C is for click

From FiftyRX3, a stunningly simple idea for converting a knit dress into something fun to play with.

Many new Toronto fashion blogs have come to my attention. For a sense of Toronto’s fashion conscious, both looking out and looking in, visit Madglam, Makeup Junkie, Chick Advisor, Mahalo Fashion, and TorontoStyle.

Cathy Horyn peruses a number of different subjects relating to the oligarchy of fashion and the true purpose of the fashion media… “Nonetheless, I will have to deal with the expectation that this is what “most people” want to read.”

At the Fashion-Incubator, Kathleen asks us to consider where our industry is headed as it appears we are approaching interesting times.

Generally, I view regional production as a positive. We used to have a lot of factories stuck in rural areas outside of larger cities. Many of those people, mostly women, never regained full time employment. It’s quite tragic really but maybe they’ll be the winners the next go round.

What would the effect on our industry be if gas prices doubled over the next ten years? What if they tripled or quadrupled over twenty to twenty five years? Any prognosticators in the crowd?

This is one of those ideas that the whole Final Fashion thing is all about. It deserves a well thought out post. So I am thinking…

Possibly one of the best designer blogs out there that I have found, Elaine Perlov offers up frequent quality posts on her blog, I am a Fashion Designer. Gee.

Apparently I am the last person on the internet to have found the cool hunter … which makes me rather uncool.

Guess who’s hosting Project Runway Canada? Hint: she is just as Canadian as Heidi Klum is American.

For the compendium of blogger reaction to the notorious Week of Style… read Anita’s post at BlogTO.

I have almost finished painting the last piece of silk for the wedding dress. I can not wait to clean up the studio, and finally cut and sew!

of moleskine and moo cards

moo cards and moleskine

Product post – I have jumped on the Moleskine bandwagon – I got the last weekly planner at the bookstore for a fraction of the sticker price a couple weeks ago. So there is a benefit to putting off planning your year until May…

Plus I ordered these awesome Moo Cards from the internet… little cards with pics from my Flickr and my contact info on them.  They are fun to look at and talk about.

In other non-news, I am still painting away on that wedding dress…


tfbb VII

tfbb VII

This was our biggest brunch yet – roll call:

Samra Habib of Rouge

Hilary George-Parkin of Static Fashion

Carolyn Rohaly of the official TFI Blog

Nathalie Atkinson of the National Post

Kate Trgovac of My Name is Kate

Marissa Liu of Yo Porro

Tiffanie Ing of Toronto Street Fashion

Gail McInnes of the Plutino Group

Zaigham Zulqernain of the Week of Style

Anita Clarke of I want – I got

Henna Singh of Canadian Beauty

Eden Spodek of Bargainista

Andrew Sardone of Now Magazine

Adrian Corsin of Fashion Verbatim

Plus readers, friends… and me.

Brassaii has a great space, brunch was very tasty and our waiter Liam treated us very well.

Topics of conversation went in all directions at once – fashion related Rock’n’Roll, Tiff’s trip to NY, the Week of Style, Fashion Cares, Sarah Polley’s film festival wardrobe, the most preposterous propositions in our inbox, what makes a good review… and how Toronto will be so tasteless without Adrian.

week of style redux


Full of hope I went to the Toronto Week of Style. It was neither as incredible as promised nor was it bad enough to be really remarkable – which says more about Toronto’s sense of style than any of us ever really want you to know.

There were still some things worth remarking upon though. The hair by Earth Studios looked fabulous. Some of the clothing was very nice and wearable. Bambumoda evoked Queen Street kids, little India on Gerrard, and the strip clubs on Yonge all at the same time which certainly gives a taste of what is really on the streets in Toronto. Some local designers including fellow bloglander Irene Stickney made a strong case for Toronto’s fresh talent at the Fashion Fringe.

Sitting in the front row felt a bit weird but it was fun. I had the pleasure of hanging out with friends and also meeting some new bloggers.

There is something really odd about the Week of Style. The omission of sponsor credits or gift bags was strange for a set of events envisioned as a promotional channel. The Zoolander moves of the models were entertaining but distracting. There were memorably awkward moments with the executive producer of the week. It all took place in half-empty, beautiful, expensive venues.

Who is paying for this and what are they really hoping to accomplish? I do not understand. What is The Style Council of Canada – a google search reveals nothing. The media release descriptions are brief and opaque, besides a list of advisors from Pepsi, EDGE 102.1, CTV and Ralph Lauren

“Founded in 2005, the SCC endeavors to develop and advance the state of Canadian fashion design and the development of Canadian style as a branch of global art and culture.”

The Toronto Week of Style, (http://weekofstyle.com), taking place this May 23rd – 26th, 2007, was created to support the up and coming talent in the style industry, both locally and globally. It will do so by creating a promotional channel for all creators of lifestyle components (including but not limited to fashion, cosmetics, hair care, liquor, phones, and cars), with a secondary focus on providing marketers with a viable marketing channel to communicate directly with the cultural tastemakers that create and drive the trends that guide the mass consumer (being both the creators of style and those that partake in it).

Fashion Fringe had its particularly strange moments. I was not on the list. Security was gruff when they initially sent me to stand forlorn on the sidewalk, which felt a little unnecessary considering how empty the place was.

After Fashion Fringe was supposed to come the Art of Denim, which we expected to stay for, but we didn’t expect to get unceremoniously pushed onto the sidewalk between shows, so we scattered off into the Thursday night and left the Week of Style to go on without us.

I hope that the last couple shows of the week are redeeming but I will not be there to review it. I am done with the Week of Style.

The essence I am taking away is that it is dangerous to Believe the Hype. Declaring something doesn’t make it so, Global Capital of Style, the Style Council of Canada and the Week of Style had grand rhetoric but somehow lacked the substance to live up to the ambitious promises.
Contrast that event with the Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch tomorrow. When I started TFBB, I was pretty sure that no one would show up and I would be eating eggs and reading the Sunday paper by myself. My expectations could not have been lower, I had no idea if anything would happen at all. When a few people came I was surprised.

Of course everyone loves brunch, a leisurely late breakfast with coffee and conversation is always delightful. Then we discovered that bloggers are great talkers too and we wanted more. So the little brunch kept happening, and kept getting better and better. There is no hype, so the anticipation is genuine.

Tomorrow brings bloggers and print media writers together at the same table. Should generate some quality conversation, eh?

the authentic hometown shirt


I love pop music. Now that I’m well into my twenties I’ve come to the conclusion that Avril Lavigne was an awesome teenager with a couple good tunes – and I especially like the singles from her second album, which I discovered on iTunes last month.

Back in high school I did an Avril (whether it was before or after she started the trend I can’t really remember) by adopting a hometown shirt. I believe her notorious t-shirt was for a Napanee hardware store, mine is from someone’s basement and I trimmed it down a bit. It’s Ray‘s favourite shirt of mine, he likes it when I wear it. Maybe because he’s from the same town. Boys =)

Unfortunately the authentic polyester is beginning to wear for the worse and take on odd odors. This shirt is older than I am which just goes to show how long garment garbage can last. For Ray I have agreed to save the graphic to screen print onto a new (100% cotton) shirt, probably from American Apparel.


I think what made Avril’s shirt resonate with me as a trend was the authenticity of it. It is an accessible, inexpensive re-use of clothing created for humble purposes. Rather than hometown pride, it evokes the ironic humour that small town teenagers use as a way to tolerate their small town life, not always without affection. Her suburban clones who created a demand for identical Napanee hardware t-shirts didn’t quite get the point.

I’m all excited because tomorrow I’m having lunch with my current favourite small-town Ontario teenager, Isabel from Hipster Musings. Check out her blog, she makes being a teenager look much more awesome than I remember it. She’s a real punk, she wears an authentic old dad shirt.

unmediated media

I just noticed that Fashion Television did a piece on fashion blogs for the April 28th show.

If you’ve been reading Final Fashion for a while, you may be aware that deep down, I really want to like Jeanne Beker’s show but my appreciation keeps getting thwarted by bits like this one.

First of all, fashion bloggers are represented by solely by Perez Hilton (ick), despite Perez’ attempts to explain that he is not a fashion blogger at all. You would think that fashion blogging’s best, like The Sartorialist and Susie Bubble would merit a mention, but nothing. (edit: thank you Aurora for pointing out that FT did a feature of the Sartorialist in the same show.) Fashion Television is Canadian-produced, but no effort was made to acknowledge any of the excellent Canadian fashion bloggers. Any of us could have expressed the zeitgeist better than poor old Perez. Did Fashion Television not consider featuring an actual fashion blogger in this piece?

