ARTWINING is a collection about change and collaboration. For years Michele Taras has been known as an internationally-acclaimed, award-winning photographer. This year, as she hits the big 50, she felt it was time for a change. Michele wanted to explore new adventures and creative outlets. In 2018 she started painting. She began photographing her paintings and using those as designs for her leggings and scarves. Taras also believes strongly in upcycling for the good of the environment, and got inspiration from Leah Evans who had been upcycling clothing already for quite some time, and began acquiring old jean jackets and painting them, or decorating them with buttons and chains.
As she is used to working in a team, (which she did so often with fashion photo shoots), and enjoyed it, she wanted to continue including collaborations. She got together with two of her designer friends, Leah Evans of Buffalo Feathers of Orangeville, Ontario and Liena Kido from Australia of Ajita Fashions. They wanted to show that they are stronger together than when they stand alone. They are a melting pot of creativity and ideas, and have formed friendships along the way. Michele sat down with Leah Evans and together they planned tops and draping that Leah would design to match Michele’s leggings and bring them from sportswear to evening wear. Liena Kido also sent Michele one of her beautiful ruffle sleeved shirts. She had asked her if she could paint on the shirt. Liena trusted her, and said “Let’s do it!” the result was absolutely magical. She had designed a stunning top that Michele would not have been able to do herself, and she let it be her canvas. Many of their outfits are inspired by Taras’s artwork, many elements of our clothing are hand painted.
Michele Taras, internationally acclaimed photographer. Winner of the Brampton Citizen Award with art acclaim. Winner of the PX3, and IPA awards, also received awards with Women in Photography International, the B&W Spider awards, the Pollux awards, Julia Margaret Cameron Awards. Exhibited in Canada, US, Brazil, France and Spain. Published in Chloe magazine, VOGUE Italia, Bride & Groom magazine, Harry Rosen magazine as well as book covers. Editor of intElegance magazine. Began painting and designing clothing in 2018.
Leah Evans of Buffalo Feathers: designer of custom leather and up-cycled clothing.
Liena Kido of Ajita Fashions: designer of bold, classy and trendy fashions. Liena recently started designing Men’s fashions in addition to Women’s fashion.