A day with TOM*

From front rows to backstage tours at Toronto Men’s Fashion Week

Supplied by Che Rosales

Imagine all the people…wearing gorgeous clothes. 

Growing up as a fashion enthusiast and a mad Beatles’ fan, I was excited to hear TOM* Toronto Men’s Fashion Week partnered up with the city of Toronto to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ last performance in Toronto. 

The exclusive menswear presentation featured 50 looks inspired by the British band and the eccentric decade of the 60s. Think suede vests and fringe shirts.

My best friend and I decided to attend the closing day of shows: the one featuring the Beatles collections. 

It’s a popular misconception that fashion shows are highly exclusive, however, anyone can buy tickets for any of the shows and even special events such as presentations with industry experts (TOM* Talks). 

As a student, you can get tickets for any show for $10 dollars or a day pass for $37.50.

With no official dress code, attendees were dressed in everything from fancy dresses to ripped skinny jeans. My friend  decided to wear a dress shirt, and I wore a shirt dress with black boots, for a casual but stylish (wo)menswear look.

As we arrived to the Mattamy Athletic Centre, “Hot show, everyone! Hot show!” was heard backstage —where we’d been given an exclusive look — as models, stylists and make-up artists got ready for the final day of shows. 

 The TOM* Spring and Summer ‘17 collections featured over 18 iconic menswear designers, their looks ranging from Caffery Van Horne’s edgy prints to Candace Daniela’s transparent rain coats. 

During the Beatlemania show, as we sang along to ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, we watched 50 different Beatles-inspired looks parade down the runway on 50 different models. Models not only wore outfits worthy of a rock star but also held instruments such as electric guitars, tambourines and drumsticks. 

My favorite show was the Caulfeild John Lennon signature collection, where the models were decked out in eclectic looks inspired by what the ‘Imagine’ singer used to wear. Think leather everything and graphic tees, presented with a modern twist. 

As models walked down the runway and posed with peace signs for the cameras, as a  guitarist played the artist’s most famous songs and videos of the singer were projected in the background. I felt like I was attending a rock concert where everyone was reminiscent of the 60s party scene.

For the closing of the show, all the models walked out holding signs that read some of Lennon’s most notable quotes: “Make love not war” and “Imagine.” The show as whole was a modern fusion of John Lennon’s art, music and fashion.

The energy changed the moment we stepped backstage — the place the models emerge wearing the next trendiest looks. 

In a room divided in makeup stations and dressers, models took their flared pants and frilled shirts from huge racks of clothing anyone would be lucky to get their hands on, while photographers flashed their cameras, looking for the perfect candid model shot. 

Despite being a menswear-only fashion show, men and women alike were in awe by the modern take on 60s and rock-inspired fashion. Velvet bomber jackets, suede shoes, tie dye shirts and cropped paisley pants are sure to be seen on everyone next season as they were heavily featured on the runway. 

One of the main highlights of the night was the closing announcement that TOM* founder, Jeff Rustia, will be organizing Toronto Women’s Fashion Show in February 2017, reviving our everlasting dreams of gazing at dresses down the runway. 


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