Arts & Entertainment
3 min

Matt Sims vamps on culture

Fashionpolizei, FAT & Fashion Week

YOUTH.INASIA AT FAT. Fashion by Joshua Shier and Aidan Mayner.
Yes, friends, spring is here. The veil of winter has been shredded unmasking a symphonious city, boisterous and buzzing, like a brand new piano for all of us to set our hands on.
 
Now is the time to get a head start on starvation for Pride, maybe stop loitering on Dudesnudes and meet some people in real life. Or perhaps finally get over that ex who broke up with your sorry ass in the winter.
  
Well let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.
  
Without sounding too much like Miss Cleo, I must say this is definitely a month for new beginnings.
  
So don’t miss the train or you’ll be sulking all summer waiting for the next one.
  
Speaking of summer I must say I am ecstatic with anticipation for Sacha Baron Cohen’s new movie Bruno coming out on Fri, Jul 10. Bruno is the next feature film to be based on a character from Cohen’s Ali G Show. This time it’s the “fashionpolizei,” a gay Austrian reporter with a fierce attitude.
  
If Bruno were a stew of our gay scene’s beloved cartoon characters it would include Maha’s and Fashion Chicken’s devoted sarcasm and general lust for roguery, Michael Pihach’s Mary Hart-esque sensationalist yet expert journalism skills and Tyler Fillmore’s general recklessness and ability to eye controversy from space. Add an Australian accent and you have Bruno.
  
The preview (Tinyurl.com/brunomovie) begins with Bruno crashing the Agatha Ruiz de la Prada’s show at Milan Fashion Week. Somehow he sneaks into the models’ dressing rooms wearing a Velcro bodysuit. Yes, Velcro.
  
The entire fashion show is derailed as he flounders onto the runway, a human snowball of expensive garments, bumping into models as he plummets to the ground. The rest of the trailer involves him adopting an African baby, learning marshal arts to protect himself from giant dildos and being thrown out of a plethora of establishments around the continent.
  
There may be some gay groups out there who will frown on his alleged exploitation of homosexual stereotypes but, personally, I can only see good things coming out of this. Cohen’s primary tactic is making the interviewees (often the brutally conservative) to look like complete twats. When it’s the homophobes who are the subject of ridicule you know something has changed.
  
Speaking of fashion and gays did it not seem Toronto Fashion Week passed by like a plastic surgeon’s Beamer on a red light? I felt like it just whooshed past, leaving me scratching my head in a trail of perfume and fake eyelashes. But maybe that’s me forgetting my Adderall dosage.
  
Regardless I had fun at the events I did attend. The Barbie Line by David Dixon was cute and the Gsus show at Marro was nice (although Marro closed the guestlist line at 11pm and I resorted to dropping names — barf). Apparently John Walke walked the walk at his show at Lola, which I heard was fantastic.
  
It was kind of like going to the carnival — the shrouded tents, each with a different act, the free candy from sponsors, the smoke and mirrors. Despite the recession there was certainly an air of inspiration and freshness circulating through the rows and columns.
  
Mind you I absolutely loathe what a good chunk of the fashion industry represents in all its glorified hedonism. Often I find it a complete brainfuck that we worship such offsprings of capitalism as art forms. However sometimes it’s better to just shut the fuck up and go along for the ride — and that’s exactly what I did this year!
  
Now we flip the page to FAT, Toronto Alternative Arts and Fashion Week, running Tue, Apr 21 to 24 at the Fermenting Cellar in the Distillery District. The need for FAT is evident. FAT’s intent is not only to showcase local up-and-coming designers but to shine light on a more purposeful, cathartic face of fashion design. FAT is meant to exhibit designers who are not motivated wholly by money or who have to sterilize their work for their buyers/sponsors.
  
If you attend one show I highly recommend the youth.inAsia showcase at 10:45pm on day three (Apr 23).
  
Youth.inAsia is the brainchild of Joshua Shier who has performed many times in drag under the same alias. I could only describe him as a postmodern Lady Gaga meets Björk and MIA’s lovechild. Now that Shier has been designing, it will be quite interesting to see what he has put together style-wise. Expect high-altitude genderbending that will have Gia writing cease and desists!
  
After youth.inAsia, it’s the ImagoZine show. Sandra Roberts is one of those rare personalities that makes me feel happy I still live in Toronto. With her magazine Imago and the store ImagoZine to match, she is the Jane Goodall of alternative fashion. Through her work Roberts has cultivated a beautiful zoo of subcultures and nurtured a diverse family of artists under her wing. This bitch should be directing creatives and writing from a penthouse in Manhattan while the New York Times quotes her as the next Warhol. Like a David Bowie concept album, Sandra often creates a vibrant story around her shows, so I am stoked, stoked, stoked to see what she does this time.
  
So, now with us well into spring, this is your chance to grab life by the balls and get ’er done! No excuses, no slacking.
 
Miss Cleo (and I) forbids it.