Toronto Fashion Week Day 3: Hayley Elsaesser Presents ‘Cosmic Dread’ Collection

Hayley Elsaesser has become known for her fun, vibrant runway shows, and her Fall/Winter 2018 presentation was indeed a trip… to outer space.

Called “Cosmic Dread,” the collection was inspired by space horror, sci-fi movies and the notion of the unknown future.

The show opened with a spaceship of sorts at the top of the runway, with a model emerging from the craft wearing a VR headset. After “exploring,” he made his way down the runway, and was followed by the rest of Elsaesser’s diverse cast of models.

The space theme was prominent with Elsaesser’s signature bold prints (many of them featuring planets) and sparkly fabrics. But there was a little detail meant to make the real statement: personal messages pinned onto some of the models’ clothing.

“I really wanted to use [the show] as a way to share [my models’] voices,” says Elsaesser. “I think that Fashion Week is something that is often all about the designer, never about the models. For me, I choose my models based on their personality, not just how they look, so I asked a few of the models if they had something to share — something personal about themselves — on the runway.”

These statements included “The Future Is Accessible,” worn by a model named Rachel, who has a mobility aid and “Trans Women are Women,” worn by transgender model Stef Sanjati.

“Everyone has their own unique story, and I just wanted to share it,” says Elsaesser.

The Toronto-based designer’s Fall/Winter 2018 collection was accented by Nike footwear, many of them customized by Elsaesser.

“I’ve been working with Nike since the summertime and every season it just kind of gets better and better,” says the designer. “This season we actually customized some of the shoes, which were really fun because obviously Nikes are cool but I like to inject a little bit of a Hayley personality in it.”

Unfortunately, the customized kicks won’t be for sale, but Elsaesser assured her models she would help them create their own pair should they purchase the shoes.

Check out the full collection below:


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