Tuesday, October 25, 2011
The last day of fashion week was manic. I skipped Thursday altogether missing Bustle (my apologies to Sean and Ruth) as I was so sick and beyond exhausted. holding a handy cam and running back and forth to cover shows and be in shows is no easy feat.
I needed to be well rested for my Cydelic by Choryin show in the STUDIO Runway Room. This Collection was by far one of the most inspirational as no other designer, I thought, made Couture so Ready-to-Wear.
I was opening and closing the show which again should never be the case when a girl has no agency to even score a gig like that for her. But Choryin and I have been great buddies since we met earlier this year at his soft Launch at C- Lounge. I have always loved how much support his friends gave him and how much he has grown as a young designer now being housed by the biggest Fashion Production House and Factory in Canada, Seven Continents.
This Collection was inspired by Aliens and a hostel takeover of luxury bags that he also debuted in this collection. He opened the show with a fashion video that I had the pleasure of being featured in to demo key pieces of his collection in a Cydelic style that cannot be disputed.
Me backstage getting ready for Pink Tartan in a major Rush
The Pink Tartan Show was definitely a hot ticket this year. With the usual 2 hour wait for guest seating and the media rush to capture a shot of Kimberley Newport-Mimran, the President and Head Designer of Pink Tartan, smooching with her lovely husband and President and Creator of Joe Fresh Joe Mimran, this was a going to definitely be a bigger show than ever.
I wasn't supposed to even do Fashion Week, so when I decided to sniff out the Pink Tartan casting, I was sure it was going to be a long shot for me to get picked. After all, Pink Tartan is not only a hot ticket to watch, its one of the most prestigious shows for a Toronto model to walk in.
I thought, "what the heck, all they can do is say no, right?" as I walked into the head office on Bedford Street, Kim and her Stylist, Jairo Betancur, we sitting their and greeted me and all the models so warmly as we walked for them during the audition. When it came up to my turn, it took them a moment to realise it was even me with the blond hair and all. But of course, with a collection of wigs in hand always, and having worked with both Kim and Jairo for Escada, they knew I came prepared.
We bantered a bit about when I walked for her 5 years ago and how she always loved my walk. coming from Kim herself, this was the most amazing compliment a model can get, especially one like me who funny enough, cant get an agency. LOL! Needless to say, the agency deal was the least of their concern.
By the following week I was shooting video of the fitting and getting wiggy with it in my gorgeous orange number for the show.
After the show I bumped in the fabulous Jay Manuel while he was prepping for his second season of ATTITUDE by Jay Manuel for Sears. He was so crazy running back and forth talking to the L'oreal hair team and taking pictures and even surrounded by supermodels from all corners like: Heather Marks, Yasmin Warsame, and new to the Vlog scene the famous Stacie Mackenzie wearing her fabulous Izzy Camilleri number matching Jay sharply dressed in what I am sure was an Italian suit.
Jay Manuel and Me rapping backstage before his show EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW HERE from Reel2Runway for www.yourkloset.com
The Divas were all around him as he squeezes a moment just for me and Reel2Runway to tell us the inspiration behind his collection this season, followed by "Girl, why were you not at my casting?" We laughed and shared a great New York moment. I missed Ms. June Ambrose and her fashion chic turbans. But Jay looked like he had it all under control.
Friday, October 21, 2011
My first season doing Double duty as not just a model but also as a fashion blogger ( now ready to openly admit it) I was so excited when I was invited to the coveted Mercedes Benz Start Up Competition. Then to get a news release update that the beautiful and sweet faced Canadian Supermodel Jessica Stam would be announcing the winner at this inaugural event.
I decided to do some research about this new segment addition to fashion week and it seemed to be a "can't miss event". After all, I was sitting amongst the veterans of Fashion coverage Derek Chetty of the Toronto Star and Rosey Edah of ET Canada.
Opening the Event was juror Jarrad Clark (the global production director for IMG Fashion; also a judge on Project Runway Australia) saying a few words about the new platform, an ongoing initiative to discover and support up-and-coming Canadian designers.
Finally I thought, someone who can really give Toronto Fashion the push it needs with a great collective effort of talented designers and supporters. But then I thought: how is this different than the shoWs or The New Labels shows? Mercedes Benz Support that's what!!!
