UNBOUND in London Town

Fanshawe College (yes, we’re talking London, Ontario) hosted a fashion show last weekend to present the 2012 fashion design program’s graduating class.  As this year’s emcee, I embarked on a 24-hour trip along with other Toronto fashion faces – designers David Dixon, Arthur Mendonca, Wesley Badanjak and Franco Mirabello plus seasoned industry players Tamar Matossian, Erin O’Brien, Gail McInnes and Natalie Deane – who all appeared as judges of the evening’s show.
Fanshawe plans quite a bit of pomp and circumstance into UNBOUND. Held at the hip Museum London, it includes a red carpet, a cocktail party and goody bags for attendees. While most of the attendees are friends and family, I met a number of guests who bought tickets just to see a splashy runway show.
This was my fourth year working with the UNBOUND event, and in my opinion, one of the strongest group collections. Overall Fanshawe’s students showed promise in their ideas and wearability of the garments, even if many lacked in execution. (Puckering seams don’t lie.) 
Supporting the next generation of fashion is important, perhaps just as much as spotlighting today’s current roster of talent. By hosting the judges who are successfully working in the industry, Fanshawe proves how important this is. After all, it could be a Franco Mirabelli or an Arthur Mendonca who gives a graduate their first break. You gotta start somewhere, kid.
Special thanks to Hotel Metro, London’s new boutique hotel, for a lovely stay, and great service that went above and beyond! For more pics check out Flare.com.
Best Design winner Andrea Kuntz
Best Design winner Andrea Kuntz
Best Design winner Andrea Kuntz
Best Collections winner Kristin Burgess

UNBOUND in London

Thursday the F-list skipped town to guest judge UNBOUND, a student fashion competition at Fanshawe College, Brandon R. Dwyer’s alma mater (photo, with Fanshawe faculty Loren Carriere). We hopped a train to London with some great company – one half of the Comrags label, Joyce Gunhouse, National Post fashion writer Nathalie Atkinson and fashion guru Marlene Shiff (photo, with Joyce and Fanshawe student Donald J. Procunier). London is a college town and they know how to party. In mid-afternoon, the patios were overflowing with beer-swilling students. With a few hours of our own to kill we hit Saffron Road (a retail success, now celebrating 20 years) to say hello to owner Gail Lynn (photo, with David Dixon) and check out the racks. If you’re in the area be sure to check out their massive Basement Blowout Sale Thursday, May 7th.

The evening’s show took place at the Museum London and we joined ranks with six other judges including Thien Le and David Dixon. Twenty students sent five piece collections down the runway in a maddening display of everything from ready to wear to formal. Who was the most UNBOUND of them all? Jessica Steever’s cocktail dresses made the biggest impact, taking the prize for Best Single Piece and Best Collection. Look for Jessica on season three of Project Runway Canada (Maybe? Just a hunch).