Amongst the eight designers presented at the Mercedes-Benz StartUp National Finale (watch the runway show, here) during World MasterCard Fashion Week, two winners were announced: Edmonton’s Malorie Urbanovitch and the Montreal-based label Matière Noire by Cécile Raizonville. With each of the competition’s emerging designer proving themselves to be a highly worthy competitor, it’s no wonder a deadlock should lead to Urbanovitch’s and Raizonville’s shared claim to fame at this year’s finale.
On Urbanovitch’s runway, pieces were comprised of conservative and classic silhouettes, made from silks and paired with wool tanks and sweaters. The feminine pastel pinks and purples were matched with neutrals like champagne, black and golden yellow. Other runway staples included skirts hemmed at the knee, designed with slits or wrapped, while the preferred look for spring was a tie between variations on demur dresses and skirt ensembles paired with bolder sweaters tied around the waist.
According to the Matière Noire label’s vision, spring 2014 looks slightly different. Where Urbanovitch’s skirts hovered at the knee, Raizonville dropped the hemline just below for a sophisticated cut. Having added length to skirts and dresses alike, Raizonville subtracted the difference from her collection’s jackets, creating three-quarter sleeve perfection for the season. Runway favourites included sleeveless blouses, that showed off a flare of fabric directed outwards from the shoulders, adding dimension to your typical button up; and dresses distinguished by patterned knit detailing. The true standout of the collection though, came in the form of Raizonville’s stunning vests, long and dramatic in design.
As for the competition’s runners-up, Dreamboat Lucy showed a resort wear collection with vintage charm, highlighted by citrus green and white with a quirky dash of pineapple prints. Eliza Faulkner on the other hand, went simple with linens and warm spring colours — picture blossoming flowers of dandelion yellow, lilac blue, or pretty rose — a girly palette that found contrast in ball caps and sporty jackets.
Grey, white and black marked the runway of FADED Lifestyle Corp’s spring/summer collection, as well as everlasting love for last season’s contrast sleeve. Leather contrasts were also in full force on the HIP AND BONE runway, where sleeves, waistbands on pants and pocket detailing all showed off the luxe edge of the material.
Montreal’s Pedram Karimi on the other hand, steered clear of hits of contrasts (in both colour and material) and showed a collection composed entirely of oversized unisex pastel pink and purple-grey T-shirts. For Karimi, his runway was a statement in excess fabric and volume. Especially attention grabbing were men’s shorts, cut asymmetrical for a unique look, though perhaps not one every man would venture to try on. Unlike the menswear in Karimi’s collection, the HD Homme label was essentially about the classics, with suits done in traditional colours, along with a few jackets that embraced dandy-sensibilities in their rose and lace patterns.
With a runway variety of such a high caliber, we called in the expertise of seasoned fashion veteran, Corrine Anestopoulos to help us assess the standouts of the Mercedes-Benz StartUp National Finale. The designer behind Toronto’s BIKO jewellery line — a label synonymous with downtown sophistication — Anestopoulos, discusses fashion at World MasterCard Fashion Week, specifically the designs of Montreal-based designer Pedram Karimi, her personal top pick from the Mercedes-Benz StartUp National Finale roster.
RATE THE IMPORTANCE OF FASHION IN YOUR LIFE.
BASED ON WHAT YOU’VE SEEN TONIGHT, WHAT DO YOU PREDICT WILL BE THE BIGGEST TREND TO HIT THE STREETS NEXT SEASON?
I think the trend of minimalism will continue, with draping silhouettes and tone-on-tone colour blocking.
DO YOU THINK YOU’LL INCORPORATE THIS TREND INTO YOUR OWN WARDROBE?
Yes, I love to incorporate minimalist staples into my wardrobe, especially in silky materials. I look forward to owning some of Pedram’s pieces.
ARE YOU MORE A TREND PERSON OR A STAPLES PERSON?
It’s important to have balance in what you wear. Pairing a few trendy pieces with classic staples is my personal approach to fashion. For example, a patterned shirt or brightly coloured coat brings life to my go-to staple high-waisted jeans and ankle booties. One trendy, but timeless item, I always make sure to have on is my newest BIKO creation, usually a statement necklace and an arm party of BIKO bracelets.
WHAT IS THE MOST EXTRAVAGANT PIECE IN YOUR CLOSET AND WHAT IS THE COZIEST?
My new Theyskens’ Theory sweater-shell, made of a luxurious grey felted material, is the most interesting and exciting addition to my closet. My cashmere COS hat and scarf, purchased in Paris last year, are my most cozy staples — I can’t live without them.
IF YOU COULD TAKE ONE PIECE FROM THE RUNWAY HOME WITH YOU, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I’d love to rock the grey flowy long-short tunic that was worn over a short white skirt in Pedram’s show. I would wear it as is over white, or work it with skinny jeans or a leather skirt.
WHAT CELEBRITY, DEAD OR ALIVE, WOULD YOU HAVE LIKED TO WATCHED THE SHOW WITH TONIGHT?
Coco Chanel, she inspired a whole new way of dressing for women.
WHAT SONG WOULD YOU CHOOSE AS THE RUNWAY SOUNDTRACK TO THIS COLLECTION?
“In Two” by Blue Hawaii, a Montreal band I’ve been listening to lately.
WHO IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON TO IMPRESS AT FASHION WEEK?
I think it’s most important to dress for your own self, its the best way to feel good in what you wear.
WHAT WAS THE SINGLE ELEMENT ABOUT THIS FASHION WEEK EXPERIENCE THAT IMPRESSED YOU MOST, ON OR OFF THE RUNWAY?
The Mercedes-Benz StartUp show was really well-curated, and a pleasure to watch. In particular, Pedram Karimi’s collection was my favourite, as it had a statement editorial feel that can also easily be appreciated and worn in the real world.
Mercedes-Benz StartUp National Finale
Published November 3, 2013