Monday, October 19, 2009

Fashion Forward: triple lauch at OCAD Professional Gallery, October 20, 8 to 11 p.m

Izzy Camilleri’s Wool Capelet from her Adaptable Clothing line.

Fashion Forward
special needs | wearable tech | sustainability | choice

October 21, 2009 to January 24, 2010
Reception: Immenso! Triple Launch at OCAD, Tuesday, October 20, 8 to 11 p.m., in conjunction with the LG Fashion Week beauty by L’Oreal Paris.

OCAD Professional Gallery
100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario
416-977-6000 Ext. 265 |

The Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) Professional Gallery presents the exhibition Fashion Forward: Toronto addresses the futures from October 21, 2009 to January 24, 2010. Fashion Forward is presented in conjunction with the Fashion Design Council of Canada’s LG Fashion Week beauty by L’Oreal Paris.

Rejecting the cliché that clothing design is only frivolous, Fashion Forward starts by sketching the untold story of Toronto’s couture community, featuring such stalwarts as Hoax Couture alongside more radical designers. But from there it goes on to explore this community’s trademark inventiveness as the inspiration for new forms of social responsiveness. Designers like Wendy Traas and Susan Harris highlight the growing importance of sustainability in fashion. Lily Cornell’s LED-equipped dresses show the lighter side of wearable technology, while the Ocorant heart monitor vests — designed by a team of George Brown College students — emphasize its pragmatic side. And inclusive designs by Izzy Camilleri, Lida Baday and Sansu change the wearer’s relationship to society by addressing special needs.

side view Izzy Camilleri’s Wool Capelet from her Adaptable Clothing line.

“Commentators like William McDonough and Michael Braungart suggest that fashion was key to the industrial revolution and will be important again in the sustainability revolution,” said OCAD Curator and exhibition organizer Charles Reeve. “But Fashion Forward wants to go further. Clothing designers tackle important social needs in new, inventive ways, and the discussion around fashion needs to come up to that same level.”

Robin Kay, President of the Fashion Council of Canada and Executive Director of LG Fashion Week, adds, “It is brilliant on the part of curator Charles Reeve to bring about the very first fashion and art exhibit. LG Fashion Week is when fashion is at its best and most current; it is truly an honour for the Fashion Council to introduce Fashion Forward, an exhibit of sustainability and technology.”

Gallery hours: Wednesday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

About the Fashion Design Council of Canada (FDCC) Established 1999
The Fashion Design Council of Canada is a non-governmental, not-for-profit national association directed towards fashion designers and the industry at large to brand and exercise their commercial viability both nationally and globally. The FDCC has created a successful Fashion Week, now in its 11th, year that commands international respect, economic trade, and profile of our industry and designers. LG Fashion Week, beauty by L’Oréal Paris, the second largest Fashion Week in North America, is the recognized bi-annual fashion event for our industry. For more information visit

Christabel Couture outfits wonder freely through the gallery during the opening of 'Fashion Forward: Toronto (ad)dresses the future at the OCAD Professional Gallery on Tuesday night 

designer Susann Harris

Bridal wear designer Wendy Traas


OCAD announces major Student Assistance Challenge

(Toronto—September 9, 2009) Student financial need is the reason the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) today announced the official launch of its Student Assistance Challenge (SAC). The Campaign is a key response by the university in recognizing the financial shortfall for many students registered in art and design programs at OCAD.

Over 50% of OCAD students need financial support to complete their education. This summer student unemployment reached 21%, the highest rate since 1977 (Statistics Canada). Given the state of our Canadian economy, many families are less able to afford the post-secondary education of their children. Materials fees for a studio-based education also add substantially to the cost of tuition in comparison with an entirely classroom-based environment.

“OCAD has already seen a 7.5% increase in financial aid requests from students for this year,” said Kelly Dickinson, Manager, Financial Aid & Awards.

The recessionary economic climate and high student unemployment this summer were added impetus for the OCAD Foundation’s decision to focus their support of students in the form of a dedicated campaign. The Foundation Board has committed to raising $500,000 over the next three years to help students pay for their education. Every dollar contributed will be matched by the Student Assistance Challenge and made available to students in the form of bursaries.

“Student financial need at OCAD is substantial and rising,” stated OCAD Foundation Board Chair, John Vivash. “We strongly believe that we have a moral obligation to support our students at a time when the need is as dire as it is today.”

“OCAD has made a commitment to put students first,” said Sarah McKinnon, Vice-President, Academic. “These are extraordinary times at OCAD. While our university has seen the most dramatic increase in the Ontario University system in the number of students who accepted their offer of admission to study here this fall — we experienced a 30% increase from Ontario secondary school students and a 14% increase from all other applicants to our first year program — we also have coincidentally a dramatic increase in our students’ need for financial assistance. The Student Assistance Challenge will add immeasurably to the financial support of our students and that’s something of which we can all be proud.”

OCAD students have the opportunity to learn in what is best understood as a creative “hothouse,” a one-of-a-kind environment dedicated exclusively to visual culture. Innovation and creative work is further inspired by a vibrant community life, situated in a new, dynamic campus facility. The critically-acclaimed $42.5 million expansion and redevelopment, featuring the Sharp Centre for Design at 100 McCaul Street as well as, most recently, the acquisition of 205 Richmond Street West, is a catalyst for creative risk-taking and new collaborations.

In the past four years OCAD has moved forward in achieving its ongoing strategic goals: building an even stronger studio-based university learning environment with excellence in disciplinary and new cross-disciplinary offerings; launching dynamic graduate programs; greatly enhancing research practices and profile; building strong community, institutional and corporate alliances; creating a greater understanding of art, design, creative industries and digital media at the policy level and strengthening its capital base, including physical facilities.

Join us in putting OCAD Students First!
To make a donation to the Student Assistance Challenge please contact:

Adria Miller; Manager, Individual Giving & Alumni Relations
416-977-6000 Ext. 485


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