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Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI)
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City of Toronto Economic Development
Volume 18, Issue 2
1. Anastasia Lomonova Wins New Labels®
2. Fashion Week In Toronto
3. Interview With A Buyer
4. Kim Cattrall: The Face Of Fashion Targets Breast Cancer Campaign
5. Upcoming TFI Events
6. Share Your News With TFI
7. Thank You Donors
8. Scene & Heard
9. Top Pick Videos
10. Upcoming Events
1. Anastasia Lomonova Wins New Labels®
The finale of the annual Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) New Labels® Runway Show, a six-month long design competition, was presented on April 24, 2010. Five finalists, Anastasia Lomonova, House of Groves, Diepo, Birds of North America and Paris Li, illuminated the runway at The Carlu for a glamorous crowd of 400. Only one designer could claim the New Labels title, a tough task for judges Derick Chetty (Toronto Star), David Dixon (David Dixon Inc.), Noreen Flanagan (ELLE Canada), Adriana Gut (Mattel Canada), Jason Morikawa (Holt Renfrew) and Peter Papapetrou (fashion stylist). The evening, part of the ELLE Canada benefit for TFI, was emceed by CBC News Now anchor Anne-Marie Mediwake and included high-profile guests such as actors Wendy Crewson and Rachel Wilson, supermodel Monika Schnarre and ‘Bachelorette’ Jessie Sulidis. Each designer showed 12 outfits, including three Barbie-inspired little black dresses. LBD photos L-R: Birds of North America, Anastasia Lomonova, House of Groves.
Montreal-based Lomonova’s winning collection titled “The Morrigan” included black silk, lace and jersey dresses with sheer mesh and sequin detailing. “In ancient medieval manuscripts, there was mention of The Morrigan, a trio of powerful 'raven women' that often appeared as crows flying above warriors. That, and the idea of beauty in power, decay and catastrophe, is what inspired this collection,” said Lomonova. It had a strong point of view, according to the judges. “Everything came together—the styling, the music,” said Chetty. For Papapetrou, the lace bodysuits she made by hand and the beading brought the collection to another level. “It felt tight—strong and cohesive.” From a retail perspective, it also has potential. “You can break it apart and still wear it,” said Morikawa.
Lomonova took home a prize package valued at over $35,000, including $10,000 cash provided by Barbie®.
Challenging Lomonova for the title, Jennifer Waters for House of Groves presented a focused collection of black and white lady-of-the-manor dresses and separates that were impeccably tailored. Waters was inspired by Nancy Mitford’s novel Pursuit of Love. "I pictured all the pieces being worn by the main character, Linda Radlett, during a weekend house party in the English countryside, with a little of The Cramps thrown in."
Current TFI resident Paris Li debuted her second collection entitled "SHE". Inspired by both the strong movie heroines of the 1940s and medieval European military uniforms, the fall 2010 line drew subtly on both influences, fusing them into a collection that was decidedly modern and bold. Rich, quality fabrications were one of the collection’s key features. The designer worked in wool and wool cashmere coat and suiting fabrics, and silk with luxurious and sometimes surprising mink and fox accents. The palette was primarily black and grey. “I love black and I never tire of grey,” Paris explains. “I think they will always be the perfect foundation of a collection—or a woman’s wardrobe. But they must be infused with colour. Our winters are too long and dark without them.”
Diepo, designed by Justine Diener and Kristin Poon, worked silk chiffon, organza and charmeuse into very feminine lingerie-inspired pieces that can be worn both inside and out. Tasteful garters, bras and tap pants mixed with onesies and sheer cover-ups. The duo cite 1940s and ’50 s icons Ingrid Bergman and Elizabeth Taylor as muses for their collection. The Ryerson fashion grads also showed at Alternative Fashion Week (FAT) a few days before New Labels.
Although Hayley Gibson’s Birds of North America fall collection was charming and sweet, the designer was inspired by a more macabre influence. "This collection is in itself a gaudy memento mori for dead teenagers that reunites the corporeal aspect of their deaths with all the things we allow to rush so quickly into the void left by their absence," she said. Cotton pinafores and ruffled dresses, each named for a different bird such as "Starling", "Ptarmigan" and "Brambling", were accessorized with bowler hats and gauze chin straps and shirred black mesh leggings.
“All of the designers were fabulous and each possesses the talent to succeed in the Canadian fashion industry,” said Susan Langdon, executive director of Toronto Fashion Incubator. “Thanks to the generosity of our event sponsors ELLE Canada, P&G Beauty, Mattel Canada, Strut Wines and Salon Daniel, these new labels received an incredible opportunity to showcase their talents before an audience of retailers, media, potential consumers and industry elite.”
Through ticket sales, sales of VIP dinner tables, a silent auction and a trip to Maui draw, the event raised almost $35,000 to benefit TFI.
