Fashion-able: Power Ball street style

Last week, we headed to the always-fun, 14th annual Power Ball, a vibrant and original contemporary art party in support of The Power Plant gallery. 


Being the 25th anniversary of the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, the theme was Quarter-Life Crisis. The theme brought out some great outfits, unique accessories and an excuse to party like we’re 25 (best year of partying ever, right?).  We started the evening at the VIP event sponsored by Soho House and Grey Goose where we enjoyed delicious food, cocktails and an awesome performance by Dragonette. 


Following the cocktail, we made our way over to the Power Plant for even more food (a massive roasted bison) by Mark Thuet, art installations and a whole lot of dancing. Below we’ve compiled a few of the unique looks from the night that topped our favourites’ list.

Dragonette takes the stage in a delicious watermelon top.


Leather, blue & a choker.


Chain vest adds a little oomp to any outfit. 


Watercolour dress – fitting for the waterfront venue.


We’re still digging pantone orange.
Pops of colour and pretty smiles accessorize well with Thuet’s party eats. 
We love a good short suit. 
The only people who seemed to be truly creative with their outfit. Approved.
Photo from Post City.

We’re firm believers that shoes can make an outfit. 

Pink tips + mint = love. We’ve talked about these On The Fourth Floor before
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Fashion-Able: Man Repelling Street Style

Last weekwe had the opportunity to go see the man repeller herself, Leandra Medine at the Holts Muse blog launch party. Guests mingled, drank, took lots of photos and generally looked uber stylish on the third floor of Holt Renfrew. If you’re not quite sure whether your outfit is attracting or repelling men, the technical definition from Leandra is as follows:
MAN·RE·PELL·ER1 [MAHN-REE-PELLER] noun: Outfitting oneself in a sartorially offensive way that will result in repelling members of the opposite sex. Such garments include, but are not limited to harem pants, boyfriend jeans, overalls (see: human repelling), shoulder pads, full length jumpsuits, jewelry that resembles violent weaponry and clogs.
We love the chance to try out new styles and experiment with fashion, despite what anyone thinks. Leandra may have said it best when she came to Toronto: “at the end of the day, you’re not dressing to repel men, you’re dressing to make yourself happy…” and we’re generally a pretty happy bunch. We grabbed our camera and snapped some shots of the style-conscious party-goers with our best man repelling highlights. 

Blogger Anita Clarke was rocking some harem pants and a mean arm party.  Man-repelling highlight: Neon nail polish. We’re into it, in a big way. 

Let’s get a close up of that arm party. Nice.

Ashley Rowe and Andie Riedel from the fourth floor.
Photo credit Ashley Rowe

Designer Ashley Rowe threw on some statement pants with Dalmatian print, a pair of wide-legged trousers from her collection. We’ve got our eye on those at the next sample sale. Man repelling highlight(s): Anything Dalmatian.

(left to right) Stylish Holt’s guest, Leandra Medine and Jen McNeely

Leandra Medine, Jen McNeely of She Does the City and guest gracefully strike a group pose. Man repelling highlight(s): Thick knit scarf, DANNIJO collar, bright lips.  We’d be inclined to wear all these items simultaneously.
Kristina Breckon and Kristin Nickolas

Consonant Skincare’s Kristina Breckon and Kristin Nickolas were rocking cozy chic looks with bootie + chunky scarf combos. Man-repelling highlight(s): It’s an even tie between the faux fur scarf and tapered harem pants.


Katie Polivka

Katie Polivka from Holt Renfrew wears a mesh skirt and fuzzy sweater. Love the mixing of textures. Man-repelling highlight(s): That leopard print clutch is amazing, but bow-on-head is an auto-win.
 
All photo credits belong to On The Fourth Floor, except where noted. 



We`re Not Just Pretty: Susan Smythe Bishop

Susan Smythe Bishop’s career in the motion picture industry spans more than 19 years. She joined Alliance Communications in 1992, and worked on (to name a few) The English Patient, Austin Powers and The Lord of The Rings trilogy. She also collaborated with many high-profile Canadian filmmakers, such as David Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan and Denise Robert. Later, Bishop was promoted to senior vice-president of Publicity and Promotions, and raised the level of promotional activity from a local market focus to fully integrated national partnerships.

Bishop joined Maple Pictures in 2008 as co-vice-president of Publicity and Promotions, where she oversees the publicity and promotions for half of Maple’s product for the Theatrical and Home Entertainment divisions.

Fun fact! Bishop creates event cakes as a side business and donates all profits to the Canadian Picture Pioneers, as a way of giving back to the industry that she’s grown to love. She’s even earned the prize of “Best Wedding Cake” for two consecutive years at Bonnie Gordon’s annual Cake Competition.

