The city sets the stage for Toronto Alternative Arts & Fashion Week [FAT] Tuesday, April 21st to Friday, April 24th. The Distillery District will be feeling the pulse of Toronto’s avant-garde artists in a collaboration of music, video, photography, performances and fashion.
In its third year and running strong, Vanja Vasick, Founder and Director will be doing it all over again; the runway, the stage, the lights and the people. FAT will be showcasing more than 200 artists from all over the country and abroad, thus setting the runway for established and up and comings to show case and collaborate their talents.
FAT is sure to deliver an eclectic array; from the petit chics to the avant-gardes, are sure to make an appearance. So, wherever you fall in that spectrum, drop by, it will deliver something to talk about.
My friend David, jealous he wasn’t able to come last night (lame) calls me up around 6ish, asking “Are you ready?” to which I responded to “What kind of stupid question is that?” I mean seriously. I had my outfit picked out a month before and I was fully prepared to get my face blown off by this year’s Decadence line up. “Love” is not a word to describe the people on the bill. Maybe “Worship”? I think so. With names like MSTRKRFT, Steve Aoki, Bloody Beetroots, Crookers etc. no one entering the Kool Haus is leaving before 3 am.
Last night’s party was one not to miss. Jill and I almost had a heart-attack when we had trouble getting trough the doors. Eventually things got sorted out. We met up with my boyfriend, my friend Jason and his friend, and we were all ready to do a little dance, make a little bit of love, and definitely ready to get down tonight. There’s one thing Jill and I noticed though while taking pictures… where’s all the hipsters? The crowd we thought was very mixed and kinda lacked in the style department. Don’t blame most people though, why get all dolled up if you’re going to come out of a Steve Aoki set all drenched in sweat and Grey Goose? Hometown hero Nasty Nav was getting the crowd pumped at the Kool Haus when we arrived. Didn’t catch most of his set because the lineup for the girls washroom was already huge. Finally got out of the washroom to find Perry Farrell on stage? That’s odd. Totally didn’t see he was on the bill. Couldn’t help but notice the “Who is he?” look on peoples faces. After some agonizing songs which featured a Tila Tequila look-a-like singing back up vocals, it was time for the Bloody Beetroots to blow my face off. HELLO! The Bloody Beetroots are amazing! Everyone went nuts for the Italian masked duo. Not even 10 minutes in to their set, my friend Jason who I lost in the crowd, suddenly appears dancing on stage. I git a kick out of that, especially when the big security dude kicked him off. Lots of crowd surfing I tell ya. Made me want to do it too, but I quickly remembered the time when I saw NERD and I crowd surfed to “Spazz”. It certainly wasn’t a good thing. I hit my head on the ground, plus smashed my mom’s camera on the floor. Yikes.
To polish up The Bloody Beetroots set, two go-go dancers in bikini tops, short shorts, suspenders, and knee high socks pranced around the stage giving the boys in the audience some very colourful eye candy. I got elbowed in the head pretty hard to only figure out that the idiot who did it was pushing his way up to the front to see MSTRKRFT. Totally forgave him as I did the same thing later. JFK and AL-P were ready to please the ears of so many of their adoring fans (me being one of them) playing most off their most recent album “Fist of God“. The mark of a truly awesome duo for me has always been what they bring to their live performance. MSTRKRFT are gods that can get you dancing from the first song off their album to their last. Getting later into the night the crowd lost control and everyone became drenched in everyone’s sweat. People started to tear down the decorations and sooner or later massive cut outs of lightning bolts were floating on-top of the sea of people. I wanted to take one home.
So I didn’t get to see Aoki do his thang. Left early to sleep to catch a flight this morning to New York (Top Shop is now open YES!) But no worries, I’ve seen the nice silky long hair man a bajillion times before. Until next time Decadence, see you next year!
Photos by: Jill Nefulda
We are basically the new gossip girl. We have just been told by a little birdie that K-os is having an album release party and he’s thinking fuck corporate. WE ARE ALL INVITED. K-os is launching his newest album YES! on April 14th and it just so happens that it’s at our favourite neighboorhood bar, Wrong Bar. And the cost for this hot ticket? FREE. We can definitely say YES! to that. So the details are April 14th at WrongBar, email firstname.lastname@example.org to get hooked up. And we mean REALLY hooked up. This party is already free so we want to give you a little something extra, K-OS’ new album. Get on our list and get YES’d!
To get you pumped up for the next 4 months that you will be playing YES! on repeat taste this http://www.classicmaterials.com/Temp/Kos/KosBackFLAT2.htm
K-os vs Feist
Is it just me or is this a big coincidence?
K-os gotta love him! and his new song 4,3,2,1 is hot!
Does the title of this new song from K-os sound a little familiar to you? Reverse this and you get 1,2,3,4 by another Canadian music genius, Feist.
Weird. But both great songs.
After a week of Fashion-focused blogging, here’s a round up of everything the Pink Mafia did and all the judgement that comes with it.
Let’s start at the beginning: the Holt’s party.
What’s new?: they moved it to the cheap floor, which let’s face it, is the only floor anyone really shops on. Peroni and Evian were flowing (Peroni sponsor everything lately if you’re wondering). The top Seven Designers to watch was trimmed down to 5, and Robin Kay made a flat and extremely sober speech that left us yawning for more.
What did we love?: The glass Evian bottles with straws, it’s like French-kissing your water and we are all about that. Denis Gagnon’s face. We want to fuck him ten ways to Sunday seriously. It’s the Elvis Costello crush, we get all teenage girl for geeky glasses and high tops mixed with a heaping dose of Daddy complex. Sarah Nicole Prickett becoming the voice of a new generation of fashionistas. Just wish there was more than one, but it’s a start.
What sucked the big one? That terrible LG branding on everything. It’s unfashionable, unappealing and uninteresting. Plus, we think it’s gauche to call Fashion Week anything but that. And the theme? Love? Are you kidding me? Robin Kay lead us right to where the meat was when she said “and that means unconditional love”, in her speech. “Unconditional-Love” is code for, “we’re totally desperate for your money in these tough times”. They should have just come out with it and called it: Give Us Your Money So We Can Continue To Reward Mediocrity Week. Plus, we think Robin Kay should get back on the bottle. She shouldn’t feel ashamed about last year, even though the media will never mention her name again without commenting on her liquor consumption (Pink Mafia included), it was probably the single event that announced Toronto Fashion Week to the rest of the world. We think she should become the bitchy over the top, alcoholic eccentric we all want her to be. And then she can tell us all to fuck off. Now THAT, we would pay for every year!
Not for nothing, but the Fashion itself was pretty flat. the models were identical with their slicked back ponytails that said less ‘recessionista’ and more, ‘lazy-pants’ to us.
We actually like Greta Constantine, Philip Sparks, Mikhael Kale, Denis Gagnon, and Jeremy Laing, we just think they can do better. One of us even has a toggle-jacket almost identical to one by Philip Sparks that she bought at Lavish & Squalor 2 years ago, and it’s by WESC.
Final Verdict: For a corporate party, it was better than usual. At least the media was there, which means there’s still something worth noting.
On to the shows…
What’s new?: Travis Taddeo just made Surface Magazine’s 10 Designers To Watch but he’s been one of our fav’s for a long time. The show was simple, and as with his past collections, there was lux leather detailing on jeans and party dresses as well as high end casual wear for men.
What did we love? Those fur throws on both woman and men, a fantastic pair of cotton leggings with leather thigh-high bottoms, and all the styling, by our main man, Cary Tauben. The shoes and sunglasses filled out the harsh urban-warrior look that Taddeo nails every time.
What sucked the big one? Honey, this is Travis Taddeo, nothing sucked at all. The only thing we woulda lost is some of the colour. the pieces that really showcase his talent are monochromatic: black, white or grey.
BETSEY JOHNSON @ The Brant House
What’s new? Nothing. At. All. Although this was the most buzzed about party all week, and we know, we did a giant guest list for it that was like a tsunami of girls clamoring to get in, it was Spring 2009, which means it’s the current collection in stores. Still, that didn’t stop anyone from dying to go.
What did we love? Unlike last season when they had this same party at the Brant House (also rammed to the tits), this time around Princess Superstar DJ’d, and we love her. Also, the bouncers were pretty decent people and were courteous under pressure. And, there were a lot of hot girls dressed to the nines, which is always good times by us.
What sucked the big one? A disappearing guest list that left a lot of people turned away. The show was also late by an hour and you couldn’t get a good sight line to save your life.
What’s new? Gone are the Mad Men inspired girlie dresses and in their place Kimberly Newport-Mimran has sprouted some tough-as-nails power women. Our boy Barletta did the Grace Jones mix for the show, and down walked a lot of fur, tight pants, power-suits and those sex-on-wheels fuchsia and black lace nylons.
If you haven’t read blogger, Brit Skelly’s interview with Kimberly last week, you should probably click here now.
What did we love? Duh, the music was dope. We also watched from the sound booth with Barletta and our buddy Jay for Bedouin Soundclash. We also noticed that Kimberly had some of the better models of the week, we’re not sure if she just has better taste, has been at it longer, or maybe she has a healthier budget to work with. Either way, girls could walk.
What sucked the big one? It was really packed. Like we almost got trampled packed. Not that that’s a shit thing. Every designer would love to have a packed house, it just got a bit crushing at times.
CHOP SHOP OPENING PARTY
What’s New? The boys behind SdnR clothing, Underground Republik promo company and Brennen Demelo Salon have moved up in the world. Yessir, they had the opening party, a sort of soft launch, during Fashion Week and invited friends by for a beverage (Peroni, told ya they were sponsoring everything) and a looksy.
What did we love? The new store front will bring a lot more walk-in traffic, and it’s an airy, gorgeous space, at least five times bigger than their last.
What sucked the big one? Anna Von showed up in a House Of Lords shirt. Everyone joked that she did it on purpose, but she’s sworn up and down that it was a matter of picking something clean to wear in the morning, and not a statement against the new salon.
We skipped the shows and went right to the party. Boyz Noize at This Is London was a welcome dance floor break to all the shmoozing with Peroni and background music.
What did we love? Cut Copy, who were in town for their show the next night at CiRCA came along for the ride. Boys Noize threw down some hard-ass house and techno to the fist-pumping crowd’s delight. Best set we’ve heard in a dog’s age.
What sucked the big one? We didn’t get there till one because of prior social engagements, like the Golden Girls EP Release party at The Drake Underground, and we regret we only got a couple hours to be dance dance danin’ machines!
What’s new? Evan Biddell is the one to watch ever since he won Project Runway last year. He’s known for dresses, but this season, he showed edge. The whole collection was centred around a traditional biker jacket and then weaved from there. We’re not gonna lie, the dresses were still the best, but man did he ever take that jacket all the way, turning it into everything from zipper-laden pants to jackets and even sack like dresses accented by tons of zippers.
What did we love? Stacey McKenzie hello! She was the centre piece at the heart of Evan’s show. We also liked the black on black pieces and although none of us are tall enough to pull off the deconstructed pants that strutted the runway, they’re still pretty damn hot.
What sucked the big one? Nothing we can remember. As usual, we prefer the black-on-black looks to any colour, but we’d say that about anything.
EVAN BIDDELL ENCORE SHOW AT ULTRA
All in all, Fashion Week this season seemed to take it up a notch. The country’s talent were all there, which was a breath of fresh air in comparison to a country divided with progressively worse shows as the cities unwind outwards from the Big Smoke. The parties were better attended, but as usual, the ones that had nothing to do with Fashion Week, kicked ass, and the ones that did, were a total snore. We feel very close to a breakthrough soon. Out with the old, in with the cool!
I don’t think Carrie Bradshaw or Anna Von Frances would ever have to wait two and a half hours for a fashion show to start. Since I am just a wanna-be Toronto fashionista I don’t get special treatment and I have to wait. To start the night off I try to put on my most casual cool outift on to impress the Betsey Johnson crowd. And the special effect of the outfit is obvious when i strap on my Betsey Johnson heels, purchased from winners!
I make my way down to The Branthouse, passing DRUNK ‘IRISH” people on my way. It’s 9:30 and the line is already huge to get into the Betsey Johnson fashion show. I try to pull my best ‘i’m with Pink Mafia seirous face” but it seems as though they are playing faovurites at the door and not honoring our guest list. Thanks guys. Luckly the wait passes quickly as i entertain myself by judging the crowd and their ready to be discovered outfits. My eyes are sore from seeing all the cheap Betseyville purses from winners. I eventually get in and stake out a prime spot in front of the runway. I’m riding high on my first Toronto fashion show experience. The high easily begins to fade as each half hour wastes away. FINALLY at 11:45 a lady comes over the intercom saying the show will begin at 12:00. I’m tired, cranky and my feet hurt like a bitch. God damn trying to wear heels. The catwalk lasts for 15 minutes. I feel like I have already seen most of these looks or versions of them while going through the Bestsey Johnson online catalogue. Cute girly pieces with a fierce edge by adding a skull denim jacket or a gun decorated cardigan. Needless to say I won’t be wearing any Betsey Johnson around town this summer and not only because I can’t afford it!
