Vancouver transplant Angela Chen made her return to Toronto, opening up the last day of our schedule. Having shown on the main stage for the past two seasons to a less-than-packed room, the pressure was on for Chen to prove herself. After four years, and now, and four major seasons worth of collections, it seems Chen has found her niche – and it’s all in the knit.

The collection was a much-appreciated change from her somewhat lack-luster spring collection. Whereas Chen’s previous offering seemed a bit safe, and not particularly innovative, her fall collection showed an impressive level of growth considering the mere few months in between. Featuring almost  knit garments exclusively, this collection was playful, girly and undeniably covetable.

What I appreciated about Chen’s collection was her obvious grasp of the female figure. Garments that come down the runway are often only flattering when worn by the walking hangers we call models these days, but, in fact, many of the shapes and silhouettes featured would look equally as stylish on a seemingly “average” woman. For example, a greyish-green knit dress hung loosely off the shoulders and ended in a slightly upturned hem which stayed far enough away from the body to avoid any unseemly bulging, while not overwhelming any natural curves. Similarly, an unbearably cozy-looking tight-knit sweater featured surprisingly flattering thick black and white stripes, and paired with the, “Violet, you’re turning Violet!” opaque panty-hose, would make a fun and casual outfit for any day of the week.

In her final looks, Chen tried to turn it up a notch, pairing tightly-knit corsets with chiffon and tulle skirts for the ever-present Black Swan theme that appears to be taking the fashion scene by storm. Unfortunately, the adorable knit tops were over-powered by the seemingly unfinished skirts, though the final mega-Barbie combination had a kitsch factor that was actually rather charming.

It seems Chen is well on her way to developing a strong voice in Canadian fashion. With time, Angela Chen may replace fellow Canadian Mark Fast as the master of all things knit. I wait in anticipation to see what she comes up with next.

OR BY ANGELA CHEN FW 2011 photography by Irina Luca