Rave: One of a Kind Show

The One of a Kind Show is something that you’ve likely heard of, and possibly have been to, since it’s been happening in Toronto since 1975. It started as the brainchild of Steven Levy, Martin Rumack and June Bibby, when Bibby couldn’t find anywhere to sell her work. They created the craft show and it’s since grown to represent more than 800 artisans, designers and craftspeople, and is the largest consumer craft show in North America.

And big it is – luckily it runs for more than a week (from Thursday, November 22 to Sunday, December 2), which is great because there’s no way you can visit each booth in just a day. We recently took a trip to the Direct Energy Centre to check it out and were blown away by the talent and creativity in the room (we were a bit skeptical that it was going to resemble a church basement craft sale, if we’re honest). There were literally hundreds of things we could have snapped up from handmade flavoured peanut butters, to uniquely-flavoured shortbread, to the cutest little baby outfits and toys, funky jewellery and a ton of art.

Here are some of the great items that we saw (and sampled):

Diane Stewart from Blind River, Ontario, creates “paintings” out of layered strips of fabric. Love this brand-new lace piece showing a waterfall cascading down a series of rocks. Gorgeous (Diane doesn’t have a website but you can contact her by email at dianestewart.artist@gmail.com if you’re interested). 

Lace waterfall detail. 

Fidoodle creates really funky baby toys, that will still appeal to a young parent’s aesthetic. We particularly loved this little doll in primary colours that flips upside down to reveal a butterfly girl. 

Kino Guerin creates hanging chalkboards with his signature curved wood pieces, and the slate salvaged from old house rooftops. They sell for about $300-500 depending on the size, and are worth every penny. 

One of the best sections of the show was the “rising stars” area, which featured young, up-and-coming artisans, designers and jewellery makers. The best piece for sale (in our opinion) was the collaboration  between graphic designer Evann Frisque and found vintage lighting seller Mod Pieces. They created anatomically correct printed lampshades atop one-of-a-kind lamps. 

Another creative lighting option was found in the Wine Planks booth, where Cathy Davison deconstructs used wine barrels into awesome pieces for your home. Everyone was going crazy for the wooden strips turned into candle holders, but we loved the garden balls made from the metal hoops that hold the barrels together. They’re meant for outside, but we picked one up for our dining room (for the low, low price of $50). 

We Beet Everything makes killer beet-based dips, including our favourite, Sassy Horseradish (because, obviously we’ll buy anything that incorporates sassiness). Beets + horseradish = the best new flavour combo.

We instantly thought of our West Queen West bike riding friends when we saw these awesome bike bells. Made by noted Montreal sculpturist Glen Le Mesurier, he’s best known for big, outdoor metal sculptures. But we were into his Star Trek and Toronto bike bells.

One of the best young artists we saw was Patrick Lajoie, who created original woodprints from photographs that he took. They were Canadiana at it’s best, and solidified our commitment to collecting Canadian art. The affordable price tags also helped – each bigger print was about $300-600, making it easy for us to envision a few hanging on the walls.

There you have it! Not just a show for crafty moms and wrinkled old ladies. Get there before it ends – you will love it.

Fave Five: Young Local Artists

Here on the fourth floor, we appreciate
the finer things in life and as such, are taking a moment to honour our Fave
Five young Torontonians who contribute to the arts and entertainment scene
in Toronto.

Born and raised in Toronto and a
graduate of OCAD’s fine art program, Aaron Li-Hill is one of our favourite visual
artists. His dreamy, industrial inspired
pieces employ a variety of mediums; from traditional paints and sketches to a
contemporary use of graphic design and graffiti. His art has been shown in galleries
throughout Canada and was recently included in SPiN Toronto’s first Plywood graffiti
art exhibit. http://li-hill.carbonmade.com/

Not only do we love fashion, we also
love Mother Earth! This is why Little.White.Dress is a local
designer that we’re keeping our eye on. Made up of Ryerson grads
Jessica van Enckevort and Alexandra Wilson, Little.White.Dress focuses on
making unique, eco-friendly bridal wear, cocktail dresses and accessories. We
love their use of vintage and repurposed fabrics, and that each of their
dresses is one of a kind. @LWDressToronto

No stranger to the Canadian music
scene, Devin was literally born into it. Son of Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy, Devin inherited more than just the famous
Can-Rock name and has been carving out a place for himself with the Devin Cuddy Band. Their country and New Orleans
blues inspired debut album Volume One was released on the Cameron House’s label, where Devin and his band can be
spotted playing every Wednesday. @DevinCuddy

Photog phenom Petra Collins  has made
her indelible mark on the art world with her nostalgic, sometimes
controversial, but always honest portrayal of young women. At just 19 years old,
Petra’s commercial clients include Urban
Outfitters, Vogue Italia, Chloe Comme Parris and Refinery 29.  In addition to that, she curates the female
art collective The Ardorous We love her unapologetic embrace of all
things feminine. @petracollins

