motor oil by Prada

motor oil Prada, originally uploaded by Marc Johns.

Surfing along, I discovered illustrator Marc Johns though Sarah L.

He does a lot of brief, serious drawings. A series done on post-it notes is particularly charming, but this is the one that made me laugh out loud.

I imagined a Prada gas station. A place where the price of gas that day is not listed on the sign. Where the attendants are dressed all chic and won’t help you. Or maybe they are robots.

I bet that is where this lady fills up.

Maybe it would look something like Prada Marfa. But with pumps. Maybe the pumps are shaped like pumps! Or not.

Prada Marfa by Chacal la Chaise
Photo by Chacal la Chaise

Maybe if Prada sold gasoline, drivers would be bragging about paying top dollar for gas.


I have collected a few press clippings since fashion week in Toronto. You can click any of the images in this post to see a full-scale scan.

Woke up this morning to a pleasant surprise – Nathalie-Roze Fischer mentions Rags and Mags (my collaboration with Carolyn Rohaly) in Metro, the commuter daily. She thinks it is clever and cheeky!

Metro 27-03-08

Nathalie Atkinson at the National Post scooped the story first – mentioning it in her fashion week preview. Nathalie has been posting prolifically on the Ampersand, covering fashion weeks both here in Toronto and now in Montreal. She posts sharp insight and dedicated coverage – it is an honour to include her in our merry band of Toronto Fashion Bloggers.

the ampersand 17-03-08

On the topic of of Toronto Fashion Bloggers, Rea McNamara of EYE WEEKLY attended the last TFBB and wrote a thoughtful piece touching on some of the issues that fashion bloggers deal with. She took the time to talk to many of us and asked lots of interesting questions.

EYE WEEKLY 20-03-08

I have only one small correction to make to Rea’s piece – I did receive the Media Pass I applied for.

Thanks to all the journalists!

magazine ad for Buy Design

Buy Design poster
The fabulous fake photo party we had to create images for Buy Design is now making its way into magazines and newspapers… and my face is there too.

I never thought I would be a model in a major magazine like FASHION, but there I am looking almost haunting, as if I tragically died young of an overdose in 1981.

Thanks to Anita for scanning the page – and to Andrew for designing and art directing it.

fashion/media – double kiss

Every season is a little bit different – and of course, I am not talking about the clothes.


Cathy Horyn sees an industry transitioning between old ways and new values, when she reflects on the real importance of fashion shows. No, she is not talking about the clothes – “…is the show and our almost compulsory attendance really about something else, about preserving distinct power bases in the face of their rapid erosion?”

There is a reason why Horyn is the reigning voice of reason in the voyeuristic void of fashion journalism. She cuts right to the bone.

In the tent, we don’t just watch the models and the clothes; we watch the faces across from us, picking up clues from who is sitting where and what their faces betray. In the media lounge, we don’t just focus on reviewing the runway – we study eachother, we see who is working and what they are working on, who is talking to who, and always keeping an ear cocked for anything worth overhearing.

In a small tent like the one in Nathan Philips Square, the clues of change are laying in the open for everyone to notice – and if you need confirmation, check Google. The big news? The newspaper and magazine writers are blogging harder than the fashion bloggers. NOW Magazine, the National Post, FASHION Magazine, Fashion Television, Flare Magazine, and others were doing it daily – posting that is – if not show-by-blow live-blogging it.

It seems like the past few seasons of blogger infiltration (infestation?) have inspired established sources to step up their game. With more more people, more equipment, more photos, and paycheques, the professional journalists had their chance to show that they can do it faster, shinier, and more extensive than any blogger.

Now that the hurricane has died down and we can count the survivors, we can also see the evidence of what got posted and what did not, and maybe who came out on top, if anyone did.

I think L’Oreal Fashion Week itself was a clear winner; a hot frenzy of coverage connected designers of all levels to the attention of everyone who reads the news and checks the magazines.

The readers and watchers receive a mixed bag of benefits and bombardment. Fashion mediaphiles like myself were treated to more stories in their feeds than we had time to read – and some were exceptional – I found myself glancing through a lot of information with less interest than usual. It wasn’t just because I was attending – I didn’t see all of it and I was curious for other perspectives – it was a combination of time, duplication of information, and a certain unsatisfying lack of insight that happens when the post button gets pressed too quickly.

The quality of blogging fashion week is not measured just by stopwatch and quantity. I love to read a considered point of view, a level of observation that transcends a recording, a soundbite, an immediate reaction. A story from someone who experienced it.

So I am trying little media projects, striving for something a little different. Like the Haiku Review and Rags and Mags.

For Final Fashion, I try to post only when I have something to say or show. I am not here on the internet to compete with anyone, only to offer what talents I have towards this thing called fashion.


At the Fashion Week Drake Salon, a few fashion week survivors were treated to something fascinating – a panel of insiders candidly discussing the week with eachother and an intimate audience. There were many empty seats in a very small space – apparently fashion week is fatal for most people. Still, this was a moment that I thought many of the designers who showed this week should have been listening, taking notes and asking questions. There were very few.

Many of the panel’s most fascinating moments were the contributions of Barbara Atkin, Marlene Schiff, and David Livingstone.

The most strong impression on me was left by Barbara Atkin. She rejects all the usual excuses from the Canadian Fashion contingent. She is so right – merit speaks for itself. Being Canadian is not an alibi. Canada is a small country in the world, and yet we have produced a few world class fashion designers; and it wasn’t because the designers were Canadian, it was because they were talented, persistent, and borderless.

Bitching is so over. Complaining does nothing. If the scene sucks, its our responsibility to learn from our mistakes and our choice to make it amazing. It is possible to create a scene we are proud of. I see a lot of smart people around me who are striving towards something amazing, and every time I see them they get closer and closer.

These are not the only thoughts that I am processing right now. L’Oreal Fashion Week for Fall 2008 was an inspirational one for me. It is going to change how I approach the months leading up to the Spring 2009 collections.

I want to bring more new ideas to every season. I love to see fashion move forward.

Project Runway Canada continues…

Though Project Runway Canada has long since concluded, L’Oreal Fashion Week will never be the same. PRC alumni can fill a tent like few Canadian designers do, bring gossip out into the open where it seems to want to be, and generally inspire passion in what was once considered a rather staid scene.

As a PRC superfan who blogged the whole series, its immensely fascinating to see what the designers can do outside the reality television fishbowl. In particular the top two designers, whose TV-licious love/hate relationship ensured they were the last two men standing. Now its time to see them spar like real designers – frock to frock instead of face to face.

I saw two very different collections.

The winner of the game show, Biddell, launched the week with the first show on the program. The anticipation was heightened by a lot of talk about a ethical sense of purpose and a striving for “edginess” and something new.

His invitation featured an unfinished drawing by a precocious sixteen year old, which as it turned out reflected the final collection well.

Evan Biddell used similar inspiration as last season – Spring 2008 was Saturday Morning Cartoons, and this season it was Anime. A real distinction or a Peter-Pan like resistance to moving on? He used the same fabrics as last season, but didn’t do anything different than what he had done before. A touch of origami pleating here, a nod to an Obi belt there… the clothing itself revealed a timid designer. Which wouldn’t be so annoying, if I had not had my appetite whetted for something new and edgy and controversial.

Oh, except for the “controversial” bit at the end.

Biddell, if you had blown me away with your collection I might have been more tolerant. But that was a sophomoric performance in every sense of the word, and giving us all the finger was just as predictable as the clothes. Not everyone applauded.

Lucian Matis presented an all black collection, which was unabashedly Lucian. But that was okay, because we expected nothing less than what we received; a parade of romantic jet-beaded beauties, a fantasy of hyper-femininity. Some pieces were clever; some were overwrought; all were created to a rigorous standard and a singular vision, which is what makes a collection really satisfying to watch – it shows a designer’s point of view, his reasoning, his offering. For this, Lucian Matis received a standing ovation from a full house.

So which duelling designer came on top this season?

Matis is not the only designer to challenge the outcome of the game on the real runway – Carlie Wong, Stephen Wong of Greta Constantine, and Kendra Francis are all showing what they’ve got at L’Oreal Fashion Week tomorrow and Thursday – and this time, we all get to be the judges.

Photos – Lucian Matis and Henry Roxas


tfbb 15

This was like a reunion brunch for the regulars, plus we got to welcome a number of new guests with interesting perspectives on fashion and media.  Brassaii treated us so well after a bit of initial confusion – we got seated at the Chef’s Table this time!

We’re all super stoked for L’Oreal Fashion Week… many of the brunchers will be there all week, as writers, illustrators, photographers, event producers, public relations, and of course Media.

The attendance was duly taken…

Sonja Andic – PR rep for L’Oreal

Henna Singh – Canadian Beauty

Gail McInnes – The Style Box and Toronto Fashion Incubator news editor

Anita Clarke – I want – I got and blogTO fashion writer

Danielle Meder – Final Fashion and Rags and Mags illustrator

Eden Spodek – Bargainista

Rea McNamara – Eye Weekly  style writer

Rina Grosman – She Does the City “Sew What”

Alison-Violet Mount – FashionTelevision videocaster

Adrian Corsin – Fashion Verbatim

Carolyn Rohaly – Toronto Fashion Incubator diarist and Rags and Mags writer

Brooklyn Brownstone – Designer Relations for the FDCC

Rebecca Leung – photographer and PR for Too Magazine

Sarah Nicole Prickett – Torontoist fashion editor

Blog Talk Radio

Julie Fredrickson of Almost Girl and Coutorture is hosting something called Blog Talk Radio, covering subjects of interest to fashion bloggers. Today at 4pm EST the show is about interacting with our fashion blogging peers – apropos as I have just come back to the studio from the fifteenth Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch.

We tackle the tough topics including anonymous commenting, blog friendships, blogger gossip, blogger blacklisting, blogger etiquette, and keeping your cool in the middle of a blogger fight. We will explore the line between professional, personal, collegial and “I will scratch your back if you scratch mine” relationships

Julie always provides me with lots to think about when it comes to fashion and media, whether I agree with her or not, so I am looking forward to listening to the show.

EDIT – 4:11pm EST – I’m getting some kind of unknown error message so I can’t seem to get the show to work.  I guess I’ll have to listen to it later instead of live.