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Intersecting Art and Fashion: Artist Project x Fashion Art Toronto 2024

Written by Astrid Superstar

Collaborations with Fashion Art Toronto and the Artist Project have been frequent - this upcoming event will be the third year in a row where the event will feature a FAT-sponsored showcase. Every year, 2 designers hand-picked by FAT are given the opportunity to execute a runway show for the opening night preview of the multi-day arts celebration. 

Graphics announcing ASHES and House of Étoile as the Artist Project x Fashion Art Toronto 2024 featured designers. Created by Tess Morgan.

This time around, House of Étoile and ASHES will be the sponsored brands to kick off the festival, running from April 11-14th. Select pieces from previous Fashion Art Toronto designers will be for sale at the FAT Shop Pop Up - just a quick walk from the makeshift runway - for the duration of the event.

“ASHES and House of Etoile are incredible designers to showcase with the Artists Project because of how profoundly art and design are incorporated into what they create,” says Shira Karney, Fashion Art Toronto’s Assistant Producer. “Both brands encapsulate strong character, independence, and forceful techniques, showcasing fashion as being an oft-overlooked but powerful player in the realms of art and design.” 

Tickets for the Artist Project are available here. Read about last year’s Artist Project designers, ISECAI and LACEL, after continuing on for a sneak peek into what’s to come this time around.

Designers Julien Lacelle of LACEL (left) and Caitleen Sicat of ISECAI (right) prepare models for their Artist Project 2023 shows. Photography: Marybeth Desantos


The Artist Project, held at the Better Living Center in the heart of Toronto’s Exhibition Place, is an annual curated show comprising works of over 250 local artists. Their website boasts a “stimulating environment designed to ignite enriching conversations and foster a personal connection with art,” promising “thousands of artworks (and) large scale installations,” giving patrons the opportunity to “take home that special work that truly resonates with you.”

“We are the place that connects art lovers with art makers,” the Artist Project Purpose Statement proudly affirms. “Because we believe that how we view art is a reflection of our human experience.”

Their opening night, exclusive to Collector’s Pass holders and Opening Night Preview ticket holders, will include the Fashion Art Toronto runway as well as live DJ sets and an immersive performance by multimedia visual artist Pixel Heller


Upcycling extraordinaire ASHES uses secondhand sourced materials and textiles to design edgy, innovative garments in a variety of flavours. Their pieces are enhanced with a variety of embellishment methods to ensure a unique, timeless quality in one’s wardrobe. 

Process pics of the "IN THE AIR" collection, sourced from ASHES' Instagram.

For designer Ash Bullock, designing is joy - they reference a sort of trance-like reverie when they create. “All garments are made in [the] flow of being fully immersed in the enjoyment in the process,” they explain. A hallmark of the brand is environmental consciousness, and a strong desire to “save Mother Earth”. ASHES believes that in slowing down the pace - buying less and loving more - we can invest in pieces that become our signature. 

Their Artist Project collection, “IN THE AIR”, emphasises creating “handmade memories” through “found doilies, salvaged denim, artists’ drop cloths and upcycled clothing”. The pieces made with these materials are then elevated through various techniques including “embroidery, hand-stitching and custom dying” methods of embellishment. The primary colours featured are “shades of blue, lilac and magnolia,” light hues that serve to embody dusting off winter cobwebs in order to usher in the warmth of spring.

Giving us some insight into the creation of the collection, Ash Bullock that it building a series from secondhand, collected materials requires dedication and time. “I had been experimenting with incorporating vintage doilies into garments over the last year,” describing a serendipitous moment of being "contacted about a large amount available", knowing they had to "instantly jump on the opportunity.” 

Doily embroidery work for the "IN THE AIR" collection, sourced from ASHES' Instagram.

“This led into a deep process of spending time with hundreds of meticulously handmade items spanning over decades,” Ash continues, detailing an extensive process of “refreshing” the doilies. This was done by sorting, washing, dying, and pressing them, then “stitching (them) together to build yardage or scatter over garments”, where they would then be hand-stitched on - something Ash notes “creates a deeper appreciation for the process.” Ash describes planning a 12-look collection around this process as “truly peaceful”. 

Ash says that "IN THE AIR" is their most cohesive collection yet - and with a softer edge than their usual style - crediting this to feeling more confident in their skill, and being able to consistently build on their progress as a designer and creator.

Check out ASHES and their pieces for sale on their website.


House of Étoile (translating from French to “House of Star”) is run by self-proclaimed “experimental costume designer and fashion stylist” Prada Faraji. Prada had their first show with Fashion Art Toronto for our virtual series in 2021, when they were just 16 years old. Flashing forward to the present, Prada has truly honed their craft and found their groove with eclectic eccentricities marking their creations. Prada has always found joy tinkering with the details - using sequins and beads to embroider patches and appliqués to bring their work to the next level. 

Process pics from House of Étoile's newest collection, sourced via Instagram.

This upcoming collection for Artist Project, as they’ve teased on their Instagram, will diligently continue this pattern of growth. Prada has always used dreamy, delicate fabrics in their work (tulle, satin, etc.) but is taking the opportunity of the Artist Project showcase to truly push themselves. “I’m experimenting with new materials and concepts that I’ve always been scared to try”, they admit, posting process photos of garment construction featuring various textiles of delightfully creamy, reverie-inducing pastel shades. 

One of their most elaborate pieces that we’ll see is a chic minidress made entirely of paper origami stars, running the gamut of colour and pattern. The stars are layered over a translucent fabric, making it appear as if they are suspended in a sky all of their own. Faraji jokingly, albeit genuinely, describes this as the "most tedious piece" of their career - but we have a feeling the payoff will be worth it.

Left: The aforementioned "most tedious piece". Right: The garment used for the soon-to-be-mentioned teaser.

In a teaser announcing their participation in the Artist Project, Prada posted an up-close shot of their recent beadwork - and it’s truly in the finer features that we see their creative brilliance shine. Prada is a master of harmony in chaos - while the beads they use may be clashing shapes, sizes and colours, there is something strangely coordinated and admittedly peaceful about how they pull it all together. 

Check out Prada's work and previous collections on their website.


The FAT Shop, Fashion Art Toronto's Pop Up comprising purchasable works from a myriad of associated designers, will be present at Artist Project for the duration of the event. Opening Night ticket holders will have their first pick at the cutting edge selections from some of the FAT's most sought-after brands. The five designers who will be participating in the pop-up are avant-garde streetwear makers Suburban Deviant and LACEL, statement jewelry producers MizDragonFly and Stoned and Grounded, as well as classy business-casual label DIFFERENT

Snaps from the FAT shop at the last Artist Project, sourced from Instagram.

Haley Benoit runs the FAT shop during the shows and at year-round pop-ups like this. “There’s a lot of pride within the pop up shop because our community has so many talented artists and designers,” she says. “It’s nice that we can use our platform to showcase the talent we have. We try to show a lot of diversity and offer different items - jewellery, outerwear, streetwear, and repurposed clothing”. 

Tickets for the Artist Project 2024 are available here, with a variety of options and tiers to suit any need. We hope to see you there! 


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