• eat
  • shop
  • see
  • go
  • stay
  • daytrip
  • map
  • calendar
  • transport
  • weather
  • currency
  • tofrom

Behind the Seams

COMRAGS
Designers’ names: Joyce Gunhouse and Judy Cornish
First collection: 1983
Working title of this year’s collection: Picnic
Spring/summer 2004 theme: Picnic—it was inspired by the “lady who lunches.” We wanted to create a character, a woman from the periods in fashion where you had an extensive wardrobe; a dress for tea, a suit for church, a sundress for a Victoria Day picnic… All those pieces that today you would consider a great vintage “find.”
Fabrics: Super-modern engineered fabrics, silks in graphic prints, crisp cottons in soft hues and easy-wear knits.
Predominant palette: Muted brights: rose, blonde, celery, pink, and, of course, black. jaquard stripes and textured fabrics feature prominently in the collection.
Name the one essential piece for this season: The crisp Jacquard striped cotton Picnic Dress!
Insider advice on the best piece from this season to bridge with next season’s collection? We have a little black dress in a jersey knit. This dress is timeless because a flattering dress is always in fashion.
Who is your client? A woman who is defined by her character, a woman with a strong sense of personal style; age and profession do not define her.
Five words that best describe your designs this season? Fresh, womanly, special, crisp and classic
How would you dress Nicole Kidman for the red carpet? A simple but dramatic dress like our silk Donna Slip in a bright geometric print.
What do you wish would never go out of style? Bias-cut slips
Most abhorred fashion trend? Cute or funky hats
Availability: Comrags (654 Queen St., 416-360-7249); Erietta, (320 Danforth Ave., 416-778-8363), plus nine other locations in Canada; www.comrags.com.

JUMA
Designers’ names: Siblings Alia Juma and Jamil Juma
First collection: 2004
Spring/summer 2004 theme: Modern sophistication with an edge.
Fabrics: Luxurious silks, charmeuse, chiffon and Egyptian cottons
Predominant palette: Black, ivory, cream, pinky-brown were colours of choice. The look of the collection is dangerously low necklines paired with tight, body contoured pants and skirts.
Name the one essential piece for this season: A micro-mini skirt
Insider advice on the best piece from this season to bridge with next season’s collection? Micro-mini skirts will be a hot yet classic item that will translate from season to season.
Who is your client? Our client is young, refined, sophisticated with a global perspective. She is between the ages of 18 and 40. She is someone who loves a luxurious lifestyle no matter what profession she is involved in. She loves to shop, visit new restaurants, stop at galleries, travel around the globe and go to new night spots with friends. She has a positive outlook on life. She is independent, strong and has lots of ambition. She is also concerned about social issues and the environment around her.
Five words that best describe your designs this season? Sophisticated, intense, sexy, refined and edgy How would you dress Nicole Kidman for the red carpet? Nicole is a young, strong and independent woman. She represents elegance and sophistication. Therefore, we would put her in an elegant body-hugging gown with lots of our signature pleats throughout the dress. Of course, with high-heeled stilettos.
What do you wish would never go out of style? Slimming silhouetted pants
What is your most abhorred fashion trend? Too much pink
Availability: Order online at www.juma.ca.

