Fashion lovers, here’s a tip. If you’re going out to an arena concert or big outdoor show, remember when packing your cute crossbody or canvas tote that security will probably ask to look inside your bag before letting you in. I forgot this and proceeded to turn a bright red when a nice security guard at the ACC complimented my bag, then asked to see inside. Does it get any girlier than a Hello Kitty change purse (see pic above)?! I don’t think so. Any semblance of being a cool, mature woman was bust. He laughed, I blushed. But it was a cute moment.
When I’m not randomly exposing my love for Hello Kitty, I’m usually at a museum. Today was a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum for The Forbidden City exhibition which turned out to be surprisingly fashionable. The exhibition features artifacts from the world’s largest imperial place, located in Beijing, that now serves as a museum. Among the stunning treasures were gorgeous embroidered silk robes, a silk and sable riding jacket, jeweled hairpins, fierce ceremonial armour, silk military rank badges, and an empress’s court boots. Personal highlights were a pair of intricate nail guards (women of the court would grow their nails up to 15 cm long!), a dark blue silk informal sleeveless coat (kanjian) carefully embroidered with gold thread, and one of the Twelve Beauties paintings featuring a Beauty sewing by candlelight. Also, fun fact: when Empress Dowager Cixi would approve a robe design, it could take up to 450 craftsmen to create it! Yes, that’s four hundred and fifty. Not a typo. The Forbidden City is on display till September 1st, so get to the ROM soon! Unfortunately photography is not allowed, but I have to share this photo from the ROM’s website of silk robe made for a dog. Yep, even the dogs were styling.
class: Basic Sewing, George Brown College, August 5 – 21, 9am-3:30pm
Toronto is hot to trot this week! Time to bust out the breezy dresses and strappy sandals that live in the back of your closet most of the year. I wore a multicoloured tunic, purchased one size larger so it could pass as a dress. Sneaky little styling trick and so light in this sticky weather.
It’s a pretty quiet week for fashion happenings, unless you scored a sweet spot for Fresh Collective’s Timeless Style event tonight. Regret missing out? Sign up for the next one at their Queen Street location on July 31st. Link is below.
In the meantime, why not check out one of the ongoing exhibits at the Textile or Bata Shoe Museums, or sign up for a fall fashion class at George Brown College. They offer a ton of fashion courses and certificates! I’ve listed a few of the introductory level classes in the Upcoming section.
event: Timeless Style, Fresh Collective boutiques, Roncesvalles location: July 22, 7-9pm, Queen Street location: July 31, 7-9pm
The advantage of having reduced hours at work is the sudden abundance of free time. Sometimes I have too much of it and piss it away instead of being productive. Other times, I come up with A Great Idea and decide to immerse myself in art. Take this past Wednesday, for example. After an early shift at work, I headed to the ROM to check out the Viktor&Rolf Dolls currently on display.
Viktor&Rolf are an Amsterdam-based fashion design duo. Admittedly, I do not know much about them but give them points for the use of an ampersand and no spaces in their name. Seriously, I love creative punctuation. Anyhow, my visit to the exhibit was a way to learn more about their work. I’m so glad I went.
Each doll represents a collection. Viktor&Rolf pick one defining look for that collection which is then recreated on a Victorian doll down to the last detail, including hair and makeup. It’s such an original way to archive their collections and lends itself well to an exhibition.
This antler/mermaid look from the Fall 2004 line is my favourite. It appeals to my playful side which enjoys the fantasy of costume and dress-up. I would wear this.
Other standouts include the Frida Kahlo inspired outfit, as well as the black gown ornamented with gold and silver bells. Imagine walking down the red carpet, tinkling all the way! My secret name for it is Fancy Cat Bell Dress.
This is a small gem, a must-see and free of charge! It’s located in the ROM’s Thorsell Spirit House, a great little space tucked away across from the ticket desk. Fortunately, you do not need to pay admission to see this display. Just walk in and enjoy!