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Our BTS look at Fashion Art Toronto 2015

Showcasing over 200 incredible Canadian and international designers and artists, with work ranging from flowing skirts to intricate wire headpieces, Fashion Art Toronto is a unique fashion week experience.

We took the floor during intermissions from the organized chaos to speak with designers, models and guests, who were more than willing to share from their experiences in the industry.

For designer and model, Saki, “Every day is a runway”. Saki fell in love with fashion after moving to Toronto from Sudan and discovering the one and only Naomi Cambell. According to Saki, modelling has truly boosted her confidence and helped her love herself. “Everyone is looking at you and photographing you, so there’s this little bit of pressure that transforms me into the woman of my dreams," says Saki.

Beautiful bodies of all sizes strutted down the runway this week, the collections themselves almost outshined by the unique models within them. This is what has set apart FAT from other fashion weeks in the city: A true reflection of the diversity that exists within the Toronto arts community. The runway also serves as a stage for local talent and a platform for many young artists in the fashion industry. Spectacular and raw, these performances provided a glimpse into the future of fashion in Toronto.

“All of these models have imperfections and FAT supports and embraces these imperfections, these flaws […] It all feels very real,” Saki says. The model shared as fashion has always played a large role in her life, she never misses an opportunity to dress up and express herself.

The same goes for Kaeyla Kay, a designer who expresses to us that her line is “not for boring gals”. It is all about standing out and sharing the beauty and boldness of her heritage with the world. The colourful patterns and prints explode off the 'just over the knee' skirts and classic dresses. Classic, with a twist.

Kaeyla's work focuses on making bold statements by introducing a new spin on cultural-inspired fashion. This ready-to-wear collection fuses 1950’s silhouettes with the cultural colours and patterns of Ghana. When asked what occasions the designer had in mind when creating this collection, she thinks for a moment and laughs. “The line works great for a daytime event, going clubbing with the girls while also modest enough to wear to church!”

Designer, Venita, says her line is for the everyday woman.

"Confidence comes from within. I think my clothes can bring that out and make a woman feel badass."

Ready–to-wear pieces don’t always “do it” for everyone. For designer Lesley Hampton, it's important for her to create “Wearable Art”. And that isn't hard to believe from the sight of her remarkable self-designed dress and shoes. Lesley hopes to have a line of her own walking the runway next year and we can’t wait to see her masterpieces.

When asked for tips on how to find your style, FAT's Executive Director, Vanja suggests being experimental. "Push the boundaries, be creative, act like a kid and don't be afraid to go crazy," Says Vanja. "Fashion is about realizing your own personal culture and sharing that with the world."

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