SUNNY CHOI
Designer’s name: Sunny Choi
First collection: 1988
Spring/summer 2004 theme: Being pretty and ladylike.
Fabrics: Tweed, satin, lace and chiffon
Predominant palette: Pink in various textured fabrics
Name the one essential piece for this season: Ribbon tweed fringed jacket with grosgrain ribbon. You can dress it down with jeans, or dress it up with a silk ruffle skirt.
Insider advice on the best piece from this season to bridge with next season’s collection? This is the fashion moment of mixing and matching. You can take any item from this season and team it up with newer pieces from next season. All you need is a good eye and personal style.
Who is your client? 25+, who appreciates beautiful clothes and has an occasion to wear them.
Five words that best describe your designs this season? Elegant, pretty, refined, flirty and sensual
How would you dress Nicole Kidman for the red carpet? She is like a blank canvas where you could really be creative without any restriction. Therefore, I would start with the most unusual colour palette and go from there …
What do you wish would never go out of style? Good grooming
What is your most abhorred fashion trend? Bare midriffs (except for bikinis and on belly dancers).
Availability: In Toronto at Sunny Choi Boutiques (1020 Lawrence Ave. W., suite 201, 416-971-9329); Sherway Gardens (25 The West Mall, 416-622-7489); Bayview Village Shopping Centre (2901 Bayview Ave., 416-222-8825); Holt Renfrew, Bloor Street location (page 31). Across Canada at select Holt Renfrew locations (for additional locations, www.sunnychoi.com). In the U.S. at more than 100 upscale department stores and specialty boutiques, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstroms and Marshall Fields.

WONDERLUST
Designer’s name: Hannah Tikkanen
Year of first collection: Spring/summer 2004
Working title of this year’s collection: Happy trip!
Spring/summer 2004 theme: Smashing ’60s
Fabrics: Polyester prints, nylon spandex, chiffon, matte jersey, cotton spandex sateen
Predominant palette: Retro prints and bold prints, invigorating and stimulating. Colour groupings include aqua/tangerine/fuschia pink and purple/lilac/aqua blue married with black and white.
Name the one essential piece for this season: Fresh, cheeky, printed swinging dress in a bold colour
Insider advice on the best piece from this season to bridge with next season’s collection? Wide-leg cotton sateen pants or a printed dress
Who is your client? Confident and independent women who want to look unique when dressing and have fun. Age 16 to 35, but more about attitude than age.
Five words that best describe your designs this season? Playful, sexy and street princess glam
How would you dress Nicole Kidman for the red carpet? Bias-cut, floor-length silk charmeuse dress in sky blue, mermaid-shaped train with multiple strands of rhinestones draping over an open back.
What do you wish would never go out of style? Animal prints
What is your most abhorred fashion trend? Grunge
Availability: Daily Fraiche (348 Queen St. W., 416-341-8606); Girl Friday (776 College St., 416-531-1036); plus three other locations in Toronto and Markham, one in Newfoundland; www.wonderlustclothing.ca.

WAYNE CLARK
Designer’s name: Wayne Clark
First collection: 1977
Working title of this year’s collection: Red Carpet
Spring/summer 2004 theme: Drop-dead glamour
Fabrics: Satin-faced failles, chiffon and metallic lace
Predominant palette: White, pale French blue and accents of white gold
Name the one essential piece for this season: A Drop Dead Gown
Insider advice on the best piece from this season to bridge with next season’s collection? The Drop Dead Gown in black. Who is your client? We don’t have a specific age group—our customer gets “glamour.”
Five words that best describe your designs this season? Seductive, sexy, attention-getting, dramatic and sleek
How would you dress Nicole Kidman for the red carpet? Thirties glam—white bias satin gown, white fox fur and an arm full of Harry Winston diamond bracelets.
What do you wish would never go out of style? Women wanting to look glamorous, Manolo shoes.
What is your most abhorred fashion trend? Stirrup pants or any cropped pants
Availability: Holt Renfew (page 31); Saks 5th Avenue or Neiman Marcus.

FRANCO MIRABELLI
Designer’s name: Franco Mirabelli
Year of first collection: 1984
Spring/summer 2004 theme: A sexy, flirty take on retro 1950s and ’60s looks.
Fabrics: Stretch satin, dupioni silk, embroidered linen and cotton, cotton sateen stretch, technical linen, trans seasonal suitings
Predominant palette: Watercolour graphic prints, bold florals, black and white polka dots, muted tie-dye, colourful striping
Name the one essential piece for this season: A floral print 1950s inspired retro dress
Insider advice on the best piece from this season to bridge with next season’s collection? This season saw the return of the item jacket, especially shrunken blazers and sport-inspired zip jackets. Choose one in a trans seasonal stretch fabric.
Who is your client? Age 25 to 50. A professional woman or a woman who travels and appreciates well-cut clothing with a sexy, sophisticated edge.
Five words that best describe your designs this season? Hip, sophisticated, sexy, smart and modern
What do you wish would never go out of style? LBD-The Little Black Dress.
What is your most abhorred fashion trend? The trucker hat on any woman who is not a trucker!
Availability: Mirabelli (456 Eglinton Ave. W., 416-322-3130); Toronto Eaton Centre (220 Yonge St., 416-971-9957); Yorkdale Shopping Centre (3401 Dufferin St., 416-781-9090); e-mail info@mirabelli.com for locations across Canada and the U.S.; www.mirabelli.com.

