The city’s largest multi-arts fashion festival, Fashion Art Toronto (FAT), is back. After having to postpone their annual event in April, FAT is introducing a Virtual Runway Show Series. Virtual runway presentations will be broadcasted live on FAT’s Instagram every Monday and Friday evening throughout the summer. Our Faces of FAT series will take a deeper look at the designers behind the collections and their stories. 

Designer: Padina Bondar, Padina Bondar Designs

Website: www.padinabonda.com

Instagram: @padinabondar

Show time: Monday, June 29 @ 8:00 p.m. EST

SC: Tell us a bit about yourself.

PB: I’m a Toronto based fashion designer with a background in fine arts and an aspiring future in textiles. I use my work as a platform for advocating social causes, to tell stories without words and explore marginalized narratives.

SC: What inspires you?

PB: I am most inspired by cultural interactions and current events. The topics that I pursue are intersectional with an emphasis on gender equality, human rights and the health of our planet. Beyond the conceptual part of my work, I have always been inspired by the history of fashion, from ancient queens to old Hollywood glamour.

SC: Tell us the story behind this collection.

PB: The refuse collection was created as a combination of my interest in fashion and sustainability. I wanted to show my audience the potential of using recycled waste in high end pieces such as eveningwear and couture. I also wanted to celebrate beauty in every size, shape and form with a diverse range of models that were not limited by gender, ability, age, or size.

The title has 3 meanings behind it:

  1. Refuse – as a rejection the norms of the fashion industry, in search of more socially conscious alternatives.
  2. Refuse – as a reference to waste and garbage which is what the shell of all the garments in this collection are made of.
  3. Re-Fuse-asthetechnique used to melt and mold the plastic bottles and bags into new textiles and embellishments.

SC: Who or what has been a strong influence on you throughout the course of your life?

PB: My family and heritage have always influenced me on a technical and creative level, encouraging me to pursue my creative expressions, to value art, and explore emotions without boundaries. They helped me develop a deep sense of empathy by teaching me to question social and ethical norms from a young age.

SC: What’s one piece of advice you would give to a designer that’s just starting out?

PB: As designers, our job is not to follow trends but rather set them. Don’t be afraid to pursue your own unique vision and ideas. Think about the potential your work has to relate to greater causes and explore conceptual ideas as well as aesthetics and style.

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