Dare to Wear Love fashion show last Friday night brought together Canada's top designers for a fundraiser to benefit the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Canadian celebrities modeled the looks at Toronto's Ritz-Carlton hotel.
The annual gala was founded by one of my first fashion industry employers, Jim Searle and Chris Tyrell of Hoax Couture. Designers like Brian Bailey, Lida Baday and Linda Lundstrom (another early employer of mine) across Canada created dramatic looks inspired by the motifs and spirit of Africa. You could see traditional fabric patterns used in ballgowns or punk capes. Models styled in a twist on the traditional hair wrap.
The show itself was an uplifting display of diversity, as gorgeous men and women of all ages, shapes and ethnicity vamped it up for the cause. This also included a very pregnant Amanda Bruegel of CityTV and broadcaster/model Joanne Smith who dazzled in blonde, cheekbones and totally fierce wheelchair.
The Stephen Lewis Foundation works in many countries across Africa to fight the devastation of AIDS/HIV. This encompasses grassroots efforts in home care for orphans, the elderly, education, arts, funding over 700 initiatives with collaborators looking to help.
If you want to get involved, you can attend an event, start a group, volunteer or donate to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
Photos by George Pimentel and Taralea Cutler of Eye Contact Photography