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Unknown Toronto

Sarah's journal of secret Toronto facts and mysteries: TTC lore, hidden spaces, history, art, urban wildlife, film shoots and great Toronto food, clubs, bars, galleries, museums and shopping. An online extension to TORONTO, THE UNKNOWN CITY by Howard Akler and Sarah B. Hood.

Thursday, October 25, 2007
L'Oreal Toronto Fashion Week Spring 2008 - Day Four
2:46: An early day today, with all shows over by about 8:30 tonight. Are you curious as to whether it's worth waiting around the tents to see celebs? Well, so far, I've already mentioned the presence of Kalan Porter and an assortment of other Canadian Idol personalities, as well as Keshia Chante. Last night, K-OS was here. Then there are the TV faces, from top fashion maven Jeanne Bekker to OMNI's Pei (am I spelling her name right?) and a couple of the Designer Guys. Are you getting excited yet? Well, on to the shows. First up today was a show that really got me excited, although it wasn't all that well attended. Fashion Takes Action was a repeat of a concept that showed earlier this year in a gala-priced soirée. The theme is ecologically sustainable fashion, and it unites ten top designers: Annie Thompson, Damzels in This Dress, Rosa Constanzo, Sarah Nichol, Farley Chatto, JUMA, Thieves, Thien LE, Ula Zukowska and veteran Pat McDonagh. The lines used SYKA's Tussah silk, bamboo, organic cotton, merino wool, soy and hemp to create a range of wear from easy, casual, everyday jersey pieces to Thien LE's stunning evening dresses (with trains). Pat McDonagh's big poufy penguin-ornamented evening skirt made another appearance (it was shown at her 40th anniversary show last spring). I loved Annie Thompson's fashion-forward olive, deep rose and black skirts, vests and stoles; the Damzels' more sedate black, mustard, deep rose and taupe dresses, and Farley Chatto's exquisitely elegant men's summer suits. Actually, I loved it all; take that, Fast Fashion! 4:30: A dozen talented Fanshawe College students presented small collections: Dawn Marie Frowley, Tara Wilson, Cassie Blackman, Candice DiMarco, Messina Salter, Victoria Overlord, Erin Hawke, Vu Nguuyen, Margaret Banasik, Erin Coyle, Roya Poorsanan and Brandon

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R. Dwyer. Even though it was the work of students, it stood up well... although it seemed clear that this year's class assignments included a cuffed capri and a bubble miniskirt/shorts. Styles ran the gamut: Salter reminds you of Play Dead Cult, with her bondage elements, slashes, overpainting and textual prints. Dwyer, on the other hand, could be a junior Andy Thé-Anh, with his opulent, ruche-bedecked orange and lime raw-silk cocktail dresses, and his really lovely black strapless gown with fitted hip-long bodice and luscious lower layers of frothy ruffles. Also worthy of mention were Banasik's two meticulously constructed strapless cocktail dresses – one rose, one mocha. Saniya Khan presented an elegant, laid-back line decoratively linked by a circle theme, and mostly riffing on the Pakistani shalwar kamees outfit of tunic (kurta), trousers (shalwar) and scarf (dupatta). Pale, rich earth colours and long, flowing lines, enhanced with hand-painting, occasional beading, appliqué and spray dyeing, characterized this subtly impressive collection. 5:39: Stephen Trigueros (Tanya Stephens and Maria Jose Trigueros) just showed a beachball-bright collection of dresses, shorts and tops, swim and loungewear suitable for Florida yachting or LA clubbing. Oranges, vibrant blues and brilliant whites opened eyes. They stayed open for numbers like the skin-fit silver spaghetti-strap one-piece bathing suit: clearly the garment of choice for Wonder Woman when she goes to the local pool. A unifying motif was a wide swathe of basket-weave in the same fabric and colours as the garment, often used as a wide waistband; occasionally set in to the side of a dress as a decorative oval between hip and ribcage. Labels: damzels, Farley Chatto, Fashion Takes Action, JUMA, L'Oreal Toronto Fashion Week Spring 2008, Pat McDonagh., Rosa Constanzo, Sarah Nichol, stephen trigueros, thien le, Thieves, Ula Zukowska posted by SarahBHood @ 11:47 AM 0 comments links to this post

