Designer on the rise: Mark Fast


“My clients, well those are the type of women who wear my clothes,” Canadian-born, UK-based designer Mark Fast tells me of his decision to add three “plus-size” models to his Spring 2010 show, when we meet at a blank slate sort of studio in the west end of Toronto last Friday. The soft-spoken Fast, who studied at Central Saint Martin’s, stirred up quite the controversy at last fall’s London Fashion Week with such a choice. “I didn’t expect [all the attention.] But I have a good team who helped me get ready for all that. And we got such amazing fan mail, hundreds of emails.”

The idea, though not calculated, was certainly not a bad one, considering all the attention it garnered during what happened to be LFW’s 25th anniversary. “Pressure!?” Fast laughed when asked about showing at such a major event. “There were such high expectations being a part of that season. It went very well, though. And me missing my summer holidays to work was well worth it.”

Of his current hometown, the one that helped make him a notable fashion name, Fast admits to the possibility of eventually moving his label elsewhere. “London is very multicultural, in it’s artists and photographers. And it’s a central place for a lot of magazines. Doesn’t mean I’ll stay there… It’s good to be there, but there are other places as well.”

For someone so new to the biz, he has already cultivated some amazing friendships. Fast helped create some exquisite heels with shoe guru Christian Louboutin for his spring show and even went to see where all the stiletto magic happens last year. “I went to his factory in Milan, and it was like Santa’s workshop. I saw all these python heels on a conveyor belt, like something out of Edward Scissorhands. All those beautiful shoes.”

The designer, who finally has some time off and is spending Christmas in Turks & Caicos, admits to being inspired by film (his favourite era is the 1990’s) and is also a fan of everything Tim Burton (he recently went to the MOMA in New York City to see the filmmaker’s current exhibit).

Looking forward to Fall 2010, Fast is thinking “colour! And Dmitri Chiparus. He made the most beautiful sculptures I’ve ever seen. I’ve always wanted to do a collection based on his work.”

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