Fashion Week Tent Poll: What Do You Think of the Shows?

By Erin Letson & Susan O'Neill March 21, 2008, 4:08 PM EDT

With 35 shows being held over four days, there's been plenty to see on the runway at L’Oréal Fashion Week. This season's shows have included a mix of newcomers, including Project Runway Canada winner Evan Biddell and established designers Andy Thé-Anh, David Dixon, and Pink Tartan. We asked members of the crowd for their impressions of the fall 2008 presentations.

“I think Toronto Fashion Week is growing up. And being condensed to four days really made a difference because it was hot and heavy every day, so I think it's been great. I think there's been some terrible [shows] like there is in every fashion week all around the world. I mean, Jeanne [Beker] and I were talking about this before: When we go to New York we see the seven or eight major shows, but there's two shows running parallel to each other so there's more bad than there are good. Toronto is no different. There are a lot of people trying very hard who just are not there yet. But there's some outstanding collections. Greta Constantine, world class. They will end up being the next DSquared. They are outstanding. Spectacular.”
Michael King, C.E.O. and co-founder of Kontent Publishing

“Comrags and I go way back, so Wednesday night was lovely for me. I'm so proud of them. I've been following them since the little black baby-doll dresses of the '80s, so that was really exciting for me. But here we are on Thursday night with Pink Tartan, the next generation. That's the great thing about Fashion Week: There's such excitement amongst the young designers ... that it really feels like a place to build an identity.... In the same way that TIFF has become an event that cannot be ignored internationally, there's the potential for this to be exactly the same. I'm certainly on board with that.”
—Shelley Carroll, city councillor

“Overall I think this has probably been the best season for Fashion Week. The quality of the models is better; the collections are better. There's been a really good mix of new designers who show a lot of potential versus a new designer who is just a train wreck on the runway, and some really good established brands, so I'm really impressed. I think people say, 'Well, Toronto is the same level as Milan and New York.' We're not. We're not going to be, and we shouldn't even try to be. I think the importance of this week is about expressing the creativity that we have for the Canadian market.... I have to say I've been impressed with what I've seen.”
—Lisa Tant, editor in chief, Flare

“I loved Denis Gagnon. It's terrific to see him back in the collections, and it was a fantastic show. I've always loved his vision and I think he's always true to himself. I think he's really fantastic. There have been some highs and some lows, but you expect to see that in any city so I think it's been pretty good.... [There are] a lot of names that I haven't seen before, so it's nice to see a mix of the veterans with the newcomers.”
—Ceri Marsh, editor in chief, Fashion magazine

“Overall I thought the quality of the shows was very good. I thought that the set design could have been a bit more elaborate, a bit more dramatic, especially during the Comrags show. I think they could have done a lot more with the set, but given the short amount of time that they had, I understand there are constraints. But overall I've been impressed. The Bratz/Diesel Kids show was unbelievable for me. Seeing young kids with their hair slicked back, with the attitude—they really did well on that show.”
—Tanya Dossa, president, Intelegance Marketing

“I think the week has been a tight week as L'Oréal Fashion Weeks go. The venue and location continue to be a success, with a variety in the kinds of presentations. In terms of quality of the collection, I would say Denis Gagnon was an outstanding show and represented L'Oréal Fashion Week at its best. I think overall it's been a lineup somewhat stronger than it has at other times been.”
—David Livingstone
, fashion writer

“I think there have been some phenomenal shows. I didn't anticipate that all of these Canadian designers would put out such stunning collections. The intricacies of the detailing, the quality of the garments, and the thought that they put into the production value—it's not just  up and down the runway, it is a whole complete show, and I've been quite impressed with everything that I've seen.”
—Kim Wright, consultant, Global Public Affairs

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