June 24, 2015 / 7 p.m.
1313 Queen Street West
Gallery 1313’s 13th Annual Fantasy Fashion Show was held on Wednesday, June 24 featuring avant-garde fashion by creative and extremely talented Canadian designers and artists.
Hosted by media personality Enza Anderson, the show treated viewers to two different sets of runway fashion broken by an emotive contemporary dance performance. Models strutted to a backdrop of exhibitions featuring artwork by the members of Gallery 1313 and the abstract artist Paul Brandejs. A film-loop installation played in the Process Gallery.
Put on by organizer Sultan Sandur and members of the Gallery 1313 Board, the event drew a crowd of close to 100 fashion and art lovers who mixed and mingled, sipping wine and delicious tea-based cocktails before the fashion show. Notable attendees included MP Peggy Nash, City Councillor Gord Perks, and the head of The Fashion Council of Canada, Robin Kay.
In the first set, designer Cheryl Kocot’s collection was inspired by the concept of a strong yet feminine warrior woman. One look featured an alligator skin embossed leather corset with a Grecian collar. The model’s tightly braided locks eased into raw, teased-out volumes of hair bound with pieces of frayed and textured material. Combined with mask-like tribal face paint, the overall affect was that of an animalistic combatant of the apocalyptic future.
Fibre artist Mary Dyja was inspired by the organic micro-world to create works influenced by the shapes and patters of mould and fungi. Her crochet pieces represented growing and changing living organisms. Textured knit pom-poms on clothing were reminiscent of spores while feathery light knits reminded me of creeping mycelium. Her crochets, clustered one atop the other, built fantastically lichen-like volume. The materials clung close to the bodies of her models representing a symbiosis between the human body and mould. Katherine Phan of Simple Smiles created knitted masterpieces using yarns of wool, alpaca, yak, and cotton. Her knitwear pieces were intensely current in shape and style, contrasted by the knit medium traditionally reserved for your hobbyist great-aunt. Phan’s jumpsuit was very fresh
The second set brought us a wearable dress with Madonna-like cone breast cups made of 250 ft of exposed film attached to a nylon mesh dress structure by the artist, Paula John. The piece commented on the relationship between the two separate technologies of sewing and 16mm celluloid film making. Blue-white lights flickering beneath the translucent film brought life to the dress.
Designer Michael Zoffranieri’s work is all about audiences accessing and sharing in the performative narrative and dream of the designer. The audience was pulled into Zoff’s story through graceful gowns. The black and completely sheer floor-length number featured a fitted, strapless top embroidered with strategically placed, delicate flower appliqués. Paired with elbow length gloves, it was classic elegance. A gauzy white, and equally sheer, one shoulder gown followed. Ethereal tulle was cinched at the waist by a delicate white ribbon and the model wore on-trend flower pasties in a metallic gold.
The Baroque was alive and well with designer, Marie Copps, who pulled out all the stops for her black velvet corset worn over a black body suit. Brocade embroidery abounded. The sumptuous look was completed with a signature tall, flat-faced crown headpiece which was equally extravagant.