On August 25, during the Fashion and Design Festival in Dundas Square, I participated in a draping demonstration, live on the runway, with two other designers, Englebert Gayagoy and Katya Revenko. It was an incredible experiment to bring fashion design literally to the street.
Thank you everyone who came out for all the encouragement and cheers!
I started out by prepping my fabric, laying it flat on the runway and creating a bias tube. This killed my legs and back later, and at the time it was a bit nerve-wracking because the other designers were already pinning their designs on their dress forms. Meanwhile, it looked like I hadn’t even started.
What made it even more anxious was having no sense of time as I was working. I became so absorbed in the task at hand, it was hard to take in the entirety of the scene, with so many people watching me.
The view of the square, from the runway.
I finally got my bias tube on the dress form and now I’m wondering how much time has elapsed.
Stitching on the chains I brought for straps. The structure of the dress is a modified chiton, a classical Greek garment.
This is what I looked like from the VIP tent. I could see Andrew and Anita there, watching me and talking… what were they saying? What did this even look like? I am a bit too close to get a sense of perspective.
Hands shaking while I start the final element of the dress – suppression in the form of hand sewn tucks.
My hands were shaking hard… I kept dropping the needle and knotting the thread.
People in the crowd came up to me and asked questions and commented on the event. It was such a pleasant surprise to hear how interested and enthusiastic the audience was, whether they were into fashion or not.
Right here it starts to get really dark and clouds are hanging heavy over the square, but I’m not really fully aware of that – at this point I am totally focused on getting this dress finished.
The rain spurted on and off throughout the demo, not that I let it stop me.
At this point the dress is looking as I envisioned it, there is just a couple more tucks to go.
But heaven can’t wait and it started pouring. After an hour and forty minutes, the rain decided that my dress was done. Some of the FDFT’s terrific crew helped me pick my stuff up off the runway and covered the form with a plastic bag.
The dresses were displayed onstage during the Toronto Fashion Incubator show that evening. I was really happy when I saw it. I felt that I had made something beautiful.
Katya’s piece was really incredible, the skirt trailed off into the roll of fabric, and the scissors stabbing the back of the bustle really expressed the process of the event in an insightful way.
If anyone reading had the chance to see the event in person, I would love to hear your comments.