Photo by Isabel Tang
With two rows of reserved seating, walls lined with people, and barely any space to breathe, the third day of the Toronto Alternative Arts and Fashion Week (FAT) was the busiest yet. Based on the theme of “Fashion/Unfashion” designers were challenged to think beyond typical wearable fashion. This day proved to be even more shocking and quirky than the last.
The third day of runway shows held a few more fashion flubs than the previous days. From an unzipped skirt in Rachel Sin’s collection to a slight wardrobe malfunction by a ballerina for Wani by Saki who slipped out of her dress, each runway set kept the audience gasping. Then there was a model from Ruth Weil that garnered attention when she bent over slightly, revealing her skeletal back bones.
Breeyn McCarney gained gasps from the audience with her doily-like dresses made entirely of paper and structured with wire. If using paper as a medium wasn’t amazing enough, McCarney also used LED lights as special ornamentation. Heidi Ackerman’s collaboration with industrial designer Lindsay Sinclair featured wooden structures including a helmet that extended onto the tip of the nose and ornaments such as spirals worn around the arms. Anastasia Lomonova’s concept where her models showed no skin placed emphasis on the garments rather than their physical features.
The night also took on a more punk rock essence with models strutting to fast beats and loud musicians like Marilyn Manson. NRT Fashions showed street style graphics with a Slipknot vest and skulls. But what really raised eyebrows was the daring style of bare chested models that wore only tape over their nipples or mouths. Over these models were transparent case-like objects in the shape of a t-shirt. Haphazard also brought an interesting collection with “The Asylum.” Here, models wore simple shirts with extra-long sleeves that were connected to other items of clothing in the fashion of a straitjacket. Lastly, there was House of Etiquette with its collection of seductive latex that appeared to be painted onto the models. While most outfits were of black, white, and/or red dresses, even details down to apparent transparent stockings were made of latex.
There was also a riveting performance by The Bored Collective with Katherine Piro. Their performance, “Existence is Futile,” began with a woman covered entirely in a white bodysuit and mask. Slowly, she began stripping pieces of the bodysuit off to reveal her red-painted body, which gave the illusion that she was peeling off her skin.