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On Saturday 17, 2018, Real Lyfe Clothing hosted a Winter Wonderland fashion show. The event took place at the Dream Palace Banquet Hall and Restaurant in Vaughan, and it was organized by the Loyal Entertainment Group. Thirteen independent designers from the Toronto region were invited to participate and showcase their talents to win a grand prize of $1,000 for the best designs.

The night started off with a short cocktail hour, followed by the show with the first designer of the night, African Mirror. The other designers included Lesia Cole, Shyyz, LoveLeeDesigns, Topaz Couture Designs, Chantille Eaton, Family Over Everything, Beauty Box Apparel, AndreasDresses, AgesBlao, EKAJ, Diseiye and SexforSaints, an independent clothing brand from Montreal. Each collection was unique and extremely eye-catching with their own twist. The up and coming designers showcased their talents through their intricate designs, proving the great deal of hard work and dedication they put into their collection.

Additionally, the show held live performances during intermissions to keep the audience engaged and entertained. Musicians Tracy Mae and Raven J blessed our ears with their voices for the show.

In spite of the amazing collections showcased, the winner of the $1,000 grand prize was EKAJ Clothing. Ray Jack Carino was born in the Philippines and moved to Canada at the age of seven. He started EKAJ about two years ago owing to his love for pageantry and women’s fashion. His brand specializes in unique luxury gowns that are custom-designed to fit your body like a glove. Ray has perfected the pageant aesthetic which builds confidence and empowers women.  According to Ray, every woman deserves to feel like a powerful princess, and he is here to ensure we look fashionable during that process.

Off the Runway fashion show was a very diverse event from designers to models and the audience. It was a refreshing sight where anyone despite their gender identity, ethnicity, and skin colour were embraced and included to be a part of the expanding Canadian fashion industry by supporting independent homegrown designers.

Images from Ray Ekaj/Facebook and Emerge Magazine

Written by Bow Greenwood

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