David Dixon - fall/winter 2005

One of the many pleasures of watching a David Dixon collection trot down the runway is waiting for the moment when the tasteful sobriety his label is famous for loosens up a bit, just enough to let the playfulness in. Fall 2005 is full of these moments, brought to you buy a perennial Canadian favourite.

This ode to Highlands influence in Canada started out innocuously enough, with cinched dresses in earthy crepes. Then orange satin threw the doors open to the radiant spectrum, with mellifluous full-length dresses and their equally shiny tops. Raw-seamed grey skirts and suits rubber-stamped this optimism and played up bright patches of parti-coloured appliqué.

The prolific use of fur certainly represents a new direction for this dependably conservative designer. There’s no shortage of it, from extended cuffs and collars, creeping inlay, and even sometime as the whole enchilada, as we see in the baroque boleros. Alas the snazzy tartan plaids come out to play, in the round-cut pea coats and matching skirts, business ditties that like other Fall 2005 Canadian designs spotlight the hips.

The Madame Vionet-style ventilated incarnadine red dress puts some much-needed eros into the rather reserved collection, and red also made a rather tawdry appearance as a stretch of gossamer sway under a belted fur bomber in an unmistakable military cut. What fantasies were distilled in that one, we wonder.

A favourite outfit is a pair of tartan capris worn with a loop-closure fur vest and a hot salmon blouse with balloon sleeves and Martinique stripes. The look isn’t as much catch-me-if-you-can than it is a live, layered retrospective of the Scottish design aesthetic. Thankfully, we’re spared the cheesiness someone with less taste would have been guilty of, though we weren’t spared the bagpipes.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer