Chulo Pony - fall/winter 2005

Vancouver’s Chulo Pony made a noisy debut at Toronto Fashion Week with it’s sixth collection to date, bringing its piquant fashion sense to the Liberty Grand. Born from Nettwerk Productions, a record/management label that represents the likes of Avril Lavigne, Chulo Pony’s stated mission is to underscore the link between fashion and music.

Normally I don’t fall for overblown motifs that repeat, often denying the clothes their own fifteen minutes of fame. But the exaggerated killer thistle is hopelessly endearing, especially on Scotch plaids not bereft of schoolgirl charm. The red plaid is everywhere, sometimes in full glory as in the unconstrained pencil skirts, and sometimes only as the fabric between pleats, a Highland flash.

Fashion reporter Sass Bianca sniffs out the musical influence. “Chulo Pony looks like what would’ve happenned had Louis Vuitton been taken hostage by The Clash.”

Designers Chris Kopeck and Crystal Heald present a cool range of separates in black, brown, touches of lilac and salmon, mixing them in a texturally stimulating landscape. The grey empire-waisted angora knit sweater is as soft as the speckled tweed pants are grainy. A felted three-quarter-length coat with beautiful pointillist plum shading is a great contrast piece, worn with faded indigo jeans. Why is everyone but Chulo Pony and only a few other Canadian designers ignoring denim for Fall 2005?

We will be watching with pencils to the page to see if they can continue replicating this odd magic, the one that has found Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan and the members of Coldplay wearing Chulo Pony garb.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer