ALDO Rise Spring Summer 2012 Available March 8, 2012

I posted about my favourite shoes ALDO Rise Spring Summer 2012 collection. The final production list is out for Aldo Rise and it includes pricing. Not all the shoes from the designer collaborations weren’t produced but a lot of my top picks where.

Prices range from $155 – $175.  Canada, and the rest of the world receives the shoes on March 8, 2012.


I want – I got’s ALDO Rise Spring Summer 2012 Top Picks

Aldo partnered with six designers for the Spring Summer 2012 collections. The collaboration was nameless previously but now it has a name, Aldo Rise. Participating for Spring Summer 2012 is JW Anderson, Preen, Faster Mark Fast, Libertine, Christian Cota and Cushnie et Ochs. Aldo created a great tumblr blog for the collection and enlisted the help of  Tommy Ton and The Coveteur to take lots of photos during fashion week. They captured a  lot of great images to see and the Aldo Rise Tumblr archive is a good place to start.

I’m a big fan of the collection.  Here are my top picks.  It’s going to be hard to decide which pairs to pick up.


Faster Mark Fast



JW Anderson

Christian Cota

Aldo Rise hits stores March 8 , 2o12.  Watch this space for more details about availability.


Mark Fast for Danier

Mark Fast for Danier
The Mark Fast Fall Winter 2011 – 2012 featured a collaboration with Danier. Mark created some amazing leather pieces in the show. Some of these runway pieces have been developed into a small capsule collection for sale at Danier this fall.
Mark Fast for Danier
I missed the Danier preview and didn’t get to see the collection in person but here are my top picks of the collection.
As you can tell I love the coats and the pants. Even the cropped leather overalls has me happy. I can see myself pairing them with my platform boots from the Gap.
Mark Fast for Danier

images: courtesy of Danier

Power Ball 13

Power Ball 13

Last year I swore that I would wear something fun to the 2011 edition of The Power Ball. I attended the very popular fundraiser last year and realized that I should have dressed for a party. My outfit was a standard skirt and top. I should have looked to my SpinTO and Buy Design outfits for inspiration instead. So when the buzz around Power Ball Thirteen started my mind started thinking about the outfit.

I’ve been on the hunt for a catsuit for a few years. I contemplated buying one from American Apparel many times but that never materialized. I found myself falling in love with a unitard by Faster by Mark Fast. I remembered when Jenna Bitove wore the unitard at an event. It was great to see it up close. That love turned to obsession and eventually I ordered the unitard from Mark directly. The subject of Power Ball outfits came up again and I realized that my newly acquired Faster unitard was the perfect choice.

I made sure to take a vacation day so that I wouldn’t have to worry about getting up for work the next day. Power Ball Thirteen was going to a fun, relaxing night. The night started with a visit to the Thompson Hotel and the Conair Pre-Power Ball hair and makeup suite. I didn’t need a haircut but I’m always game for getting a pro makeup artist to do my face. I didn’t arrive wearing the unitard. I wore my backup outfit, a Philip Sparks jumper. I was planning ahead. I didn’t know what to expect as I’ve never worn a unitard before. It could be too hot or uncomfortable and I didn’t want to get stuck with a massive wardrobe malfunction for the whole night.

After my makeup was done I changed. The reaction wasn’t something I expected, people where screaming their heads off. I was a little embarrassed at first, but I got over it pretty quickly. Frankly, it felt like I was back in my Track & Field days. I spent a lot of my waking hours in spandex and other skin tight garments. The unitard is so comfortable, almost like a second skin. I quickly downed a quick drink of liquid courage and grabbed one of the limos that were waiting to take guests of the Conair suite to the party.

Power Ball 13

The Faster by Mark Fast unitard got a lot of comments (all positive thank god). Most people just gawked to be honest. Thankfully I’m used to gawking with my choice of haircuts and sunglasses. I exercised a little bit of my inner exhibitionist at Power Ball. My friend’s reactions were awesome. Some smacked my ass and others stared in shock. My favourite was the delayed reaction. It would involve the usual hugs and kisses initially. We’d chat for a bit then it would dawn on them. It was great fun.

Stefania from textstyles was very sweet and posted two photos of me on her blog. Photos from She does the city and Backseat Stylers.

DANIER x George Antonopoulos Fall Winter 2011 – 2012

The DANIER x Greta Constantine Fall Winter 2011 – 2012 collaboration was just announced but few weeks ago there was another announcement from the DANIER team.

