hot clicks

Signe Chanel… an awesome French miniseries gives us a glimpse behind the scenes at Chanel Haute Couture… via Fashion Verbatim.

Zamb S/S 07 the fire still burns……. fledgling designer and TFS regular Zamb gives us the story of his struggle through stream of consciousness. Fascinating and immediate. Via The Fashion Spot.

The Commodified… street style from Vancouver – some cute stuff, many with Skytrain station backgrounds.

The uses of customization is another interesting article from footpath zeitgeist, but what lingers for me is the image of the sweatshirt cuffs. Something about that idea gets to me.

Canadian Alphabet redux

The runway was decorated with bristol-board/sharpie cut out letters dangling from the ceiling. The Drake Underground was crowded and restless and boredly amused. Absolutely full of young metropolitan adults. Mmm. Beer.

There was a television crew with their equipment squeezing in and getting in people’s faces.

The night starts out with an announcement that there would be a short film, and then the show would start at 10pm.

The film we are shown is a close-cropped single shot of a marathon running by, with marathony-noises. For like… a long, long, time. The video’s contribution to the atmosphere seemed to make people anxious and impatient. Maybe it was just me.

Because then we waited a really long time past 10 for the show to start. No one knows how long because there is no cell phone service down there. There was a regal lady with grey hair and a fur coat in the front row who appeared to have a word with the co-ordinater of the event. There was a little morality play about late fashion shows up at the front between the Dame of Toronto Fashion, the Arts Co-Ordinater, and the Co-Designer.

Finally the band (Taigaa! from Brooklyn) started to play and the show began. Taigaa! plays that kind of music with the synth keyboard, the drummer girl, and the singer. The lyrics are spoken or moaned, like this: off… off… off… off… OFF, Offff…. etc.

Then the clothes came out. The models were all very good, professional looking and attractive. One guy was unusual, and had a very distinctive walk.

The clothing definitely co-opted some of the iconography of Canada, in kind of a literal way. The cut of a dress would resemble an Inuit parka. There were coat-toggle sort of references on all sorts of garments. Thermal pants made an appearance. Otherwise, it was boutiquey, quirky. The models wore tights in Royal Blue (which Adrian and Anita agree with me is the next hot colour), but the clothing was brown or grey with grey screenprinting, making the palette of the collection seem very muddy – intentional? The one screen print I idea I liked was an oversized, broken houndstooth pattern.

It seemed a little rushed. There were still creases on some of the pants where the fabric had been folded on the bolt… and not all of the seams were pressed.

There’s something about me and night time events, I felt like such a wallflower at this one, just standing and watching everyone, and “not getting it”. I saw Carolyn and Anita but I just didn’t have the right sort of energy to really enjoy the show. I’m such a fashion contradiction these days… I am a part of it, and apart from it.

Canadian Alphabet


Everyone is sending me this flyer. I guess they know that I probably might have something to say about American designers (NYC gets top billing) using Canada as a legitimate source of inspiration (Canadian designers might do well to take note).

Feral Childe are Alice Wu and Moriah Carleson, two designers from New York City , who are currently in residence at the Drake Hotel. Their collection “Canadian Alphabet,” is inspired by the cultural and vernacular characteristics of Toronto and surrounding environs.

What I am curious about is how literal it will be, either in the sense of employing iconography of Canada, or influenced directly by the neighborhoods in the vicinity of the Drake where these artists resided, or if Canadian alphabet will be more abstract. The poster doesn’t offer me a clue. I could check out their website, but I’d like to be surprised.

That is if I can find my 2nd wind at 9pm. This will keep me up past my bedtime.

Toronto Fashion Blogger Brunch 3

TFBB III was a resounding success. Full of lively conversation, event invitations, tips, bloggy gossip, and topped off with a clothing swap – it was terrific. Thank you to everone who came for making it the best brunch yet!

