Local Love: Fashion Art Toronto founder Vanja Vasic on what to expect from her multi-sensory event


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A collection from designer Amber Groen

Fashion Art Toronto is where the fashion freaks come out to play. Looking for a place to don your favourite leather harness? Dying to wear that puffed sleeve latex blouse? Seeking some left-of-the-centre style inspiration? This is the place to be.

Now in its 13th year, Fashion Art Toronto — or FAT, as the kids call it — promises to be a rollicking good time, spanning five inspirational days. We spoke to founder Vanja Vasic about what to expect from the cutting-edge event that embraces fashion, art and, yes, Toronto. 

How would you describe Fashion Art Toronto to the uninitiated? FAT is a multi-sensory fashion experience that brings art, fashion, music and film together in one, five-day event. There are about eight to nine runway presentations each evening that include fashion shows, performances and short fashion films. There is also a DJ and bar, where guests can mingle, socialize and peruse the art and photography exhibits.

How does FAT compare to the more typical fashion week blueprint? FAT is open to the public; it's less of a trade show that's geared to buyers and more of a unique destination that allows guests to experience a multi-arts event.

Why is it important to you to weave fashion together with live performances, photography and art? FAT has a mandate of presenting fashion in a more exploratory, artful form, and using this art to express social, economic, humanistic, modern day issues and/or stories. The festival allows designers to be creative, without the practical limitations of business.


L-R; Collab between designers Mic + Natassia; Amber Groen

This is the 13th edition of FAT — how has the event changed since it debuted? Since its inception from a small event in a downtown club, FAT has grown to be a five-day event, incorporating art installations, fashion film and performances. Many successful fashion designers had their start on the FAT runway — such as Pedram Karimi, Esther Perbandt and Project Runway Canada's Evan Biddell — and several international designers debuting collections in Canada.

In the early years, most of the attendees were usually in the industry, but now we get so many people of all ages and from all different backgrounds who are looking for something new and exciting to see and do!

What designers are you particularly thrilled to see? For 2018, we're particularly eager to see new, thought-evoking collections including the opening night designer Najla Rahimi, House of Poplyn, Alexander Kershaw, and the collab between Mic. Carter of L'Uomo Strano and Natalissa DaSilva of Bimbo Radio.

Are there any local designers in particular that you plan on wearing during FAT? I haven't fully decided yet but hopefully some L'Uomo Strano, Stevie Crowne and Amber Groen!

Fashion Art Toronto, April 17-21 at Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas Street East

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Karolyne Ellacott is senior editor at Post City Magazines. She can oft be spotted at Toronto’s most nostalgic diners wearing glittery heels and pink faux fur. Follow all of her eclectic writing interests on Twitter @kellacott and Instagram @itismekar.

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