Mikhael Kale SS16: Standing out, Runway to Street


We had the privilege of attending Mikhael Kale's Spring/Summer 2016 show at Toronto WMCFW this past week. 

Kale's aesthetic leans well on the conceptual side of the fashion spectrum - as opposed to wearable pieces that translate directly to the street or workplace (such as the work of Rachel Sin or Pink Tartan).

The show was beautifully choreographed from the opening sequence of a blossoming flower, to the steady flow of models filling the room along the primary runway, and two secondary runways. Each look was displayed alongside the others, not unlike a garden of flowers in the spring.

Up Close: Our View from the Audience

Up Close: Our View from the Audience

We loved the playfulness of each look, that for us, was reminiscent of childhood Paper Dolls, with a collage of fabrics that seemed cut-and-pasted in a spontaneous and intuitive way. The doll-like appearance to the models with glossy make-up and dyed hair suggested they were life-size Barbies undergoing the experiment of a child's imagination. 

What was particularly impressive about Kale's collection was how he successfully merged inspiration from numerous sources into one unified and cohesive collection. In that sense, he displayed something very definitive about being a Canadian designer in Toronto - a place that is known for it's diversity and multiculturalism.

A show like this raises a practical question to the average person: Who would actually wear these outfits? Even if Mikhael Kale's work may not translate directly to what you are going to wear to work tomorrow, there are a few things you can take from his collection the next time you look at your closet and ask yourself "What should I wear?"

1. Play

Remember when you were a kid and dressing up was fun? You would try on whatever you could find around the house and make crazy costumes. Through those costumes, you could  take on different personas and become someone beautiful, famous, powerful...someone important. 

Kale’s collection reminds you to emphasize fun, play and expression - without worrying about the rules so much.

As an adult, your clothes often become stale, routine, or even stressful when worrying about looking good, dressing appropriately for your career and age - not to mention the cost of buying clothes and credit card debt. When you were a kid, those weren't considerations, so you could just have fun.

The reality is that things haven't changed just because you're an adult. You still want to be someone important - but the clothes and personas you take on can become stiff and restrictive over time.

Kale's collection reminds you to emphasize fun, play and expression - without worrying about the rules so much. That freedom to experiment with sartorial expression is something that can breath new life and energy into your daily wardrobe. 

The next time you're shopping, or putting together your outfit for the day, relax and let that child-like creativity guide you to something fun that you may not have tried before. 

2. Colour, Pattern, Texture


If you're bored with your wardrobe, there's a good chance you are low on some combination of colour, pattern, and texture. A lot of our clients (and Torontonians in general) dress in drab colours, a lot of black, and very little in the way of interesting patterns, or pattern combinations. With winter coming on, it's going to be more of the same. 

Mikhael Kale's collection destroys bland and boring like spring flowers after a cold, grey winter. 

If you want a tactic for beating the winter blahs this year, follow his example. Go for bold and experiment with things you haven't tried before by adding:

  • Colour: There's a whole spectrum of colours, many of which will work for you. Try brighter, richer, warmer or cooler to find colours that bring energy and life to your look.
  • Pattern: Even one clothing item with patterns on it can make you look sharper. If you're feeling really bold, mixing and matching multiple patterns will put you sartorially well ahead of most people and have them wondering just how you did it.
  • Texture: Different fabrics and weaves can give a sense of fullness and tactility to your looks, making you appear touchable and approachable. Think of texture as "3D" Patterns that can create a lot of richness to your look. 

3. Don't Be Afraid To Stand Out

If there's one thing that Michael Kale's collection does, it stands out. Each model displayed both strength and vulnerability to the audience through his looks. 

Everyday life isn't that different from being on a runway, and we all constantly evaluate and form opinions of each other. That's why standing out can be challenging. You may feel uncomfortable drawing attention to yourself, wondering if people are judging you, fearing criticism, or that you've committed a fashion faux pas.

But there is a beauty to standing out, in being willing to be who you are and express that visually through your clothing. Michael Kale's collection serves as an inspiration to stand out in your day.

Challenge the bland, mundane urban world of blacks and greys and instead bring vibrance to your world and the people you encounter.

Photos: Electrafire Studios