Infiltration: The zine about going places you're not supposed to go (South Asian Toronto) Our Faves Rick Bébout's Toronto Stories Scene and Heard Toronto Island Community Torontoist Arts & Creativity Instant Coffee arts collective Toronto 10:51am (indie music) Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts Toronto Craft Alert Toronto Fashion Week Toronto Street Fashion Buildings & Public Space Laneing: Toronto Laneways newmindspace Reading Toronto Toronto Architectural Conservancy TOBuilt (photo database of Toronto buildings) Toronto Ghosts and Hauntings Research Society Pugly Awards Spacing Toronto Psychogeography Toronto Public Space Committee Food & Drink Cheap Eats Toronto Chowhound's Ontario forum Foodshare: Field to Table MartiniBoys: A Scene-Hopper's Guide Taste T.O. Toronto Vegetarian Association

Wednesday, October 24, 2007
L'Oreal Toronto Fashion Week Spring 2008, Day Three
4:40: We've already seen one show so far: Slavka Plavsic. She presented a line of mainly dresses, skirts and tops made from uncut lengths of metallic silk in pale rose-gold, steel-grey, very soft green, black and occasionally brilliant red. The fabric was molded to the body with draping and gathering, but very little tailoring. Some pieces featured lengths of thread woven into the fabric and trailing loose; some were utterly transparent. Most garments were more imaginatively stimulating than practical; however, a few would make delightful cocktail outfits in the real world. 5:40: Damzels in This Dress (Kelly Freeman and Rory Lindo) are back after taking some time off to launch their Queen Street East retail outlet, Doll Factory by Damzels. Teamed up in a double-bill with

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Play Dead Cult, they led off with a collection of dresses suitable for Marilyn Monroe's beach-picnic date with Tim Burton. Ribbon sashes, '50s styling, romantic floral prints and tulle ruffles at hem and neck were executed in black and blood-red for a flavour of shock chic. More gory, less girly, Play Dead Cult offered up studded belts, blood-spattered jean jackets and a fine array of "propaganda" Ts lavishly embellished with PDC's distinctive lettermarks and logos. Most fun item: a nerdish pinstripe jacket that zips to the neck. Top marks for skully glam. 7:48: Jayn Simpson presented a collection of extremely pretty gowns ands separates in metallic textures and beach colours like pale gold, pale peach and off-white. The sleeveless knee-length white balloon dress with wide black bow at the waist epitomized this line's essential femininty. Corset-lace back closures and see-through black lace panels played up the sexiness; the grand finale full-length wedding gown – complete with virginal white bouquet – was all ladylike elegance. Tilley Endurables won cheers from a crowd that had been primed to be a little snooty towards a rather conservative line of travel clothes whose signature item is a hat that can pass through an elephant's bowels without losing its character. (True.) But everybody seemed to like the bright, simple and stylish sleeveless women's turtleneck pullovers, evening trousers and jackets, and the men's practical shirts and pants – all evidently designed to be crushed into a bag and emerge looking fresh and crisp. And who could resist a troupe of models (including older men and a plus-size woman) in sensible undershirts, Ts, boxers and briefs? (Especially when they toss pouches of lightweight outerwear into the audience.) Points for panache. 10:35: Two extremely popular designers just went back to back; first, Andy Thé-Anh of Montreal, who showed his trademark opulent gowns, cocktail dresses, blouses and trousers. Like many other collections on this season's runway, Thé-Anh opted for a pale and shimmering palette of soft metallic blues, peaches, golds, steels and silvers. As always, his garments are meticulously constructed of numerous panels that outline each contour of the body. In this case, the female form is also overlaid and embellished with rosettes and ruffles that draw attention to curves. Then David Dixon took his turn with one of my very favourite lines so far. Last year he staged an outdoor show with fire and Hudson's Bay blankets. Now, inspired by Newport, Rhode Island, his collection reflects the brilliance of sunlight on white sand and blue water. The first few cocktail and evening-length dresses were pure white cotton, and entirely overlaid with softly trembling laser-cutout cotton flowers. Meticulously cut and fitted, Dixon's lovely parade continued with garments in black glazed linen, robin's-egg blue organza and even – he does seem to have a sense of humour as well as style – a blue-and-white all-over seagull print. 11:40: All hands are rapidly jumping ship; the last show is over and people are leaving in droves. That show was the work of Common