First it was Unttld (Montreal) a collection beautifully based on contrast as the video describes:" its hard, its soft, its rough, its smooth, its shiny, its matte..." and that it was as the models strolled down the runway, these garments were exactly as they were described. Total Contrast in every sense: from dark to light, from street to the gala, they gave silhouettes while keeping loose shapes.
Second Collection down the Runway :Travis Taddeo (Montreal) Streetwear meets luxury (memories of Kanye!) for the cool kids on the street. As the video said, “a girl and a guy walking through a desert looking for fun, in summer.” Great collection of real "Model Gear" super trendy and great for real life of a stylist yet careless rebelrouser.
Third Collection down the Runway was Family Denim Sensation Adam Taubenfligel and his siblings Mark and Ania for Triarchy (Vancouver). This was truly of "Denim etc. that goes from the back of a bike (the core business of the brand is building custom motorcycles) to the party, looking for fictional adventures" where Denim is the core of the outfit and its key that it moves to the curves of the body perfect and imperfect.
CD (Vancouver) by Cassie Dee was next and it was a surprisingly beautiful Western Canadian inspired collection with touches of tailored moments.
However, the final and closing Collection was very sweet. And I am sure even sweeter for winners Danielle Martin and Pao Lim for their collection Martin Lim (Montreal)
I truly experienced " The joyness of traveling, and optimism." when I watched this beautiful pink and periwinkle edged with black micro piping and layers of color-blocking flowed past me. It had signature dresses for day and night. off the shoulder Blouses untraditionally paired with pencil pants and french heels. it was very, LADY.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18th, 2011 3PM
The Michi Show was one of my favourites: Maybe because my Designer is a sister from the Islands just like me. Native Calgerian however a true Jamaican at heart, has shown her love for dance, comfort and flexibility in her own line MICHI.
Before launching MICHI, Michelle Watson designed for some of the world’s most reputable brands such as Donna Karan, Kate Spade and most recently, the luxury high performance athletic line, RLX Ralph Lauren. Michelle holds a degree in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in New York City, as well as an Honors Business Degree from The University of Western Ontario.
THE SUPERMODEL SHOT TO OPEN THE SHOW.....
Although MICHI is a brand out of New York, Michelle does all her manufacturing and creating right here in Toronto. This season she debuted her collection at LGFW S/S 2012 In the Studio where the Runway is just big enough for models to run a muck.
High Fashion Supermodel days inspired this collection. George Michael and Naomi Campbell where icons and Kate Moss and Tyra Banks were making their marks. It was about show, and lines, and sex. It was about loving every curve, every strand of hair on your head and reapplying lipstick even when you didn't need to because you never know when the cameras will snap a shot.
TOP GIRL: Dani from Sutherlands stomping it out at MICHI
The girls were fierce, and with only 9 girls on rotation, the backstage was insane: Quick changes, arm bands, leg warmers and stilettos flying everywhere.... it was endless sprinting only to come out and shine like we have been dressed for hours.
TOP GIRL: Cassandra from ELMER OLSEN MODELS blowing a kiss
This show had spice, it had beauty and it had old school runway charm. It even had models throwing off wigs from what I hear. LOL! (Embarassed face) And chairwoman of FDCC Robin Kay was there to catch it and all the action. Interactive shows are hard to come by these days.
TOP GIRL: Runwayrenee throwing off my wig into the audience and Ms. Robin Kay caught it without leaving her seat.
Jamil and Alia Juma are the brother and sister team behind Juma
This designer duo has been one of my favorites since they debuted their label JUMA in 2007 with their spring/summer collection at Toronto Fashion Week a show that maintained the label's forward momentum.
The Juma pair have invited back to walk for them this season of Spring 2012 shows and gave me an exclusive reel2runway behind the scenes interview, as well as all the backstage action on show day.
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH JAMIL and ALIA for www.yourkloset.com
It was quite the reunion seeing them after so many years with new and great friend/ stylist
Marek Matwiejczuk completing this wonderful collection with all the right accessories and high tech eyewear from Eyenigma.
JUMA creates unisex, progressive ready-to-wear and accessories inspired by art and the pair’s many travels.
