On October 18, I had the pleasure of updating my Facebook status to this: “Currently sitting in supermodel Jess Stam’s hotel room. For effing serious.”
That right there? Highlight of my LG Fashion Week. All thanks to the lovely folks at IMG, I have fond memories of watching The Dr. Oz Show, listening to country music, and chatting about ATTITUDE by Jay Manuel with one of my favourite models, ever. The best part is, I was on very official business. As the guest tweeter for Mercedes-Benz Start Up, it was my job to ensure that the Twitterverse knew that MB Start Up judge Jessica Stam would be wearing a Marc by Marc Jacobs dress and Lanvin for H&M bow pumps to the competition’s finale show; key information indeed, and I was more than happy to share.
Of course, Stam’s hotel room was only the first stop of my live, behind-the-scenes coverage. My guest tweeting duties also took me backstage of the LGFW tents, where up-and-coming Canadian designers Cassie Dee, Martin Lim, Travis Taddeo, Triarchy and UNTTLD were in the final stages of preparation for the runway show that would culminate in the selection of the very first MB Start Up winner. With an audience of program judges and mentors, fashion insiders, celebrities and VIPs in attendance, one very deserving finalist would be selected to receive mentoring from a hand-selected group of industry experts, an editorial feature in FASHION Magazine, as well as their own, fully produced runway show at next season’s LG Fashion Week.
Backstage, as finishing touches were being completed in hair and make-up and models were being dressed in the finalists’ Spring 2012 collections, I found myself blown away by details I may have otherwise missed on the runway: the fierce metal accessories from UNTTLD (that necklace! those shoes!), the cool, goggle-like sunglasses and medical bandage tops from Triarchy (styled by Ania Taubenfligel, one-third of the sibling team behind the brand), and the pretty feathers embellishing a dress design by Travis Taddeo.
Fast forward to the show itself. From Triarchy’s perfect-fitting premium denim to Martin Lim’s pastel-coloured feminine dresses to UNTTLD’s dark and edgy designs, the MB Start Up runway show presented five very different aesthetics (see complete runway photos at Toronto Life). The judging panel, made up of Bernadatte Morra, Editor-in-Chief of FASHION Magazine, Robert Ott of the School of Fashion at Ryerson University, Shawn Hewson of Bustle Clothing, Robin Kay of the Fashion Design Council of Canada (FDCC), Jarrad Clark of IMG Fashion and guest judge/model Jessica Stam, had one very tough decision to make, their deliberations taking longer than expected. When Danielle Martin and Pao Lim, the duo behind Martin Lim, were finally crowned as the winners, the audience and Twitterverse approved, and so did I.
Thus came to an end my MB Start Up adventures, for this season anyway. Thanks to Andrew Serrano of IMG for bringing me along for the ride! Round 2 of the competition promises to come back bigger and better than ever, expanding to four additional semi-final cities: Halifax, Ottawa, Quebec City and Edmonton. I’ll need some time to recover from the first edition and to bask in the glow of my Stam encounter, but when the action starts up again, I’ll be there to cover it!