click click – 09-09-09

Welcome to Click Click, the regular roundup of what I find worth clicking on the internet.

Toronto-centric stuff…

Fashion blog karma for internet friends!

  • The Mindful Merchant“I am optimistic, creative, earthy and like to laugh…a lot.   I am trying to be more eco conscious and healthier a little more each day.”
  • Broadcast Bandits“Sometimes we write about new stuff.  Sometimes we write about old stuff.  We’re not dictating what’s cool.  You have a mind of your own, we expect you figure it out for yourself.”
  • Fashionnation1on1“Fashionnation1on1 is a blog for, by and sometimes about the students and instructors of Fashion Technology at El Paso Community College in El Paso, Texas.”

press – in the Holts book

Friends told me I was in the Fall Holts book so I had to get one for myself and check it out.  Its a terrific tiny picture of me and Anita from fashion week in March.
Holt Renfrew FW09 Catalogue

It is a peculiar feeling to be pictured on a social page. Since it caught me at a particularly good hair moment this year, and I get identified fashion illustrator, I’m pretty pleased.  Its nice to be included.

library finds – 03-09-09


For Library Finds, I take a few books out of the library and share with you photo of a page or two or perhaps a random excerpt with brief comments of my own.

Fashion Victims: The Catty Catalogue Of Stylish Casualties, From A to Z by Michael Roberts.
Fashion Victims
I love this book. It is painstakingly cut paper collage fashion cartoons, with a clever impish quality reflected in the ryhming poems that go with them.

Fashion Victim - H is for Heels
This title plate I found particularly amusing.  Guess WHO?

Fashion Victims - Heels poem
The illustrations are amazing, amusing, je t’aime.

The Fashion World, it’s often said,
Has wasted space inside its head.
And when it comes to introspection
Prefers a mirror for reflection.

Scenes from the Fashionable World by Kennedy Fraser.

Scenes from the Fashionable World

So far I’ve only read the first chapter of this book, a series of essays on the fashionable social scenes for The New Yorker from the early eighties.  Reading the accounts of a social scene in the distant past makes me really question how fleeting the relevance is of most social scenes – they’re really only important at the time they happen, to the people they happen to, and even the accounts of very active and privileged social lives can seem terrifically mundane.  The remarkable thing about the book (so far, I am part way through) is the reassurance that all the social preoccupations have all been done before and it doesn’t really matter for very long anyway.

Thankfully, the later, longer chapters seem to get more lively and fashiony.  Looking forward to long profiles on Issey Miyake in his early days and Estee Lauder in her later days.

Loving the bit on Norma Kamali…

Norma Kamali is the first fashion designer of recent times to have achieved an international reputation without giving a single fashion show.  The presentation in the Space at the Hanae Mori Building was to be her first…

The video image of Norma Kamali blossomed once again all over the space.  “Spare me,” the real Norma Kamali said, with a groan.

fashion blog karma – Bargainista


Eden Spodek

The coolest thing about my series of Toronto Fashion Blogger Brunches was the tremendous diversity of the attendees – not all of us were university students or recent grads – we had some bonafide adults in the group including Eden Spodek of the Bargainista shopping blog.  Her perspective as an online professional, hobby fashion blogger and mom made for some fascinating conversations over coffee and eggs.  Besides scoping out deals for Bargainista, Eden also collaborates on the Community Divas podcast and has a day job in PR.  She’s always a terrific person to talk to about blogging and developing professional relationships online and in real life.  I asked her a few more questions along those lines here.

You have a unique perspective being both a shopping blogger and a PR professional.  What do you think fashion blogging has to teach PR, and vice versa?

Wow, Danielle! That’s a loaded question. All bloggers and PR professionals can benefit from learning how to work well together. There are several agencies that have been working with fashion bloggers for quite some time. I don’t know them well because I tend not to get out to Fashion Week. From what I’ve seen, some have done a good job of getting to know individual members of the Toronto fashion blogging community and tailor their approach accordingly.

The Toronto fashion/shopping blogger community can show PR practitioners how communities will grow organically and be self-regulating without following any rulebooks, codes of conduct or social media thought leaders.

You are very active in a number of online communities and have an interest in communities in general.  Given the breadth of your participation, do you have any comments on the fashion blogging scene in particular?

The local fashion blogging scene is a relatively mature online community. It’s a tight, passionate and supportive community that has always been welcoming to others – for instance, Anita Clarke found me online and asked me to participate in TFBB (a group you founded).

It’s mature in the sense that its members successfully demonstrated their knowledge and influence early on. Independent retailers, designers and PR companies specializing in fashion recognized the influence of the fashion community early on and invited members to participate in the same events as traditional media, did their research and engaged bloggers on their terms. (That’s not to say there weren’t and still aren’t some hiccups along the way.)

We were discussing a certain “coming of age” for personal blogs recently.  When turning a personal or hobby blog into a business venture, what are the pitfalls to avoid?

I’m probably not the best person to ask about this because I’ve made a hobby out of keeping Bargainista a hobby. <joking>

In all seriousness, the most important thing a blogger has is her reputation. It’s worth more than money. Her blog is influential because it’s an authentic representation of her passion, her perspective. If she does anything to compromise her integrity, her reputation may be gone for good.

Pitfalls to avoid – ghost blogging, pay-per-post, not disclosing when you’ve been given a product, service or access to an event because of your role as a blogger, dishonesty.

My advice: be careful of whatever decisions you make, be transparent and disclose any relationships that may be perceived as a conflict of interest by your community.

What has being a shopping blogger taught you about shopping?

I’ve learned that online conversations really do influence purchasing decisions. It’s one thing to see crowds gravitate towards an iPhone app or a book on Twitter, but it’s another when you meet a regular reader of your blog who shows you all the things she’s bought because of your blog posts. Customer review sites are going gangbusters. Fashion bloggers are showing up in Holt’s windows. Things are changing. Blogging is becoming more mainstream. Google is a shopper’s best friend.

Not enough retailers appear to be aware of the online discussions taking place around their stores or competitors. At the very least, they should be monitoring online conversation.

Once I had an employee from a North American retail chain get involved in the discussion about a change in their return policy. She seemed quite jaded and her comments towards customers were somewhat harsh. Another employee chimed in who would have made a great online ambassador. She told us the policy had been overturned after a three-month trial period and that the company does listen to customer feedback about such issues. Unfortunately, both employees remained anonymous except for initials. The company would have benefited by having a social media policy in place to govern employee behaviour online and possibly cultivating online ambassadors who could openly engage in online conversations with customers and potential customers.

What do you think the future of the fashion/shopping blogging trend will be in the next decade?

The next decade? Online technology and adoption is moving at such a rapid pace that I’d be remiss to predict what it will be like even two years from now. However, I think we’ll see more online conversations with more brands participating. We’ll see a greater reliance on peer reviews and online customer review communities. I think online shopping will increase, especially as 3D web becomes commonplace and the barriers to entry decrease.

click click – 02-09-09

Welcome to Click Click, the regular roundup of what I find worth clicking on the internet.

Toronto-centric stuff…

As ever, link karma for friends of Final Fashion…

  • Beauty Editor“Talking to the world’s top beauty experts—including dermatologists, hairdressers, makeup artists and fragrance designers—is all in a day’s work for a beauty editor.”
  • Three of Hearts – Mackenzie, Toronto winner of the Holt Renfrew Contemporary Correspondent gig contributes to this blog.
  • The Sunday Best feel honoured to be on Thom’s blogroll – he’s hands-down the best menswear-focused fashion blogger in Canada.

competition – Explore Design 09


The Explore Design 09 education fair for youth is coming up on October 14 and 15 2009.  From the press release:

At Explore Design (ED), art aficionados and dedicated designers will divulge the ‘411’ on wide-ranging disciplines of art and design, revealing the value of creative careers. Aspiring students will test-drive automotive design with Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. motorcycle designer Michael Uhlarhik or get a behind-the-curtain sneak peek at fashion design from award-winning icon Linda Lundström.

Explore Design 09

Aspiring designers also have the opportunity to design the t-shirts for the fair staff, for the chance to win an Xbox. (Microsoft has no cash for prizes? As if. Lets really show the kids the value of creative careers please.) Entries are due September 30 2009.

event – Dermalogica Clean Start

Dermalogica sent an invitation for me and a “significant teen” to go rollerskating and learn a bit more about their new line for teens, Clean Start.

I invited the only teenager I know in town, Vanessa Faulkner.  Vanessa interviewed me for a school project last spring and is entering Fashion Communications at my old school, Ryerson, so I thought she might be into checking out a press event.  She gamely skipped out on orientation activities to come along, thanks Vanessa!  I asked Vanessa to contribute some thoughts – her comments are indented.

When we entered Scooters we were all given name tags and funky roller socks from American Apparel, and were then asked to take a photo with our ‘teen’ (which I guess would have been me). The place was decorated like a 60’s diner, with all sorts of fun, colourful decorations, and was filled with all sorts of Dermalogica products; face washes, moisturizers, masks and toners.  As soon as most people arrived we all sat down with our burgers and chicken fingers and snacked while listening to their presentation. I enjoyed the video presentation we watched, as although I found it corny at some parts, it was very cute, fun, and was a good video to market towards teens.

It was fun to be roller-buddies with blog friend Monica of Beauty Parler (who took the photo) and hang out with friend-of-a-friend and freelancer Felicia (on the right).

Vanessa, me and Felicia rollerskating

I had never rollerskated before, so obviously the first thing I did when stepping out onto the rink was fall down.  Ow. Vanessa says:

To my surprise roller-skating was a lot harder than it looked! At first we were all wobbling around, and for the first 5 minutes Danielle was clinging onto my arm for dear life.

Thanks for saving my life, Vanessa.  After a few I was able to wobble along on my own.

Soon enough we got the hang of it and by then Dermalogica had begun to organize fun games for us all to participate in, giving away Dermalogica products as prizes. They had us doing all sorts of things from the Macarena to the chicken dance, to musical chairs (and don’t forget this was all while on roller skates!).

I wasn’t about to start hopping around on wheels so I took some photos during the games and couldn’t resist making a GIF out of these two girls – they were so full of energy I couldn’t tear my eyes away from their impressive, and self-consciously beautiful, performance.
rollerskate Macarena

I think the girl on the left won a prize pack of the complete Clean Start collection.

Finally we were given our gift bags, thanked for coming, and were about to board the school bus to take us back to the city when they announced that there was one more surprise. Waiting outside for us all was an ice cream truck where we were each allowed a complimentary ice cream – any kind we wanted. It was a great way to end the day, however I couldn’t help but find it somewhat ironic that they were promoting a skin care product to help clear acne, while feeding us junk food all day long – one of the major causes for oily skin and breakouts. Overall I enjoyed participating in the event and it was a great learning experience for me.

I guess its in Dermalogica’s best interest to promote topical stuff rather than addressing the internal aspect of skin health – but it does seem a bit disingenuous for a company that emphasizes education.  The scooters experience was fun and teen-appropriate but considering it was such a gorgeous late summer day outside, maybe an opportunity for a slightly more wholesome event was missed? *had an idea in the comments.

So what about the products?  The packaging design is really clean and gender-neutral.  The products themselves are just as good as Dermalogica’s adult lines – quality botanical ingredients, fresh scents and nice textures – but with the added bonus of being delivered in a simplified way.  Personally, I would buy the Clean Start stuff for myself – I don’t think it will only appeal to teenagers, but also to people like me who are looking for a less fussy kind of skincare.

I’ve been experimenting with the samples all weekend – especially enjoying the welcome matte spf15 which is the least slippery and fastest absorbing face moisturizer I have ever used.  I also really liked the bedtime for breakouts “stealth treatment”.  My skin is not easy to please these days so it was really a delight to get to use such nice products.  What did Vanessa think?

I have yet to actually try out Dermalogica’s Clean Start samples I received in my gift bag, but I will be sure to do that soon, and I will update you all when I do!

Ok, we’ll follow up with her soon – I am pretty sure she is overwhelmed with her first few days of fashion school right now.

Thanks to Dermalogica Clean Start for treating us to such a fun day!

new sponsors for September

It is the fifth month of Final Fashion‘s sponsorship program and once again I get to welcome new sponsors to join me on the lovely far right sidebar.  Interested in sponsorship?  Please get in touch!  September brings two new sponsors to Final Fashion

Shopgirls is a collective consignment boutique located at Queen Street West in Toronto and online.  Curated by retail pro Michelle Germain, Shopgirls features everything from one-of-a-kind art to must-have items by local fashion designers.  It was such a pleasure get to know Michelle and her right-hand girl Ashley when we worked on the poster for the upcoming fundraiser Walk the Walk.

Toronto Fashion Incubator is the world’s first institution of its kind – a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting fashion entrepreneurs with resources and education.  I have been a member ever since I graduated from fashion school and can not count the number of great contacts and career opportunities I have found thanks to participating in TFI’s seminars and events.  If you are up and coming in fashion in Toronto, you must get a membership, meet Susan Langdon and the great girls at the front desk Nina and Anne.  Their friendly spirit will inspire you to think of what you have to offer and they will always generously give you a hand as you work to find your place in the fashion industry.

Plus… encore applause for returning sponsors!

  • Fashion Crimes – fabulous dresses and accessories from the queen of crinolines, Pam Chorley, available only in downtown Toronto.
  • PunkMedics – stripped-down simple skincare for vegans, the recently body-modified and other sensitive souls, shipped worldwide.
  • Fresh Collective – 25 local designer-entrepreneurs who share a feel-good, body-friendly and retro-fun aesthetic, available only in downtown Toronto.
  • Pink Lady – offers services designed to assist fashion labels in the early stages of production including design, illustration, patternmaking and sample services.  Working with clients worldwide.

Thanks so much to all the sponsors and extra appreciation to Final Fashion‘s readers for supporting the businesses that help support this site.