Fashion Art Toronto celebrated Canada’s diversity and uniqueness through a four-day-long runway at Parkdale Hall.
The concept of inclusive fashion has generated controversy in recent years. This is why Vanja Vasic decided to create Fashion Art Toronto 18 years ago, giving the opportunity to all people with any type of disability to enjoy the latest fashion trends.
FAT invites people with different abilities to be participants and collaborators in the design, art and manufacture of innovative clothes.
FAT presented a total of 31 designers, including indigenous designer and advocate Lesley Hampton, Canada’s Miss Universe and sustainability advocate Amelia Tuu, nonprofit organization and advocate against human trafficking Ao Dai Canada and many more.
Models included the BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ community, models of different sizes, women with physical disabilities and the first Down Syndrome model to walk the FAT runway, Monika Myers.
Gillian Wemple, a fashion student from Humber College says FAT is a great opportunity for designers to show that fashion is for everyones, regardless of size, colour or gender.
“I think this type of show puts into perspective what we think about art, beauty and even fashion as a means to speak about social causes,” says Wemple. “As a fashion student is great to see that the market I’m going to be in, respects and fights for correct representation.”
Marlon Jones, a runway attendee, owner of Society Seventeen and apprentice of the designer Demaine Tyrone, says FAT is a great opportunity for aspiring designers and fashion enthusiasts to experience Toronto fashion from a raw perspective.
Although FAT’s mission is to prioritize the inclusion of participants from diverse backgrounds, Jones say even though highlighting diversity is really important, this is not all FAT is about for him.
The world of fashion is one that stands for creativity and self-expression. Being one of the largest industries in the world, platforms like Fashion Art Toronto helps the slow but steady progress in making fashion more inclusive and sustainable on the long run.