TOP 12 Fashion Art Toronto 2017

FAT has an attitude all of its own. Fashion Art Toronto (FAT) is an arts and fashion week now in its 12th year. This annual festival features fashion, live performances, fashion films, photography and art installations. Over 40 runway shows were presented to enthusiastic crowds from April 19th to 23rd in downtown Toronto. This year’s theme was FASHION EVOLUTION, and examined important moments and circumstances that forced change in fashion.

Having reviewed every show, I have created four official STM categories to rate the runway looks under. Two categories honour my mission to acknowledge innovative yet retail ready looks, while the other two categories celebrate the art and creativity of fashion, as showcased at Fashion Art Toronto.

Here are the STM TOP 12 Looks From Fashion Art Toronto 2017.


Category: The Art Of Fashion:

Fashion is one of the most creative forms of art. From creating original looks to re-imagining and giving new life to something tried and true, these three looks brought out and showed the art of fashion.

1st) Luis Padilla (@luis_padilla_design)
Luis Padilla is influenced by different objects, currents and art movements that man creates through time.

2nd) Tala Nehlawi (@talanehlawi)
Tala Nehlai’s style is defined by combinations of contrasting elements which are traditional yet modern, soft yet structural.

3rd) Fred and Bean (@fredandbean)
Fred and Bean is old man 70’s meets your grandma’s couch with a conservative Canadian-bohemian fusion. They can re-work yesterday’s favourites into things you can actually wear today.


Category: Wear Now:

I like pieces that can walk off the runway and be worn immediately, because fashion is meant to be worn! The three ensembles had me nodding my head and raising my mobile to take photos. Well done.

1st) LCMA
LCMA’s non-seasonal collections focus on wearable and functional separates with signature detailing. Get ready for instant classics.

2nd) Rebecca Rowes (@rowes_fashion)
Rebecca Rowes’ collection titled “Purple Elephant” was inspired by pairing things together one would never expect to go together.

3rd) Masha Apparel (@mashaapparel)
Masha Apparel’s latest collection encourages society to buckle up as we begin our descent into Trumpeah.


Category: They’ve Got Character

Whether they be for characters in a magical land or simply bad ass rocker babes, these three looks are full of character and were masterfully presented.

1st) Vanika (@vanessakiraly)
VANIKA utilizes textured, colorful, ruffled, and silk fabrics to bring the light-hearted but dramatic dolls and characters of the Harlequin to life in feminine form.

2nd) Brit Watcher (@britwacher)
Brit Wacher’s pieces are reflections of experiencing life through fantasy and simultaneously, the core conflicts of the physical world. This energy, represented by moods and feelings is transformed into shapes, colour blocking and use of lines and textile.

3rd) Jon Riosa (@JONRIOSA)
Jon Riosa immobilizes the wearer in heavy, burdensome materials to illustrate the containment of thoughts and feeling.


Category: Gowns

Often heard on the red carpet, these three names deserve to be the answer to, “Who are you wearing?”

1st) Steven Lejambe Designs (@stevenlejambe)
Steven Lejame Fall 2017 collection is centred around the falling of the leaves and the guarantee of change. From the change of the seasons to the change of styles and trends.

2nd) Sarah Splinter Designs (@sarahsplinter)
With her own style of brushstrokes, Sarah Splinter plays with brilliant colours tossed in a whimsical way to achieve the impact of historical art in modern day landscape.

3rd) Odain
Odain’s collection “TRAPPED QUEEN” is deeply expressive of the story of someone who is living inside the body of another individual: not being able to be who they are, but trying to fulfill society’s expectations.


Honourable Mention:

Samira Deneshvar (@daneshvar.samira) receives an honourable mention for this lab coat on pocket steroids. Everyone I was sitting with when this came down the runway sat up straight and said to each other, “Now THAT’s interesting.”


Congrats to all the designers, artists, organizers and volunteers of Fashion Art Toronto 2017. STM salutes you.

Photos: Raymond Chow of CanadaWears.ca

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