We’re not sure if Michi’s LG debut was a fashion show or a Pussycat Dolls rehearsal | Hollywood yohana


 Michi, the sporty brainchild of Toronto-based Michelle Watson could easily be described as the workout wardrobe of Lululemon’s risqué and fashion-forward sister. Watson stayed consistent, showing more feminine workout gear for Spring 2012 with an over-the-top show. Models strutted (actually) and flirted with show-goers while showing off a collection of sports bras with multiple straps and pops of purple, mustard, and magenta and matching shorts with slashes of mesh on the legs and peek-a-boo cutouts on the back. Accessorized with leather armbands, sky-high booties, and sass—including one model tossing her wig to reveal a bleached-blonde, closely-shaven head—at times we felt like we were watching a Pussycat Dolls rehearsal rather than a fashion show.


David Szeto makes a ladylike Toronto debut | Hollywood yohana

As the opener to last night’s The ShOws at the Ritz-Carlton, Paris/Brussels-based designer David Szeto brought his commercial collection of updated wrap dresses, simple suiting and mix printed separates for the first time. It was luxe to be sure—think gold-linked belts with jewelled detailing, black on white ruffled collars and chain hems on Chanel-esque jackets. The collection is sure to do well in a retail setting, but perhaps didn’t feel special enough to take the ushering helm of the third week of shows.


Ruffian brings 25 Downton Abbey-worthy looks to Toronto’s third leg of Fashion Week | Hollywood yohana

For the later showing at the Ritz-Carlton last night, The ShOws brought the New York–based duo behind Ruffian, Claude Morais and Brian Wolk, to Toronto for the retelling of their Fall 2012 collection. The label’s penchant for roughed up old-timey England was front and centre this time around, as the designers showed lengthy plaid double breasters, leather-trimmed updates on the riding jacket, velvet knee-length mermaid skirts and luxe-looking ruffled collars. The stellar collection was worthy of Mary Crawley, no doubt, but it was only too bad that it didn’t get the eyeballs it deserved, as so much of the likely fatigued fashion crowd skipped what was the 10th day of shows. Here’s one vote in favour of Toronto Fashion Week being, well, a week?


Proenza Schouler heads east, Michael Kors goes north, and Marchesa channels Joan of Arc | Hollywood yohana

Nothing like a surefire collection to make stock market bells ring, right? At Michael Kors’ Fall 2012 showing—the first since his company went public in December—he pulled out all the stops to make the registers go ka-ching. The celeb-filled front row, including Jessica Alba, Stacy Keibler, Anjelica Huston, and Debra Messing (and me, in case you were wondering), oohed and ahhed over the heritage-style buffalo-check skirts, overcoats, and capes, the sequined flapper evening gowns, and the ultra-glam layered furs. The designer’s colour of the season, red, was particularly winning on a retro tailored overcoat combo’d with removable fur collar that was elongated to one side. It was that Bay-blanket feel but double the luxe.
And the luxe continued later that day at J. Mendel, where Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen held court in the front row to take in a parade of sumptuous degradé white furs and red-carpet fabulousness. Some of the crispness that appeared at Mendel resurfaced later at the West Chelsea showing for Reed Krakoff. I’ve never been as beholden to strict leather cuts as the rest of my generation seem to be, but the butter-soft long and lean outerwear he paired with tight fur collars had me saying “Heeey!”
Then, for more show stopping with Marchesa at the Palm Court in the Plaza Hotel—no big deal. The liner notes referenced a William-Adolphe Bouguereau painting, “A Soul Brought to Heaven,” and that painting certainly references my reaction to the show. Less literal frills (save for a few fantasy dresses with skirts in epic proportions) than usual and more attention to the kind of Met-worthy details thrill upon closer inspection—each piece blended elements of Joan of Arc (think armour-like shells, gold-plated hem feathers á la McQueen’s final collection), with such lightness (strategically placed feathers and floral appliqués) that I actually felt lucky to be in the same room. How’s that for a critical review? Not.
And then—finally—for the show we’d all been waiting for, it was over to a garage in the west 20s for Proenza time, starring Jack, Laz, and the most perfect creations in the world! Seriously though, I was so happy to have gotten an invite that I could have kissed it all night long as I waited for the show to start. The heavy beats began, and it was on. Stomping models with slick-straight hair worked crazy leather wide legs (to say it was a 20-inch circumference would not exaggerate), stiff, perforated-looking button-downs that did up on an angle, cobalt and blood-orange grid-woven leathers, new takes on Ryan Gosling’s infamous Drive jacket, exquisitely woven Asian-inspired brocades, and the most unbelievable varsity-meets-shearling leather jacket I’ve seen in my life. And the saving starts now…


Who wore it best? View our top 8 picks from the Screen Actors Guild Awards red carpet and vote for your favourite | Hollywood yohana

Oh, how we love red carpet season. It seems that weekly, we’re showered with stunning photos of Hollywood’s A-List showing off like it’s nobody’s business. (Well, actually, it is our business.) At last night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, it seemed that this year’s nominees and stars were channeling their onscreen roles, with Michelle Williams in a va-va-voom lace Valentino, Shailene Woodley in a Hawaiian-esque floral-print L’wren Scott, and Emma Stone in a retro-shaped Alexander McQueen cocktail number. So, who wore it best? Check out our top 8 and vote for your favourite.


All the volume (and we mean volume) at yesterday’s Alexander McQueen show | Hollywood yohana

“You want volume? I’ll give you volume.” That seemed to be Sarah Burton’s thinking for the Fall 2012 Alexander McQueen collection. The show opened with white jacquard skirt suits featuring fluffy collars that extended from chin to elbow then moved into doily dresses with arcing sleeves and hips. Pink puffballs of Mongolian lamb—Burton’s suggestion for a coat—were nipped with concave silver bow belts. 3-D roses covered a cocktail dress with wide ostrich-feather hems, and the show ended with an explosion of tulle layers.
Shoes, if you could call them shoes, were heel-less and rocked on a curved metal base. Trimmings included visor-like metal glasses and white fur from ankle to knee. Ever since McQueen’s suicide two years ago, Burton has been delivering McQueen drama without the angst—the trend continues.


Ever wonder how Lady Gaga’s heelless shoes are made? Susie Bubble has the answer!| Hollywood yohana

We can’t tell you how people walk in Noritaka Tatehana heelless shoes, but we can show you how they’re made.  Whereas the engineering secrets behind the staggeringly high platforms remain, well, a secret, we can tell you that the shoes are made like any other piece of high-end footwear—with leather, cobbler’s tools and lots and lots of glue.

Tatehana’s shoes, which are frequently spotted on mega-celebrities like Lady Gaga (who is rumoured to own 14 pairs), don’t come cheap.  If you’d like to own a custom pair of these gravity-defying works of art, you can expect to shell out more than $10,000 and wait five months (or more, depending on how many orders Tatehana has to fill).  We did the math, and if rumours are true, that means Gaga’s Tatehana collection is easily worth $140,000. Would be nice.

Rear-view zips at Jeremy Laing, DKNY’s super slick leather, bright bright brights at Thakoon, and Hilfiger does Hermès | Hollywood yohana

The constant rushing between back-to-back shows (and shows, and shows, and shows) can make fashion week feel like somewhat of a big blurry journey. Uptown, then downtown, then—where are we again? Amidst that kind of chaos, it’s nice to switch it up with a few friendly faces, which was the scene at Jeremy Laing’s show yesterday morning. Everyone from photographers Tommy Ton and Jason Hudson, to writers Amy Verner and Sarah Nicole Prickett, to cool kids Eva Michon and Matt Jackson turned out to root for one of the strongest home-team players. Cue his splendidly architectural collection, with its attention to the backside (rear-view zips, backwards button-downs, and capes) and its awesomely fresh denim velvet abstract print interspersed throughout the collection, and you’ve got one helluva brunch replacement (to thankfully be followed by one actual brunch).
Packed with enough steam, it was off to Cedar Lake dance space for DKNY’s Fall take. Upon first sit, the room felt as if it was sweltering to a literal fever pitch. But once we realized that the models were actually arriving from one wide open door to the outside, the room began to lend itself quite easily to the super slick and modern take on the Beat generation, done up in black leather rounded shoulders, lacquered wine coats, and bright-red Mary Jane heels paired with faux-fur coats.
A quick stop to Anthropologie to replace the rip in my stockings brought me to Buddakan, where Tara Subkoff’s ever arty Imitation line pulled off an Old Hollywood imitation of a magic show, complete with real magician and jack-in-the-box dancing gal.
Then, to Whole Foods for a little sit down and a mini cheesecake, and it was off again to the Plaza for Thakoon’s superb showing. Up the elevator, with Bill Cunningham holding the doors for us (“C’mon child, we’ll all get up!” Swwwwwooooon!), we entered the bathed-in-red-light ballroom. Mutterings of “something great is about to happen” were naturally confirmed, as the brightly striped and colour-blocked numbers appeared en masse. A bold lip (which according to our beauty director, Lesa Hannah, was a first for the designer) was set to match with a brighter-than-bright fuchsia Mongolian fur jacket, red leather paper-bag skirt, and backless cocktail dress. Elsewhere in outerwear, and certainly on my must-have list for fall, a camel wool coat with contrasting purple leopard collar just about slayed me for the finish.
To top off the day, Tommy Hilfiger took over the Park Avenue Armory to present a gloriously American (what else) equestrian-themed collection. With an orchestral take on “Gimme Shelter” shifting into Lana Del Ray’s “National Anthem,” solidly tailored riding jackets, slim trousers, and printed Hermès-esque dresses revealed one of his strongest collections in years.


Welcome to the jungle at Hussein Chalayan, Roland Mouret, Vionnet, Roger Vivier, and Lanvin | Hollywood yohana

Finding your seat at a Paris fashion show can sometimes pose un problème: some spaces are as dark as haunted houses (Hussein Chalayan) while others are so tiny that introductions often aren’t necessary before making body contact (Carven). Finding my seat at Roland Mouret proved to be a rather glam experience; the ornate ballroom in L’Hôtel Westin is the perfect place to rise and shine. It’s like freshly squeezed OJ served in a gilded chalice. The show was very Parisienne chic (tailored cropped jackets paired with body skimming pencil skirts, flirty ruffles, the perfect cap sleeved shift dress in several shades of blue, sexy peek-a-boo accents on hemlines and playful sartorial accents like the not-so evil eyes) though there was one surprising models-they’re-just-like-us moment: the cone-heeled shoes squeaked with every step.

Next up: Hussein Chalayan, who appeared as a well-dressed server (bowtie and all) and proceeded to hand out bubbly to the models as they made the runway rounds. Chalayan is a true artiste and like any avant garde performance–this one included a live Belgian choir, two people wrapped head to toe in black and a video of two swirling spots­–you are entertained but leave with a slew of unanswered questions. A trip over to the Vionnet presentation was a pretty palette cleanser of floral prints, signature draping, whimsical bees and butterflies hanging from dresses and mesh booties, oceans of midnight blue, white, green and even a shout-out to America the beautiful with a smattering of stars. Speaking of which, Nicholas Kirkwood for Pollini’s presentation was held where A-listers rest their haute heads – The Ritz. After chatting with Kirkwood (he’s a delight!) and browsing the collab capsule collection of patent two-tone loafers, leather and straw bags, short stacked suede heels (a new height on the radar this spring) and more, I retired to the garden for a few blissful moments.
Over at Roger Vivier things were heating up; not only was the presentation room heat-stroke central but the Spring ’12 collection channeled the jungle: juicy tropical hues, wood accents, heavy beading, even a few monkeys swung onto the scene. Though the best accessories of the day were at Lanvin’s sweat lodge (er, tent). Each flushed attendee was given a black fan to flap during the 45-minute wait. Even Julianne Moore and Kristen Scott Thomas got in on the action, proving that Hollywood heavyweights aren’t too posh to perspire.

Canadians in New York, plus floral and paint dripped–induced bliss at Prabal Gurung | Hollywood yohana

Oh Canada! Today was a day of amazing Canadian talent on the New York scene with Kimberley Newport-Mimran showing a Brigitte Bardot on the Riviera–inspired collection filled with a mix of jumbo and petite polka-dot pieces, drop-waist, ruffled tank dresses, and bright hits of tangerine. The room stayed at capacity for most of the presentation, forcing nightclub bouncer-like behavior from the security, counting guests in as the same numbers left the space. And across town, Kaelen Farncombe from Oakville, Ontario, showed a relaxed collection of pale blue, blush, and nude crinkled cottons, crepe de Chine, and macramé knits that all looked too cozy to leave the house but too fabulous not to. Ink blot prints, designed in collaboration with another Canadian, Sarah Dobson, on maxi dresses and short suits were a standout.

Back to south of the border showings: Lacoste started off the day with new designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista‘s first collection for the sporty label and I think it’s safe to say they’ve found a winner. Colour-blocked knits, skinny knit shorts, slim tank tunics, silk anorak dresses in pops of bright colour, and vintage Lacoste-inspired suede bucket bags were all standouts. And then came Prabal Gurung: be still my heart. Held in the breathtaking IAC building, each look somehow trumped the next: delicate tulle cutouts, paint-dripped lamé pants, whimsical Alice in Wonderland-esque floral prints and ostrich feathers, all finished in near-couture quality. So far, it was the standout show of the week. Next up a night of cool kids Alexander Wang and Joseph Altuzarra! Stay tuned…


Behind the scenes at Jeremy Laing | Hollywood yohana

We’re taking a little break from our usual street style beat to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the goings-on before, during, and after Jeremy Laing’s Fall 2012 show. As you might have already read, we loved Laing’s collection—from his fresh denim velvet abstract print to the rear-view zippers, it’s easy to see why he’s one of Canada’s strongest exports. 

Huffing and puffing all the way to Ralph Lauren | Hollywood yohana

After a slight subway snafu that left me and my fashion week other-half, Globe & Mail fashion scribe Amy Verner, racing down Hudson Street (thank heavens we both wore flats) with no time to spare, we huffed and puffed and took our seats as the lights dimmed on Ralph Lauren’s spring show. While I looked like a haggard mess, Ralph’s girls were the picture of ladylike perfection—clad in cloche hats, beaded gowns in buttercup yellow, mint, and blush, silky wide leg trousers, and fine-knit cable cardigans—all channelling their inner Daisy Buchanan for a nostalgic New York runway experience.

Later that afternoon the pretty party continued at Calvin Klein, from barely-there nudes to dark-as-night charcoals, the simplicity of jersey crepe slip dresses, sculpted movement of cropped culottes, and a sleek shawl-collared duster coat all had a delicate elegance that was equal parts modern and timeless.
And so the last day of New York fashion week comes to a close for this tired little fashionphile. The shows have whizzed by in tornado-like intensity, leaving a path of destruction in the wake—blisters, dark circles, and some seriously bad eating habits—who’s booking me a spa day? But of course I’m not complaining, because out of the Spring 2012 storm appeared a rainbow of colour, from neon tangerine and acid green to the bluest of blues, lavenders, and pinks, inventive design, and stylish creativity. I’m off to take a nap, but stay tuned for Sarah Casselman’s Marc Jacobs day of indulgence as well as a juicy NYFW recap to find out who won gold in our picks of the week.


The top 5 trends in the making on the 5th day of shows | Hollywood yohana

After 12+ hours and an obscene amount of shows yesterday, my mind is whirling with all the delicious trends we have to look forward to for Spring. Here’s the top 5 from Day 5:

High Shine: Rose gold metallics and woven lurex knits shone bright at Diesel and Tory Burch.
Sport Chic: Racer backs, colour-blocks and scuba sheaths took a ladylike turn at Narciso Rodriguez and Vera Wang.
Japanese: New York by way of Tokyo at Marchesa.
Fringe: Tassels added a touch of Spanish flare at Oscar de la Renta.
Royal Fever: Marchesa and Oscar de la Renta went way past the Middleton effect!


A modern nod to Cleopatra and a surprise appearance from Andrej Pejic at Arthur Mendonça | Hollywood yohana

Set to a remix of my current song obsession, Flight Facilities’ “Crave You,” last night’s Arthur Mendonça show had me in great spirits before the first model even took to the runway. My smile stayed put as the girls marched out in Cleopatra-inspired (albeit, subtly) structured linen pieces adorned with zip-off peplums and exposed hardware, paired with feminine crème draped silks. Continuing to play with texture, as we spotted in his studio last week, Arthur experimented (with success) with a ladylike black leather trench, a sophisticated waxed-linen safari suit, and a subtle metallic–tweed drawstring-waist blazer, all FASHION favourites. While I could have done without the bold geometric metallic suiting, animal prints, and the flashback to Lanvin’s Spring 2011 collection, Arthur’s string of silk looks in highly saturated hues—including tangerine and fuchsia Japanese florals, a radio wave–print sheath with a slash of magenta, and a deep sky blue blouse on standout Serbian Australian model Andrej Pejic—kept my smile holding strong into the night.


Our final dispatch including LYN knitwear and UNTTLD’s “sexy beast” | Hollywood yohana

While London Fashion Week just ended and the shows in Milan started this morning, we’re going back to revisit the fourth and final day of Montreal Fashion Week. This year Groupe Sensation Mode launched a new event, Exhibit 22, that showcased up-and-coming designers. Most of the invitees were from Montreal, including Betina Lou by Marie-Ève Émond. New discoveries included knitwear designer Maude Nibelungen and accessories line Aime by W. by Bertrand W. Delancourt. I’ve also been personally following fellow local ladies Evelyne Fay from White Label and Hayley Gibson from Birds of North America, but I must send out a special shout-out to B.C.-boy Earl Luigi from LLUI—we’re both from the Philippines and I love how he incorporates Filipino textiles into his work.
And then it was time for the final shows of the week: First up was personal coup de coeur Anastasia Lomonova. Building upon her impressive pleats from last season, her Fall collection met with careful piping applied in whimsical patterns on the bodice that branched out into straps. In one beautifully clever style, they spread out over the model’s shoulder blades in an elegant web. Also new to the collection were cupped bustiers in pleated chiffon and leather, accessorized by chokers and bracelets accented with ultra-long fringe that swayed with each fierce strut.
Next in line was the LYN knit collection that dressed models in sweater frocks: with hoodies, open-backs, and a couple cocoon numbers that left models not only sleeveless but armless. Each outfit in thick yarns of black, navy, chocolate, rust, and creamy white crept down the runway, celebrating the painstakingly crocheted artistry by designer Jocelyn Picard’s own two hands.
Finally, where are the words to describe UNTTLD? When I had chatted with the designers Simon Bélanger and José Manuel St-Jacques a couple weeks before the show, Bélanger used the phrase “sexy beast” in reference to the show. Bestowed with a FIFA sponsorship, there were leather vests and jackets fitted with barbarous fur backs, skin-tight shoelace pants with synthetic hair stitched into the seams—an animalistic yet sensually wild fringe. Clearly, if these three closing acts are any indication, the future of Montreal fashion has talent written all over it.


We spotted Rachel Zoe, Anna Wintour, Mario Testino, Anna Dello Russo, and Patrick Demarchelier | Hollywood yohana

 We’ve got another beautiful selection of photos from Paris today, including snaps of some of the most major names in the biz, like Anna Wintour, Grace Coddington, Mario Testino, Patrick Demarchelier, Anna Dello Russo, and Rachel Zoe. Plus, a bunch of pretty girls carrying branded balloons, something we can’t say we’ve seen before!

Nothing says springtime quite like 26 shots of pastel jeans, accessories and even bikes on the Toronto streets!| Hollywood yohana

Despite the last few days of untimely weather, we’re feeling pretty confident that the prettiest season is here to stay! Cue the trendy pastel-filled Toronto streets, where soft pinks, lavender-like purples and frothy blues have taken form in everything from jeans, to quilted accessories, to Chanel-style coats, like the one pictured above. Check out these ultra-feminine shots. Here’s hoping that there’s many more where they came from.