Saturday, April 30, 2011

[FAT]- Day 4

Day 4 of |FAT| held the theme of "Dress Codes", which inspired people to ponder and challenge typical fashion and societal roles.  The day drew a full crowd cheering with excitement at the at the great spectacles of the night.  Designers were sure not to forget about the royal festivities that took place on the same day with some collections that played on this royal wedding concept.  

First up was Human Nature with its collection on daring men's and women's attire.  There were more men in skirts than women.  If it wasn't pleated or long skirts with high slits, then it was wide legged baggy pants that resembled skirts.  This dark colour palette also held an undertone of a metallic sheen.  Monikova also used a dark palette along with abstractly shaped patterns.  The clothes were loosely draped, yet form-fitting.  A great feature was fur- fur on trims, and bulky fur boots that reached the knees.  Zita Pop was next to hit the stage with its collection that gave off a renaissance feel.  With peasant skirts, puffy shirts, riding pants, and lace trims, this lovely collection was modernized with the help of silver sequins to spice up the rustic look.  Mitra had models walk down the runway in spiritual yoga-like movements with trance-like gazes.  This collection featured wedding dresses of all varieties.  There were extravagantly layered ruffled dresses and edgy dresses with sheer lace bodices.  One wedding outfit had sheer lace genie pants instead of traditional skirts/dresses.

Toxic Vision started off the second set with its fierce collection that took on a gothic Celtic feel.  With headbands in the design of bishop hats, black bustiers, and metal-plated vests, these outfits added an edge to trends seen on the runway previously such as with black leather and lace.  CMichelon was next with its femininely vintage collection that featured big round sunnies and lovely white & floral combinations.  Soft pink was also a colour often used.  The fun summer feel was continued with Wallace Playford and its retro swimsuit collection featuring cute polka dots, bright pastel stripes, and ruffles.  The collection also had other pieces such as skirts with big strawberries on them and a thick plastic transparent poncho.  Dianna Dinoble took the feel in a different direction with a subtly goth/punk collection of bustiers and corsets.  The collection used black, grey, and red for a darker feeling.

The Coochie Store kicked off the final runway shows with their daringly fun collection of trashy class.  This collection used slim coverings over the models' breasts, fishnets, and feathers.  Models had interesting props ranging from cowboy hats to a line of plus toys.  Miller Monroe was next with its menswear collection.  A line of men first came out wearing 'Wo*Man' messenger bags, then other models wearing a variety of skirts came out.  Patterns on the long high-slit skirts included plaid and trees.  The men also wore collar accessories such as fringed chokers.  The final runway show was by Fashion Whore who brought an edgy collection of colourful sparkly sequin dresses and beaded necklaces.  This Moulin Rouge-esque collection also had both flowing and straight skirts.

The fashion continued with a last performance by Imagozine.  This play on the royal wedding featured court jesters (an aerial fabric performance), galactic guards wearing only spacey paint, royal guards wearing red, a line of bridesmaids and groomsmen, and even a fairy godmother in a sheer shimmering wing.  Then of course, there was the bride and groom who completed this Gothic Victorian wedding with traditional attire and powdered wigs. 

Looking back on the Toronto Alternative Arts & Fashion Week, it was incredibly exhausting, but also incredibly exciting.  It was definitely a different atmosphere than a traditional fashion show with a clubbing/party feel with loud music, dim lights, and eccentric guests.  Despite a super long commute to get to the venue, I'm glad that I made the trip.  I've had the opportunity to meet some great people and see some innovative fashions.  I'm definitely looking forward to see the future work of all the designers!

Photos via Steve Alkok

Friday, April 29, 2011

[FAT]- Day 3

The third day of the Toronto Alternative Arts & Fashion Week was the busiest one so far.  Excuse my lessened descriptions- it was difficult to take notes while standing up (yes, I couldn't get a seat).  It tends to be a bit chilly in the venue, so I'm kind of glad there was a large crowd that warmed the runway room so I could take off my blazer to show off my Rachel Sin Shiloh dress. I honestly have never worn a dress like this and felt so dolled up- even my prom wasn't this fancy!

Speaking of Rachel Sin, she opened up the first runway set of "Fashion/Unfashion" with her "Model on the runway vs. Model off duty" concept.  Her pieces were quite reminiscent of what was shown at Ottawa Fashion week, but with the help of Gande del Avante jewellery, the outfits were more extravagant than ever.  Chunky necklaces and large dangling earrings spiced up her cocktail professional collection.  Wani by Saki opened with a ballerina that wore an oriental-esque floral pattern.  The rest of the collection held a retro feel with eclectic patterns, white trims, hot pink accents, black lace, and sequin shorts.  Aimée was next to take the runway with models walking to Pet Shop Boys' "West End Girls".  The music set the mood for a cool collection of cropped blouses, diagonally cut shorts, and semi-sheer materials.  Next up was Breeyn McCarney with her fabulous collection made of paper, wire, and LED lights.  The paper dresses amazed with frilly layers, flower cutouts, and doily-like patterns.  The designs were lovely, but it was even more marvelous when we consider that paper was the medium.