DANIER continues their Canadian designer collaborations by announcing a partnership with renowned fashion stylist and director, George Antonopoulos. F/W 2011/12 will see a debut design capsule collection, OBJECT, sold at select DANIER retail locations across Canada. Object will be comprised of sophisticated separates for women, bringing a singular aesthetic to the Canadian consumer.

“My philosophy behind OBJECT was creating modern classics in leather that are effortlessly integrated into anyone’s wardrobe. Attainable and affordable, the designs are investment pieces translated in leather to create a new language of dressing,” says Antonopoulos.
Antonopoulos has earned an impressive reputation within the Canadian fashion landscape through his work as both a creative director and stylist with publications such as Flare, Fashion and Cheek Magazine. DANIER is excited to have the opportunity to bring this Canadian talent’s forward thinking vision into the retail arena; OBJECT will debut to the Canadian media this spring.

DANIER is going crazy with the collaborations: Mark Fast, Greta Constantine and George Antonopoulos. I’m very excited about this development and I’m glad to see Canadian retail taking notice of our designers. I cannot wait to see it all.

Mark Fast Fall Winter 2011 – 2012

Mark Fast AW11 - Look 1
Mark Fast Fall Winter 2011 - 2012 from London Fashion Week - Dietrich Coat

Mark Fast returned to Canada and presented a tightly edited version of his London Fashion Week fall winter 2011 – 2012 collection. This was the first time he has presented a fashion show in Canada. The fall winter collection was the debut of his collaboration with Canadian leather retailer Danier. This was one of three shows presented at the Trump Tower Toronto which is still under construction.

“Things are not what they seem to be, they are mysterious and disguised. I used the energy of the movement of a wolf’s vicious anger to be projected into the cuts of knitted pieces and leather garments. I am using merino wool and elastomeric mixes in the knitted dresses. I wanted to create a softer, warmer silhouette. I also used leathers to evoke the strictness and attitude of this women”. – Mark Fast (from press release)

Mark Fast AW11 - Look 19
Mark Fast Fall Winter 2011 - 2012 from London Fashion Week - Big Bad Wolf Coat

It was a total delight to see the knitwear wizard’s collection up close. The knits are so intricate and I loved the play on textures. Wool, alpacha, merino, mohair joined with nylon, polymaide and elastane to create a number of knits of different thickness and designs. Mark worked with the Woolmark Company to produced the these amazing innovations in natural luxury fibers. It was all very sexy with the strategic cutouts and sheer panels.  My favourite pieces are the Big Bad Wolf Coat, the Wolf’s Tooth dress in orange and the amazing Dietrich coat.

Mark Fast AW11 - Look 10
Mark Fast Fall Winter 2011 - 2012 from London Fashion Week

I loved the leather pieces. I’m hoping the leather high-waist trousers and cropped parka made it to production. The Danier x Mark Fast collaboration will use pieces from Mark’s fall winter 2011 – 2012 collection as inspiration for the line. Obviously, Danier has to think about how to translate these fashion forward designs into something more palatable by the masses.  I’m hoping Danier has some e-commerce options worked out for fall because I can see a demand from international customers.

While I enjoyed the Mark Fast fall winter 2011 – 2012 collection it seemed the leather collaboration didn’t integrate with Mark’s design aesthetic as much as I would have liked. I was hoping to see some amazing leather and knit combinations. The lack of those pieces made it seem as if they were two separate collections, leather and knits. The London show was much longer and had more leather. It easier to see the difference. I think this is because I’ve put Mark into this knitwear pigeonhole and I’m having a rough time getting past it. That being said, I’m still excited as all hell to buy some Mark Fast x Danier leather in the fall.

Instead of photos I took video of the Mark Fast Fall Winter 2011 – 2012 fashion show.

You can see photos of the entire Mark Fast Fall Winter 2011 – 2012 collection show at Trump Tower Toronto at

See the entire Mark Fast Fall Winter 2011 – 2012 collection from London Fashion Week.

images courtesy of knotpr and Mark Fast.

Mark Fast x Danier Fall Winter 2011 – 2012

Mark Fast x Danier Fall Winter 2011 - 2012
Mark Fast x Danier Fall Winter 2011 - 2012

I’m all over this collaboration between Mark Fast and Danier. I can’t wait to see what they stir up.

Canadian designer Mark Fast has partnered with leading Canadian fashion brand and retailer DANIER to create his Autumn/Winter 11/12 collection. Set to be unveiled in February at London Fashion Week, the London-based talent will incorporate leather elements manufactured by the Canadian brand.

DANIER is thrilled to have the opportunity to manufacture leather for the upcoming fashion week presentation. This will mark the first time Mark Fast – a designer who has enjoyed international acclaim for his original knitwear and famed catwalk presentations – has collaborated with a Canadian retailer. DANIER looks forward to showcasing and selling a capsule collection inspired by the designer’s Autumn/Winter 11/12 collection.

Luminato 2010 – The Ascension of Beauty by Mark Fast

Luminato 2010 – The Ascension of Beauty by Mark Fast

Mark Fast returned to Canada to be part of the Luminato festival of Arts and Creativity.  He has the honour of presenting in the one of the best installation venues in the city, the Brookfield Place Allen Lambert Galleria.  It was two years ago that myself and some friends were part of the Toronto’s Mille Femmes installation during Luminato.

Luminato 2010 – The Ascension of Beauty by Mark Fast

Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity will present a free landmark installation in partnership with Lancôme by London-based Canadian knitwear designer Mark Fast. Commissioned by Lancôme in celebration of their 75th anniversary, The Ascension of Beauty will be presented in Toronto’s Brookfield Place Allen Lambert Galleria throughout the 10-day festival from June 11th to June 20th.

Luminato 2010 – The Ascension of Beauty by Mark Fast

Fast welcomes the challenges of such a largescale project, which will see him outfit architecture in rope sculpture and fashion a dress of lycra, viscose and SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS. Said Fast, “The knitwear I have created is symbolic of the elegant structure of the rose and I have derived my inspiration from its delicate confidence. Its layers extend off the body emulating the delicate petals held together by the stem. The exhibition will encompass a rope structure that represents the emotion the Lancôme woman evokes. In my mind and my design, she encompasses the whole space and she is an inspiration to all people who behold her.”

Luminato 2010 – The Ascension of Beauty by Mark Fast

The installation was beautiful. It did a great job of using the length of the atrium.

Mark Fast is available at The Room (The Bay Queen Street).

Mark Fast Cocktail at Ame

Mark Fast Cocktail at Ame - Photos by Raymund Galsim

Mark Fast was in town last week for a Spring 2010 preview. I wasn’t able to attend the preview during the day but I went to Ame for a cocktails in his honour. Mark is from Manitoba originally. He studied at Seneca College in Ontario briefly before going to London. He attended the prestigious Central Saint Martins and got his BA and MA.

Mark Fast Cocktail at Ame - Photos by Raymund Galsim

Mark designs by hand on a domestic knitting machine. His work is formed onto the body as he knits, and he has devised innovative stitching techniques, blending lycra with viscose, angora or wool. He is inspired by the endless possibilities of lycra yarns, sculpting areas of tension and areas of volume over the body. Mark’s fascination with the cinema drives his creative process as he channels the energy of the characters who inspire him into his knits. Obsessed with texture, Mark’s most recent work explores the relationship of garments to the wearers body.

Mark Fast Cocktail at Ame - Photos by Raymund Galsim

I didn’t realize the work that goes into a Mark Fast dress until I saw the models milling about in them. Wow, the details are insane making the dresses very delicate. You have to be careful putting them on for sure. When I talked to Mark briefly, he mentioned the delicate nature of the dresses make him very selective in who he lends things too. He’s a very sweet and soft-spoken man.

Mark Fast Cocktail at Ame - Photos by Raymund Galsim
Mark Fast x Louboutin Spring 2010 shoes

This season he partnered with Christian Louboutin to design his Spring 2010 footwear

Mark Fast Cocktail at Ame - Photos by Raymund Galsim

Seeing Mark’s clothing in person totally blew my mind. I have a lot more respect for what he does after touching the garments and learning about his technique. I touched everyone in Mark Fast that night. His clothing has texture and dimension to it.

Mark Fast Cocktail at Ame - Photos by Raymund Galsim

Mark Fast Cocktail at Ame - Photos by Raymund Galsim

Photos by Raymund Galsim

Mark Fast Ready to Wear – Fall 2009 – 2010

The power of video once again proves itself to me. I would have totally overlooked Mark Fast Ready to Wear 2009 – 2010 without seeing this video. The pictures of the collection on don’t do it justice.

Mark Fast is a 27 year old Canadian born knitwear designer. He grew up outside the city of Winnipeg, in the countryside along a highway next to a forest. This minimal, peaceful lifestyle led him to wonder what life might be like beyond the familiar frontiers of Canada.

Finally finding inspiration in London, Mark studied at Central Saint Martins for five years. He completed his BA there and went on to complete his MA in February 2008. Mark has also created knitwear for Bora Aksu, a collaboration that spanned three seasons.

I’m always excited to hear about Canadians making it abroad. Sarah Nicole Prickett wrote a great article about Mark for the National Post.