LG Fashion Week Wrap-up: Wu and Micalla

Adrian Wu Spring/Summer 2012: Creatures of Photons

We all remember our firsts. First fashion show, first time reading Vogue, first designer purchase, well maybe that’s just me. I will also remember Adrian Wu’s first runway show at LG Fashion Week.

Following Wu’s career for the past year, has been a whirlwind adventure. The young designer, showed up in Ottawa last October to awe Ottawa fashion goers with his voluminous, often upholstery-fabric-made, usually sexually influenced creations.

After Ottawa, Wu set his sights on Toronto, believing it to be the center of the Canadian fashion industry. I have watched him work tirelessly to promote his company, stay true to his vision and try to create something that hasn’t been done before.

Wu, 21, was the youngest designer to show at last week’s LG Fashion Week in Toronto. His show “Creatures of photons” was held in a dimly lit fashion tent at David Pecaut Square. Wu set a sophisticated tone with a string quartet positioned in the center of the room. Round red, green and blue carpets from Ikea were scattered on the floor perhaps to symbolized quarks, unconfirmed particles that carry an electric charge, which form protons in the ‘double slit theory’ experiment. This was Wu’s inspiration for his collection.

A photon is a particle, which carries light or other electromagnetic radiation energy proportional to the radiation frequency but has zero rest mass. Even though I don’t understand physics, I could see the translation of this weightless scientific influence in Wu’s use of  lightweight voile to create his 15-piece collection.

The questions of sexuality that most often inform Wu’s work could be seen in the three-dimensional sexual organs exploding from dresses worn by extremely thin, cross-dressing male models and stick-like female models who stomped around the quartet in towering platform heels, Wu designed himself.

Wu’s collection made me uncomfortable at times. The piece entitled “the second period” is a literal display of a woman’s menstrual cycle, complete with Ikea paper lamps covered in fabric signifying ovaries and red acrylic paint splattered as well, you can probably guess.Wu challenged what society deems acceptable and is maybe opening a discussion about sexuality and natural human functions.

Fashion critics disapproved of the collection noting gaping zippers and unfinished hems, which they said resulted in ill-fitting garments. At an after party for his collection, Wu seemed to be taking the negative media attention in stride. “At least they’re talking about me,” he said.

On Saturday, Wu tweeted,”Learned a lot and still learning.” I look forward to see what Wu comes up with next.

MICALLA Spring/Summer 2012: I (heart) Remus

Another designer known to Ottawa, MICALLA also showed on Friday. The show opened with a short fashion film, featuring cats and a glamourous woman frolicking around a house in MICALLA jewels.

Montreal-based, designer Camilla Jorgensen said her collection was inspired by cats, which she has three of her own.”The characteristics and spirit of a cat is the idea of a MICALLA woman. This bold, adventurous, confident woman, who would love to try anything,” she said.

The collection had a retro, 50’s vibe to it. Models wore head scarves and cat-eye sunglasses to compliment the gorgeous jewelry featuring vibrant colours and modern cuts.

The pieces shown by MICALLA  were exquisite. The show was so glamourous and the pieces so bold in a time when much of fashion is understated. The MICALLA women can not be afraid to take risks with fashion. Jorgensen said her job allows her to take risks. “I love having no boundaries of creativity,” she said.