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My, Is That Group of Seven You're Wearing?

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Toronto photographer Yuri Dojc's take on Group of Seven inspired fashion

Back in the early 70s, Ryerson Polytechnical Institute was Canada's incubator for the practical arts: journalism, radio, television, layout, design, fashion, theatre and photography.

And while each discipline was taught in a different silo at the downtown Toronto campus, there was convergence at one place -- The weekly Eyeopener newspaper. I was self-proclaimed poetry editor. Christie Blatchford, Rosie DiManno, Paul Patterson, Dawna Lee Aprile and a host of others wrote amazing news-busting feature stories. It was the student paper in the country and it was the supreme social moment for the volunteer writers, designers, illustrations and photographers of Rye High.

I can't remember anything I wrote, but I do remember the photographs. They were outstanding -- cutting edge. None more so than those that came from the camera of Yuri Dojc. He was our photo editor when I was at the Eyeopener. Aside from trying to talk us all into posing in the nude, he didn't speak much English then, so, he made his camera do his talking for him. His covers were works of art, clipped out and taped to the inside of lockers that lined the halls of the Quad.

I haven't seem him in a long long time. The gallery at the end of my street that carried his art has closed. My Dojc cover clips have faded and curled but still have a treasured spot in my Ryerson trunk. He is still making great art. Yes, and some of that art involves nudes.

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D'Arcy Moses sketch for Gala

I was a little surprised when I volunteered to help with the promotion of a June 16 gala for the McMichael Canadian Art Collection to find out that Yuri has supplied images for the self-billed Spiritual Home Group of Seven. Well it turns out that the Fashion as Art: Exposed! is a fundraising gala for the McMichael, and Yuri's photograph is gracing the evening's printed programme. It is a new era in Kleinburg, Ontario and Dojc photography is leading the charge.

Fashion as Art: Exposed! celebrates the fusion of art and fashion with some of Canada's leading fashion designers, artists and celebrities, including a private viewing of the cutting edge Fashionality: Dress and Identity in Contemporary Canadian Art exhibition with noted curator and fashion theorist, Julia Pine.

The event is proudly being hosted by internationally renowned fashion personality Jeanne Beker. This unique evening provides guests the perfect combination of thought-provoking art and unique Canadian fashion.

"I am thrilled to participate and support this incredible celebration of two of my greatest passions: fashion and art. Innovative fashion trends and art techniques have, and will continue to evolve over the years, however, both mediums are timeless with respect to their influence and impact reflected and presented in every culture worldwide. This unique collaboration of exceptional Canadian talent is an avant garde symbiosis that will portray fashion as art in an entirely new perspective to contemplate and enjoy," says Beker.

Fashionistas, recognized industry crème de la crème, and art lovers alike will be treated to a glamorous, red carpet evening filled with innovative design, gourmet cuisine and fabulous music. The "Group of Seven Fashion Designers" for the evening are; Joeffer Caoc, Comrags, Greta Constantine, David Dixon, Thien Le, Lucian Matis, and D'Arcy Moses.

Art will prevail through every detail of the evening, including provocative décor, cuisine by Via Allegro and entertainment from DJ Bellosound and Dr. Draw, and a live body-painting art performance by Toronto artist, JessGo.