The best from the finale of Toronto’s Alternative Fashion Week

Heidi Ackerman and Lindsay Sinclair's collaborative collection. Photography by Alice Zilberberg,
Heidi Ackerman and Lindsay Sinclair's collaborative collection. Photography by Alice Zilberberg,

The second half of [FAT] shifted from presentations of (relatively) wearable street fashion seen earlier in the week to runway-shows-come-performance-art that featured some truly impressive avant-garde and theatrical designs.

Night three with its theme of ‘Fashion/Unfashion’ drew unprecedented crowds hovering on tip-toes around the coveted seating to catch shows of buzzed about designers like Breeyn McCarney and Heidi Ackerman, whose capsule collection was accessorized with sculptural bent wood adornments by industrial designer Lindsay Sinclair. Our favourite looks from the collaboration were a gold parachute coat and a black chiffon one-piece pantsuit, the lightness of which was balanced by a panelled wood collar that spanned from the model’s breastbone to above her ears.

In between runway sets, we navigated the sea of spectators to check out the progress of Andrew Owen’s Live Collective Photo-cubic Tableau, for which he took detail shots [FAT] guests and models to create puzzle portraits displayed on the walls of the venue. After three nights stitching together his photographic quilt, the project was nearing completion, highlighting the diversity of styles on display both on and off the runway.

The next presentation, by Uta Bekaia for Saint Hollywood was fun and theatrical, with one black-and-white costume in particular evoking a Phantom of the Opera aesthetic (The model even wore a white mask over one eye—we almost expected her to swing over the runway on a chandelier!). Other looks were ever-so-slightly more subdued, but never lacking in quirkiness: plain black tights were decorated with what looked like hot pink ping-pong balls and masks were a unifying element of the collection.

Friday night followed suit with impressively executed collections by Wallace Playford and Toxic Vision. Saskatchewan native Sharon Toxic’s ’70s glam rock inspired pieces seemed surprisingly current on models who strutted the runway with more moxy than we’d seen all week.

Still thinking of Toxic’s show-stopping two-toned studded leather jacket in black and lilac, we capped off the evening by catching a performance by Candy Coated Killahz, who fought numerous sound defects to still deliver the best musical performance of the week.

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