Sunday, June 07, 2009

It is all About Shoe Business : Worn Fashion Journal no.8 Launch Party

Intrepid reporter Joe Lewis ready for a night with the Fashionistas, Textilians and DIYers

On Saturday June 6th 2009 two things happened at the Bata Shoe Museum on Bloor Street West in Toronto: One the launch of Issue number 8 of Worn Fashion Journal, and Two, an “art auction” from which a portion of the proceeds will benefit Fashion Cares, in support of the AIDS Committee of Toronto

my vintage John Fluevog circa 1985 brought out for this occasion.Worn No. 8 cover photograph by Alyssa K. Faoro.

As Worn no, 8 “the Shoe issue” was being prepared a call to artist went out and those who responded were provided with a pair of KED sneakers which had been generously donated by the company for this express purpose. Twenty Three artist and designers responded by creating an amazing range of either wearable or decorative art objects that are now in the hands of collectors, fans and supporters of the magazine, the artist and Fashion Cares. It was a night of amazing bargains with pieces bringing in prices ranging from 75 to 500 dollars. For me it was an extremely frustrating event as I watch work of art by talented people go for less then they could have with a more informed and appreciative audience. Not that those who where there were not appreciative, but being young alternative fashionistas their disposable income is quickly disposed, unlike the Collecting crowd (and there where some there) who do spend more money and enjoy the competitive auction frenzy.

THE SHOES Grant Heaps “A Long Train Coming” Photo by Danijela Pruginic

Textile and fibre artist such as Grant Heaps whose piece did bring the most money was one in a crowd of talented and intriguing artist whose work is gaining in reputation. Heap works his image magic by piecing together 1 inch square pieces of colour scraps of cloth to produce detailed pictures of flora and fauna like “A Long Train Coming” which was draped over his pair of Ked Sneakers. His large “Stag” piece was a standout at the second annual “Radiant Dark” the alternative design exhibition mounted by MADE Design as an adjunct to the Interior Design Show 09 this past February.

"Stag" (Wall Hanging) by Grant Heaps, 2,200 1"square pieces of cloth part of Made presents Radiant Dark 09 Elegant Corruptions: an exhibition of modern Canadian Design, February 4 th to 8th, 2009.

Samantha Purdy of Pin Pals (who have done the One Of A Kind Show in Toronto a few time) is a Montreal artist/ crafter (a word I am being to lose faith in) who works out from Eastern European Cross Stitch tradition produce an extremely fashion forward pair of wearable sneakers with mass production possibilities. While Elif Saydam an artist whom I met in Montreal in 2007 was a student in Concordia Universities Fibre Arts program whose crochet and print work I found very skilled. She won the 2008 Prix du Centre Des Arts et Des Fibre du Quebec given by Diagonal to one outstanding students from each fibre programs offered across Montreal, Her collaborative weaving project of self portraits executed with Katie Jung was featured on the cover and inside Worn number 7. Calling herself a “Craftswoman” her Keds inspired by Turkish Janissary boots have an extended felt upper and are embellished with buttons, ink and appliqués.

Samantha Purdy; 16 count Aida cloth, DMC embroidery floss Gems, shoe laces
Elif Saydam, post modern Turkish janissary boots; Photos by Danijela Pruginic

Allyson Mitchell curator, collector with an addiction to other peoples cast away crochet projects, has created a pair of sneaker cozies in the best toilet paper roll, Kleenex box cover tradition. In shades orange yellow and brown, appropriated to being an accessory in a beige living room, they have the appearance of comfy slippers with loafer tassells. As with all of Mitchell’s work there can be deeply embedded meaning the most obvious for me would be domestic comfort disguising (after all a cozy is use to cover up function) the ability to make a quick getaway from domestic distress. Meaning is both transitory and relative at best and Mitchell’s work is always a vortex for discussion.

Allyson Mitchell KOZY KEDS Photos by Danijela Pruginic

other artist, and designers in the auction include: Dana De Kuyper (Damned Dollies, Toronto), Clayton Evans (complexgeometries, Montreal), Function Gallery artist collective,( Toronto), Hilly Yeung (fibre artist, Toronto), The Deadly Night Shades, all girl fashion designing midnight bicycle crew (Toronto) , Patrick Lundeed, (Painter, Montreal), Marina Dempster (Toronto), Tyson Bodnarchuk (Montreal), Kelly Freeman and Rory Lindo (Damzels in This Dress, Toronto) Danielle Merder (Toronto), Hollie Dzama (Toronto), Dane Richards (Danegerus, Montreal), Karyn Gingras (Lilliput Hats, Toronto), Mark Laliberte (Toronto), Sonja Ahers (Toronto), Angie Johnson (Norwegian Wood, Montreal) Renata Morales (Montreal) Tryler K Rauman (Montreal)
Kelly Freeman and Rory Lindo (Damzels in This Dress, Toronto) Photo by Danijela Pruginic

All that said as with each Worn events it was time to dress up and dance.

Worn senior Editor Emily Raine in her vintage Oscar de la Renta (a Montreal thrift store find)

Emily and me with my new Hugo Boss tie and Donya Coward "Fox" pin

Managing editor G. Stegelmann and my self, photographed at the "Slow Dance w/ dance cards" Worn no.7 Launch party November 2008

to find out more about WORN fashion Journal visit their website

Fashion Cares, in support of the AIDS Committee of Toronto.


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