Is Toronto’s Fashion PACT Leaving Montreal Out in the Cold?

Spotlight
LG Fashion Week may now be underway, but the Queen City’s true pride and joy is nowhere near the FDCC runway. Torontonians may have in fact found another way to give their local fashion scene a boost, and it’s something we Montrealers may want to consider some time soon. In the GTA area, there is a group called PACT whose mission is to empower at-risk youth, with almost no government funding. Recently, they’ve put together a real-world sewing and design school called PACTFashion, and they may very well have stumbled upon the smartest trend to hit the streets of our sister city in a long time.

The group’s inaugural program is called the Prom Dress Project. Sponsored by Fabricland in partnership with The Make Den, a vintage-inspired sewing studio in Toronto, the seven-week project teaches students about design, sewing, and alterations, with the aim of completing the ultimate prom dress. The winning dress will then be presented to three pre-selected high school students who, to get their hands on this one-of-a-kind masterpiece, must first win the essay contest “why I deserve to win the prom dress.” No easy task for anyone involved in the project.

This program is not only a stroke of genius, it’s a chance to lend a helping hand while promoting the ingenuity of young, local artists.

So I wondered “why isn’t there something similar in Montreal?” Have we forgotten that we are home to world-class designers and numerous brilliant independent labels? Marie-St-Pierre, Eve Gravel, Denis Gagnon, Andy Thê-Anh, Philippe Dubuc, Naana Tennachie Yankey, Evik Asatoorian, Christiane Garant… shall I go on?

Around the world we have been known for our fashion flair, our original sense of style, and our ability to turn couture into a four-season lifestyle by making clothes and accessories out of every material imaginable. So what happened? Maybe we’ve been resting on our laurels for way too long. We seem to have been relying on past achievements and a fading reputation for effervescence and fashion-forwardness.

We are where styles converge to be reblended into creations that are characteristic of our individuality. We are a mixture of Parisian chic, Milan bling, London street, NYC comfort, and LA casual. We are unique because we do what we please, regardless of trends. We used to be the fashion capital of Canada, in case you didn’t know, so why is Toronto now getting all the goods?

Something tells me it could be because 416ers (and 905ers, of course) are out there, working hard to support their city’s relève. Isn’t it time we do the same?

You’ve been given a chance to do just that by coming here. This place is the perfect stepping stone to promote your talent and show your support to the community. It’s about fashion, it’s about Montreal and more importantly, it’s about you. Promote it, read it, live it, become it. This is for you and by you. It can’t get any better than this.

Website: PACT, PACTfashion

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