Since she moved to Toronto from Nigeria
as an international student in Ryerson’s Broadcast Journalism program,
Shasha has been an up-and-comer in the documentary film world.  She works full-time at award-winning
documentary production company Storyline Entertainment, and as a
producer/director for Squire Entertainment with Rich Williamson. Her very first documentary Baby
Not Mine
went on to win awards at the Human Rights Docfest and the Montreal
World Film Festival in 2009. Recently,
her documentary about the sugarcane industry in the Philippines, The Sugar Bowl  took Best Documentary and
Best Film at the 2012 Aesthetica Short Film Festival in York, UK. @ShashaNakhai

City Living: Made You Look celebrates 10 years

Nothing is more inspiring to us than someone who’s followed their dreams and taken the risky plunge into entrepreneurship, especially in the notoriously tough fashion business. We’re especially excited when one of these brave bunch is female, and a client of ours. 

Enter Sarah Hamel. Tomorrow, Hamel’s great jewellery design and retail business, Made You Look, celebrates a decade of open doors. Hamel started her business fresh out of George Brown College’s jewellery arts program. She wanted to create a space where fellow designers could create without having to sacrifice their aesthetic because they no longer had access to the pricey materials and equipment required to work with metals and precious gems.

10 years later, the result is two booming retail locations in hip Parkdale, one of which also functions as the design space where hundreds of Toronto’s best-loved jewellery designers create, and have created, their pieces.

Made You Look offers an awesome array of accessory choices – they can create something custom and amazing from diamonds and gold, or you can pick up a cute, faux bauble to wear out with your friends. 

The very cute Tiny Ties ($30) caused a splash when first launched, and are still available at the south side store (1273 Queen St. W.)

One of our favourite pieces at the store are the Army Man Cufflinks, which feature replicas of the famous green plastic toys, in various poses (lying down with a gun, throwing a grenade, etc.). They are a cheeky gift for the man-boy in your life, and add a little pizazz to a French-cuffed shirt. 

These are awesome. Made by Kathryn Dieroff ($120).

To celebrate her success, Hamel is throwing an anniversary party at both retail locations tomorrow night, including live graffiti art by Qwest, mind tricks from Danny Proctor, food from the El Gastronomo Vagabundo food truck, and for the first time ever, 10% off any purchase made that evening, through Sunday, December 4. Members of the public are welcome, but please RSVP here to get on the guest list.

City Living: LGFW SS’ 12

TIFF has officially wrapped and it’s on to the next one. Next up? LG Fashion Week, beauty by L’Oreal Paris’ SS 2012 presentations. This season is poised to be bigger and better than ever, especially with fashion week’s brand new location. The tents have moved further east, and will be held in David Pecaut Square (right next to Roy Thompson Hall and the King St. streetcars).

While we savour every show and our hearts always race before the lights and music begin in the runway room, here are some shows we’re particularly excited to see:

 On opening night, we welcome LaLa Berlin, traveling from Deutschland for her inaugural show in LGFW. Carried in 60 stores worldwide and worn by celebs including Heidi Klum, Cameron Diaz and Jessica Alba, LaLa Berlin is known primarily for high-end knitwear. Watch the show on Monday, October 17 at 9:30 p.m. (by invitation only).

Look from Lala Berlin’s f/w 2011 collection.
One of our fave’s for the past few seasons are Toronto/Halifax sister-act duo Chloe Comme Parris, comprised of Chloe and Parris Gordon. Known for their artisanal skills, such as hand-made fabrics and dyes, the line epitomizes effortlessly cool style.  This show will be held in the intimate studio environment on Tuesday, October 18 at 7 p.m.
Look from Chloe Comme Parris’ f/w 2011 collection.
We’re also excited for VAWK‘s latest collection, created by Project Runway-alumnus Sunny Fong. Fong is best known for his handmade knits and dramatic accents. Also, we commend VAWK for their use of diverse models (read: beautiful and curvy). VAWK shows on Thursday, October 20 at 9:30 p.m.
Looks from VAWK’s f/w 2011 collection.
If you want in on the action, but don’t have a media/industry/buyer pass, you can purchase a general ticket to see the show (ranging from $20 for a single show to $175 for a full day pass). For more information on purchasing tickets, student ticket group rates, or a VIP ticket package, click here or email Samantha@fdcc.ca.
To win a set of tickets to a LGFW show, tweet us! The tenth person to tweet
@rockitpromo will win a pair of tickets to a selected show. Tweet “I want to check out @LGFWbyFDCC‘s Canada Cool with @rockitpromo.”

*Winners must pick up tickets at will-call before the show.