THE IT: Operanation VII, tomorrow night!

Tomorrow night is Operanation VII, Cinderella: Rock the Ball. Buy your tickets now!

Story by Marq Frerichs.

If you’ve ever had the privilege of bringing something new/different/cool to the eyes and ears of little ones, you’ll understand what I mean about seeing the lights go on—ping, click, pop, bells and whistles, crack and fireworks going off. Bringing the performing arts to kids is one of those unsung parts of working as a performing artist. Truth is, we complain about school shows just ‘cause everybody likes to complain, just a little. But the truth is that they’re wonderful experiences for both the artist and children.

You may be asking yourself: Why are you telling me this?

Because tomorrow night is Operanation VII, the Canadian Opera Company‘s hotly anticipated gala event, which is raising money for the COC’s children’s outreach programs. And with Monday’s election outcome, the arts and, more importantly, the arts and education of our future citizens have never been more pressing.

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THE IT: Bustle Spring 2011

Story and photography by Marq Frerichs.

Monday night at LG Fashion Week and Bustle rocked the house, band and all. The collection felt like a departure for Bustle, much softer in colour and tone.

Don’t get me wrong—there was still all the hippness and bravado from previous seasons, but something about the pastel striped socks made me think that perhaps the new baby in the lives of Bustle designers Shawn Hewson and Ruth Promislow is influencing their sweeter palette.

And the mint green suit was awesome.

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THE IT: Greta Constantine Spring 2011

Story and photography by Marq Frerichs.

And Friday night brought the fashion world Greta Constantine Spring 2011. What can I say…I’m really just so enamored of this line. Grecian folds and draping make for beautiful clothes. For the men, Bowie said it best: “Blue, blue, electric blue and there I will live”, and so I will. In comparison to the pastel palette offered by some, I’m digging this boldness.

Did I mention that Coca Rocha opened the show?

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SOME LOOKS WE LIKED: At Nada, Joeffer, and Dmitri-Chris

A look from Nada, Spring 2011. Story and photography by Marq Frerichs.

The Brickworks were all a-buzz last Thursday night at the Art of Progression fashion show, presented by Audi. The designers? Nada, Joeffer Caoc, and Dmitri-Chris—all important names in Toronto fashion, and examples of an interesting (and undeniable) shift of the fashion scene away from the official action at LG Fashion Week.
Here are some of our favourite looks from the show.

THE BOULEVARDIER: Cloaked in art at Nuit Blanche

Every week, our Boulevardier, Marq Frerichs, considers matters related to men’s style. This week: What to wear to Nuit Blanche. Hint: Take a cue from Ann Demeulemeester (left) and John Galliano.

White Night—the words alone conjure up a myriad of images. I’m transported to Paris, to St. Petersburg’s street theatre, to Rio de Janeiro, watching the waterfalls of fireworks on New Years Eve. It brings to mind ideas of beauty, worldliness, and art. At Nuit Blanche, our town, Hogtown, really shows off its place as a centre of arts and culture in the world.

We’re not provincial; we’re not a wannabe New York. I’ll say it: We’re on the cutting edge, avant-garde, if you will. A good friend of mine, an art curator, is flying back from Europe just for the night. Now, I’m not qualified to tell you which installations/pieces/works/events/happenings you should see—there is a website for that. In fact, don’t bother, just get outside and roam!

The question then becomes what to wear.

Guaranteed, the weather will be inclement: Rain, the threat of rain, wind, the threat of wind, muddy, with a distinct chance of chill in the air. (I pray I’m wrong.) In keeping with fashion’s current trend towards Edwardian-Victorian-Prussian-military-neo-retro-post-pre-punk meets Clockwork Orange, I’m thinking that the cape or cloak is the way to go.

I would say that the best-designed example of this sartorial flourish comes from right here at home.

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THE BOULEVARDIER: Pillow season

Every week, our Boulevardier, Marq Frerichs, considers matters related to men’s style. This week: Suiting up for pillow season. Above: Yohji Yamamoto’s Y3 for Adidas.

Yup, it’s true: Summer is officially over. It was a beautiful final weekend, TIFF is done, many of us are back in school, and sweaters are back. There are such possibilities for daily wardrobe changes or pulling out your “on sale” purchases from late last winter. It’s not still summer, yet it’s not quite fall. It is, however, a very particular season.

