Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Frugal Fashion Week's "Burlesque Baby" Event

March 25th marked this year's third event for Frugal Fashion Week. This month's event called "Burlesque Baby" featured sick burlesque performances by Aradia Fitness - North America's leading pole dancing and sensual fitness company- as well as three fashion shows that were all cabaret inspired.

Prior to the show, backstage was like a red bull infused oxygen tank since makeup artists, volunteers(myself included), models and photographers kept the energy alive. As you can plainly see from the picture to the right, makeup artist Tammy Wong and photographer Gwen Brydson rock peace signs and candid faces no doubt.

What better way to kick off an event with some pole dancing fun! Aradia's pole dancing instructors wowed the audience with their impressive pole skills, being the envy of everyone in the room-men included! I was lucky enough to watch the practice run before the event and was honestly amazed (and yep, jealous) of their ability to create such tranquil, muscle-enforced movements. They have to live at the gym to maintain that type of physical strength.

Vintage fashion inspired designers, Yvette Le Roy and Dia Kingly took to the catwalk as the DJ coincided with his vintage music tastes. To the right you'll see the beautiful models strike a pose in Yvette Le Roy's designs. Even though these designs are nice from a distance, up close you could actually see the seams falling apart. The dresses are nice as I said, but a far cry from "haute couture" or even basic retail sales. Oops, did I say that out loud? Sorry...

As dressers hustled to transform each model from Yvette Le Roy to Dia Kingly, the audience was entertained by yet another Aradia instructor- but this time they retired the pole and opted for a chair dance routine.

Dia Kingly's designs included a lot of animal print and black dresses, quite reminisant of the WhoWhatWhenWEARWhy designs. Below is an example, but the light has created an interesting sliver tint, differing from its actual appearance of black fabric.

The best (in my opinion) was of course saved for last, Cabaret Vintage! High, high, high quality vintage clothing was rented from the Cabaret Vintage store located at 672 Queen Street West. Be sure to check out the link provided, there are some really great collections! From little black dress, to vintage RTW, to vintage glamour- the list goes on and on. FFW's main focus was placed on white dresses in particular, creating a classic and elegant feel as the night wore down.

Sadly, this was my last volunteer event with FFW (until August/September, anyway) since I'm moving elsewhere this summer :'( But be sure to check out Frugal's future events-remember, every last Thursday of the month!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rising Canadian Designer, Angela DeMontigny

[My third article for SJFW - Check out the online article here!]

'SKINS & STONES adorn my bones and my style is what defines me' 

My third article for San Jose Fashion Week allowed me to get up close and personal with one of Canada's fastest rising designers. Inspired by native culture and women’s contemporary lifestyles, designer Angela DeMontigny is making a fundamental mark in the fashion industry. Almost 13 years ago, DeMontigny recognized the unmet potential for Aboriginal designs and went with it. Such an opportunity allowed her to not only incorporate the artistic traditions she had learned growing up, but to interpret these elements in a modern way.

Angela started sketching at the age of 12 and was engulfed in the fashion industry, whether it was through reading the latest fashion mag or creating her own designs- she loved every aspect. She feels that fashion is about personal expression, “[fashion is] a way of expressing the many aspects of an individual through clothing.” She also feels it is important to include a specific and effective message in each of her collections. “It changes from each collection,” she states, “but usually the message is that you can dress yourself as a strong, modern person in a way that fits your personality and lifestyle.”
Edginess and elegance intertwine with cultural Chippewa-Cree-M├ętis elements in all of DeMontigny’s intricate designs, while her trademark is hand painted symbols and beaded accents-an inherent skill that has been handed down from her native ancestors for hundreds of years. Only the finest leathers, suede and sheerings from Italy, Spain and France are used to develop the finished garment. Whether you are in the market for men or women’s clothing, DeMontigny got you covered, literally. Her latest collection incorporates her favorite trend of this season, rocker chic. Leather, lots of metal studs and hardware, fringe and various fur garments can be seen in her clothing line. The unique concept of Angela’s designs is that they are extremely wear-able. They have a slight ‘edge’ or sexiness to them but at the same time, they are appropriate for the office, comfortable and possess a certain je ne sais quoi that adds to the versatility of the clothing. What else could you ask for?

Angela’s success has flourished throughout the years, and her designs have gotten a lot of coverage already in 2010. Most recently at the Aboriginal Fashion Week, she produced and debuted her new collection in Vancouver, BC during the first week of the Olympic games. One of Angela’s proudest moments to date was when Canadian Native Olympian, Waneek Horn-Miller sported a diamond gorget created by DeMontigny. She believes, “the diamond piece will kick start a legacy fund for Aboriginal Youth in design."

Angela DeMontigny Clothing and Accessories can be found in boutiques in major city centers including Montreal, Toronto, and Calgary. Her designs are also sold internationally in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and in USA. She currently has two specialty boutiques in the US, one in Wyoming and Colorado, however she plans to expand in the near future.  

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” This quote certainly relates to the success of Angela DeMontigny as she paves the road for aspiring Aboriginal designers everywhere.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Year in Review: 2009 Trends Report

[My second article for SJFW!]

As the world slowly pulled itself out of an economic recession, cutting edge trends dominated the Autumn/Winter runways in 2009. Over the knee boots were the must have during this season, while fashion trend setters found their boots creeping up a little further wearing thigh highs. Leather clothing and military fashions ruled the runways as well during the colder months of last year. Hermes even pulled off a full leather jumpsuit as part of their aviation-themed collection while Victoria Beckham went all out and paired it with fur. Ripped denim, tights and stockings went along with the whole rocker chic look of Autumn/Winter 2009. Multiple rips added to the desired, edgy allure of the season as designer Alexander Wang incorporated several pieces in his collection, while Gossip Girl Taylor Momsen rocked the trend as well. Not one of my favorites, but a trend to say the least, capes and cloaks were spotted on the street and runways in 2009. Capes. Say the word, and images of masked superheroes mid-flight immediately pop into many people's minds. Nevertheless, designer Guy Laroche created several gothic cloak pieces and YSL’s take on the cape trend was incredibly distinct. During Paris Fashion Week, an abundance of models were noticed wearing this trend, such as Anna Selezneva rocking a bright blue cape.

The tail end of winter has disappeared and in its place came spring/summer 2009 with a new and exciting wardrobe. Androgynous looks dictated street and runway styles all around the world allowing women to steel from their boyfriend’s closets. One of my favorite trends of the season, Boyfriend blazers and denim created a more relaxed but fashionable look last year and thankfully, the trend remains today. Celebrities such as Rihanna and Twilight star, Kristen Stewart took advantage of the relaxed trend. Beautifully designed one shouldered tops, dresses and bikinis were spotted last summer during everyone’s daily dose of the sun, permitting women to show off some skin and to cool off of course. Actresses Jessica Alba and Gwyneth Paltrow chose to show off one of the sexiest and sensual fashion accessory, the shoulders. As any fashionista will notice, history and fashion go hand in hand, so don’t be surprised to find out that Grecian inspired clothing was a key trend in spring/summer 2009. It’s essentially an obvious flow from the one shoulder trend and an evolution from the 1920’s flapper trend. Whether they were the traditional maxi-dress or short little numbers, pair the flowly dress with gladiator sandals and an instant Greek goddess look is achieved! Designers, Valentino and Elle Sabb incorporated great pieces in their Spring/Summer collection.In addition to the Grecian inspired dresses, a whole range of ethnic and exotic trends broke onto the fashion runway scene. From turbans, to flowing kaftans, to tribal-infused prints and creative African adventure suits, designers were drawing inspiration from every corner of the globe. Designers from Christopher Kane to Paul Smith incorporated a strong use of leopard and cheetah print tops paired with geometric skirts in earthy colors.

2009 fashions explored a bevy of different and creative looks, leaving a lot of room for expression of personal style. A lot of the year’s collections came from the past; the Grecian inspired dresses, the 80’s ripped denim and leather jackets of the 50’s to name a few. I can honestly say that I loved both autumn/winter and spring/summer 2009 collections! Aside from the whole cape trend, each look provoked me to max out my credit card in order to rock every style. However, my favorite look was definitely the 80’s rocker trend that made its way back to runways last year, allowing me to wear my super high boots, ripped denim and bomber jacket. Even though fashion is known to evolve, I hope that some of these trends are incorporated into upcoming 2010 fashions!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

TFI's Fashion Employment Seminar

Toronto Fashion Incubator hosted its Fashion Employment seminar last night, March 9th at their downtown Toronto location. The Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) is an innovative and highly respected non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and nurturing small business entrepreneurs. 
TFI mentor, Clint Scott shared his past experience and 12 years worth of knowledge on the topic of employment as the keynote speaker. Quick rundown of his accomplishments: he has spent the past 12 years in recruitment, working with leading companies, locally and internationally. His passion and dedication has inspired him to coach hiring managers and partner with his clients to ensure they hire the best available talent for their needs. So in other words, he knew what he was talking about. Although the seminar was at capacity and got a relatively good response, I found that the content of his speech was a far cry from new information that would potentially spark any epiphanies eager to reach the surface. On the other hand, he had that "motivational speaker" kinda vibe to him as he was discussing life goals, dream jobs AND how to get your passionate hands on those goals. 
He spoke about the types of positions available such as fashion buyers,forecasters, merchandisers, promotion and public relations, retail managers and fashion journalism to name a few. I was disappointed that he skimmed through these positions and only provided the easily attainable info available when you type it in a google search engine. 
Expectations = be realistic. That's the whole spiel in a nutshell. Understand the structure of the company you want to work for, the expectations your employer has for you and vice versa. Also, remember to hone your skills and take pride in what you're doing, whether that be counting buttons or a VP of a company-you must be the best you can be, to cliche it up. In addition, Scott spoke about broadening your experiences and to absorb all information you can because with lack of a better expression, knowledge is power. 
He also touched on career paths and the steps that could lead you up the corporate ladder...which was pretty self explanatory. 
Finally he spoke about something interesting and very important- what companies look for. He spoke about "you, the brand", "you, the image" and "you, the values." So, when you send off that resume for your dream job or even a job you absolutely need, you must brand yourself positively! Because that's essentially what you are doing-branding yourself. Step out of that box and think how you're going to create a brand specifically for you in an effective and unique manner. Obviously this day and age requires you to be well groomed and put together, so for obvious reasons, suit up! Values. I have to admit, I've never really thought about company values and if they are in alignment with my own. To improve your work space and overall happiness with your job, you must share the same values, or at least be in the same ballpark. 
Preparing yourself and networking is also a vital aspect in the employment race. While he gave lots of tips for compiling your resume,research efforts are just as important. Bottom line: know your employer, the company's background, the company's accomplishments, your employer's accomplishments, etc. However, use caution and do not be a borderline stalker- this heightens your chance of not getting the job and maybe even a night in the slammer.  
With that being said, I'd give the seminar three stars out of five!
To check out TFI's website, events and membership deals, click here!

Friday, March 5, 2010

PC Merchandising Assignment #2: Model Composite Card

My model comp card of Jessica Alba completed in InDesign.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Frugal Fashion Week's Swaggalicious Event

You remember Frugal Fashion Week, don't you? You know, the WhoWhatWhenWhereWhy event I already blogged about...well on February 25th, the Swaggalicious event marked the official launch of Flud Watches. These watches are extremely unique and lack of a better word, awesome!- As you can see from the pictures below.Upon arrival, guests received a gift bag that contained a Flud watch, a CD, (a great selection of either David Guetta, Snoop Dog, Katy Perry or Latoya Jackson I might add) and some contact cards for Dj's and the Nyood venue for only 10 bucks. Eccentric designs go hand in hand with unique names; there's the Big Ben, the Turntables, the Boombox, the Timeout and more. Guests were also encouraged to purchase a watch from Flud's latest collection with prices ranging from $55-$80, not bad for a ticker that is so creative. Theses watches are based in Europe and sold in the U.S as well, but unfortunately not yet available in Canada- but that doesn't stop you from shopping online. Click here to shop away! You should also know that these watches were mentioned in such magazines as fashion bible WWD, Vibe and Nylon to name a few.
After the swag was given out, the lounge was free to socialize and network or even dance to the sick beats the Dj's were spinning. Once again, all proceeds went to Windfall- Canada's only new clothing bank to support those who cannot afford clothing. Although I was volunteering behind the scenes during this event, the turnout was great, and the feedback was even better! To visit Frugal Fashion Week's website and upcoming events, click here!

Click here to check out Flud's homepage.


^ My personal fave!


Ok so Canada's victory has nothing to do with fashion, but I couldn't help but post this!
What a game! All Canadian residences were on the edge of their seats as Canada faced USA for the gold medal. With a 2-0 lead, Canadian fans thought it was in the bag. But when USA tied it up with just 30 seconds left in the game, fans became uneasy. But of course, Nova Scotia native Sidney Crosby scored the OT goal, not to mention the goal of a lifetime. This victory was celebrated by patriotic fans from coast to coast, from Vancouver to Toronto to St.John's. I happened to be in the middle of crazy victory party down on Toronto's Yonge Street...and it was awesome. Thousands of fans covered the streets partying, drinking and even climbing poles (see pic below). It was a great time had by all for sure...but hangovers were definitely felt on Monday morning. With that being said, I'm proud to be Canadian! :)