by Marieton Pacheco, ABS-CBN News
TORONTO — The annual White Cashmere Collection, recently held in Toronto, was more than just a fashion show. It was also a fundraiser to kickstart breast cancer research and awareness month.
This year’s creations were part of a national student design competition, sponsored by one of Canada’s bathroom tissue brands.
More than 150 students from 11 schools across Canada participated, but only sixteen upcoming designers were chosen to show their work reflecting true Canadian style, in celebration of the country’s 150th birthday.
They also had to use bathroom tissue in their Couture Creations.
“The White Cashmere Student competition is really a platform to showcase a lot of young designers and to give them an opportunity to really shine on a national scale. White Cashmere, as well is for the Canadian Cancer society, a charity for breast cancer,” said Jeff Rustia, founder & director of Toronto women’s fashion week. “I love the fact that it’s not only building the future of Canadian fashion, but its also for a good case.”
Kel Dumana had a business degree and studied clothing technology in the Philippines, before coming to Canada in 2010.
He has earned a degree in fashion design from a local college in Vancouver.
Dumana says Canada 150 is the perfect platform to launch Canada’s next batch of fashion designers.
“I started in the fashion industry actually as an artist and I admired great designs in art, but I kind of wanted a kind of 3D version of it,” he said. “To be part of the top 16 finalists of the White Cashmere collection is nothing less of a victory for me. It’s definitely a great validation for my potential as a designer, and a top designer for that matter in this country, so I’m proud of myself.”
“I was inspired by the crystal trees at winter, we had this one winter when the trees became crystal, and that’s the first thing that came to my mind when I was doing this dress,” said Juwyriya Hersi, finalist of the George Brown College in Toronto.
Chelsea Cox from the Kwantlen Polytechnic University was this year’s winner, with her winter coat inspired by an iconic Canadian brand.
The White Cashmere collection was launched in 2004, and has since served as the launching pad of many top Canadian designers.