David Dixon - fall/winter 2003

The Toronto legion hall was crammed to capacity. We all felt the awe of discovery as a letter was read, a profound human document that, if only for a few precious moments, burst our hermetically sealed fashion bubbles. It was a wrenchingly heartfelt letter from Corporal John Nugent to ‘my dearest Elizabeth Fox’, designer David Dixon’s grandparents, written during the First World War. The gloom of the times did nothing to quell words filled with love and impermeable hope. This was the mood that prevailed over David Dixon Fall 2003 presentation.

The paucity of the collection, executed almost entirely in black and white, is immediately striking; the impression is that of ink on paper with only the most important details recorded. The seamless austerity of the endless parade of black and white separates is achieved through one means and one means only-squeaky-clean tailoring. It helps that the collection is as versatile as it is voluminous. Certain elements of softness do come through, and this is best exemplified by the bias-cut beaded silk chiffon dresses. There is something really ingenuous about the irregular black stripes that are allowed to cascade down a pleated white skirt at a cadence all their own.

Sometimes a piece shines through as the unequivocal voice of a collection; David Dixon presents the wool flannel cropped coat with leather appliqué and Nehru collar, gently unfurling into a cape. The shape of the silhouette really depends where you’re standing…

Just one critique on what is possibly David Dixon’s greatest collection yet. When you cut rips into a fabric so patently, they’re perceived not as rips but as screen-saver patterns, a teeny tiny touch of generic in an otherwise intensely personal collection.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer