Now in its fifth year, FAT is an event as much as an ideology. Rather than pandering to corporate advertising, organizer Vanja Vasic continues to focus on the artistic integrity of fashion and its integration into various art forms, including film, dance, music, photography and installation.
The five day alternative to mainstream LG Fashion Week opened with 3 SOLOS 1 DUET by Marq Frerichs. The powerful operatic performance and accompanying ballet duet perfectly articulated the day’s theme – longing – by exploring a person’s relationship with him/herself and the other.
It’s a good thing that the Davidamor collection was nice, because the show was a mess. The smoke machines, intended to create a romantic 1960s ambiance, did little more than choke the audience (including an unimpressed Jeanne Beker) and you could barely see the first few looks through the thick, smelly smoke. The haze quickly cleared, though, to reveal classic dresses and skirts in muted plums, moss greens and midnight blues.
Joelle Wall’s work was well tailored, nicely finished and practical for the working woman.
And yet, she also pushed the envelope.
Epoque by Thea Barber was supposedly inspired by her travels in Morocco, but the collection was quite banal. At the heart of the line was a series of simple, nude dresses that lacked creativity and/or any connection to the vibrant, rich culture of northern Africa. The I Dream of Jeannie hair styling was fantastic and yes, she used eco-friendly fabrics, but I’m becoming increasingly annoyed with designer bs when it comes to their inspirations.
Ryerson graduate Hilary Sampliner, on the other hand, presented an interesting take on frilly glamour. The line, Ruth Weil, is named after Sampliner’s grandmother who left the young designer her entire sewing kit and name labels when she passed.
I was quite impressed with the young designer’s workmanship, especially her use of layering and biased cuts.
Photographer Stefania Yarhi has mastered practical chic, ’cause you have to be comfortable if you’re going to battle the big boys for that perfect shot in the pit.
Melow presented an uninspiring collection of separates that was reminiscent of The Fairies Pyjamas. I also really wish that designers like Melissa Bolduc would leave headwear design to the professionals.
You can’t just throw raw edged crinoline on a headband and call it millinery design!
Thank goodness for artists like Jasper Garvida, however. His 1920s inspired collection was breathtaking, particularly this wool cashmere blend. I fell even more in love after seeing the dress backstage. The black ground was a single, laser cut panel into which he perfectly sewed puzzle pieces of fabric and leather.
His capes and jackets were also stunning, panels of shaved mink being seamlessly joined to create works of wearable art. This piece was my favourite of the series, probably because I own its vintage Parisian equivalent.
I’m happy to say that I snagged a pair of the shoes from this show at the designer sale FAT hosted this past Sunday. $40!
New York based musician Jet Phynx
Philipe and I explored the many installations and interactive rooms that were set up backstage . . .