Specializing in digital prints, signature JUMA pieces and scarves add instant pop to an otherwise monochromatic look. Very loose yet tailored silhouettes made it such a sweet wear down the runway at The Studio Runway this LG Fashion Week.
Founders of The Peacock Parade:
Left to Right: Nancy Sahota and Jan Ghandi
And this year for the first time ever, immediately following JUMA’s show, fans of the brand will be able to shop the collection online. The member’s-only flash sale site The Peakcock Parade will showcase six pieces each by JUMA where shoppers will be able to get dibs on this stunning collection.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Melissa Moffat
Photographer and friend Melissa Moffat of http://www.melissamoffat.com/ is famous for her artist and musician photography. She has been noted as a very diverse and inspirational photographer often compared to noted photographer Steve Carty, who also has made his name photographing famous singers and rappers. However, Melissa, with her own feminine touch, has made her mark fusing fashion and music into one form.
I was very excited when Melissa and Editor in chief of online magazine http://www.bad-perm.com , Zoi Koutso, asked me to be apart of their project with Big It Up for their magazine launch date.
I, much like many other Canadians, famous or not, have grown up with Big It Up as not only part of my accessory closet but my go to spot for style inspiration and appreciation. Big It Up is a paramount name in the style culture here in Toronto and has been for the last 15 years.
Big it up hats have contributed to Canadian Lifestyle, Pop Culture, and Branding making it one of the most noted commercial brands in the Urban Market. Dameion Royes, owner, had a great vision to bring out the personality in each person who wears one through careful design and individual use of colors and textures that are sure to differ from the last.
This shoot with Bad Perm highlights Big It Up in a way of paying homage to a brand that with age, much like fine wine, gets better with time.
Friday, October 14, 2011
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ROZ
Runway Shows are one of the most significant elements of the fashion industry. Especially in a market like Toronto, finding great creative ways to build an ever growing industry is paramount when creating Canada's Identity against many other and more established Fashion Markets. Paola Fullnerton of Paola Fullnerton Inc. sees that need and has produced many shows in the past with exemplary success. None quite those of The shOws however which exhibits presentation and collaborations from Canada's most sought after designers, models and artistry Talents from Coast to Coast.
As a model who has worked in the Toronto market for many years, I too have had the opportunity to work with Paola and I have never been short of amazed. She always encouraged me and gave much appreciation for my love of strutting her runway. With Paola, a model must model and a designer must deliver. So that the audience can fall in love with fashion over and over again.
This time, being on the other side of the runway, mainly in the front row seats of two grand shows held at Ritz Carlton in Toronto, I got to see what the shOws were all about and h0w Paola put this fabulous presentation together. Only the best of the best.
In recent interviews Paola expresses her dedication to this new pillar for Canadian Fashion:
"Our aim is to put the spotlight on Canadian Designers, Hair and Makeup Artists and Models and build a property that benefits not only our designers, artists and retailers but a
Also our supportive sponsors, by showcasing the very best of Canadian talent at home and abroad to our media, buyers and stylists.The purpose of The ShOws is to bring together our most talented and creative Canadian designers each season and allow them to present their collections here in Toronto to the fashion industry without incurring any production costs themselves. We want to support them here at home and give them every possible opportunity to continue to build their brands."
I was very excited to see models who can walk, clothes that swayed,cuts that defined and colours that stood in the lights beautifully as expressly seen in the collections by designers Jean-Pierre Braganza and Todd Lynn. I snuck backstage before and after the shows to see how Paola and her fabulous visionary artists put these collections together in a beautiful harmony of fashion and beauty on t he runway.
I was so different being there as just media and not walking but I was so happy to see what I have been missing from the other perspective all these years. I saw the workmanship in Lynn's blazers and the knitwear. I saw color blocking and textile design to die for in Braganza's Collection with each exit. Louboutin shoes at a fair 8 inches strutting back an d forth during dress rehearsals made easy during the show.
Toronto-based Jessica Gorlicky is a local artist whose paintings reign amongst her peers in and out of the design industry for the last five years.
Her fan base and followers expends all across the country and continues to catch the eye and attention of art and design lovers everywhere. Gorlicky’s work is now showing in over 20 locations across Canada, including trendy restaurants, cafés, fashion boutiques, and art galleries.
