Ask Jim Searle and Chris Tyrell, of Hoax Couture, “truth or dare?” and they’ll choose dare. Together with the Fashion Design Council of Canada, they’ve created Dare to Wear Love, a charity fashion show, slated as the grand finale of LG Fashion Week tonight. They hope to raise $100,000 for the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which supports people living with HIV and AIDS in Africa.
Searle and Tyrell were inspired by the foundation’s new initiative A Dare to Remember, which challenges Canadians to find new and creative ways to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic.
“We came up with the idea of a group fashion event where designers could be asked to create a gown out of African fabric and we’d create a runway show around these gowns,” says Searle. “We then dared the other designers to come on board with us and create this event … many are pulling out all the stops to create spectacular outfits.”
The event will showcase garments made by a broad spectrum of Canadian designers, from a spectacular evening gown by Ines Di Santo to the flirty ‘Bedazzled’ tuxedo jacket and bow panties designed by Joyce Gunhouse and Judy Cornish of Comrags.
“We were able to choose fabrics from a huge selection of African prints,” says Gunhouse. “It’s true to Comrags’ style — classic with a twist. I don’t think anyone will want to wear this outfit to a cocktail party but it will be fun on the runway!”
Hoax Couture approached Comrags a few weeks ago and asked if they would make an outfit for the show, which would then go up for auction at a later date.
“Their enthusiasm and the reputation of the Stephen Lewis Foundation made it impossible to say no,” says Cornish. “In fact, we’ve also said yes to helping them with the production of the show.”
Searle and Tyrell have found the response from the Canadian fashion and arts community to be unanimously positive.
It was amazing. Everyone we approached immediately said yes, even those in the middle of very busy schedules,” says Tyrell. “They understood the need. They also realized that the event we’re planning could really make a difference.”
All the money raised from the auction and the individual donations gathered at the event will go directly to the Stephen Lewis Foundation and their community-based initiatives in over 15 African countries.
To find out more go to www.aretowearlove.com and www.stephenlewisfoundation.com