The grand finale of the second-ever Toronto Men’s Fashion Week (TOM), headlined by Christopher Bates, was kind of a big deal.
Let us elaborate. The Vancouver-born, Milan-based designer is one of Canada’s fashion wunderkinds, well-regarded around the world for his prowess in men’s suiting and beyond. Bates’ sold-out marquee event capped off TOM’s three days of festivities, packing College Park to capacity. The draw? According to Jeff Rustia, executive director of TOM, Bates saved the international premiere of his fall/winter 2015 collection, titled Modular, especially for his return to Toronto. (If that’s not a nod to the city’s rising status in the fashion world, we don’t know what is). Herein, we offer you a preview of CB’s must-have pieces for next season.
Like any true Canuck, Bates knows the importance of a heavy-duty knit when the temperatures dip. His oversize shawl-collar cardigans certainly caught our eye for their potential as chunky top layers, but it was his architecturally-inspired mockneck sweaters in shades of gunmetal that stole the show. They’ve got an exceptionally laid back and masculine look thanks to well-placed texturing along the chest.
Leather was everywhere on this runway. Belts, suspenders and gloves made from Italian leather provided the cool details to one of the most technical CB collections we’ve seen to date. Luxe leather jackets and even what appear to be lambskin trousers also made the cut—we’re seriously considering rocking the latter come fall.
Men are increasingly coat-dressing, meaning they make outerwear the cornerstone of their look. Bates offers guys several ways to make the trend their own, including this three-quarters length coat with an eye-catching, biker-inspired asymmetrical zip (modeled by the inimitable Paul Mason, no less). Other toppers worth mentioning include his quilted field jackets and shearling-trimmed bombers.
Many of Bates’ collections include his signature two-toned shirts. Here, the designer creates a top-down colour-blocked look with moody navy and bordeaux (headlining hues on this particular runway). The geometrically-inspired motif also found its way into his khaki and black sweaters.
Oozing inspiration courtesy of his new Italian headquarters are Bates’ trademark tuxes, like this one he’s wearing featuring contrasting lapels, sharp tailoring and, this year, a lot more texture. In terms of boardroom-ready blazers shown on the runway, we saw a dash of texture transform many an otherwise traditional black number into a modern suit jacket worthy of touching.