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May 11th, 2018

Inspired by Project Runways’ “Unconventional Material Challenge”, Free After Three: Style Club participants will search through the archive of AGO craft and art supplies to create a garment or an accessory. Image courtesy of the artist.

Love fashion? Know a budding fashion designer or street-style icon? This spring the AGO’s Free After Three: Style Club invites budding fashion fans (ages 14–25) to participate in a hands-on artmaking series of (totally free!) workshops, infused with the creative flare of the fashion world.

The workshops are inspired by Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors – particularly, the artist’s iconic fashion style. Led by local designers, stylists and artists, Style Club workshops explore everything from styling, to alterations, vintage collecting and more. Check out our recent feature on Style Club instructor Andréa Lalonde, a visual artist and the owner of Nouveau Riche Vintage.

Vanessa Fischer, another Style Club instructor, is an award-winning costume designer and wardrobe stylist based in Toronto, working in theatre, commercials, music videos, television and film. Vanessa will be nurturing young fashion enthusiasts with a series of workshops including one where participants learn how to mix, match and clash patterns and prints. In another, a T-shirt becomes a canvas as participants stencil, cut, paint, braid, stitch or patch a blank T-shirt. And don’t miss the street-style fashion show, where fashion fans learn how to style their favourite pieces and accessories to create runway-ready looks.

Vanessa Fischer stands in a black outfit, large necklace, and printed scarf around her head against a background of various prints.

Style Club instructor, Vanessa Fischer, is an award-winning costume designer and wardrobe stylist based in Toronto. Image courtesy of the artist.

We spoke to Vanessa to learn more about why she loves fashion and is so excited about working with youth.

AGO: What makes fashion your chosen medium?
Vanessa: Fashion can be like magic. You put someone in a great outfit and they can feel amazing. Or you can find a unique piece to complement your individuality. I also love a good transformation, and fashion and costume is the perfect medium to create new worlds and stories.

AGO: What excites you about social platforms like Instagram, and how young people use them?
Vanessa: Instagram is so visual. Teenagers and people in their 20’s are collecting a portfolio of moments and images in their life that will be able to motivate them in their down time to come up with new ideas. And they can discover new people and places to inspire them to follow through on those ideas. When I first fell in love with fashion, I had to wait each week to see new runway shows on Fashion Television, or I had to wait once a month to pick up magazines, or go to the library to find images I loved. It’s a really exciting time now for fashion.

AGO:  What made you interested in teaching youth how to craft larger-than-life outfits and rock a (street-style) runway?
Vanessa: Young people are courageous in their style. Most are not afraid to take risks and express themselves or experiment in new ways with colours, styles and textures. 

AGO: What’s an easy tip everyone can use in their day-to-day styling?
Vanessa: Wear colour. It will brighten up your mood and those around you.

AGO: What story do you try to tell with your style?
Vanessa: Vintage, sci-fi, Caribbean, witchy mom.

See all FREE After Three events here, including Style Club workshops on Tuesdays, breakdancing on Wednesdays and skateboard-building on Thursdays (all take place from 4-6 pm).

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