Flora & Fauna LEAF Toronto (Local Enhancement & Appreciation of Forests) Toronto Field Naturalists The Toronto Ornithological Club Points of View Carolyn Bennett (not the MP) Lotus Reads (Books) Making Happy Photojunkie Solo Corps - Mind Control Division (Blaine Kyllo, whose mind controlled the publication of Toronto: The Unknown City) Toronto Area Photoblogs Politics VoteToronto Who Runs This Town? Spacing Votes Transportation Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists (ARC) Biking Toronto Community Bicycle Network Ed "Transit Guru" Drass Martino's Bike Lane Diary Transit Toronto Toronto Transit Commission TTC Rider

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Cloth (Melanie Talbot and Kristina Bozzo). They showed a casual, very summery line in shades of grey, black and white – including solids and a big tropical floral print – as well as light mustard. Many pieces were saucy (see-through or cutaway). Some were solidly functional-looking lightweight jackets. Overall, the line seemed to be inspired by the tropical beach, with caftans, muumuus and sarongs highly in evidence, as well as lots of pieces fastened with a knot tie. Good for lazing by the seaside (or at least on the patio) sometime next June. Labels: andy the-anh, common cloth, damzels, david dixon, jayn simpson, Kristina Bozzo, L'Oreal Toronto Fashion Week Spring 2008, Melanie Talbot, play dead cult , rory lindo, Slavka Plavsic, tilley endurables posted by SarahBHood @ 1:35 PM 0 comments links to this post

Wow! I'm the proud recipient of a Pink Tank award from Wolfie and the Sneak, in honour of the idea that women still need to inspire other women to get past the barriers and do the best they can for themselves and others in this life we're given. Thanks, Sk8!

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007
L'Oreal Toronto Fashion Week Spring 2008 Day Two
4:45. Live again. Ginch Gonch has taken every cliché of bad taste (African and Native "tribal" tropes, animal skins – heads included – and bad banana jokes) and made them their own... in a good way. A huge crew of hard-bodied and hard-working models danced, leapt and flirted their way through a surprisingly long presentation of cheeky (in every sense) underwear, including white briefs, panties and camisoles with lion, monkey or eagle patterns in magenta, cyan and yellow (the printer's primary colours) plus shades of pink. A standout: the cropped, sleeveless, zip-front girls' hoodies with brick-red, turquoise and black west-coast Indian motifs. 5:45: I've already mentioned on this site how much I like Zoran Dobric. Tonight he's channeling Edith Piaf through his own brand of sobre, moody creativity. His presentation featured enormously wide, elegant flared trousers; highly constructed draped skirts, and New-Look-inspired jackets in metallic textures and shades of grey, black, cream and, occasionally, dark sky blue. Some were embellished with patterns that looked like Rorschach tests; many were working on diagonal lines and triangular shaoes. All were fearlessly original. 8:55: Three more shows under our belts... Indiva is a Bloor-Street store featuring contemporary western-style fashion by various South Asian designers. They showed a collection of strongly ‘60s-inspired micro-minidresses in bright colours with lots of extra surface detailing (beads, embroidery) and many Egyptian collars. Nada was inspiring: very, very wearable, feminine and flattering looks with wide, smocked belts, floaty skirts and vivid bright colours. Everyone gasped with delight as the final few numbers, covered with glittering paillettes, came down the runway. The last one, a silver full-length gown with a train like a cascade of mermaid scales, was literally and figuratively a showstopper.
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Bustle, always tongue-in-cheek, started their show like a horserace with a live bugler and models bursting out of the starting gate. It’s mostly a men’s clothing line, but there were a few chic ladies in the lineup. Last spring’s theme was skeet shooting; now it’s the horsey set, and the garments evoke everything from jockey jacket to naval looks to waiters in the finest of restaurants. A recurring item was a single-button jacket with a yoke and two side pleats behind, and piped slit pockets in front. Pinstripes and pale bright beach colours abounded, and the crowd loved it all. 10:10: We're getting pretty tired; luckily a new collection of fashionista-clubbers is taking the reins for the rest of the night. We've just seen the final show... for Day Two. Joeffer Caoc showed us a summery line of floating off-the-shoulder dresses, slit-front evening gowns and generous trousers. They were off-white and vibrant in jewel colours like shocking fuschia and bright yellow. (Jeanne's just calling Caoc "one of the true bright lights"...) And he also used big silver paillettes... is this an emerging theme for Spring 2008? More tomorrow if the internet connection from the big white tents holds out... Meanwhile, kudos to the caterers, Catering With Style (I think?), who turned out one of the few truly delicious catered meals I've ever eaten. Yum, those gorgeous seasonal root veggies! And thanks to my media room angel – name unknown – who's been giving me encouraging words on the blog. Labels: bustle, catering with style, indiva, joeffer caoc, L'Oreal Toronto Fashion Week Spring 2008, L'Oreal Toronto Fashion Week Spring 2008 ginch gonch, nada, Zoran Dobric posted by SarahBHood @ 1:41 PM 0 comments links to this post

