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Toronto Fashion Week Day 1: Sexy sequins and showstopping florals

Hot on the high heels of the Toronto International Film Festival, LG Fashion Week kicked off Monday night in yet another new incarnation, at the city's David Pecault Square in the heart of downtown. This year's theme, Canada Cool, was launched in style with Holt Renfrew's 'There's No Place Like Holts' show, featuring spring looks by eight homegrown designers.

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The jewel of Canada’s fashion crown, Jeremy Laing, opened the Holts show with a symphony of sheer, flowing fabrics in a decidedly muted palette.

Chris Young / The Canadian Press

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Laing's trademark geometric shapes once again reigned supreme, ranging from a swoop sleeve asymmetrical dress, to an apron halter and a belted kimono vest.

Chris Young / The Canadian Press

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Outerwear stalwart Smythe saturated the scene with a rainbow mix of bold-coloured blazers and jackets that were playfully styled with equally vibrant satin lounge pants and bandage bras.

Chris Young / The Canadian Press

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Bright and well-rounded, Smythe delivered wow factor (a vermillion crew coat and serpentine-print blazer), as well as understated elegance (a colour-block and peony tuxedo blazer).

Chris Young / The Canadian Press

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Showing florals for spring isn't necessarily groundbreaking, but Montreal wild child Denis Gagnon managed to make the iconic print fresh by layering it in a three-piece suit. The silk long-sleeve romper was another showstopper.

Chris Young / The Canadian Press

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Sequins and minis were big on the international stage for spring 2012, with Rodarte doing holographic sequin prints and Stella McCartney’s bodycon dresses. At the Holts show, TwentyCluny showed several super-short sparkly party numbers, including the standout draped sequin Eternity print dress.

George Pimentel / Getty Image

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He's known for creating strong female profiles, so it was fitting that Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra inspired Arthur Mendonca's spring 2012 collection. The designer took to the runway to a chorus of applause from his flock of front-row fans, including singers Keshia Chante and Jully Black.

Chris Young / The Canadian Press

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Mendonca mixed and matched tailored separates, mostly out of silk and linen, in earth tones and shades of white. His floaty dresses in magenta and clay, meanwhile, moved with down the runway with elegance and ease.

Chris Young / The Canadian Press

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Lala Berlin, a newcomer to the Toronto stage, received a warm reaction for a collection that walked the colour spectrum from light to dark.

Chris Young / The Canadian Press

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The first half of Berlin's collection was dreamy and futuristic, with tie-dyed pastels, white knits and a sheer maxi dress.

Chris Young / The Canadian Press

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Berlin's focus veered from classically feminine looks to sharp lines and a darker palette of army greens, sheer browns and muted camouflage print. As the show - and the first night of Fashion Week - drew to a close, saturation was slowly stripped altogether and the models left the runway in black on black.

Chris Young / The Canadian Press

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