A smaller venue, reluctantly cooperative weather and low temperatures didn’t stop fashion lovers (accessorising with their significant others) and the city’s elite from attending Ottawa Fashion Week.
The third and final night drew a crowd to Sala San Marco, eager to see what else local and international designers had to say about next season’s styles.
Melow par Mélissa Bolduc opened the last night with draped jersey knits in green, navy and stripes. Her collection brought an eastern flare to western styles. The collection was particularly wearable, especially the maxi skirts and dresses.
Then came Alice & Alishka, a softly structured, feminine collection defined by its unique textiles. Local designer Alice Banks creates her own patterns digitally and uses a new one for each piece. The collection featured on-trend styles including the peplum waistline and fish tail hems. Her most notable pieces, however, were the floral printed shorts and patchwork and floral denim pants.
Toronto-based designer, Shweta Wahi’s collection Solace also drew from eastern and multi-ethnic styles. The collection featured harem pants and separates in cerulean blue, navy and neutral raw silks and satins. Most notable were the blue and brown fishtail kimonos. Many of the pieces were embellished with gold detailing. The models’ make-up even featured thickly placed gold sparkles.
Next came the anticipated return of local designer Elena Hinke, whose show opened with Herieth Paul in a striking black full-length gown with a lace overlay. A seamstress for 20 years and a couture designer since 2001, Hinke offered an eclectic catwalk featuring finely tailored pantsuits, cocktail dresses in on-trend cobalt and burgundy, separates and stunning gowns. Most notable were the red and black gowns with mermaid hemlines and an ivory, layered silk chiffon dress. Hinke outdid herself this season, her dramatic designs standing out amongst the 21 collections shown over the weekend.
Dare by international designer Gwen Madiba offered a chic catwalk for the confident woman. Madiba’s collection featured full-length dresses in trendy colours, including red, purple, fuchsia and teal. Lace overlays, cut-out detailing and deep V slits were consistent in her collection. Madiba also used a mix of pastel tones and the popular black and white contrast trend. Her collection was eminently wearable and another crowd favourite.
Jeff Garner, designer of Prophetik, opened his show with a live band, offering an exquisite catwalk of royal calibre. His sustainable eco-label uses naturally dyed fabrics in champagne, marigold yellow, and pastel pink and blue.
The collection was romantic and featured full-length softly structured gowns, with styles reminiscent of the 1950s. Many of his designs included intricate lace detailing and ruffles. A strength of Garner’s collection was the unique jodhpurs and riding jackets for both men and women. Most notable, a quilted burgundy riding jacket with a pleated back. Garner closed his show on a strong note, with a red velvet evening gown and a traditional wedding dress with a lace overlay.
Wrapping up the weekend was the UNICEF charity show. Dance duo TL and Chris Rader made their way around the runway in a lively manner, followed by TV fashion journalist Erica Wark and other local talents wearing designs featured throughout the weekend.
But like all good things, Ottawa Fashion Week had to come to an end. At least until next season.