Arthur Mendonça - spring/summer 2005

Arthur Mendonça strikes a coup for his Spring 2005 ode to truculent grace-the simplest lines cut through the glitz to give Toronto the straight goods.

In a line as distinguished for filigree cashmere sweaters that peel off like a second skin, as it is for triangular denim suits, balance in the playful war of silhouettes is crucial and Arthur Mendonça pulls it off effortlessly.

Something that really works is the pseudo-peasant sexuality-though nobody’s fooled by the implied innocence of taffeta or the definition-free button-up skirt in steel grey, the one that looks like it’s on the verge of breaking into a godet umbrella but then shyly stops short. The combination of this village naivety with some of the racy clubwear is a magical synthesis that forms the axis of the collection’s strength.

The details, or rather the accumulation of details, make the true statement of a creative endeavour. The wide waist hem is just one of the conspirators that gives the line a decidedly square feel to it, though this is ultimately hip in its own way. Mendonça’s spring collection also helps to reinforce the popularity of the V-neck that has a strangle-hold on European runways, and not for it’s flagrantly 1980’s vintage appeal, but for it’s symmetry and spring access.

Otherwise, this latest offering from one of Toronto’s most touted designers would have you believe that styling is everything. Two kilograms of bangles and Cindy Lauper capri pants can only take you so far. A reminder to all fashion designers out there: for heaven’s sake, if you want the journalists to salivate over your cunning, clever use of colour, don’t bathe everything in blue light.

One fact remains-Arthur Mendonça’s energy and designer zing is undeniable, as is his brilliant upward swing.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer