Toronto to host inaugural Indigenous Fashion Week
With a focus on Indigenous people and culture, a new fashion week is set to hit Toronto.
The inaugural Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto (IFWTO) is set to take place May 31 to June 3, 2018 at Harbourfront Centre, and promises to present “the most distinct and progressive Indigenous artists working in fashion, textiles and craft.”
The aim is to challenge mainstream perceptions of Indigenous people and culture.
"Indigenous fashion can redefine mainstream fashion and art: our fashion illustrates our stories, traditions, sovereignty and resiliency,” explained Sage Paul, Artistic Director, in a news statement. “IFWTO is about carving out space for Indigenous fashion, craft and textiles and we are thrilled to be presenting Indigenous artists and their works from across Canada, the USA and Greenland this Spring.”
The four-day event will include live runway showcases, as well as lectures and panels that will allow all audiences to understand Indigenous fashion.
Artists and designers presenting live runway shows will include evening-wear designer Lesley Hampton on day 1; beader and accessory designer Helen Oro on day 2; Dorothy Grant, who combines Haida art with classic clothing design on day 3; and haute couture fashion designer Sho Sho Esquiro, known for her mix of fabric, furs, skins, shells and beadwork on the final day.
Other artists who will be present in other capacities include Evan Ducharme, Catherine Blackburn, Janelle Wawia, Meghann O’Brien and more.
“Our community is bursting at the seams with new works in fashion, craft and textiles, and we are proud to be recognizing their artistry at the first Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto. This year’s program of artists and designers represent the diversity of design, expression and tradition from nations across North America and Greenland,” said Paul.
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