For over ten years, FAT (Fashion Art Toronto) has brought together hundreds of designers, artists and photographers to collaborate all under one roof. Under the creative direction of Vanja Vasic, this event revolves around a specific theme that inspires the direction for each runway collection and exhibition/installation. New to the FAT scene is Ryan Alexander – a talented womenswear designer known for his perfect dress architecture. His work has attracted many Toronto socialites and industry personalities. This coming Saturday, Alexander’s Fatalism show will take over Daniels Spectrum, finishing the last day of the fashion week with a bang.
MC: Compare this collection with last year’s.
RA: This presentation is a line of special occasion and evening wear. I am looking at taking a different approach with my lines. Instead of doing two mammoth collections twice a year (s/s, f/w) I am thinking of doing smaller collections, but more frequent. Special occasion can be worn all year and can transcend seasonal shifts so for example instead of calling it Spring/Summer or Fall/Winter, I can call it whatever I want. Prom, Bride, Holiday or Fatalism in this case. Still utilizing colors and fabrics that suit the time of year, yet not confined to satisfying a particular trend or buying season. This way it gives me freedom as a designer, fresh inventory for stores, and customers are not stuck looking at the same garments in their favorite boutiques for months on end.
Spring was inspired by Persephone in Greek mythology. Very sexy, with bright, bold colors and botanical chiffon prints that created a lot of movement. This time I wanted to go darker, emotionally and literally. I wanted solids, dark purple, grey and black, channeling a modern and chic 1940’s vibe. A little more forgiving with long sleeves and longer hem lines. I love using sequins and sheer fabrics like organza and chiffon to add a feminine softness. There are separates like little sequin jackets and caplets to accessorize.
The flow and sex appeal are staple elements in both collections.
MC: FAT’s theme this year is DRESS CODES looking at the major role fashion plays in constructing identity. Saturday evening’s presentation will focus on Haute Culture – what does haute mean to you?
RA: When I hear or Haute I think of the greats from Vionnet, Poiret, and Worth to Dior, Valentino and Armani. The best of the best, doing their best.
MC: Your runway presentation is called Fatalism – tell us more.
RA: Fatalism is the philosophical doctrine that the future has already been decided and we are powerless to change it. Inspired by the women of 1940’s Film Noir period, fatalism was an common pessimistic element in that genre of film making. No matter how hard some of these protagonists tried, they always ended up kinda screwed in the end. There is definitely a dark side being explored.
MC: How are preparing since this is your first time at FAT?
RA: Yes, I am a FAT virgin. To prepare I have been casting, fitting, making accessories, and spending countless hours making lists and sending emails. Drinking a lot of water.
Squeezing in a few hot yoga classes whenever possible to let it all go for an hour or two has helped keep me going and calm the nerves. I am thrilled to mention the show is being sponsored by Canadian shoe company John Fluevog which is amazing. It should be a really fun and exciting night for organizers, sponsors, models, designers, art and fashion lovers alike.