Her own gallery and studio space, aptly named JessGo, in the north of Toronto, showcases her latest works on floor to ceiling canvases. Her latest collection of candy/cirque paintings is nothing short of colour cornucopia. He pieces are nothing short of expressive passionate, a bit rebellious and fun!
I have had the enormous pleasure of meeting and working with Jessica this past week whilst modeling in her 10,000 sq foot exhibition at the Seven Continents studios in Toronto. Models and dancers dressed in yummy candies undies, body painted from head to toe and picture perfect poses in bathtubs, center piece installations and picture frames as her painting dressed the perimeter from wall to wall. I was introduced to her by a great friend and supporter Gail Mcinnes of Megnet Creative.
Proudly this beautiful curly blond not only has looks, style individuality and imagination but a long list of accomplishments to go with it.
She recently sold one of her painting of Gordie Howe to private collectors for $15,000 and has been commissioned for live performance art across Canada by the likes of Coca-Cola, RBC, Cirque de Soleil, Vancouver Winter Olympics2010, Revlon, Holt Renfrew, Korhani at LG Fashion Week, Fiat, and CTV.A preview of her new pieces can be seen on www.jessgo.com along with a full list of her upcoming exhibits. Over 75 live videos from around the world and live art performances can be viewed at: www.youtube.com/jeroby32. PHOTOGRAPHY BY: BRIGITTA KOGUT
I first met Choyin Choi at his Birthday and collection Launch earlier this year. The event was hosted at C-Lounge in Toronto where the crew from Reel2Runway and I got to go out and enjoy a great night of installation models, food, a beautiful patio and all of hos close friends and colleagues. He was quiet and very reserved especially when asked to do an interview for us. His bright bleach blond hair and piercing blue eyes made him very noticeably but sweet and approachable too.
Choyin was very much celebrating in great spirits that night and had a stellar "washed Ashore" mini collection on 5 beautiful models to top of the nights fun features. Choyin worked the room and laughed it up with his friends. He was charming to his guests, sweet to his models and genius to those who came to celebrate his wonderful fashions and his special day.
This young Fashion Design graduate has a vision for couture lines, feminine silhouettes with futuristic inspiration that speak volumes. During the party segment of the night, we posed together for a photo and closed the night as new friends. His gracious smile only sealed my admiration for this young designer.
Now some months later, I got a message in my Facebook inbox from stylist extraordinaire, Joelle Litt, who requested me straight off the plane from New York to come and shoot a fabulous project for the Cydelic by Choyin Collections for 2011 LGFW. I immediately accepted of course. Two days later this Thanksgiving Monday, I arrived at the Seven Continents head Office where I met Shaun Marq, CEO of B.A.D PR and creative director of the shoot, Jason Banks for images, make up by Vancouver Import Blaire Petty for Judy Inc and of course Joelle on the accessories provided by Remix Clothing Canada. It was a fabulous team. No creative juice was spared. I was so ecstatic to be chosen as Choyin's new Muse for this Collection. Although its a big surprise and I cant ruin in before Fashion week, but it was definitely worth missing the turkey for.
Runwayrenee being styled by Joelle Litt on set at Seven Continents
By the end of the shoot Shaun and I were singing Deborah Cox off the Ipod and Choyin was half asleep from all his day and night preparation for the Collections at this season LGFW where he has asked me to open and close his show. I wish I could give you a bigger preview but I can only leak one. Hopefully you know the right people or Choyin himself, because this is going to be a HOT TICKET!
Visit The LG Fashion Week Website to see Designer slot and Bio
Cydelic By Choyin
Friday October 21, 2011
LG Fashion Week Beauty by L'Oreal Paris Official Venue:THE TENTS
David Pecaut Square
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Halcyon Salon and Spa hooked me up huge with this new Blond doo. This October's Issue of Essence did a special Layout on Winter Hair looks for Women of Colour. And I was one of the luck ones to be chosen for this Style Do.
Now I am giving you guys a chance to Vote to Cut the LOOK of Keep the LOOK. Please let me know what you would like to see coming down this years LGFW Runways for this season. Will it be blonde or black?