BRIAN BAILEY
Designer’s name: Brian Bailey
First collection: 1986
Spring/summer 2004 theme: Organized chaos
Fabrics: Silk taffeta, chiffon, jersey and everything that has Lycra
Predominant palette: Bold colours, lots of florals and matte finishes
Name the one essential piece for this season: “The pretty skirt”
Insider advice on the best piece from this season to bridge with next season’s collection? A pretty black matte jersey dress.
Who is your client? Women who like quality and appreciate design harmony. A daring individual who is always ready for a twist in her wardobe and has the ability to take on newness.
How would you dress Nicole Kidman for the red carpet? A two button silk/mohair lean and mean tailored men’s inspired-jacket with a skinny pant cut close to the leg, paired with pink satin stiletto shoes, and to accessorize, long pink solitaire diamond earrings.
What do you wish would never go out of style? The appreciation of recognizing great style.
What is your most abhorred fashion trend? Leggings
Availability: Brian Bailey (878 Queen St. W., 416-516-7188; 2901 Bayview Ave., Bayview Village Shopping Centre, 416-221-3355).

MISURA JOEFFER CAOC
Designer’s name: Joeffer Caoc
First collection: 1996
Fabrics: Stretch jerseys, viscose knits, pleated cotton knits, cotton sateen and satin
Predominant palette: Pink, coral, sky, cocoa, earth tone and white
Name the one essential piece for this season: Twisting tops
Insider advice on the best piece from this season to bridge with next season’s collection? Novelty jersey and knits
Who is your client? A confident woman, 35, media professional or company executive, forward thinking, is on top of trends, likes to look polished and try new things, likes quality of life, travels, goes out dancing.
Five words that best describe your designs this season? Suits with a Sexy Twist. Glamorous Novelty Tops. Perfectly Shaped Pants. Daring Dresses Day or Night.
How would you dress Nicole Kidman for the red carpet? A long slinky red jersey backless dress.
What do you wish would never go out of style? Black
What is your most abhorred fashion trend? Flat shoes
Availability: Department stores and speciality boutiques across Canada and the U.S.; call 416-504-6232.

DAMZELS IN THIS DRESS
Designers’ names: Kelly Freeman and Rory Lindo
Year of first collection: 1993
Working title of this year’s collection: Rise of the Damzels Swamp Zombies
Spring/summer 2004 theme: Water, be it water gardens, swamps or nautical themes. And zombies, of course. Fabrics: Red, white, and blue stripes on rayon. Cotton stretch twill railroad stripes with original silk screen designs of skulls or anchors. Crêpe georgette florals.
Predominant palette: Florals, stripes, and original silk screens
Name the one essential piece for this season: The dress, of course! Damzels best bet would be the black and white floral “Frankie Dress,” reminiscent of the film Beach Blanket Bingo.
Who is your client? Women between the ages of 17 and 34 who are looking for something to wear out. Either out to dinner, out for martinis or to a wedding. She’s smart and not afraid to stand out in a crowd.
Five words that best describe your designs this season? Cute, fun, flirty, feminine and fashionable
How would you dress Nicole Kidman for the red carpet? We’d prefer to dress her for a rock concert.
What do you wish would never go out of style? Dresses!
Availability: Finishing Touches (3281 Yonge St., 416-482-9034); Lilith (541 Queen St. W., 416-504-5353); Mothership (831 Queen St., W., 416-535-8618), plus other locations in Canada. In the U.S. at www.girlshop.com; www.damzelsinthisdress.com.

