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.


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Joannie Rochette as the finale model at the Attitude by Sears show. The initial glow of Olympic medal glory may have dimmed, but Joannie’s courage and grace (the latter of which was in ample evidence on the catwalk) have a permanent resonance. And how many elite athletes could wear those gloves with such conviction?



Comrags, with its combination of music, styling and fantastic model casting. For me, Comrags’s attention to detail and craft outshone all the other collections.



Megan Loach. As the communications coordinator of the Fashion Design Council of Canada, Megan had to answer a question (or seven) from almost everyone. But she didn’t let the stress show—every time I saw her, she was calm, authoritative and beautifully pulled together.


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Sunny Fong captured the hearts and minds of the judges—and the public—on the (sigh) final season of Project Runway Canada. For the Fall 2010 showing of his VAWK label, Sunny chose the loveliest off-site venue of the collections: the courtyard at the Art Gallery of Ontario. The show featured Sunny’s signature ladylike sophistication—slim-fitting suits, shifts and pencil skirts punctuated with luxe details like fur trimmed collars. After the show, Sunny talked inspiration, Red Bull and Lady Gaga with The Style Notebook.

Did you have a person in mind when designing this collection?

“First I design with Tori in mind (the model I had on Project Runway Canada), and then I think about every woman who loves fashion, and I examine my designs to see if it can be translated from the runway to the street.”

What were the top three items on your inspiration board for this collection?

“Images of cars, mushroom-related images and close-ups of fashion images, focused on clothing construction.”

Do you have any aids/vices that help get you through the madness of putting it all together?

“Red Bull, oolong tea, and Danone Activia vanilla yogurt.”

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FASHION WEEK HAIKUS: Poetry in motion

The Style Notebook asked writer Marilisa Racco to compose haikus inspired by her five favourite fashion shows at LG Fashion Week. Illustrator Cleo Kendall made them look as pretty as they sound.


Shapeless chic in gray
I’ll wear my cardi backwards
Get me those boots, please

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PR stars Gail McInnes and Ashley McIntyre vamp it up in the Mezzomondo photo booth at the LINE Knitwear party. Courtesy of Mezzomondo Sparkling Rosé.

Fashion Week is officially over and we’re officially exhausted. But we’re having fun putting together a list of what we liked best this season. (Some thumbs down are coming too.) First category? An easy one—though there were other contenders (including last Thursday’s STUDIO party which featured both an appearance by model Agyness Deyn and a beer vending machine…).

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FASHION WEEK: Titian nation

One of our favourite male models from the shows, seen here at Joe Fresh. All photography by Natalie Castellino.

It began before LG Fashion Week officially opened its doors. On the LINE Knitwear runway I noticed two models with red hair. “Gingers!” I thought to myself, “Now that’s different.” Now that the last show has been seen, the red tide on the runways can officially be classified as one of the most notable trends of the week.

Red hair tends to get a reaction. It has both negative connotations (see: Anne of Green Gables or…Britain) and sexy ones (Cheryl of Archie comic fame), and this week it was nothing if not versatile.

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“During Fashion Week, I drink far too much champagne and sleep far too little. My skin suffers immeasurably. My go-to remedy? A facial. I’m particularly obsessed with the Energizing Glow Treatment at The Hazelton Hotel spa. It is 90 minutes of your life that you wish you could have back again and again and again.”

— Lara Ceroni, senior web editor of ELLE Canada,


A vintage photo of Nathalie taking a break while on assignment. Photograph courtesy of James Pattyn.

“In the past I’ve been known to pack not only my own deluxe sandwich for lunch but one for the Post‘s hardworking photographer. Sadly this year, there’s been no time. Though I did bake hearty cookies that I swapped with Andrew Sardone from NOW for one of Philip Sparks’s homemade butter tarts! And anyway, the thing that all the camera guys in the pit seem to want most is earplugs.”

Nathalie Atkinson, journalist and style columnist for the National Post

Nathalie sent The Style Notebook a photo of what she described as “one of the only butter tarts better than Philip’s that I’ve ever tasted.” Warning: You’ll want one.

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