FeatureIMG-Hayley-Elsaesser-FW2015-Magali-Simard

In Toronto, fall is kicked off with TIFF, a celebration of both international as well as local filmmakers and actors. Each year, red carpets, paparazzi and fandemonium clustered around the city centre, captivating the attention of movie lovers, but behind all the glamour and hullabaloo, there’s an integral part of the festival, often overlooked by audiences, and that is the festival programmers.

At TIFF, the Canadian features and shorts are what we look forward to the most, (see our top picks from this year’s lineup here), so for us, Magali Simard, a manager of film programs at TIFF and one of the programmer of the festival’s Canada selections by way of the festival’s Short Cuts Canada program (which she programmed for five years prior to her new appointment), is a celebrity in her own right…and a stylish one at that!

Given Simard’s professional field, we thought it fitting to invite her to a Toronto Fashion Week show put on by a designer who unabashedly embraces the idea of fashion as a form of expression. Canadian-born, Australian-based designer Hayley Elsaesser is not one to shy away from loud statement pieces, in fact, she’s built her eponymous brand on it. True to the designer’s signature style, this season’s collection made its way down the FW’15 runway like a pop explosion, complete with neon clad models dancing and skipping.

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Quirky graphic prints designed in bright shades of green, pink and blue dominated the collection. While anything but demur, pieces such as a boxy green tartan moto jacket could easily become a fall staple in any women’s wardrobe, worn layered over a simple black dress, or paired with a tie neck blouse and skinny jeans.

Like the fashion on the runway, our guest was full of spunk and enthusiasm. Below, Simard shares her view of the collection and her own personal take on fashion.

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RATE THE IMPORTANCE OF FASHION IN YOUR LIFE. (10 BEING FOOD I.E. NECESSARY TO LIFE.)

I would say 6. It’s not vital, but it sure is a fun thing to play with.

BASED ON WHAT YOU’VE SEEN AT THE SHOW, WHAT DO YOU PREDICT TO BE THE BIGGEST TREND TO HIT THE STREETS NEXT SEASON?

I’m glad to report that yellow will be everywhere. And monochromatic outfits. Or one wild pattern, head-to-toe. Someone told me apron-like pieces were going to be big, which is…interesting.

DO YOU THINK YOU’LL INCORPORATE ANY OF THESE PARTICULAR TRENDS INTO YOUR OWN WAREDROBE?

The yellow and monochromatic and patterned outfits, yes. The aprons–not so much.

ARE YOU MORE A TREND PERSON OR A STAPLES PERSON?

Staples. As with music, I am often late on trends.  I like classic shapes with updated elements, to mix old pieces with new. Something generic from a popular store, matched with something pretty from a Toronto boutique, upped with a unique thrift piece of jewelry I inherited from a little old lady at a rummage sale.

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WHAT IS THE MOST EXTRAVAGANT PIECE IN YOUR CLOSET AND WHAT IS THE MOST COZY?

Extravagant: My sequined dress, shiny silver tux jacket, lots of fluorescent pieces, and an assortment of recycled fur puffs I like to wear dangling from my purses. For comfy, my cat leggings.

IF YOU COULD TAKE ONE PIECE FROM TONIGHT’S RUNWAY HOME WITH YOU, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

The snake-patterned bomber jacket.

WHAT CELEBRITY, DEAD OR ALIVE, WOULD YOU HAVE LIKED TO HAVE ATTENDED THE SHOW WITH TONIGHT?

Cher. We could’ve talked about fashion and our entire lives…and have a glass of bubbly. It’s okay, it’s bound to happen.

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WHAT SONG BEST SUMS UP THE CURRENT COLLECTION?

“I’m So Excited” by Donna Summer.

WHO IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON TO IMPRESS AT FASHION WEEK?

The photographers, if you want your moment to last.

WHAT WAS THE SINGLE ELEMENT ABOUT YOUR FASHION WEEK EXPERIENCE THAT IMPRESSED YOU MOST, ON OR OFF THE RUNWAY?

The sheer size of the event is quite remarkable, and how it takes over different parts of the city and runs into the night, each night. It’s big, and for the most part very beautiful and attractive. And contrary to popular belief, the fashion world can be really fun and unpretentious. Everyone’s smiling and showing off in the best possible way.