Friday, April 29, 2011

FAT Toronto Alternative Fashion Week Fall 2011: Day 3 Fashion/Unfashion

Toronto Alternative Arts and Fashion Week is an annual multi-arts event features national and international fashion designers, visual artists, bands and performers each year. Each day includes runway shows, live performances, music, photography exhibits, video screenings and installation exhibits.

I'll be honest, I was pretty overwhelmed as it's the first time I stayed for the whole day. Considering there were 12 shows during the span of 4 hours, you would be too! I was super impressed by the level of creativity in all the shows. I'm not talking about just the clothing, but the styling, different types of model walks that engaged the audience, and the story each show told. Out of all the shows Heidi Ackerman & Lindsay Sinclair, and House of Etiquette stole my heart! Here were some of my favs from each show!

Rachel Sin

Rachel Sin

Rachel Sin

Wani by Saki

Wani by Saki

Aimee Tobolka

Breeyn McCarney- these pictures do not do the designs justice at all. The details are impeccable as it's made out of cotton rag paper!

Heidi Ackerman & Lindsay Sinclair

Heidi Ackerman & Lindsay Sinclair

Ruth Weil

Anastasia Lomonova (Montreal, QC)

Anastasia Lomonova (Montreal, QC)

NRT Fashions (Calgary, Alberta)

NRT Fashions (Calgary, Alberta)

Saint Hollywood by Uta Bekaia (New York, USA)The theatrical portion at the beginning of the show was absolutely stunning! (More pictures to come)

Saint Hollywood by Uta Bekaia (New York, USA)

Haphazard- super cute and hilarious concept. Can't help but giggle as I watch models fight to see through that fabric.


House of Etiquette - I am so obsessed with this collection. Maybe it's because I'm attracted to bright shiny things?

House of Etiquette - it's hard to see in this picture by the use of clear plastic (right) as stockings is genius creating a shiny greased up effect

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Alexander the Great

The May Issue of Vogue was a touching one. A whole spread was dedicated to Alexander McQueen's work. Accompanying each image, Sarah Burton and Sarah Mower shared their thoughts and favorite moments with the late McQueen. I've included bits a pieces of their commentary.

Windows of Culloden, Fall 2006

"The collection was about the 1745 massacre of Scottish Jacobites by the English, which Lee felt so passionately about because his Scottish family heritage, which his mother had researched. The women were the widows of the slaughtered army... We had to figure out how to make lace work in the round with those ruffles because Lee hated gathering. So we cut out all of the flowers from the lace and reappliqued it on tulle to make our own fabric. This is the collection most people remember as the one with Kate Moss in a hologram. Oh, my God, it was so beautiful. He loved that show"

Voss Spring 2001

"So much of this show was about the collective madness of the world. It was presented in a two way mirrored glass box in London, and the girls had bandaged heads, acting like inmates of a mental asylum. Lee wanted the top of this dress to be made from surgical slides used for hospital specimens, which we found in a medical supply shop on Wigmore Street, The we hand painted them red, drilled holes in each one, and sewed them on so they looked like paillettes. We hand painted white ostrich feathers and dip dyed each one to layer in the skirt"

Number 13, Spring 1999

"This was from the amazing show in London where Shalom Harlow stood on a turntable and was spray painted by robots. This particular look was made from wood to form the shape of a fan: It was all about the craftsmanship.."

Sarabande Sping 2007

"This dress had fresh flowers on it. We put them on just before she went out, and they started to fall off one by one as she walked. I remember people saying Lee timed it. We had a laugh about that. It was an accident!"

It's only a Game Spring 2005

"All the girls were dressed as chess pieces and the show was choreographed as a chess game. It was about the chessboard of fashion. Lee did have foresight and a sense of humor! This is one of thetwo horse pieces. He made it by commissioning Steve Powell, a hospital prosthetics expert, to make the body. And the horsetails were form the same suppliers who make the plumes for the queen;s Royal Horse Guards"

Voss, Spring 2001

"This is a straitjacket, a kimono with the sleeves strapped around the back...I saved all the showpieces from every collection because I'm a hoarder. Sometimes Lee would look at them again, just to remember what he's done with something. It was his dictionary he was building, really"

Friday, April 22, 2011

Lost and Found: Illustration

An illustration I did last year using Prismacolor markers. The inspiration came from surrealist artist René Magritte's The Lovers from 1928.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hermès- The Constance Bag

From April 13-16, Hermès Canada welcomed a Master Leather Craftsman visiting from the Paris workshop at the Toronto boutique. Over the course of 4 days, Han Zo Cling created the Constance bag. Han has worked for Hermès for the past 10 years ever since her 10 month apprenticeship.

*When I received an invitation to attend this event, I pictured an old man with thick glasses and coarse hands. Let's just say I was very wrong.

The time it takes to make a purse depends on the size. For example the Constance Bag would take about 15 hours opposed to a Birkin bag which would take about 25 hours.

Han's workspace

An unfinished Constance Bag

The thread used to sew the bag is coated with beeswax to strengthen the it. Han then showed us how a thread a needle. Sounds simple? The needle goes through the centre of the thread three times before it goes through the eye and is pulled through.

Using a compass like tool, a light mark is made in the leather to create a 0.7 mm seam allowance.

Each stitching hole is now pounded in individually.

1 thread and 2 needles are used to sew the bags. No two bags are ever the same considering each Craftsman uses a different styles of hand-stitching. Unfortunately the craftsman could not be recognized solely by looking at the stitching.

A heated tool is used to finish the edges of the bag. It is then painted over with dye.

The heated tool is used again to set the dye. A combination of coarse and fine sand paper is used to smooth out the edges. These last couple of steps are usually repeated multiple times to create a perfect smooth edge. This was one of the most challenging parts for Han when she first started.

My French is terrible but I'll take a wild guess that you should not smell, eat, or rub this in your eyes.

Han tried to explain another difficult task, the process of making the handle of the Kelly bag. It was so complicated that it required a diagram.

Super cute Hèrmes leather teddy bears!

Han had pretty broken English and I could not have done this post without Audrey, a lovely lady who happened to know French and translated for Han (you may be able to spot her in some of the pictures!)

This experience was absolutely amazing. Living in such a fast paced world where many products are mass produced, it's so refreshing to see that a fashion house as old as Hermès has stayed true to their brand image!

Friday, April 15, 2011


This jean underwear is apparently all the rave in Tokyo right now. It's designed by a brand called CUW and can be yours for only $61 USD at Japan Trend Shop!

"I mean, why should we neglect our underwear and only think about regular pants all the time? You can say so much about yourself with your choice of underwear, plus give yourself more confidence and panache, knowing that what you are wearing underneath is also original and funky." Makes perfect sense considering how low men's jeans are worn nowadays. If the waist of your jeans are going to hang under your butt you might as well wear something relatively cute under. Does this mean we're encouraging more Pants on the Ground?

According to CUW, these boxers can be worn by men OR women which I find so awkward considering there are very different shapes going on down south between the two.
Now even the whole family can have matching undies!

Ryerson School of Fashion Presents: Wanderlust (BHS)

Ryerson School of Fashion Presents: Wanderlust, a fashion show that showcases 2nd year and 3rd year designs. Runway pictures to come!