After three seasons the shOws, an invitation only fashion runway presentation, has become a welcome tradition for Toronto designers who have gone abroad to return and showcase their collections on home turf. This season, the shOws will unveil four Fall/Winter 2012 runway presentations from Jeremy Laing, Ruffian, David Szeto and Jean-Pierre Braganza at the prestigious Ritz-Carlton Hotel on March 19 and 20.
“Each season we strive to bring home our outstanding designers who have been making their mark internationally but are still Canadian at heart,” says founder of the shOws Paola Fullerton.
P&G Beauty and Grooming is the official beauty partner for the event with COVERGIRL Makeup Pro Greg Wencel creating perfect makeup looks for each of the designer’s distinct collections. For hair, P&G Pantene Pro–V consulting stylist Justin German will create the finishing touches for each design aesthetic.
About this Year’s Designers
Fusing immaculate tailoring with an acute attention to detail, Jean-Pierre Braganza creates a truly modern, unique and intelligent silhouette sought after across the globe. London born, Jean-Pierre moved to Canada as an infant and was raised in Montreal and Toronto. Initially studying fine art, he realized that fashion was his true calling, moving back to London to pursue his dream of studying at the prestigious Central St Martins College. As a finalist for many a prestigious award, including the British Fashion Councils Fashion Forward award, The Swiss Textiles award, and the Mango fashion award; Braganza went on to be selected by Karl Lagerfeld as his protégé for the AW08/09 season. Continuing to capture the imagination of both media and buyers, Jean-Pierre Braganza is currently stocked internationally in over 30 stores across 15 countries including Luisa Via Roma in Italy and Selfridges in the UK.
Canadian-born Jeremy Laing spent his childhood on an army base in Germany. He learned to sew at age 13 by watching his mother, and has been making clothes ever since. Jeremy’s self-taught method which combines organic and geometric approaches to pattern making and construction was honed while studying in Toronto, on exchange at Westminster University in London, and through an apprenticeship with Alexander McQueen.Following his apprenticeship, Jeremy worked freelance developing showpieces for five of McQueen’s collections, demonstrating his strength in innovative pattern making, garment construction, and the use of textile to create form. In 2011, Jeremy was a finalist for the prestigious ANDAM Fashion Award. In Jeremy’s view, garments are a sum of parts, all functioning in relation to one another and, ultimately, to the body. His collections often stem from his elaborations on simple principles of construction and form, drawing simultaneously from couture and tailoring traditions. Jeremy currently lives and works in Toronto, Canada.
Since 2004, when his inaugural, French-made, wholesale collection was snapped up by womenswear buyers, Vancouver raised designer, David Szeto has provoked lavish praise from an exclusive list of private clients. Szeto, who is Chinese-Canadian, is a master technician. His haute couture-style skill lies in his innovative cutting on the bias or half-bias allowing his fabric to flow with its grain. Szeto designs by hand-draping cloth on a mannequin before folding, twisting and bunching into the desired form. The resulting smocking – hand sewn before the final garment is pieced together or hand shirred after the garment is constructed – is architectural without losing any softness or wearability. Szeto studied at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, where a Comme des Garçons exhibition first inspired him to break traditional dressmaking rules. He applies this approach as much to his business as to his design, rejecting the global brand mentality of many luxury conglomerate labels, and preferring, for the time being at least, to remain small and focused, working exclusively with his own private clientele. After graduation, Szeto worked for himself in London forfive years, before moving to Paris in 1992, where he remained for 18 years and more recently to Belgium where he is currently based.
Brian Wolk and Claude Morais are the designers behind Ruffian, the critically acclaimed cult New York label. They have received the Fashion Group International Rising Star Award and have been featured in countless editorials, in The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, Teen Vogue, W, Elle, Nylon, Allure, Italian Vogue, and WWD as well as a highly praised profile in VOGUE.. Their definition of style is a juxtaposition between the improvised and the studied and accounts for their sources of inspiration, cinema repertoire, European court culture and American iconography. Ruffian is one of the few fashion brands that goes to extremes and circles back. In each collection, culture clashes with counter culture, classic with cutting edge, punk with princess. Ruffian smashes archetypes and rebuilds them slightly askew. Mr. Wolk’s dual training in Fashion Design and Costume design has given him a unique perspective which allowed him to work in Film, Theatre and Opera; a foundation in history that is integral to his design process. While, Mr. Morais’ extensive world travel as a model, then as a stylist, has enabled him to create a sophisticated visual and cultural vocabulary essential to his design process. His studies in the fine arts, specifically painting, allows him to explore color on a personal and tactile level.