Fashion-able: Fashion Week survival kit

World MasterCard Fashion Week is here. With it comes warmer weather, seeing lots of familiar faces and seeing lots and lots of inspiring shows. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a fresh face at the tents, we have some tips on what to bring in your bag this week.
Snacks – It’s a major perk that David Pecaut Square is right in the heart of downtown, perched above a food court and across the street from a Starbucks. However, sometimes it’s just too crazy to step away (seriously). Come armed with a purse full of snacks.

Shoes – Biggest challenge for fashionable publicists? Sore feet. Bring multiple pairs of shoes, including a pair of flats for the end of the night. When we’re on our feet this much, sometimes it is function over fashion. With a good looking pair of function, of course.
Can you wear these for 12 hours straight? Didn’t think so.
Image source.
Foot Protection – No matter how often you change your footwear, after a week in your highest heels, you aren’t going to want to put them on come Friday. Give your feet a hand with cushioned inserts for the balls of your feet and special band-aids that cushion and heal blisters.

iPhone/Blackberry/Laptop Charger – Is there anything worse than live tweeting from an event and having your phone die? Or anything scarier than working from your laptop and having the low battery icon pop up? Leave the drama to the runway and make sure you throw your charger in your bag. Bonus points for an extra back-up battery.
Do you think she remembered her charger?
Image source.
Extra Tights/Nylons – It’s still March and nights will be chilly, so cover up your legs with tights or nylons. Bring an extra pair in case you catch a snag. In extreme emergency, run downstairs to the PATH and hope that Rexall has your size in stock (and appropriate cool colour/shade).

Vitamins – A fourth floor rule, start loading up on vitamins and supplements at least a week before a major event like fashion week. In addition to your multi-vitamin, try extra Vitamin C, echinacea and shots of wheatgrass. If you’re really serious, try intravenous micronutrient therapy.
Intense preparation.
Image source.

Makeup Kit – This may seem like a vain suggestion, but long days + photographers everywhere (clients first, of course!). Make sure you have everything on hand for anything from a quick touch-up to complete overhaul. Why not try beauty sponsor Maybelline’s long-wearing lip products, like the Super Stay 14 Hr Lipstick or Super Stay 24 Color? Now’s the time to put them to the test.

What are you bringing to fashion week? Tweet your secrets for #WMCFW so we know who to ask when we realize we left something at home.
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Fashion-able: WMC Fashion Week Preview

After weeks of wishing we were in on the action at fashion weeks in Paris, London and New York, it’s almost time for Toronto to strut its stuff. We can’t wait to see what our Canadian designers have in store this season at World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto. Here’s a look ahead at a few of the shows we’re most excited for.
We can’t help but love these sisters, who have quickly become darlings of the Toronto fashion scene. We’re still dreaming about that leather backpack from a few seasons ago. They always have something interesting to show, so we’re looking forward to seeing where they went this year.
The 3-buckle backpack.
Image source.

With outerwear and accessories inspired by Canada’s wilderness and defined by a raw and rustic aesthetic, expect rich leathers, fur-lined hoods, and a lineup of beautiful people wearing sexy jackets.

Rudsak’s hot leather-clad motorcycle gang, F/W 2011
Image source.
VAWK/VAWKKIN 

Sunny Fong’s collection is always one of our favourites, and we’re even more excited this year as he previews VAWKKIN this season. With a slightly lower price point than VAWK, VAWKKIN is designed for the “young, professional, fashion-forward female.” Sounds like a lot of girls we know. Known for having models of all ages and sizes walking the catwalk, he always presents a fun show featuring beautiful womenswear.

Elisha Cuthbert wearing VAWK on the red carpet at the 2012 People’s Choice Awards
Image source.

Soïa & Kyo 

Considering two of our team sport Soïa & Kyo winter coats, we can honestly say we’re majorly excited to preview the chic outerwear collection for 2012. With a line inspired by the ‘hipster urban traveller,’ we can’t wait to welcome them to the Toronto catwalk for the first time.


Who on the fourth floor have you spotted wearing this FW 2011 Soia & Kyo coat?
Image source.

Triarchy/Martin Lim/Travis Taddeo

These three very different, but all very cool lines were part of last season’s Mercedes-Benz Start Up Competition for emerging Canadian designers. It’s going to be interesting to see what they’ve been up to over the past few months, as each shows independently for the first time.

Triarchy denim
Image source.

Such a full calendar, so little space. We can’t wait to head for the tents at David Pecaut Square to see what all the designers have been working on. Check the FDCC’s official WMC Fashion Week calendar here. 
 


