Mercedes-Benz Start Up: Matière Noire and Malorie Urbanovitch debut at Toronto Fashion Week
The tie that led to Edmonton’s Malorie Urbanovitch and Montreal’s Cecile Raizonville sharing the runway at World Mastercard Fashion Week last night could have felt like a showdown. Instead, both designers held her ground, a testament to the growing strength of the Mercedes-Benz Startup competition that brought them there. After a Canada-wide search for talent, Urbanovitch and Raizonville, who designs under the label Matière Noire, were declared winners at a Toronto fashion week event in October. Last night’s show, along with industry mentorship along the way, was their prize.
Matière Noire opened the presentation with boxy tops and tulip skirts accented with lunar photo prints and geometric patterns inspired by Inuit tattoos. Some were knit into pullovers or embroidered on belts in collaboration with Quebec weaver Marie-Anne Adams. Most intriguing was the way Adams had trapped strips of leather under net for jacket sleeves.
Where Matière Noire’s collection was striving for melancholia—-and achieved it—Urbanovitch was in a lighter mood. Her pale grey sweaters in baby llama and fluffy blue pullovers, in ethical angora from Nova Scotia, topped fleece-lined cashmere wrap skirts and blanket-y plaids. Alpaca coats in a muted pear green looked cozy enough for a nap. “There’s not a lot of bells and whistles,” she admitted. “It’s just all about comfort for the Canadian winter.” She could have said style, too.