Heidi Ackerman began the second set with her anticipated collection with Lindsay Sinclair.  This collection was all about the wooden structures that acted as an extension of the skin with V-shapes around the neck and ankles.  Spiral structures around the arms and hands were also very intriguing.  The clothing resembled baggy, puffy rain gear in contrast to the solid structures.  Ruth Weil took the runway next with her soft gothic collection with romantic undertones.  An interesting pattern was the web-like strokes in black and orange outfits.  This collection also featured sheers and light ruffles along the neckline, shoulders, and waist.  Another quirky collection came from Anastasia Lomonova.  Her models bared no skin as their faces, arms, and legs were covered with bandage-like cloth.  The neutral and black collection showed draped shirts and skirts with pretty ties.  NRT Fashions (by Nicole Rita Tomney) amazed viewers too with a daring punk collection.  Some models wore tape over their mouths or breasts.  An interesting design was a transparent case-like object worn, fashioned in the same shape as a t-shirt.

Photos by isabeltphotography

Uta Bekaia for Saint Hollywood was first up in the third runway set with its collection that showed extravagant shoulder details that were horizontally structured, winged, pointed, and decorated.  Flame shapes were also prominent in dresses.  Next was Haphazard and its collection called "The Asylum".  Models wore straitjacket-like shirts with long sleeves that restricted their arms, connected to other articles of clothing, and connected them with each other.  Wendy Ng of Dystropolis brought on a punk/goth feel with her collection, "Apocalypse of Black Venom".  This collection showed a dangerous look of pointed shoulders, studded belts, and high collars that covered the neck.  The final collection of the night was from House of Etiquette and their mesmerizing latex outfits.  These skin-tight styles looked painted onto the models.  Most outfits were black, red, and/or white, but there were also transparent latex leggings.

Photos by isabeltphotography

Day 3 of |FAT| was super tiring and all I want to do is sleep right now (it's 3:30 a.m.), but I know I'll miss it after it's last hourrah tomorrow.  Hopefully I'll have more pictures tomorrow to update this post with- I've been using |FAT|'s Flickr photos, and as I write this post, there's a ton of designers without photos of their collection, so hopefully that goes up soon.

Images via |FAT|'s Flickr.unless otherwise stated

Thursday, April 28, 2011

[FAT]- Day 2

Day 2 of |FAT| brought the theme of "Natural Occurrences" where designers showcased their eco-friendly fashions.  The show began with a message from Fashion Takes Action, an organization that helps fashion businesses become sustainable through the promotion of eco-friendly organic materials.  The concept of "slow fashion" was promoted.  Slow fashion strays away from the typical fast production and focuses on taking time to make quality garments.  Likewise, people should be taking time to think about what they buy.  Timeless pieces that can be re-worn promote sustainability by reusing clothes.

The show opened with Loft 604 and its line of menswear.  This relaxed preppy look featured cable knit cardigans, nautical capris, and a double-breasted peacoats.  This portion of the collection was quite reminiscent of styles that I might see at Jcrew.  The line also featured a more rugged look with men in work boots.  Jool drew on 80s/90s grunge trends with destroyed denim, fringes, and neon yellow armbands that could have been scrunchies.  The collection also featured outfits with platform heels and bright purple leggings.  Kali  used relaxed fabrics in minimalist fashions.  The collection drew on current trends such as maxi dresses and wide brimmed hats.  The styles here resembled items that could be found at American Apparel.  David C. Wigley showed next with his brand, Worth.  His collection was opened by a ballerina in a black tutu wearing animal-like face paint.  She set the tone for this intense, almost gothic collection.  This collection featured both men's and women's fashion.  Some men wore harnesses with jeans, where women wore black and blue print over dropped-crotch pants.

The second set began with Moon Burn who used models and looks I would like to describe as "polished cavemen".  This menswear line not only brought goggles as head accessories, vertically striped pants, and eclectic patterns, but it also brought a performance.  Two models came down the runway twirling batons and ropes, and two others had a light saber fight in the middle of the runway.  Nettie Blanche offered a simple, polished look with an autumn palette of burgundy, rusty orange, forest green, and deep blue.  The collection saw the creative use of cowl knit scarves draped in a variety of ways.  The Make Den showed a cute line that appeared to be vintage and feminine with loose lace, bow tie necklaces, and fringed shirts.  During the final walk, all models held onto a long piece of fabric from the first model's skirt.  The skirt was then tailored on the spot by the designer into a short wrapped skirt.

ica watermelon by Julia Knupfer showed in the last set instead of the second.  Her collection wowed with intricate knits and crocheting.  The bottoms included the same kind of weaves with simple designs over pants that resembled loose fishnets.  One model wore a "We are greenagers" t-shirt, which is the same saying seen on ica watermelon's site.  Mackenzie Jones kept the audience captivated with a narrative performance between pairs of models.  The collection appeared mythological as models wore fur, flowing dresses, and oversized horns and antlers.  This seductive muted conversation complemented the styles beautifully.  The Ryerson School of Fashion was the next to show.  This mix of talents included one-piece jumpsuits with cutout backs and fronts (not at the same time), a ruffled skirt, pointed shoulders, two-toned leggings, and a floor-sweeping layered dress.  Little White Dress was next on the runway.  As the name says, the collection featured white dresses of different varieties.  Some of the dresses were fashion in flowing materials, doily hems, lace trims, and ribbon waists.  The final collection of the night was by Aleksandra Bibic who had dancers in silky materials prancing between models.  The dresses used pale pinks and cremes on dresses that accented the bust and waist very nicely.

