What is Canadian fashion? Who represents the “Canadian” aesthetic? If it were based on attendance number alone, it would be the power-couple themselves, the Newport-Mimran’s who battle it out each season for first place. From the 45 minute delay, to the over-packed benches and clobbered photographers, drama is never far behind when the fashion community comes together to celebrate two of Canada’s (and especially Toronto’s) most treasured designers. If a friend is conflicted as to whether or not to attend, I always assure that the spectacle is well-worth the elbowing and sometimes hit-or-miss fashions.  And as I squeezed my way out of the Pink Tartan show last night, I found myself feeling something only mildly resembling excitement.

For every luxurious wool coat, there was an ill-fitting and cheap-looking camo-print ball gown. For every classic, light-weight blouse, you’d find an all-too-literal military-homage gone awry; the one aspect of the show that I found a bit tacky and over-done. It seems that what was missing was an editing eye. And what becomes so disheartening about missteps such as these, is that they tend to overshadow the places where designers get it right. The styling of this collection, by oh-so-lovely token Tartan man George Antonopoulos was spot on. Models sported slicked back top-knots and messy smokey eyes. Floating, airy, floor-length dresses were paired with thick black harnesses that only added to the well-executed juxtaposition of hard and soft.

“And as I squeezed my way out of the Pink Tartan show last night, I found myself feeling something only mildly resembling excitement.”

My absolute favourite look of the collection may come as a bit of a surprise to some. Please proceed with caution as I attempt to justify my love-affair with this particular outfit. No, it wasn’t the army green, silk shirt-dress floating effortlessly down the runway. Nor was it the fun and playful feathered, body-con white skirt, paired with a simple white semi-sheer blouse that had twitter-feeds abuzz, again.  Without a doubt, those were some strong, classic pieces coming down that runway. But the one that got me? The one I’ll be day-dreaming about for the next couple days at least? Why, it’s just a crinkled green jumpsuit, with leather detailing at the pockets and a big, chunk knit scarf wrapped tightly around the neck. Two parts Grease Lightning, one part grease monkey,  and completely fabulous.  It may not have been the most glamorous piece shown last night, and is certainly not the most wearable, but that scrappy little underdog tugged at my pursestrings – and baby, I want it!

PINK TARTAN FW 2011 photography by Irina Luca