Friday, June 25, 2010

Fashion of the Fringe: Joseph Bembridge

Joseph is a dancer with Inertia Productions presentation of The Duck Wife, which I wrote about here .

What can I say? Just look how cute he is! So put together... His shirt makes me think about doing a DIY thing with an old V-neck American Apparel T-shirt that I have.

I love his look.

I also love that this is the first Fashion of the Fringe photo I've taken that's half decent. Small victories.

Fashion of the Fringe: Bob Wiseman

This is Bob. Bob used to be in a little Canadian band known as Blue Rodeo. Bob is very cute. Bob dresses like an adorable person. I love to see him around the Fringe to see what he’s wearing.

Bob’s show, ACTIONABLE, is a blend of songs, words and PowerPoint presentations reflecting on litigious situations Bob has landed in since embarking on his solo career in 1991. Often funny, sometimes poignant, this show is a must-see for any musician.

I wasn’t familiar with Bob’s solo work before seeing his show, and afterwards I immediately emailed Dave Tough, the pianist for my band (The Inbetweenies), to tell him how much his songs reminded me of Bob’s. He sent me the following response:

Bob Wiseman was a huge influence/idol of mine about 20 years ago when his first solo stuff appeared, so I'm unsurprised and pleased at the comparison. I opened for him in the fall at the Black Sheep.”

So I have only one degree of separation, musically, from Bob Wiseman! Cool!

Anyway, about his outfit… It could have been clashing, it could have been garish, but it just all worked together so perfectly. The yellow of the shirt was the same intensity of the red of the tie, and both colours were tied together by the plaid in the pants.

ACTIONABLE has three more shows at the Mercury Lounge during the Fringe Festival, tonight at 7:15, Saturday afternoon at 1:00 and Sunday afternoon at 2:45. It’s $10.00 at the door, plus your Fringe button. If Fringe isn't really your thing, you can catch Bob at Raw Sugar tonight for a $10.00 c0ver.

Lunchtime Lookup: Weekly Link Roundup

Of course, I've been at the Ottawa Fringe all week.

And I've been pimping Fully Fringed.

I've met some people from the Centrepoint Players.

I've met and blogged about someone from Australia.

I've had a lot of wine with a cabaret singer and her pianist.

But enough about me. There's lots more going on.

Jezebel points out that Target is selling a facist T-shirt. And then lets us know that Target pulled the shirt. To clear the taste of that debacle out of our mouths, they let us know when Justin Timberlake does it right.

Alix at The Cherry Blossom Girl made these sweet little movies.

Sherry on the Daintytime blog makes some beautiful mending.

Style Rookie Tavi (who knows way more about fashion than I do) does a great resort collection roundup.

Julien Macdonald tells Wales Online that there's no room for plus sizes in fashion.

Hint is rumour-mongering that Nicola Formichetti (of Haus of Gaga noteriety, as well as Vogue Hommes Japan fashion director) might be stepping in at Thierry Mugler.

The Independent tells us about a covetable English vintage festival with style. They also bring us this slide show from Sao Paulo Fashion Week (note: possibly NSFW, nip content).

CRAFT Magazine points out just how much of an environmental impact one pair of jeans has. And it's things like this that make me wish I had babies.

Go Fug Yourself do a little roundup of three Katy Perry outfits. (I have to say, you guys, I'm mostly with them on all of these. Except I like the last one the best.)

Audrey Hepburn Complex always posts amazing photographs. Really.

Ecouterre shows us jewelry by Tine De Ruyesser made out of money.

I need a nap and to do laundry. Fringing will continue for the next couple of days. So many roundups. I'm going to be there full-force with my camera this weekend, so if you're coming I hope you step up your game!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fashion of the Fringe: Thea Nikolic

This girl knows how to dress. Every time I’ve seen her at the Fringe festival, I have been completely blown away by what she was wearing. And this little 1940s-style ensemble is no exception.

Thea isn’t involved in any shows at Fringe this year, but she is adjudicating and apparently taking bribes. Just look for this very well-dressed young lady. She’ll probably be carrying around her new iPhone.

Fashion of the Fringe: Elisabeth Scholtz

It’s been raining during the Fringe festival. It’s been raining a lot. So there have been a lot of umbrellas around, but very few raincoats or nice wellies.

However, Elisabeth is a lovely exception. I spotted her across an intersection and dragged her away from crossing the road so I could take her picture.

Elisabeth is the pianist for the show Purely Cabaret (and she sings a bit too) with Lindsay Sutherland Boal (who is also brand-new on Twitter, you can follow her at @LSBChanteuse). Purely Cabaret is a beautiful show, and if you have any appreciation for music at all you should see this collection of songs from the Weimar Republic.

There are two more shows of Purely Cabaret at Academic Hall, Saturday at 6:30 and Sunday at 5:00. Tickets are $10.00 at the door, with your Fringe button.

