Sunday, April 7, 2013

I Love, I Love, I Love My Calendar Girl

*This is a rather long, photo-heavy, post so you might want to get a cup of tea or coffee and make yourself comfortable...

Last week I attended the Wearable Art Fashion Show, presented by the Fashion Merchandising students from Fanshawe College.  This has been an annual event for the past four years, and proceeds go to support Itsy, an organization dedicated to assisting the parents of premature babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children's Hospital in London.

The theme of this year's show was "Calendar Girls" -  students were assigned a month of the year and had to come up with outfits using recycled materials.  The first year students designed the outfits and the second year students produced the show.  This was the first time I had attended the event, so was not able to compare it with previous years, but I thoroughly enjoyed the show, and was very impressed with the professional quality of the entire evening.  The outfits were creative and fun, the students who acted as models did a spectacular job, and the stage set up was simple but very effective.

Attendees were greeted just inside the door by Fashion Merchandising student Matthew Levesque, and his two person outfit inspired by the storm that happens when hot and cold come together. 

Some of the former preemies whose parents have been assisted by Itsy, took a turn on the runway.  The little girl in the photo above is the daughter of the founders of the organization

The former preemies had their birth weight displayed on the back of their costumes

Two year old Ethan, who weighed 2 lbs, 1 oz. at birth, was an enthusiastic, flag waving July

Each month was represented by two or more outfits.  Above is a rear view of one from January

Not surprisingly, February featured hearts and lots of red.  The theme of Calendar Girls allowed for some pinup styling in the hair and makeup - I love the hair on the model in the photo above.

A bit of Valentine's day romance on the catwalk

Most of the outfits for March incorporated green and shamrocks, so this bold blue dress with a plastic train and attached petals stood out

One of two male models (it was Calendar Girls, after all) in the show

I thought that the designer of this outfit from April did a brilliant take on the "April Showers bring May Flowers" theme.  I couldn't figure out what the top of the dress was made out of, but I'm sure it wasn't very comfortable.

This outfit, designed by Jin Kim and Eden Silverburg, incorporated paper cups, coffee filters and tissue paper.  It won second prize at the end of the evening.

May's outfits, such as the one in the photo above worn by student Evelyn Li, were heavy on the flower motif.

This outfit, designed by Marisa Lavazzi and Cora Bartlett, took first prize

This detail shot shows the astonishing number of origami flowers used to create the skirt

I loved this 60's style dress from June

Another fun dress from June

 June also included a couple of wedding dresses

What the modern, eco-conscious bride will be wearing this year, complete with leggings

The designers for July used a lot of red and white, in a nod to Canada Day

the materials used in this dress were an obvious tribute to the unofficial beverage of summer

Who knew you could make a top from Kool-Aid packaging?

This dress evoked memories of Midway food at the Western Fair

I actually thought the skirt was covered in popcorn until I got a closer look.  I wonder how many hours went into rolling those little tissue paper balls?

September looked very sad at having to go back to school, even if she did get to wear an adorable apple cap

October made a fierce statement, complete with spider web-print cape

I was quite enamoured with November's sleeves and feathered over-skirt

 Third prize went to Meghan Patane for her Poppy dress.  She had used leftover poppies from the Canadian Legion for a velvet-like texture and eye-popping colour

December brought ice and snow

...and of course, Christmas

The model definitely knew how to work that dress and despite the awkwardness of wearing plastic, christmas balls, and a load of fake pine branches, she looked gorgeous

There really wasn't much in the way of interesting style off the runway.  I did like this Egyptian-themed tattoo

On my way out I took this over-exposed shot of this woman in her funky scarf and embroidered skirt.  My apologies to her, as she was definitely not that washed-out in real life.

Kudos to the students in the Fashion Merchanding Program at Fanshawe for putting on an entertaining and impressively professional show, and for having raised close to $20,000 for Itsy in the five years they have been hosting this event.  I will definitely put it on my calendar for next year.


  1. Fabulous colours and fantastic designs. Love the origami flowers and the 'popcorn' skirt

  2. Cool fashion show! That Egyptian tattoo is fantastic!
    Becky :)

  3. The top of the April dress looks like plastic spoons to me, without their handles. I could be wrong, of course! That poppy dress is amazing!

    1. it was indeed plastic spoon tops

  4. how creative, it's fun to use odd things to make clothing out of. Some costume design programs have that as a class project. It gets students to think outside the box.

  5. wow what a great show. some great outfits there. thanks for sharing. i loved it. lucyx

  6. Wow! And I thought the costumes in Priscilla, Queen on The Desert musical were spectacular! Fantastic photos and amazing creations! x

  7. there are some spectacular and wonderfully made costumes here, loads of talented designers! xxx

  8. Ha, there's a strip joint here called Calendar Girls!!!

    Love all this creativity! The one that took second prize is my fave. Amazing what you can do with some imagination, motivation and a pile of stuff!
    That Egyptian themed tattoo is AMAZING!

  9. What amazing creations! The poppy dress is fabulous. As always, your photos are brilliant, Shelley, and capture the vibe of the event perfectly. Love all the pin-up styling. xxxx

  10. Wow - I LOVE this fabulous event! I especially love February, May and July - and the little preemies all grown up and big are so gorgeous!

    Sarah xxx

  11. Christmas, yup. I'd wear those pine branches. I love that outfit. And the storm at the door. But only if I got to carry a squirt gun. Well done to all those models who wore these creations so carefully and artfully, to the designers for their imaginations, and the second years' for their organization skills. And what a great cause and fun evening. Thanks, Shelley!

  12. Photo heavy by you is a very good thing. Very creative and colorful show, all done for a worthy cause.

  13. Love this post. Looks so fun and creative!!!!

  14. Awesome event Shelley and some imagination they have!

    Big hugs


  15. I totally enjoyed seeing all the hard work and creativity of these kids! This is awesome!

  16. Hi this is Matthew from the cloud picture above! :)Thank you for featuring us in your blog! The lady in your last picture, is the program co-ordinator, Wella Nolan!