Friday, 27 November 2015

My debut as a fashion show stylist! What they wore.

I styled a fashion show! Can you believe it? At a gala Wednesday night at posh Terminal City Club, Vancouver. The crowd went wild, cheering and applauding. Seriously.  Bwahaha! My Sister's Closet (MSC), a social enterprise run by Battered Women's Support Services, invited me to do the gig as part of BWSS's yearly fundraising gala.

I had a blast and I met the best people you could hope to know. Everyone involved was a volunteer and put out more than 100 percent. I almost burst with happiness at the stellar performance of the show team. You should have seen the models' beaming faces when they came off the runway. If I can dress people to make them that happy, then, hell yeah, my mission has just begun.

Su Bennett and Mel Kobayashi, Terminal City Club, fashion show stylists

Above I am with holy-moly style conspirator Su Bennett, a long-time MSC volunteer and a veteran of MSC fashion shows. I couldn't have done this show without her. She was not only generous with her time, encyclopedic knowledge of clothes, and advice, but she also has a wild style eye; we finished each other's style sentences. Thank you, Su. It's a privilege to know you.

The Clothes
Everything was secondhand from My Sister's Closet stock, which is primarily donated quality mainstream brands and designer labels, what I call "normal" clothing (heh), with enough runaway vintage and oddities to make life interesting. I scout there regularly for far-out pieces.

The Models
There were six models in all shapes, sizes, and ages, most without experience. I tried to dress them as whole people wearing cool clothes, not as clothing displays, keeping in mind the show's theme, Breaking the Stereotypes. Five women, two looks each; one man, three looks. They walked their own walk, oh yes.

I snapped all the photos I could between freaking out and checking on everything. With low light, no flash, and limited time, these are the best I could do. MSC had a photographer who probably captured better shots from the runway.

She was hesitant to wear the left look but loved it most of all in the end. Such a cool woman.

Stella, model at Breaking the Silos fashion show of My Sister's Closet

Left: red sleeveless dress with rampant accordion pleats, oversized men's orange Nike workout top, oversized orange knit sweater nipped in at the back with a mitten clip, filmy polka-dot scarf, yarn-worm scarf, beads, cool tie shoes. Right: leopard print stretch pants, leopard print sweater, inside-out jacket, leopard print scarf, green faux-leather cargo bag, studded belt, brown leather booties, Stella's own ring.

I wanted ultra-wide hair so there was lots of spraying and teasing. I even requested that the hairstylist put little pony tails on the sides of her head for extra pouf. You know me: when I say big, I mean BIG.

Imreet, model at Breaking the Silos fashion show of My Sister's Closet

Left: halter top chiffon maxi dress, midi embroidered Moroccan vest, jewel-toned sparkly vest, black designer silky jacket with thready bits, felt hat, bangles, black cowboy boots. (The sparkly vest was supposed to be worn over the coat. I knew something looked a bit too normal. I kick myself! Lesson learned.) Right: cashmere blend red/black track suit, over-the-knee heeled boots, ultra-wide burgundy faux fur collar carried as a bold swingy accent.

Two days before the show we were told that the hairstylists couldn't come!? Panicking that I'd have to do hair, I went to Dollarama and bought two large glittery bell-shaped Christmas ornaments. One of them is buried in Angel's towering hair below. In the end we were lucky to get some awesome hair specialists, but the bells were still handy for short-cut liftoff. Whimsical Dr. Seuss with fashiony edge.

Angel, model at Breaking the Silos fashion show of My Sister's Closet

Left: purple pencil skirt with front zipper pocket, men's checked button down, men's tie, patterned tank top, glasses on a blue chain, briefcase, and Angel's own charcoal tights and black boots. Right: red/black/white handkerchief-hem tunic, black leggings with faux-leather diamond pattern on the sides, black sparkly flats, red heart pendant. Angel made the gorgeous earrings and sells her jewellery at MSC.

I love how the woman with the pink in her hair is also the one in the most tailored outfit. But how she can rock a mini-dress too. WOW! Wish I had better pics.

