The catwalk, adorned with, yes, you guessed it, Cashmere toilet paper, saw models strutting the runway in confections worthy of a Barney's buyer's eye. Given total artistic freedom, the vibe was a sexed-up version of a winter fairytale. And the design aesthetic? One tall order. Tissue was stiffened to create a papier mâché-like fabric; some pieces were braided while others were constructed with precision pleats. Perhaps the most innovative was one enterprising student's task of spinning the material into yarn so as to knit the pieces on a very flirtatious sundress.
The winner, Nancy Hoang, a 20-year-old student from George Brown, took inspiration from ballerinas and fairy tales to design a girly frock adorned with papier-mâché flowers and a textured three-layer skirt. "In terms of her technique and the combination of that with her vision of childhood dreams, you saw a story tied together so well," says Susan Langdon, executive director of the Toronto Fashion Incubator, and one of four judges on the panel. She adds that it was a tough decision to make, but Hoang's design was the most innovative and detailed of the competitors. The second-year student leaves with a bursary for $2,500 and a memorable experience. "People will actually get an idea of how my designing is and how my creativity is," says a gleeful Hoang.
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Image courtesy Geoff Barrenger