19 march 2013

Toronto Fashion Week starts with Izzy Camilleri


CP photo/Chris Young
Modelling a creation from MIZ by Izzy Camilleri on the runway during Toronto Fashion Week on Monday, March 18, 2013

Izzy Camilleri must be getting accustomed to firsts; she’s the first fashion designer to create clothing lines for both men and women who are seated; as in wheelchairs. 

The line, called IZ, features Camilleri’s adaptive clothing and it is improving lives around the world, providing comfort and style.  The modified designs include fashion forward fabrics, and cuts in everything from outerwear to bridal and evening wear, that allow for the backs and seats of chairs, as well as the wheels at the side.   

You may have caught a glimpse of Izzy Camilleri’s work in the movie, The Devil Wears Prada?  That generously fur-trimmed coat Meryl Streep throws over the desk in her first terrifying entrance was an Izzy Camilleri original.  For several years the Toronto designer serviced the film industry by coming to the aid of costume designers on shoots in the city.  Izzy Camilleri would help designers find what they needed, or provide duplicates if necessary, or help out with period pieces and accessories. 

But it was from her work on the IZ line, that her new MIZ Collection was born.  And last night, in the new and sleeker version of Toronto Fashion Week, now produced by IMG Canada, Izzy Camilleri’s latest line was the debut show on the runway.

In perhaps another first, Izzy Camilleri said she got to thinking about the baby boomer generation, and the boomer woman who might be suffering a little arthritis in her fingers, or the woman who might be in the early stages of MS, or perhaps has suffered a mild stroke.  Knowing these women still want good clothing that feels great she set about creating.  As a result, most of the closures are magnetic, waistlines are a little more generous, but the fit is chic and elegant.

Izzy Camilleri’s MIZ Collection features leather and fur details.  She acknowledges that some people may be uncomfortable with these choices, leather as well as fur, but she says she loves the texture and feeling of real fur.  She says she has spent a lot of time investigating the fur industry and points out that it is much better, and more sustainable for the environment than fake fur, for example.

Izzy Camilleri is allowing herself a little time to bask in the great reviews today. She’s happy to hear that people are applauding her decision to include two women in their 60’s as models. But tomorrow the work begins in getting the MIZ Collection into the stores where women can try these unique designs on, for themselves.

The World MasterCard Toronto Fashion Week continues until Friday March 22nd.

Carmel Kilkenny talks to Izzy Camilleri about her work and her inspiration.
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