Toronto Kids Fashion Week (TKFW) has come to Calgary! Their first fashion show in Calgary was held on April 2nd, 2022. They have been putting on shows in Toronto for the last 7 years.
TKFW gives children ages 3 to 16 the opportunity to showcase kids fashion brands from Canada and around the globe. They showcase iconic kids fashion trends and help kids fashion designers become recognized.
My daughter, Lillian (age 11), decided that she would like to be part of this amazing experience. She went through the initial audition and put in the practice to do her very best. There were weekly training sessions, rehearsals, practices, and a fitting. These were all done by professionals in their fields.
Read along as I share what it was like being in the TKFW fashion show and my daughter’s experience as she trained for this event.
Auditions were held on February 13th, 2022. Once you sent in your registration you received an email with the time and place you were to go to for the auditions. They let you know what you needed to wear and gave instructions on how to walk the catwalk. This year they also gave the opportunity to audition over zoom.
My daughter was one of the children that auditioned online. We logged into Zoom and saw 5 judges sitting in front of a huge TKFW sign. They were enthusiastic and happy to see everyone. Following a brief introduction the judges called each child by an assigned number and asked them a comforting question like, “what is your favourite animal?”. In turn, each child was asked to walk and strike a pose. The judges were kind and encouraging, making the children feel good about what they were doing.
It was fun seeing all the children audition. Some were very confident and you could tell they had done it before and others were so young and adorable. Overall it was a very positive experience.
Lillian, what is it like to audition for a fashion show?
Lillian: Before the audition I was given instructions on how to walk. Since I have never done it before I felt a little overwhelmed. When it was time for the auditions I was nervous, but then after watching others audition I got more confidence in myself. I feel like I did great.
Once you received the email saying “Congratulations! You are officially invited to join TKFW – Calgary Edition final runway show” the training began. You then received a full schedule of all the training, fittings and practices with times and dates. The first 3 training sessions were online over Zoom.
Lillian, what was it like to do the training over zoom?
Lillian: In the first few sessions we were getting into the routine of how the sessions are run and how to walk. We started each class with stretching. Then my instructor showed us the way to walk. She also showed us the poses we can and can not do. We learned that when we get to the end of the runway we do a pose of our choice for 3 slow seconds then we switch our pose and hold for another 3 seconds. When I practiced my walk I felt confident and proud.
After the 3 online practices we received an email with the name of the designer, Maison Louise Canada, who will be making the clothes Lillian was going to wear. Of course the first thing we did was look up the designer to see what the styles of the clothing was like. When we got to the fitting, no parents were allowed to go with the children because they wanted all the clothes to be a surprise at the fashion show.
Lillian, how did you feel when it was time to go to the fitting and to find out what you were going to wear?
Lillian: I was very excited to find out what I was going to wear in the fashion show. When I got there it was very busy with lots of people running around giving instructions and helping one another. When I saw my dress I was excited because I loved the colour and pattern of it. I was a bit afraid that it might be too short. I was excited to wear it in the fashion show. I loved the style.
Lillian, what were the in person practices like?
Lillian: I was happy to go do the training out of my house because I had more space and was with the other models. It was fun as we had tape on the floor marking the runway to practice on. We also had a big mirror to look at so we could see ourselves practicing our walk.
We also learned that the finale is different and we practiced it a lot. They called the walk for the finale a zipper. How it works is all the models walk down the middle of the runaway, then they separate to each side. When it is time to walk back, the person at the front right side turns to go down the middle, then the person on the left, and everyone follows while alternating sides. It was a bit confusing at first but after 2 tries we had figured it out.
The TKFW Fashion Show
I was so excited for the fashion show. I have never attended one before and with all the hard work that Lillian had put in, I knew it was going to be a great show! TKFW put on three shows, 1:00 pm, 4:00pm, and 7:00pm showcasing 15 designers altogether. This is the kind of show you dress up for. When I arrived at the show they had these great big round balloons. Some were silver and some were white. They had a TKFW backdrop where you can take pictures and feel like a star. There was also a photo booth with an astronaut and Mars. The theme of the show was space and Mars.
Once the doors opened and you entered to take your seats you could feel the excitement in the room. There were 3 big screens showing videos about TKFW. At the end of the catwalk was where the media sat with all their cameras.
The show had you clapping and cheering the whole time. The models did an amazing job! The little kids were so cute and the bigger kids focused and you could tell they were enjoying what they were doing. Between each designer’s collections they had entertainment including dancers, a young singer accompanied by a young local violinist and a band. The clothing the children were wearing was fabulous. There was sporting wear, casual wear, and there were little ones dressed to the nines in their dresses and suites. Overall it was a great show and a great night out.
Lillian, will you share your experience of the final show?
Lillian: Before the show I felt really scared and nervous. I didn’t really know what to expect which made me feel anxious.
After I checked in for the show, the first thing we did was go to the basement to get our hair and makeup done. I really liked getting my hair done by a professional. She asked me lots of questions and that kept me entertained. The whole room smelled like hairspray.
We waited in a large room with other kids from different groups. It was fun to get to know the kids and we all enjoyed the time while we talked. After that we did a really fast run through of our walk and of the ending. We went backstage to small rooms where we got changed into our clothes. After we were all ready there was more waiting.
When I was walking on the stage it was not as bright as I thought it would be and when I got to the end of the runway and posed, I felt really really good because all the work I put into this paid off. It was so fun!
After the show I felt great. I was really proud of myself and I felt all the words that describe happiness.
Lillian, was there anything about the show that surprised you?
Lillian: There were a few surprising things, like how many people came to the show, how long the runway was and how many pizza boxes they had. We got pizza after the show!
Lillian, what was your favourite part of this experience?
Lillian: My favourite part was just going on this journey. It also made me laugh when I found my mom in the audience clapping and woohooing for me.
Lillian, do you have any tips for someone thinking about trying out for TKFW?
- You will want to be patient, there are times where you just need to wait.
- You also need to be okay with being rushed
- Feel comfortable wearing tight clothes
- Be good with loud noises
Thank you TKFW for this amazing experience for my daughter and for the wonderful night out at the fashion show. If you have never attended a fashion show this is the one to go to! We hope to see TKFW again next year in Calgary.
TKFW is now accepting registration for there next show in Toronto. They will have a 3rd show in Montreal in August. Click here to find out more.
Disclosure – I did receive compensation for this post. I will always give honest opinions and all my reviews and opinions are my own.