Morales Spring 2009 – Toronto Fashion Week

With an abstract monochrome film providing a backdrop, barely danceable music blaring from the speakers and elaborate headdresses made of floral branches obscuring model’s faces like crazed mohawks, the tone of Renata Morales’ show could have easily slipped into artily standoffish territory. However, the Mexican-Canadian artist and designer’s latest line, which consisted mostly of dresses, struck a keen balance between the wearable and the fantastic.

There were two kinds of dresses in the show. The first set included numerous layers of chiffon, with multi-tiered skirts swishing appealingly as the models walked, yet maintaining a solid, opaque look. Morales also created fascinating textures by twisting the material into gnarled ropes, tangles, flames and flowers, and held the dresses together with tight belts and heaps of loopy gold chains. A couple of the dresses were accented by an eye-catching splash of red.

The second half of the show included long silk dresses that were busily adorned with digital prints and transparent sequins. Some included blown-up creepy/cute art by Yoshitomo Nara. Others included faded two-color cityscapes and a kaleidoscope of cherry blossom branches. At first glance, this would seem like an odd hodge-podge of assorted, unrelated scenery. But as more of the dresses were shown, the more it felt that the dresses served as a diary (indeed, the prints were taken from globe-trotting trips). Although not as wearable as the first set, it still fascinated.

Photo Gallery: Morales Spring 2009 – Toronto Fashion Week
all photos by Kwai Chan / Meniscus Magazine