From feathers and crinoline to ethnically sourced fabrics, Toronto Fashion Week 2019 offered us upcoming trends for Spring/Summer 2020. Runway favourites like Narces returned, while Kim Newport lit up the runway with her comeback collection featuring her fresh takes on her understated luxury styles — but designers Hilary MacMillan, Lesley Hampton and Anisha Kumar offered attendees a new lens to look at fashion.
Lesley Hampton: Merging design with activism
To describe the line, Hampton referred to a quote from the final report for the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women: “We must know our past, understand it and accept it if the future is to have meaning.”
Lesley Hampton: On how to wear Indigenous designs respectfully
“There’s nothing wrong with a non-Indigenous person wearing Indigenous beadwork like earrings or a necklace. As long as you know that it came from an Indigenous artisan — it’s not a rip off designer fast fashion type of thing. You know the story behind it,” she says. “It’s knowing where to draw the line in respect to head dresses or something that’s very culturally significant that doesn’t go on everybody within the culture.”
Lesley Hampton: Fashion as a means to highlight mental health
That aspect was so important that Hampton ended her show walking down the runway with a model wearing a dress made out of copper which signified colour and elemental therapy.
Anisha Kumar: Combining ethnic culture with contemporary designs
Acknowledging her carbon footprint, Kumar continues to improve her designs with sustainability and ethics in mind.
Anisha Kumar: Connecting styles from the east and west
“Especially with Indian — South Asian clothing — you’ve got a lot of bright colours but you don’t really see black that often. Or white, or gray. The neutral colours are sometimes missing — that was one of the things I wanted to bring in,” says Kumar.
Anisha Kumar: Pro-tips to wearing her designs
”Have fun, just experiment — play with it,” says Kumar. “That’s the whole point of fashion — especially for me, I love the idea of wearing something you’re so excited for the world to see you in.”
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Hilary MacMillan: Fashion in every size
“I've been wanting to expand our sizing for so long,” says Hilary. “I think people are kind of fed up with the fashion industry not being size-inclusive.”
Hilary MacMillan: Social media is changing the conversation
“I think social media has been a total game-changer in this whole body positivity movement that's happening right now and celebrities are taking to it,” says Hilary who heard the demand for extended sizing in her last collection and expanded sizing for her Spring 2020 collection again after the outcry of support from fans.
“We design for a confident, powerful woman and we want people to feel confident and powerful on our clothing,” she says.
RELATED: Top 10 plus-size trendsetters to watch out for.
Hilary MacMillan: Design challenge
“A lot of people don't know, but designing for larger sizes isn't just about making things bigger,” says Hilary. The process often involves grading patterns to fit different hip and armhole sizes, proportions that can alter the design entirely. Designing for various sizes consistently and beautifully is a rare talent that Hilary has mastered. Meaning you know you can feel confident and comfortable in the figure-hugging smocked dress or her dreamy hand-woven denim jacket, no matter your size or shape. Love the looks? Pre-order your favourite Hilary MacMillan pieces.
Kim Newport: Bringing back the Audrey Hepburn vibe
These looks will give you anything but the mean reds — and let's be honest, they may even help cure the blues.