Fall/Winter 2012 Fashion Week


Not that it isn't a real concern, but frankly I'm getting tired of hearing about diversity on the runway. I mean come on, this is something we've been reading about, talking about, writing about and wringing our hands about for years now. Why aren't we done with this yet? How is it not common sense to include some colour when you're casting your show?

Off the top of my head I can think of three shows during fashion week that were solidly, 100%, front-to-back Caucasian. If you're serious about showing your understanding of current trends, shouldn't you know how objectionable that is?

On the other side of the ledger was Vawk and its new sister label Vawkkin, which pushed an agenda of inclusion. Different sizes, different heights, different colours... it was all about pulling from every demographic and putting the whole mixed cast in heels.

The Ben Barry Agency, which has successfully (almost deafeningly) branded itself as the agency of *real people* guided the casting, and if there was a hint of prejudice it probably went against younger models. Diversity ruled, but to the point of distraction.

Casting at its best, as it has been several seasons, was David Dixon's. Sure, seeing the likes of Meghan Collison, Anaïs Pouliot and Kate King is more exciting (and I love that Joe Fresh brought them in), but most designers don't have a Joe Fresh budget. Dixon cast a range of models without making it look like his raison d'être. It was effortless diversity, and it looked great. If other designers followed his lead, well, we could finally stop talking about this.

Elite's Herieth for David Dixon
photo: Steve Alkok (

Generally casting was on the safe side this season. With a few notable exceptions the runways were populated by the same faces we've grown used to seeing on Toronto runways.

What is new (and therefore worth talking about) was how well organized World Mastercard Fashion Week was!

October's shows already demonstrated marked improvement over seasons past, and this time out the Fashion Design Council of Canada gave the modelling industry almost nothing to complain about (of course some still will, and as much as I'm sick of going round and round on the diversity issue, I'm even more tired of those agents that sulk every time they feel personally slighted).

Attendance seemed to be down, with plenty of empty seats at shows I would have expected to have full houses.

Contrast that with last season, when people with tickets were turned away from some shows.

Really, I have nothing but praise for the FDCC this season.

Ford's Taylor McKay for Mélissa Nepton
photo: Steve Alkok (

the shOws, now it its third season, continued to offer a different take on fashion week.

Unlike WMCFW, guests to the Paola Fullerton Inc. event didn't have to wear badges, line up for tickets or scramble for seats.

There was plenty of free food and beverages for models and attendees.

As was the case with its first two iterations, what it sacrifices in foot traffic it makes up for with class.

Push's Emily Fox for Jeremy Laing
photo: Steve Alkok (

Also worth noting, the growing trend of models trained by Drea Vujovic at fashion week.

The Chantale Nadeau / Next Canada model was one of three finalists in the first season of Project Runway Canada.

That parlayed into a gig as the runway coach for Season II's finale show, a coordining position with Paola Fullerton Inc and now a steadily increasing base of agencies contracting the catwalk vet to train their own girls.

Sutherland and B&M rookies, Zoë and Jovana respectively, can both credit Vujovic for their runway exposure this season.

The 5'11 brunette also made her own fashion week foray, walking in Cara Cheung's very sexy collection.

Next Canada's Drea for Cara Cheung
photo: Steve Alkok (

Other highlights from this season:

The new twitter handles I learned. If you go back through each day's coverage you'll see where we've added twitter handles for the many models we do know.

Elmer Olsen's Bridget Anderson (@Beehappe) for Joeffer Caoc
photo: Steve Alkok (

Heather Marks, flown in twice in one week (Mackage, then Joe Fresh).

Mode's Heather Marks for Mackage
photo: Steve Alkok (

The Joe Fresh after party. I'm not normally one for the fashion week parties, but this one is special (and better that I don't share my own photos).

Elmer Olsen's Olie from the Joe Fresh runway
photo: Steve Alkok (

And of course, I couldn't conclude my coverage of Fashion Week without expressing my gratitude to Steve Alkok (, for generously allowing the use of two week's worth of outstanding photos.

Ford's Santa for Korhani
photo: Steve Alkok (


Blogs We Follow

Cailin Hill (The Model Burnbook)

Models x Models (Models x Models)

Liis Windischmann's (14+ LouLou blog)

Laura Kell (A Model Life)

Madison Schill (Chic Greek Geek)

Kathleen Burbridge (Kathleen in Wonderland)

Ania Boniecka (A n i a . B)

Shawn Dezan (motivated//ambition)