Knocking down the boundaries of fashion, Toronto Alternative Arts and Fashion week is kicking off its heels — the six-inch stiletto-kind — and celebrating its fifth anniversary with designers showing more than 50 eclectic collections emoting this year’s theme: “Made with Love.”
In fact, each day will focus on one of the emotions associated with love – longing (day 1), lust (day 2), rage (day 3) and joy (day 4).
“Fashion has no boundaries, Sometimes influence comes from the street or some other unknown location,” said Project Catwalk winner and celebrity designer Jasper Garvida, who was one of the first international designers involved with the Toronto Alternative Arts and Fashion Week (FAT) in 2006.
“I am a designer first and foremost, a servant to women and my art. It may be looked upon as alternative, couture, wearable, unwearable, but the essence of what I do is all about inspiring others and (to) be inspired. Alternative fashion week is full of undiscovered talent and inspiration. Therefore, it is one of the most exciting venues to be a part of.”
On now until Sunday at Studio City in Liberty Village, the multi-faceted arts and fashion festival has designers showcasing edgy and expressive styles fused with arts and music in a non-traditional, interactive environment.
This year, the festival has grown to include 21 international designers from Mexico City, UK, Jamaica, USA, Latvia, Brazil, Denmark and The Netherlands. There were five when Garvida, who grew up in Canada but moved to London, first showed. It has a total of 50 designers showing 10 to 20 looks each on the runway compared to its first year, when it showed 20 designers with mini collections of two to five outfits each.
“Fashion is another form of art, as is all design, I think the lines between art and design are becoming increasingly blurred and that’s exciting. It pushes things forward and it’s important that we always have a platform to show off what new designers are doing,” said Garvida, who showed at London Fashion Week for three seasons.
He returns to FAT with his trendy new collection, inspired by a malachite stone he saw at the Natural History Museum in London: “To wear malachite you need to be a strong bold woman, women like those painted by (Polish artist) Tamara de Lempicka in the Deco era.”
And in his new collection is the perfect dress for the leggy Avril Lavigne, which he shows at FAT.
“She has transformed so much in how she dresses and I think she looks so good in chic luxury pieces, she’s got amazing legs so I’d have to put her in a mini-dress such as the Swing Dress…its perfect for her,” Garvida said.
FAT closes with The Market, allowing guests to buy fresh styles hot off the runway.