Burlesque performer Dita Von Teese will be at this year’s Fashion Cares.


Being billed as the sexiest show ever, with burlesque-inspired fashion and sensational entertainment to tease and entice, Fashion Cares, the annual fundraising benefit for the AIDS Committee of Toronto, promises to give guests more than the traditional black-tie sit-down dinner runway show.


Taking place on May 12, the fashion frenzied Peep-themed fundraising night will be marking its 21st anniversary in a whole new fashion.

One change this year is the venue. The event is moving from the Metro Toronto Convention Centre — where for the past decade fashionistas have been perennially dazzled by the over-the-top runway fashion shows — to a tent-style party in the Distillery District.

While guests will be able to indulge in Fashion Cares’ signature high-end items at bargain basement deals at the boutique market, as well as in the silent and live auctions, gone is the traditional large gala sit-down dinner. Instead, guests will be checked into one of seven different dining areas to feast on catered dishes by featured chefs.

Taking over this year’s festivities is New York-based event producer Chip Quigley, who has produced similar big-ticket events like the Elton John AIDS Foundation Gala, the International Emmy Awards, and the Conan O’Brien Show in Toronto and Chicago.

Best known for his showbiz style approach to draw a crowd, Quigley is turning to big name celebrities with stage show presence to make it more of an entertainment musical spectacle than a runway show.

“I’m all about talent,” says Quigley. “My approach is a little more music. It’s going to be a very, very fast-paced, entertaining show where there will be something for everyone. My philosophy is to entertain you.”

And entertaining it will be. Jay Manuel, host of Canada’s Next Top Model and a fashion diva in his own right, will be hosting the night’s festivities. On the music side, Grammy award-winning divas, R&B singer Mya and Destiny’s Child Kelly Rowland round off the list of musical entertainers that includes Toronto band Bedouin Soundclash and Girlesque, the new group from the Pussycat

Dolls founder and choreographer Robin Antin.

Also adding to the night’s Peep show theme is M.A.C. Viva Glam spokesperson and international queen of burlesque, Dita Von Teese, who will be tantalizing guests with her trademark martini glass act.