Bianca of a wee bit skint

Carolyn of the Toronto Fashion Incubator

Adrian of fashion verbatim

Rachel, Sonja and Tiffanie from

Eden of bargainista

Truc of deeply superficial

Anita of I want – I got and blogT.O.

Plus Readers and Guests

Thanks to the Drake Hotel for a great atmosphere, yummy brunch and excellent service.

go see what they’re doing

Last week I found out that Dov Charney sold American Apparel… just as a some commentary on Charney and AA was developing on a recent post. AA is one of those companies that elicits strong opinions.

I’ve included 2 articles in the comments that are the background for this. One is “Meet Your New Boss” from Jane Magazine, June/July 2004, the other is an article from the Wall Street Journal from Dec 19 2006. (via the fashion spot)

(Edit note: There used to be a picture of Charney and a model here, from a billboard that used to be at Queen and Spadina subtitled “Come see what we’re doing.” American Apparel asked me to delete it in October 2008, so I did.)

Feelings about Dov Charney run so high when it comes to his company’s sexually charged advertising and his own behavior. Especially volatile is the infamous Jane Magazine article, where the reporter describes witnessing Charney masturbate multiple times.

In the Wall Street Journal article, Charney says “There is a new kind of international adult that’s emerging in this next generation. We want to feed into that.” (emphasis mine)

The article in question the reporter encouraged the sexual situations. All of the sex in the article was consensual. Charney was up-front about being perverted.

That’s why I don’t buy the sexual harassment stuff. Dov Charney’s sexual preferences are no secret, he has his choice of people to hire, and the ones he is looking for are cool with his MO and consensual adults. Maybe if he was pretending to be a saint of chastity it would be different. But he presents all of his perversions up front so these women are free to choose to go work somewhere else.

The women in AA’s ads and the ones who work for him are legal – 18+. They send him emails with their measurements and sexy photos of themselve – of their own free will. They live in the world of the people they are selling their clothes to… and if you don’t know who those people are, look at Vice Magazine or Last Night’s Party. These are “young metropolitan adults”. They trade their privacy on the internet for freedom of expression, hate faux sexual ethicality and demand transparency. This is the bleeding edge of the death of the pornography taboo, perhaps due to ubiquity of prOn in internet culture.

Plus, this is the fashion industry we are talking about here. It’s hardly like American Apparel invented the provocative fashion advertisement.

I’ve said before that I think American Apparel is the Gap of the Naughty Aughties. So it’s interesting to read about the transition to a publicly traded company, although I don’t understand the financial details very well.

It’s interesting to speculate on the development as AA becomes more ubiquitous and mainstream – you can’t swing a dead cat on the internet without hitting an AA jersey t-shirt, outraged reactionary opinion or genuine brand-love. They are going to be huge in meatspace now. Like Starbucks ubiquitous. Reading about the trials of the Gap these days (via I want – I got) brings the life cycles of fashion companies into focus. But that’s for further reading…

I don’t think I’ll ever work for AA – I’m way too square – but I definitely admire their success, and the determination Charney has demonstrated to do business differently from other retailers and manufacturers. From the employee benefits to the pr shock tactics, there is a lot to be learned from the American Apparel story. Let’s see what they do next.

another thing…

6… one of the things I’m doing in 2007 is trying at least one new recipe per weekend.

Last weekend I did a snapper, my first fish ever. So easy and good.

This weekend I’m going to one of my favourite books ever, Edna Staebler‘s Food That Really Schmecks. This is my all time favourite, classic Canadian cookbook. It’s a book that’s just as fun to read as it is to cook from. Edna loves food and loves life and has lots of little anecdotes and encouragement. I just learned that she died just last year at the age of 100.

She has a lot of recipes that are Southern Ontario German Mennonite, and I’m trying one today – Sausages in Beer, with mashed potatoes and salad with sour-cream dressing. Mmmmmmm.

TFBB is going to be all sorts of excellent. I’m going to be there at 11:30, and I am really excited about eating brunch with so many terrific Toronto fashion bloggers and readers.