Fashion of the Fringe: Amy DiDomenico

At the pre-opening party, I spotted Amy talking to a couple of Ottawa Fringe Festival office staffers who I knew in a very round-about way - but well enough to warrant breaking in on their conversation a little (a lot) in order to compliment Amy on her outfit and ask for her picture for the blog.

She seemed a little flabbergasted that I would want to take her picture, but just look at her! How could I not take her picture? She looks great!

Amy looks the way I imagine all people involved in theatre look all the time.

Amy's show, Breaking Down In America, is playing at The Velvet Room on York Street. You've got one more chance to see it—Friday the 25th at 7:30. It's $10.00 at the door (plus the cost of your Fringe Festival button).

You can see a trailer for the show here and read the Fully Fringed review by Lauryn Kronik here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fringe Costume Thoughts: A Day in the Life of Miss Hiccup & The Duck Wife

Shoshinz photographed by Charlie Kawamura

OK, it’s official: I have seen my favourite costume.

And it comes to us courtesy of Japanese clown Shoshinz.

A Day in the Life of Miss Hiccup  is an absolutely charming piece of nonsense theatre, with sweet, poignant, funny moments liberally scattered throughout. But the costume, the costume is amazing.

I had an opportunity to speak with Shoshinz after her first performance about her costume, which she told me was entirely made by her and a friend. What you can’t see under that fantastic yellow skirt are a pair of blue bloomers and a pink crinoline.

This costume is a riot of colour and has inspired me to combine yellow, red, emerald green, and white into one outfit this summer.

A Day in the Life of Miss Hiccup is playing for four more shows, today through Sunday, in the Arts Court Library. Check the Ottawa Fringe website for show times. Once again, $10.00 at the door with your Fringe button. See this show.

Jenn Doan photographed by Tristan Brand

But for now, it’s time to move on to The Duck Wife . I met a few of the performers before the show sitting on the steps of Arts Court (a Fashion of the Fringe feature is going to be coming up about one of them soon), and looking at them gave me a pretty good idea of what to expect from the aesthetic of the show.
I was looking for American Apparel meets DIY cool, and that’s exactly what I got. (I actually made a note in my book that reads, “Show or AA Fall 2010 runway show?”)

While there was the typical problem of unfinished edges and the inscrutability of a couple of the male dancer’s costumes (was that recycled from a production of Alladin?), a few shining elements were standouts. To transform into “ducks”, the female dancers added small strips of feathers and bustles made of layers of taffeta and tulle. With a change in posture, they really did become birdlike.

While I didn’t fall in love with this show like some of my fellow (I must admit, younger) theatre-goers did, it was definitely a visual treat.

There are three more shows left, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, all at different times, in the Arts Court Theatre. Tickets for this one are $12.00, so go get yourself a little treat.


Fashion of the Fringe: Ray Besharah & Sterling Lynch

OK, I know, I know. They’re promoting their show. But come on. Let a sister have her moment when two handsome men in suits are smouldering at her, via camera lens.

It’s not a bad thing to be the only two men in suits at a party. They were surrounded by women whenever I glanced their way. (Although, I was batting my eyes pretty hard, so who knows what I was looking at?)

Ray and Sterling are in G-Men Defectives, which is playing in the Janigan Studio at Ottawa Little Theatre. There are six more shows, starting today through Sunday, with two shows on Saturday. As usual, show times can be found on the Fringe website, and tickets are $10.00 at the door with your Fringe button.

I can't say much else right now; I'm too busy swooning.

Fashion of the Fringe: Jonno Katz

Jonno Katz is the man behind the one-man show Cactus: The Seduction...

An hilarious actor in a great show, Jonno brings a huge amount of energy both to his performance and to the Ottawa Fringe Courtyard between shows. One night he also brought this really cute sweater, so I had to take his picture.

Jonno has four more shows at Café Alt, today through Sunday (check the Ottawa Fringe website for exact times). Your Fringe Festival pin plus $10.00 will get you in, catch this must-see show while you can! He's from Australia, so you might not get a chance again for years and years...


Fashion of the Fringe: Erika Morey

Erika is this amazing little spitfire–brilliant, sweet, charming, talented. And if that’s not enough, she’s not even twenty. She’s the stage manager of two shows at this year’s Fringe Festival–Mixing Boal: Kitchen of the Oppressed (which I talked about here) and Deliver’d From Nowhere.

I spotted her in this adorable black dress with lace sleeves at one of the Fringe parties, and had to take her picture!

Deliver’d From Nowhere has six more shows at Janigan Studio in the Ottawa Little Theatre, tonight through Sunday (with two shows on Saturday). Check out the Fringe website for times. $10.00 at the door, plus your Fringe button, of course!



Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fringe Costume Thoughts: Impassioned Embraces & Mixing Boal: Kitchen of the Oppressed

Two ensemble casts. Two shows. Two different venues. Both enter the Fashion Forum. Only one will leave.

No, not really. That’s how it feels being a fashion blogger sometimes during the Fringe festival though–like I’m being asked to judge costume decisions based on other shows. “How did X compare to Y?” And to be honest, it’s hard to get out of that headspace sometimes.

But right now I want to look at two shows, and I’ll try to keep them separate from each other.

The first, Impassioned Embraces, was put on by students from the Ottawa Theatre School. Knowing that this was a student production going in, my expectations were low for the costumes for the piece. And a good thing too.

While the actors wore mostly street clothing for the play (which isn’t something I necessarily have a problem with, although it didn’t look like they had put too much thought into it), it seems like after every performance they just shoved their clothing into their bags and left it there until the next show. Everything was crumpled and rumpled, and not intentionally so. To be fair, the female cast members seemed a little more put-together. One scene in particular comes to mind–two characters are in a job interview. The male actor’s suit is not only crumpled, it has visible threads hanging from the back of it.

Surely you would put more care into your clothing if you were going to a job interview? Why are you not putting more care into what you are wearing on stage to portray that? I was so angry about those hanging threads that I couldn’t pay much attention to the scene.

In another scene, two characters are at a wedding. The groom and a bridesmaid are dancing at what is said to be a moneyed wedding. Which you would not have gotten from the costumes. From the mismatched vest and pants on the groom, to the cheap, flimsy-looking, tacky dress on the bridesmaid, once again I was too distracted to realize what the scene was even about.

I came out of the show with pages and pages of notes on the other scenes (eight in total, I believe), but those were the lowlights. Nothing really stands out. (You can read Andrew Snowdon’s review of the show on Fully Fringed.) You can still catch Impassioned Embraces at Café Alt Wednesday through Sunday for a $10.00 ticket. Check out the Fringe website for information on times (it plays at a different time every day).

Moving on to Mixing Boal: Kitchen of the Oppressed, this year’s production from Counterpoint Players, I feel slightly better about the costume choices.

But only very slightly.

The highlight for me was Daniel MacIvor’s getup as the host of the game show – black dress pants, a purple dress shirt, patterned vest and… Converse All-Stars. A cheeky little hint that this isn’t going to be your average game show/Fringe Festival production.

However, everything else fell pretty flat. While I saw where they were going thematically with each costume, I feel that due to the over-the-top nature of the piece they could have gone much, much further than they did with the costumes. The women were all from different Ontario towns named after more famous European cities (Athens, Paris, etc.), and that was trying to be linked in with their costumes, but it just fell short.

This is unfortunate, because it was an enjoyable show. And this is coming from a girl who does not enjoy audience interaction.

Here’s what Eleni Armenakis has to say about Mixing Boal on Fully Fringed. You still have three more chances to see Mixing Boal on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday in Academic Hall at various times. Once again, check out the Ottawa Fringe website for time details.

Phew. I managed to not compare them. That's a relief.

As for Fringe, I have a lot more to say! There’s a lot more to come!

*EDIT* Yes, I do mean that the host is played by Zach Counsil, not Daniel MacIvor. Thanks for the great catch, Andrew Alexander!



Monday, June 21, 2010

Fashion of the Fringe: Kiersten Hanly

Kiersten plays Juliet in The Counterpoint Player's production of Mixing Boal: Kitchen of the Oppressed.

I spotted her at Thursday night's beer tent festivities in this adorable little getup. Her blue cotton shirtdress with ruffled sleeves and gathered neckline, sandals, and simple, unfussy bag were perfect for a party on damp ground late into the night in the Ottawa Fringe Courtyard.

Fringe Costume Thoughts: Initial Reactions on Thursday's Shows

Call me a snob. You won't be the first. I love good design. I love good craftsmanship. Most importantly, I love when it seems that people have put thought and care into what they put on their bodies.

I also love theatre. I love when a show's costume design doesn't distract me from the show itself. I love when the costumes are appropriate to the place and time of a show.

And I hate hate hate hate hate when costumes are poorly executed. Avant garde shouldn't be code for looking cheap.

I've been to see a lot of shows at the Ottawa Fringe Festival, and I am sad to say that there are only a smattering of them whose costumes didn't downright make me angry.

The first show I saw was The Last Goddamn Performance Piece, which is a send-up of performance art in general. While I get what they were doing with their costumes (plain black movement wear), I was more than a little disappointed that the female performer's shirt had a visible stain on the front. It distracted me the whole show. (You can read Andrew Snowdon's full review of the piece here.)

