Ottawa Fashion Week

Friday, February 15, 2013
Last weekend I attended Ottawa Fashion Week. As I explained, from attending the opening party, I was pretty hopeful about what the weekend would hold. And for the most part, I was actually impressed with the production value (and even the clothes). There were a few things that confused me, including an entire Fall/Winter collection of barely there skirts and shirts (but more on that later).

While the event was 3 days (evenings) long, I only attended Saturday night. Friday left me homebound, thanks to some residual effects of Nemo, and quite frankly, having an event from 6pm-10pm (not accounting for the lateness of fashion shows), without open bar or canapés, is a lot to ask. The last thing I want to be doing at a fashion show is during an "intermission" (I was confused too) to be stuffing my face with pizza. What's wrong with going from 1pm-5pm?
Images via Jacob Durjan 
But back to the fashion.

Ariel Wu was ok. The clothes aren't my jam. Perhaps that's an unfair judgement, but you can only see so many drop-waist dresses in raspberry, olive, and khaki before you check out. The one highlight from this collection was a cream coloured shirt with a built-in cape. The built-in cape is the thing right now (think Andrea Risborough's chainmail).

Iman was a solid collection, but also not my jam. It was Iman's first time showing and there's a lot of potential there. The collection used a lot of bright jewel tones and was definitely culturally inspired. But it also had a medieval feel to it. Where it fell flat for me was that it used a lot of satin, and lace and sheer overlay.

Jana & Emilia Fashions showed a collection inspired by the First Nations communities. There were some cool pieces, like a yellow jacket with a massive owl appliqué on the back. However, the collection was showing Fall/Winter, and there were a high number of barely-there skirts and fur front-only tops (tied with leather pieces). But aside from that, the outwear was the standout. Well tailored pieces with interesting details on them.

Nyira was my favourite collection of the night. The show opened with a fantastic fuchsia water-colour suit. The same amazing pattern was used as the lapels on a extra-long tuxedo-inspired jacket. The collection was based in black, but there was a lot of gold brocade used too - including a gold jacket. I very rarely attend local fashion shows and want a piece from a collection, let alone the entire collection.

Dare opened their show with an African drum performance. The collection was nice. No hugely standout pieces, but the collection was solid overall. Think jersey dresses: maxi, short, wrap-dresses, with Angelina slits, turtlenecks. Maybe I missed something, but I didn't entirely understand the tie-in with the drummers.

On the whole, I was pleasantly surprised by my whole Ottawa Fashion Week experience.

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