A couple of weeks ago a friend and I went to see Breeyn McCarney’s runway show at the Courthouse event space on Adelaide. When I sat down with Breeyn afterwards, we talked about Beauval, Saskatchewan, the paintings of Sam Weber, and author Haruki Murakami, whose 2001 novel inspired the title of her Fall 2010 collection, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. Breeyn says her work invokes a “bleak dreamscape,” but I personally think she is a dream for the future of Canadian fashion. Here’s part of our conversation. Continue reading



Interview by Marq Frerichs.

Last week, I called Philip Sparks to congratulate him on his Fall 2010 collection and to ask him a few questions from the Style Notebook questionnaire. I found him affable and funny, a quick wit with his feet planted on the ground. What am I excited about from Sparks? He hinted at a holiday footwear collection…have a read.

What was the first piece you designed in this collection?

“The pea coat.”

How do you know when you’re finished a collection?

“I run out of time and or money. However I’m also working on a ‘holiday’ collection, so fall/winter will come out in two parts.”

What are the top three items on your inspiration board?

“Melville’s Moby Dick, 16th-century maps with sea creatures and Edwardian naval books, and pictures of boats.”

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

“My partner, Andrew, and those I collaborated with in the studio.”

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THE INVITATION: At Greta Constantine

Stylish guests at the Greta Constantine show. All photography by Natalie Castellino.

The Invitation is Emily Blake’s party and events column. She will be drinking champagne (or, in this case, Vitamin Water) in the name of reportage.

A whisper, a buzz, a roar—much like spring, fashion tends to build up into a crescendo. In Toronto, the party got started on March 19 at the Greta Constantine show, more than a week before LG Fashion Week officially kicked off. Like migrating birds, the fashion flock arrived at the Audi dealership on Bayview Avenue, a location far off the usual sartorial path. As one of the first events in Toronto’s multi-week fashion marathon, it seemed as if the entire community made an executive decision to schluff off their winter wraps, trot out the hot new heels, and gather to celebrate designers Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong, who have given the local style scene a much needed shot in the arm.

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All photography by Natalie Castellino.

Since 2005, when Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong launched the Greta Constantine line, it’s become one of the most hotly anticipated shows of the season. For Fall 2010, the collection’s colour palette was dark—grey, brown, purple, black, of course—and featured two distinct looks for women. The more daring of the two included pieces like fur vests, leather leggings and close-fitting jumpsuits with strips of leather paneling. There was something Star Wars and amazing about it. Blade Runner, too—couldn’t this be Pris, circa Fall 2010? Continue reading