Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto has announced the details for its online presentation that will take place from Nov. 26 to 29 on its new website IFWtoronto.com. Along with runway presentations, audiences will also be able to enjoy a digital art exhibition, an online pop-up marketplace and more.
“At a time when physical gatherings are difficult and the online market is saturated, carving out innovative digital spaces for Indigenous creators to gather and share our work is vital,” says IFWTO artistic director Sage Paul. “IFWTO has brought together a talented multidisciplinary team to reimagine how audiences experience and interact with Indigenous-made fashion, craft and textiles online.”
For example, the four runway presentations are cinematically produced and feature 16 designers. The short films were recorded at the Harbourfront Centre in August of this year, and one will be screened each day of the festival and are free to all audiences.
The designers featured include Lesley Hampton, Warren Steven Scott, Maru Creations and Skawennati. Each film provides an intimate view of each garment through the use of material, movement and light with elements of fashion, film, theatre and dance.
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The pop-up marketplace is where audiences can shop for fashion, craft and textiles from 40 limited edition Indigenous-made collections. Goods will be available from Indi City, Blu Hummingbird, Catherine Blackburn, Mad Aunty, Tania Larsson, Running Fox Beads, Niio Perkins and Aylelum — The Good House of Design.
The live art exhibition titled, A Thread That Never Breaks, was originally curated to launch in 2020. Now it will be featured as part of the series of panel discussions and will take place at 4 p.m. on Nov. 27. It brings together artworks by seven Indigenous artists who are rebuilding physical threads into pixels for a virtual exhibition that will open in 2021 on Ab Tec Island in Second Life. The panel discussion will feature artist Jaad Kuujus with co-curator Lisa Myers who will discuss the digital adaption of textile and craft works as a continuum of the ancestral thread.
The series of panel discussions is co-presented with the Ryerson School of Fashion and is called Fashioning Resurgence. The topics include Indigenous representation in fashion, land-based fashion, fashion journalism and how community support is built through beading table discussions.
“I hope the four-day experience is a cathartic experience of getting dressed up for something special in a celebration of Indigenous art and culture,” says Paul.