5 things you don’t know about me meme tag

Verbal Croquis has hit me with an internet meme! As if there isn’t enough information about me on the internet, here is more…

  1. As a kid, I created an entire imaginary fantasy planet, complete with continents, languages, rising and falling civilizations, mythologies, and multiple fantasy-genre stories about a pair of mercenaries.
  2. I am a morning person – a lark. It seems like I always get my best work done before noon… and it’s all downhill after that. I compensate by rising early.
  3. As a teenager I wanted to be a fiction writer… I wrote several terrible short stories and even sent them to literary magazines. Thankfully almost all of them were rejected – and the one that was accepted wasn’t printed before the magazine mercifully folded.
  4. I have a ridiculously low tolerance for alcohol. (I drink the neck of the beer and then I am done). The result is I have never really enjoyed bars or clubbing (though I love pub food).
  5. My dream is to build a home and a studio in the country, and to live within modest means.

Now here’s how the game is played – I tag five people – they tell the world five unknown things about themselves – and then tag five more people that they want to know more about… until every single person on the internet has done the freaking thing and it finally dies…

I tag… Hipster Musings, the stitchery, Nadia’s Crafting Adventures, and deeply superficial

fixing final fashion

I am trying to make final fashion a little nicer… trying to do a better job with my categories. I also have to update some of the pictures in the last collection archives that didn’t make it in the import. Right now it might seem a little messy while I get this tedious task done… but the result will be a tidier blog, so it’s worth it.

If you have any suggestions for increasing the readability or functionality of final fashion, or general blog design tips, or ideas for categories, please tell, I’m interested.

one week until Toronto Fashion Blogger Brunch…

Toronto Fashion Blogger Brunch

Where: The Drake 1150 Queen Street West

When: Sunday January 21 2007 11:30am

Who: The esteemed guestlist includes…

Bianca of a wee bit skint

Carolyn of the Toronto Fashion Incubator

Adrian of fashion verbatim

Adeleine of la femme

Rachel, Sonja and Tiffanie from

Eden of bargainista

Truc of deeply superficial

Anita of I want – I got and blogT.O.

Andrea of making things

and I’ll be there… plus some of our favourite readers too…

If you’re a fashion blogger or fashion blog reader in Toronto, why not come? RSVP here =)

trend anti trend

Today I went to the Goodwill, my local thrift store. I’m not a thrifting maven (Tricia I believe is the queen of thrift – she comes back with stuff that looks like it’s actually expensive) but I needed some big jars to put flour, oats, and tea in. While I was there I shuffled through the jeans… because you never know.

Look what I found in my size – !


I do believe this is going to be my new look. Pants that were so beyond-wrong when I was 16 are now exactly what feels right. Having put 2.4 decades under my belt now I’ve had the opportunity to see fashions in jeans run full circle. I’m tucking my shirts in now with the adultish satisfaction of breaking a cultural taboo from my teenagehood.

I noticed the other day that Agathe was after some 501s, as I was last spring. Like her I had no such luck and was absolutely flabbergasted to find out the Levis no longer produces and sells them.* That trend maven Agathe would be after them is a big hint to me that this isn’t just my queer contrafashion fetish – the antitrendy is a bonifide trend.


Today I checked out Jordache… and they no longer run this classic anymore either.

Not too long ago, I said it feels like it is going to be a year of accelerating change – in the economy, politics, the environment.

Perversely, I think this is reflected in fashion by a resistance to change… and an embracing of what is familiar rather than what is new.

In fashion terms, this will translate into a heirarchy of archetypal fetishes… to be contrafashionable your garments must reek of authenticity, be familiar and recognizable.

The Jordache, with the cartooney stitching, the horsey logo, and the utter lack of fading (the style even has a crease and a blind, bound hem) is contrafashion in the extreme, just as the 501 is.

Companies like Levis and Jordache, what with having a recognizable, archetypal style should get their lucky businesses in gear and reissue them. There is a market, and it will be a big one very soon.

* Clarification – yes the 501 I want exists… just not in my size…