Toronto Fashion Week Diary: Day Two (JNBY, Melissa Nepton, Sid Neigum)

You know it’s going to be a good show at Toronto Fashion Week when both the models and the makeup artist are raving about the clothes before they even hit the runway. 

At last night’s JNBY (Just Naturally Be Yourself) spring show, I first headed backstage to get the goods on the beauty look but before we could even talk mascara and lip gloss, model Elise and Maybelline’s Grace Lee couldn’t stop gushing over the Chinese label’s luxe line of minimalist separates with a futuristic feel. 

To mark the brand’s official Canadian launch – its already huge in Singapore, Thailand, China and Japan where the spring collection was shown during Tokyo fashion week – JNBY held a round two showing of their “Helmet Lang-meets-Yoichi Yamamoto” collection (that’s Elise’s description) that included tissue thin fabrics, asymmetrical draping, crinkled linens, unfinished seams – pieces that I could picture a future utopian society dressing in on a day-to-day basis (a society that I would like to be a part of). 

For hair, Redken’s Jorge Joao did a take on the wet look but instead of slicking strands back and continuing to the tips, he stopped midway with the shine for a degrade texture effect. “You know the style ombre with your colour? Its almost like it’s transferring to the style as well,” he told me. Key products in your aresonal for this look? Redken’s Control Addict and Hot Sets together. “One is giving you staying power and one’s giving you high shine.”

Speaking of shine, Quebec-based designer Melissa Nepton may be used to seeing her pieces glisten from the red carpet at Cannes but for her spring show she channeled Japanese culture with a Toyko Rose meets Samurai vibe. Creamy palazzo pants paired with a boxy sleeveless shell opened the show and the affair with volume continued from there. 

The Paris-trained designer brought back the skort and even taught showgoers how to successfully pull off the crop top without showing too much midriff (hint: it involves a layer of mesh between your top and your bottom). The hair really hammered home the samurai vibe courtesy of a half up/half down braid that Jorge wrapped in black pleather from Melissa’s line.

The last show of the night was a shocker on the beauty front. After last season’s heavy handed approach to black liner at Sid Neigum, I expected some major drama from Grace but in fact, the look was the exact opposite. “It’s a clean palette,” says Grace which meant minimal makeup. Just a dash of Maybelline’s Fit Me foundation in a darker shade for contouring, one coat of mascara on the top lashes and a layer of lacquer on the lips et voila! 

Where hair was concerned, this was one look we think a certain Duchess would rock on her day off. What started as a series of bouncy waves courtesy of a 1.5” barrel curling iron was then broken up using stylist’s fingers into more of a beachy finish. I’d like to think this is how Kate Middleton’s mane looks when she first wakes up. 

As for the clothes, Sid, who won last year’s TFI New Labels and now calls New York home, went heavy on the laser cuts – seen in both leather and neoprene fabrics – for a fan-like effect. And since I couldn’t really picture him designing in pastels or typical spring shades, it made sense for him to incorporate coppers, oxbloods and eggplants into his warm weather palette. 

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