Watching Fashion Art Toronto’s models strut The Bentway or strike a pose on the tiered lawns of Toronto Music Garden has been some of the most exhilarating art to observe during the pandemic. Sure, it will be great when we can reconvene in an event space in post-pandemic life, to view the models close up, but in the meantime, seeing fashion shows sprout up under bridges and in back alleys is totally fun.
“For Virtual Fashion Week 2021 we’ve put together a dynamic schedule featuring a diverse range of talented emerging and established designers and artists, along with a ton of beautiful, iconic locations to host the shows,” says Vanja Vasic, founder and executive director, Fashion Art Toronto. “We can’t wait for our designers to share their latest collections and to express their creative vision through Virtual Fashion Week this June.”
Having watched Vanja grow the festival for well over a decade, her innovation comes as no surprise, but we’re still in constant awe with how she’s reimagined Fashion Art Toronto, and pulled off dozens of shows, while maintaining safe social distancing measures. She has brought drama and feeling to downtown concrete spaces that many would describe as “drab” or even “soul sucking”. But by infusing these spaces with daring fashion, she creates entirely new worlds—and they are a pleasure to explore.
This year’s virtual event will showcase collections from more than 30 Canadian designers and artists, and be broadcast live on Fashion Art Toronto’s Instagram daily. Runway locations include Ontario Place, Ripley’s Aquarium, Scarborough Bluffs, Toronto Botanical Garden, Union Station, Woodbine Racetrack, and more.
We’re especially excited to be transported to the Value Village sorting warehouse for a special presentation with designers Remark by Lauren, 3_3_4_7 and Patrick Salonga that will share sustainable collections upcycled from materials sourced from Value Village. This event will be taking place on Tuesday, June 15th, with shows scheduled at 5PM, 7PM and 9PM.
Like other events that we feared were doomed, Fashion Art Toronto has found great success during the pandemic. “One of the best things about having to host our event virtually is that we’ve been able to reach an even wider and global audience, as well as share more behind-the-scenes content than ever before,” says Vanja. “It takes a ton of work and lots of talented people to put on a fashion show – and we want to celebrate every moment and person involved. Even though our friends and guests can’t see the shows in person right now, they’ll still be able to feel like they are a part of the action.”
It’s one of the rare virtual events that lights us up.
Fashion Art Toronto Virtual Fashion Week will run June 2 – June 17 and be broadcast live on Instagram. See full lineup here.