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An All Night Fashiony Art Thing

Heidi Ackerman pushes the envelope with dazzling knits. Photo by George Pimentel.

Toronto musician Lights wins the Best New Artist Juno wearing Maybe by Sarah Catalfo


Torontonians would be smart to get some extra shut eye tomorrow night. Saturday, October 3rd is Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, officially billed as a “free all-night contemporary art thing.” With 130 art projects spread over three geographical zones in the city, there is plenty to see. But if you’re looking for the fun and fashionable, there is only one place to be.

The Art of Fashion takes over the Fermenting Cellar in the historic Distillery District from 7pm – 3am Saturday for a design competition and trunk show. Ten designer finalists – a group whose work is definitely more art-based than ready-to-wear – have been chosen to exemplify and interpret the Art of Fashion’s theme Iconic Power. Guests to the show will have an opportunity to weigh in with their vote for Best Exhibit and Most Promising Designer. Votes will be tallied with those of AOF’s guest judges (including designers Brian Bailey, Shawn Hewson and David Dixon) for two winners.

The finalists are an amazing bunch. Anyone remember seeing Lights capture the 2009 Juno Award for Best New Artist? I do. And I clearly remember wondering who made her dress. That would be Art of Fashion finalist Sarah Catalfo, who has been crafting one-of-a-kind pieces for friends since 2004 under her label Maybe.

Fellow finalist Heidi Ackerman was a stand out last March in the Ryerson alumni fashion show at LG Fashion Week. The timid need not apply here, Ackerman’s wild knits are meant to dazzle with their couture-like construction. And people are taking note. FASHION magazine recently featured a few of her fall pieces in their September 2009 issue.

There is way more talent to discover at the Art of Fashion, plus a trunk show featuring Canadian designed clothing and accessories. Bring your wallet. Bring a Red Bull. But most of all bring an open mind. This is art, after all!

Note: The Art of Fashion exhibit runs from 7pm – 3am. The trunk show runs 7pm – midnight.