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Toronto’s Fashion Week: Fashion Conference Recap

During Toronto Men’s Fashion Week I had the great opportunity to attend the "Canada Fashion Conference" – the first conference to take place during Fashion Week. Partnering with Toronto Men & Women’s Fashion Week, The Fashion Zone and Ryerson University, attendees had the opportunity to gain first hand knowledge from leading industry experts.

The conference was organized into three different sections: "The Designer’s Experience", "Working with the Buyers" and a "Creative Production Workshop". Each of the sections included a panel of fashion industry experts, that were quite literally THE leading experts! Here’s a brief highlight of some of the participants on the panels including: Lesley Hampton, Ishan Riley, Georgia Esporlas and Tanya Watt.

Lesley Hampton is an up and coming fashion designer who includes diversity and inclusion not only in her outstanding fashion designs, but also with her models. Included in Lesley’s Toronto Women’s Runway Show were mental health advocates as models and her show was in support of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. To add the cherry on top, Lesley also designed the evening dress for Cheryl Hickey for the 2018 SAG Awards – simply impressive!

Along side Lesley I also had an opportunity to listen to Ishan Riley & Georgia Esporlas a fashion stylist and fashion photographer who have many years of professional experience and were more than willing to share their knowledge and wisdom. Some key tips that Ishan and Georigia had shared were: when an opportunity comes your way in the fashion industry take it and always remember to be kind and considerate to others. Wise words as both individuals had shared how their initiative of taking opportunities have helped them to get to the position they are in today.

Did I mention that Tanya Watt was also a part of the Creative Production Panel? Yes! Tanya Watt who was the Art Director at Flare Magazine for 17 years and has worked with celebrities as: Beyoncé, Zooey Deschanel, Linda Evangelista and Coco Rocha.

The conference wrapped up with the creative production workshop. We were given fashion styling, photography and art direction tips by the experts and then divided into teams to create a fashion shot with real models, backdrop and props.

We were given full authority to direct our own photo shoot with the models. To see some of my shoots taken from my photo shoot, please click here. It was great to be able to put all the fashion tips we had learned from the conference and put it into practice! I learned so much from this conference and am so happy that I had attended. If you are currently studying, working, or just have an interest in the fashion industry. I highly recommend attending this conference next year – you will not be disappointed!

Lavlet Forde is a contributing freelance writer. For more of Lavlet, check out her Instagram here: @lovesimplyfashiontravel

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