Celebrating Alt Design

By Izabela Stabinska  Photos by Filip Terlecki Sylwia Bobryk and Izabela Stabinska

Founded seven years ago, |FAT| Arts & Fashion Week was previously known as Alternative Fashion Week. The idea was to bring in designers who embody alternative concepts in opposition to Toronto’s mainstream commercial fashion voices. With fresh ideas and an experimental approach to making apparel, FAT continues to offer an innovative fashion event where visitors can admire fashion videos and chat with artists while sipping cocktails and mingling in-between one of over ten runway shows featured each night.

FAT Arts & Fashion Week is certainly artistic and creative. But I started to wonder – is it trendy or artistic? Does trendy mean artistic and does artistic mean trendy? I decided to go on a quest and this is what I discovered:

(L to R) Designer Rachel Sin and Designer Von Bardonitz

(Left) Designer Adrian Wu

So, what’s the conclusion? On one hand, there are those who want to show off the latest trends, while on the other hand, those who want to stand out and be noticed for their individual style.

FAT combines the avant-garde with the trendy and doesn’t want to be perceived only as the purveyor of alternative fashion. And that has been evident during the week-long event. While some designers showed more refined urban styles, for others, fashion was just the form of expression for their art.

But FAT still feels more avant-garde and I think I know why. It features mostly young designers who are just starting out, and as such they tend to be more expressive, experimental, and risqué. And it’s wonderful because Toronto’s streets are a bit too conservative so somebody has to push the envelope.

And as for my quest, the more I think about it, I find that there are really two ways to look at it: trendy, on the one hand, is following what you see on the runways, but it is also trendy to have your own unique style. Either way, we win!

More photos are available on our facebook page.

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