GRAPHIC DESIGN Brennan March
As we seem to say about everything nowadays, Fashion Art Toronto (FAT) looked a bit different this year. The fifteenth anniversary edition of the festival was originally scheduled to take place over five days in April, as it usually does, instead, the event had to be cancelled about a month before launch, and organizers were faced with figuring out how to hold a fashion week during a pandemic. In the end, Fashion Art Toronto was brought online, giving us twelve days of Virtual Fashion Week, which took place from October 15-26.
This year’s theme, coincidentally, was “We’re all in this together.” Originally chosen to celebrate the diversity of FAT and to express the importance of working together, this phrase has become synonymous with the COVID-19 pandemic. In Toronto, where restrictions have tightened again recently as a result of increasing numbers of covid cases, the creative community has continued to put out exceptional work, and this event was certainly another example of this.
Contrary to what we saw from the big four fashion weeks, which seemed to largely portray a dream world, FAT felt firmly rooted in our current reality. Between the locations (mostly outdoors), the use of masks (everywhere), and the way the shows were broadcast (via Instagram Live), designers stepped up to the challenges posed by the pandemic, presenting bar-raising collections while adhering to safety regulations – staying true to the theme and to their creative work.
If FAT was rooted in reality, the presentations themselves branched out into many forms of imagination, and creativity was certainly not lacking.
I had the opportunity to ask one of these Aadhe Clothing designer Amanjoat Gill (@aadheclothing) about their collection at FAT, and how they have been coping with the changes that have come with designing during the pandemic. Aadhe Clothing is a Toronto-based, unisex streetwear brand, focused on high quality, sustainable design.
SHOW LOCATION: Ditty Laneway (at Queen and Church)
What 3 words would you use to describe your collection at FAT?
A: Statement making, high quality, and sustainable
What does the collection mean to you?
A: Representation!! Usually Streetwear isn’t statement making or seen as high fashion… We are here to change that 😊
Who/what was your inspiration for this season?
A: Freddie Mercury has always been a muse of mine. South-Asian bisexual awesomeness of a person! ❤️ Also I was inspired by colourful loud Punjabi wedding parties and EDM summer festivals.
How has your creative process for creating a collection changed with Covid-19?
A: Dude, let me tell you! I’m a single mum, and 6 months of having my daughter home was tough… but she’s very creative as well, so we do a lot of art together. She just told me let loose more ❤️
She’s quite wise for five! But as for my creative process I still paint, then digitally alter with my graphic design skills, then illustrate, then decide a silhouette, select fabrics, and done ✅ I’m always changing my perspective every 3 months regardless.
What additional considerations did you take into account for putting on a show during the pandemic?
A: Well, I made LED face masks, they change colours and have flashing modes. It was really fun to make!
What is your favourite piece/look of the collection?
A: Ha! That’s like choosing a favourite child. I love them all for different reasons. My philosophy is ‘I only make things that I adore ’ so I have no answer!