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My Gay Toronto - Ray's Anatomy

Reset Fashion Event- The Great Hall, Toronto, September 5 & 6

by Rolyn chambers
15 September 2017.

The demise of Toronto Fashion Week created a void that many eager start-ups were more than happy to fill. With one fresh thrust, the team behind this year's Re/Set, held at The Great Hall on Queen St, has inserted something fresh and firm into our collective coochies. No runways with look-at-me front row seating. No pretentious VIP only areas. No stressful behind the scenes unpaid models drama. Just fashion.

For instance the market place pop-up shop in the great room on the main floor is bustling with friendly information sharing and product promotion. It's here that you could buy an over the top bejeweled "Cab Hailer" cuff or an old Hollywood style gem crusted choker from Alan Anderson. If you're a drag queen with expensive tastes (you're gonna need more than drunk girl tips from Crews to afford these gems) his line will have you standing out in any pageant.

Typical fashion shows, those productions that we love and loathe, have been reset. Instead, models simply pose like living mannequins atop pedestals and treat everyone to select looks. And the same viewpoints. You are your own front row. Brief looks by some audience members with limited attention spans are balanced out by those who are truly interested in the clothing that is presented. I of course walk up to the models, investigate what is draped on their bodies, touch the fabric, the soft leathers, and even smell the perfume and hair products that linger in the air. Re/Set's two-day presentation was about "connecting fashion to community" so why not?
The collection of Pedram Karimi, based out of Montreal is simple, subtle, modern and sophisticated. Some call it unisex, some call it genderless, some call it gender non-conforming. I call it clothing.

"My design is a more Middle Eastern way of dress," Karimi says. "You can wear my designs as presented, but most will chose to wear them with shorts or pants underneath. Myself, I wear them with shorts. It's about pushing your presentation. Not everything is meant to be worn the way you see it on the runway. But if you are bold enough you can. It's unfortunate that we have to think in terms of gender. My style is genderless. Just because you don't wear pants, doesn't mean that you're a woman"

At the other end of the fashion gender spectrum is Christopher Bates. Well known for his modern take on the business suit, Bates mixes manly business with boyish pleasure. Business comes to us by way of luxurious fabrics that support slim suit silhouettes.

"My goal is to constantly refine the suit and make it as modern and contemporary as I feel is appropriate," Bates says. "My suits are modern, they are not super slim lapels, or wide lapels which is still preferred by some designers. It's fitted but doesn't hug the body. It's tailored so that it skims the body. I think it's quite timeless."
Pleasure comes in the form of brushed cotton blazers in eye-catching colours like royal blue and wine red. I try one on in the marketplace. It's a sample piece that has been marked down from $900 to $400. It's still a bit out of my price range (especially when I can buy a similar piece for $200 at Zara), but his line has many fans and they are snapping up his offerings like a Black Friday sale.

It will be interesting to see what happens with Re/Set next year after going through its nurturing phase, its birth a result of the death of Toronto Fashion Week.

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