Halifax: Fresh faces and thriving favourites at Atlantic Fashion Week

A look from Sunsets on the Eastside's Spring 2010 collection, presented at Atlantic Fashion Week. Photography by Brent McCombs

On the heels of Wednesday’s jam-packed design-fest, the second night of Atlantic Fashion Week felt noticeably thin with only five collections. Regular show-stoppers Deux fm, Turbine and Katrina Tuttle (read about her show at LG Fashion Week) weren’t on the evening’s agenda—having other projects, from solo showcases to newborns, to tend to—and I darn well missed them.

Padding the blow, however, were new faces, including jewellery designer Megan Allison, an artist-in-residence at NSCAD who knows how to make that statement accessory. Belly-button hovering medallion necklaces were as glamorous in the front as they are in the back, and single earrings—a weakness of mine, as you know—dangled in rich golds with flashes of turquoise and wood.

See a look from Megan Allison’s collection.

In a similarly extravagant vein, though in silks rather than metal, Italy-born Lee Lategan (leelategan.com) garnished the runway in jewel-hued wrap blazers, off-the-shoulder tops, demure gowns and layers of lavish fabric. Lategan, who has shops in Cape Town, Palm Beach and Nova Scotia’s Mahone Bay, caters to an older clientele. That maturity lent itself to impeccable execution and meticulous attention to detail. Though his more extravagant pieces could have afforded a spot of editing—tiers of rainbow ruffles up the back of a floor-length black gown would have been incredible in a single accent hue—I fell for a handful of Lategan’s classy separates, including a creamy pair of ankle-length champagne silk trousers.

See looks from Lee Lategan’s collection.

PEI’s Sunsets on the Eastside (sunsetsontheeastside) weren’t as peppy in their party dresses as we’ve seen in the past, perhaps a sign of the young designers’ (Jackie Skinner, Kirstin Sweet and Katryna Crabbe) ascent toward their 20s. Although the line has gained cohesion, technical merit and increased wearabilty, I do hope the trio doesn’t loose the whimsical charm that was just starting to establish their brand. Orphanage Clothing (orphanageclothing.com), which I’ve critiqued as too-deconstructed in the past, pulled it together (and then some) for this collection, extending the bustier theme from the previous night and adding in rib-hugging hot pants, harem trousers and a slew of bold print tops. A red dress with buttoned slits at the hip was my personal pick, a sweet little something for that patio party, day at the beach or warm night out.

See looks from Sunsets on the Eastside and Orphanage Clothing’s collections.

Veronica MacIsaac (veronicamacisaac.com) closed AFW with a strong spring 2010 collection that showcased even more detail and development than last season’s notable lineup. Starting her set with a couple of tartan bikinis and a few cotton basics, MacIsaac quickly swung into the vintage-inspired styles we look for in this designer, this time, taking us back to the 1940s. A pair of red plaid culottes (which will be my high-waisted tartan trousers of this season) swoosh-swooshed their way into my heart, and were soon joined by a white dress with a sweetheart neckline and quaint little capelet that couldn’t have been more darling. The collection’s jewel: a fitted black sheath dress with tartan shoulders and beautiful dart detailing–a successful exercise in the power of simplicity.

See looks from Veronica MacIsaac’s collection.

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