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Black is back: 23 standout looks from Toronto Fashion Week

On day four at Toronto's Fashion Week, designers showcased their darker sides — revealing black dresses, trousers, and outerwear. Have a look at some of the best ensembles from the runway.

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While I'm often wary of entirely monochromatic collections, Montreal duo UNTTLD, comprised of Jose Manuel St-Jaques and Simon Belanger, proved me wrong.

Jenna Marie Wakani

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Their collection was all black, but that doesn't seem to matter when they're playing with volume, texture and shine.

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Peplum tops were paired with baggy trousers, which worked especially well when the top in question was trimmed in feathers.

Jenna Marie Wakani

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Liquid black fabrics slinked in dresses, and a personal favourite was a maxi with a sharp tuxedo collar. The tuxedo, or rather the deconstruction of it, played an important part here. It was taken apart and let out, especially in those oversized pants.

Jenna Marie Wakani

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In one look, the pants disappeared entirely, and the jacket, trimmed in leather, took over when paired with a sheer black dress. It was beautiful, but at times could have benefited from a stronger edit.

Jenna Marie Wakani

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One thing it did do: Showcase the duo's masterful construction of a garment. One guest suggested that they were finally ready for Paris - perhaps Toronto was a testing ground?

Jenna Marie Wakani

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With David Bowie as muse, Rudsak's creative director Evik Asatoorian tapped into the spirit of Ziggy Stardust. But this was a wearable space oddity, where golden grommets only hinted at the stars and the notion of padding in metallics really glammed up the space suit.

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Rudsak, a leather goods and outerwear label originally, launched clothing last fall, and that remains an element of focus as Asatoorian told me backstage.

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"All of those details," he said, referencing the gold leather and padded details in the ready-to-wear, "take you to the moon."

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But still, outerwear remains the line's strongest element, as seen in the many variations of parkas that walked by. The leathers were quite good, especially the fur-covered jacket that opened the show.

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For guys, the rocker vibe subdued. Still bad-ass, the details were toned down. Puffer coats were cut slimmer to the body.

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Branding was on the quiet side, seen in blacked-out crests on jackets and tiny details like buttons, a smart backlash to the ubiquitous Canada Goose patches. "It has to be recognizable," said Asatoorian. "But not that much."

Jenna Marie Wakani

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A trip to Monaco and an obsession with the Hitchcock classic To Catch a Thief informed Matthew Gallagher's debut collection last night, where shapes and colour presented a minimalist version of Grace Kelly.

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Before we delve any deeper into description, here's a bit about Gallagher: He's a Canadian who, until recently, was studying in Milan. He reached out to The Collections' founder Dwayne Kennedy and, at his urging, moved to Toronto to start a label. It was a smart move.

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For a first collection, the line was fully realized and Gallagher displayed a signature style that's light on the detail and sharp with the cut. Everything was elongated, but not necessarily evening: A navy maxi dress with tented volume looked casual and clean, like your favourite fancy sweatshirt.

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Two other dresses, both crew-necked and long, were so simple from the front, but had a square-cut exposed back with button details that lent more interest.

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As a whole, it was terrific to see a promising new talent who can hold back.

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Sunny Fong titled his terrific fall collection Nordic Fauna. It was an ode to Canadian winters, but gave the impression of a quaint ski town in the alps undergoing a sexual revolution.

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The outerwear, fur trimmed and sharp, was at its most inventive when detailed with pleated elements.

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Among my favourite items in the show were ski sweaters fetishized in leather, one for men and one for women.

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The three men's looks are noteworthy, being the designer's fist foray into menswear.

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Another highlight: the winter camo print. It was a bare maple-leaf tree on white, and I loved the way he made such a whimsical pattern formal, especially in a strapless gown.

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With all that sex appeal for winter, you almost wished for the season to continue — until you actually stepped outside.

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