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?