Story Ideas

Canadian fashion designers set trends for what’s cool now

World MasterCard Fashion Week hits the catwalk every March and October

06 February 2013
by Michele Sponagle

Canada’s stamp on the fashion world stretches back many decades, from the invention of the modern-day zipper to the Wonderbra. The ingenuity continues with these fashion designers and their cutting-edge looks.

Design power: Arthur Mendonça

For the past 10 years, the designer has earned an international reputation for his exquisite tailoring. He's a staple at Toronto’s World MasterCard Fashion Week, the country’s most prestigious fashion showcase, featuring the work of more than 30 Canadian designers. There, the hometown hero debuted his 2013 spring/summer looks and pleased his many followers with printed silk jumpsuits, sleekly cut suits and evening gowns in electric colours. Internationally, his designs have been strutted on catwalks in Sao Paolo, London and New York, as well as on celebrities like Rihanna and Nelly Furtado.

The breakout star: Duy Nguyen
The Montreal-based designer brought back the days of disco and glamour circa 1980 to win the Mercedes-Benz Start Up award for emerging Canadian talents. His sexy looks leaned heavily on lace, chiffon and crepe and shades of turquoise, pale green and a shock of scarlet for added dazzle. His love of layering and tailored men’s wear helps put his spring 2013 squarely in the fashion forefront.

Classic with a twist: Pink Tartan
At the helm of this beloved label is Kimberley Newport-Mimran, who, at age 14, was already well on her way to a career in fashion. She’s big on lady-like classics and, with every season, updates them with a fresh blast of whimsy and fun, from next season’s skinny pants and high-waisted skirts, her timeless pieces have made them staples for top retailers in Canada and the United States.

The maverick: Jeremy Laing

While other designers are focused on pastels and retro-inspired colours for spring 2013, Jeremy Laing is into bold, uncharted territory with an industrial chic collection. Black, grey, white and silver washes his designs in monochromatic sophistication. Sportswear influences and a nod to the space age makes his designs buzz-worthy. It’s clear that when the world zigs, Jeremy Laing zags, making him a talent to covet.

Sporting Life: Ashtiani

Comfort doesn’t have to trump style, as seen in Golnaz Ashtiani’s spring collection. T-shirt dresses amped up the chic factor with colour blocking and an organza coat caused a stir with its delicate pink leather detailing. The UK-schooled designer earns new fans by tapping into the minimalistic, clean silhouettes of the 1960s. Ashtiani is already star-powered on both sides of the Atlantic, thanks to stars like Cheryl Cole who love the label.

Follow us on Twitter @DestinationCAN / Suggested Tweet: Best of Canadian fashion every October and March @WMCFashionWeek

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