Toronto Alternative Arts And Fashion Week

In addition to Toronto's two regular Fashion Weeks, Winter collections in March and Spring Collections in October, once a year we also have Alternative Fashion Week which takes a slightly more eclectic look at fashion, design, art, photography, and live performance.

Alternative Fashion Week acts as a showcase for younger, less established designers, but also casts a wider net delving into elements of design, art, and performance. There are even live bands in between shows.

Taking place at the Distillery District for the rest of this week, it's sort of a half sized version of the regular Fashion Week. Half the crowd (a good thing), half the space (less of a good thing), half the lighting (definitely not a good thing) and the shows are about half the length of it's bigger sister.

One thing that never changes with fashion ... every show is at least half an hour late in starting.
Alternative Fashion Week compensates for the smaller individual collections by grouping three and four designers into each show segment, and often there are performers interspersed with the fashion element. Here an aerialist performs between designers.

All this is not to denigrate the event. The clothes are fresh and often experimental, the atmosphere within the cozy confines of the Fermenting Cellar harkens back to past versions of Toronto Fashion Week when it was held at the Liberty Grand, and there is a nice relaxed energy to the evening. I found myself enjoying shooting this event.

One thing I noticed was that the models better represented the city I live in with different ethnicities and skin colours represented, even a few plus-sized models seamlessly blended walking the runway with the waifs in the shows I saw on Wed.

Toronto Alternative Arts And Fashion Week continues at The Fermenting Cellar, Distillery District tonight and tomorrow evening starting at 6:00 PM each day. Showcasing 200 innovative designers, visual artists, musicians and performers from across Canada, admission is just $20 for the night. There is a lounge area and cash bar to relax in between shows.

All photos above were taken with the Olympus E30 at ISO's from 1600 to 400, with Digital Zuiko 50-200mm lens, single focus AF, IS off, noise filter to low.

Comparing these directly to the photos I shot at LG Fashion Week just a month ago on the E3, it's obvious that the E30 had much better ability to hold highlights, and the files are much, much less prone to banding in post.

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