Instead we are treated to some expert commentary from people who appear to have never been near a fashion blog. This clip’s most hilarious moment is Patrick McCarthy of Fairchild who gives us this short soundbite with apparent lack of irony – “…blogging has changed everything. Most of it is gibberish because there’s no real thought to it, because it takes, you know, one second doesn’t have… gives… very few people time to think about anything, so there’s not any real thought going into the blog. It’s just stream of consciousness stuff, most of it worthless.”

Thank goodness for a few choice words from fashion media’s best (Cathy Horyn and Colin McDowell) who both recognize that blogs offer some unique opportunities for those with something to say, and comment on the differences between writing for print and writing for the internet.

I have been thinking about the new/old media divide as events around town (like the upcoming Week of Style) are becoming more inclusive towards local fashion bloggers. Now we share the press lounge with established journalists, broadcasters and media personalities, and no one seems to be able to put their finger on what this change means. Yet. Here are my thoughts.

Blogs are not in direct opposition to magazines, newspapers, radio or television. One cannot pit one media against another – video did not kill the radio star, nor did mp3s. Blogs are just a media like any other, one more format through which human beings absorb information. If blogs someday supersede newspapers, for instance, it won’t be the blogs that are “responsible” for rendering newspapers obsolete. It will be the human beings who are the ones that chose that vehicle for relaying their information needs.

Writers can adapt to digital just as photographers adapt to digital. And bloggers, like many journalists, diarists, and authors, are writers with their own unique format. This is why I believe we are more united by our subject than we are divided by our media. I share much more in common with Jeanne Beker than I do with, say, Perez Hilton.

Where the big difference lies is the mediation of the media. Simply put, bloggers are responsible for their own editing, and the content they publish is at their sole discretion rather than being filtered through the publishing process. With no professional assessing who writes what and who reads what, the responsibility for mediation is shared between the writer and the reader.

This brings the writer and the reader within earshot of eachother. The benefit of blogging is the conversation and the relationships, something no other media offers. Believe me, I write Jeanne Beker every once in a while and she does not reply. I do not want to be Jeanne Beker. She does not have the privilege of being able to have real conversations with her audience.

I don’t care if my audience never gets bigger than 50 people. The fact is the 50 people I write for are awesome people who I admire and whose company I enjoy. I do not have to please an editor who has to worry about pleasing 50 advertisers who worry about pleasing 50 million consumers. I just please myself, and I am lucky enough to have met some wonderful readers who are into the same things.

I have no intention of burying Toronto’s fashion media establishment. I have a lot of respect for the work that they do – they are my peers and colleagues and they are curious about the same things I am. I imagine them as part of my ideal audience, and I write as if they are reading, even if they ignore me.

If you are in the media in Toronto, I invite you to delurk. Come to Brunch. If you plan on doing a story on Fashion Blogging any time in the near future, get the story from the source.

blogstorm: week of style

The Week of Style. It is free. Why not check it out?

If you are in Toronto, come on down and share the style with me. The shows I will be at are as follows:

Bambumoda at the lovely Arcadian Court on Wednesday May 23 at 8:00pm, “Sharp!”. A prompt fashion show! Set my expectations on high. What is Bambumoda? According to the Week of Style website, it is a liefstyle philosophy (which I have translated from UPPER CASE):

“Trends are very media driven nowadays… It’s hard to keep up with from a knowledge standpoint let alone a financial one.”

“[In Bambumoda] you will see designers illustrating the next big movements in style : influence from Asia (East and South), the influence of the urban liefstyle (sic) and what Bamboo deems trust fund chic.” (emphasis mine)

“Trends come from movements so the importance of this show is indescribable making your attendance paramount – make sure you are present.”

What can this mean? It’s so indescribable there is only one way to find out – we will all have to go.

I will also be going to Fashion Fringe at the Berkeley Church Theatre on Thursday May 24 at 7:30pm, and probably sticking around for the Art of Denim at 9pm.

If you are in Toronto, remember, your attendance is paramount – make sure you are present.