TORONTO - Canadian fashions inspired by Africa are heading from the runway to the museum in a special exhibit.

The Textile Museum of Canada will present Dare to Wear Love from Feb. 8 to May 6.

The exhibition is dedicated to the works of some of the country's top designers and emerging talents. They were tasked with using six yards (about five-and-a-half metres) of cotton print fabric sourced from Africa to be crafted into custom creations.

The designs help raise awareness and funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation and its work to support grassroots initiatives in the fight against HIV-AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.


Garments by Brian Bailey, Evan Biddell, Farley Chatto, David Dixon, Fashion Crimes, Ines di Santo and Linda Lundstrom will be among those featured in the exhibit.

First launched in 2009, Dare to Wear Love is an annual runway event and fundraiser created by Jim Searle and Chris Tyrell, founders of Toronto label Hoax Couture.

The design duo came up with the concept following a chance meeting with Stephen Lewis Foundation executive director Ilana Landsberg-Lewis at a dinner, where she discussed the work of the foundation, notably its efforts related to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign.

The initiative helps raise funds to support grandmothers in Africa who are taking care of grandchildren left as orphans because of the HIV-AIDS pandemic. It helps with housing, food and school fees for the kids.

The latest edition of Dare to Wear Love is scheduled for March 17 during Toronto's LG Fashion Week.

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