World MasterCard Fashion Week F/W 2015: Backstage

Today, Friday March 27th is the last day of World MasterCard Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2015. All the fashion lovers and professionals from the industry attend fashion weeks twice a year to learn about the upcoming trends, network and of course, enjoy the shows. Now, not only do we have to say ‘goodbye’ to all the glamour that fashion week brings each season, but we must also say our farewells to all those who made it all happen.

Fashion shows are the best part of fashion week. It’s as if you are attending a museum, except the pieces of artwork are on models in motion as opposed to still works. Watching the models walk down the runway wearing stunning designs, makes it seem like all that beauty and aesthetic harmony is created overnight. However, that doesn’t happen naturally and it’s definitely not as easy as it seems. An entire crew of people who you don’t get to see are those working backstage. They’re the ones responsible for making all the looks come together through all their hard work, sleepless nights and stressful moments.

This season, I wanted to show the true atmosphere of World MasterCard Fashion Week. I snuck backstage with my camera so  I can reveal how a fashion show looks from the other side.

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My First Fashion Week

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The very first time I attended a fashion show I was only 16 years old. Before that, I didn’t know what a fashion show looked like, how it worked, what the dress code was for all the attendees or how the experience would feel when watching the creative designs appear on the runway.

It was the end of August 2004 and I was in Madrid, Spain taking a 3-week summer course in fashion at a small fashion school called Vélez-Per. I remember being in the middle of my Fashion Sketching course and our teacher Manuel, a 50 year-old man with a huge passion for Asian culture and music from the 80’s, started reminiscing about his days as a student and the fashion industry back in the day.

Mercedes-Benz Madrid Fashion Week was about to start and Manuel revealed how the fashion industry had changed in terms of getting invited to shows. During his time as a student, fashion students used to get leftover tickets at the front door of the location where fashion week took place. Manuel expressed that, “Fashion industry is already so over-saturated that, sometimes, not even people working in fashion could get invited to fashion shows. There is no chance to have tickets left anymore!”

Later that day I arrived home with a bittersweet feeling. After Manuel revealed the harsh reality of getting into fashion shows, I wasn’t sure if there was any opportunity for “new” people to make it in the fashion industry. That thought was quickly replaced with my dedication to start fighting for my passion. With fashion week around the corner, I set my first goal: find a way to attend a fashion show.

While enjoying a dinner with my family, I told them that I was going to attend a fashion show the next day. My mom seemed pretty excited and right away asked if I got invited. I started to laugh and said, “I didn’t! I’ll figure it out tomorrow”, which is exactly what I did. I woke up the next morning, put a light turquoise dress on and took the subway to get to IFEMA (the name of the place where all the fashion shows and fairs take place in Madrid). Once I got there it took me about twenty minutes to find the front door. Finally I decided to follow a group of fashionable people who guided me to the main entrance. After some hesitation, I finally got the nerve to approach a few people and kindly asked them if I could have their extra ticket (just as my teacher Manuel used to do when he was a student). No one had any so I started to think of a back-up plan.

As I said, there were a lot of fashionable attendees around the main entrance but then I started to wonder where the access door for all the celebrities and models might be. I went on a mission to find the VIP entrance and suddenly, as I was about to give up, voilà! A red carpet right around the ‘garage’ door was surrounded by tons of photographers and reporters. Finally I had made it! But now I had to figure out a way to actually walk through the door. I was wandering around when I spotted a chauffer who was leaning on a limo smoking a cigarette. I desperately asked him, ‘Do you have any suggestions on how I can walk through that door?’ He smiled at me and responded, ‘Just act confident and pretend you’ve been working here forever’. As much as his answer sounded ridiculous to me, I had nothing to lose. So, I asked him for the newspaper he was reading to make me look more “professional” and then I got my attitude game on. I approached the red carpet with all the photographers and reporters while constantly thinking to myself, ‘act confident.’ My heart was racing so fast when suddenly a girl touched my shoulder and asked if I was interviewing any designer or model. This was my ticket in. I obviously responded with “Yes!”. I couldn’t believe I finally made it backstage and was surrounded by all the models, celebrities, designers, makeup artists and everyone else involved with the shows.

