Wearable art is becoming the vehicles that showcases fine art pushing boundaries and forcing re-interpretation. Traditionally art is featured on the walls of museums, galleries and studios, its wearable artists like Amplify Apparel, a Toronto based fashion company from designer Allison Wood that is changing the tone pushing the limits of wearable art and fashion. The brand hits the runway at Fashion Art Toronto 2014 showcasing its fashion forward designs for the trend conscious individual. For more info on the show and to get tickets go to http://fashionarttoronto.ca/
Getthebuzz716: Tell me a little about your brand. Where are you from?
AMPLIFY: My fashion philosophy has always leaned towards the stand out and the extreme. Originally from Halifax Nova Scotia I moved to Toronto in 2009 to study Sculpture and Material Art and Design at the Ontario College of Art and Design. During my time in Toronto I pursued acting, modeling, dancing and burlesque. I started out making my own costumes for performances and found myself leaning towards creating mixed media accessories. In 2013 I founded Amplify Apparel. Amplify is a Toronto based fashion company specializing in experimental unisex designs. Turn up the volume with shocking designs from Amplify Apparel.
Getthebuzz716: What does fashion week Fashion Art Toronto mean to you?
AMPLIFY: To me Fashion Art Toronto is a community. It's about creative minds coming together and celebrating originality through various forms of artistic expression. From performance art to photography, epic runway shows to elaborate art installations you can find all that and more at FAT.
Getthebuzz716: How would you define your Brand?
AMPLIFY: Amplify pushes the limits of wearable art and fashion. Fashion forward designs for the trend conscious individual who wants to make a statement with their style. From start to finish a fashion show by Amplify Apparel is a dynamic piece of performance art. With a flare of the extreme and a touch of the surreal, audiences fall in love with each character from the collection.
Getthebuzz716: How long does it usually take you to construct a piece?
AMPLIFY: Depending on the piece it can take anywhere from a couple of hours to several days. Each piece is carefully hand crafted with very close attention to detail. Crystallizing birdcages and hand sewing of feathers are examples of processes that take a longer period of time but make the pieces more dynamic and give them character.
Getthebuzz716: Describe the general process you go through to design and what’s your favorite part about conceptualizing a design?
AMPLIFY: Each collection is broken down into a series of characters. My Spring/Summer 2014 collection is entitled Armor. Armor is used to protect oneself from a dangerous environment or action. With this collection I wanted to combine classic with unexpected materials to showcase the raw versus the refined. Each look encompasses high fashion glamour with a modern edge. I created characters which each represent a different side of the human psyche that is drawn to the surface depending on the challenges we are faced with in our day to day lives. Once I have decided on an overall theme and the characters I want to feature I'll work out a color scheme and figure out what types of fabrics and materials I want to use. I carry a sketch book with me everywhere so I can jot down ideas when they come to me. I'll find random inspiration in my surroundings and it's like the pieces just fall into place and a design suddenly makes sense. My favorite part about seeing my designs come together is noticing how much the final product has changed from my original concept. I'm often surprised how much the look and feel of a particular character changes as I'm adding the finishing touches.
Getthebuzz716: What matters to you most as a designer?
AMPLIFY: Most important to me is my sense of creative expression. My greatest fashion inspiration is Alexander McQueen. He said "For me, what I do is an artistic expression which is channeled through me. Fashion is just the medium.” His designs are true works of art, each collection inspired and created from his heart. This rings true for me, design is my creative outlet. Some people paint or draw, I create wearable art! With a background in Sculpture I try to make every piece in my collections a dynamic piece of art.
Getthebuzz716: What do you believe makes a quality design?
AMPLIFY: For me a quality design is something fresh and innovative. I love seeing designers create collections with unexpected materials or silhouettes. I enjoy designs that cause a reaction. If you see a collection on the runway that shocks and surprises you then the designer is doing something right in my books!
Getthebuzz716: How would you define the style your line exemplifies? *What are some of your fashion goals?
AMPLIFY: I specialize in experimental unisex designs. I would say my spring/summer 2014 collection is very edgy, vibrant and fashion forward, definitely not for the fashionably faint of heart. I would love to expand my business and carry my designs in many more stores. Eventually I hope to open my own boutique/studio where I can sell my designs and help promote other up and coming designers.
Getthebuzz716: What other experience do you have in the fashion industry (stylist, retail, marketing, etc.)?
AMPLIFY: I have been in the fashion industry for many years and have a broad range of experience. I have a background in fashion and social media marketing as well as modeling and photography. I currently work in the retail fashion industry as a stylist.
Getthebuzz716: What are your favorite patterns/materials [prints] to work with and why?
AMPLIFY: Feathers, chains and pearls are some of my most favorite materials to work with and you will see many different colors and styles of these worked into in my latest collection. I love the movement and the textures that they create. I also work quite a bit with metals and wire. My wearable sculptures are often my big show stopping pieces.
Getthebuzz716: Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
AMPLIFY: Readers can find Amplify Apparel on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. As well here is the link to my editorial fashion video to promote my S/S 2014 collection "Armor' at FAT. This video features five of the characters from my collection "The Dragon", "The Warrior", "The Queen", "The Nun" and "The Peasant".https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5ZX1flyaho