A Look At |FAT| Fashion Art Toronto 2017

Once again this year, |FAT| Fashion Art Toronto brought the creativity of the Toronto fashion industry to the runway. This year we wanted to ask what defines the Toronto aesthetic.

  • Gender fluidity, sheer fabric and lace textures were common themes this year, as we saw in L'Uomo Strano's collection

What immediately became clear on the first night of |FAT| (themed Feminized Future) was that the walls of gender are falling down. Whereas once there were stark examples of gendered clothing on the runway (sometimes being worn in evocative ways by the ‘opposite’ gender), the dividing lines have now become so fluid that it is common to see models who’s pronouns you would have a hard time guessing (and don’t need to).

L’Uomo Strano’s bold gender fluid line once again dazzled the runway this year, with glamorous looks finished with trend-setting stilettos.

Toni Marlow’s line was the crowd pleaser of the night. Marlow’s slogan is “Beauty Is Not Gendered,” and the collection of gender neutral underwear paired with t-shirts sporting slogans like “Respect My Pronouns” received cheers and applause from the audience.

A performance installation piece by Kinsfolk reminded us that style means more than just clothes; it is a visual language with which we represent our self-identity to one another. In the performance, models in a feminine setting applied beards in order to challenge society’s pressures placed on womanhood.

Gender fluidity played in to looks on the runway over and over again. Corset lines and bustiers were popular, as were babydoll dresses, however they were often paired with traditional men’s styles such as dress pants, suit coats and dress shirt collars.

If there was one look that reappeared over and over on the runway this year it was sheer layers. One could draw all sorts of symbolism from this. I thought that the choice of sheer fabric represented body acceptance, transparency and honest self-representation.

Over the sheer fabrics we often saw overlays of textured patterns such as floral and lace. Designers used a variety of materials to decorate garments with 3D accents that stood out.

Victorian styles saw a revival with a number of goth designers and custom corset makers on the runway. One surprise that showed up across many collections was the frilled collar. Long coats, backless formal wear, fringes, and kercheifs were also popular.

We would like to extend a huge thank you to show director Vanja Vasic. None of this would have been possible without all her hard work. Thank you for putting on such an amazing show!