L'Oréal Fashion Week

Spring 2006 Recap

The Spring 2006 L'Oréal Fashion Week collection featured the strongest group of models in its ten seasons.

Next Models provided some of the absolute highlights, like Yasmin Warsame's spirited performance for Pink Tartan, Vanessa Perron's direct-booked appearance for the same show, Sarah Ruba's first runway performances (Beckerman, Pink Tartan) and Renee Thompson's frequent show-stealing forays down the catwalk (which placed Thompson amongst our top five models for fashion week).

Giovanni's button collection
Giovanni brought the best promo materials, with a series of buttons featuring the faces of their runway models (and one featuring a Giovanni runway). The theme of the promo: "Pinning a face to Canadian Fashion." New face Justyna (a top five selection) proved to be the coolest (if not the busiest) newcomer, and someone from whom we expect to see a lot more in the future.

Meredith Mason
Elite's Irina Funtikova made the most of her two appearances (Paul Hardy, Pink Tartan) looking absolutely built for the runway. Backstage, between pages of The DaVinci Code, the charming native of Russia was telling me how fascinating it was to be in Paris (where The DaVinci Code mostly plays out) when she started the book. Meredith Mason, who flew directly home from a Paris shoot with Paolo Roversi to do Pink Tartan, sat backstage as copies of the current Style Magazine passed by with Mason's charming face on the cover. On the runway Mason showed why the staff back at the office are so keyed about her future. Claire Cormeau, meanwhile, was so captivating throughout the week she figured into our top five.

Elmer Olsen launched a dozen or so new ships into Toronto's fashion waters. C.J. and Marta had very strong starts to their young careers, while Sarra and Grace blossomed as the week progressed. Of the more established models, Andrea Gratton (also in our weely top five) and Breanna also impressed consistantly.

Ford's Marija
Sutherland's Francisco Randez (top five) proved to be the star Modelresource expected him to be, commanding the attention of everyone. Jae Brickman transformed from her sweet, laughing self backstage to someone that meant business when she stepped on the runway and was a very welcome addition to this season's shows. If there was one serious disappointment (in terms of the models) it's that more people didn't cast Nelly Tsyrlin, who was born for the runway. Her grace and halting appearance looked so right in every outfit she donned.

Two other models we would have loved to have seen more of were Ford's Marija and Nam's Willow.
Also on our wish list for upcoming seasons:
A more user-friendly, eye-friendly, up-to-date fashion week website (like Montreal's, B.C's, or Vancouver's), with a schedule that displays on my Blackberry (not that the other three have very accessible schedules, but Montréal's comes close).
More printers at the registration desk to quickly produce passes for those of us that register weeks in advance.
Clearly marked vegan options in the media room.
An elevated runway. Half of the outfits (those being the bottom halves) got missed by anyone not in the front row.
Although I can understand delaying shows (to a point) while people register, use that time to make opening remarks and show the pitch for Sony's new TV, rather than derailing one of the best collections of the week and pissing off everyone that made any effort to be there on time.

David Dixon's stunning show
(Giovanni's Justyna on the runway)
As mentioned in Modelresource's Day 1 Summary, this season's L'Oréal Fashion Week did show marked improvement over past seasons. Although we would still like to see a bigger commitment to the models who are generally poorly compensated for the amount of effort they put into it (between attending castings, fittings, sometimes rehearsals, and the hours spent in hair & makeup before actually presenting the designer's creations), the overall week was an improvement.

Credit where credit is due:
Muzik proved to be a better space than the Liberty Grand to hold the shows. That was said often throughout the week, by media, agency staff and models alike.
The catering showed a marked improvement over past seasons.
The volunteers were, as always, excellent.
Desia Halpin-Brill who acts as a liaison for the media, proved to be a star once again. She is not only appreciated by people like me, but several designers feel strongly about her as well.
Two other things that always impress Modelresource:
Rosa Costanzo's collection that doesn't look like any other collection, but never disappoints her ever-increasing legion of followers.
The incredible organization of David Dixon's shows. Always keeping things running smoothly is Luc Vincent, this time just days after finishing the Toronto Marathon.

Weekly recap
Top 5 models

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5

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