Off the Runway





Fall/Winter 2008


Simona McIntyre for Evan Biddell
photo: Maja Hajduk
Getting Simona McIntyre to Toronto for fashion week was NOT easy - I know, because I worked damn hard to make it happen.

This season I've been working with top Casting Agent Paola Palozzi-Fullerton on four shows; the first of which launched L'Oréal Fashion Week Monday.

McIntyre just finished shooting for Marc Jacobs in New York, and is doing Vera Wang back in the Big Apple as I write this.

But for a few hours Monday, the Sutherland model was in Toronto, walking for Evan Biddell's first full collection, and charming the media with her soft-spoken manner.

Her flight to Toronto was literally booked Sunday evening, after it finally became clear that she could spare a few hours.

Chantale Nadeau met McIntryre at the airport, whisked her down to the Sheraton, where I met her and walked her to the tents at Nathan Phillips Square. She then jumped straight into an in-progress television interview with Biddell.

Getting McIntyre here was a priority. Following all the hype that has surrounded Biddell since winning the inaugural Project Runway Canada, there needed to be a statement to this show, and 18-year-old McIntyre was the exclamation point. She was remarkable.

Another priority was getting Giovanni's Ashley Hart into the show. Biddell's winning model from Project Runway Canada landed late Sunday night after two very busy months in Tokyo.

And of course, being the first person to book Chantale Nadeau/Sutherland new face Kai... I can't tell you how happy I am to claim that.

Ashley Hart and Kai for Evan Biddell
photo: Maja Hajduk

When I learned Kelsey Van Mook and Stephanie Shiu were available this season I was giddy. Both flew in from Vancouver this weekend to be part of the shows. Expect to see much more from the pair of Next models this week.

Kelsey Van Mook and Stephanie Shiu for Evan Biddell
photo: Maja Hajduk

Christina Thé and Tamara McDonald (both Elmer Olsen) for Evan Biddell
photo: Maja Hajduk

Eva Shaw (Giovanni) and Irina Funtikova (Elite) for Evan Biddell
photo: Maja Hajduk

Simona leads out NAM twins Jenn and Jackie at the finale
photo: Maja Hajduk

Unfortunately for me, the compacted fashion week schedule this season (four days) means I have less time to post photos during the days, so many more will come following fashion week. In the meantime...
Denis Gagnon returned to Toronto with much fanfare, and another strong lineup of models.

Stefanie Nazoyan (Giovanni) and Tara Gill (Elmer Olsen) for Denis Gagnon
photo: Maja Hajduk

Bojana Reljic (Ford) leads Tamara McDonald and Oksana (Elmer Olsen)
photo: Maja Hajduk

And then there was Joe.

Joe Mimran's Joe Fresh did the extraordinary and brought the top model in Canada, if not the world, to Toronto.

Coco Rocha was a dream, enduring a hectic backstage environment full of adoring media types, before taking over the runway.

Note the look on people's faces when a Coco strides by. So great!

Coco Rocha (Elite) for Joe Fresh
photo: Maja Hajduk

Lee Dares (Giovanni) and Lisa Porter (B&M) for Joe Fresh
photo: Maja Hajduk

And how much do I love this girl? After missing nearly two months of school to establish herself as one of the top new runway models on the planet, Kate Somers has made herself available to Canadian designers this week.

Kate Somers (Ford) for Joe Fresh
photo: Maja Hajduk

Ford's Jess McEown appeared for Denis Gagnon Monday; her first of eight runway appearances this week before moving on to Montréal next week for more shows

Jess McEown (Ford) for Denis Gagnon
photo: Maja Hajduk

More images from the Evan Biddell show:

Teisha (Next)
photo: Maja Hajduk

Claire Oleson (Sutherland)
photo: Maja Hajduk

Jessica Lewis (Elmer Olsen)
photo: Maja Hajduk

Lisa Porter (B&M)
photo: Maja Hajduk

Ali Biddell
photo: Maja Hajduk

Show Packages