fashion art toronto

The top 10 looks from [FAT] Arts & Fashion Week 2014

For the past nine years, Fashion Art Toronto (|FAT|) Arts & Fashion Week has been a breeding ground for small-time designers with big-time creativity. The multi-arts festival is the biggest of its kind in Canada, attracting over 5,000 attendees annually, so it's no surprise 200 national and international creatives flocked to Toronto to showcase their work.

This year's round stretched from April 22 to 26, hosting 45 runway shows that explored the theme "INFASHION/UNFASHION" - an exploration of opposite concepts working harmoniously. Whether they decided to focus on earth/industry, grit/glamour, masculine/feminine, cult/culture or minimal/extreme, the designers presented hundreds of fashions that were either wearable, fantastical or somewhere in between.

Here are my picks for the top 10 looks from |FAT| Arts & Fashion Week, based on creativity and construction.

Hasti Homayoun (top photo) used natural cotton fabric as a canvas for hand painted Persian motifs, with clear industrial material as an overlay. The result is an undeniably unique raincoat, best worn with its matching statement necklace and clutch.

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Though a deep V-neck dress isn't exactly new and exciting, this grey-purple number from Masha Apparel is perfectly tailored in luxe velvet. Worn with a twisted bun and minimal makeup, the entire look is fresh and fierce.

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It wouldn't be |FAT| without a good corset. This sci-fi leather dress by Starkers Corsetry is all white with black accents, featuring layered pleats and shoulder armour.

fashion art toronto

The soft tulle and lacework of this orange Baby Steinberg dress are meant to give the illusion of cotton candy on a hot summer day.

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Doreen To is one of the |FAT| designers with a more subdued aesthetic - but that doesn't mean her work is any less jaw-dropping. This all-black look reminds me of haphazard origami, its silhouettes and folds appearing fluid and structured at the same time.

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Inspired by the transition between winter and spring (much like the rest of us), Christine Youn of PORTE juxtaposed jagged laser-cut details against soft silhouettes. The collection was as elegant as it was ethereal; this look epitomizes it.

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Sainte Genovefa and Simple Smiles & Co teamed up to produce a collection combining chain work and hand-knitting. This dress, made of rows and rows of leather fringe, is essentially one really big statement necklace - but it looks awesome, so I'm not complaining.

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A comment on the tendency to bite off more than one can chew, Mitra Ghavamian sent 10 looks down the runway - each featuring an extra arm or five.

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Artifice's flawlessly constructed corsets sure are something to gawk at, but the showstoppers this time around were the models' Elizabethan headdress-masks.

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Benji Wong of Benji WZW uses a whole slew of innovative techniques to put together each look. This one features a digital print on a leather coat and a 3D-printed helmet shaped like a baby's head.

Photos by Johnathan M. Hooper, courtesy |FAT| Arts & Fashion Week.

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