DO IT DIFFERENTLY

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Toronto’s Alternative Fashion Week is back and bigger than ever. Truc Nguyen previews the collections.

The Distillery District will be abuzz with creativity and painfully hip fashionistas until Thursday. The second annual Toronto Alternative Fashion Week (FAT) takes place at the Fermenting Cellar on Mill Street from noon until 1 a.m.

FAT was Ryerson fashion student Vanja Vasic’s vision of an alternative to L’Oréal Fashion Week.

Last September, it was just a little-known indie event. But despite its size and youth, FAT was a creative success, receiving attention from national and local media outlets.

This year, the event was sponsored by NOW Magazine, MAC Cosmetics, as well as Ryerson University and the Ryerson Students’ Union. The event offers a veritable amount of amazing work to be seen alongside more playful concoctions.

“It’s the only thing out there that is accessible to young designers and students,” explains Anika Kozlowski, a third-year fashion design student, showing her work at FAT for the second time.

“Young people in the city can all get together and party, enjoy what they’ve done, and show it to other people.”

Kozlowski endorses the event, calling it an incredible opportunity for young designers and artists from within the Ryerson community to meet people and showcase their work.

She exhibited her 10-piece collection of classy, sustainable and organic fashions in a runway presentation.

“I’m super excited!” she exclaims. “I love doing fashion shows.”

Anna Ross, a photography student with a BFA from OCAD, is displaying original and exuberant fashion photographs with superimposed text that “explore the relationship between fashion and music, and play with the idea that a song can create one’s image.”

Other talents to keep an eye out for include Jemery Laing intern Irene Stickney, recent graduate Ginger Martini’s Rockzilla and Melancholy Rapture collections, Jessica Clayton’s LamÈ Everyday collection, combining 1950s silhouettes with 1970s fabrics, and Erin Lee’s “Visual Infectant” menswear line.

From 8 p.m. onwards, the event offers a free art exhibition with performances, live music, videos, and fashion shows featuring the work of student designers, established local brands, and many fresh talents connected to Ryerson.

Tickets cost $10 at the door, and each evening of FAT features a particular conceptual theme: Fantasy, Seduction and Street.

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