From the Front Row

 We’re barely into Toronto’s fashion weeks and I love this new feature, From the Front Row.  (Thanks for the great feedback!)  It’s been quite fascinating to see what those with a front row vantage spot use to shoot the runway.  

Last week I ran into Kimberly and Nelia at the shOws. 

Kimberly Lyn | Blogger

What are you shooting with?
I’m using two devices; the first is my Canon PowerShot SX50 HS, a fabulous high-quality point and shoot camera that has many of the bells and whistles of a professional DSLR. The second is my newly acquired iPhone 5, I just picked it up the other day and beats using my ancient iPhone 3G.

Do you share the photos? How?

I’ll post the photos on my blog The Souls of My Shoes, as well as on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 
What’s your favourite feature of this device?
I love both of my devices!  My Canon camera gets me up close to the action on the runway and delivers spectacular image quality.  I’m very much in the honeymoon phase having just upgraded to a new phone, right now I’m inseparable from it.

Nelia Belkova | Blogger
 
What are you shooting with?
Canon EOS Rebel SL1 – the world’s smallest and lightest DSLR!
 
Do you share the photos? How?
I select the best photos, edit them, and post them on my blog, Styleblog.ca, as well as share them on Twitter and Instagram.
 
What’s your favourite feature of this device?

I love the quality of photos I get when I shoot with Canon.  Having a professional camera makes the world of difference.  I’ve used the brand for over five years now and have never been disappointed. 

I only recently started to take photography lessons, but even on Auto setting Canon produces wonderful images…it’s a no-brainer.  EOS Rebel SL1 also has the ability to shoot videos and add creative filters to photos on the spot.
 
Read more From the Front Row hereThis feature will be back next week with more from World MasterCard Fashion Week.  Follow along!

From the Front Row

 Welcome to the second in my new recurring feature where I discover what’s going on with the front row’s snap-happy guests.  Last week at The ShOws I interviewed Nolan and Nicole.

Nolan Bryant, Blogger & Photographer

What are you shooting with?
“I use a few different cameras during fashion week.  I borrow a friend’s Nikon D5000 if I am shooting from my seat, when I’m backstage I shoot in black and white and use my ancient but wonderful Olympus E500.  It gives me the less then perfect look that I love.  For parties I tend to use a Samsung point and shoot that I’ve had for years.  It’s great when I don’t feel like schlepping a DSLR in the evening.”

Do you share the photos?  How?
“The photos eventually end up on my blog.  I post almost always black and white photos but during fashion week, when absolutely necessary I will post in colour.  The images that really speak to me will end up on Instagram and Tumblr.”

What’s your favourite feature of this device?
“I adore my Olympus E500 because of its simplicity and ability to capture the type of messy images that I like to see.  Crisp and clear images are terribly boring and leave little to the imagination.  My idea of a good picture is one thats a bit out of focus – I think it forces you look a little deeper.  As much as I love this relic of camera it would be nice to have something that shoots full frame.”

Nicole Wilson, DaintyGirl.ca

What are you shooting with?
“I’m shooting with the brand new Sony QX10 wireless camera lens connected to my iPhone 5.”
Do you share the photos?  How?
“I live tweet and Instagram the photos onsite and then I use them in blog features after the shows.  All fashion photos serve as inspiration for me.”
What’s your favourite feature of this device?
“I love that the Sony QX10 attaches to my iPhone and connects wirelessly through bluetooth.  I can snap photos using my iPhone screen with the 10x optical zoom on the Sony QX10 lens and immediately upload them to my social media channels.  It’s every bloggers dream device!”
Are you shooting from the front row?  What’s your preferred device?  Comment here and you may end up in a future post in my From the Front Row series. Catch the first post here.

Rogue fashion week: Jeremy Laing & Sid Neigum

This past week was an interesting reflection on Toronto’s fashion reality. While conjecture flew around what to expect at World MasterCard Fashion Week now that IMG Worldwide is our new big fashion daddy, two very different groups set up camp for a series of offsite shows. 

The shOws featured four international designers with a Canadian connection including Tanya Taylor, Jean Pierre Braganza, Antonio Azzuolo and Jeremy Laing. Laing has long been a darling of Canada’s fashion media. Dividing his time between Toronto and New York, he typically eschews a Toronto showcase for presentations in New York. (It’s nothing personal, Toronto. It’s business, baby.) And while I always find Laing’s work interesting, I don’t always relate to it personally. Not this time. Loved loved loved. 

Jeremy Laing spring 2013
Jeremy Laing at the shOws

On the opposite side of town (and on the same days) were The Collections, produced by the Fashion Collective, which featured up and coming designers like Chloe Comme Parris, Klaxon Howl and Sid Neigum. Neigum is the winner of Toronto Fashion Incubator’s 2012 New Labels competition. Having watched him progress over five months while developing his winning fall/winter 2012 collection, it was a treat to see what he’d do with spring 2013.

Sid’s unisex approach to design has always set him apart from his Toronto design peers, and it seems he’s found a beautiful balance of unisex features and feminine fit. (Praise must be given to TFI New Labels for mentoring him to a stronger, better place.) I found this collection incredibly wearable, while still maintaining that unique aesthetic that’s all Sid. Here’s hoping we can find it in stores six months from now. And may you be our next Jeremy Laing.

Sid Neigum spring 2013
Sid Neigum spring 2013
Sid Neigum spring 2013
Sid Neigum at the Burroughes Building

Jean Pierre Braganza shOws off in Toronto

Looking at Jean Pierre Braganza‘s early years, his story is typical of any Canadian designer. Here’s a guy whose family moved to Canada from the UK when he was an infant. He grew up in Montreal and Toronto. Once in university to study fine arts, he realized his fashion dream and enrolled in fashion school in Toronto. Just like so many designers I know.

His story then moves back to London to the famed Central St. Martin’s College and well, that’s where the similarities end. Seeing his spring 2013 collection in Toronto this week, I wondered if other Canadian-based designers secretly swelled with envy.

Jean Pierre Braganza’s line is edgy, sophisticated and, in my opinion, jaw droppingly hot. While his talent is clearly innate, he didn’t jump into his own label fresh out of design school, even though he had a few accolades under his belt by then. Instead he chose to continue his schooling in the real world, working under designers like Roland Mouret. That experience shows in his impeccable tailoring and complex construction. 

As much as I fell in love with Jean Pierre, his look isn’t made for the North American customer. Look at his stockists and there’s only one store on the entire continent – of course, in New York City. But he’s out there, all over in places like the UK, Hong Kong and Saudia Arabia. (Somehow it’s no surprise he had a Canadian upbringing, eh?)

Jean Pierre Braganza wasn’t on my radar prior to the shOws bringing him to Toronto’s rogue fashion week, but he’s one I will watch. I think he sets a great example for young designers on how to succeed in fashion. Get out there after school. Experience life. Work for others. Stay true to yourself. And maybe, just maybe, your hometown will be feting you for the fashion masses one day.