My sister-in-law and I hit the road for a fairly smooth drive into the big city, though the Don Valley Parkway was closed for maintenance, and anyone who lives outside the downtown will understand how that complicated our route!
At the Neo Strata table, the rep asked us what our main skin concern was, and I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that I said "aging" (embarrassed because that's not a very female-empowering answer). However, I feel the need to be honest (with my dear readers, as well as with salespeople who are complete strangers to me). On the positive side, we got a lot of great samples, so I'm sure people at work are going to start mistaking me for a student soon.
While waiting for the fashion show to begin, many guests were enjoying champagne from the pop-up Ritz bar, or martinis from Grey Goose. As for me, I sampled a delicious gourmet peanut butter hot chocolate!
For those looking to bring some high fashion looks home with them, the designer pop-up market (shown below) was available, with tables and racks selling items from many different designers.
Here I am checking out the "Minnie Mouse: Through the Decades" display. Who would have thought a little rodent could inspire such great fashion? I wouldn't mind that red dress myself (sans bows).
Finally, the big moment arrived and attendees filed into the Runway Room. Some of the sweetest words a writer can hear: "You have a media pass? You're sitting right there, in the front row."
Tracy Moore from Cityline hosted the show, with a knowledgeable panel providing input along the way: style expert Afiya Francisco, Maybelline’s Grace Lee and Redken’s Cindy Duplantis.
Before we get to the clothes, I feel it's important to say one thing: no, no one expects many of us to actually wear these items straight from the runway (especially not me, teaching seven and eight year olds in a little country school), and that's not really the point. It took me a few years to realize this, and move past what I saw at times as the ridiculousness of runway fashion. Now I think of it as "Fashion Art" which will inform and inspire the real clothes that we'll be sporting next season...if that makes sense. Looking at it that way, I can now embrace the themes behind the looks.
As we were treated to creations from talented Canadian designers Hilary MacMillan, Hayley Elsaesser, Christopher Bates, elan+castor and Matthew Gallagher, some strong themes emerged for Spring 2015:
- mixed prints
- midriff bearing (no, dear students of my school, that doesn't mean you - or, for that matter, me!)
- bright whites
- suits with cropped trousers
And for the men:
- Bermuda shorts (though not as short as we saw on the runway, please fellas) worn with dress shirts and dress shoes
- statement blazers
- a desert palette (think The English Patient)
Here are a few of my favourite looks:
I'm sorry to say that I didn't get a clear shot of one unique style, which was bare legs with bright high socks and dressy heels. I'm not sorry to say that I won't be adopting that look, no matter how trendy it is!
Hair and makeup were discussed too, with the consensus being that we'll continue to see a lot of soft, unstructured hair in Spring, romantic waves (not perfect curls), and some braid variations, such as the single cornrow, with a full front and sleek sides (creating a "faux hawk" look from the front), as well as topknots.
As far as beauty goes, we've been advised to grow in our brows, ladies - and even to consider Maybelline's new "brow mascara", which I may actually try out. If I don't powder them darker, I can appear in some lighting to have no brows at all. In terms of eyes, coppery bronze looks are in, and while lips are great glossy, "every woman can wear a matte red lip", says Grace.
When I caught Tracy (who did a wonderful job hosting, keeping it light and relevant for the audience) for a photo op after the show, I was expecting to reintroduce myself to her (most of our communication over the years has been online) but was happy I didn't get the chance, as I was greeted with "Hey Kate! How are you?" as soon as she spotted me.
If you're at all interested in fashion, I'd highly recommend you take in next year's Fashion Saturday. It was a fun day out with a friend, and now I feel more than prepared to shop for Spring. Or I will be, once Winter is over. You know, in five months.