By: Sarah MacDonald –
Canadian talent came out to support Fashion Cares 25, an event that raised funds for the AIDS Committee of Toronto, which was hosted by Sir Elton John. Co-hosted with MAC Viva Glam at Toronto’s Sony Centre for Performing Arts, the night was sparklingly titled “A Night of Glitter and Light” featured local and international talent to perform, discuss and help raise awareness of HIV and AIDS.
Though Fashion Cares is celebrating its 25th year, the dazzling event was its finale.
“I’m sad that it’s the end but I know it’ll go into a new phase. That’s what Canadians do, we’re givers! And that’s what I love about being Canadian,” said Keshia Chante, who performed at Fashion Cares.
The AIDS Committee of Toronto is ending its Fashion Cares legacy but hopes that after such a blowout spectacle of performers and legends like Sir Elton John that more HIV and AIDS awareness reaches a larger Canadian audience, creating a national community against HIV and AIDS.
Other musicians like Jully Black, Serena Ryder, Jesse LaBelle, and Shawn Desman walked the red carpet before performances began.
Diamond Rings glam kid John O., who was stunning in a metallic, edgy blazer and fuchsia lips, said he hoped to feel like he was being transported to outer space during the night’s performances, which seemed appropriate with the Rocket Man at the helm.
Sir Elton John sidled on and off the red carpet quickly, being whisked away from press and snappy photographers. His performance was such a secret that other musicians hadn’t even been to any of their rehearsals.
While music was a crucial part of the evening, the fashion stole the show and rightly so. Canadian fashion journalist supreme Jeanne Beker wore a feathered boa that was beyond impressive and secretly something every girl kind of wants to have in their closet. Mega superstar model Linda Evangelista, whose uncanny ability to endlessly look like the aging process has skipped her beautiful body was regal, poised, and elegant.
Though the night was celebratory and lush in design and scope, the sober tone of its featured stars and performers brought to light the plight of the struggle against HIV and AIDS and why, even though Fashion Cares is ending its run, it is vital to keep up with the fight.
Jian Ghomeshi, host of CBC’s Q, said people living with HIV and AIDS still need the resources in the struggle to live and that knowledge of the disease is more important than ever.
“It’s about a re-education to say this hasn’t gone away,” said Ghomeshi. “This isn’t some ancient disease that is over.”
He spoke of Toronto’s philanthropic magnetism with raising awareness for HIV and AIDS and the affect Fashion Cares has had on the city.
“I remember the way this community galvanized the fashion community, the Toronto community to really speak with a collective voice. So, it’s an incredible legacy that’s left.”