How did you get involved with the annual Cashmere Collection?
For the second year in a row, I’ve had the privilege of being Curator for the Cashmere Collection, working with all-star designers to imagine, design, and create their stunning Bathroom Tissue Couture gowns in support of the Breast Cancer cause! I’m a huge fan of Canadian fashion design, and when Cashmere approached me with this incredible opportunity – I just had to be involved!
Why the masquerade theme?
Conceived in 2019, fully five-months prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cashmere Collection Masquerade Ball theme harkens back to 16th century Venice and its iconic, showstopping ballgowns and intricate masks, forming the design inspiration for this year’s designers and their spectacular, one-of-a-kind BT Couture, fashioned in luxuriously soft sheets of Cashmere Bathroom Tissue. We knew this theme would give our all-star designers inspiration and motivation to craft stunning couture – it was purely a coincidence that 2020 would become the year of the mask! It gave us an opportunity, ironically, to celebrate how masks have emerged to a symbol of safety and health.
What are you most excited for with the 17th annual Cashmere Collection?
This year’s theme presented the opportunity for our designers to bring their dramatic vision of a future without breast cancer to life! It was especially thrilling to see this year’s Masquerade Ball theme shine, offering the opportunity for our designers to be extremely creative, fashioning not only ballgowns but their take on a traditional 16th Century Venetian masks out of bathroom tissue (BT). I have to say I’m most excited for Canadians to see these incredible designs, and we hope it inspires them to take action for the Breast Cancer cause!
What are you seeing happen with research and progress in Breast Cancer research and awareness?
As so many industries, causes and companies have experienced, the Breast Cancer cause is facing its own challenges this year. In fact, the Canadian Cancer Society has reported that the pandemic is the biggest financial challenge it has faced in its 80-year history.
For this reason, it was so important that our show go on to boost funds and awareness for this important cause. Canadians impacted by Breast Cancer still need our support, in some ways, now more than ever. Over its 17 years, The Cashmere Collection has been a proud supporter of the breast cancer cause, raising millions in funds and consistently increasing awareness of the need for funds for breast cancer research. We’re committed to continuing that goal, and hope Canadians will join us.
What have you learned as a stylist by curating the annual Cashmere Collection?
As this collection is made entirely out of luxuriously soft sheets of Cashmere Bathroom Tissue, I’ve learned that with the right team, creativity and commitment, anything can be accomplished! Despite this material being unique to work with, this year’s designers expertly manipulated Bathroom Tissue to produce gorgeous and intricate gowns.
I’m also reminded that Canada’s fashion industry is nimble, dedicated and adaptable. Covid-19 brought about its own challenges for designers – storefront closures, delays on material shipping and more – and nonetheless, these designers remained committed to the cause they care so deeply about.
What was your biggest challenge in curating a masquerade ball such as this?
Of course, this year presented a host of challenges! I think our biggest challenge, and our most essential pivot, was converting the event from an in-person runway show (which typically welcomes upwards of 250 guests) to a virtual experience. We partnered with The Social to create a digital premier, hosted by myself and by CTV’s Melissa Grelo and Tyrone Edwards. Thanks to the dedication of the team, we delivered a unique, front-row experience for viewers coast-to-coast to enjoy!
How did you decide which designers were going to be a part of this?
All of this year’s designers are veteran contributors to the Cashmere Collection, some have even participated in two or more past collections! We thought there could be no better participants to bring the elaborate Masquerade Ball theme to life, than a roster of our most talented, experienced designers, who are already well versed in manipulating bathroom tissue into gorgeous gowns! This year’s designers certainly did not disappoint, bringing features such as dramatic embroidery, intricate beading and in some cases, 7-foot wide ballgown skirts(!) – these are the details that really brought the Cashmere Collection Masquerade Ball to life and we owe it all to our talented designers.
What are more ways people can get involved?
Cashmere has two important give back initiatives active throughout the month of October. This month, twenty-five cents from the sale of every specially-marked package (up to a maximum of $35,000) goes directly towards breast cancer efforts.
Canadians are also invited to help Cashmere make a difference by taking part in Vote Couture for the Cure® at CashmereVoteCouture.com. Vote for your favourite design and Cashmere will donate $1 (to a maximum of $10,000) to the cause.