Archive for March 2010
Tuesday at the Allstream Centre has been the best day yet, and most exhausting. Eurotrash opted for her Gucci clogs, tip of the hat to Chanel for keeping them in style one more season, and only started regretting it around 7pm. Not bad for six-inch heels.
Before we discuss the shows, lets discuss the schmooze. Eurotrash started her day meeting stylist for Zoran Dobric, Chris, who asked her if she was modelling in any of the shows today – at 5’4″ with a 26″ waistline, she took that as a generous compliment! At Orange, eurotrash ran into her long-time family friend and quite frankly one of the most talented musicians in Canada, Ivana Santilli. Dressed in a draping white dress with oversized bright gold earrings and her signature lioness hair, she really gives the word diva a run for its money.
Later on eurotrash met renown fashion writer Noelly, aka Miss Sly, who disclosed the ins and outs of fashion week to her as they shared an oatmeal bar in the front row at Zoran Dobric. In between Pat McDonagh and Lundstrom, eurotrash and her editor from Mushy Pony, Emma, FINALLY met in person and it was all hugs and love. Emma was wearing a classic trench which came as no surprise because that cowgirl means business! As always, the girls from Gallery Femme have become a staple to this week’s shows and they are always so busy writing away and editing in the media lounge – how else do you think their site stays so impeccable!
Editor in Chief of Mushy Pony, Emma Farquharson
Eurotrash on the other hand can be seen taking quick naps in between shows on the comfy white couches set up in the ML (I might as well start abbreviating). One more thing, I’d like to give a shout-out to whoever is brewing the coffee in the ML: IT’S EFFING MAGIC!Tweet
Who ever thought that sitting in the front row among the city’s most hot-to-trott fashionistas was such hard work? Between refuels in the media lounge where they’ve set up rows and rows of laptops, supplied ample newspapers and magazines, kept starbucks coffee on tap and thinsensation cranberry cookies, which disappear in the first five minutes, eurotrash has been working overtime!
Yesterday’s shows ranged from ornate folklore at Gaudet, retro 50s diner rock at Jules Power and cozy warm Robarts-worthy wear at Preloved. Last night Ryerson School of Fashion tantalized the crowd with haute-couture no less and a dinner-is-served themed show. It came just at the right time, dinner time, as they set up place settings along the runway and had waiters and chefs interacting with all the modesl. I was famished but the clothes quickly satiated my appetite.
My favourite pieces from yesterdays shows include: the green pleated merino zippered vest over organza body suit, red merino suit with lace, black merino wool corset with silk chiffon at Gaudet. The entire collection reminded me of Gucci’s Fall 2008 Russian Czar glam, rich with tapestry and opulent gold touches.
At Jules Power it was all about that Hitchockian leading lady with a modern twist. Beehive hair, plaid and gorgeous pink houndstooth paired with slouch sweat pants and leopard leggings were the winning combination for Powers. Not to mention, the collection featured the most gorgeous oversized fly fishing boots just like the ones Prada made popular last fall.
Preloved was all the things I wanted to be when I was a student, staying late studying in the little cubby holes of Robarts library. For those who don’t know, Preloved recycles vintage materials to make new pieces out of something old. Their fall collection showcased soft fabrics cut in modern ways like cropped jackets and high-waisted skirts. What stood out the most for me was the colour combinations: warm pinks, lavender, navy, greys, brown and burgundy all mixed together into a quilt of lusciousness. The models donned nerdy glasses which further screamed: WEAR ME TO THE LIBRARY!
The best part about all these shows have been the SWAG – c’mon, i may be attending fashion week but i’m still an MDF at heart! At Gaudet, Powers and Preloved I managed to somehow get bumped into the front row and with the front row not only comes a good view, but swag bags! Gaudet gave me a lovely pair of homeless gloves (the ones i wear for poor circulation that people made fun of). Well, these ones are a beautifully rich olive green wool with the most intricate gold detailing, I love them already. At Preloved I got two pairs of ballet slippers made out of rich vintage wool and they are so cute and also very good for poor circulation. But I won’t be needing either of these for a while because it looks like the sun is here to stay for the rest of the week. Eurotrash on the other hand, better start refilling her cup in the media lounge if she hopes to stay awake to see it!
Sitting in Starbucks waiting to interview fashion designer, Salem Moussallam, was kind of like going on a blind date – until he walked through the door. I knew right away that the good-looking, tanned, model-like guy sporting a massive Louis Vuitton duffle, chic sunglasses, casual sweats and patent leather loafers while talking on his iPhone was definitely the mystery man I was waiting for. Yet, his playful smile and two kisses on the cheek greeting made me feel like I had known him for a thousand years. Not your average stuck-up, I-don’t-have-time-for-the-masses fashion designer, Salem wants to share his style with the whole world. In fact, after our interview, he invited me along to pick up some shoes for his upcoming show and before I knew it we were prancing around town with lots of shopping bags as people stopped him in the street to ask about his show and salesclerks from various stores called out to him as we walked through the Eaton Centre – welcome to the life of a budding fashion designer. Tired and exhausted, Salem tried to recharge us both with two huge slices of pizza from Big Slice as we talked about all things fashion and more importantly, what he was planning on wearing to his show, which would take place in two subway trains at Bay Station the following week. He wasn’t sure yet but he was certain his outfit would include a Karl Lagerfeld-inspired eye mask – I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone until after the fact. I kept my word.
