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