This year at Toronto Fashion Week, David Dixon’s Gene Collection was something like he’s never shown before. There was buzz all around the audience as we waited for the first model to make her debut on the runway. All we knew was that this collection was very different and that Dixon had partnered with a leading women’s health organization (which we later found out was Ovarian Cancer Canada).
What Dixon sent down the runway was a deeply personal collection and a glimpse into what he’s been dealing with since his sister Susan passed away from Ovarian Cancer last year.
The Gene Collection was a way to launch Ovarian Cancer Canada’s campaign “Know Your Genes” which encourages women to get to know their genes better and hopefully help raise awareness about the disease.
I caught up with Dixon backstage post-show to discuss the inspiration, the creative process and the therapeutic aspect behind his Gene Collection. Check out more about the Gene Collection in my David Dixon interview below.
DAVID DIXON INTERVIEW | My backstage interview with David Dixon about his Gene Collection
THE LADY-LIKE LEOPARD: This is a collection that means a lot to you. How did it feel seeing it come to life on the runway?
DAVID DIXON: Designing this collection was almost a therapy, because I was [affected] by Ovarian cancer in late October . We wanted to talk about initiatives, about how to communicate, the messaging – and because fashion creates such a large audience of people and there’s so many impressions that we can give at a fashion show so we thought lets do it about ovarian cancer.
THE LADY-LIKE LEOPARD: The collection is quite different from your usual stuff – did you have any worries about how it was going to be received?
DAVID DIXON: I did actually because I haven’t shown in a year, so I was a bit nervous in terms of revealing it. I’m typically known for a lot of intricate fabrics [so] I thought ‘okay how am I going to put my stamp onto denim and still make it elegant and wearable’?
THE LADY-LIKE LEOPARD: Tell me more about your choice to incorporate more delicate fabrics in this collection, like the tulle, lace, etc.
DAVID DIXON: At the end of the day, I had to! Plus, to also add some interest too to the denim. I didn’t want to approach [the show] like a challenge like on Project Runway. I wanted to make the clothes wearable, approachable, and still conversational because they’re made out of denim.
THE LADY-LIKE LEOPARD: Who would be the ideal woman to wear your clothes?
DAVID DIXON: The women that I design for are very confident and very powerful women, they’re inspirational. I’ve designed clothes for CEOs, soccer moms, celebrities and everyone in between. It’s all about lifestyle and how it fits into how they live.
The best from David Dixon’s Gene Collection