The Five Major Differences Between Toronto Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week

Last week, I jetted up to Toronto to join the team at Joe Fresh for their Fall 2013 runway show. Although the four-stop Fashion Month as we know it—New York, London, Milan, Paris—is already a distant memory, our neighbors to the north actually show their collections a full month later. And with those several weeks of distance in between digesting the bulk of the fall collections and taking in something new, my mind was sharp enough to discern several major differences between TFW and NYFW. Read on!

1. All runway shows are held in the same venue. In New York, editors scramble in and out of subways and across busy streets—or, if they're particularly lucky, in and out of chauffered cars—in an attempt to get from show to show. Nowadays, the majority of NYFW events aren't even held at Lincoln Center, the event's official venue—rather, they're downtown at Milk Studios, on the far west side at Eyebeam or somewhere else entirely. At Toronto Fashion Week, however, everything's held in the central tents at David Pecaut Square, which are surrounded by tons of stores, eatery options and more. So convenient.

2. Is that...a chandelier?! Back in the day, when NYFW was held at Bryant Park, the venue's historic fountain served as a sort of centerpiece for harried show-goers. Now, at Lincoln Center, there's not much in the way of visual interest (besides, of course, the clothes). But upon entering the TFW tents, you're immediately greeted by an enormous, Phantom of the Opera-style crystal chandelier—the first of many. Fancy, those Canadians are!

3. You can get your hair did in between shows—without leaving the tents. Yep, there's a fully-functioning hair and makeup bar in the lobby of the venue, and we spied several guests taking advantage of the free blowout touch-ups on offer. A similar NYFW setup would've certainly come in handy during Superstorm Nemo.

4. Shows start on time. And no, I'm not talking 30 minutes late, which is generally considered "on time" at NYFW. I mean that we took our seats for the 9 pm Joe Fresh show at 8:45, a polite loudspeaker request that guests fill in empty seats played at 8:55, the lights dimmed at precisely 8:59 and the first model hit the catwalk at 9 pm sharp. Apparently, this is the norm at TFW. Huh.

5. There are no more than six shows scheduled per day. Hello, two-hour-long meals, afternoon drinks and pre-evening naps! What a refreshing departure from NYFW's prevailing "What is a lunch break?" mantra (to paraphrase Downton Abbey's Dowager Countess).

Click through to check out my Instagram snaps from the Joe Fresh show!

Photos via @LuckyMagazine and @elanafishman's Instagram pages

How very inviting! Thanks, Toronto.

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