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Toronto Fashion Week Day One: Amputee Runner Amy Winters Wows at VAWK

Vawk 1World Mastercard Fashion Week is officially underway, having kicked off last night’s celebration with a headlining show from Sunny Fong of VAWK. Returning to Toronto with a highly anticipated Fall 2014 collection entitled “1,001 Nights,” Fong, a Project Runway Canada winner, was able to draw a real crowd of movers and shakers at last night’s show, with Jeanne Becker and Elisha Cuthbert both occupying the front row. As a Happy Endings fan, I totally gushed over Cuthbert, but notwithstanding the A-list presence, most fashion-goers appeared enthralled by Amy Winters’ catwalk debut.

The ultramarathon runner, who lost her left leg after a 1994 motorcycle accident, made her appearance midway through the show wearing a uniquely designed and blinged-out prosthetic leg by Alberta-based company Alleles. The eye-catching, Canadian-made accessory perfectly complemented her sleek black fit-and-flare dress as the audience whooped and clapped at her appearance.

Fong has always made an effort to ensure models of all shapes and sizes are represented at his shows, but Winters' debut was a real anomaly and turning point in the acceptance of real women. “It's actually quite part of the collection – more so than just saying, ‘Let's use your thing, and try to make it work,’” Fong told BlogTO in advance of the show last week. "Any other season, I don't think it would have worked."

What made this season so unique? Perhaps it was the collision of classical and modern, blended with the luxury of Dubai and the organic style of 90s street fashion. Pleating, metallic and animal textures featured prominently, while the minimalist matte black canvas was broken only by cut-outs exposing models' skin. He had me at “90s street fashion,” but I think few could have walked away without being wowed by last night’s pioneering spectacle.

Image via WMFCW/George Pimentel/Getty Images