Archive for October 2011

image: the toronto star

Ready-to-Wear. These three words have had the power to tip the scales for a designer since the very inception of the idea of  buying clothes off a rack. Some, like McQueen and Viktor & Rolf have always eschewed instantaneous wearability in favour of design bravado. Others, such as Chanel and Givenchy, put out two collections each season: one ready-to-wear, ostensibly for the racks, and the other couture – solely for the Oscars. But we’re in Toronto, not Paris. Let’s face it. Designers survive on wearability (just look at our powerhouses: Joe Fresh, Jay Manuel, Pink Tartan, and Holt Renfew). It’s just the nature of the beast and until we get more breathing room to play a little with even the thought of haute couture the closest we’ll ever get to design bravado, in and of itself, is the Korhani Rug Show.

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If at first you succeed, don’t dust yourself off and stop trying. Remember Amanda Lew Kee’s very first Fall/Winter collection debuted two years ago? What a winner. Magazines, newspapers, blogs (well, the 4 that existed back then), and fashion collectives all around Canada didn’t think twice about heralding the then teenager, Canada’s next top designer. Six months later after numerous editorials, an appearance on True Blood and just as much fame as Toronto can afford a 19 year old, Lew Kee had a packed house of salivating devotees anxiously awaiting some edgy fresh meat. She threw us sardines instead. A grecian-inspired collection left most of us lukewarm, some even confused….

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image: Brendan Adam Zwelling

Fashion Week. A time when the claws come out. Malnourished journalists will steal your lunch money; Joes leave their homes with birds perched on their shoulders in the hopes of making BlogTo “street style”; sitting on a white piece of paper with your name printed on it becomes the only thing that matters and must be regarded, at all times, as no big deal. Months of hard work culminating in 10 minutes of gloss is not the only thing going on in those three tents that inconspicuously just showed up smack in the middle of Metro Hall. Oh, the gossip. Blacklisting, Back talking, Backwash. Twitter frenemies meet for the first time and exchange business cards. Malocchio being given left, right, and centre. Oh, I’m sorry, didn’t mean to steal your interview with Jay Manuel. *fashion snicker* Someone actually had the audacity to ask me how many subscribers I had on my blog. But, actually? We were both seated in the fifth (last) row. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the last place one should be discussing numbers.

As ‘the sweetest bitch you’ll ever meet’ of the Toronto fashion scene, I try to keep a low profile amidst the madness. That’s probably why Brendan and I saunter around pretending I’m The Blonde Salad and take outfit photos. Some good, some very bad. Enjoy :)

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image: FDCC

Save the best for last – this token expression was not abjured at Arthur Mendonça. The collection began on a ‘hmmm’ and ended with an ‘ahhhhh!’ The, what I think was herring-bone, patterned daywear – modest dresses and suit blazers –  were executed a bit too perfectly to arouse any sort of unfounded approval. Ok, they’re great to wear to the office and I’m sure the type of person who wears Mendonça to the office found some key prospective acquisitions. But you know, I waited around 45 minutes in a sea of tall people, regretting not having packed the 2 ativan sublinguals I keep just-in-case I have a panic attack amidst a sea of tall people; I was banking on something more than office wear. Besides, I don’t even have a job. Or an office for that matter.

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image: Occupy the Runway; courtesy of FDCC (title, my own).

It’s been 2 years since my last shopping spree at Holts, forgive me. A rude salesperson who judged me by the drape of my sweatpants (like haven’t you read my blog – I’m OK with spending $1,000 on a winter coat) and thus refused to get me my size in the Prada jacket, which I was ready to buy, because she thought I wasn’t serious. Bitch, when it comes to fashion, I am serious.
I was also never much of a sycophant BUT I will give credit where credit is do.

Last night the fuscia pink retail monolith opened the Spring 2012 “Canada Cool”  Toronto Fashion Week with a runway show featuring eight Canadian designer brands you should know: Jeremy Laing, Smythe, Naked & Famous, TwentyCluny, Denis Gagnon, Dennis Merotto, Wings + Horns and Lida Baday. You should also know that their collections retail at, you know…

Here are my 10 favourite looks from HOLTS:

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image: Eurotrash in the Tents, Day 1, LGFW

A few months ago the lovely people at Shoppalu.com sent me an email to say “HEY!” and let me pick out some pretty little things from their site to wear to LG Fashion Week. It was hard to choose from all the delicious vintage goods but I narrowed it down to a crochet top and white Woodsward’s ballet flats. Hand delivered over Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes, I couldn’t wait to showcase these pieces! The Vancouver-Toronto team of just a bunch of it-girls selling vintage have won over  my heart.

shop vintage at Shoppalu.com HERE! 

image: Simultaneous Dress by Sonia Delaunay, 1925

The Simultaneous Dress

On her dress she wears a body.

Woman’s body is as bumpy as my skull

Glorious if you are made flesh

With Spirit

Couturiers have a foolish profession

As foolish as phrenology

My eyes are kilos weighing the sensuality of women.

All things that swell advance in depth

The stars hollow out the sky

Colours disrobe by contrast

‘On her dress she wears a body.’

Under the heather’s arm

lurk shades of lunala and pistils

When the waters swirl down the back over sea-green

shoulder blades

And the double conch of the breasts passes beneath

the bridge of the rainbow

Belly

Discs

Sun

And the perpendicular cries of colour fall on the

thighs

Sword of Saint Michael

There are hands stretching out

The drapes conceal the trick – all the eyes, all the

flourishes and all the habits of the Bal Bullier

And on the hip

The poet’s signature.

*As promised, I found the poem referenced in my review of Jean-Pierre Braganza’s runway collection at The Ritz Carlton, Toronto.

Breton Girl: Beauty will be CONVULSIVE or will not be at all. If Braganza’s show displayed traces of a 1920s sensibility then surely this Surrealist jacket/dress is the forerunner. The joke would be furthered with mismatched footwear – one foot wearing a loafer, the other in a stiletto. Why I love this look: unnoticed. It’s as though Braganza just snuck this brilliant piece into his show. But quite frankly, it’s got iconic written all over it.

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So yeah, I’m no longer a brown-blonde-caramel-orange-haired girl. Albeit the new shade noir will probably fade by the time I finish writing this post, it’s such a refreshing change. Last night I gathered with former Style Notebook crew: Brendan and Caitlin. We went to, OBVIOUSLY, Hotel Ocho on Spadina just north of Queen St. I say obviously because I don’t really go anywhere else – unless I’m at The Ossington, spinning raunchy hip hop jams as part of DJs Secret Models. This morning I opened my inbox to find two presents from Brendan: a cute photo of Caitlin and I as we hang on to each other for dear life amidst the sub-zero temperatures and what-the-fuck winds; and secondly, a photo of another skull t-shirt available at Aritzia. Not that I shop there. But I do love me a good dead face.

Happy Football Sunday! I don’t watch hockey, sorry. Did the leafs win?…’cuz one minute it was 3-2 and the next it was the Habs vs. Colorado. Just sayin’

images: Brendan Adam Zwelling

I was originally going to preface this post by saying something along the lines of “I’m so disappointed I wasn’t on Jesse Greene’s list because as a fashion blogger living in Toronto who can string two sentences together, in proper english, I should be invited to a fashion show happening in MY CITY”, but these sorts of declarations are permeated with the air of entitlement. And you know what? I’m not entitled to anything, really. So I said, fuck it, I’ll review the Greta Constantine show from my couch. If Stephen Wong and Kirk Pickersgill can wiggle-wiggle-wiggle-wiggle-wiggle-yeah their way into Toronto’s Fashion industry by going rogue – then, baby cakes, so can I.

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