Next up on Thursday night was The Rooftop Guy, a piece which takes place in a government office. While the costumes were generally pretty spot-on (especially the character of Jason, whose mismatched shirt and tie paired with his horrible green and yellow leather jacket perfectly portrayed a young man in an adult world who doesn't know how to cope with aging), one of the major plot points in the script is the fact that Dave is wearing a fish tie.

Which was... Handmade? I guess? Poorly. It can't be that hard to find a fish tie! (I just did a Google search for "fish tie" and came up with over 80,000 results.) Now, I understand that Fringe shows are on a budget. But the major turning point of the plot is about this tie. Come on, now... (Andrew's review for Fully Fringed is here.)

My blood really got boiling with Art DeXo, a modern dance piece. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I don't know anything about modern dance, or dance wear, but I do know one thing: hems should be finished. Several of the costumes used in the piece had unfinished hems, or worse yet, little scraps of fabric with unfinished edges hanging off of them. While I understand that these little "beebobs" and "doodads" (as my mother would say) probably were meant to have some meaning and echoing the fluidity of the body and whatnot, most of the time I was left saying, "What?" Or worse yet, "Ugh, cut those things off."

Specifically, in one of the pieces lovely one-piece emerald green jumpers in drapey jersey have their flow and lined ruined by what looks like pieces of blue security blanket pinned (yes, that's right, pinned) to the hem. (Katrina Marsh writes more about Art DeXo here.)

Basically, what it all comes down to seems to be pride. If artists are putting enough time and pride into their piece to direct, preform, and in some cases write and tour a piece, it stands to reason that the way they present themselves onstage should also be a reflection of that. Thursday night left me with a bad taste in my mouth when it came to costumes.

Luckily, there are lots more nights of Fringe to write about...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fashion of the Fringe: A Super-cute Necklace!

On the pre-opening night of the Fringe Festival (yeah, I get invited to VIP parties), it was pouring rain. Absolutely pouring. So the masses of actors, producers, directors and other various hangers-on (me and Andrew included in that) were huddled under the tent, drinking their way through free drink tickets, dancing to a ragtime band, socializing and generally having a grand old pre-opening the Fringe party.

Due to the rain, not a lot of people busted out their fineries and fripperies (although there is much, much more to come on that note), I did spot this great necklace. It belongs to Crystal Quarrington, and she got it at Ardene, of all places! Who says you can't find cute stuff at the mall? (I mean, besides me, of course...)

There's lots more to come, fashion-blogging wise and more, from the Fringe. I've got thoughts on costumes. I've taken pictures of people at parties. Unfortunately all these parties have left me very little time to write. (I am, at the moment, sucking up the Fringe bandwidth writing this from the beer tent/courtyard.)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Go Loco Croquet Tournament Style: Patricia Barr & Jason Bellaire

Last night I was fortunate enough to attend the Go Loco Croquet Tournament (as a photographer with Ottawa Tonite), which was put on by the Third Wall Theatre Company at Earnscliffe , the residence of the British High Commissioner to Canada.

There will be a story up on Ottawa Tonite in the very near future about the event (written by my ever-clever and super partner Andrew Snowdon), but I did catch a few excellent fashions while I was there that I wanted to blog about here.

This is Patricia Barr and Jason Bellaire. Patricia is in charge of community relations at Wall Space Gallery (who provided some under-the-tent artwork at the croquet tournament), and Jason is an interior designer with J Squared Design (website currently under construction).

I asked them for a shot for the blog because they both just looked so damn dapper. Jason's hat (which I normally find a pretty terrible affectation) was completely event-appropriate (the British High Commissioner was wearing one very similar in shape), and although he was in jeans they were an excellent fit and not sloppy at all. The vest and rolled-sleeved* dress shirt just completed the look.

Patricia's ensemble was note-perfect as well. Her brown boots were ideal for the soaking ground, and a print dress under boyfriend jacket were exactly the right combination of classic style and nods to current trends.

Additionally, Jason was wearing some socks that I have to mention. Socks aren't usually a huge thing for me, but these were too fantastic to pass up.
I really wish this picture did these socks justice. They were purple and bright yellow. Which could easily look garish, however this socks were most certainly not on display. At Patricia's insistence, he tugged up his cuffs to give me a look. And that's how you do really bright, kind of insane prints, fellas—as linings, socks, those tiny details that are for limited viewing.

Patricia and I chatted a bit about fashion, and she let it slip that she is organizing an event at Wall Space on Wednesday, June 23rd. Socially Savvy Style is a fashion fundraiser for Therapeutic & Educational Living Centres Inc. (TELCI), and will feature a fashion show with clothing from HUSH. Tickets are only $10.00 and are available at Wall Space Gallery, HUSH Clothing or from Starfish Events.

I'll be there with the proverbial bells on—you should come! You never know when the Your Sweet Bippy fashion camera is going to come out for more street style photographs. (It usually depends on how much wine I've had, but whatever.)

*Jujed, as my mother would say.