staples with the brand’s own Chelsea boots. ¾ zip hoodies, “K” emblazoned varsity jackets, and Sherpa-collared denim coats with a lived in feel rounded out the season’s offerings.
A dip dye wool overcoat done in a dark-to-light ombre fade stood out as a collection favourite. Worn over a plain black hoodie and skinny drawstring denim, the statement piece added an elevated edge to the casual everyday ensemble.
Building on the brand's deeply-rooted, and rebellious DNA, Hip and Bone’s Fall/Winter lineup focused on leathers, knits, and ripped denim. Dubbed ‘The Crazy Never Die,’ the collection established skinny cargo sweats, soft luxurious tees, and Sherpa textiles as the season’s must-have athleisure staples. Layered looks came in a signature neutral colour palette of black, white, and khaki, and were accessorized with bandannas and custom Coup de Tête headwear.
Dim runway lighting and a cobblestone backdrop set the tone for Shelli Oh’s latest menswear collection – transporting guests to a hushed evening laneway encompassed by a foggy haze.
Titled ‘Baker Street,’ the 15-look lineup showcased the designer's elevated approach to everyday work wear staples, including dress shirts and trousers, checkered blazers, and knee-length overcoats. Stand out pieces included a set of cropped jackets, which sat at the models’ natural waists.
Defined by Oh’s signature focus on unique textures and distinctive details, the collection told a story of romantic idealism and rebellious intellectualism. Smart and sophisticated looks were imagined in muted blue and grey overtones, and paired with bold dress shirts – with shades of pink and chartreuse adding brightening pops of colour.
Opening with a cinematic montage set in 1920s England, Zane Barlas aimed to take his viewers’ experience beyond the runway, inviting them to “not only see the collection, but feel it as well.”
Dubbed ‘The Industry,’ Barlas’s latest was inspired by the mass unemployment, deflation, and industrial unrest that accompanied Britain's second Industrial (or Technological) Revolution. Designed for the inclement weather of the Fall/Winter season, the eponymous label’s well-tailored suiting and wool overcoats were a clean and confident contrast to the gritty streets and harsh economic circumstances for which they were envisioned.
Zane Barlas For Her - The designer aims to release his first womenswear collection for the Fall/Winter 2019 season.
Image, Che Rosales.
The brand’s latest runway stint also offered a preview of Barlas’s expansion into women’s apparel. “You saw a formal business power suit, casual blazer, and an overcoat,” he says, “all of which are consistent with the brand's quality fabrics and fit.” The debut collection is anticipated to arrive next year for the Fall/Winter 2019 season.
Just one month after the unveiling of MAYER MAN at Toronto Fashion Week (TFW), designer Ross Mayer returned to the runway at Toronto Men’s Fashion Week (TOM*) to present an expanded version of his debut menswear collection. Held on February 5 as part of the RE\SET 003 lineup at TFW, Mayer’s initial showcase offered a 13-model teaser of the more than 30 looks he sent down the runway during TOM*.
Mayer's inclusion of a few female models demonstrated that his menswear designs are a perfect fit for any gender.
Image, Che Rosales.
Focused primarily on outerwear, Mayer’s Fall/Winter 2018 collection favoured wool textiles, two-toned textures, and fur trim. Styled with beatnik berets, and lapel pins and belt chains by Karen McFarlane, the luxury pieces came in a balanced palette of deep jewel tones and bold pops of colour. Four sparkling, sequined tracksuits closed out the show.
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