Archive for Nadine LaRoche

Inside Style Panelist Mo Handahu’s latest clutch collection launch in Halifax


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By the time Style Panel‘s Mo Handahu hit her sweet sixteen in 1998, she knew two things: she couldn’t live without colour and she would grow up to be great. Last month, with the launch of her Summer 2012 Clutch Culture collection at Halifax’s chic FRED, the young designer made darn certain the packed house would agree with her.

Handahu started the evening with a collection that more than nodded to that pivotal year in the 29-year-old designer’s life. As Lauryn Hill’s “That Thing” filled the white, airy venue, models flooded the runway in printed mini dresses, neon-armed wayfarers, punchy shoulder-slung blazers and bright pumps—all second to Handahu’s bold (and beautiful) clutches. The “1998” collection, made up of oversized pieces in streamlined shapes and unapologetic patterns, aren’t for the meek: if you have to ask, “what could I wear that with?” Handahu admits her clutches just aren’t for you. Her second shown collection (because a quest for greatness might as well involve two home runs) made a different connection to the designer’s past. With “Wild Hearts,” the Zimbabwe-born designer’s heritage was pulled to centre stage with a series of elegant handbags in deep and intricate African prints.
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Halifax: Old favourites come out for Atlantic Fashion Week’s designer showcase

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VERONICA MACISAAC Fall 2010. Photography by Brent McCombs

Still exhausted from last Thursday’s Emerging Designer Showcase, an epic evening of 15 collections, a glance at my sparse program the following evening reminded me of the even-then thin second showcase we experienced last season at Atlantic Fashion Week. With some of our hard-hitters (namely Katrina Tuttle and Deux Fm) nabbing spots in, ahem, shall I say larger fashion weeks, ol’ AFW night two, intended to show our biggest and brightest, was feeling a little sparse.

Luckily, many of our remaining players stepped up to the plate. Read more »

Halifax: Student talent tops Atlantic Fashion Week


CHLOÉ COMME PARRIS Fall 2010 Atlantic Fashion Week. Photography by Brent McCombs

By the time hosts Lisa Drader-Murphy and Joanne Lawen slipped behind the mic last Thursday night, the packed O’Regan’s Mercedes-Benz showroom had filled to standing room only—and rightfully so. The Emerging Designer Showcase, the first of Atlantic Fashion Week’s main events, has developed quite the reputation over the last couple years. This season, over a dozen up-and-comers unveiled their latest, and I was pleased to welcome a few more names to my list of young talent for which to look out. Read more »

Halifax: Local label Deux Fm heads to New York Fashion Week



Satisfying about a handful of pipedreams all at once, Nova Scotia designer Anna Gilkerson ( has swapped the province’s south shore for the Big Apple this week, prepping for her New York Fashion Week debut at the GreenShows today. The only event of its kind on the official NYFW calendar, the GreenShows (, running from February 14 to 17, executes a commitment to eco-conscious fashion by bringing green designers to its runway while ensuring the production itself is 100 per cent environmentally friendly.

With the likes of WWD–and our own Sarah Casselman–on the RSVP list for the Deux Fm show this afternoon, and with Vogue asking for a private peek at the collection later this week, Gilkerson has the fodder for a solid case of cold feet. We caught up with the young designer to see how she’s handling all the anticipation.

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Halifax: Akshay Tyagi debuts a chilly (in a good way) collection



For Thaw, Halifax conceptual fashion designer Akshay Tyagi’s ( debut solo collection, the inspiration was simple: cracked ice along the winter-licked shores of Nova Scotia’s St Margaret’s Bay. As swiftly as the icy scene gave seed to the idea of a collection, the designer was instantly envisioning bits of his future designs—the pleats of translucent fabrics and the folds of layered cloth, like frozen water wrapping around a rock.

But how he would share this quickly cultivated idea to the public wouldn’t be as simple.

“This couldn’t just be your typical runway show,” says Tyagi.

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Halifax: Fresh faces and thriving favourites at Atlantic Fashion Week



A look from Sunsets on the Eastside's Spring 2010 collection, presented at Atlantic Fashion Week. Photography by Brent McCombs

On the heels of Wednesday’s jam-packed design-fest, the second night of Atlantic Fashion Week felt noticeably thin with only five collections. Regular show-stoppers Deux fm, Turbine and Katrina Tuttle (read about her show at LG Fashion Week) weren’t on the evening’s agenda—having other projects, from solo showcases to newborns, to tend to—and I darn well missed them.

Padding the blow, however, were new faces, including jewellery designer Megan Allison, an artist-in-residence at NSCAD who knows how to make that statement accessory. Belly-button hovering medallion necklaces were as glamorous in the front as they are in the back, and single earrings—a weakness of mine, as you know—dangled in rich golds with flashes of turquoise and wood.

See a look from Megan Allison’s collection.

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Halifax: NSCAD students steal the first Atlantic Fashion Week show



A look from Alison Seary's Spring 2010 collection, presented at Atlantic Fashion Week. Photography by Brent McCombs

Following in Atlantic Fashion Week tradition, the first designer showcase of Halifax’s two-night AFW kicked off in the Mercedes-Benz showroom on Kempt Road last Wednesday with work by current students of Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University. Unlike the past, however, their unveiling didn’t whip by with only the ghost of a few key pieces lingering in its wake. Instead, the NSCAD students, their designs rich with imagination and artistry, have completely swallowed my memory of the evening. Our art college, ever strengthening its fashion department, must be doing something right.

Read a round-up of the shows, after the jump.

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Halifax: Louanna Murphy wins Off the Cuff



Photography by Shaun Simpson

When the first outfit of Louanna Murphy’s four-look collection—a pair of high-waisted drainpipe trousers in a warm, leafy print paired with a dusty blue cami and a camel vest with a flawless circle hem and prim epaulettes—appeared on the runway at the Off the Cuff finale on September 13, the design competition was practically already won. Though her two opponents stepped up as her creative and conceptual competition, her technical talent and flawless execution remained unmatched. After the three presented their eight looks (including looks from previous rounds) Murphy took home the winning title, a prize that comes with such benefits as mentoring and instruction sessions, studio and runway time, and gift certificates and fabric. Read more »

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