Fashionistas Unite: A peek inside Toronto Fashion Week

Participants and visitors share their experiences this year

Kollar Clothing's fashion show on Oct. 23 at Toronto Fashion Week 2015.
Five hundred models walked the runways for 30,000 attendees during Toronto Fashion Week, including Kollar Clothing’s fashion show on Oct. 23. (Courtesy of Aashna Thakkar)

Aashna Thakkar is a university student deeply interested in the style industry. She finally fulfilled one of her childhood dreams last week when she went to Toronto’s highly-anticipated Fashion Week.

It was Thakkar’s first time visiting the style event, and as fun as the experience was for her, she said that it was also “very intimidating” and “kind of an eye-opening experience to what the fashion world is really like.”

This year Toronto Fashion Week took place from Oct. 19 to Oct. 23, showcasing 58 different designers’ spring and summer collections, from well-established names such as Rachel Sin, to up-and-coming designers like Doreen To trying to make a name in the industry by taking part in the event’s Emerging Designer Showcase.

The vast collection of work by these talented designers was modelled by nearly 500 models on the runway.

Cameron Rowley was one of these models who walked the runway on the second night of fashion week for a men’s clothing line called Bustle.

“It’s always really exciting and there’s a buzz in the air,” Rowley said.

Rowley has been modelling internationally for about 4 years now, and has done shows from Hong Kong and Singapore to Tokyo. He considers Toronto as his home base though, and has walked the runway for Toronto Fashion Week many times before.

“For me, personally, I think it’s cool as a model because a lot of models travel around and you get to know people and you don’t see them for months at a time,” he said. “And then when you go to Toronto Fashion Week it’s like we’re all home and we all get to see each other and that part is just really nice.”

This sort of homey feel from Toronto Fashion Week wasn’t just felt by models though. With a little more than 30,000 people attending the weeklong show this year, fashion-loving spectators had their own kind of a good time.

“It was really enjoyable because all the fashionable people of Toronto kind of come together in one space,” Thakkar said. “As someone who really loves fashion, seeing all the creative people, how people express themselves through fashion in one place was really nice.”

Nikita Singh is another fashion-enthusiast who visited Toronto Fashion Week on its last day. Singh also acknowledged the insight attending such events gives.

“I think Toronto Fashion Week is a really good representation of exactly what the fashion industry is,” Singh said. “It’s very fast-paced, kind of in–the-moment, it happens, it comes and then it goes. It was a really interesting way to see the fashion industry that we see in magazines kind of solidify right before our eyes.”

From designers who get to display their work on such a huge platform, to lovers of the fashion world who get to consume every aspect of what they’re interested in, Toronto Fashion Week presents an opportunity for artistic-minded people to come together.

“It’s a really accessible way for people to see the insides of the fashion world,” Thakkar said. “The tickets are affordable, it’s local, anyone can go and that’s what I love.”