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Toronto Fashion Week Day One: Amputee Runner Amy Winters Wows at VAWK

Vawk 1World Mastercard Fashion Week is officially underway, having kicked off last night’s celebration with a headlining show from Sunny Fong of VAWK. Returning to Toronto with a highly anticipated Fall 2014 collection entitled “1,001 Nights,” Fong, a Project Runway Canada winner, was able to draw a real crowd of movers and shakers at last night’s show, with Jeanne Becker and Elisha Cuthbert both occupying the front row. As a Happy Endings fan, I totally gushed over Cuthbert, but notwithstanding the A-list presence, most fashion-goers appeared enthralled by Amy Winters’ catwalk debut.

The ultramarathon runner, who lost her left leg after a 1994 motorcycle accident, made her appearance midway through the show wearing a uniquely designed and blinged-out prosthetic leg by Alberta-based company Alleles. The eye-catching, Canadian-made accessory perfectly complemented her sleek black fit-and-flare dress as the audience whooped and clapped at her appearance.

Fong has always made an effort to ensure models of all shapes and sizes are represented at his shows, but Winters' debut was a real anomaly and turning point in the acceptance of real women. “It's actually quite part of the collection – more so than just saying, ‘Let's use your thing, and try to make it work,’” Fong told BlogTO in advance of the show last week. "Any other season, I don't think it would have worked."

What made this season so unique? Perhaps it was the collision of classical and modern, blended with the luxury of Dubai and the organic style of 90s street fashion. Pleating, metallic and animal textures featured prominently, while the minimalist matte black canvas was broken only by cut-outs exposing models' skin. He had me at “90s street fashion,” but I think few could have walked away without being wowed by last night’s pioneering spectacle.

Image via WMFCW/George Pimentel/Getty Images

The Buzz Latest News

Michael Lo Sordo Wins BT Emerging Designer Award

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Michael Lo Sordo’s show is already one of the most highly anticipated on the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia calendar.

Now he’ll really be feeling the pressure, having been named the winner of this year’s BT Emerging Fashion Designer Award at the annual BT Runway for Success event in Sydney. The win will give Lo Sordo a total value of $40,000 to fuel his escalating business, consisting of a $10,000 cash grant, financial planning service and mentoring, and return flights to New York to literally further his brand. The designer was up against By Johnny and Strateas Carlucci. 

But while that’s all very exciting, we’re just as interested in who’s bestowing the award – the newly-launched Australian Fashion Chamber. After the string of label closures at the end of last year, we were deploring the lack of something similar to the British Fashion Council or CFDA, and indeed it was Anna Wintour herself who suggested the Australian version during a conversation with Vogue Australia EIC Edwina McCann last year. McCann will preside as the AFC's first chairperson, with the rest of the 20-strong board comprised of industry heavyweights including 10 Magazine editor Alison Veness, Harper’s Bazaar editor Kellie Kush and designer Nicky Zimmermann.

“The AFC is a welcome addition to Australia’s fashion landscape that will help foster young talent and create sustainable, unique and inspiring businesses of which we will all be proud,” McCann said.

Of selecting Lo Sordo for the BT prize, she added:

“Michael’s talent has been recognised tonight due to his exploration of textures and materials, and his design ethos showcasing elegant and flattering shapes. His vision for the future of his business is very clear and winning the BT Emerging Designer Award will allow him to take the next step forward.”

The AFC aims to further the growth of Australian fashion locally and globally. As part of this it plans to launch the AFC Awards this year, which will reward established designers to support the globalization of Australian talent.

Lo Sordo, meanwhile, is focused on local assignments. He just designed a coffee cup in collaboration with LaVazza for the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, which kicked off on Monday.

[WWD and Ragtrader]

Image: Instagram

The Buzz Latest News

Link Buzz: Lululemon Launches Fashion Line; Cathy Horyn Remembers L’Wren Scott

Image: Facebook/Lululemon

Image: Facebook/Lululemon

  • Activewear brand Lululemon has just launched a fashion line called &go. The range includes sheer-paneled leggings, leather shorts, and peplum workout tops. [ELLE]
     
  • Speaking of leather — leather pants appear to be an important component of Cosmo's digital editorial team's office uniform. [Racked]
     
  • Beyonce appeared on stage the other night wearing that glittery Tom Ford sequin dress which was designed in homage to Jay Z. [FabSugar]
  • If you're interested in seeing what's in Rita Ora's Rimmel beauty collection, trace your cursor all the way along this line until you reach the end and then click. [BellaSugar]
     
  • An emerging start-up category aims to make television more shoppable. [Fashionista]
     
  • Readers band together to launch a crowdfunding campaign to help an abuse victim who was outed by XOJane. [TheGloss]
     
  • Cathy Horyn remembers L'Wren Scott. [NYTimes]

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Primark to Pay Additional $9 Million to Rana Plaza Victims

The British fashion retail giant Primark has confirmed today that it will be paying out a sum of $9 million (£5.4m) to the victims of the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh, where many of their products were made by supplier New Wave Bottoms.

