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Getting [FAT] this week in Toronto

April 22, 2009


Yesterday marked the launch of one of the guilty pleasures for the Toronto fashion community: it’s Toronto Alternative Arts and Fashion Week, lovingly known as [FAT].

The event brings together fashion, performing arts, music, photography and video screenings from an eclectic variety of more than 200 Canadian artists and designers. The four-day event is an indulging mixed media dish for the fashion community and this year serves up four themed days exploring notions of place: Home, Planet, Gutter, and Beyond.

Launching [FAT]’s first day were 11 fashion designers representing the theme of Home. To wit: ‘home’ took the shape of 1950’s domesticity by no less than two designers, classic bridal gowns by another, a suede-fringed native-inspired swimsuit collection, an international Jamaican sun-soaked maxi dress collection, and a quirky collection that  dripped with miniature plush toys.

Here’s the skinny on what went down the runway; Fashion in Motion videos to follow this week. Below are links to video and written coverage of all four days of [FAT].

Toronto Alternative Arts and Fashion Week highlights- Day 1: Home

Toronto Alternative Arts and Fashion Week highlights- Day 1: Home

Fashion Whore

Retro-inspired prints and Betty Page styling describes Fashion Whore’s thematic design (photo #2 in the above image). Full skirts, aprons, bows, frills, and sexy sweetheart necklines; this is the liberated house wife of the 1950s. A sexy costumy show and collection that is as fun to watch as it is to wear.


Woman in Lingerie, circa 1950

Woman in Lingerie, circa 1950

A tailored and sexy collection of lingerie and near-lingerie slips and dresses in silks and satins. Full-coverage bras and bustiers are black or jewel-toned in classic shapes reminiscent of 1950s lingerie advertisements and pin-up girls. Sexy-cut underpants show a little more than your average ’50s mom; a lovely collection that is first-class style.

Katrina Tuttle

Katrina Tuttle fall 09 collection

Katrina Tuttle fall 09 collection

Tuttle’s collection for fall 09 featured oversized sweaters with bell-shaped elbow-length sleeves, large gold buttons on diagonally-pleated skirts, and houndstooth-printed blouses and dresses in dark blue and purple. This collection is without a doubt ambitious and presents a wide variety of shapes, fabrics, colours; fitted ’80s dresses, long flowy dove-grey gowns, one-shouldered blouses, vivid blue raw silks, the list goes on. Designer Katrina Tuttle modeled her own designs at the show and is pictured here (above, far right) at an event earlier this year.

Nahanée by Jillian Grant

Nahanée collection, image courtesy of

Nahanée collection, image courtesy of

A jewel-toned collection showing a full range of shapes in models and in swimwear. How refreshing to see women’s bodies of various sizes beautifully fitted in two-piece ensembles and thematically styled with native ornamentation- feathers, leather and suede fringe! A fun collection for the sexy and the daring.

Love Cliché by Belinda Visag

Belinda Visag showed capes and skirts in berry tones paired with navy, graphic printed skirts, sleeveless blouses and t-shirts bearing deer silhouettes layered with vests, and dangling gold stars and peacock feathers. An interesting collection with many fun pieces.

Matryoshka by Pink Lady

The interest here is definitely on felt and its infinite potential as a fun and flirty fabric. The collection embraces bold colours and appliqué detailing in an assortment of full skirts, cropped shorts, and cute dresses. The cut-out work is a fun play on layering and the collection as a whole has “a very Montreal feel,” to quote fellow fashion friend Sonja Andic.

Yang Yang

This playful collection has a certain sporty feel with its primarily white colour palette and bright red stripes detailing skirts and dresses. Styled with sneakers and trimmed with stuffed decorative balls and odd shapes, the collection feels youthful and ready for the tennis court. Cheeky and playful.

Christopher Paunil

The bridal wear designer showed an exquisite collection with lovely appliqué detailing, fitted bodices with flowy trailing underskirts, lovely cream and gold-hued gowns. Fit for any dreamy bride, the closing stunner featured a strapless bustier with a full skirt layered with rows of gathered tulle. Favourite piece: knee-length fitted strapless dress with oversized ruffled fabric encircling the top.


Past collections by Lubica

Past collections by Lubica

Slovakia meets Jamaica meets Toronto fashion scene; that sums up Lubica Slovak’s heritage and inspirations for her fashion designs. The new collection features lovely flowy summer maxi dresses in bold solid colours detailed with oversized floral appliqués and fun multi-colour striped crocheted dresses. I spoke to Lubica after the show and she explained that her designs bridge her international identity; her love of clean lines hails back to her European roots while her current home in Jamaica inspires her florals and use of bright happy colours. A fabulous collection for summer in Canada or everyday in Jamaica!

Jessica Mary Clayton

Keeping the palette in white and silver, Jessica Mary Clayton’s collection offered prim and proper full skirts at the knee topped with blouses and cropped jackets. Layers of delicate accordion fabric make for a fun Sunday brunch strapless bustier while the sexy silver sequined dress with geometric ribbon detailing adds a little fun to the evening.


This collection was highly conceptual show featuring a very modern hooded sleeveless cape (much liked by front-row-seated Project Runway Canada winning fashion designer Evan Biddell), draped cotton tops and dresses, and structured exaggerated female shapes. A little Comme des Garçons in its palette of blacks and white and its neutralizing modern shapes, the Vesture collection is more art than commercial fashion.

Today’s Schedule for Toronto Alternative Arts and Fashion Week ([FAT]), Day 2: Planet


To buy tickets, please visit the website of Toronto Alternative Arts and Fashion Week or pick them up at the door at The Fermenting Cellar at the Distillery District in Toronto.

Watch video highlights & read the review of the Toronto Alternative Arts and Fashion Week runway collections:

[FAT] Day 2: Planet (featuring designers Zuzanium, Adal-Lopez, David C. Wigley, Amanda Rose, Cristina Sabaiduc, DNS, Elizaveta Yankelovich, Baby Seinberg, Karey Shinn, Paper People Clothing.

[FAT] Day 3: Gutter (feauturing designers Breeyn McCarney, NEVA, UND, Harsh Designs, Tassoni Basil, Jet Exhibition, Magpie.

[FAT] Day 4: Beyond (feauturing designers Wesley Badanjak, Martha Sharpe, Jennifer Allison, Heidi Ackerman, Erin Chan, Futurstate, Starkers Corsetry, Ryerson School of Fashion, Annie Thompson, Matthew Donnelly, and Christabel Couture.


Images courtesy of Fashion Whore, Katrina Tuttle, Lubica, and Toronto Alternative Arts and Fashion Week.

Special thanks to Toronto Street Fashion for the image of Nahanée’s collection.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 23, 2009 3:35 am

    Love this blog I’ll be back when I have more time.

  2. April 24, 2009 4:26 am

    I love this blog!

  3. Wesley permalink
    May 7, 2009 12:04 pm

    Thanks for the feedback! Just wanted to let everyone know that the photo credits for Katrina Tuttles blurb are courtesy of Photographer Brent McCombs. You can check out more of his work at We are also doing a local trunk sale of some of KT’s designs. Everything will be tax free and under the wholesale price, so if anything catches your eye but you arent anywhere near halifax, get in touch and we can send price lists and order forms.

  4. July 17, 2010 11:29 am

    Love your blog.

    • July 19, 2010 10:55 am

      Hi! Thank you so much for your comment! It’s always nice to hear that; we really, really appreciate it. I checked out your collection pieces- so cool! I love the tea towels!

      ‘m definitely going to feature your work on FIM.

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