Monday, April 11, 2011

Enroute to LGFW: Who Would Have Thought

Homage to Toronto Fun and My One Eye.
(Clubbing @ Frequency)

Somehow I always end up in these little adventures.

Originally, I was debating on whether or not even to go to the event to volunteer because of what costs incurred (stunt driving) that came along with just getting to the mandatory meeting - yes, I went to Toronto for one day just to make it to their meeting for the later event: LG Fashion Week. And another point, they gave me a schedule to volunteer with the title of "Fashion Police". To me, that sounded like I was going to be ushering guests throughout the venue and ensuring the "safety" of the patrons. BUT, I lingered my decision and got a further email saying that "Fashion Police will be getting special outfits to the exception of the rest of the volunteers". Note there's hundreds of volunteers at LGFW, and I lucked out with a special outfit. It HAD to be a better position than I was thinking. Getting to wear special outfits -- How could I pass that up?? If that couldn't teeter my decision one way, I don't know what could.

I thought making the decision was the hard part, but apparently not. I booked a ticket to go to Toronto by Viarail. (No, i didn't want to bring my car - and that was what I planned originally even before the stunt driving charge - just because it'd be easier on the subway). Things were set in motion, but like always there's life's little hiccups. There was an accident along the railway at Colbourg two days before I was leaving (how ironic, since that's where my court case is), so trains were not running between Ottawa to Toronto and being shuttled by motorcoaches. Though the motorcoach would arrive late, my team lead said it was alright. I found out all this the night before. I was packing until the wee hours of the night - went for a nap and planned to wake up an hour later to get to the train station on time. OVERSLEPT like 15 minutes. The train/motorcoach left at 6:15 and I woke up at 6:30. GREAT. Ahaha. Well then I get a phone call at 6:30 am from the carpool that I found earlier on in the week, but decided not to take, but then called the night before to see if they could make it to Toronto on time, but never got an answer from. SO, he was leaving in half an hour. I frantically gathered everything together in hopes of meeting him on time. 7:00AM rolled around, hopped into his car, and off I went.

In the car, I was thinking... what happened in the last hour? A bunch of random shit, that's what! Like all Asian carpools, they either drop you off at Fairview Mall or STC (Scarborough Town Center). I literally gathered myself together while on the way there and in the bathroom of Sears. That's definitely a first. Felt like I was a nomad with no permanent home using tools/facilities open to the public.

Another hurdle I had to overcome. Where was I going to put my things in the meantime before I was going to meet up with my friend to stay over at her place that night? (Thanks for letting me stay over. The hospitality of friends is always so heart-warming). I tried calling Viarail because they have a storage room, but they only let clients use it). I tried calling Greyhound but no one answered. I tried calling Fairmount Royal Hotel across from Union Station and they didn't let people other than clients or card members to store baggage. I was willing to pay money. But no... oddly enough, they didn't know the business sense of making a dollar and denied a paying customer. I didn't want to waste time or a token to stop by the Greyhound to check, so I left it up to believing in our fellow citizens and leaving my personal belongings unattended at the volunteer lounge for LGFW.

So my adventure begins.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

OFW March 2011: Where Have These People Been All My Life?

Launch Party @ Lobby---------------OFW: Day 1---------------OFW: Day 2

OFW: Day 3

Over the past weekend, Ottawa Fashion Week appeared once again to showcase designers for their Fall/Winter 2011 collections. Adrian WU was and has been the show-stopper for the event, appearing on the final night of the event. There was a great lineup for the entire week, but Sunday had to be my favourite.

Like I've said time and time again, the fashion industry is ALWAYS last minute, and this time was no exception. We were bringing in designers and marketplace vendors up until the day of the event. What's difficult is that we have to print event booklets/literature prior to, so it's a delicate situation to handle in this high-strung environment.

During this role as administrative event coordinator, I was able to land two designers: The Escape Movement and Illyria Design. Both showcased on Sunday, and I must say Illyria has impeccable style herself - she wore this flowy maxi dress that's perfect for resort/spring attire. Both designers I found through my newly created fashion network - ode to the fruits of my labour.

The event assistant and I worked the ticket booths because this season, they upgraded to scannable bracelet entry. Yes, many jokingly complained that it was as if they were in a hospital - and true to their retort, the bracelets came for a medtech company. Unfortunately, technology, though in its good intentions, does not always succeed in its duties. We had some quick thinking to do and resorting to colour-coded stickering to signify different day pass-holders. Maybe next season, scanning will become a reality - just like how Mercedes-Benz NYFW has Blackberry barcodes for entrants.

