Television personality Lisa Canning will host Pure Exposure on August 20th.

Television personality Lisa Canning will host Pure Exposure on August 20th.

At a time when the affronts to life at every stage are enough to leave one’s head spinning, a group of summer interns at Campaign Life Coalition, the political arm of the Canadian pro-life movement, has decided to put its energies into hosting an uplifting charity event for all ages: a fashion show celebrating the dignity of each human life. All proceeds from the show are set to go towards women and new mothers in need of assistance in the Toronto area.

“The idea for Pure Exposure 2009 was floating around in many of our heads and, when we started dreaming about pulling it off, we realized it was actually feasible,” says Melissa Vasquez, 21, one of the members of the show’s organizing committee. “Before we knew it, the contacts were coming out of the woodwork. It’s amazing how many professionals find our mission worthy of pro-bono support!”

The fashion show’s organizing committee has set August 20 as the date for Pure Exposure’s Toronto debut at Woodbine Banquet and Convention Hall near the airport.

The committee has developed a mission statement in an attempt to classify the need for dressing in such a way as to be consistent with the dignity of the human person. The statement reads: “Pure Exposure is at once a fashion show, as well as a celebration of the gift of each individual life. We recognize that each person brings with them a world of talents and that by their mere existence, they add infinite value to the fabric of our society. True fashion, therefore, as an individual choice should, by its very nature, adorn the body in accordance to its worth, but also, by necessity, it must testify to the inestimable value and beauty of the human person.”

The event will be hosted by Toronto designer and TV personality Lisa Canning and will include intermittent talks on modesty in dress, self-worth and how one can remain true to oneself while remaining relevant in the midst of today’s “anything goes” fashion trends.

A 2007 Ryerson graduate, and recently a featured designer on HGTV’s Marriage Under Construction, Canning completed her fashion design honours thesis on modesty and how it actually reveals true femininity. After her undergraduate studies, she began speaking in order to enlighten young women to the fact that they need not “bare it all” to adhere to the latest fashion trends.

“I believe that there is a massive appeal in dressing modestly. Unfortunately, this seems to be the fashion industry’s best-kept secret, but many are working to change that,” said Canning. “Most of the people with whom I graduated are now in high places in the fashion world actually creating the trends. Many of these people, instead of raising their eyebrows at my thesis topic, were instead intrigued. We need to reconsider our own standards.”

The clothing featured in the fashion show will have been carefully selected from the fall lines of popular Toronto clothing stores to emphasize the idea that modesty need not be equated with expensive, “ultra-conservative” or even rare. The message the organizers say they hope to drive home is that respecting oneself is always in season. The show will also feature clothing from several local independent designers.

For more information on the 2009 Pure Exposure Fashion Show, contact Campaign Life Coalition at (416) 204-9749.

A version of this article originally appeared July 2 at and is reprinted with permission.