DAVID DIXON
Designer’s name: David Dixon
First collection: 1995
Working title of this year’s collection: Black Pearl
Spring/summer 2004 theme: The season’s theme was inspired by Josephine Baker and the Art Deco period.
Fabrics: Linen, silk charmeuse, embroidered tulles and chiffon and lace
Predominant palette: Cobalt, sage green, yellow and ivory
Name the one essential piece for this season: Spring is all about the feminine dress with a ’20s feel
Insider advice on the best piece from this season to bridge with next season’s collection? A trenchcoat
Who is your client? My client is of all ages. She is lifestyle-driven and active, but confident and approachable.
Five words that best describe your designs this season? Feminine, pretty, luxurious, strong and elegant
What do you wish would never go out of style? Elegance
What is your most abhorred fashion trend? Plumber’s butt
Availability: The Bay (page 35); Wenches & Rogues (page 32); plus other locations. Select boutiques in the U.S.

HYPHEN
Designers’ names: Liz Consiglio and J-P Guarraci
First collection: 2002
Working title of this year’s collection: Cruise-where collection
Spring/summer 2004 theme: Cruise-where, which was a cruise from hell. Lightning storms and seasickness. We combined the brightness and motifs of tropical island markets where many cruise ships dock. Also embedded within the collection are certain auras of sailing and yachting, as well as Jamaica.
Fabrics: This season’s collection is filled with 100 per cent cotton jerseys and French terrys, also cotton/ spandex mixes.
Predominant palette: This collection is all about bright and pastel colours. Bright oranges, greens and purples are complemented with yellows, aquas and peaches. Soft creams and pale blues even out the flow. The patterns in this collection are all hand-created with stencils of lightning bolts and splashes of bleach. We have also used bold fonts spelling such words as SEA SICK, CRUISE and DAYDREAM HYPHENATION. Appliqué of lightning bolts and bananas have also been utilized.
Name the one essential piece for this season: Tango tiered skirt with the lightning bolt pattern. It combines the colour, fun and shape we think is just right.
Insider advice on the best piece from this season to bridge with next season’s collection? Tango tiered skirt or the Popsicle tiered dress.
Who is your client? 18 to 35 in age. In the creative field, such as designers, graphic designers, advertisers, etc. In-the-know, up to date with current hot spots, i.e. clubs, restaurants. Independent, confident, rock star attitude.
Five words that best describe your designs this season? Bright, fun, flirty, ’80s and nostalgic
What do you wish would never go out of style? Colour
What is your most abhorred fashion trend? Everything has its place except for cowboy boots.
Availability: So far, one location in Newfoundland and online at www.paper-doll.com.

HOAX COUTURE
Designers’ name: Jim Searle and Chris Tyrell
First collection: 1984
Spring/summer 2004 theme: Ice Cream
Fabrics: Chiffons and organza for women; linens and brushed cotton for men
Predominant palette: Pastels
Name the one essential piece for this season: A chiffon dress for women and a linen shirt for men Insider advice on the best piece from this season to bridge with next season’s collection? Buy something in a chocolate or sandy shade.
Who is your client? Twenty-eight and over with an artistic fashion outlook.
Five words that best describe your designs this season? Colourful, airy, comfortable, stylized and fresh for women. Colourful, comfortable, detail-oriented and an eclectic mixing of style for men.
How would you dress Nicole Kidman for the red carpet? A bias-cut confection with a to-die-for bustier.
What do you wish would never go out of style? Bustiers for women and Guyaberas for men (a type of Cuban shirt)
What is your most abhorred fashion trend? Jeans
Availability: Hoax Couture (163 Spadina Ave., 416-597-8924); Holt Renfrew stores across Canada; www.hoaxcouture.com.

—Linda Luong

arrow graphic

OUR FULL Toronto COVERAGE

Leave a Reply