Pat McDonagh - spring/summer 2006

Legendary Canadian designer Pat McDonagh sizzled majestically at Toronto Fashion Week, putting on one of her tightest collections yet for spring-summer 2006.

There is more than a touch of playful period-referencing here-balloon sleeves abound and so do frilly, lace-fringed collars. The navy dress with rounded lapels and shoulder cloak evokes a mutated Burberry, as well as long walks in the fog. A Pat McDonagh collection wouldn’t be the same without an A-line dress, and this time it’s countrified with a bit of chantilly trim.

Fluid ensembles shimmy under wispy jungle print muu-muus, proving that leopard spots can be just as aristocratic as chrysanthemums. Fiery copper satin (a combo we haven’t seen since Thien Le used it) electrifies a pair of pants, under unfettered brocade organza. There are, of course, dresses worthy of none other than Cinderella, and black taffeta for the wicked stepmother.

Not that we didn’t appreciate the fur accents and peacock feathers that have made regular appearances in previous collections of hers, but the relative simplicity here has to be relished. The pinstriped seersucker set gives us cute boat-neck dresses and relaxed-fit pants, melding the practicality of button-up fronts with the raciness of slitted hems. With a little imagination, the patch-work ball gown could be blowing in the breeze on the deck of an ocean-liner.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer