TORONTO In the past few seasons, the Fashion Design Council of Canada has hosted LG Fashion Week in several venues, including the tents at Nathan Phillips Square, a former car dealership on King Street West, and the Allstream Centre. This week, the presentation of the 2011 spring collections (which began Monday and runs until Friday) is taking place in yet another new venue—Heritage Court at the Direct Energy Centre. And this time, F.D.C.C. president Robin Kay says she's hopeful the event may finally have found a long-term home.
“We'd like to be here for several seasons,” Kay said of the event, now in its 23rd season. “I think this is our seventh or eighth location. We're homeless, and we move around a lot. But this has been the best [venue] by far. It has clean cement floors, high ceilings, and wonderful daylight.”
For this season, Kay worked with the production team to design a runway that could be adapted for shows of varying sizes. “Everything costs money, so what I tried to do was build the runway room to host a variety of presentations,” she said. At capacity, the space—dubbed the Marquee—seats 1,000.
For designers who want a more intimate setting, the 120-foot runway is shortened, the photographer's pit is relocated, and the seating sections not in use are draped in black to create a space called the Petite Marquee, which holds 500. Designers can also present fashion installations in an area called the studio, in the main fashion environment near the entrance to the venue.
Kay called on Nicholas Pinney of Nicholas Pinney Design to design the overall look for the fashion environment this season. “Because it was the spring collections, we decided to take advantage of that and create a European formal garden feel. ... I love the architecture. That really was the main inspiration,” said Pinney, who used hedges, a fountain, and cutouts of topiary trees within the decor. “I wanted to give it a twist, to make it a bit more theatrical and give it a different dimension.”
Silver and white furnishings, from Furnishings by Corey, provide seating throughout the V.I.P. and main lounge areas. Dot & Dash created grassy vinyl panels (which Pinney affixed to the white Plexiglas bars) and pebbled vinyl flooring, laid beneath furniture groupings. Pinney also commissioned Thomas McAneney to create four acid-green six-foot sculptures, which resemble mannequins. “We wanted a visual impact in the middle, to surround the fountain and the bar,” Pinney said.
As in past years, the fashion environment also includes multiple sponsor displays—coordinated by Rob Dittmer of Three Event Planning & Design Inc. Attendees can peruse (and purchase) items from the Attitude line at an installation sponsored by Sears, can pose on a mini runway sponsored by Skintimate, can sample a variety of coffee beverages at the Nescafé Dolce Gusto booth, and can enter to win prizes, like $1,500 worth of products from Rowenta, and a washer and dryer from title sponsor LG Canada.