Toronto Fashion Week has been marked on my calendar season after season. I have trolled blogs, Twitter feeds, and this very website to get minute-to-minute updates from the shows. This season, I wanted to get involved, so I volunteered to assist The Fashion Collective, a creative agency that produces shows for a number of Canadian designers like Amanda Lew Kee, Chloé comme Parris and Laura Siegel, and ended up right in the thick of the action.
Being “behind-the-scenes,” so to speak, really is eye-opening. The amount of work that goes on between the designers and their teams is truly mind-boggling. With some guidance from The Fashion Collective’s fearless leaders, including Kate Mullin, Dwayne Kennedy and Brian A. Richards, my fellow peers and I were charged with assembling guest lists, manning the door, ushering VIPs (the editors of this magazine among them), dressing models, and supervising press interviews—just a few of the panoply of tasks that are necessary for getting a presentation off the ground. For the fashion-obsessed, volunteering has never seemed more important, and though not always glamorous, it’s rewarding and full of grateful thanks from the designers, coordinators, and producers.
At the end of it all, I am in awe of the passion and talent in Toronto—the designers I was lucky enough to meet are incredibly creative and admirably determined. The Canadian fashion community is small, but it is unendingly supportive, as big game buyers and editors continuously show up for designers only in their first or second seasons. Participating in Fashion Week really has me feeling the love.
Click here for complete coverage from Toronto Fashion Week Spring 2012.