Fashion | Part 1: Toronto Rogue Fashion Week wrap-up with Basch, Lovas & Basch It Up contest winner

I’ve been a very busy girl. Check back tomorrow for part 2 of my Rogue Fashion Week wrap-up with reviews of the Mackage and Greta Constantine fall/winter 2012 fashion shows and my review of the Kultura menu tasting.

The week before Toronto Fashion Week is always a busy one. A handful of designers thumb their noses at the official fashion week schedule and opt instead to show off-site and off-calendar. Off-site shows allow designers to let their creativity freak flag fly. Unique venues abound and elaborate fashion show staging reigns supreme. Read about three brands who went the rogue route (Basch, Lovas) and the Basch It Up design competition.

Designs from the (from left) Basch It Up, Lovas and Basch fashion shows.

Basch It Up

Eleventh Floor Apparel challenged fashion design students to create an original garment that would fit seamlessly into the fall/winter 2012 Basch collection and the students rose to the Basch It Up challenge.

The ten finalists presented a stylish, well-made parade of daywear, evening wear and outerwear. I was very impressed with the students design talent and stand out pieces included a sheer chiffon pussybow blouse, a red dress with peplum and v-notched bustline and a black bustier style dress with pleated skirt.

When the chiffon smoke cleared Sarah McGowan from George Brown College was named the winner.

McGowan’s prize pack includes a six-month paid internship at Eleventh Floor Apparel, $1000 clothing allowance from Basch, a $700 clothing allowance from Eleven Boutique and her design will be showcased and sold at Eleven Boutique.


A few months ago Wesley Badanjak of Lovas was named the creative director of Basch. When the announcement was made I wondered how Badanjak, whose designs are best described as modest and lady-like, would translate the fun, flirty, sensual/sexual Basch aesthetic. I got my answer last Tuesday when Badanjak presented his first collection for Basch.

Gone is the fun, sexy Brandon Dwyer Basch girl and in her place is a refined, lady-like young woman who is wise beyond her age. It seemed like Badanjak went through Dwyer’s last collection and remade many of the pieces but this time he employed his impeccable tailoring and design skills (minus some ill-fitting cups. Blame the slim models). The pieces that really worked seemed inspired by Dwyer for Basch and the pieces that didn’t seemed like Badanjak originals. Dependable and “safe” abounded and daring and adventurous were absent. But that’s not what you go to Badanjak for.

This is not to say that the collection was a veritable snooze fest (or that Dwyer’s past collections for Basch were without fault). A deep magenta chenille dress, a draped one-arm knit dress, black sequin mini dress, chubby fur coat were quite covetable (as was the nothing-over-$200 price tag) but a certain je ne sais quoi seemed to be missing from the collection.


While Badanjak said that he was inspired by Brenda from Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood it seemed he was more inspired by the ladylike aesthetic of Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Stepford Wives bouffants and ombre tweed skirt suits and dresses made appearances on the runway though the collection did veer off into more daring (for Badanjak, at least) territory.

Ostrich feathers and python-printed chiffon shared the runway with sequins and cobweb knits as Badanjak took the audience on a very textured adventure. Despite the textural orgasm the there was something about the designs that seemed more “affordable” (re: cheap) than “luxury”that even expert styling by Luis Rajiv and statement accessories by Rita Tesolin couldn’t save.



About Septembre

Septembre Anderson is a passionate journalist, cultural critic and public intellectual. Her work has appeared in Flare, FASHION Magazine,, Complex Canada, Vice Canada and Huffington Post Canada.
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