Arthur Mendonça - fall/winter 2004

The buzz surrounding Arthur Mendonça has been incessant since he first lit Toronto on fire, and this rising fashion star gave us even more to talk about with his fall 2004 collection.

The new Mendonça is impeccably streamlined-nearly every piece is a slinky swatch of tailored satin, and these are matched together in different mellifluous combinations. The intrepid black suits are nothing short of cinematic and they seem like the kind of silhouettes that would do okay even without the mohair accessories. There is a mild fetish for symmetry and zippers that-thankfully-is not taken overboard.

The martinique-striped chiffon blouses play their part in lightening the collection. The gold lamé tomboy suit is another cool departure from Mendonça’s usual fare, and maybe a tiny nod to the menswear that he’s given up. The focus he has been able to achieve in his first only-women’s line indicates that the sacrifice was worth it.

Stylist Linda Gaylard was effusive about what Mendonça attempted this season.

“I was so relieved to see something of that calibre. It was such a focussed show. He’s edited out the stuff that he thinks clutters up his work, though it was sexy to have last season’s tension between the men’s and women’s wear.”

There are a few exceptions to the homogeneity of the collection, including a few chiffon whisk-me-away dresses and a few trench outerwear options whose banality is carefully avoided with the addition of ruffled foulards. One particularly unique piece that has visual lasting power is a beige corsetted vest whose impact is accentuated by being worn over a white blouse.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer