The Canadian Catwalk’s Kale Craze: Designer Spotlight Jenn McNaughton From his cutting-edge silhouettes to the etching of a ‘K’ shaved into the back of his head, if Canadian designer Mikhael Kale oozes one word it’s confidence. Having launched his eponymous label in 2007 after leaving London’s Central Saint Martins, he’s devised his own marriage of femininity and masculinity that constitutes his evolution, season after season. It’s been a busy month for the Toronto-based creative, from prepping yet another futuristic collection capable of time travel, to fitting Gigi Hadid in her custom transparent PVC ‘Gigi’ crop for the cover of ELLE Canada’s November issue—her now infamous ‘Hadid’ jacket was also his. He’s no stranger to the long list of elite who don his creations on the reg; Beyonce, Carly Ray Jepsen and Sylvia Mantella, behold the fierce vigor behind the Kale label. By holding the position of frontrunner, opening up World MasterCard Fashion Week for yet another season, Kale debuted a sort of euphoric tribe of fierce and fresh faces for Spring/Summer 2016 in consistent fashion. Keeping with the theme of tenacity, models revealed neon slicked hair in a neat chignon bun and minimal makeup for a hardened approach, offsetting dainty floral appliqués and candy jar colour palette. Img: Neon Hair Backstage – Jeffrey Chan Img: Minimal Makeup – Jeffrey Chan Backstage, Kale discussed his inspiration stemming from legendary photographer, Irving Penn. From the first bloom to dirt and decay, Kale looked to the late light master’s still life images to capture moments of prosperity for the collection. Pearl-camouflaged textiles added weight to loose silhouettes for intricacy and elegance as models weaved amongst one another; others strut with form in pieces of exaggerated geometric contouring. Img: Backstage Runway Rack – Jeffrey Chan Img: Futuristic Florals – Jeffrey Chan Img: Model Zoe Colivas outside the tents after MK runway rehearsal – Jenn McNaughton For any celeb-approved designer to maintain the level of sincerity to their label and following that Kale does, and for that recognition of consistency throughout a design span of seven years, is seldom. But Kale remains humble in nature, bringing out his team of apprentice designers to stand beside him during the final bow; all respectively wearing the same “Kale”-embossed sweatshirts as seen in Bey’s 7/11 video. Img: Runway – Jeffrey Chan Img: Runway Finale – Jeffrey Chan If I can say anything, it’s that the spirit of his craftsmanship is reminiscent of a late McQueen, combined with Thierry Mugler’s inventive casting of form for a more contemporary approach. Needn’t there be any comparison but rather that the Canadian talent is increasingly riding along the same wavelength as some of the industries’ most internationally notable. All hail, (Mikhael) Kale.