I’m not sure if we have a name for this time in Toronto, but they sure do in Montreal. When I was living there, I noticed a very interesting relationship pattern: ‘Round about now in the calendar, men and women would start actively coupling up; come the end of March, men and women would start actively breaking up. Ah, les Quebecoises, always setting the trends. Ever inquisitive, I asked a friend what was up. She leaned close and whispered, “It’s the winter pillow search.”

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THE BOULEVARDIER: Designer server style at TIFF

Staff at Spice Route, outfitted by Joeffer Caoc. Story by Marq Frerichs. Photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

It’s not just the red carpet that was all designer at TIFF 2010. If you looked behind the paparazzi, the handlers, the hangers-on and of course that guy or gal in the sunglasses, who doesn’t do anything but be “the person in the sunglasses, even though it’s 3:30 in the morning” person…. I digress. I hope you got a look at what your server was wearing. Chances are, it was designer.

Joeffer Caoc outfitted the crew at Spice Route in Asian-inspired elegance. I particularly loved the “Nehru” collar on the men’s shirt, and did you notice the “Obi”-style pouches in Fall 2010′s burnt orange?

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THE BOULEVARDIER:…And we’re back

Every week, our Boulevardier, Marq Frerichs, considers matters related to men’s style. This week: Leave the ballet shoes alone. Above, a selection from the Bloch Fall 2010 collection.

I know a half dozen people in my circle who are going back to school next week. I’m going back too. May you live in exciting times, I believe the saying goes. And what in the world is more exciting than learning?

For me, deciding what to wear is both super easy and a little like a minefield. It will be easy, in part, because I’m returning to the National Ballet School of Canada. Thus the majority of my classes will require tights, simple white T-shirts, sweats, and, of course, ballet slippers. And yes ladies, I do wear “Blochs”—you may know the name from your own collection of footwear.

Perhaps this is the moment I’ve be waiting for: I CAN”T STAND BALLET SLIPPERS AS FASHION.

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TIFF SPECIAL: Inside the madness with Debra Goldblatt

Debra Goldblatt, the founder of Rock-it Promotions, one of the top PR firms in the city with a major TIFF presence. Story and photography by Marq Frerichs.

Perhaps you checked your Twitter feed, glanced at a newspaper, or walked through Yorkville in the last few days? Yes, you’re right—there is something happening in this here town. It’s TIFF madness. Madness, I tell you!

Or, as Debra Goldblatt would say: It’s all logistics. Say it with me: Logistics.

When I sat down with Deb, the founder of Rock-it promotions, last Wednesday, she was cool, calm, and rather serene—in fact, the very model of a modern major general. The Rock-it promotions office in the Burroughes Building was quiet, with two banks of computers, a central conference table, and Deb’s office on the Queen Street side. There was an easy energy in the room, with four members of the team on-site and the rest out in the world, paving the ways and means.

The only hint that they might be overtired? The bowls of candy on the table.

Two things were different with Deb right off the bat. One, she gave me a real kiss, not the air kind. Two, she offered me water. Wonderful, because no one really needs a caffeine boost in this hopped-up business. I sat in her office with her while she fielded a few calls, negotiating meet-and-greets in five-minute increments. “You can have 10:50 to 10:55.” Whoa!

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THE BOULEVARDIER: Let’s go to the ‘burbs

Every week, our Boulevardier, Marq Frerichs, considers matters related to men’s style. This week: Live from the Ex!

So here it is: Your get-out-of-jail style card. With this, you have the unquestionable right not to care about what you wear, do, or eat. This is not a “dressing down” card, nor is it a “slumming it” pass—it’s a go-to-your-closet-close-your-eyes-yank-out-whatevs-your-hand-touches-and-put-it-on kinda thing. Everything I’ve mentioned, prodded, cajoled, hinted-at in this column: FORGET ABOUT IT. “Let’s Go To The Ex, oh, baby!”

It’s been awhile since I’ve experienced the pleasure of the Canadian National Exhibition. In fact, I hardly recognized it. I did, however, recognize the distinct look of its patrons. Lots of sugar-glazed eyes; the giddy, slightly seasick gait. The Greeks had a name for over-indulgence and he manifests himself here. Sugar, sunshine, adrenaline-pumping rides, gambling and lots of scantily clad youths.

You’ll see him strutting through the midway from a mile away.

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