Toronto Fashion Week Day Three: Hayley Elsaesser Runway Show

Hayley Elsaesser brought a party to day three of Toronto Fashion Week Reimagined, filling the runway with vibrant prints, glitter, and rainbow colours. “The collection is called ‘Teenage Wasteland,’ says Elsaesser. “It’s about a bunch of teenagers who move to the desert post-apocalypse and start a country club.” The Canadian designer’s latest collection includes nostalgic prints (like 90s flip phones) and country club influences taken to the extreme—think futuristic sneakers, candy-coloured track suits, and OTT hair and makeup.

Elsaesser says she tried to accurately reflect her customer base in casting the models that walked her show. “I wanted to have a clear representation of the people who buy my clothing,” she explains. “Sometimes it feels like fashion has a narrow vision of what’s considered beautiful, and I think that should be expanded.”

Her signature whimsical designs have garnered major international buzz and she has amassed a celebrity following, which includes Alessia Cara and Miley Cyrus. “I created an outfit [for Ms. Cyrus] for her “The Voice” promo photos,” says Elsaesser. “She has anyone and everyone at her disposal, but she chose my clothing. It felt like a pat on the back; a confirmation that I’m on the right track.”

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Photography by George Pimentel