Toronto Fashion Week F/W 2014: Christopher Bates

Opening with a dark and ominous short movie and the presence of a mysterious black box at the top of the runway,  the male models saunter out – tall, handsome, confident, charismatic – everything a “Christopher Bates man” should be. Noteworthy was Bates’ use of a wide cross-section of men, ranging from vibrant and young, to the more seasoned style veterans.

A bold and neutral palette of black, rich warm earth tones, charcoal and light greys, and crisp white is set off by soft muted pastels in varying degrees of powder blue and yellow, and the darker distinguished shades of navy and cranberry. A whimsical yet dignified mixture of patterns and textures – stripe on stripes, plaids, knits on leather -are all characteristic of Bate’s latest collection. And as a final whimsical gesture, this collection is sealed with a kiss as the trademark lipstick print on the colour makes another runway cameo.

A veritable convergence of opposites from soft to crisp, matte to shiny, relaxed to polished, light to dark, even young to old, Christopher’s penchant for men who “dress for success” defies age, race and station in life, which was indeed refreshing to see.