Twitter: @MaplePictures

How long have you been in your current position?
I’ve been working with Maple Pictures for just under two years.
How does your company leverage PR ?
Our primary objectives are to increase awareness of our product and to grow our brand. This can be achieved in a number of ways, including taking part in press junkets, tailoring national opinion-maker screening programs, developing fully integrated national partnerships in all media (with a heavy emphasis on social) that encompasses publicity, sweepstakes/contests and event marketing. We place heavy importance on partnership marketing and working with like-minded companies. With this approach, we can tap into each other’s resources, extend our promotional reach and benefit from each others brand equity. 
What qualities are most important to you when hiring a PR team member?
I’ve almost always hired at entry level positions. Ideally, I think that’s how it should always work as when someone leaves our department – the person immediately below them should be able to take over the reins.
 
An interest in PR and/or a PR background helps, and anyone that has done an internship with a like-minded company would be considered for an interview. In my opinion, the amount of experience required for an entry level position isn’t nearly as important as the personality of the person we are looking for. They have to be a good fit with our team, they have to have a very positive outlook, be a team player, have a good sense of humour and have a natural sense of gratitude. We don’t want to bring someone in who will expect to be promoted within six months, and really shy away from candidates that appear to be star-struck.
Who is your mentor or professional in the industry you admire?  
This is a hard question because there simply isn’t just one. I have learned just as much (if not more) from younger staff as I have from my previous bosses. My early experiences gave me the foundation I needed. Paying close attention to my employees has shown me that it’s so very important to have balance in your life and not allow your job to define you. I’ve learned to look for inspiration in everyone I meet, so anyone I’ve come in contact with may have unwittingly become a mentor to me in one way or another. I’ve even drawn inspiration from people whose behaviour is so atrocious that I secretly thank them for showing me how NEVER to behave or treat people.
What are your feelings about how PR has been positioned in the media in more recent years, on popular TV shows?   
Well, it actually makes me laugh a little because as far as I’m concerned, I think we have a rather un-sexy career! Don’t get me wrong, I really love what I do (in fact, it took me stepping away from it for a year to really appreciate how much I loved it and this industry). But, it’s not as though we are constantly hanging out with celebrities at parties.  
Our job is to make talent look great to the press, even if/when they treat us badly (and some do). We’re the ones that get soaked in the rain while holding the umbrella for the actors as they are stepping onto the red carpet; we are the ones to make sure talent are comfortably seated at the dinner table and that their order has been taken, before we sneak to the bar to munch on bar mix. And, it’s not just about working with actors. In fact, that is a small part of what we do. 
It’s sometimes our job to work 18 hour days to pull off an event or a huge promotion without a hitch or to get that proposal polished and ready to present. It can be a really fun, creative and fulfilling career for sure, but you will never find me in stilettos on the job – I’ll be the one wearing sensible shoes, and laughing with my co-workers, as they are the ones I want to hang out with!
What’s your biggest piece of advice for PR pros, both junior and senior?   
For junior PR pros, I would say be upfront, honest and earnest with everything you do. For senior PR pros, I think there is so much to be learned from the younger people in our industry. I don’t believe that “I’ve been doing this for years, so I have all of the answers” really holds up anymore (if it ever did), because things have changed on the media landscape so rapidly. The younger PR staff are so savvy and can adapt so easily to change. It’s important that we learn from each other.
What do you love most about your job?  
I absolutely love the people I get to work with each day – I’m so fortunate to work with such an amazing group of smart and fun people. I also really love the challenge of putting together a promotional campaign with next to no budget; it really pushes and challenges me to be more creative. More than anything though, I have to say that watching the younger staff learn and grow has become a huge part of what drives me in this crazy business of ours. That is so rewarding and gratifying.
A little more from the fourth floor:
Designer:  Douglas Coupland.
Store: Anthropologie.
Book: Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill.
Snack: Riceworks Crisps.
Season: Spring.
Sexy: A great sense of humour.
Inspiration: O, the Oprah Magazine.
Drink: Lychee Martini.
Motto in two words: Be Thankful.
Idea of perfect happiness: Just hanging out with my husband and our dog.
Indulgence: Chocolate cupcakes with buttercream icing.
Celebrity crush: Colin Firth.
Favourite tweeter to follow: @JonGordon11

Meet Our Client: Katie Boland

Kate Boland was born in Toronto, and you may have heard of her – she starred in Daydream Nation, which premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, to critical acclaim. She’ll appear in the upcoming film Die (2011). Boland has previous roles in Atom Egoyan’s Adoration, as well as numerous other roles.

She has been nominated four times for a Young Actor’s Award, and won Best Leading Actress for Salem Witch Trials in 2004.
When she’s not acting up a storm, you can find her writing for such outlets as blogTO.

What do you do?
I am an actress, and when I’m bored, I’m a writer/student/filmmaker/overall lover of life!

