Toronto
2 min

Smashin’ fashion

There is no i in fashion, according to the model who chatted me up at Party of Style, the opening event for LG Fashion Week. Mercifully, before our spelling lesson continued, the floorshow kicked off. Phew.

Paparazzi points go to Jade Elektra, an Amazonian in leopard print, and the smoky-eyed, leather-jacketed, bald-headed wasn’t-he-in-Rough-Trade guy. John Superstein Walke dressed the Houses of Monroe and Pink Lady as well as Ill Na Na for the dancefloor battle. They all looked fly. Ill Na Na also worked picture frames, which is the kind of creativity I like to see at events like this.

I thought the attendees at Fashion Week would kick it up a notch, but many were dressed for the office, not a camera-heavy annual event. Boring! Surprisingly, there was still plenty of cut-eye, plenty of sizing up and plenty of criticism of others. Confidential to the woman in socks and high heels: glass houses, Ms Thing, glass houses.

I sometimes wish someone would throw a party where everyone arrives in the state they woke up in that day. No primping allowed! It might actually be the most subversive and scary thing ever, but I have a feeling we’d see a lot more realness.

The truth, however, is even I’m not that brave. A diva likes to get dolled up, y’know? And when it comes to getting dolled up, I bypass the trend-chasing and head directly for the DIY and vintage racks.

My new favourite place to pick up the dazzling threads that reflect the me-I-choose-to-be is Reflections Vintage and Antiques (676 Yonge St). It’s an affordable vintage/drag/glamour emporium run by an endearingly enthusiastic and knowledgeable family. (The dad is the Willy Wonka of evening wear, and the daughter was rhyming off designers and local performers left and right.) Especially impressive is their dedication to outfitting the heftier among us. Those intent on creating an image for themselves, take note. They are a veritable drag den of corsets, jewellery, sequined power tops, ball gowns, top hats and tails, ladies’ purses and men’s bags. I was literally dizzy from all the style.

While I totally buy knock-off shoes to save money, I nonetheless have a love affair with style. I mean, it’s much more rewarding to be stylish than fashionable, no? Every compliment is due to your own creativity, taste and devotion to dressing, not someone else’s. But then, we all have our own paths.

My only style edict is that one should aim to accentuate whatever one feels on the inside. This was the ethos I found at Good for Her’s 5th Annual Feminist Porn Awards, which was easily the most stylish crowd I’ve seen in a long time. Sasha Van Bon Bon and I were chatting about all the andro/new-wave looks when a Jessica Rabbit-type with flame-red hair, unreal proportions and classic glamour in satin oozed by.

I am thrilled whenever I see men in shoulder pads. Any remotely queer event needs a healthy smattering of leather royalty. Everyone looked different, exciting and most of all, happy. It wasn’t just about looking good, it was about feeling good, and that core principle infused the night with creativity and sexiness.

Perhaps the all-powerful, Canada-wide fashion orgy can take its cue from the independent women’s sex store and aim for the kind of glamour and style that empowers because it comes from within.