I excitedly called my mom and told her that I made it. I was in the middle of the VIP lounge and about to grab a seat for the first fashion show. My mom responded, ‘Good for you honey! Have fun and enjoy the shows because this might be a once in a lifetime experience!’ but I told her “I will but I have a feeling that this is going to be just my FIRST fashion week!’ And so it was.

Our Spring Issue – Behind The Scenes Of ‘Miriam Baker’ Editorial

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The creative process behind a fashion magazine takes more time, work and dedication than it seems. There is an entire group of professionals spending hours and hours in every single detail to make it all happen. From the designer who works hours on the sewing machine to the stylists (including hair and makeup) who are responsible for choosing a cohesive style to capture a vivid story, to the photographer who artistically captures it all with the lens, to the model who brings the clothes to life; all roles play a crucial role in the final product.

Before I started working at Novella, I was curious to find out how fashion magazines created pages full of inspiring content. I wondered who took the photographs, where did they find the exciting content and how did they make it look so good? As a Fashion Contributor, I assisted the editorial photo shoot for our spring issue. My camera accompanied me throughout the editorial journey and now I want to reveal the making of one of our fashion spreads.

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3 Designers that owned the ‘Mix & Match’ Trend at TOM*FW – Day 2

The hot new ‘mix and match’ trend isn’t the easiest to pull off. It’s one of those trends you either love or hate, there’s really no in-between. Yesterday, during the second day of Toronto Men’s Fashion Week, there were three designers that took this exciting yet risky challenge and captured this trend for their Fall/Winter 2015 collections.

1 Rank By Rani Kim
Photo by Celia Fernandez

After her EMDA debut at TOM* last season, Rank by Rani Kim surpassed herself by bringing a collection full of cocoon over-sized silhouettes and mixing and matching fabrics. She experimented with shapes, layers and texture taking her collection to a whole new level.

2Venturist C
Photo by Celia Fernandez

Inspired by a ‘cyclist’ theme, Venturist Commuter showcased a collection with a huge variety of hand-painted details on its pieces. It became almost a patchwork game by mixing and matching out of the box prints together such as combining green leopard printed cuffs with two tone grey hoodies.

3 Worht By David
Photo by Celia Fernandez

The most dramatic and eccentric collection was showcased by Worth by David C. Wigley. Metallic pieces with velvet shorts or a moto-jacket paired with a traditional Scottish tartan skirt proved David has an extraordinary imagination and has the ability to tell a unique fairytale through his designs.

Designer Profile: Joao Paulo Guedes

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Photo by Bernardo Fernandez

The talented Brazilian-born Canadian-based designer, Joao Paulo Guedes, was the winner of the very fist Emerging Menswear Designer Award (EMDA) during TOM* Toronto Men’s Fashion Week SS14. Since graduating at the top of his class from the top notch Fashion program at George Brown College, Joao Paulo has worked with Shantanu & Nikhil, an Indian clothing line, in New Delhi and Toronto.

Photo by Celia Fernandez

His love affair with fashion started many years ago. When he first moved to Canada, he had to adjust to a new country and new life. When he began working as a janitor, the hallways mimicked that of a runway where he would strut his stuff like it was just that. When he travelled and interned in India for three months, Joao Paulo’s passion and experience continued to grow for menswear fashion.

With all of Joao Paulo Guedes’ hard work and dedication, we’re excited to announce that he will return to TOM* FW15 for the opening night, February 25th at 10:00pm, to showcase his new collection. Grabbing inspiration from architecture and luxury, he brings in elements from gothic art, stain glasses, churches and darker colour palettes. This collection blends casual and custom designed high-end outerwear, describing his customers as anyone who is willing to be original, confident and wants to make a statement.

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Photo by Celia Fernandez

Shop items from Joao Paulo Guedes  Fall/Winter ’15 collections HERE.