The disaster took place in April last year when the building collapsed leaving 1,130 people dead and many more injured. The building housed four garment factories, employing an estimated 5,000 workers.

People protesting outside of a Primark store

Protesters outside a Primark store in the UK in April, 2013 following the Rana Plaza disaster (image: Getty)

Primark will be paying out to those who were injured as well as the families of the victims. A spokesperson for the high street retailer spoke to WWD today to explain the situation:

 "With the first anniversary of Rana Plaza fast approaching, we are determined to meet this responsibility to workers in our supply chain. We are therefore pleased to be in a position to now press ahead with payments…We have [already] paid short-term financial assistance equivalent to nine months wages to all 3,600 Rana Plaza workers, most of whom were making clothes for our competitors."

The retail giant is an extremely popular presence on the British high street, however it faced heavy criticism at the time of the disaster with many protests staged outside its UK stores, prompting it to take responsibility for its actions.

In addition to the cash remuneration that Primark has committed, they will also be paying another $1 million to the workers through the Rana Plaza Trust Fund to which they have already donated $2 million.

The Buzz Forum Buzz

Sigrid Agren scores Vogue Ukraine’s April Cover (Forum Buzz)

image credit: facebook/Vogue Ukraine via the tfs forums

image credit: facebook/Vogue Ukraine via the tfs forums

Vogue Ukraine has proven to be hit or miss with its covers among theFashionSpot forum members. The publication's latest cover — photographed by Steven Pan and featuring model Sigrid Agren — seems to be a definite hit. The magazine is quietly celebrating its first anniversary with this issue. 

"I'm surprised though, with this being a 1-year anniversary cover, that they didn't make a big deal about that," pointed out member MyNameIs, who further added, "I REALLY like it. I was hesitant to open this when I saw the title, but this is quite a pleasant surprise. The last few covers have been weak for them, but this is back to the standard they started off with."

MyNameIs was not alone. TeeVanity is just one of many posters who shared the same sentiments: "Well done Vogue Ukraine, Sigrid looks flawless," he wrote. 

IAmLordZen was especially excited about the cover subject: "DAYYUUUMMMM! I've been waiting FOREVER for a second Vogue cover for Sigrid since her Vogue China September 2009 [see this cover here] <3 <3 Literally screaming. This looks fantastic," he exclaimed. 

MON was bothered by the "frame illusion her top is creating," but Royal-Galliano liked the idea, and so do I. A beautiful cover for Vogue Ukraine and a well-deserved second Vogue cover for Sigrid Agren.

Share your thoughts on the cover and join the discussion here.

The Buzz Forum Buzz

Abbey Lee Kershaw is Ready for Summer on Vogue Australia’s Stunning Cover (Forum Buzz)

Vogue Australia's April cover surfaced earlier this week which has Abbey Lee Kershaw on the cover. The Australian model is photographed by legendary photographer Gilles Bensimon and styled by Vogue's fashion director Christine Centenera, who chose Abbey to wear Chanel.

IMAGE CREDIT: FACEBOOK.COM/VOGUEAUSTRALIA VIA TFS FORUMS

IMAGE CREDIT: FACEBOOK.COM/VOGUEAUSTRALIA VIA TFS FORUMS

"Wow, I adore this cover. It's great to see Abbey back on the cover of Vogue Australia! I am really enjoying the dynamism and movement conveyed in the image," enthused AL92.

TeeVanity also shared the same sentiments, "Love it, styling, face, everything just perfect. 10s for Abbey, excited for this issue."

HeatherAnne made reference towards a previous Vogue cover with Abbey and wrote, "Vogue Australia's March 2010 issue with Abbey on the beach is my favorite of all time from them, and this looks every bit as promising as that. Stunning cover!"

"Gorgeous cover. I'm so happy to see Abbey; she looks dynamic and fresh!" exclaims Nepenthes

I share the same sentiments. This is a fabulous cover and sets the mood for the summer. For me, the cover shot is quintessential Australian fashion. A thumbs up from me!

Await the contents and join the discussion here.
 

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