While many designers create fantastical clothes for pretty young things industry veteran David Dixon designs for a more mature clientele who prefer style over substance. Where many fall into design traps of over-the-top embellishments, slits and hemlines up to there and beautifully unwearable pieces of fashion art, Dixon opts for eveningwear rife with understated elegance and beauty. This afterall has been his bread and butter and what has kept him at the top of the Canadian fashion industry over the last decade.

On Friday night, Dixon presented his S/S 2012 collection to a packed house. The designer began his show with Naro Lokuruka striking a statuesque pose before sashaying down the runway in a pale yellow floor length gown with a high prim neckline and a plunging back. What followed was a collection of black, white and yellow dresses accented with appliqué flowers, sheer fabric, silk organza, Chantilly lace and butterfly and floral printed fabric. Peplums and sheer fabrics seem to be trends of LGFW and Dixon incorporated these elements into his collections. A sharply tailored silk organza jacket featured a tiny ladylike peplum and a cotton dress with sheer overlay embellished laser cut flowers and sheer ruffled trumpet hem.

This season, Dixon was inspired by the music of the late Malcolm McLaren, particularly how the music impresario artfully blended musical genres. His own creative melding included stark black and white fabric printed with outsized butterflies, a soft silk organza dress with over-sized paillette panels on the front and sheer, ladylike numbers paired with killer David Dixon for Town Shoes sequin platform pumps and looks accentuated with tough, hard-edged accessories by Rita Tesolin that were embellished with chains, leather and rhinestones. The designer’s unexpected foray into the good-girl-gone-bad territory was not always successful, some of the tough accessories overpowered the beautifully sophisticated streamlined designs, and the butterfly printed fabric ended up reading more Mariah Carey and less springtime luxe in the end.

However, when his designs clicked, they were a work of flawless beauty. Showstopping designs including pencil skirts embellished with appliqué flowers, a white silk organza dress with an origami neckline and a black strapless trumpet-style silk organza gown with black appliqué Aster flowers on the skirt drew gasps from the crowd…or was that just me?

DAVID DIXON S/S 2012 RUNWAY photography by Natalie Castellano