How long have you worked with rock-it promotions?
I first met Deb on a photo shoot six years ago, and I was taken by her professionalism and grace. I love her so much, and I am so lucky that we’ve floated in and out of each others lives for more than half a decade!!

What do you love most about your job?
I think my defining characteristic as a human being is my curiosity. The world and people in it have always really fascinated me. What I love about being an actress is that I get to live inside other people, to adopt the way other people think, to find answers for all my questions. I love that I get to study people and relationships, while being creative. I also really love the wonderful people I get to meet on an almost daily basis. People in the film industry, actors, writers, filmmakers, are generally so passionate, fascinating, interesting and complicated. I’ve met the most exciting people and I feel I have a charmed life.

What do you like the least about your profession/industry?
Waiting for people to hire me! The waiting is really hard for me because I like to keep busy. I guess ultimately it’s the uncertainty. There are no guarantees that I will ever work again. AHHH!!!

What’s your next big goal?
Well, ultimately it’s to get another job, haha! But I really want to be on an American cable show, like Mad Men. I’d like to get my books published. I also want to find a Canadian novel to adapt into a screenplay. Do a play in New York. Laugh more! Have better hair!

Why is PR important to you (and what you do professionally)?
I think PR is hugely important to any actor’s career. Canada has no star system, so it’s up to the actor to try to create some kind of public awareness. Personally, I wouldn’t have my green card if it wasn’t for rock-it promotions. The American government needs to see press to think you’re worthy of working in their country.

Without publicity, I wouldn’t have been able to expand my career into America and I wouldn’t have the fantastic opportunities I’ve been afforded. Its all thanks to publicity. I also noticed that after working with rock-it, people seemed to be more aware of who I was and what I was doing. Also, it makes the day-to-day behind-the-scenes stuff WAY easier and more fun. I wouldn’t be able to keep everything together, to remember everything I had to do, without rock-it.

Any other thoughts you want to share about your public relations experience?

I think Emily Hampshire said it best, “I’d rather be a prostitute than be without you pimps.” I LOVE HER. Honestly, working with rock-it is one of the best parts of my professional life. I don’t know what I would do without you guys.

A little more from the fourth floor:
Website:  She Does The City
Designer: Cabaret on Queen West.
Store: see above.
Book: A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews
Snack: Tea! And these weird rice/seed crackers. So delish.
Season: Summer becoming fall.
Sexy: Swagga.
Inspiration: Kate Winslet, my family.
Drink: Tim Hortons, 3/4 coffee, 1/4 French vanilla, EXTRA LARGE.
Motto in two words: Keep moving.
Idea of perfect happiness: Working on something really exciting with really inspired people.
Indulgence: Clothes… so bad.
Greatest achievement: That I keep moving.

Media, Darling: Jen McNeely

Each week, we’ll ask one of our friends in the media how best to grab their attention, what they love about PR professionals and find out their pet peeves. Their insightful words are golden for both novice and seasoned PR specialists alike — so listen up!  
                                                                           

Jen McNeely is the founder and editor-in-chief of Shedoesthecity.com, Canada’s edgy lifestyle site for young women.

How can someone grab your attention with a pitch?
A personalized note with a good sense of humour. Do you know how many press releases I receive? Indian food, nail polish, sneakers, detergent, TV shows, album releases – I think in the ice cream category alone last month I received at least a dozen. Personalize your communication but be sincere. No one wants a perky reminder that feels like a template.
What do you find most useful when dealing with public relations professionals?
Unless your release really pops off the screen, a follow up phone call or email is a must.
I really respect and enjoy clever marketing solutions, which can be as simple as the way in which a package shows up at the door.
What is the biggest mistake PR professionals make?
Treat you like an inbox instead of a person.
Your pet peeve
Oversell. Let’s be honest, it’s a cotton T-shirt, not a free trip around the world. Talk up – but let’s not be ridiculous about it. I know and you know that it isn’t a magic T-shirt.
I’m so sick of the word fashionista. Be creative.
Any other thoughts you’d like to add?
Great publicists will undoubtedly make a writer’s life easier. They are often natural connectors, which is always welcomed and appreciated. The best publicists are the ones you want to hang out with at a party but also maintain a level of professionalism. It’s a business built on strong relationships.
Don’t force it. If it fits the publication and they are looking for a story, then they will probably write about it. If it feels like you are trying to push a square through a circle, and no one is responding, it’s probably not going to happen.
Know the readership and tone of who you are pitching and suggest story ideas that suit that outlet.
Searchable subjects in an email are very helpful. If you start doing a chain of emails about one thing and introduce another pitch or change subjects, this should be reflected in the subject line.
Many of my best friends are publicists. I have great respect for those who can succeed in this field and do so without compromising their true character and values.