David Dixon’s Fashion Show Channels Strength and Courage

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“How we dress is a reflection of how we are feeling” David Dixon

David Dixon, with 23 years of experience in the fashion industry, is not only a fashion icon, but also very humble. At his recent show at Toronto Women’s Fashion Week, Dixon shared a moving and short video about his recent inspiration. In this video, Dixon introduces us to Dr. John Semple, a world-renowned breast cancer surgeon in Toronto, and acclaimed artist who has influenced his recent collection. David Dixon’s show channels strength and courage and is an inpriation for women everywhere.

Combining fashion with a charitable cause

David Dixon together with Dr. Semple, have initiated a fundraising campaign to raise money for cancer research at Women’s College Hospital.  By using the colour palette from Dr. Semple’s paintings and reproducing the colour scheme into the fabrics of a scarf, it is a piece that women can proudly wear during their journey. Dixon is able to create an awareness about cancer through art and fashion. Thus, embracing women’s strength and resiliency, while raising money for something that has touched us all.

His empathy and reasoning behind his collection sets him apart from any other designer, and he can truly be classified as an artist.  This show tells a highly relatable story. The audience feels as though Dixon is talking directly to them by including us in the journey, fashion and art.

Using the same colour scheme as the watercolour paintings, the models cascade down the runway in breathtaking flowy fabrics. Dixon creates a memorable collection that is stunning yet comfortable for women. He understands women take care of everyone around them. He wants to give back with the understanding that women should feel a sense of ease and have tranquility when dressing. His collection of clean lines with beautiful appliques is elegant with the simplicity of design.

By connecting with women around the world, it is clear that David Dixon loves what he does.

We were so touched by this meaningful story and everything that this show represents. So, we were really excited to sit down with David Dixon and Dr. Semple. We chatted with them for a personal interview to talk about this inspiration, collaboration and his advice for new designers everywhere.

Interview with David Dixon and Dr. John Semple

Q. How did the two you come together and why did you feel that this was the right time to do something like this?

A. For me as a designer, I always try to do runway shows that have sort of a narrative and this one was particularly important to me because I was working with Dr. John Semple and Women’s College Hospital and trying to create an awareness about cancer through fashion. {Dr. Semple} was the source of the inspiration with his water color painting and he’s one of the top surgeons in the country for dealing with women who have cancer issues, so that passion of his came through the painting for me when I saw it. Because we only spoke before hand, we didn’t actually meet. He didn’t show me the painting personally, so someone showed me the painting and it was like “ok I get him. I understand what he needs to say, how I need to approach this collection”.

Q: {To Dr. Semple} What a remarkable opportunity for you as doctor to be able to take your passion and bring it into the world of fashion and touch so many women’s lives in such a different way, it’s really incredible. {To David Dixon} And for you, as you have said, Cancer has affected your family, as unfortunately it has affected so many women and families. Lisa and I both have had it affect our families. What a remarkable collaboration this is for us to have seen and be a part of this evening. How does the line help the hospital, and how can women get involved to purchase these items?

A. What we’ve sort of collaborated on was how do we make the collection available on a larger scale and we came up with the idea of the scarf. Which embodied the wrapping around of the whole hospital environment. The hospital is incredible, the people who work there, the hands that are touched there. We wanted as many people as possible to get ahold of the scarf. And so that is the awareness program. So it came down to yes, we designed the collection. And yes there is an after piece, a take away piece from the collection, that being the scarf.

Q: In terms of a designer, what was one piece of advice that you received that has always stuck with you?

A. One of the strongest things that someone told me was ‘listen to your gut, follow what you believe in and stick to your own path.’ We are inundated with so many people saying we should do this, or we should do that. But sometimes when we have too may things being thrown at us, our voices get a little bit drowned. So, the whole idea is to keep your focus, but change it up sometimes.

From Women’s College Hospital:

Proceeds from the scarf will support the highest priority needs of WCH. That includes the new Peter Gilgan Centre for Women’s Cancers – an innovative new partnership between WCH and the Canadian Cancer Society with a vision to transform care for women’s cancers across Canada. Scarves are available for purchase at www.womenforwomens.ca

Photographs courtesy of Ming Siu

Meet the Author | SavvySassyMoms

The Savvy Sassy Moms are professional educators and mothers with more than 30 years of educating experience and over 20 years of combined parenting experience between them. With a true passion for engaging with moms and sharing their bright and relatable savvy and sassy know-how, they bring current and exciting content to Savvy Sassy Moms for all stages of motherhood as well as help and guidance for all the in-betweens! Connect with Savvy Sassy Moms on Instagram

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