On Thursday night, the Canadian Embassy in Trafalgar Square hosted the ‘Curated Canadian Collections’. A collaboration between the High Commission of Canada, the City of Toronto and the Toronto Fashion Incubator, and with the support from the Canada-UK Foundation and the Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute, it was a celebration of Canadian fashion and of the close relationship between Canada and the UK.
With the likes of Hilary Alexander OBE making an appearance at the event, it was a lovely showcase of the best fashion designers in Toronto.
I’ve outlined the Toronto brands which were showcasing at the event, along with a brief description of their brand. I’ve also embedded each of their websites into the article with clickable links so you can explore their designs further.
Alan Anderson Jewellery
Alan Anderson, a Canadian-born jewellery designer, showcased at the event, with fans of his work including Katy Perry, Drew Barrymore and the late Elizabeth Taylor. He specialises in statement jewellery, and handcrafts every piece produced. You can view his website here.
Roxana Esmaliji, designer of Barcelona Collective shoes, also presented her designs at the event. Inspired by living in Italy and Spain, and working with brands such as Fendi Group and Caffe Florian, she launched her own footwear company back in Toronto. The grand-daughter of Benedetta Bianco, Pablo Picasso’s muse, her shoes are inspired by Barcelona’s architecture and early 1970s fashion. With all the shoes handmade in either Mexico or Toronto, her goal is to make heels so comfortable for working, busy women, there’s no need to change into flat shoes during the day.
Jonah Jay is a vegan leather womenswear clothing brand. Jilian Naiberg, the founder and CEO of Jonah Jay, built her career in New York and Toronto, and aims to provide women with faux leather pieces which are wearable and cool.
Lesley Hampton is the designer and creative director of her own fashion label. Specialising in luxurious evening wear, she counts Margaret Trudeau as a fan of her work. She promotes inclusivity and diversity, and uses materials such as lace, sequins and mesh in her designs.
Miriam Baker attended the event, presenting her ‘bust-friendly’ designs. Fed up with most clothes being designed for women with a size B bust, whilst the average bust size was a size D, she decided to design her own clothing line.
Tyler Ferguson designs and crafts her own jewellery range under the label of ‘Monoxide‘. Her work aims to tell real-life stories, using 18kt gold and stones, with her latest collection taking inspiration from the concept of ‘home’.
This womenswear label is designed by Stephanie Moscall-Varey. Moskal takes inspiration from the natural world, shapes and construction. The Fall/Winter line from this year, for instance, is inspired by North American farming and how it’s shaped the geographical landscape.
Loch glasses are a unique eyewear brand from Ontario, and is run by two brothers. This eco-friendly company make their glasses from reclaimed timber from within Canada, some of which they collect from Lake Huron, transforming the wood into high-fashion and wearable sunglasses and specs.
Having been founded in 1997, this shoewear company is inspired by the original indigenous footwear of North Americans. Manitobah Mukluks aims to become a global brand which celebrates and makes an impact on indigenous communities around the world, Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford and Sophie Trudeau count themselves as fans of this brand.
Michelle Ross is a jewellery designer who incorporates edgy and traditional designs into her work. Using vintage finds, glass and semi-precious stones, each of her pieces are unique and elegant.
Katherine Soucie turns cast-off hosiery into clothing and accessories. Her Spring/Summer collection, named ‘HERstory’ is inspired by fashion and art influencers Nina Simone and Patti Smith amongst others. Sans Soucie is a celebration of women, sustainability and identity.
Victory of the People
Innovative and fashionable jewellery designer Nicoletta Papadakis makes 14kt gold pieces, decorated with diamonds and pearls. Her minimalistic, ‘sun and sea’ inspired collection is wearable yet bold. You can view their website here.
Michael Zoffranieri founded his own label, ‘Zoff‘, in 2016, and his inspiration for Spring/Summer is ‘Bitch at the beach’. Taking inspiration from the sexualised feminine body, he uses rich and bright colours with silk and metallic tweed to create unique pieces.