Photos: Paul Toogood Photography
2. Fashion Week in Toronto
The really big news for the fall 2010 season wasn't about the exaggerated shoulder or how black is the new black. What grabbed headlines and got industry insiders talking was the number of shows held off-site and off-schedule from LG Fashion Week. Some of Canada's top labels such as Paul Hardy and Greta Constantine, along with lesser-known designers, decided to go the independent route. For better or worse, here is a wrap-up of Toronto's fashion show circuit for fall/winter 2010:
Philip Sparks’ Goes Navy
Menswear designer Philip Sparks started us off three weeks prior to the official start of LG Fashion Week on March 11 at the Burroughes Building with his Moby Dick-inspired collection. Opting for a presentation rather than the standard runway show, Sparks staged a composition of a dozen young, flush-faced boys propped among nautical-themed items. He didn’t stray far from the traditional tailoring we all expect. His collection consisted of predominately navy and grey pieces with his wool peacoats being the standouts. Sparks has always been consistent with his brand and his fall/winter 2010 collection solidifies him as one of Canada’s prominent menswear designers. —GM
Nada Shepherd kicked off the womenswear shows two weeks ahead of the official week. Her show resonated on trend and on time what with 3D extravaganza Avatar landing on the Oscar list, and on the fashion front, several brands have been live-streaming their shows for a few seasons. Shepherd (along with Burberry, which was first), nimbly combined the two to bring the notion of the fashion presentation into the future. “The role of fashion is to reinterpret the dress, reinterpret the skirt, make it new. Designers are always thinking about that and not how to deliver the message,” said Shepherd in a post-show Q&A. “The fashion show platform has been stagnant.” Her two models were fembots battling in computer-generated landscapes. Each battle represented a grouping from which they chose their clothes for the ensuing fights. The cost was about 10-times that of a traditional runway show. Although more computer game than movie, the NADA show builds from an earlier concept showcased by Canadian designer Crystal Siemens in 2003, where she along with Len Henry and his company FashCam, turned the runway presentation into a video. Exciting ideas. The problem: getting a good enough look at the clothes. NADA’s sleek dresses, sharp-shouldered jackets and fabrics, like Lurex-infused velvets and metallicized pythons, got lost in the medium, but a lookbook is available online. Despite her forward take, runway shows aren’t a thing of the past, she says. “I think they will go back to square one—more intimate, buyers and editors only. But video can continue because it can go onto the web.” www.nada3d.com —DM
McCarney’s Hard-Boiled Wonderland
Breeyn McCarney presented her first independent fashion show “Hard-Boiled Wonderland” on March 18 to a capacity crowd at Toronto’s Courthouse. Provided with inspiration from a recent photographic project, “The Ruins of Detroit” by Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre, and a colour palette reminiscent of the haunting artwork of Brooklyn-based artist Sam Weber, McCarney wanted to project “an idealized vision of women living after the fictional collapse of today’s culture.” Being environmentally conscious, McCarney prides herself on using only natural fibre fabrics and reclaimed fur or fur purchased from trappers. Her collection was decidedly feminine with mostly greys and light pink dresses and knitted sweaters. You can view an edited video of the show here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBh2yRJHK_o&feature=player_embedded. —GM
Paul Hardy’s off-fashion-week show was a festive affair. Guests were greeted by circus music and the smell of popcorn, which wafted from the kind of portable carts that were once carnival staples. It was held at Smash, a Junction-area architectural recovery store in Toronto. Beneath the playful façade was the occasional discordant note: the print of the ringmaster whose torso was a mass of squiggling tentacles and the skulls made more sinister by being fashioned from lace. It was all part of his theme: Cirque Noir. The ringmaster outfit, the high-waisted trapeze artist pants, the parachute silk skirt cut like a tent, and the ornate embroidery, feathers and embellishment channeled a Belle Epoque, Moulin Rouge sensibility, which was actually inspired by a book called The Circus 1870-1950. The theatrical theme continued with his fashionable slight-of-hand. Heathered alpaca coats came with detachable silk linings that can be worn together or separately for different looks. The hem of a cropped stretch-satin jacket can be lowered with parachute string to a three-quarter length. The mink sleeves on a tap suit are removable and can be attached to a mink vest (paired with a patent-fringe tunic). Despite the strong, focused clothes, his large crystal pendant necklaces almost stole the show. Made from vintage jewellery he’s broken apart, and chandelier pendants picked up at European flea markets, he says he can’t keep them in stock at his Calgary boutique, despite the almost $1,000 price tags.
A growing frustration with the fractured Canadian fashion industry was the more philosophical reason for the title of his theme. “Every province has it’s own fashion week,” Hardy says. “I find it hard to justify. There are only two in the U.S. and people travel to them. And on an international level, it doesn’t make sense. They’re not going to travel to Alberta or Vancouver or even Toronto unless they have a reason to. It’s arrogant of Canadians to expect them to come here. It’s become a circus and a circus is a traveling road show.…It’s so commercialized with sponsors and the public paying for tickets.” As for rumours that he called the people in the industry circus freaks, Hardy just laughs. “If I were to say anything like that, I would say it’s a cast of characters.” —DM
Line by John Muscat and Jennifer Wells couldn’t wish for more from a first fashion show. A crowded audience, no model or music mishaps, and clothes that had cynical fashion types drooling. Who knew chunky knits could look so fashionable? These were not your grandmother’s sweaters. Oversized cardigans with knitted ropes of yarn crisscrossing the back and looped like tattered epaulettes at the shoulder. Long grey vests knitted to resemble fur. Pseudo-fur wristlets, leg warmers, and oversized knit ruffled scarves that will see necklace sales fall. All overlaid with a light Lurex shimmer. The look, with the model’s hair slicked back to frizz out midway and the formfitting leggings and bodysuits, was of a tattered fairy in the woods, but the individual pieces themselves are fashionable enough to be worn anywhere. —DM
Greta Constantine’s Takes Us to the Roof of New York City
With an elaborate New York rooftop backdrop at the end of a long concrete runway, Greta Constantine designers Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong presented their fall/winter 2010 collection on Friday, March 19, once again in an underground garage at the Audi Dealership in Toronto. The duo opened the show with a grouping of sexy, draped, grey flannel dresses that left retailers and consumers alike begging for more. The dresses featured GC's signature figure-flattering draping, which was also apparent in a parade of fluid jersey dresses accented with sequins and fur. Their menswear collection, Erza Constantine, had a very masculine commando feel with military influences going as far as the male models' war wound makeup. The designers also included a five-piece capsule collection incorporating the four rings of the Audi logo. —GM & SL
Opening the week and returning to the runway at LG Fashion Week was Izzy Camilleri, but this time she was not alone in her venture. Working with former Fashion File television host Adrian Mainella and with the support of NAFA, the IZMA line was created. With hints of the impeccable leather tailoring that won Camilleri a large fan base, the collection’s focus was on wearable fur jackets, capelets and accessories for both men and women. A few were convertible: a dyed black coyote capelet that transformed into an A-line skirt; a black fox stole that can turn into a purse; and even a hybrid they call “g-leggings”—wear them around your calves like leg warmers or on your arms like pseudo gloves. With the stories starting from light beige and camel tones to dark greys and blacks, the line was a toned down version of the sexy looks from Camilleri’s past. The tailored leather and suede trousers, skirts and pantsuits were paired with a range of wild Canadian sustainable furs, including coyote, raccoon, muskrat, fox, and beaver. Being the sole show on opening night it left us craving more. —GM & DM
Party of Five
Luxury retailer Holt Renfrew hosted a media breakfast and fashion show at its flagship Bloor Street location on March 29th. Guest of honour Vogue senior fashion writer Mark Holgate caught a glimpse of fall/winter by five of our country's top designers: Lida Baday, Denis Gagnon, Jeremy Laing, Mikhael Kale, and Greta Constantine by Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong. With the exception of Greta Constantine none of the other designers held runway shows this season. —SL
It just gets better and better. Careerwear corporate types can wear. Cool hotpants made out of senior’s sweaters and the Canadiana with which we are so blessed. Scarlett O’Hara has nothing on Preloved, which took curtains (and saris) and turned them into tiered dresses. The brand even made those jewel-toned leather skirts from the ‘80s stylish, using them as a hit of colour in skirts and jackets made from men’s wool pants and blazers. —DM
Wesley Badanjak of Lovas could teach some designers about fit and tailoring. (Something he learned on the job as David Dixon’s assistant?) The winter white wool jacket and black tropical wool pant that opened his show set the tone, soon followed by the slim-fitting plaid wool dress with front bow paired with fingerless raccoon gloves, then the purple dress with exposed back zip, and so on. His Lovas line was sharp, paying attention to detail and construction. —DM
Evan Biddell earned another 15 minutes of fame this season. The former Project Runway Canada winner channeled a cross between the Flintstones and the Jetsons for his fall collection. The hooded cropped jacket with massive cap sleeves in the tiger stripe looked like it was made from the skin of an ancient beast. But the highnecked, hunchback dress and the harem pants that ballooned out as if partially inflated, as well as the knee-length bell skirt, looked more A.D. than B.C. Slick fringe, hoods and snoods were rife, as well as hits of colourful graphic prints. Eclectic but surprisingly cohesive—and wearable. Biddell gave the audience a show and proved he’s not afraid to take a risk. —DM
Designed to raise awareness of heart health in women—more women than men die of heart disease or stroke in Canada—The Heart Truth fashion show was a high-energy, feel-good affair. How could it not be with a bevy of sizzling red dresses and Canadian celebrities often dancing down the runway (CityLine host Tracy Moore in Joeffer Caoc grooving to My Hump and CBC News Now anchor Anne-Marie Mediwake in Farley Chatto doing a perky Highland fling in a tulle dress covered in a Scottish plaid). And while actor Caroline Rhea (wearing Ines Di Santo) urged the crowd to sing along with her to Sweet Caroline and comedienne Linda Cullen (in D’Arcy Moses) burlesqued for the camera, it was Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette (in Nadya Toto) who brought the crowd to their feet. She won bronze in the Vancouver Olympics only days after her mother passed away of a heart attack. —DM
Sears Attitude and Joe Fresh
The rumblings about whether mass-market retail brands should show at fashion week were muted to a low level this season. Perhaps it’s because department stores have a long history with fashion shows, having popularized them at the turn of the 20th century?....Or, perhaps not. Sears has participated in the past two fashion weeks to relaunch its private-label brand Attitude and to show the Canadian buying public that it’s runway-worthy. All the items in the collection, mostly inspired by ‘40s-style suitings, come in under $250 retail.
Joe Fresh is always a huge draw, likely because it’s fun—well-styled, well-paced, has a great soundtrack (this time closing with Fresh from Shawn Desman’s new CD) and usually features a surprise. This season it was veteran model Kirsten Owen and size-12 model Crystal Renn. They were chosen, creative director Joe Mimran said in a press release, because Joe Fresh’s customer base is diverse and they wanted the show to reflect this. As usual, the outcome was young and…fresh. —DM
Montreal designer Andy The-Anh says he’s been watching too much So You Think You Can Dance Canada. He’s been dressing judge Tré Armstrong and his fall collection became a homage to the show. That’s where the cascading ruffles come in, the thigh-high slits and the mille feuille effects of a tango costume, as well as the flower photograph imprinted on the khaki evening gowns. Maybe the khaki, and the cargo pockets on dresses and pants are inspired by modern dance then? Doesn’t matter, it all conformed to The-Anh’s signature sexy look. —DM
A live violin solo. Nice. A model in a black dress wearing a sparkly aviator cap. Kind of nice. Another in an ‘80s-style bridesmaid dress (complete with pom-pom shoulders) and, again, an aviator cap. Bizarre. Furry skirts that look like oversized muffs. Beyond bizarre—scary. Trend: dramatic shoulders. Check. Trend: aviator caps. Check. Trend: fur. Check. Just not sure why they’re all together in Pink Tartan’s collection. —DM
TFI resident alumna Shelli Oh jokes about her fashion week curse. One year she was hobbling around backstage on crutches (she was hit by a car a week before her show). Another time she slipped a disk in her back. This time she had pneumonia. So it’s no wonder she took a break from the fashion week circuit. A small but loyal following helped celebrate her comeback after closing her Harebell label in 2007. Oh staged her show at St. George The Martyr Church, with Night Crash Noir, a retro-pop band, playing centre stage. Although her collection was entitled “An Afternoon Affair”, the female models looked like they had pulled all-nighters. Their hair was artfully dishevelled and the collection more day-into-evening than daywear. Working in a palette of mainly grey, black, navy and pops of red, Oh fashioned silk charmeuse, soft wools and cotton twill into charming slips, dresses and vintage-inspired jackets and pants. Her signature prettiness was evident throughout—in a crinkled stretch silk dress with high ruffled collar and open back, and a satin dress with a lace insert at the neck—but the effect was darker. Cashmere wool coats were tailored but with blouson sleeves, making them strong while still being feminine. Her menswear, on the other hand, with the cravat-style scarves, shirts with French cuffs and centre plackets that resembled skinny ties, and distressed leather jackets, came off more hip and artsy. These are clothes for creative types who nod to trend but don’t want or need to follow the crowd. —DM & SL
Stunning. Opulent. Intricate. All words to describe Lucian Matis’s fall line. Matis’s silk prints are his own, created using Byzantine iconography and motifs, as well as photographic embellishment. Although inspired by Romanian folklore and literature, with a nod to Henri Matisse’s painting the Romanian Blouse, his models looked like they stepped out of a Renoir canvas, and then donned sexy leather leggings and sharp platform pumps to style themselves current. A traditional Romanian costume is tweaked into a more modern cut. The exposed zip on an elaborate dress prevents it from being costumey. That saying, “feast for the eyes”? This is what it means. —DM
Rudsak took the term runway literally this season. The whomp of the propellers accompanied the film of a 1940s fighter plane, which seemed to fly out of the backdrop wall to land on the stage. Almost, anyway (3D glasses might have helped). Evik Asatoorian’s concept was Fly High. The result was smart military-inspired looks complete with leather army Garrison caps and aviator glasses crowning strong parkas, coats and jackets. He continued with down puffys, even making a grouping in leather, which managed to remain lightweight. Details such as removable rabbit fur trims on gloves, belts and even the underside of sleeves added to the strength of the collection. —DM
David Dixon and Barbie by David Dixon
David Dixon knows how to throw a party. Rumours earlier in the day pinned the number trying to attend his fall show at close to 1,700. (The room holds about 1,200.) Maybe there weren’t quite that many, but security’s shouts of “Back. Back. Move back, move back,” set the tone for his double feature. It was a coveted ticket. People were crowded in front of the photographers’ pit and crammed into the wide hallways leading into the room. Switch the Carnaby Street scene filling the runway backdrop for Abbey Road and you would have thought Dixon was recreating a Beatles concert. As for the clothes, his Barbie girl (photo, above left) managed to come across as sophisticated but fun and girly (think a sleeveless square chiffon top in black and pink whose horizontal tears resemble minute pleats and a black cowl-necked mohair sweater paired with the cranberry skirt fashioned of overlapping laser-cut circles like oversized sequins). Despite the Twitter groan over the taffeta used in the cocktail dresses, even those, with their bow details, evoked a pretty ’60s elegance. Break with volunteers handing out glasses of Proseco and endless bottles of Peroni beer while backstage they were ramping up the feminine and toning down the flirty. The theme for Dixon’s signature collection “New Tribe” (photo, above right) mixed cultural references from Canada, India, Africa and Asia, explaining a shift dress beaded with mirror pieces, woven leather skirts and the beaver capelet and coyote chubby. But he nailed the concept of romance with the feathery allure of his hand-cut organza finale dresses. —DM
3. Interview With a Buyer by Gail McInnes
Juan Carlos Gaona owns Magnolia. The stylish boutique opened in November 2008 at 333 Eglinton Ave. W. in Toronto. “It’s a great neighbourhood and the community is really nice, stylish and open,” says Gaona when it came to deciding on where to open his store. “The area is also far away enough from the crowds for our clients to shop in an intimate atmosphere, but at the same time is very accessible for people who want to come from other places in the city.”
A strong supporter of local talent, Magnolia’s spring 2010 racks include Lucian Matis, Carrie Hayes, Paris Li, Izzy Camilleri (made-to-order and small leather accessories). The international labels include designers Remix, Hoss Intropia, Tara Jarmon, By Malene Birger, Pringle 1815, Drykorn, American Retro, Love Moschino, and handbags from Badgley Mischka. Prices range from $30 for accessories to $1,000 and up for custom-made pieces. For more information on the store, visit www.magnoliaonline.ca.
Juan Carlos shared his advice for young labels on approaching buyers and discusses the common mistakes designers make when approaching stores.
No market research: One of the biggest and most common mistakes. Thoroughly investigate your retailer, their vision, customers, prices, sizing, labels, etc., before offering your line. I’ve had people sending me lingerie, bathing suits, sleepwear and footwear lookbooks. Needless to say, I don’t carry any of that.
Less-than-spectacular lookbooks: Designers need to realize 90% of your chances (especially in the higher-end market) are based on first impressions. You need your lookbook to be your strongest selling point. That is what will make me curious or excited about your label as a whole and your particular collection that season.
Too many adjectives: When introducing a line, the use of too many adjectives is also a big mistake to me. Let the clothes speak for themselves; let the customers hear what your line has to say, before you try to put words in their minds.
Cocky attitudes: Some designers have contacted me to tell me they are “what my store needs to make it big” or that “it’s a mistake not to have them”. Some have treated me with very poor manners until they realize I am the buyer. That speaks tons about you, both professionally and personally.
Unannounced visits: People have come through the door with their collection in a suitcase. Nothing wrong with that—you do what you can. BUT coming in unannounced during a time where you have customers, it’s very disrespectful.
Double dipping: If you already sell across the street, you should not approach another retailer in the area. It is one of the unspoken rules of retail, and sometimes it’s actually illegal to do that (another reason to have a sales rep that can help you with distribution areas and this little inside things).
Poor sample quality: If your samples are not finished the right way, it makes buyers anxious. At an appointment there are only so many times you can hear “this (colour, sizing, length, closure, lining, zipper, etc.) will not be like this in production” without wondering if the dress you’re looking at will still look like a dress when it’s delivered.
For more advice and thoughts from Juan Carlos Gaona, read the full article at fashionmagnet.ca/2010/03/02/interview-with-a-buyer/.
4. Kim Cattrall: The Face Of Fashion Targets Breast Cancer Campaign
Rethink Breast Cancer and the Joe Fresh Style™ brand are taking the annual Fashion Targets Breast Cancer Campaign to a new level this spring. Canadian actress Kim Cattrall will be donning the famous target T-shirt as the face of the campaign. In addition, the Joe Fresh Beauty™ collection will introduce a signature colour of nail polish from its new line to benefit the cause. This year’s Joe Fresh Style™ Fashion Targets Breast Cancer T-shirt, will be distributed through Loblaws stores across Canada starting May 1.
The shirt is a classic crewneck that features the multiringed target in three complementary hues of red: wine, berry and fuchsia. They retail for $12* each and are available for women in extra-small to extra-large sizes. Proceeds from both the shirt and the nail polish colour will be donated to Rethink Breast Cancer.
Rethink Breast Cancer and Loblaw are also giving away a girls’ getaway for two. To enter, simply let them know how you wear your 2010 Fashion Targets Breast Cancer shirt. The prize includes flights to Toronto, two nights’ accommodation, a $500 Joe Fresh Style™ shopping spree and coveted seats at the SS2011 Joe Fresh™ Fashion Show. To enter visit www.fashiontargets.ca. You can also increase your chances of winning by uploading a photograph of yourself wearing the FTBC shirt. The contest runs from April 12, 2010, to June 15, 2010. Further details can be found at www.fashiontargets.ca.
Rethink Breast Cancer is a charity that supports young people affected by and concerned about breast cancer through innovative education, research and support programs. “Fashion Targets Breast Cancer has raised over $1.5 million since 2001, but just as important as fundraising, is the opportunity to educate everyone about breast health,” says MJ DeCoteau, executive director of Rethink Breast Cancer. For more information, visit www.rethinkbreastcancer.com.
5. Upcoming TFI Events
You are INVITED to these upcoming TFI events taking place at 285 Manitoba Dr., Pod 3, Exhibition Place, Toronto. Click here for a map & directions
GET YOUR TICKETS NOW at TFI Shop. Space is limited. Doors open for all events at 5:30pm, seminar at 6:00pm
JUNE 10, 2010
Don't sign on the dotted line until you've heard from our speaker Sabrina Fiorellino from Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP. Are you starting or dissolving a fashion business with a friend, investor or relative? Are you looking for an investor and want to know how to protect your share of the business? Have you been approached by a company to do some freelance work for them? LEARN about your rights, responsibilities and potential issues before they happen or discover what you can do now to solve an immediate situation.
JUNE 24, 2010
TEXTILES, CUSTOMS, SHIPPING & EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT IMPORTING FABRICS
If you work with textiles then you'll want to know WHO to contact to import fabric, HOW you do it, WHAT costs are associated with ordering textiles from abroad, HOW to ship to Canada and WHEN to expect your goods so that you can get started. Four experts share what you need to know now.
JULY 27, 2010
PROMOSTYL FALL/WINTER 2011/2012
40 YEARS OF VISIONARY FUTURE INTELLIGENCE AND CREATIVE DESIGN TOOLS FOR THE GLOBAL MARKET
Come and gain insight on influences, colours, fabrics and silhouettes for fall/winter 2011/2012. International trend research and design company Promostyl, presents its semi-annual visual presentation exclusively for TFI members. Bonus! Attend this inspiring seminar AND browse through a range of Promostyl books on hand for tonight ONLY on accessories, menswear, childrenswear, fabrics, colours, prints and more...Promostyl trendbooks are designed to anticipate the currents in design, fashion, and marketing to give its clients a strategic edge in the marketplace.
6. Share Your News With TFI
Do you have a story you would like to share with like-minded, fashion-loving people around the world? We’re always looking for information on new store openings, exciting updates from our members and the rest of the fashion community. Send your submissions or press releases to firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. Thank You TFI Donors
Thank you to our donors for your support of our non-profit organization. Your financial contribution enables TFI to carry on its important work of encouraging job creation and economic development in the community. This month we recognize the following for their kind donations to TFI:
PATRON: Mizuho Abe.
BENEFACTORS: Blanche Macdonald Centre for Applied Arts, Jasmine Baker, Patricia Butler, Lisa Chow, Wanda Ho, Jill Taylor Kim, Kessa Laxton, Darlene Martin, Mark Miller, Christine Phelan.
SUPPORTERS: Catherine Cornutt, Breton Kennedy, Joyce Lo, Carmen Navaleza, Anita Ng, Doug Norris.
CONTRIBUTORS: Abiola Adeneye, Tanvi Bliatt, Vicki Di Rado, Cathy Facciolo, Nina Facciolo, Martinus Geleynse, Craig Lefebvre and Benjamin O'Shea.
Donor categories: Contributor, $50 and under; Supporter, $50 to $100; Benefactor, $100 to $500; Patron, $500 and up. If you would like to make a donation to TFI please click here.
8. Scene & Heard
TFI Welcomes New Mentors
Do you and your friend want to start a fashion business but are not sure who is responsible for financial obligations like outstanding debt? Are you looking for professional feedback from a fashion journalist from one of Canada’s leading newspapers? If you’re a TFI member, you can get legal advice from Sabrina Fiorellino, a lawyer at Cassels Brock Blackwell LLP (above left), and editorial advice from Amy Verner, style reporter for The Globe & Mail (above right). Consultations are free for, and exclusive to, TFI members. To ensure you don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity, join TFI or renew your membership by calling 416.971.7117 ext. 21.
TFI Reaches Full Occupancy
In April, TFI welcomed Christopher Paunil Designs to its prestigious Resident Program. Paunil, a George Brown College alumnus, aims to make women look and feel beautiful on their wedding day. Cut from fine silks, his collection of gowns is charming, sophisticated and effortlessly luxurious. He also creates custom special occasion and eveningwear. CPD is the tenth business housed at TFI, marking the centre’s full occupancy status since 2005.
Call for Submissions: 2010 Design Exchange Awards
The Design Exchange Awards recognize the critical role of design in all types of organizations including commercial entities (large and small businesses), not-for-profit organizations and the public sector. A jury of leading business executives, designers and community leaders will select winners in 12 categories including architecture, engineering, fashion, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture and urban design. The Design Exchange Awards is the only Canadian design competition to judge design by results, balancing function, aesthetics and economic success. Early bird deadline, July 20. Submission deadline, September 30. Awards ceremony, November 23. Click here for more submission info.
Montreal Fashion & Design Festival WANTS YOU
Toronto-based designers are being sought for Montreal's 10th anniversary Fashion & Design Festival taking place August 4 to 7, 2010. There is space for just four designers, each showing three looks. Outfits are required from July 22 until August 9. There is no cost to participate, however designers are responsible for their own insurance and return shipping. This year's festival theme is "Aboriginal" with hair and makeup reflecting modern takes on aboriginal traditions. Contact Emilie Fournier, coordination programmation, at email@example.com or 1-888-876-1499. For more information, visit www.festivalmodedesign.com.
Toronto Gets |FAT| Again
Toronto Alternative Arts and Fashion Week (|FAT|) returned in April for its fifth anniversary at a new location, Studio City in Liberty Village. Over 200 innovative fashion designers, musicians and performers from across Canada and the world showcased their design and art throughout the spacious venue. After capturing our attention at this year’s Mass Exodus, Cristina Sabaiduc captured our imagination at [FAT] by using a variety of materials normally saved for home renovations. But the highlight was her finale dress. At first stroll it seemed like a regular long flowing gown, but upon the model’s return to the end of the runway, two assistants joined her and restyled her into an endless series of possibilities. The secret? Tiny magnets sewn all throughout the fabric. The energetic, crowd-pleasing show, Refined by Evan Biddell, featured the designer’s trademark cartoon prints and futuristic exaggerated silhouettes using old trenchcoats and leather coats from Cher Thornton’s vintage clothing store, The Refinery. Casting some recognizable industry folk to walk his runway, including MuchMusic VJ Jesse Giddings, former Fritz Helder Phantom Pastel Supernova, fashion writer Sarah Nicole Prickett, and The F-List’s Leesa Butler, Biddell proved that Toronto’s fashion scene has personality and style. For more information, visit www.getfat.ca, or visit www.blogto.com/fashion_style/ for coverage on all the shows.
Mark’s Gets a Makeover
Calgary-based retailer Mark’s Work Wearhouse paid a visit to Toronto’s Intercontinental Hotel recently to showcase its spring/summer 2010 wares to members of the media by creating an xperience it dubbed the “Mark’s Over”. Guests were treated to an afternoon of styling and dress up with local style and beauty experts, fashion stylist Afiya Francisco, makeup artist Janine Falcon and hair stylist Greg May. Selecting items from the new collection under the “Mark’s” banner, each guest’s experience ended with a mini photo shoot with photographer Rannie Turnigan. The chain is moving towards dropping the “Work Wearhouse” from its name after collecting consumer research on the brand. The new look will be tested this summer in its Ottawa, Edmonton and Winnipeg stores. For more information and to view the new Mark’s, visit www2.marks.com/.
Photo: TFI's Managing Editor, Gail McInnes, in Mark's
Changes At ELLE Canada
Francine Tremblay, publisher of ELLE Canada and senior VP of consumer magazines, issued a press statement on April 20, announcing the departure of editor-in-chief Rita Silvan. Tremblay cited the economy as one reason for rethinking the magazine's structure. Silvan was one of the founding editors of ELLE Canada when it launched in March 2001 and has held the position of head judge of TFI's New Labels Fashion Design Competition since 2003. She also appeared as a judge on Project Runway Canada for two seasons. Noreen Flanagan, who was most recently the magazine's executive editor, was promoted to editor-in-chief.
The Mentorship Program At MacKay & Co
TFI resident Paris Li is the recipient of MacKay & Co.’s first PR mentorship program. Li, a finalist in TFI's New Labels Fashion Design Competition 2010, will receive communications and PR support from the Toronto-based firm, which includes communications skills training to prepare her for presentations with the media, retailers, and bankers, as well as for proposals, press releases and in the showroom. "For quite a while now I’ve been looking for the best way to give back to this industry I love and I’ve settled on this; a mentorship program that my associates and I hope will give emerging industry aspirants some of the tools they need to compete effectively in Canada and beyond," said John MacKay, president of MacKay & Co. "We’ll use our knowledge and experience to help them find their voices and shape and execute communications and public relations plans that are unique to them." For more information, visit www.mackayandco.com.
US Recession Takes Its Toll On Gen Art
When a major corporate partnership unexpectedly collapsed a few weeks ago, Gen Art found itself without sufficient resources or time to recover from a "sudden and substantial loss of revenue". After struggling for the past 18 months, the New York-based charity and not-for-profit corporation, with satellite operations in Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami, halted operations on May 5. Gen Art was founded 16 years ago with a mission to find opportunities for emerging filmmakers, fashion designers, visual artists and musicians. One of its key events, Gen Art Styles competition, helped launch the careers of many fashion designers including Rodarte, Zac Posen, Phillip Lim and Toronto's Beckerman, who won in 2005, and Anne Hung who won the Avant Garde segment in 1999.
Mass Exodus Blooms
Fourth-year students from the Ryerson School of Fashion were hand-picked by guest curator Sarah Casselman (Fashion magazine) to showcase their final collections at the 60th Mass Exodus graduate presentation titled “In Bloom.” The preview highlighted the feeling of regeneration every graduate encounters as they mature from naive student to accomplished adult. We got to visualize this progress with five-piece collections ranging from over-the-top theatrical costuming to bridal wear.
London’s Fanshawe College presented its annual fashion show, “Unbound”, in mid-April to showcase the collections of the graduating class. Bringing together a judging panel of industry experts, including designer David Dixon, Leesa Butler of The F-List, and Flare magazine’s Erin O’Brien, the winners included Jennifer Edwards, (Best Collection) and Stephanie Connell (Best Design). A special magazine insert, which features editorials of the designs, shot by John Sayer White and styled by Plutino Group’s Alicia Simpson, will be distributed in an issue of Flare this fall.
Oscar Came To Town
“Suzanne Rogers Presents an Evening with Oscar de la Renta” took place at The Carlu in Toronto on April 13, raising over $750,000 in support of Healthy Kids International, Children’s Aid Foundation and Casa Del Nino in the Dominican Republic. The sold-out gala affair, which featured a special presentation of Oscar de la Renta’s fall 2010 collection, a three-course dinner, and live auction, is the first in a series of annual events founded by socialite Suzanne Rogers. The internationally renowned designer who was present at the event said, “I would like to thank Suzanne Rogers for inviting me to Toronto, and for organizing a truly memorable evening in support of this most important cause. I would also like to thank the generous sponsors who gave their support to positively impact the health of children around the world—I can’t think of a more important contribution.”
Andy The-Ahn Opens Two Toronto Stores
Montreal-based womenswear designer Andy The-Ahn celebrated the opening of his two new Toronto retail locations on March 25. The new locations are located at 27 Bellair in Yorkville and in Bayview Village at 2901 Bayview Ave. For more information, visit www.andytheahn.com.
Linda Lundström Works On
During LG Fashion Week, Eleventh Floor Apparel (EFA) debuted Lundström Collection, but with Linda Lundström no longer as the head designer, the finale did not proceed with the accustomed bow. The namesake designer officially resigned from the helm of her collection in June of 2009, 15 months into her two-year contract with EFA. Lundström was approached by EFA in early 2008 when it was announced that Linda Lundström Inc. was filing for bankruptcy. As part of that deal, which included all company assets, inventory, and the 40,000-sq.-ft. location, EFA now owns the Lundström name. “Fall 2009 marked the last collection I was fully responsible for under the Lundström brand,” she said in a recent press release. “Although I contributed to the spring 2010 collection, and a portion of fall 2010 that is now showing—I haven’t seen the complete collection that will be hitting the runway this season.” Moving on, Lundström recently launched her new company Linda Lundström Works and will continue to teach her Apparel Manufacturing course to fashion management students at George Brown College. She also offers her 30-plus years of experience in product development, fabric sourcing and colour and fabric trend interpretation through her Lean Manufacturing consulting services. For more information, visit www.lindalundstromworks.com.
Fashion Takes Action Design Forward
Nicole Bridger is the winner of Design Forward, Canada’s first eco-fashion award. Established by Fashion Takes Action (FTA), the award recognizes talented Canadian eco-fashion designers. Fourteen initial nominees were selected by FTA based on a set of criteria, including TFI New Labels® 2009 finalist Thieves, Elladora, Elroy, Paper People Clothing, Laura Chenoweth, Revolve Clothing Co., Salts Organic, Preloved, Lay and Kush, deux fm, Nixxi, and flora&fauna. Bridger and two other finalists, Laura Chenoweth and We3 (twigg &hottie), faced a judging panel that included eco-model, activist, author and designer Summer Rayne Oakes; sustainability consultant Lorraine Smith; and EcoSalon fashion editor and green fashion expert Amy DuFault. Bridger won a prize package valued at over $50,000, which included a three-month national PR campaign, provided by Third Eye Media, participation at Nolcha Fashion Week’s Ethical Fashion Preview in NYC in September 2010 and $1,000 towards Fair trade and Organic certification, provided by Ecocert.. For more information, visit www.fashiontakesaction.com/content/fta-design-forward.
Eleventh Floor Apparel Donates Garments To Haiti
Canadian-owned clothing manufacturer Eleventh Floor Apparel (EFA) teamed up with the Centre of International Studies and Cooperation (CECI) to donate over 900 garments to the Haitian Disaster Relief. "We feel compelled to donate the resources and materials we have available to do what we can to help the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Our hope is that doing so will inspire ongoing support from those in our own communities," says general manager Tamar Matossian. The Montreal-based organization CECI is leading the transportation of boxes from Toronto to Montreal through its parent company SDV Logistics.
Mark Fast Installation At Luminato
UK-based Canadian knitwear designer Mark Fast is a confirmed participant in Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity which takes place from June 11 until 20, 2010. Fast’s commissioned installation will showcase the art of clothing design at Toronto’s Brookfield Place. "Each art and fashion installation offers an engaging, non-traditional, and thought-provoking art experience," says Luminato's artistic director Chris Lorway. For more information on Luminato, visit www.luminato.com.
Prendergast At The Olympics
Canadian designer and TFI Outreach Member Krista Prendergast was the sole uniform designer for the ice patchers and flower retrievers of the figure skating events at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Prendergast specializes in ready-to-wear athletic gear and custom-designed team wear. For more information, visit www.kristaprendergast.com.
Swarovski’s Atelier Collection
Designed by renowned international designers Jason Wu, Matthew Williamson, Nicholas Kirkwood, and Anthony Nak, Swarovski unveiled its Atelier Collection for the first time in Canada. The exclusive, high-end collection is available only in Swarovski’s Bloor Street Gallery store and features limited-edition pieces designed specifically for Swarovski. For more information, visit www.swarovski.com.
BUY DESIGN’s Spring Social
BUY DESIGN for Windfall took place on April 10 at the Fermenting Cellar in Toronto’s Historical Distillery District. Hosted by Adrian Mainella, the venue was converted into a 1930s post-depression spring garden party with a bake sale, badminton and croquet courts, dart board games, silent auction, themed bar and dance floor. Proceeds from the event benefitted Windfall, Canada’s only new clothing and basic-needs items bank. For more information, visit www.buydesignforwindfall.ca.
TFI member Karen McCall won a Precision Valet professional garment steamer from Rowenta and TFI in a TFI membership drive contest in April. The steamer, valued at $199.99, will be enjoyed by the new entrepreneur who specializes in CAD training, grading and patternmaking.
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10. Upcoming Events
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Western Apparel Market
May 31 - June 2, 2010
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June 14 - 16, 2010
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June 19 - 23, 2010
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June 24 - 27, 2010
Men's fashion shows for spring/summer 2011
Fashion Market Northern California
June 26 - 29, 2010
Clothing, jewellery and accessories market
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July 5 - 8, 2010
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