By the way, the ticket booth wasn't as boring as you may think. My gosh the people that live in Ottawa... that I've NEVER seen on the streets... have impeccable IMPECCABLE fashion sense. They were like right out of the pages of Vogue magazine. I wanted everything they were wearing. And, but of course, our OFW team was working in style too. But seriously, where are all of these people on a normal day basis? Ottawa really is holding down some juicy secrets/treasures. Mind you, there were quite a few big wigs floating around - like The Loft owner, some ambassadors, (the US ambassador's daughter showcased Sunday night), and plenty of celebs walked down the runway at the charity gala - Walk the Truth, where they will auction of one-of-a-kind pieces from several designers for charity.

Yet another surprise, I found out that one of my childhood friends has now become a jewellery designer with her sister. Their line is called MAFIA Jewellery - quite a unique story of how it was founded. They appeared both in the Marketplace and on the runways collaborating with some of the designers.

The venue was held at the National Art Gallery. There was a ramp leading up to the runway room with jaw-dropping architectural eye candy. What a glam place to be. And the runway was a shiny patent white with stage lights lined above - a great way to light up both sides' front row fashionistas/celebs/VIP!

If I get a chance to do this again, I'd love to be part of the production side of the event. But, I'd be backstage the whole time... OR just be VIP front row. Haha.

PS. Yes, those lashes definitely were a conversational piece. Where else could they be more appropriate but at a fashion function .... or halloween? Haha. In this case, I think they do more justice here as an art rather than costume. And, yes.. I could barely see, that and I think I've built eyelid muscle from wearing them all day!

Here's a list of links you can view for coverage of the event: (Emily Brown - social media intern for OFW)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Everything Out the Wazoo

OFW's AMAZING line-up!

Just like always, when things start picking up it's like a congested pipeline waiting to burst. It's never a calm, gradual momentum... nothing to prepare for but to take it as it comes.

Last Monday, I was on my way to Toronto. Excited that there was no snow, and clear roads to go. No, I wasn't there for a shopping splurge... I was there to go for a mandatory meeting (I'll let you know in the coming posts what it was for). Anywho... I noticed quite a few cops on the roads while getting there and should have feared more..taken it as warning. BUT... those little nudges didn't felt at all. APPARENTLY, (who knew.. everyone except me) that there are planes i.e. air traffic that works in collusion with cop cars that fly the clouds and monitor traffic through the air. I had no clue where this cop came from until I saw sirens in my rear view mirror. Never have I experienced such a shameful and shocking day. Be prepared for what happened in literally a few minutes:
1. charged for stunt driving; going 50 over; clocked me at 164 km/hr. (stunt driving faces demerit points, and fines of up to $10,000)
2. license was revoked - suspended for 7 days
3. my car was being towed away - impounded for 7 days; total cost: $1350
4. summoned to court in a month
5. left stranded 3 hours away from ottawa, 1 hour away from toronto
6. creepy/shady tow truck dude comes and happily drops off "us beautiful ladies" to the nearest train station

(If you're looking to evade the cops and continue to driving like you're on the autobahn... I heard about this app: Trapster - locates all cops based off of other app-user reports and notifies you based off your gps/mapping system if they are nearby your location. For now, I look at every speed limit sign with disappointment.)
Funny enough, I did make the volunteer meeting on time. Ended up getting home on the Greyhound at 1am - waiting for the inevitable wrath of my parents. My dad.. I can always count on him to be the most rational rock of the family. He could see how much guilt I was already feeling. My mom on the other ... well I felt even worse for the fact that it was her birthday the next day.

So in the next days after:
Tuesday - the previous day I was so out of it, and at that point I still was. I dropped my phone in the snowbank in front of work. I didn't realize until an hour later - lucky I guess that no one took it, but horrible that it got water damage.
Wednesday - I felt like doing some work and getting my mind off things, so I grabbed my memory card with the charity tournament photos I was going to edit. Lo and behold, memory card could not be recognized... Could it get even worse?!
I broke down and cried at 2am... sitting on my bed in utter moppiness...but don't worry. I woke up the next day... a fighter. What's done is done, and now I just have to figure out how to fix things.

I'm glad that I was able to get myself back together in a matter of days because there'd be no way I could keep up with all the things going on this week. When Tuesday hit, everything started rolling. Deadlines coming from every direction. The exec production of OFW (Ottawa Fashion Week) put me on for doing up the event booklet for the shows. He actually left for a week (one week before the event for family reasons) there was no one to tell me what to do next. But I knew this was coming up, so I took the initiative to start. But, instructions weren't as clear as they could be, and I basically had to finish the booklet in 5 hours of he called me on top of masters applications and working. Plus, there was like no downtime at work since it's March Break this week and GREAT weather. PLUS, no car... I've realized with a busy schedule, bussing in Ottawa is NOT doable.

