Elan + Castor designer puts comfort first this fall
Designer Leah Antoinette had a plan when she decided to showcase her Fall/Winter collection of Elan + Castor at Toronto’s elusive, underground Parlour Lounge. The 1950s décor made for the perfect backdrop to showcase her collection, which fused 60s retro glam with comfort for the modern day woman. Doing away with the typical fashion show runway, Antoinette had each model walk out one by one, cocktail in hand, and take a seat on a luxurious red sofa or pose standing by the grand fireplace. It could have been easily mistaken for an upscale fashion shoot.
Glitter is the main focus for this collection, with pieces ranging from glitzy peek-a-boo tops to shimmering floor grazing trousers. Staples of the evening include a thigh length, sleeveless, black dress with a pale pink trim at the hem, creating a two-tone mod looking frock and a pair of comfortable looking salt and pepper grey jogging pants accompanied by a see through black, sleeveless top embellished in many black shiny beads.
WHAT WAS YOUR WHOLE INSPIRATION BEHIND THIS COLLECTION? This collection is called the ‘Unintentional Collection’, and basically what I focused on were unintentional style icons from the ’60s, like Jane Birkin and Francois Hardy, and how their style really influenced women, and I thought, ‘What would happen if I had the ability to raid Ernest Hemingway’s closet in the ’30s?’ But really, it was my love for menswear and my love for the ’60s created this collection, and that’s what you see. So what you’re getting is the really thick knits from men’s wear, and then those nice trimmed mod silhouettes, so that’s the blend that you’re getting.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE FROM THE COLLECTION? I really love those sweatshirt pants that were with the glittery tank top, I also really loved the glittery pants, and the mini sleeveless dress because it’s so versatile and you can wear it with anything.
I actually see a lack of trends. I find a lot of designers are really finding their niche and sticking with what works for them. – Leah Antoinette
WHAT ARE SOME FALL/WINTER 2014 TRENDS YOU’RE SEEING AMONGST DESIGNERS THIS SEASON? You know what’s funny? I actually see a lack of trends. I find a lot of designers are really finding their niche and sticking with what works for them. Like Marc Jacobs always has that ’70s glam type of feel, and I really love that he’s not afraid to keep updating classic styles because we’re in an age where a lot of stuff has been done, and to reinvent everything is really difficult. I know what I’m strong in and that’s what I stick to, you just learn to update it through colour and manipulation. It’s also people shop differently now, they’re not buying whole collections from the designer, they’re buying pieces and they’re mixing it in with their stuff and you really have to find what works for you.
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE WOMEN TO FEEL IN THIS COLLECTION? I really want people to feel comfortable. There’s nothing worse than having to go to a dinner or cocktail party and having to squeeze yourself into something and you’re like, ‘If I have to put on Spanx one more time, that’s it,’ so I feel like I really wanted to focus on comfort first and then add in the luxury. So its fabric choices mostly, but I think everything is very easy to dress up and everything is very easy to dress down, so that was really the point.
Words by. Aliecia Brissett + Photos by. Lee Hon Bong