White Cashmere Collection 2017

Photographer George Pimentel

On September 28th, fashion lovers and a crowd from the wedding industry gathered at the Royal Ontario Museum as they hosted the White Cashmere Collection™.

In its 14th year, Canada’s annual fashion fund-and-awareness raiser for breast cancer efforts, the White Cashmere Collection unites the softness of Cashmere with support for Canadian fashion designers and the Canadian Cancer Society.

This year, in celebration of Canada 150, the show featured 16 brilliant fashion design students from across Canada and their vision of a future without breast cancer – with a fitting twist.

All the designs, from floor-length gowns to a chic coats, are fashioned in luxuriously soft sheets of Cashmere Bathroom Tissue. Which seems like an impossible task to onlookers, especially watching the models come down the runway  in the stunning designs.

Over 150 students applied, and of the 16 designers showcased, three were chosen as the winners of scholarships to help fuel their fashion careers. We were awed by every design and didn’t envy the esteemed judges at this year’s show: Canadian fashion patron Suzanne Rogers; Leading fashion designer and Cashmere Alum David Dixon; Susan Langdon, Executive Director, Toronto Fashion Incubator; Jeff Rustia, Founder and Executive Director, Toronto Women’s Fashion Week and Toronto Men’s Fashion Week; and Lolitta Dandoy, famed Quebec blogger and breast cancer survivor.

The Winners

Chelsea Cox

Kwanten Polytechnic University’s Chelsea Cox was named the winner of the 2017 Student Design Competition and took home a $4,000 bursary. Cox use the iconic Hudson’s Bay coat as her inspiration, and used a genius combination of Cashmere bathroom tissue and clear tape (hand rolled!) to get the shinning, beaded-like effect.

“Participating in the White Cashmere Collection competition as a student has been such a spectacular experience to get innovative, explore new materials and really get inspired,”she said in a press release.

Adrian Arnieri

Ryerson University’s Adrian Arnieri strode away with the second place $2,000 prize with his modern take  on Canada’s traditional winter pick: the fur coat.

Arnieri used tissue fused to transparent vinyl to create its multi-textured look that involved layers and layers of the tissue that he ruffled, hole-punched, gathered, balled and fringed.

And coming in third place, winning $1,000, was Seneca College’s Charlotte Li.

Li pulled inspiration from history and used 63-year-old widow Annie Edson Taylor, who successfully barrelled over Niagara Falls in 1901.

Li’s muse inspired her to create the brave military “warrior” bodice that hovers over the waterfall-like cascades of her ruched and pleated lantern dress.

We loved being able to see the dresses in action on the runway, and were completely entranced with how the designers were able to make dress that were not only beautiful, but had gorgeous movement and defied exceptions – especially considering the materials used to create them.

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Brianne Cali
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