Great news though! Turns out there's a launch party TONIGHT @ Lobby - invite only. Ooo how exclusive! And it's gonna be glam partying all NIGHT long for the next 5 days. Here's my next few days' schedule: Launch party/runway/party/runway/party/runaway/charity gala/after party!!! From the creative director's words: "What do I need you to do? Take care of everything and look hot. You better have 5 banging outfits ready." AAHHAH... can't wait! Keep you posted with all the festivities up ahead!

I'm thinking right now that I'm going to stick with a theme for my next 5 days' looks. Look forward to the next posts! :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

"Later That Night At the Drive-In" Stop Motion Film

Okay, so I lied. I've got another random post fashion unrelated. Remember, if you follow that far back, when I blogged about going to the Scotiabank Nuit Blanche that was held in November? If so, you're a keener! I took some random pictures and scrolled through them really quickly. They looked like a cool fast slideshow, so I kept the shots for future creative art. Here's the result. My very first stop motion film. Next time, I'll know what to do to make it more of a stop motion film as opposed to a crazy powerpoint slideshow video. Haha.

The exhibit this was from was at Nathan Phillips Square - "Later that Night at the Drive-In" by Daniel Lanois. It was a pretty awesome display of overhead projection along with it's own beats echoing throughout the whole area. You can click on the youtube post for some more information.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Dedication - Music & Band-Aids

I've actually never made a dedication before. But, tonight, it feels appropriate - partly because the music is too good, and partly because a band-aid just so happened to rip open.

For the music:
If I was ever to play the guitar, this is how I'd want to play it. Not rock, no electric damper, just pure acoustic - melody and beats. The voice of the songs come out in his strumming. It's strange how there's so much soul coming out of his playing, but I'm not even sure if he completely understands the feeling of each song... must eh? There's actually a song I listened to that had a different meaning to me than what he intended... not this one that I'm dedicating, but another one that immediately gave me an overwhelming emotion and image of a touching moment. Everytime I play that song, it plays over like a movie, you know.. those ones where all the edges are blurred but you know exactly what's going on? It's funny how I can have such a sure-fire meaning of the song, and so can he...but they're completely different.

For the band-aid:
We get so caught up with everything that's going on right at this moment and all our future plans. So much, that we can't even hear our own true thoughts/feelings. (We meaning I...) Which is why, on occasion, I like to take walks at night... where it's just me and some neighborhood roads, a little music, and the night sky. It's peaceful, and this time of year you can look at all the holiday lights up. And, people can't even see you do silly things in the middle of the road if you wanted to. Felt like going on some swings I passed by, but skipped out because 1. didn't want to freak randos out that might think I'm some sort of ghost/"the Ring" girl and 2. there's always going to be creepers out at night no matter where you are, so I'd rather be walking and capable of running than up in the air on a swing.

So, writing this blog, I have access to "stats", which tells me where my audience comes from. Sometimes I can pinpoint who's reading, like from Japan and Hong Kong (you know who you are!). And, others not so much, like Canada and the US, Germany? Poland?... but catch my drift.

I didn't really expect this to bother me as much now. It's been almost a year, and you still haven't given me an excuse for not saying goodbye. It's been more than 8 years of knowing you, and yet you still have the audacity to do this that I can barely tell who you are anymore. I can't exactly tell if it's you reading, or someone else who lives there... but what the hey, I'll throw it out there. The first time you left halfway across the world, you came back as if nothing ever happened. This time, it seems to be for good. If we were friends before you left, you made us into strangers, possibly enemies?...both not by my choice. If you actually read this, today, I'm saying I forgive; today, I'm saying goodbye. Wherever you are, I dedicate this to you. For the rest of you, just enjoy the artistic peace.

Note: I selected a piece that he did when he was younger. He's EVEN better now, so please take the time to listen to some of his newer songs. You'll be amazed again and again.

PS. Thank you to the friend who introduced me to the music. Life is good with it.

PSS. Promise more fashion updates - for those of you who think.. "what's this girl doing writing this stuff on a fashion blog"?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Think Best in the Shower

I've always considered this blog as my personal journal - though I do filter out some thoughts just because it's obviously public. But, I guess it's good to, as my friend would say, "unpeel an onion layer", at some point.

