Crystal Siemens - spring/summer 2002

Tucked between tranquil Lake Ontario to the south and the majestic Toronto skyline to the north, secluded Cherry Beach served as the magical landscape for Crystal Siemens’ exclusive Spring/Summer 2002 fashion event, a Toronto Fashion Week highlight.

It’s easy to understand why Crystal Siemens’ career has been followed almost religiously by an eclectic fan base for years. This enterprising fashion maverick and winner of the City of Toronto’s Designer of the Year Award for 2001 has a touch for relevance and a sharpness of acuity that is unparalleled in Canadian fashion. This has not gone unnoticed by such cultural luminaries as Chantal Kreviazuk and Amanda Marshall, who eagerly anticipate Siemens’ latest oeuvres.

An achievement to be proud of for any high pricepoint designer, the exclusivity of the Spring/Summer 2002 collection is mitigated by practical considerations. Accessibility is the heir of a vast selection of separates made of new technology fabrics, an indelible Siemens trademark. The brown and white bargello knit dress with leather detail and shoulder-tucking strikes a demure pose compared to the more animated sapphire and gold foil scale-print leather pants with flared hems. Crystal Siemens is known for a sombre colour palette.

“I’m inspired by the colours of nature. The foil pants are inspired by the lake. This is why the location is so fitting.”

From the assymetric liquid mercury jersey dress with slashed leather detail to the sculpted pintuck sleeveless top, the collection reinforces a long-held suspicion: that in translating technology into a fashion language, Siemens creates a line of wearable blueprints. Very wearable blueprints. She explains.

“In draping dresses, I always use the fabric on the forms.”

Keenly aware of customer needs and demographic shifts, Siemens recently created a new collection, Uniform by 808. The trend-driven label produces a contemporary line of business-casual with a distinct focus on colour, silhouette and detailing - at a moderate pricepoint. With the changes in business dress codes, as well as the emergence of the ‘new’ entrepreneur, a new look is required. And like the industrial music wafting out of the cello on Cherry Beach, new and beautiful languages are being written to develop it.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer