FASHION WEEK: Thumbs down

Overall, The Style Notebook team thoroughly enjoyed Fashion Week. The collections were strong and the crowd was fun. (Read our thumbs up here.) But we didn’t love everything…


What sly mind first put forth the idea that Barbie is a style icon? An icon of childhood, sure, of feminist ire, absolutely, but of fashion? It isn’t just the Toronto scene who has fallen under Barbie’s perfectly proportioned spell—last year to celebrate her 50th anniversary, 50 American designers (Michael Kors and Diane von Furstenberg among them) created outfits inspired by her singular influence. This season at the Toronto shows, in addition to a (good) collection inspired by Barbie and created by David Dixon, there was an eight-foot-tall, hot pink box in which you could pose as if you were Barbie herself. And people did.



We love technology (we are on the interwebs after all) but just because everyone has a rad digital camera and a blog does not make it cool for audience members to be flashing away at their favourite looks. It’s distracting and likely a pain for the photographers in the pit. A little etiquette s’il vous plait—we may be at the Ex but Fashion Week is not a carnival.



When we first saw a fur pencil skirt on the Michael Kors Fall 2010 runway, a few issues came to mind—namely sweaty legs, matted fur, shedding on one’s own clothing and the fact that there is a distinct risk of looking like a toilet brush. After seeing the look again at IZMA, Pink Tartan and Joe Fresh we’re crossing our fingers that the “sophisticated cavewoman” look does not get off the ground come fall.



Frankly I dress the way I do because I like what I’m wearing. If I was going for a “look” I’d be a carbon copy.  At least I didn’t hear: “You look great, just like him and him.”



The CNE may have its charms, but convenience is not one of them. At the end of each night, the sweet after-taste of the shows inevitably soured in the unruly hunt for a taxi. With gift bags flapping behind them, women in four-inch heels cantered the length of Princes Boulevard, trying to flag down a Beck. Someone should start a “Bring it back to Nathan Phillips Square” campaign. Who’s with me?



A petition was making the rounds backstage—the models were justifiably angry that the organizers of Fashion Week don’t provide any food for them. (After all, some of them are on-site for more than 12 hours a day!) Why worry about the plus-size model issue when there is no food in the first place? Read more about the controversy from a model’s perspective here.


Photograph by Natalie Castellino.

7 thoughts on “FASHION WEEK: Thumbs down

  1. Why do the photographers in the pit get the okay to take pictures with flashes but the ones in the audience don’t? Seems like quite the double standard.

  2. Why do the photographers in the pit get the okay to take pictures with flashes but the ones in the audience don’t? Seems like quite the double standard.

    WHY? Because they’re the motherfracking photographers hired by the people behind the event to take the official photographs, that’s why! They are the ones with the professional DSLR’s and SLR’s who make their living doing this, and they are having that living taken away by amateurs/dilettantes with cheap shitty point & shoot 4 megapixel cameras who have no accreditation or anything else that says that they’re photographers. Those people are the ones that should be there-and ONLY them. Not you or somebody else with a cheap shitty 5 megapixel point & shoot camera. An even better reason for not having audience members take pictures with flash: It’s dangerous to the models on the catwalk.

    If you or anybody else want to take pictures, get off of your asses, go get a DSLR or SLR camera, and then go sign up for a photography class at the local community college! That’s how you get to take pictures at a fashion show.

  3. Photographers in the pit DON’T use flash. It is not allowed to shoot with flash during a show. So if the photographer’s in the pit aren’t using flash, then neither do you. End of story.

  4. Ah, see, having never been to a runway show I would’ve never known that. Were there posters around informing people they shouldn’t be using flash?

  5. It is not true that photographers in the pit do not use flash, because they often do. I do agree however that audience members shouldn’t be taking amateur photos, it is distracting and unnecessary since photographers post their own photos anyway.

    And flash is not dangerous for models, that is a silly argument.

  6. The thumbs down comment from Laura on how Barbie is not a fashion icon is obviously from someone who does not understand the relevance of Barbie. She is the most influential symbol of fashion through the eras. Why would the CFDA and Mattel hire MAO PR to put on the most amazing anniversary show last year at Fall Fashion Week if she is only a toy empowered by “sly minds”? Every designer at that show credited Barbie as being a major influence in their design sensibility, I side with their experienced opinions and think you should rethink yours…

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