Toronto’s fashion focussed is suiting up for its bi-annual whirlwind week of Canadian style.
Officially starting on Monday, LG Fashion Week Beauty by L'Oréal Paris will present Spring 2011 Collections at Heritage Court at Exhibition Place.


“There are almost 30 presentations representing more than 60 designers, including talent from British Columbia, Winnipeg, Montréal, Vancouver, Toronto and more,” says Robin Kay, president of the Fashion Design Council of Canada.


“Some are the traditional runway and some will be interactive installments.’


Along with established labels such as Pink Tartan, Bustle and Montréal design favourite Denis Gagnon, a fresh crop of designers is set to debut. According to Kay, the FDCC has been working with a variety of new talent with an eye toward long-term collaboration.


“The Fashion Collective, a hip, new group, has connected the street to the runway,” she says. “From them we’ll see seven new designers: Rita Liefhebber, Amanda Lew Kee, Chloecommeparris, THOMAS, Fortnight, Klaxton Howl and House of Groves — this is a really exciting new element to this season's lineup.”

This is Fashion Week's 12th year; the event is acknowledged as the second-largest fashion week in North America.

“Stepping onto our runway immediately allows firsthand media exposure and, of course, global attention,” says Kay. “Between the media, stylists, buyers and consumers —it’s often a necessary step for designers. Without the runway, the world cannot see a collection come alive.”

In addition to widespread media coverage that includes traditional mediums and online exposure from the country’s premiere fashion publications and bloggers, the shows will be streamed live from, free of charge.

Also via the website, tickets for a day, the entire week, and for Dare to Wear, the closing-night fundraiser show, are available for purchase by anyone who wants to experience the event in person. Pre-fashion week shows include Ashley Rowe, showing tonight, and Greta Constantine, tomorrow night.

Which designers to look for

In addition to the usual hotly anticipated LG Fashion Week shows, this season's big draw is a slew of new and up-and-coming designers, says fashion stylist Alexis Honce.

She names Amanda Lew Kee as one of her favourites, and LOVAS and Line Knitwear as shows to see.

“I used to style Robin Kay; last season she bought a dress from Duy that was really gorgeous, so I’m excited to see what that designer is doing as well.”

Duy’s show is Friday evening at 5 p.m.

Making an appearance on Wednesday is celeb stylist Phillip Bloch. Offsite shows include VAWK, by designer Sunny Fong, winner of Project Runway Canada Season 2. VAWK presents at the AGO Monday at 1 p.m.