You know what it’s like when a good friend you haven’t seen or spoke to in ages, adds you on Facebook and you guys start reminisce wall-to-wall about the good ol’days? Feels good right? That’s exactly how I felt when I saw Bloc Party at the Kool Haus last night. The boys were in town for the weekend playing two sold out shows for Canadian Music Week.
When I was in high school, I fell in love with Bloc Party’s debut “Silent Alarm” an album beautifully put together with spiky sharp chords needling in places and guitars that swoons you to the moon. But after the hype and killing it by having Silent Alarm on non-stop replay, I stopped listening to them, forgot about them and moved on.
It’s been about 4 years since I’ve seen Bloc Party (Kele -vocals, rhythm guitar, Russell -lead guitar, Gordon -bass guitar, synths, backing vocals and Matt -drums, backing vocals) last and I’m kinda behind with the band’s happenings. They released their second album “A Weekend In The City” and put out their more recent album “Intimacy” released late last year.
I definitely didn’t know what to expect when I arrived at the show. I knew the band went through a slight change with their sound ditching their guitar driven riffs to have a bit more personal and electronic feel. The Kool Haus was jammed packed with people anxiously waiting for the indie rock darlings to finally come out. A little bit before 10:30 I saw purple lights and smoke filling up the stage quickly and the boys came out. I was at the back because I didn’t feel like going into the sweaty, people pushing, crowd. Right before the guys were about to play their first song a fan threw a bra to Kele. He had a laugh and so did the crowd.
It was nice to hear their new material for the first time live. I really liked Mercury and Talons from Intimacy. Made me wish I knew the lyrics so I could sing a long too like when Banquet or This Modern Love was played. Kele vocals were to satisfaction throughout the night and I definitely enjoyed Russell’s hair flips. Bloc Party put on a great show to wrap up CMW. The guys will still be in Canada for the next couple of days playing shows in London, Ottawa, and Montreal. If you’re in the area, check ‘em out!
Photos by: Jill Nefulda
If you’ve been outta the loop lately Red Bull launched a city search last month looking for Canada’s talented Djs. Each city held battles to see who was king or queen that ranked supreme in their hometowns. The lucky winners would represent their city and have the opportunity to claim the title as Canada’s Most Versatile Dj and win some cold hard cash! A-Trak along with other notable Djs finished the night off at Circa for Red Bull’s 3Style nation finals last night.
The challenge? Easy. Dj’s must deliver a 15 minute eargasm, booty shaking set that incorporates three genres of music that will be judged based on creativity, track selection, skills, stage presence and audience response.
I watched the boys battle it out. Beats were blasting, bodies moving, t-shirt throwing, and crowd surfing during a competitor’s set. Half way through the battle I noticed most Djs had very similar track selections. I was kinda bored to tell you the truth. No one really blew me away. Literally everyone played either Pharoahe Monch’s Simon Says or Dead Prez’s Hip Hop or Kid Cudi’s Day n Nite and Calabria. And I’m glad that someone agreed with me according to a certain someone’s Twitter. The stage set up was pretty cool though. Loved the big screen and flashing lights on stage that separated the Dj in the spotlight and the competitors waiting for their turns backstage.
Oh yeah! Umm… so what’s up with last night’s competitor lineup being such a sausage fest? Holy cow, Red Bull couldn’t at least put a female Dj into the finals? Hah even the judging panel was a bit of sausage fest itself. Do the ladies still feel pressured to prove they can spin, cut, and scratch as well as the guys? C’mon girls, you can do it! Hopefully next year we’ll be seeing a lot more girls competing for the title as Canada’s Most Versatile Dj.
A little bit after 1am A-Trak came on to show the boys how its supposed to be done. No one brings down the house like A-Trak can. His magnetic stage presence, dope beats, and his always dress to impress style makes me melt. And I’m really digging his new facial hair.
Congrats to Dj Cosmo!
Thanks to Jason Pereira for the pics.
I have an obsession, and her name is Princess Superstar.
No, she’s not a drag queen, she’s a she, and she is amazing. I’ll admit that when I first heard the name way back when, I thought she was a tranny. Those days of naivety are far behind me, and I’m confessing my girl crush.
Miss Superstar is a DJ as well as a fucking kick-ass MC from NYC with numerous albums and singles under her Swarovski-studded belt. She cut her first demo at 17, and went on to collaborate with the likes of Moby, The Prodigy, and Kool Keith, also playing alongside Felix Da Housecat, Tiga, Miss Kittin, and so on.
Her lyrical stylings have been compared to those of Eminem, but I think she’s more of a female Mickey Avalon (strictly music-wise). “Bad Babysitter” is the perfect track to blast and sing along to infront of your parents.
On any given night, you will hear just about every dj playing mixes of her singles “Licky” or “Perfect Exceeder” (Princess Superstar vs. Mason), so much so that they have become my anthems. If these tunes don’t get you off the wall and dancing on the floor or nearest couch, I suggest you head down to Florida and go into early party retirement.
For those of you classy ladies and lads not quite at your peak, you can experience Princess Superstar’s mad dj skills in person at the Betsey Johnson fashion show, next to Siamese2Hearts and ViVi Diamond on Tuesday, March 17th at Brant House.
Let’s get licky!
To tie you over until next week, check out our 20 Question session with Princess Superstar!
1. What is your dream of happiness?
Doing music you love, being at the pinnacle of health, being in love, having amazing relationships with people, being of service in the world. Oh yeah, and looking hot.
2. Blonde or Brunette?
Finally went brunette after being a blonde for a million years. It’s so sexy and mysterious.
3. What is the quality you like most in a man?
4. What do you fear most?
My pet birds dying.
5. 808s or 909s?
6. What’s your biggest regret?
That I smoked cigarettes and drank for so long.
8. What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
Green vegetable juice.
9. What are the 3 musicians dead or alive you’d like to see perform?
The Beatles. That’s 4.
10. What is your favorite decade in music?
11. If you had to choose, would you rather go blind or deaf and why?
Blind. Being in silence would be horrendous.
12. How old is too old?
Never too old.
13. Where did you see yourself in 15 years?
14. Who’s your hero?
15. What’s your favourite colour?
16. What song could you live without ever hearing again?
Caribbean Queen – Billy Ocean.
17. Metallica or Madonna?
18. What’s your most hated vice?
I just gave up coffee. It sucks.
19. Who is the most tragic figure in history?
Words by Melania Fedyna
You remember Lava Lounge? It’s some kind of mattress store on College St. now, but it used to be mod heaven. Before Mod Club opened, but after Blow Up ended, Lava Lounge was the spot to dress up, be anglo, and get down to vinyl from 1960-1969 ONLY. And it was rammed every single week. So Mark Holmes, the man behind the Lava Lounge nights has brought it back: Soulvation at Strangelove was the reunion party, and it brought out all the anglo hotties young and hold. Krist Papas got some snaps for your viewing pleasure. Check em.
I know it’s our show but c’mon, it’s like the best thing since hand jobs made a come back!
Kavin Wong/SharkVsBear had his opening night show last night at Art’d at Czehoski with Dejour Magazine’s Kyle Morrison on the one’s and two’s and it was amazing! Best mix of well-dressed poor scenesters and trust fund kids in Value Village clothes and Chanel bags peppered with a truely mixed 18-40 set ever!
Kavin is selling his framed, mounted prints (what’s left of them) for $100 each (I know, stupid cheap!), and for the 2 weeks of the show, he’s also offering to his fans any snap from the site, printed, mounted and framed for the same price.
For those of you who have had the pleasure to work, dance, laugh, drink with or be photographed by Kavin, you know how great he is. And now you can keep a bit of that magic he sprinkles around town on your walls for the rest of your life!
Pop into Czehoski, 678 Queen St. West and take a look for yourself.
But before tabloid tales, Sam Ronson was a starving artist (term used very loosely), strumming her acoustic guitar, playing once-a-week shows at a karaoke joint in LA. One of her songs was featured in Mean Girls, the greatest motion picture of all time (actually!).
Now she’s an internationally known dj, playing Hollywood afterparties and hired for appearances. Whether you love her or hate her, you’re definitely fascinated by her. We sure are!
If you’d like to experience the charm and poise of Miss Ronson, we’re giving away 2 tickets to her show this Saturday, February 21st at This Is London!
To enter, simply answer this question: What is the name of Sam’s song off of the Mean Girls soundtrack?
Send your name and answer to email@example.com Subject: SamRo Forever!
Get your high tops polished and ready! See you by the dj booth.
Words by Melania Fedyna