LGFW: The first two nights and what we loved

On Monday, the doors to LG Fashion Week Beauty by L’Oréal Paris officially opened. For those without passes, the Fourth Floor is taking you to the runway’s front row.
Holt Renfrew took care of business with their show “Can’t Live Without Canadian Fashion”.
The country’s leading retailer of high-end fashion celebrated our homegrown talent, sending spectacular looks from Todd Lynn, Jeremy Laing, Lida Baday, Ezra and Greta Constantine, Pink Tartan, Wings + Horns, Smythe, Twenty Cluny, Denis Gagnon and Canada Goose down the runway. 
Here are some of our fave looks. 
Denis Gagnon’s brightly coloured tights paired with chic dresses and big wedges. 
Smythe’s pale blue coat with camel-coloured leather details. 

Jeremy Laing’s wicked combos of textiles, prints, colours and silhouettes. Especially this one.


All images courtesy of Toronto Life.
Bringing fur innovation to the runway, Izma by Izzy Camilleri and Adrian Mainella combines luxury and warmth. Made from Canadian wild fur, Izma designs are classic pieces with modern versatility. Models wore the luxe furs as black jackets, neutral stoles and as accents on blazers. We loved the sexy, 1920s-inspired styling, including red lips, rich velvet and curly bobs. Clearly, Izma is chicest way to stay warm during the coldest of Canadian winters. 
 All images courtesy of the Toronto Sun.
 
The brother and sister duo behind the contemporary label brought modern tribal prints to the studio space. Inspired by travels across four continents, this globe-trotting design duo crafted urban-meets-African separates in colours of olive, navy and black. 
 All images courtesy of the Toronto Star.
For day two, we unanimously loved Chloe comme Parris and Pink Tartan. Most of us would purchase virtually everything from each collection. 

We especially loved the half sheer/half knit bias cut tunic from CCP and the triple strap backpacks were also killer. 

 
Some more looks we loved from Chloe comme Parris. Images courtesy of Fashion Magazine.

Pink Tartan was top knot central – this hairstyle popped up on nearly half of the models.


Loved the the neutral, military-inspired pieces, especially with the chic hats.

Kimberley Newport-Mimran gave a subtle nod to the ballet trend with softly coloured chiffon skirts with simple oxford-style tops. She also had an amazing music mix for her girls to stomp down the runway to. (You can download a copy here!). 

 All images courtesy of Medium Magazine.



As usual, Joe Fresh was fun, colourful and… fresh. 



A lot of bright pop orange was infused into the collection which will lighten up the dreary days of winter. 

The clean, versatile shift dresses are suitable for so many bodies. 

Joe Fresh proves again that they are the go-to source for basics with a bit of a twist. 

Can’t wait to see what the designers bring us tonight! What are your favourite looks for far? Tweet us @rockitpromo.

LGFW: Robin Kay’s Road to Success

LG Fashion Week Beauty by L’Oreal Paris kicked off last night, with fabulous shows by Holt Renfrew, Izma and Juma. In case you missed the opening speeches, this season focuses on The Business of Fashion. This is something at which Robin Kay, president of the Fashion Design Council of Canada (@LGFWbyFDCC) and executive director of LG Fashion Week Beauty by L’Oréal Paris, is an all-star. 



Did you know that Kay started her fashion career as a knitwear designer? In 1976, she founded a high-end fashion retail chain called Robin Kay Clothing Company. She opened 18 retail stores and her label was sold in more than 600 accounts throughout Canada and the United States. She also had a massive factory in Toronto that made all her goods.


Kay definitely knows a thing or two about what it takes to succeed in the fashion industry. Here, she gives us her five steps to success, which can help any aspiring designer in the fashion industry.

Step 1. Product

What is your product? How does it look and feel? What’s the texture of it? The colour? The shape? Having a clear and focused idea of what your product is will enable you to position your brand and sell your line effectively in the marketplace.



Step 2. Location 


It’s not only about who you are, but where you are. Finding the right selling space for your collection is increasingly important. Aligning your brand with the proper retail space, be it an online boutique, luxury retailer or department store, can be the difference between selling a few goods and building a mega brand.



Step 3. Marketing and Public Relations


It’s not enough to have talent. You need to tell the world, show the world, tweet, blog and Facebook to the world that you have talent. You need to let people know who you are, what you stand for and what you sell. Marketing creates the campaigns; PR tells the story.


Step 4. Management

Working alongside the right team and being in touch with what is happening in all parts of the business puzzle is one of the most critical steps in achieving long-term success. It is most important to find the balance between trusting people to do their job and keeping a mindful eye on what’s going on.


Step 5. Finance

Budgeting appropriately to your growth can mean the difference between making a profit on your collection and having to sell your samples to pay the rent. It is critical to be realistic about your finances.


See you on the runway!