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Monday, October 22, 2007
L'Oreal Toronto Fashion Week Spring 2008 - It Begins
So we're live at the media room under the Big Top at Nathan Phillips Square. Jeanne Bekker is interviewing Joe Mimran over an intercom system (live we think, but it's hard to tell) and ladies in long pink skirts are passing around silver trays of cosmetics. Kalan Porter and his big blonde curls are lurking about somewhere just outside, and people are remarking that Iman is way shorter than they thought. It must be another Toronto Fashion Week. "I've never seen a time when everyone – all across the board – is more interested in fashion," says Mimran. He's sort of banking on that, really; his Joe Fresh Style show has just shown a collection of youthful bright white, pink and yellow clothes that will be retailing out of select Loblaws outlets next spring. They're short dresses and long shorts with a spirit that seems to be channeling the vibrant populism of Mary Quant in the '60s. "It's not just about price; it's gotta be more than price," he continues. "We have so many customers who are It girls and who are

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also buying Joe Fresh." No kidding; I'm sure everybody's going to be wanting a pair of those shiny citrine stilettos next April (for $24!) The Project Runway Canada show is next... more soon. Later the same night... So what are we allowed to say about the final collections for Project Runway Canada? Not much, because the show won't be broadcast until December. We can say that Iman did in fact introduce the show, and that a bunch of designs by some very talented designers chosen from across Canada were paraded to enthusiastic response from the crowd. When the embargo expires in about eight weeks, I can tell all. Jeanne's now interviewing Keshia Chante (spelling?), a frequent FW attender. Boy, we must really be living, eh? Note the "eh". That's Canadian Fashion for ya. Labels: iman, jeanne bekker, Joe Fresh Style, kalan porter, L'Oreal Toronto Fashion Week Spring 2008, Nathan Phillips Square posted by SarahBHood @ 5:38 PM 0 comments links to this post

Friday, September 28, 2007
Postal Service at Nuit Blanche?
You may not find him on any of the official schedules, but Martin le Facteur – who bears an uncanny resemblance to comic French film star Jacques Tati in the film Jour de Fête – will be popping up all over at Scotiabank's Nuit Blanche and the Nuit Noire that belongs to no corporate sponsor this Saturday night between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Media this week received the following bulletin: "Poste, Téléphone et Télécommunications (PTT), is pleased to announce a special all-night telegram service for Toronto during the night September 29/30. From 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., PTT will be delivering telegrams sent from its customers in France to all artists and participants of both Nuit Blanche and Nuit Noire. In keeping with the tradition of telegram service in

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France, these deliveries will made on bicycle by PTT staff in traditional uniform. In addition, commemorative telegram seals will be issued for the occasion." Martin's route begins at 8:30 p.m. at Bloor & Lansdowne (possibly to be seen at the illuminated bike parade that's part of Dyan Marie's light-inspired installation there). The rest of his schedule runs as follows: -9 pm: Hart House/U of T -9:30: CineCycle and 401 Richmond -10:15 Trinity Bellwoods Park -10:30 Queen & Ossington -11 to 12:30 Kensington Market (break) -12:30 - 3 a.m.: At-large deliveries and second attempts -3 to 7 a.m.: Paperwork and Wine. For more information, please contact: Service Presse du groupe La Poste, 44 boulevard de Vaugirard 75757 PARIS CEDEX 15 Tél : 01 55 44 00 00 Fax : 01 55 44 22 62 Labels: bicycle, Jacques Tati, Martin le Facteur, Nuit Noire, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche Toronto posted by SarahBHood @ 9:45 AM 1 comments links to this post

Friday, September 21, 2007
Bells On Bloor Mass Bike Ride
On Sunday, September 23, Bikes On Bloor invites hundreds of cyclists to ride along Bloor Street from High Park to the ROM in Bells On Bloor, a group ride to support bike lanes on Bloor and elsewhere in the city. Police on bikes will be on hand to help make sure the ride is safe and easy for less experienced riders and families with younger kids. Bikes On Bloor is also looking for volunteer "bell captains" (click here for details. Bells On Bloor is one of many Car-Free Day celebrations around the world, and it's timed so that cyclists could choose to join the Toronto Smog Hike at 1 p.m. Meet at the Bloor Street entrance to High Park at noon (free bike bells for all comers while they last!) Labels: bells on bloor, high park, mass bike ride, rom walks, royal ontario museum posted by SarahBHood @ 7:20 AM 0 comments links to this post

