Smirnoff 2001 Canadian Fashion Awards - Urban Fusion


2001’s Smirnoff Fashion Awards went off with a little more hype as Toronto gears up to host the Worlds on the fall. Riding high with Canadian, Pao Lim winning last years competition, and outstanding presentations of late from our more celebrated designers, it appears we are poised to make a lasting impression on the world stage.

A star studded voting panel that included Roots head designer Tu Ly selected from 15 finalists across the country. Over the last few years there has been a dominating presence from Montreal designers and really establishes this city as the hotbed for young talent. The finalists were asked to design two outfits that fused elements from the urban street, its beauty, ugliness, and vibrations of culture and style. This year there would be no requirements for ready to wear vs. haute couture.

Strong contributions from Milan Tanedjikovs (Ecole Superieure De Mode De Montreal) hooded outerwear with yellow caution markings and street savvy denims along with Thi Tram Vos (L Ecole Superieure) more elaborate sprawling red shawl and bold blue caterpillar collared gown. However it was Annie Di Lalla (La Salle College) who championed the look of the street with sharp lines, lamb leather waistbands, and a spider webbed shoulder shawl that would protect you from all its harsh realities.

Protection is only one perspective that Di Lalla views as street wise, an affection for the city holds true as well

“urban fusion is a product of how I commute. I live on the south shore of Montreal; I see the skyline when coming in on the Jacques-Cartier and the concrete environment that is downtown.”

Minimidimaxi caught up with this years winner at the Formula 1 Grand Prix Race in Montreal where a number of fashion shows were being held as part of this much loved and roaring weekend. It quickly became evident that Di Lalla appreciates the influence of the street;

“its good to have fashions on the street, that’s where they belong”. Her designs contain architectural elements, not entirely attributed to the urban fusion mandate, “my father is an architect, it must be in the blood”.

Although Toronto has been performing well on the fashion scene and with a successful string of Smirnoff Fashion Awards, we still can take a chapter from Montreal on creating buzz and a more open street level environment. “The fashion events in Montreal during the Grand Prix weekend were extremely timely states” Di Lalla, “with all the Europeans in town; there is a cultural exchange and opportunities for international recognition”. A distinction that Di Lalla and other designers from around the world will be vying for when the worlds come here in the fall.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer