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Fashion Takes Action Eco Auction

FTA’s online Eco Auction kicked in on Sunday March 15th, and bidding will close 7 days later on Sunday March 22nd at noon.

Contact Information:
Kelly Drennan, Third Eye Media
P: 416-778-5934

Own a Piece of Canadian Fashion History: FTA Holds Eco Auction During LG Fashion Week

Fashion Takes Action (FTA) is holding an online Eco Auction with nine of the sustainable garments featured on the runway at the FTA Green Gala. These unique eco-friendly designs were created in order to bring awareness to sustainable fashion, and can now be owned by fellow eco fashionistas.

The designers who are participating in the auction are Project Runway Canada winner EVAN BIDDELL (showing this week), Zoran Dobric (also showing this week), THIEN LE, Nada Yousif, Thieves (current TFI New Labels finalist), Eugenia Leavitt (current TFI New Labels Winner), Carrie Hayes, AIME Luxury and current Project Runway Canada contestant JASON MEYERS.

The FTA Eco Auction is hosted on eBay, and is now live. Bidding ends at noon on Sunday March 22nd. Each garment is featured on the FTA website with a photo from the Green Gala runway, along with new photos that highlight the garments’ features. Each winner will also receive an IS9100 Professional Garment Steamer Rowenta, official garment care provider to LG Fashion Week, valued at $189.99, to help with the care for their new eco garments.

Fashion Takes Action is known for producing Canada’s greenest fashion events – The Green Gala and the Sustainable Style Show. On April 22nd, 2009 (Earth Day), FTA will be launching as a members-based organization whose mission is to have a socially and environmentally positive impact on the fashion industry. Fifty percent of the profits raised from the Eco Auction go directly to each of the Green Gala designers, and the other half will be injected into FTA’s Education and Awareness programs. For more information on the Eco Auction, including photos of the garments, values and starting bid amounts, designer bios and fabrics used, please visit


Caught at Capital Fashion Week

From contributor: LAUDIA

Who: Lucie & Andrew
Why: Both a little camera shy, I thought I’d loosen them up a bit by having them pose together. The first thing that attracted me to these two fashionistas was the way they used colour. First of all, not only are those high waisted blue pants absolutely hot, but her belt, hand bag and scarf perfectly are perfect accessorisies for her outfit and create the right colour combination. I have to give her props for wearing a men’s dress shirt so well. She wears it better than some men might I add! Lucie is proof how colours can make a bold and beautiful look, despite the cold weather. Her outfit looks as comfortable, vivacious and happy as she does.

Andrew, on the other hand, is wearing all black, however, he still manages to create a cool splash of sophistication.  Again gentlemen, this is another example as to how one can look cool, calm and collected.  In fact, he’s wearing staple pieces of clothing, but it’s all in HOW you put it together. From the fitted jeans, to the black vest and black vans, he turned this ensemble from cool to smooth by accentuating his look with that a little black bow tie.
Their style: Living la vida “mode”

Who: Reginald
Why: Oh’ that double breasted sweater. From the colour, to the fit, to those bold navy blue buttons, the sweater caught my attention from the moment I saw Reginald.  I think a lot of men undermine the power of a good sweater. The simple and rather casual look in wearing jeans and a shirt can go from street to chic, all depending on how you wear it and what you wear it with.  The belt contrasts perfectly with the light pink dress shirt and the dark jeans.  Although a little shy when I first approached him, Reginald’s style certainly proved to be preppy sweet; casual and charming.
His style: Preppy with a twist


Who: Mirna
Why: Sweet, simple & hot is what I thought when I first ran into Mirna, a fashion stylist from Toronto . I must say I haven’t seen any ladies  in Ottawa rockin’ the one piece, without making it look like cat woman with a really bad camel-toe! Mirna made the jump suit look flirtatiously elegant.  It’s the right size, the right length and perfect for the occasion. The black booties blended perfectly with the all black & bold look.  I must not forget to mention how gorgeous her necklace is.  I like the fact that she has her hair in an up do, no earrings and even the rest of her jewellery compliments the elegance of her ensemble.  Mirna proves that “yes you can wear all black. Just make sure you get the elegance part right.”
Her style: Sexy elegance

Capital Fashion Week?

As a supporter of fashion in the capital, I believe in building a solid foundation for a strong fashion scene. Not one that seeks to compete directly with large markets like Montreal and Toronto, but one that can still be considered a “market” and not merely a third tier fashion city. By supporting this, it also means I am not a supporter of unnecessary reproduction. Let me explain, less than a few months ago, Ottawa had it’s first fashion week, and all of a sudden, I get a press release about something called “Capital Fashion Week“.

I am completely confused because a) the site contains no information regarding the event (only the date) and b) the press release and sponsorship package is praising the two founders for their “unique” idea rather than providing information about the show. What’s the deal?

“With small fashion-infused events happening occasionally around the city, its time the nation’s capital come together and welcome fashion-aficionados from all over to experience something fresh, bold and exciting for everyone– everyday fashionistas and industry people alike.”

Why should I think this event is so avant garde when it’s not? It’s been done before (May remember?) and continues to be done (yep, there’s another season coming up) and it’s very very new so why is it being reproduced exactly?

Capital Fashion Week claims that they would like to encourage fashion in the city: “The premise for this showcase is to, with the support of the city and its governing bodies, gather the community under one roof to finally be able to appreciate design talent. What started out as hope for something “bigger and better” for the city will now come to fruition with your support!” How about instead of starting another fashion week, contacting the organizers of Ottawa Fashion Week and collaborating with them? I don’t understand why a city with a fashion scene that is still very small requires two fashion weeks. Market research. Will people know the difference between a fashion week and a fashion show? Not likely now.

From the information I received, I can say with all honesty that the location is cool and when I was working on Ottawa Fashion Week, I did pledge interest in renting out the old Train Station (Government Conference Centre) due to its history and prestige but the price was ludicrous and availability was scarce.

The other thing that’s pissing me off about both shows, is that they are taking place at the end of November. Buying season is basically over and buyers no longer have open to buy money to spend (it’s the feedback I received after the first fashion week in May). How is anyone going to take Ottawa seriously? Did I also mention that Ottawa Fashion Week is November 12-15 and Capital Fashion Week is November 21 to 22?

This is what I have been talking about in various articles regarding the Ottawa fashion scene, elementary.

Analyzing this as a marketing and PR rep, there’s a lot of work to be done. Research. Actually, a basic google search shows this: Capital Fashion Week in Brazil. Now I’m no expert, but this runs into a little confusion and trouble. Yes, sure, two different shows in two different countries, but it’s the same as me using the name Nike for the new shoe line I’m launching in Malaysia for example. Also, when I hear “CFW” my mind automatically thinks “Calgary Fashion Week.”

The logo: I don’t understand it at all. I’ve emailed the people at Capital Fashion Week for clarification and received no response. Here’s my interpretation: this logo doesn’t resonate fashion week, it just looks like a graphic design project. Actually, it looks very similar to the Project Runway logo. Simplicity is key – when I worked for Ottawa Fashion Week, I rejected various logo concepts before agreeing to the basic font and colours they have now. I also made sure to include it in French to promote bilingualism, we are after all, the capital, and French is my mother tongue.

Advertising and Sponsorship: How come I’ve only heard about this show last week? I have not seen any advertising for it at all. And taking a look at the sponsorship package, I understand some of the proceeds are going to the cancer society but $15,000 to be a premium sponsor? You haven’t even put together one show to be asking for that kind of money. I am also not fond of the package names…fierce? I’ve worked in agencies before, I know that’s what non-fashion people think we call fashion poses. It’s not. I also don’t use the word fabulous, glam, chic or luxe in sentences. Fashion stereotypes make me happy though (seriously people keep asking me eccentric questions about fashion, I love answering them).

Tagline: Cut, Sew, Stitch – Come see the Finished Product! Sounds like Project Runway as well. Is this a fashion week or a competition? And exclamation marks at the end of any tagline are a big faux pas, they are better left for Wal-Mart flyers and considered extremely tacky (this is directly from the mouths of various advertising copywriters).

Season: There is no mention of the season but it should be Spring/Summer 2009 Collections.

Experience: I guess from the press release and sponsorship package I know who the founders are, and they seem to be the only two on the committee so my question is regarding the experience they have in terms of judging which designers make it or not. What is the designer criteria? Who checks the sewing? The samples? Press kits? Analysis of how the designers can manage wholesale, etc etc. And who are the designers? This requires judgement from someone with experience in fashion design and fashion merchandising, it’s vital for Ottawa fashion to be taken seriously.

Models: Please tell me your are using professional models from legitimate agencies? Fashion shows in Ottawa need to learn from previous mistakes. I’ll admit to many, I don’t critique without admitting I’ve made mistakes too (many factors come into play as well). There are a lot of great models in the city and looking outside the city is also an option. My question is who are the casting directors? What are their credentials?

I have an idea how this is going to end up, but I don’t think I can judge just yet because I haven’t attended the shows. I am merely asking questions and giving an OPINION.

Now I know what a lot of readers are thinking and I assure you that the first Ottawa Fashion Week was by no means perfect, but it was just that: the first one, a trial, many future seasons will be (although I have not worked on the second season and no longer work for fashion week). But we (Ottawa fashion people) need to learn from our mistakes and learn how to work together, not see everything and everyone as an obstacle.

More info on Capital Fashion Week:

Download the Press Release

Download the Sponsorship Package

Runways fail to represent half the world’s population

Jezebel contributor Dodai writes many articles about the lack of black models on the runways of Milan, New York, Paris and London. After reading most of her posts on the topic, I completely agree with her arguments and admire the fact that she scans the archives of and counts how many models are not Caucasian. But Dodai avoids the bigger picture: her posts continuously focus solely on black models when ALL ethnicities (except Caucasians) are underrepresented on runways across the globe. I have written about this before, specifically focusing on the lack of ethnicity in fashion advertising.

Any fashion enthusiast can recite the names of the known black models off the top of their heads: that’s how scarce they are. Other ethnicities, even more scarce. Vogue Italia’s July All-Black issue not only sold out and was reprinted, but it caused an “outcry” amongst members of the fashion community and fashion enthusiasts and sparked up the debate about the lack of black models in the industry. Franca Sozzani, Vogue Italia’s editor, did a fantastic job with this issue because it does not remind me of the sameness found in the pages of Wintour’s American Vogue.

But, if we continue to focus solely on black models, the industry will avoid representing other ethnicities like Indians, Middle-Eastern, Asians, etc and will start trying to include diversity by only including black models alongside the majority of Caucasians. “Yeah but we had seven black models on the runway this time.” That’s not enough diversity. Adding five more black models to your line-up does not equal diversity when you have a total of 49 models in a 20-minute show. Black models would represent 14% of the runway while the Caucasian models have the majority with 86%. Diversify – there are tons of different countries in the world where you can find beautiful, well-toned women that just so happen to be 5’8” and up. Read this article to see Iman’s summary of Black models portrayed as caricatures.

Although most models are shipped in from Brazil and Eastern European countries where being 6’0” tall and skinny seems to be the country’s mission statement, they are still Caucasian-esque (in the case of Brazilian models, most of the famous ones, i.e. Gisele and Alessandra are of European descent).

People are attracted to exotic things and people; it’s basically a fact – where do you take a lavish vacation? North America? Not likely. Exotic women are beautiful, see the issue of Vogue India for example. The dark skinned model that graces the cover and the editorial is stunning (picture below). Why oh why is Anna not embracing this? There are too many models that look like they came off the last ship from Mars and landed on the runways of major fashion weeks and invaded the covers of Vogue, Bazaar and various other magazines. I hate it. The alien look is cool but we need to start embracing what half the world is, not blue eyed and blond. It’s noticeable that when ethnic models strut their long legs on the runway or pose for the camera, they just so happen to be some of the most beautiful people (I am not hating on Caucasian models at all (Tasha Tilberg anyone?) – I just want to encourage diversity).

I worked at a modeling agency for two years where our goal was to increase the visibility of ethnic models. Our roster had girls from all over – India, Syria, Vietnam, Ghana, and so on. Even the Caucasian girls we recruited did not fit the conventional look; they all had something unique that made them breathtakingly beautiful. Sadly, we seemed to be the only agency fighting for diversity. This past May during Ottawa Fashion Week; models from all races graced the runway. The correspondent at Flare magazine took notice and was pleased and surprised at the multicultural runway. Canada is a highly diverse and multicultural community, especially in larger metropolitan areas like Ottawa and that’s where we should start.

The question is, this has been an on going issue, right up there with other issues the modeling industry has been dealing with like drugs, sexual abuse, age and anorexia. This issue, however, doesn’t “physically” hurt anyone but it is, to me, considered a form of racism. Take for example the skin lightening creams women in the Eastern world use in order to rid themselves of their dark skin so they can look like the conventional Western woman. The fact that we are taught that women with light skin and lighter features is beautiful has an affect on women worldwide don’t you think? Even in India, where many of the world’s most beautiful women reside, considers the lighter skinned Bollywood stars as the most beautiful. Why? Because that’s what we see everywhere. Dark women are beautiful, again, check out the Vogue India model below, she’s dark and stunning.

So why is this issue getting into mainstream media now? Is it because Naomi Campbell refuses to retire from the runway because she’s afraid no black models will be walking on them anymore if she does? Is it the release of Vogue Italia’s all-Black issue? Who knows, but know this, ethnic models have always been underrepresented on the runways of major fashion weeks and even at the smaller ones (Montreal, Toronto). As frustrating as Naomi’s antics are, you can’t help but appreciate the fact that she, along with Iman, is one of the only ethnic models to be considered a “supermodel.” That is an accomplishment. Although I will continue to work at changing the way the fashion industry looks at ethnic models, I know that it will not be an easy process and can only hope that one day; they will all be represented equally, whether Black, Indian, Middle-Eastern, or Latino.

P.S. Have you noticed that all the models that grace the cover of Vogue Italia are lighter skinned black women? Think about that.

From left: Liya Kebede, Sessilee Lopez, Jourdan Dunn, and Naomi Campbell


Read more:

all black issue cover from:
vogue india cover from:

Ottawa Fashion Week Wrap-up

Posts have been delayed for the reason above = Ottawa Fashion Week!!! Again, a million apologies to readers. With that being said, here’s my review and pictures.
The media and buyers were in full force to see a) the success or b) the demise of Ottawa’s first fashion week. What they witnessed was the former. Ottawa Fashion Week was all over the place, and for a first time production, it went smoothly with sold out crowds of 300 people filling the theatre for 29 shows! Models were multicultural representing almost all visible minorities (ugh I hate that term) in Canada.
Alongside the variety of models, there were various styles displayed from business casual, street wear, lingerie, evening wear to fantasy. The media room was also in full effect, however, people didn’t really understand how it functioned too well. Regardless, the event was an overwhelming success and I want to personally thank everyone who attended. Feedback would be much appreciated in order for CIMA to better coordinate the next fashion week.
I also want to thank all media, buyers, participants and volunteers who made the 1st annual fashion week great!

P.S. The event was also at the same time as Race Weekend and still got great exposure, YAY! I can sleep now!


The Showroom


Louise Butland


Kania Couture


Dubuc & Leticq


Jana Hanzel


Ekqualyte Abstract Apparel


Dubuc & Leticq


One of Us Swimwear


One of Us Swimwear




Models await their cue


Backstage madness!


The media room – the line-ups


Zena Fares

me et moi
Me et Moi

me et moi
Me et Moi

Photos: Connie Porteous, Ryan Parent, Danah Abdulla, Sebastien Hebert

List of coverage for Ottawa Fashion Week:;jsessionid=C77A0527DAA2756AB134A3AFE871BF19?lang=en&eventId=1493

You are so excellent

Last night at La Petite Mort Gallery on Cumberland Street had a Pre-Party for Ottawa Fashion Week. The models (who did a fab job) wore clothing from several designers including Meg Duffield, Ashley Zaba and Marie-Ange Collection, changing outfits every hour and a half or so. People of all sorts came out including those intrigued by the set-up from outside. The art was from a current exhibition running in the gallery

Stylish people came out to this as well, as you can see by Kelly below! The party was great and a lot of fun. I got to chat with some great people and meet some new ones too! Lots of models were there, so for those who missed it, make sure you catch the actual festivities!

Although I like galleries, I have something against galleries trying to be too provocative. Yes, everyone knows art is supposed to be an expression of freedom and what not, but some people try too hard to cross the line. My opinion any way…

La Petite Mort PartyLa Petite Mort Party
La Petite Mort Party

La Petite Mort Party
La Petite Mort Party

La Petite Mort Party

La Petite Mort Party

La Petite Mort Party

La Petite Mort Party

La Petite Mort Party

La Petite Mort Party

La Petite Mort Party

La Petite Mort Party

La Petite Mort Party

La Petite Mort Party

La Petite Mort Party

La Petite Mort Party



Her outfit is soooo excellent, sorry that Juan MacLean song is in my head…piano is so catchy

Ottawa Fashion Week Pre-party + Passes on sale now

For those of you that are excited about Ottawa Fashion Week, here are two more reasons to do so:

Saturday, May 10th at 7pm, Ottawa Fashion Week is having a pre-party (including preview) at La Petite Mort Gallery on 306 Cumberland Street. Everyone is welcome to this free event.

Even better news! The show is coming up faster than you can feel Annie’s heartbeat and the passes will sell out even quicker. You can pick up either a Day Pass (with access to all shows and after parties on a specific day) for $20, or the bargain Festival Pass (with access to everything and all after parties for the entire 3 days) which will cost you $30. Passes are available online at or by calling 613.262.5994 or emailing info [at]

So far, 30 designers from across Canada and Internationally will be showing their stuff here, not only on the runway but in the showroom (open from 11am to 10pm). The venue will be open from 11am to 10pm and the shows start at 5pm…don’t miss this.

Oh and Hello Beautiful is going to perform at the After Party at nIXne on Friday, May 23 for Ottawa Fashion Week

Ottawa Fashion Week