If the 2014 Lolë White Tour wasn’t enough to get you through the ROM doors this summer, then the mind-moulding museum has another treat in store for fashion lovers. On June 21, a new exhibition entitled Fashion Follows Form: Designs for Sitting will open at the Royal Ontario Museum, featuring fashions from internationally acclaimed, Toronto-based designer Izzy Camilleri’s IZ Adaptive collection.
The exhibition showcases Camilleri’s innovative, fashionable, functional — and affordable — designs that are among the first in the world created exclusively to meet the needs of women and men who use wheelchairs. Displayed alongside Camilleri’s designs are 18th and 19th century fashions from the ROM’s collection, also retrospectively created for a seated, L-shaped body.
Journalists Jeanne Beker and Barbara Turnbull are Honorary Chairs of exhibition, while the whole spectacle was made possible by the astute eye of Dr. Alexandra Palmer, the Nora E. Vaughan Fashion Costume Senior Curator in the ROM’s World Cultures department. Palmer says she was motivated to collaborate with Camilleri after discovering the designer’s shop in Toronto’s west end: “Izzy has been called ‘Canada’s most PC (Perfectly Cut) fashion designer’ for good reason. She has broken new ground by designing and creating pieces for maximum comfort, ease, and style for those who have traditionally had difficulty finding clothing that fits.”
Included in the exhibition is a Camillieri-designed leather jacket (as seen above with the adaptive back), trench coat, wedding dress, and tuxedo. Fashion Follows Form also features Camilleri's iconic designs including the silver fox coat worn by none other than Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada.