Toronto FAT Alternative Fashion Week

Toronto Arts & Fashion Week [FAT] 2013 preview

Fashion Art Toronto ("|FAT|") Arts & Fashion Week returns next week (April 23 - 27) for its eighth annual edition, celebrating the conceptual - and unconventional - side of fashion with runway shows, live performances, short films, photography exhibits and art installations. Notorious for pushing the boundaries between trendy and avant-garde to extremes, |FAT| is guaranteed to leave you feeling awestruck, inspired, shocked, and confused all at the same time.

This year's theme is Fashion Therapy; each of the participating designers and artists were challenged to integrate into their work a connection between the human psyche and fashion. Like all previous years, each evening will zone in on one of the subcategories: drama, craving, crisis, escape and euphoria. The event will be held at an industrial warehouse (213 Sterling Rd) in the Junction Triangle, glorified and transformed into a captivating environment pulsating with eccentricity. Advanced tickets are $30 for one day and $80 for a full week pass; paying at the door costs $35 for one day and $85 for a full week pass. To buy tickets or find more information, visit the |FAT| website.

Here are 5 things to look forward to at this year's |FAT| Arts & Fashion Week.

50 Runway Shows
The past seven years of |FAT| each showcased many progressive women's fashions and a handful of menswear collections. |FAT| 2013 will be sure to flaunt radical clothes for ladies (I personally cannot wait to see Henry Navarro and Wallace Playford), but also promises more men's fashion to observe and enjoy this time around. Several menswear designers - many for the first time - are participating in the runway shows, including Kollar Clothing, L'Uomo Strano and Pedram Karimi. Sorry ladies, the spotlight won't be on you all week long!

Focus Mexico
|FAT| is recognized not only for supporting up-and-coming local talent, but for offering a platform for budding international artists and designers as well. This year, the country of focus is Mexico, as presented by Mexico Tourism Board - an exhibit lasting the whole week will showcase works by Mexican photographers Anairam, Ivan Aguirre, and Rodrigo Anguas. Plus, runway shows by Mexican brands Belinda Visag and Malafach are scheduled for Friday (April 26).

The Dressing Room Project
At |FAT|, fashion and art go hand-in-hand, which is why the event showcases an on-site art experience alongside the runway shows. This year, expect separate spaces featuring installations, videos, performances, and multimedia works that speak to and comment on psychology - including interactive shadow projections, garments that may or may not also function as umbrellas, purposeless constraints and a larger-than-life plaid shirt.

Fashion on Film
Fashion films - though not necessarily new - have risen in popularity since 2009, dazzling the fashion world with imagery that is aesthetically appealing and sometimes puzzling, much like works of fine art. |FAT| is known for playing both Canadian and international fashion films between shows. This year, there'll be a total of 10 fashion films presented, originating from our own backyards, as well as New York, Russia, England and Jamaica. This year also marks the first |FAT| edition to release its very own promotional fashion film; named after the events' theme, Fashion Therapy dropped early this month on YouTube.

Photography Exhibit
Fashion photography has been contributing to the fashion industry for over a century - the medium is a form of expression that enhances the clothing's design and creates a stimulating narrative. Needless to say, |FAT| wouldn't be complete without a photography exhibit lasting the entire week. From Ehsan Neghabat's sombre fantasies to Hannah Sider's hyper-coloured eye candy, each photograph explores the levels of the human mind.

View the full |FAT| Arts & Fashion Week schedule through their website.

Photo of NY Fashion Week via FAT's Facebook page

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