Photo: George Pimentel (Joan Kelley Walker)

By: Fatima Syed

On September 25, the 16th annual Cashmere Collection show, in support of breast cancer awareness and the Canadian Cancer Society, was held at the Globe and Mail Centre in Toronto. inFATuated Blog was warmly hosted as media by the great team at Strategic Objectives, and had an opportunity to enjoy the #Cashmere19 show. The 2019 show paid tribute to Canadian leaders in fashion, with stylist and editor Joe Zee as curator and fashion show producer Erika Larva as artistic director.

This year’s runway featured a roster of 16 proudly Canadian designers, and also honoured industry greats with a Legends of Fashion theme. However, rather than being crafted out of silk, satin or tulle, the intricate ballgowns which adorned the Cashmere runway were made purely out of Cashmere tissue! We were especially intrigued by a ruched, ruffled, off-the-shoulder gown with a thigh-high slit designed by Joan Kelley Walker, who drew inspiration from Toronto-based couture visionary Stephan Caras.

Photo: George Pimentel, Cashmere Collection

Joan Kelley Walker was certainly in good company, as the designer lineup also included a host of other memorable names, along with plenty of rising talent. Here is the full roster of participating designers below. As we noticed during the evening’s presentation, the inspiration on the catwalk seemed both local and global at the same time.

  • Ryan Alexander, Ontario, inspired by Valentino
  • Arti Gogna, Quebec, inspired by Versace
  • Adrienne Goodine, New Brunswick, inspired by Hubert de Givenchy
  • Lesley Hampton, Ontario, inspired by Christian Siriano
  • Sarah Haunts, Ontario, inspired by Zac Posen
  • Jillian Joy, Ontario, inspired by Christian Dior
  • Steven Lejambe, Ontario, inspired by Alexander McQueen
  • Chavah Lindsay, New Brunswick, inspired by Vivienne Westwood
  • Stephanie Moscall-Varey, Ontario, inspired by Yohji Yamamoto
  • Sage Paul, Ontario, inspired by Thierry Mugler
  • Rebecca Rowe, Ontario, inspired by Diane von Furstenberg
  • Sarah Runnalls, British Columbia, inspired by Junya Watanabe
  • Dee Silkie, Ontario, inspired by Balmain
  • TOMÉ, Ontario, inspired by Jean-Paul Gaultier
  • Joan Kelley Walker, Ontario, inspired by Stephan Caras
  • Alex S. Yu, British Columbia, inspired by Maison Martin Margiela

With homegrown designers drawing their creative energy from the largest international fashion houses, it was bound to be a spectacular showcase. However, whether influenced by Valentino or in admiration of Versace, the message behind #Cashmere19 was one which every designer was proud to support. As we all dream of a world where breast cancer is eliminated, we can certainly agree that fashion with a powerful cause is always in style.

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