Fresh fashion, and one fabulous facelift

Despite the parade of bomber jackets, ribbed tights and ankle boots, spring is in the air. Held at their brand new digs at Exhibition Place, the Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) held their annual press and buyer’s breakfast to showcase 18 up-and-coming designers on the Canadian scene. The fashion pack was looking for two things that morning: caffeine and the coolest new collections. FASHION spotted a lot of fab new things, but there were a few standouts in this vast sea of style.

View Sarah’s complete slideshow of looks from TFI’s hottest new labels.

DANIELLE SWEENEY DESIGN
Metal, gem stones and pearls anchor the sleek, strong pieces in this stunning jewellery collection. Whether they are considered ready-to-wear (sterling silver and 14-karat gold bangles, rings and necklaces) or Couture (individual pieces commissioned for clients such as the fete-worthy peacock necklace), all of these beautiful baubles are handmade.

MALAK by KALAM LEE
Titled “Enchantment,” this romantic, feminine collection is totally on-trend with the international Spring 2008 ready-to-wear runways. Look for Lee’s expert technique of draping, gathering and twisting to set her sexy little cocktail dresses apart from the pack. FASHION is definitely keeping its pretty peepers on this hot new line.

JESSICA JENSEN
This brilliant bag lady may believe in a “sensible approach to fashion” but FASHION thinks it is more along the lines of “sumptuous.” Jensen’s luxury lineup of classic leather totes and foldable oversized clutches (mon favourite!), available in grey, ivory and blush, speaks to the girl in all of us…and the accessory addict too!

CARRIE
This covet-worthy spring collection refers to all things ballet and beautiful. Think washes of soft colour on linen, bamboo and organic silks. FASHION’ s fave piece: the Twist dress–an ethereal empire-waist halter dress–perfect for floating down Bloor Street on your way to brunch.

MISS ROWE
This cream and white collection of modern must-haves incorporates silk and Egyptian cotton into its precious pieces. FASHION loved the clean, architectural lines and the menswear direction. The swing coat with covered buttons ($1,200) and men’s short waist coat ($525) are the perfect pieces to take you into spring.

MIRJANA SCEPANOVIC
A unique line of leather bags that combine luxe details such as silk, ceramic stones and shells. Ranging from $300 to $600, the handbags are available in a a mix of traditional shapes (such as the patent frame bag) and more whimsical designs (like the flask-shaped bag–which one can only assume is for toting your water not your whiskey).

Later that day, after closing our Winter Issue (pop the Veuve!), I spritzed on a little Coco Mademoiselle, slicked on some gloss and jetted over to Harry Rosen for a glass of Pinot to applaud the completion of the first phase of the Flagship’ s two-year renovation project. Surrounded by men and must-have labels, it was the perfect way to cap off a rather dizzying day. Located at the corner of class and cool (er, rather 82 Bloor St. W.), Harry Rosen’ s luxurious lower level now boasts a 3,500-square-foot BOSS Hugo Boss shop, while the remainder of the floor showcases other high-end labels like Dolce & Gabbana and Versace. During his toast, Larry Rosen, the chairman and CEO of Harry Rosen Inc., informed the Chivas Regal-swilling crowd that the completed store will house an impressive five floors of merchandise. The top floor will be completely dedicated to the elegant experience of bespoke tailoring and private selling. Ooh, FASHION can’t wait for the next evening of reno revelry at Harry’s. After all, nothing says sexy like a man in a made-to-measure suit.

Watch for FASHION‘s daily coverage of all the spring/summer collections at L’Oreal Toronto Fashion Week starting next Monday, October 22nd. Let the style circuit begin.

View Sarah’s complete slideshow of looks from TFI’s hottest new labels.