Strut, pose, and smirk. Toronto brought an all men’s runway show to Fashion Week for its second annual year. But surprisingly the fire alarms weren’t set off last week in downtown Toronto at 444 College Park. Well dressed and some underdressed men strutted the runway to show off the clothing, put together by talented Canadian designers. Let’s be honest, for years on end Fashion Weeks all around the world, including, Paris, New York, London, Milan, and Toronto, have catered mostly to women. Everyday fashion publications like Elle, Flare, and LOULOU magazine are prime examples of how little we pay attention to the men’s fashion industry. How often do you see fashionable men featured on the front of those magazines? Not as much as you see beautiful women being advertised. With it being only the second year Toronto has hosted a Men’s Fashion Week, I couldn’t think of a better way to show equality and recognition of male talent in the fashion world. After all, some of the biggest designers in the fashion world are men, Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Dior, Ralph Lauren, and Tommy Hilfiger. It’s safe to say men are just important to the fashion world as women are. “I love fashion but it’s not exactly a hobby that straight men are welcomed into,” says Durham College student and Toronto Men’s Fashion Week (TOM*FW) attendee, Shajee Costales- Khan. “Men’s fashion needs more recognition. That’s exactly why Men’s Fashion Week is so exciting.” How can any gender lose when it comes to watching a men’s fashion show. I cannot imagine any women complaining about seeing beautiful clothes on beautiful men. “I came to see and appreciate good fashion. But seeing gorgeous men wearing the fashion, it doesn’t get better than that,” says runway show attendee Deille Larocque. Toronto Men’s Fashion Week, better known as TOM*FW, had yet another successful year, showcasing 16 designers over the course of three days of runway shows. TOM*FW wasn’t limited to glamorous runway shows. The beginning of the week featured discussion events called TOM Talks, where speakers talked about celebrity influences and male-focused fashion trends, tips and personal growth. Other events included, multiple parties throughout the week and the Mensfashion4hope fundraiser, which donated all proceeds to Sick Kids Hospital to improve the lives of children with congenital diseases. Hundreds of staff volunteered their time for a week of male fashion perfection but TOM*FW public relations officer, Rhys Dowbiggin, says the sweat, tears, and overdose on caffeine didn’t result in anything but success. “Toronto Men’s Fashion Week was a once in a lifetime experience. There are only eight men’s fashion weeks in the world. Toronto is the newest. Going about each day, knowing that we have joined the likes of Milan, Paris, and London, was a humbling experience. More than that, it made each moment one to relish.” As if the thought of 16 brilliant minds setting trends for upcoming seasons wasn’t exciting enough. Imagine being in the presence by global fashion icons such as Canadian supermodels Yasmin Warsame, Paolo Roldan and Godfrey Gao, all came out to support the event. Among the many Toronto based designers was Kollar Clothing. The brand brought a northern edge to the runway, making Toronto’s chill look as flawless as an untouched skating rink. The line featured sweaters, cardigans, long sleeve tees, denim button up shirts, and bomber jackets. The designer David Kollar, had a clear talent of making basic and staple pieces into pieces of art. They now have 30 locations selling Kollar Clothing around the world, including stores in Europe, Canada, Japan and the U.S. According to staff member Khamile Hayles, ever since their runway show, the brand has been busy in buyer meetings for the last week. Toronto has gained even more fashionable culture after this year TOM*FW. Fingers crossed that year three will live up to its success.
Greatness and talent isn’t foreign in Toronto, but trust me when I say that we must give credit where it’s due. And it’s definitely due when it comes to the idea of Toronto Men’s Fashion week! Here’s some a couple pictures from last weeks amazing shows. ( pictures featuring Kollar clothing and Andrew Coimbra’s fall 2015 line)