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Fashion designer Adrian Wu dresses up Atwood’s In Other Worlds for the Book Lover’s Ball

Adrian Wu at Toronto Fashion Week. Photo: George Pimentel

Tonight is the Book Lover’s Ball, an annual fundraiser that brings out the tuxedos and gowns in support of the Toronto Public Library Foundation.

A formidable list of authors, including Erin Morgenstern, Lawrence Hill, Kathleen Winter, Miriam Toews, and Peter C. Newman will be mingling with guests who paid anywhere from $600 to $8,000 (for a premium corporate table) to attend the dinner and auction.

The evening will conclude with a fashion show featuring the work of six Toronto designers. Each designer was paired with a book that shares a common thread to the designer’s aesthetic or philosophy.

Quillblog spoke to 21-year-old design wunderkind Adrian Wu, who was paired with Margaret Atwood’s science-fiction essay collection, In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination (Signal/McClelland & Stewart). It’s a bright idea, considering Wu’s voluminous spring/summer 2012 collection was partly inspired by quantum physics, specifically the double-slit experiment, which deals with the behaviour of light waves and particles.

What did you think when you were approached to participate in the show?
They asked if I was comfortable being paired up with Margaret Atwood. What do you say to that? Of course, I was ecstatic. This is one of the biggest collaborations that I have done and I’m honoured to work with such a legendary icon.

Did you relate to the book?
Margaret Atwood is unconventional, and I consider my collection to be an unconventional commentary on society. She’s witty but still serious; I relate to her contradictions.

I guess you could also say I’m fascinated with inhuman qualities and fantasy. I’ve always loved X-Men.

How do you translate the essence of a book into fashion?
What I’m showing is more of a styled version of my collection, but I did alter the collection to fit the meaning of the book. It’s more feminine and less ambiguous than as it was presented at Toronto Fashion Week.