Ottawa Fashion Week 2012 Review

We had the exciting opportunity of being able to work back-stage at this year’s Ottawa Fashion Week; back stage is where all the mayhem happens but it’s also the most exciting (in our opinion). Over the course of 3 nights, 18 designers showcased their fall/winter 2012 collections to thousands of eager fashion fans .

Here is the unofficial official Ottawa Fashion Week 2012 recap.

Day 1:
Elena Hinke and Elena’s Creations-This Ottawa-based designer opened the show with her elegant and formal collection of dresses, gowns, and jackets. If you’re looking for Oscar party inspiration, this collection is for you.
Amanda Emmanuel-One of our favourites of the weekend, this first-time OFW designer, showed a stunning collection inspired by “vibrant colours, exotic birds and exquisite jewellery”. Her colourful silk pieces are very wearable and definite eye-catchers.
frAsh -The only jewellery designer of the “week” this was one of the more creative shows. The feather-chested, white painted models wore predominately gold pieces inspired by Joan of Arc. The artistic display ended with a massive show-stopping halo-like headpiece.
!Nu.I-Bringing back BIG hair, knee-socks and over-sized glasses, these black and brown 70s style pieces, punctuated with lime and teal were keeping in line with this seasons retro trends- including a leather one-piece!
Illyria Design-Another very wearable collection, Illyria Design had a variety of dresses that appeals to the everyday woman. M especially loved one of the cream cut-out dresses.
!Y.D.N.A. Collection-What to say about the talented and uber-creative Andy Nguyen?! One of the only designers featuring men, we could not have asked for a better way for Day 1 to close. This goth-like performance included birdcages, morphsuits, gas masks, and lanterns so to no surprise received a rousing standing ovation.

Day 2:
Tribal Sportswear-One of the aspects of OFW that we loved was the mix of clothing, from high-end evening wear to everyday casual pieces and Tribal was a perfect example. These pieces are ready-to-wear, even to the office!  With a winter feel to some of these designs, we were definitely feeling cozy!
deMOYO-It was easy to see why this designer is a returning favourite; the collection featured fall colours, and structured but classy pieces. We especially loved her shirt dresses, another big trend for this season.
Jana Hanzel and Emilia Torabi-This collection had it all and in every colour and every fabric. Each baroque era look from this collection was topped off with hats and fascinators by Sova Design Millinery and with impeccable tailoring and an eye for detail it’s easy to see why these two ladies are seasoned pros.
ElizBourk-We loved this designer and her debut collection so much we just had to dedicate an entire post just to her, see it here.
Rachel Sin– Rachel Sin designs clothes that are feminine and edgy. Interesting cut-outs, sequined long-sleeves and structured work dresses, this collection was another easy favourite of ours (we especially loved the retro flapper hair and red lips).
Turbine – Garnering international attention, this east coast designer was a welcomed addition to the season. Turbine played with a variety of fabrics to create many interesting pieces like the kimono dress and ruffled dresses and tops.

Day 3:
Serendipity-This year’s collection included mustard yellows, teals, pinks and browns and was reminescent of the english countryside, perfect for pairing with a tall boot this fall.  These pieces were in line with the feminine and flowery prints this season and are yet another very wearable collection.
Loft 604-The only other designer with men’s creations, this Toronto-based designer showed us just why we love the fall. Neutral colors and relaxed but classic looks, his cable-knit sweaters and cardigans paired with denim were a perfect combination.
Ella Peru-An Ottawa native but relocated to Toronto, this designer’s “Euclid and Ulster” collection was a nod to her neighbourhood in vintage, girly designs. The structured but edgy dresses, shorts and bright tights made the entire look of the show one of R‘s favourites.
Helmer-Perhaps the most detailed pieces seen, this year’s collection was the embodiment of intricate craftsmanship.  Tulle flowers, lace, glass beading, feathers, polk-a-dot and plaid were only some of these ….seen and with the show closing out with bridal wearing models walking to the sounds of live bag-pipes; the show was more than entertaining.
Symbiose by Hinda A.-Another great mix of designs, Symbiose’s neutral palette was more on the minimalist side but that doesn’t mean it sacrificed detail or style. Again embodying the retro trends of this season, this collection included sheath dresses, skinny pants and blouses.
Sukhoo SukhooM had the fortunate chance of working up close with this designer and can attest to the impeccable tailoring to Frank Sukhoo’s pieces.  Capes and skirt suits were a theme on this year’s runway with the  highlight being an animal print dress and sequin mini worn by Erica Wark later in the evening at the UNICEF Charity Show.

With our first Ottawa Fashion Week come and gone we are already anticipating next year’s event. These shows were a dazzling reminder of just how talented Canadian designers are! Despite the long hours we put in, this event was definitely an amazing experience for us. We worked with an incredible and hard-working team led by the almighty Alison Hughes and all in all couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

Till next year OFW!

Your fashion fairies,

M & R

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