When I saw him again backstage on the eve of his HIBEBE fall 2010 show, he was still sporting that playful smile in spite of last minute preparations and slow-moving models (a cause de 9-inch heels) and of course as promised, his signature eye mask.
Eurotrash: What’s your story, Salem. How did you initially become interested in designing clothes?
SM: I started out when I was 14-15 years old and basically I cam from a moderate family, they weren’t rich so they couldn’t afford designer luxury goods. This was hard for me, especially since I was attending a private highschool, everyone was rich everyone had nice clothes. Not to mention I used to be skinnier, so I used to have to tailor my clothing to fit! But it all really started with my semi-formal. My parents couldn’t afford to buy me an expensive suit so my mother, she’s a seamstress, and basically she helped me design my own suit. I picked the fabrics and designed it exactly how I wanted it – it was all black with fire engine red lapels. What’s funny is that people who used to make fun of me for my style or lack of designer fare actually complimented me when I showed up to semi-formal in my suit. Afterwards, I just built up from there, going to design school and honing my skills.
Eurotrash: Where do you get your design inspirations?
SM: My design inspirations are artist, especially musicians. I mean, the type of clothing I design, not everybody can wear it; at least, not yet. When I see a performer wearing my clothes I think it’s so cool because let’s face it, you’re not going to see someone on the street wearing lime green tights or anything eccentric. Then you take someone like Lady Gaga, she’s worn my pieces and she is a huge inspiration for me. Ciara as well and Rhianna; these artists are all big inspirations for me. Designers not too much though, because I feel as though it’s the person who wears the clothes and who get’s talked about because of what they are wearing that is most important for me as a designer. I feel like I want to make clothes for them. When you see stuff on the runway, only like 2% of people actually wear the clothes, then fashion houses have to make a commercial collection for the rest of us. Perfect example, Alexander McQueen’s underwater collection, three people wore that, so the house had to make the collection more subdued for everyone else so that it was sellable.
Eurotrash: Do you find that the same thing has occurred for you, in that you’ve had to find a balance between the ready-to-wear, sellable, commercialized aspect and the more artsy, creative and unique quality of your collections?
SM: Yes, yes, definitely. Oh my god, the past four years have been a struggle for me. I’ll tell you an experience that was very nerve wrecking for me. When I did my first ever Toronto fashion week show, we were in the tents working with L’Oreal, it was the worst experience of my entire life. I was almost in tears at points and suffering from acute stress attacks because I literally felt that my creative talent was being degraded from beautiful art to sellable, mainstream clothing. I was working with the FDCC and they would tell me that my pieces were too crazy, too out there; that no one would want to buy, let alone see, my clothing. So, wanting to be part of fashion week as badly as I did in those days, I had to tone down my entire line. As an artist, I felt that it wasn’t my collection any more, it was something so detached from me.
Eurotrash: If you had to pick someone to dress right now, who would that person be?
SM: One girl would be, she’s in the UK right now, and to me as an artist she is so real to her music. Her name is Little Boots. She is the UK pop version of Lady Gaga, but she plays her own guitar and instruments. She’s cute, bubbly and an eclectic. I mean, if I got to pick the next artist I could work with it would definitely be her.
Eurotrash: Let’s talk about Toronto, as a city that is slowly growing in terms of fashion and style, do you think people in this city are afraid to take risks when it comes to their wardrobe?
SM: Oh, yes, absolutely. People here, in Toronto, I call them fashion followers, instead of fashion leaders. Let’s take for example me and you sitting in this coffee shop right now, people around us are constantly looking at their surroundings, at other people, watching to see what they are doing, what they are wearing, in order to judge whether or not they can pull it off. For the past five years in Toronto, I used to get made fun of for my style and for the way I dressed. I’ll give you an example two of my pieces are in music videos right now. The first is Lady Gaga’s Telephone video, the back-up dancers are wearing my super, super, ripped jeans. The second is Ciara’s video, Work, they’re wearing my ripped jeans in the construction zone. Two years ago I introduced them to my collection and I had Justin Timberlake wearing them and people actually called me a bum, saying that I was homeless because of all the rips. Now people are asking me to rip their jeans. Why? Because they see all these celebrities wearing my ripped jeans; they want to follow. Last year, in fact, one of the designers from Urban Behaviour was at my show, and low and behold a year later they had knocked-off two of my skirts and were selling them in store – followers!