Is it possible to feel more lonely in your own home than in a different city? At first, leaving Ottawa was the toughest thing - leaving everyone behind. I cried at home during dinner before I left just thinking about. (I know.. that's a little babyish of me). People would ask me while I was in Toronto what I liked so much about Ottawa, and I would always respond back that it wasn't so much the physical place but the people that are there. But then, sometimes when I was in Toronto walking/subway-ing home at wee hours of the night, I was definitely COMPLETELY on my own without a familiar soul in sight. I knew I was alone, but I didn't feel it. Was it because the city itself filled the space? Was it because I was so tired everyday from work/more work/and household work that it numbed any feeling of it? Or was it the fact that I had an excuse to be alone since I barely knew anyone there?

At this point in time, I know there's something missing. This void that needs to be filled. It bothers me every day. When I have a moment to think, it creeps into this dark abyss. I have a friend, and they are going through the same thing - whether that may be the same kind of space or not. Though I've left it so far as a status quo that eats away at me, they, on the other the hand, have treated their void like I do with my driving - a little over the edge. (Though I do think I simply drive with finesse - quick and efficient..yet safe? haha). Anyways, I do care about them a lot, and I do feel like I partially got them into their mess - this mess that their using to replace what's really bothering them. I've tried my best to make them fess up to what issues they're having, but I find it really hard to push someone to do something unless they've come to the decision themselves.

Ever since I was young, I'd always come up with some of the best ideas when I was taking a shower. I'd also memorize speeches and school work in the shower. I also reveal my deepest feelings to myself in the shower. (I mean .. what better way to cry, when you could just have the water wash it away in another second). I ask for help in the shower. Some people find mountain tops, grass fields, oceansides, and other simplistic landscapes as a way of escaping social stimulants to be able to listen to their truest selves, but somehow, funny how, the shower does it for me. My cousins are Christians, one of my best friends is a strong Christian, and my other relatives are Buddhists. Though I haven't found where I belong in the sense of religion, I do believe there is a spiritual being... if not so much that powers this world, but someone/something to listen to my thoughts and give me strength. That way I don't need to taint my feelings by expelling them with words. I just need to get the message across in the most direct way.

Today, in the shower, I asked not for them to give me strength but to give my friend strength to overcome what's happening to them and to just put all their negative focus into the pleasures of the future. Sure, the future is unknown, but that gives us, for my sake, hope.

Administrative Event Coordinator @ OFW

An opportunity I caught just in time. Looking for a new project, I remembered Samantha (from STARFISH) mentioning that Ottawa Fashion Week (OFW) was coming up in March. So, I decided to check their website out for any updates on job openings, and it just so happened that the deadline for most of their "meaty" positions was coming up in a matter of days. I luckily emailed my application the day before the deadline (how appropriate for the industry) and got a response back right away from the HR coordinator. I applied for two positions: administrative event coordinator and designer coordinator. She said I would be contacted in a couple of days for an interview.

A week past and nothing yet. I was so excited for her original reply but hopes were dwindling at this point. Did they hire someone else already - neglecting/forgetting my interview? Being the persistent person that I am, I emailed her with a follow-up. Turns out the creative director is ALWAYS busy - he consults for Moblicity AND is the big kahuna of OFW. I swear he gets no sleep. But as he is, we ended up having a phone interview while he was driving. The interview did have some difficult questions - but ever since Toronto, I've felt I'm confident with who I am enough not to be wavered by new challenges. He even said that none of his administrative event coordinators last. He did say he had "mad respect" for what I've accomplished so far. That felt good. I guess hearing congrats from friends is nice and all but hearing it from a complete stranger who's gained so much from the industry, that really hits it home.

I'm officially the administrative event coordinator for the March 18-20 fashion week. It's great because I get to work right under the creative director. Basically I try to coordinate internally what needs to be done. Right now, we're just trying to gather designers for the show. I'm already really excited with one of the confirmed designers - not sure if I can leak that out, probably not... but all I have to say is they have a great opening video for their website. Wish I could save it somehow and use it as a screensaver or something. I'm really excited about this position because that one day from the FASHION internship, when us, three, interns, were cleaning out the lookbook closet, it just clicked what I wanted to do in the fashion industry. I love fashion, shows/events, and organizing. Manifesting a runway show, which calls for both creativity (venue, decor, music, lighting, vision) and organization (seating, model arrangement, outfit arrangement, timing..) brings together environments that I could thrive in. My heart might skip a few beats if I could be flown across the world for Paris, Milan, London, New York fashion weeks to live a little bit in heaven.

Behind the Scenes Marc Jacobs FW 2011 @ NY Fashion Week
My first live stream runway show (I know .. I'm a little slow on this, but what a great designer to start this off with. They flash a few fashion bigwigs: Anna Wintor, Grace Coddington.. and a few celebs: Fergie, Martha Stewart, and Whoopi Goldberg. Ah, the life...