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Fanshawe alumna enters Cashmere Collection show

Fanshawe alumna enters Cashmere Collection show


Sarah Haunts' design for the 2019 Cashmere Collection show is inspired by Zac Posen.

Angela McInnes | Interrobang | News | September 6th, 2019

A Fanshawe fashion design program grad is showing her softer side to help raise awareness for breast cancer.

Oakville-based designer Sarah Haunts, 27, will see her original work featured on the runway of the 16th annual Cashmere Collection fashion show, taking place in Toronto at the end of September. As a kickoff to Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the show famously features couture dress designs made almost entirely from Cashmere bathroom tissue.

Haunts joins the ranks of over 195 Canadian designers who have contributed to the show to date.

“It’s almost like a tissue that you would use as gift wrap, but the texture is very soft, so it’s very delicate like tissue paper,” Haunts said of the unusual fabric. “So obviously in the design process I had to take into account the material and how delicate it was and what I could achieve with it, but I think it ended up lending itself well to the design.”

In accordance with this year’s theme, Legends of Fashion, the show’s designers were instructed to incorporate inspiration from their own favourite fashion designer. Haunts chose Zac Posen.

“I just love his aesthetic,” she said. “He does a lot of red-carpet stuff, and it’s always very dramatic, bold silhouettes, but at the same time they’re always flattering to the person wearing it.”

Haunts graduated Fanshawe’s fashion design program in 2013. In 2015 she began designing under her own label, Haunts Fashion, where she focuses on her own line of custom work of women’s wear for special occasions.

While Haunts has previously taken part in shows like Fashion Art Toronto, she said it can be hard to get noticed in the competitive industry. For her, being approached to do the Cashmere Show was a unique opportunity to obtain exposure while trying something new.

“I’d never really done a design challenge where I’m using a material that isn’t fabric,” she said.

Haunts created a tiered skirt for the gown of her design. She separated the tiers into layers, which she said was easy to achieve using the multi-ply tissue.

The show’s stipulation was that the design be 90 to 95 per cent visibly bathroom tissue from the outside. Haunts was able to use a stretch-cotton material underneath the gown to stabilize it.

“I was pleased with it at the end for sure,” she said. “It was interesting to play with that material.”

Over 100 designs will appear on the runway of Toronto’s Globe and Mail Centre on Sept. 25. The invitation-only event promotes Cashmere’s fundraising efforts for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. According to, 25 cents from the sale of every specially marked package will go towards the cause.

“The more support and the more funds that can be raised for that cause, the better,” Haunts said. “I’m really happy to be a part of it.”

To learn more about Haunts, go to
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