I attended the opening party at the beautiful Maison Mercer in the entertainment district downtown Toronto. I arrived around 8:30 not knowing what to expect, I've never been to the club at 8:30 on a Monday night but I was certain it would be worthwhile. While I was in line for coat check I turned around and saw Paul Mason standing not too far from me. I was immediately star struck! I really wanted to ask him to take a selfie but unfortunately I froze up :( as I made my way through the venue I noticed the beautiful TOM* FW16 sign and the #IAMTOM sign illuminating the dance floor. I began to spot some of the models because I had the pleasure of working on a lot of the graphics beforehand.
On Tuesday I attended the TOM* talks at the beautiful loft-style Shopify office on Spadina. It was a full house by the time I got there. The content of the discussion was primarily on how to market men because men are becoming increasingly active consumers. One of the key points that stood out to me was developing a unique brand story and zeroing in on that niche. In this day and age people are very caught up with social media that we forget it is simply a platform. As we see the shift from Instagram to Snapchat, brands need to be able to shape their content for the next big thing.
By the time I arrived at the magazine launch party they were playing Rihanna's work (work work work work work work!) The atmosphere was a great mix between mingling and vibeing out to music. I made my way to the table where the stack of the FW16 Issue were. Flipping through the pages I was very impressed with the quality of the design and pleased at the addition of colour. I think TOM*'s branding has been strategically consistent for the past two years the timing couldn't have been better to play with some colour. It certainly will fly off the shelves and captivate the readers.
I had a great time at the launch, the vibe was very low-key and sophisticated. It was certainly my style, although turning up is fun, I prefer events that are geared towards those looking to network as well as have a good time. Don't get me wrong though, I have my nights where I'm absolutely looking for a wine! Those are usually summer nights though...
Seeing as this was my first time attending TOM* festivities I really didn't know what to expect. I had seen the venue a few days prior when the set up was barely anything. I was blown away as soon as I stepped through the black curtains and saw the magnitude of the runway. The rows of crystal chairs shone brilliantly when the lights changed. The space was perfectly organized, making very good use of the size at 444 college park.
All of the designers had something special prepared for their collection. I was impressed with the direction that was given to the models. It hadn't occurred to me that the runway could not only display the collections but also with each walk was an opportunity to showcase the model's personality and swagger if you will. This beautiful olive green coat with double layered details by Hendrixroe was one of my favourite pieces.
The night ended with Hip & Bone's collection. Out of all of the collections shown on the runway on Day 1 I think Hip & Bone's was the most universally appealing. They captured the essence of streetwear with great quality and attention to detail. The phenomenon of streewear is widely publicized in popular culture however not many brands can bridge the gap between clothing that is trendy but still sophisticated enough to be wearable for events that are a little more than just casual.
Prior to fashion week, there were a few nights where I had disturbing dreams, they generally were riddled with strange and unfortunate events. I never thought that one of them would turn out to be a premonition. In this dream I had an anxious feeling of missing something important, obsessively checking my time and rushing to the venue. Obstacle after obstacle kept me away from what I wanted most.
Murphy's law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
The toe that I had bumped prior to fashion week turned into a blue swollen mess that I could no longer continue to walk on. Even if I could go in a cast (it's not broken don't worry) I wouldn't be able to attend the last two days and the crew party either because I also developed a high fever and cold. I spent the next week in misery but contrary to my dream I definitely wasn't disappointed because I am content with my experience. I am thankful to be a part of this incredible team and I am already looking forward to the summer season.