The International Fashion Festival Toronto 2012

The event had all the makings of a Bollywood film except that it was not a movie but a well-orchestrated event with beautiful women, models, designers, hair and make up stylists, and the who’s who in attendance. The heat wave continued in Toronto from July 2-8 as the International Fashion Festival Toronto 2012 (IFFT) continued to make temperatures rise. Fashionistas, socialites, social climbers, models and model wannabes, photographers, industry heads and politicians, all jostled for their place in the line up to get into the hall for this stunning show. Several local and international designers revealed their creations at the International Convention Centre in Mississauga with the grand finale featuring the breathtaking creations of Indian fashionista extraordinaire Vikram Phadnis and Lebanese renowned designer Walid Atallah’s bridal collection.

Walid Atallah made headlines all over the world with his $1.2 million bridal gown creation. I asked this very handsome, modest and approachable designer if he had brought the world famous gown to showcase here in Toronto He laughed and replied “It would have been an impossible task with all the security needed and besides as you know it is sold!”

His extensive bridal collection which displayed over 50 shades of white with scintillating Swarovski crystals and intricately beaded handicraft left the stars in the Toronto skies looking a bit dimmer than usual on this hot summer evening. Swirls and yards and yards of white organza, chiffon and expensive Swiss tulle caused a traffic jam of trains as long veils collided while models exited the runaway!

Vikram Phadnis, a frequent visitor of our city for the last 2 years, has fast become one of the favourite designers in the fashion circles of Toronto. Vikram with his trademark eye for meticulous detail, down to every last hair strand and dupatta being pinned firmly into place, was the mainstay for not only the choreography but also served as the very backbone of the entire fashion event. His collection displayed to the select audience manifested the true mark of a grand maestro; the splendour and grandeur of Indian design, traditional embroidery and embellishments brought to life with images of royalty of days gone by, yet conveying a modern touch that becomes every woman’s dream. Audible gasps and shows of appreciation from the audience punctuated each model’s entry on the ramp. Vikram truly has made his mark here in Toronto!

Of course in true Bollywood style, the event, although extremely well organized, started and ended about 2 hours late.

It was an evening jam packed with entertainment with performances by upcoming Bollywood playback singer Hamza Farukhi (Paisa Paisa from Apna Sapna Money Money, Maulah from Allah ke Bandey, to name just a few) who made the female hearts beat even faster as he included an amazing cover of  Enrique Iglesias’ “Tonight I’m lovin’ you”. To make the event even more sizzling, Caribbean carnival dancers came on to really show their moves and gymnastics putting Jagger to shame!

This truly international fashion festival, including Q&A sessions, discussions, classes and workshops with top designers from all over the globe was as good as it gets!

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