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Why Awards Could Inspire Canadian Fashion

05/27/2015 06:36 EDT | Updated 05/27/2016 05:59 EDT
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Winning an award means something. For the recipient. For the public.

It changes the way we perceive someone or something.

In the Canadian fashion scene, there have been some recent efforts to use awards as way to shine a light on designers, and the specialists who make up this world.

The end goal? Awareness, hype, and giving consumers further reason to do what is done when you like something.

BUY IT.

Recently, an initiative from FASHION Magazine called the Toronto Fashion Awards highlighted local mavens. In an effort to mix the fashion and consumer world, a function was held to celebrate the best of the best from WMC Fashion Week. Categories included the Best Emerging Designer, Collection, Hair, Makeup, Model, Styling, Menswear and the coveted People's Choice for Best Show. The latter will be announced in the August issue.

We had the opportunity to sit down with some of the winners to explore how they feel these awards will affect their career and what is next. What follows are answers from Paulina Wonders (Atelier Wonder, Best Emerging Designer), Emeric Rico Tchatchoua (3.Paradis, Best Menswear) and Patrick Vimbor (Mackage, Best Stylist).

What does this win mean to you?

Paulina Wonders: It's definitely a confidence boost and a push to continue forward with my vision. I also feel like this may be the beginning of a new wave of talent and style for WMCFW, a more experimental and youthful approach, which is really exciting.

Emeric Rico Tchatchoua: It's truly an honor and we are very grateful. It's a fantastic recognition for not only us but everybody involves in the project. We couldn't have done without everybody on our innovative and imaginative team.

Patrick Vimbor: Well, I have been styling for 15 years so this confirms that I chose the right job! I truly enjoy what I do and I am always happy when other people like my work.

How do you hope it affects your short and long term career?

PW: There are definitely some effects that are already manifesting themselves. The collection gained a lot more attention and credibility. I think the momentum will be very beneficial to the future projects that I have in store as there is a certain growing interest in what Wonder has to offer.

ERT: I hope it brings more trust and exposure to 3.Paradis. We truly believe that whatever level we are on, we should be thankful where we are as artists, and what part we have in making a difference in the fashion industry. We are so grateful to be able to create beautiful clothes for a living, we basically just want to create more and more, this is what makes us happy in life.

Where can the public find your line?

PW: Our online shop on our website here. We are also working on a few local pop- up shops in Montreal and Toronto to offer a more exclusive and accessible shopping experience within the Wonder universe.

ERT: Different stores across the world such as Contraband Boutique in Toronto and Vancouver (Canada), Autograph Menswear in Birmingham (U.K.), Fame Glory in Hong Kong (H.K.), a temporary showroom in Berlin (Germany) and few more stores around the world.

What makes your line different?

PW: I don't necessarily reference trends when creating my collections. I try and develop them through a storytelling approach and I think that brings a more personal touch to my designs. I create my own prints, I even create or customize my own textiles and I think that brings a more unique look. Having an experimental and "handmade" approach is what differentiates me from others.

ERT: We come from two different corners of the world (Paris and Hong Kong) with a common artistic vision and dream of uniting and embracing all cultures and differences. Our vision is to create unique luxury street visionary style clothing while ignoring disposable trends and not compromising on ethics. 3.Paradis entails its own holy trinity, a perfect harmony between mind, body and soul so that all cultures interact peacefully and in serenity.

What are the top three trends we should look out for?

PW: Copy/Paste Street style, All over Prints, Transparency.

ERT: We just do what we like regardless of what's cool or trendy. We don't really believe in fashion trends anymore. Trends emerge overnight and disappear almost as quickly so we are just trying to always be innovative and challenge ourselves to do better than the season before.

PV: My three favorite trends for spring would be the XL mesh clothing, the ballerina inspired clothes and the monochromatic looks we saw on the runway.

Interesting points of view.

We applaud the efforts of the organizers to shine a light on the fashion world and integrate the ultimate end user. The hope is that winners do see benefits from their win and that consumers are introduced to new designers they can fall in love with. For the next awards in the fall, friendly suggestions would be to have models showcasing the collections and a market where designers and consumers can connect one on one which could encourage sales as well. Ultimately, awards do capture attention for a moment of time, but what is needed (as we all know) is year round sustaining presence. That is at retail, in editorial, and incentives to give consumers incentive to buy local, and Canadian.

As we can see, the talent is present resulting in work that people want to wear.

We just need to buy it.

Correction: A previous version of this blog mistated the name of Mackage's stylist. It is Patrick Vimbor, not Patrick Vanbar.

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