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Calling all ALTERNATIVE Fashionistas / Artists / Musicians

November 11th, 2008     by Desirée O     Comments

Want to show the world that fashion isn’t just thousand dollar brand name outfits and underweight models? HERE’S YOUR CHANCE!

If you’re like me and appreciate fashion that strays from the norm, maybe the third annual Toronto Alternative Arts & Fashion Week will be your style.

[FAT], as the event is known (yeah, we know), will be celebrating “the fusion of over 120 artists from around the World”.

Offering a stage and audience to designers daring to do something different, the show exhibits unique clothes, non-typical shows, and runways with models that are larger than a size 0 and darker than a pale ivory.

This is what the website has to say about the event:

“[FAT] holds its weight by exploring fashion as an underestimated social force. “We’re stepping beyond passive observation and into an interactive way of relating to fashion,” says Vanja Vasic, the event’s founder, “It’s about inclusion. Acceptance. Integration. We’re knocking down boundaries and building connections and it’s really because the community is working together.”

(The word integration always makes me a little wary, but I suppose it can be a positive thing in the proper context)

“[FAT] is not only about showcasing seasonal trends. It’s not about who’s wearing what or who’s sitting in the front row,” she adds. “Fashion goes deeper for us. It communicates how we relate to the body, how we build an identity and how we understand culture. Fashion is the way we live, the way we express ourselves. Fashion is a philosophy.”“

Sounds good to me.

I was also interested to read the Model Search form on the website (it took place back in March, sorry if you were interested). They make an effort to say that they are looking for “Mirrors” - people who reflect the beauty around us. (“It’s about health and confidence first and foremost.”)

That’s great, but I don’t quite understand the part saying Extreme Fitness “has stepped up to the plate” working with “5 of [FAT]’s chosen ‘Mirrors’” who will be working with “personal trainers, yoga instructors & nutritionists each week until the event to make sure they are at the pinnacle of health!” Umm … 5? Just 5 of the models will be involved in this? Well, that’s wonderful for them, but what about the other models? This seems to be just a token gesture that doesn’t really do anything to solve the underlying issue of model’s weight vs. health.

And frankly, I don’t quite see a range in the body-types of “Mirrors” in the poster below:

And how’s that for a website address?!

Be that as it may, I think that Toronto Alternative Fashion Week has the potential to set a positive example and make important statements about the nature of the fashion industry. Let’s just hope it lives up to that potential!

Want to make sure that happens? Are you a designer / artist / musician who has something to say about “alternative” fashion?

Toronto Alternative Arts & Fashion Week will be held in the spring of 2009, but APPLICATIONS ARE NOW BEING ACCEPTED for fashion designers, artists, and musicians. You can also check out a list of event information and pics from this year’s event.

For more on size activism, check out the Winter/Spring 2008 issue of Shameless magazine, “Shaping Up: Size Activism Takes on Fashion

Tags: arts, body politics, event listings

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