Sarah Joy Salise hopes clothing she’s designed for an upcoming fashion show will help shine light on the different kinds of farmers in Ontario and the essential role they play in their communities.
The 24-year-old Stoney Creek resident has made two outfits for the annual Revolution Wear Fashion Show taking place on Saturday, March 2 from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the former Bank of Montreal space above Jackson Square Mall.
The fashion show is a dynamic multidisciplinary event that weaves together reused, salvaged, found and secondhand materials to create a wearable (eco) art and performance experience. The show inspires and challenges the audience with creative interpretations of environmental sustainability and social justice.
This year’s Revolution Wear Fashion Show theme is The People. Each collection of designs is inspired by the actions of the Grower, the Teacher, the Edible Artisan, the Body and the Bike.
“I’ve taken two pairs of jeans and converted them into jean skirts that I’ve embroidered with images of farmers as my focus is on the Grower,” said Salise, adding the jeans also have matching tops. “What I want to show is that there are various kinds of farmers in Ontario; there are farmers who own and work on a farm, there are foreign migrant workers who work on a farm that are temporarily here in Canada for a certain period of time and then they go back to their country and so on. They all fulfill an important role in providing fresh, quality produce that is not only healthy, but also great for the environment because it’s grown locally in our backyards.”
Salise’s interest in clothing design extends back to her childhood days when she used to sketch outfits on paper.
She also was inspired by her mother’s gift for sewing while growing up.
“My mom used to make dresses with different designs for me and my younger sister. When I saw what she could do with clothing, fabric and sewing that inspired me,” Salise said. “Designing is a way to express yourself, tell a story. You show something of yourself when you’re making your own clothes.”
Salise began designing and making clothes during her third year at McMaster University, just a year after she started sewing.
Students she hung out with at the university, who all shared a similar interest in designing and making clothes, told her about the Revolution Wear Fashion Show and encouraged her to give it a try.
This is her third year participating in the show.
Salise, who also will be modeling the clothes she’s designed at the event, said the Revolution Wear Fashion Show offers different artists from the Hamilton area a chance to lend their talents in an effort to promote environmental sustainability and social awareness.
“What I like most about the show is that it combines fashion and thought,” she said. “It provides artists with the opportunity to express themselves, while also helping to inspire the audience to think about things that are going on in society.”
The 10th annual Revolution Wear Fashion Show will take place this Saturday from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the former Bank of Montreal space above Jackson Square Mall. For more information, visit www.revwear.ca.