The dark side of Jackie.
Let’s start by saying how exciting it is to be celebrating fashion again with TFW in Toronto! When IMG pulled the plug on Toronto Fashion Week (TFW) last year, none of us knew what to expect for the future of Canadian fashion. I thought I would have to devote myself wholeheartedly to the New York fashion scene. My disappointment was short-lived as I started receiving invites from TWFW, TOM*’s new sister event, that assumed to replace the void of a womenswear fashion week in the city earlier this February. TWFW brought us a variety of local talent, unlike anything from the past years; it was inclusive and youthful. The event allowed for emerging as well as student designers to showcase their work on a citywide platform. This September, however, paid homage to the original designers of IMG fashion week through a re-launch of the original TFW hosted by Peter Freed. Peter Freed did in fact buy the TFW from IMG Canada in December of 2016 and after a season of silence, brought us a beautifully crafted presentation of established designer shows and panel talks with industry experts in the heart of Toronto’s luxury retail area of Yorkville. French couturier Jean Paul Gaultier and world renowned photographer Petra Collins joined us in the 6ix for a panel talk. Designers at Toronto Fashion Week included Pink Tartan, Lucian Matis, UNTTLD, Bustle, and our favourite femme elegance brand, Narces.
Narces has always understood the space between a woman’s soft heart and her desire to run free. Collection after collection, the design house brings us cocktail and evening wear dresses that exude ladylike luxe while simultaneously pushing the boundaries. The Narces woman is delicate and graceful yet unafraid. Bold in her movements and demure. Wild and playful appliqué against fluid and sheer silhouettes is a signature of Narces designer and creative director Nikki Wirthensohn. A black organza dress with bold all-over red lips appliqué from the 2015 collection has remained a Narces classic. The design house’s latest collection presented at the TFW stayed authentic to the designer’s roguish style. Youthful organza against oversized sequins, luxurious hues of lilac, and splattered lace work and embellishments dictated the show. Contrasts played exceptionally well in the case of denim trims on a tiered cocktail dress. There was a good mix of symmetric and asymmetric style lines, including the trending again J-LO side slit.
The coming season for Narces is lighter and more ethereal than past seasons. Soft illusion fabrics render a renaissance-like appeal, creating nude figurines in feathers and dainty embroidery. A rich satiny purple and iridescent shades of light blue appear among a predominantly achromatic palette. Fashion is experiencing a return to disco and no designer wants to be left behind- certainly not Narces, the sweet Canadian party girl. The collection carries a variety of intricate sequined designs, underlined with a glam statement. Modest necklines from this season’s looks really understand the fragility of a woman’s elegance — an essential quality for occasions that call for evening wear in my opinion.
Over the years, I have witnessed the growth of Narces as a brand. Designer Wirthensohn’s youthful prints in whimsical frocks have slowly turned into daring cocktail dresses and bewitching gowns. One of the most surprising element from this season’s runway was the make-up, showcasing seductresses in dark lips and theatrical drag queen-inspired eyebrows. The Narces woman knows the rules, but chooses to break them. She’s a woman that’s got her own. She is Jackie with a dark side.