Toronto Radar: Fashion Events to look out for in October

Intro fashion show promotional still; photo: Sevan Ichkhanian, art direction: Blake Harris

With so many events in the city, it’s hard to know what’s worth the effort (read: outfit) to attend. Here’s a round-up of this month’s top three.

INTRO fashion show 2016

INTRO is an annual fashion show that highlights the talent and skill of Ryerson fashion students. It is a student-run event that showcases dresses designed and crafted by first-years.

The show will be taking place on Oct. 8 at the Sears Atrium.

Although all the designs are women’s daywear dresses, each design is unique in its own way. One of the main challenges was finding a common thread to incorporate all the different themes into one show, producer Hannah Dobbie explained.

“That’s why we chose our theme for the show as something neutral,” said Dobbie, a second-year fashion communication student.

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Photo: Sevan Ichkhanian, art direction: Blake Harris

The overarching colour scheme of the show is black-and-white tones with a chess-dominated theme as opposed to last year’s theme of minimalism. This year, the team has tried to branch out without being overwhelmed by too much colour. Blake Harris, the art director and second-year fashion design student said it’s more “sophisticated” and “a little bit edgy.”

“There are a lot more props and cool things that we’re utilising to make it a little more than just a normal fashion show,” Harris said. “We want to make it more of an all-around experience.”

There will be a unique video to start off the show and set the mood for the event. The video was shot by the same photographer who helped out with their original and funky photoshoots and advertisements.

“We worked really hard on mood this year,” Harris said. “We wanted to create an atmosphere from beginning to end that was very cohesive and that people could get into.”

The pair also shared that they have a few secret surprises up their sleeve for the show and for a social hour afterwards.

“All of the dresses are really well-done this year,” Dobbie said. “They’re beautiful designs so if for nothing else, come out to see the great designs.”

Startup Fashion Week 2016

Startup Fashion Week is an event that strives to support fashion, business and tech startups and build a sense of community. From Oct. 3–7, they’re hosting conferences, forums and panels and capping it off with the highly anticipated Future of Fashion Runway show on Oct. 7.

Founder and executive producer Jodi Goodfellow began a fashion tech startup with almost no background in fashion, technology or business. She created Startup Fashion Week as a way to help small startups like her own gain visibility, create brand awareness, and network to bridge the fashion and technology worlds.

“I wanted to find ways to integrate those ideas into an event platform and so I basically just redesigned the whole business model of a fashion week and created Startup Fashion Week,” Goodfellow said.

This year on the runway, there will be three examples of wearable technology. The first startup is Ashley Chloe with the Helix Cuff, which hides a set of Bluetooth wireless earphones so that you can carry them while still looking fashionable.

There is also Wise Wear, an activity tracker bracelet that can be tapped to send emergency notifications to preset contacts. Tap to Tag is another wearable bracelet that allows you medical data to be tracked for access in cases of emergency.

“We look for fascinating ways to incorporate technology into our show,” Goodfellow said.

The Future of Fashion will also have some other exciting highlights including the first international designer to be featured in the show, an Australian maternity brand called Legoe. A maternity collection has never been showcased on a Canadian fashion week runway before. “This is groundbreaking for us and for the whole maternity industry,” Goodfellow said.

A men’s fashion line, another first for Startup Fashion Week, will also be showcased. The line is called We Are Kings with designers from Ottawa.

Five women of influence in the industry as selected by the Startup Fashion Week team will be taking the runway as well.  These five women will be wearing apparel by a Toronto brand called Henkaa.

Startups like Henkaa are what Startup Fashion Week strive to support. “[Startups] need to start investing in themselves and invest in the community,” Goodfellow noted as the key for success in a startup.

She encourages everyone to come out to the show, not just those in the industry. “We want to see new people coming out to the the events and we just encourage everyone to come and support,” Goodfellow said. “This is the only way that the fashion industry can survive.”

Grayce + Gordon x KAZZ Fashion Show

Toronto brands Grayce + Gordon and KAZZ will be jointly showcasing their fall 2016/winter 2017 collections on their Oct. 14 runway show at Wayward nightclub.

Wayward is turning the nightclub into an event space with a full runway show followed by cocktails and mingling. The event is free and open to the public although it is 19+.

The collections being showcased are dark, wintry moody looks–perfect for this time of the year.

The inspiration for the KAZZ collection is urban shadows.

“It is inspired by my experience moving from western Canada to eastern Canada and living in the shadows of a cosmopolitan city,” says Ashley Kasdorf, designer and owner of KAZZ. “It was the mood that I thought reflected the clothes which is why you see a lot of blacks, and greys and dark colours.”

Kasdorf says that although her collection is geared toward women, they do have an androgynous feel and can be worn by men. “I like to play with masculine and feminine elements in my collection,” Kasdorf said.

Erin Rodness, designer of Grayce + Gordon, has created a collection with dark moods as well, with elements of camouflage and army influences. Her popular lieutenant pants, accessories and toques will also be on the runway.

Both Kasdorf and Rodness are local designers in Toronto. “We want to prove that you can do fashion and you can be successful while still being local,” Kasdorf said.

After the show, both designers will be selling their garments at the venue in the style of a mini pop-up shop. Attendees will be able to make purchases directly after the show of pieces on the runway available in all sizes.