I admit, when it came time to head into the Korhani Home Runway Rug Show yesterday at LG Fashion Week , I may have briefly toyed with idea of playing hookie, and trading in my Special K bar (conveniently located in the swag-bag) for some sushi and gossip with the gals. Considering my 5 a.m. wake-up call, mind-numbing insomnia, and my inability to spend every moment with a caffeine-dispensing IV permanently attached to my arm, the idea of waiting another 20 minutes to sit through  a “Rug Runway Show” was less than appealing. The possible scenarios spinning through my often out of control imagination were endless. I pictured models waddling down the runway, wrapped like hard candies in thickly tasselled Persians, desperately trying to avoid tripping and rolling down the runway like a bowling ball. It seemed no matter who I asked, no one had the answer we were all looking for. What the hell is a rug designer going to do at LG Fashion Week?

Well it’s a good thing we all stuck around, as it was certainly nothing any of us had seen before (proven by the immediate tweet-fest that occurred as soon as the first models took to the runway). By combining an element of home design with such an important fashion event in Toronto, this showing was intended to highlight the relationship Kristen Korhani and womenswear designer Cherry Dewar, who crafted intricate, and at times bizarre, garments to showcase the rug designer’s latest collection.

The show was set up in four acts, each separated by a long (ahem, really long) interlude during which the next batch of textiles were shown in greater detail on the screen at the top of the runway.

“the playfulness of the patterns was immediately infectious, and just like that, I was hooked.”

The first act featured psychedelically-printed, skin-tight catsuits in varying shades of pink, blue, and purple. Though certainly no feat in construction, the playfulness of the patterns was immediately infectious, and just like that, I was hooked. The collections that followed the opener were based around much more “rug-like” fabrics, and calling these pieces “wearable” would pretty much qualify a canvas sack as couture.  The Red Riding Hood section featured exaggerated hooded capes, “wolves” clad in varying assortments of fur and – I’m sorry – was that a cave woman?

No, it doesn’t make sense, but it was a hell of a spectacle, and nothing had our eyes glued to the runway more than the two male models who boldly made their way down the catwalk sporting nothing but body paint (in the pattern of the textiles, of course) and teeny-tiny nude thongs showing some serious ass. It wouldn’t have surprised me if the runway suddenly filled with Victoria’s Secret intimates (you know what just got one in Toronto, right?) and loonies (that’s our one-dollar bill, Americans), as the women behind me were hootin’ and hollerin’ like it was Happy Hour at FoxxesDen.

“No, it doesn’t make sense, but it was a hell of a spectacle…”

As the fashion crowd filed out, the reaction to the show seemed unanimous: Korhani’s event was a breath of fresh air for an often stale Toronto fashion industry.  Innovative and whimsical, this collaboration between fashion and home-design was cohesive and playful. Besides, who could say no to Toy Poodles and buff boys in bikini briefs? I mean, really?

KORHANI FW 2011 photography by Irina Luca