The biannual Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto (IFWTO), originally scheduled for May of this year, has re-envisioned its 2020 edition as an online presentation from November 26 – 29. The four-day festival will go live at IFWtoronto.com and include: cinematically produced fashion films featuring 19 designers; 50+ limited edition Indigenous-made collections, which will then retail in a virtual pop-up marketplace; a digital art exhibition; and a critical discourse about fashion and the arts through Indigenous leadership in a series of panel discussions. This year’s edition of IFWTO continues to celebrate Indigenous-made fashion, craft and textiles, share Indigenous visual narratives and create opportunities for global community engagement through a screen-based experience.
“At a time when physical gatherings are difficult and the online market is saturated, carving out innovative digital spaces for Indigenous creators to gather and share our work is vital,” says IFWTO Artistic Director Sage Paul. “IFWTO has brought together a talented multidisciplinary team to reimagine how audiences experience and interact with Indigenous-made fashion, craft and textiles online. I hope the four-day experience is a cathartic experience of getting dressed up for something special in a celebration of Indigenous art and culture.”
Bringing together fashion, theatre, dance and film, the IFWTO Fashion Films are curatorially underscored by our interconnectedness to water. The IFWTO Selections Committee recognizes mainstream and Indigenous fashion as it relates to climate seasons that correspond to the land, water, harvests and moon. Water is a vital resource and is sacred for Indigenous peoples around the world. It is protected and nurtured by women and carries metaphorical and literal connections to blood and life. In relation to fashion, both Indigenous and mainstream, water is an undeniable resource, connector and life force that must be protected and nurtured. The four programs feature:
Day 1: Tu Gh’eh Nah (Water is Life)
Miss Chief Rocka
Day 2: Tu Cho (Lake) – Global Program
Day 3: Tu Gh’eh Tl’e’th (Streams)
Warren Steven Scott
Hand of Solomon
Day 4: Tu Gh’el T’ilhn (Water Carriers) – Women’s Program
Ay Lelum – The Good House of Design
Additional Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto programming details and complete schedule will be announced later in 2020.
Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto is a multi-platform festival of the most distinct and progressive Indigenous-made fashion, craft and textiles, challenging mainstream perceptions of Indigenous people and culture, which are often stereotyped, commodified or exploited. IFWTO is led by majority Indigenous women, offering audiences an authentic, accessible opportunity to connect with Indigenous artists and celebrate cultural expression.
Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto
November 26 – 29, 2020
Online Runway Presentations: 7pm nightly, FREE
Full program schedule to be announced Fall 2020
Major supporters of Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto are Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, City of Toronto, Harbourfront Centre, InSpirit Foundation and Ryerson University.
Media Contact: Damien Nelson, firstname.lastname@example.org
IFWTO2020 Artist: Celeste Pedri-Spade
Title of Wearable Art Ensemble: Anti-Pipleline Society Kwe
Photo Credit: Linda Roy