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Thursday, September 20, 2007
Rogue Wave 2007 on Ward's Island
You have until November 4 to catch Rogue Wave, the creative tsunami that breaks over the Toronto Islands every second year. Rogue Wave is a biennial outdoor art exhibition that always includes works that riff on the islanders' particular sense of place, like "Connect the Hearts", a love letter to island trees made up of heart-shaped stones. Participating artists include Claudette Abrams, Wende Bartley, quilter Eva Beyerle-Rutherford, Anne Bourne, Colin Brodie, Culpable Behaviour, Betsy Canfield, Robin Christmas, Marci Crist, Michael Davey, Peter Dean, photographer Gera Dillon, panoramicist Jerry Englar, painter Leida Englar, Paul Grajauskas, Doug Guildford, Brad Harley, Jane E. Hobbins, Warren Hoselton, natural dyer Sandy Krzyzanowski, Valerie LeBlanc, Gary MacLeod, musician and illustrator Jacquey Malcolm, Nigel Malcolm, Andre McConnachie, Luisa Milan, Karen Morch, Richard O’Brien, Joseph Muscat, Michael Page, fabric artist Christopher Pinheiro, Bill Roedde, graphic designer Rick/Simon, David Smiley, Allison Sterry and Talia. Maps and information are available at the Ward's Island Ferry dock. Labels: connect the hearts, outdoor art exhibition, rogue wave, toronto islands, wards island posted by SarahBHood @ 8:31 AM 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, September 13, 2007
Streetknit Winter Knitting Drive for the Homeless 2007-2008
Last year, knitter Sadie Lewis launched a knitting drive for homeless people in Toronto called Streetknit , and it's on again this year. Lone knitters or groups are invited to create scarves, toques, mitts, blankets, socks or even sweaters and drop them off to the following spots: Knit-O-Matic (1378 Bathurst Street) The Naked Sheep (2144A Queen Street East) Sew Be It Studio (2156 Yonge Street) The Knit Cafe (1050 Queen Street West) All the collected kitting will be distributed to homeless people through Windfall Clothing, Ve'ahavta, St. Francis Table, Scott Mission, Parkdale Community Health Centre, PARC and Out of the Cold. Labels: help homeless, knitting drive, streetknit posted by SarahBHood @ 9:58 AM 1 comments links to this post

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007
TAPA Launches Toronto Theatre Blog
The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) has recently created a blog for the Toronto theatre community at It includes all the notices they used to send out as an e-mail bulletin, like theatrical job postings and auditions, parties, fundraising events, discounts for people in the community, workshops, seminars and, occasionally, notice of the demise of some important figure. Highly recommended both for theatre practitioners and devoted fans. By the way, TAPA also has a great online listing of llive shows at Labels: TAPA, Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, Toronto theatre blog posted by SarahBHood @ 7:22 AM 0 comments links to this post

Friday, September 07, 2007
Rooftop Parties
These sound fun! From Friday to Sunday, September 14 to 16, the Rooftop Arts Collective presents work by Julie Campagna, Kari Minchin, Matina Theodosiou and Stef Lenk at the Studio Galleries, 1716-1718 Queen Street West, UpperLevel. The opening reception is on Saturday, September 15, and it features music by Barbara Lynch, the scintillating Beverly Taft and others, beginning at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 416-531-5819 or 416-539-9206. And starting at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday September 15, Louise Bak hosts the Box Salon on top of the Wrigley Building at 235 Carlaw Ave (6th floor). It features Claire Jenkins Avec Band, performance artist Jess Dobkin, electronic music producer KarlMohr, subversive performance duo The Fat Femme Mafia, Mike Hoolboom, Leanda Quinquet (AKA DJ L-Tron), musician Josh Thorpe, self-styled "Premier Siamese-Fighting Prom-Band" Tomboyfriend, Sex City Sluts Jeanette Cabral and Bryen Dunn, and writer/artist Steve Venright, plus food, drink and a DJ. Admission is PWYC ($10 suggested), and you may RSVP by e-mail or phone (416-929-1906), or just show up. Labels: beverly taft, box salon, rooftop arts collective posted by SarahBHood @ 6:17 AM 0 comments links to this post

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