Eurotrash: I also find in Toronto that there isn’t a voice for trendsetters or a real outlet for fashionistas to mediate between designers and everyday people. As a fashion designer do you feel that you would benefit from a stronger presence of the sort of middle-man who isn’t working for a store or getting paid to publicize a brand, that people can go to in order to see what’s new, get ideas and style inspirations from?
SM: For me yes, because every day I see people who quite frankly, could be wearing H&M and rocking it. Then you see people wearing Dolce Gabbana and they look horrible. Everyone in Toronto is driven by you know, the Holt Renfrew aesthetic, where they blindly go into Holts and think OK, if I assemble my whole outfit from this store I’ll look good and be in style. That’s not necessarily true because as you can see, the person wearing H&M may actually rock their outfit 100 times better. That’s why I feel that the presence of someone who can set styles regardless of the designer name or the price would be beneficial to people like me, who obviously don’t sell their pieces at Holts. People in Toronto are not open to opportunity or expanding their horizons.
Eurotrash: What’s the must-have for Spring 2010?
SM: Haha! Well for me, it’s these (points to his Christian Louboutin studded, patent leather tuxedo shoes). I bought these in New York, from Louboutin’s first-ever men’s collection; I basically spent my entire spring budget on them so I’m never taking them off – look I’m even wearing them with sweatpants! I love them. But for everyone else, this spring it’s all about colour; one colour is definitely neon! A lot of designers are doing the whole neon-technology thing.
Eurotrash: What can we expect for your show?
SM: Fucked up and crazy! OK. The four colours I’m using are neon yellow, cobalt blue, black and white. The accent colours are gold and silver. One big material I’m using is elastic, like waistband elastic. I’m making jackets, dresses and vests all from elastic. With my show, I’m trying to break down barriers. Being in Toronto, it’s hard for me because I feel like I’m being judged every day based on what I wear and my style. However, I’m looking in terms of the long run and the future so I’ll take some negative criticism along the way if it gets me where I want to go.
Eurotrash: The profits from your show are going towards your project for Haiti, what are you hoping to do with the funds you raise?
SM: My project right now is that I’m trying to go to Haiti next month and I’m working with MTV and MuchMusic to get this off the ground. Basically I wanted to see what happened there and by raising money I want to make 2-3 thousand pieces of clothing to bring back with me to Haiti. I want to experience what they are experiencing right now in rebuilding the country and by doing what I can to help provide clothing for those who lost everything they had. I feel as though sometimes we don’t do enough to give back to people who aren’t as lucky as we are, so I feel like this is a good thing to get involved in.
This article is also published at www.mushypony.com
For the complete collection see Gallery page
Photography by Joseph Voci www.josephvoci.comTweet
Eurotrash usually blogs in the a.m., but a tims iced coffee (her new drink) has fuelled her to stay up just a little while longer to bring her readers the freshest of updates from Toronto’s LG Fashion Week. She really thought it best to stay home and skip the first show a cause de rain and clouds, but when she read up on IZMA, whose collection was chosen to open the week, she quickly got dressed and found herself driving down Strachan anxious to see lots and lots of fur.
Who would’ve thought Toronto was so posh? She walked into the Allstream Centre and immediately found herself on a red carpet having her picture snapped by some paparazzi (or a keener first-time photographer…whatever). The huge reception room was bustling with honestly, the best dressed people in the city, and all these kiosks handing out swag. Chandeliers, Jeanne Beker, models hired to pose and drink champagne, a swank bar with swank men popping up in all directions – what more could a eurotrash girl ask for on her first night? I have to admit, at times I was forced to remind myself that I was here for the clothes and not to gawk at impeccably dressed men who were gorgeousness and gorgeosity made flesh!
Yes, on to the clothing. Esteemed Canadian designer, Izzy Camilleri and fashion renaissance man, Adrian Mainella, are the two parts that make up IZMA. Tonight eurotrash was privy to the debut collection of Canadian wild furs and it was absolutely stunning. You know when you watch Fashion Television and the runway shows just look so glamourous you almost think to yourself: oh, it’s just like that cuz it’s on TV, it must not really be so glamourous from the front row. Hate to break it to all of you out there in denial (I certainly was – until tonight): a fashion show is actually 100 times more glamorous in real life. Every single piece looks absolutely perfect! I really don’t know how anyone could berate a collection they get to see on the runway; it could also be, though, that I am still very much a fashion show virgin. Oh how I dread the day when I’ll have something bad to say about a runway show!
My favorite pieces were the puffed-sleeve, cropped fur jacket, the kangaroo-pouch men’s fur shawl, the leather tuxedo with fur top underneath and the draped fur shawl with midriff showing and high waisted pant. The show had an overall feel of bare naked bodies, milky white porcelain and smooth chocolatey skin, and gently tousled hair contrasted by large, and at times, swaddling, fur pieces and cool crisp leather. It was like adam and eve running out into the Canadian tundra and finding not leaves, but IZMA’s fall collection with which to cover their innocence.