In between shows, I also had the chance to chat with David C. Wigley (of Worth), so stay tuned for that interview!

Photos via Geoff Fitzgerald at

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

[FAT]- Day 1

Creative. Crazy. Interesting. Innovative. Weird. Entertaining.

I had heard many different things about the Toronto Alternative Arts & Fashion Week, but hearing things and knowing what to expect are two very different things. Upon first walking into the venue, it was quite impressive.  Funky decorations, well-dressed guests, and art filled the area.  The media pass registration made me quite reminiscent of Ottawa Fashion Week, only I was on the other side of the table.  The girl looking for my name confusedly brushed through different charts and papers searching for my name.  I was listed twice under 'Sincerely, Sabrina'.

Day 1's art was quite intriguing.  Admittedly, I'm not the greatest art admirer.  In fact, a lot of the art was difficult for me to understand.  Some were controversial, misunderstood, and definitely open to interpretation.  It makes me really appreciate the interviews I do because it gives me a clear window into the meaning behind the art.  The theme of the first night was 'Fashion Narratives' where each collection was meant to tell a story.

The first set of |FAT| was kicked off by Montreal designers MARTIN LIM who gave the audience an effortless ready-to-wear collection.  Their simplistic and minimalist approach was conveyed with soft corals and A-line hems.  Paria Lambina continued this gentle trend with pretty tones of metallic glosses on vintage looking dresses.  This feminine vintage look included peter pan collared dresses and functional skirts with pockets.  Next up was Epoque who used a mainly neutral palette.  Military-inspired outerwear was complemented with chunky boots and hunter-esque fur hats with antlers.  DeMoyo livened up the conservative themes with fast beats and unique styles.  One distinct feature of this collection was the use of headpieces that draped over the eyes.

Emily Woudenberg led the second set with her vintage-inspired collection.  Reminiscent of her collection at Ottawa Fashion Week, the collection featured coral florals and royal and navy blues for an edgy feminine feel.  Jessica Clayton also offered a feminine collection with flowing long skirts and cute A-line dresses.  Most dresses used grey/silver with periwinkle undertones and accessories.  All models donned straight hair, which gave a serious and polished impression.  Lubica was the next designer.  This eclectic collection used many current trends such as wide legged pants and bold stripes.  This exotic collection used bright colours and geometric shapes for a lively feel.  Pops of colour could even be found in the subtlest of details such as in an open-back dress that revealed a hot pink bra.  Belinda Visag ended this set with a retro collection of extravagant headbands, beads, buttons, and feathers.  The pieces used silky pink and yellow, then moved to bolder red, black, and white.  A defining feature of this collection was the emphasis on shoulders.  Shoulders came padded, puffed, and embellished.   During this runway set, I also spotted a figure watching the show from a platform above.  Little did I know that this was Drake (musician).  I definitely would have tried to snap a shot since he was in direct view...if I wasn't so darn bad at recognizing faces!

The third set began with Zanete Auzina who used extravagant layers of frills, fur, wool, and velvet.  There was a lovely complexity in the difficulty of distinguishing what piece started where within the outfit.  Most of the pieces used a skin tone palette with neutral cremes and milky browns.  Next up was Kateryna Agnuiszra who had a ballerina twirl down the runway.  The rest of the models also showed impeccable posture with straight curtsies and fixed gazes.  The somber cello and violin music set the tone for this collection that gave off the feeling of a modest funeral of the wealthy.  With romantic gowns and gothic sheers and lace, black was beautiful.  Joy Couture featured a fun gown collection with beautiful empire waists and flowing dresses.  Another lovely feature was the jewel accents along the bodice for a truly elegant feel.  These gowns were pretty without being too princess-like.  Finally, there was Asphyxia.  This gothic punk collection featured black sheers and leather with chunky platform boots.  The models held rosary beads for an almost Satanic essence.  Sheer materials and revealing corsets showed funky tattoos and piercings- quite uncharacteristic of most models.  The real show stopper was the last model who not only strutted down the runway, but gave the audience quite a spectacle with her aerial fabric performance.  She dangled and twirled in the air using a single curtained material. Undoubtedly, this was a great way to end off the first night.

After a night of film, art, music, and fashion, I still don't quite know what to expect in the coming days.  That's the beauty of |FAT| though- it's an eclectic mix of creativity, innovation, and mesmerizing displays.  Stay tuned for more coverage on the rest of the week, plus in-depth looks at the collections from designers featured in my '7 Days of Designers' and a few more!

Photos via |FAT|'s Flickr

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