Lynn, model at Breaking the Silos fashion show of My Sister's Closet

Left: Prada sleeveless front-zip dress, designer zip jacket with sticky-out shoulder detail, jewels, black pumps. Right: mini red tank dress with keyhole back, fuchsia cami peeking out around the neck, red nubbly-fabric designer coat, big round red dangly earrings, opaque very purple tights, black booties, silver twisty bracelet. 

When Marc came for his fitting he pointed at the faux fur coat on the rack, broke into a grin, and said, "I could rock that!" And did he ever. Love this guy!

Marc, model at Breaking the Silos fashion show of My Sister's Closet

Left: women's oversized pants held up with unisuspender, men's velour snake-print button-down, women's black faux fur coat, big honkin' pendant, bracelets, and Marc's own red and black striped socks and tie boots. Right: women's midi tartan skirt hacked to knee length (Su customized it with an uneven thready hem and fantastic hangy swishy bits), women's designer drop-crotch knit track pants, men's vertical-striped brown vest, white button down, men's tweedy patterned jacket, red bow tie, leather/cotton super-wide belt. There was no time to turn up the cuffs. Another lesson learned...

Marc had a third look too - a Christian Dior suit. I didn't get a passable photo - the change was too quick.

Florinda also had tower hair. You could see bits of gold bell glittering inside. Very cool effect. Too bad she didn't ding. Heh. Florinda has more photos of the event on her Facebook here, where you'll see she is a real pageant queen.

Florinda, model at Breaking the Silos fashion show of My Sister's Closet

Left: men's hugely oversized jeans cinched with a men's tie, men's flannel shirt tied at the front, men's sweater as scarf, striped socks, insanely high platform Melissa sandals with tassels and psychedelic colours on the heels. Right: fitted double-breasted coat with embroidery details, intertwined scarves, black shiny boots.


Samantha Kearney, Tracy Richardson, Mel Kobayashi at Breaking the Silos fashion show of My Sister's Closet

Left: Samantha, Manager of My Sister's Closet - she is the one who invited me to guest-style the show. I thank her and BWSS from the bottom of my heart for the opportunity. Middle: Tracy Richardson, Professional Stylist and Consultant - she has decades of experience styling for TV and film. She oversaw the fabulous hair/makeup team of Susanna and Jennifer, and Sarah on makeup. And then yours truly. 

The obligatory bathroom selfie taken at Terminal City Club.

Mel Kobayashi, bathroom selfie at Terminal City Club

While I planned to wear a gown to go on stage, I didn't have time to change and went out in my working clothes: vintage top made in Hong Kong, stretch flower bell bottoms, and platform farked boots - my lucky boots, also shown here. Full outfit seen on Florinda's Facebook here. Later I changed into my backup gown below. The first one disintegrated. Heh.

Melanie Kobayashi, Paul Stanley dress, Bag and a Beret

The Pose. Pao of projectminima gave me this vintage dress by Paul Stanley of New York, not the KISS Paul Stanley, heh, although I almost met him once when I was wearing my rockstar pants. This is a dress her mother used to wear, and although she has passed over, her style keeps on going. You may have seen this dress before - I have worn it as daywear here and here. Thank you, Pao!

So that's where my head has been at lately. It's been a whirlwind week for me. Thanks, everyone, for the help. And thanks to my friends for your support. You are all stellar. Hurrah!

Time for a nap. And chips, and chocolate. And black and white movies. And grand sighs of contentment. A cat would make it complete but I don't have one. 

How has your week been?

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Lost in wrong translations

I told the world to roll over and... it did! - magical residue from Serena, my Halloween alter ego from Bewitched. The view is much better sideways in some respects. Not so much traffic either. I'm standing on the mall.

Melanie Kobayashi, fashion blogger in a sideways world

Apart from my warped perspective, what have I got for you? Brown. It's a phase - it's cold outside. 

Outfit 1
Oversized Diesel men's T and high-waisted brown stirrup cords, very soft, by German brand blutsschwester, both $5 at My Sister's Closet, booties from MSC, black under-T, and magic loupe. 

There is a deer embroidered on the front left hip of the pants and writing, "Landadel verpflichtet," which means "Rabid deer." Pfft. I have no idea what it means; I just like the pants. 

Bag and a Beret, brown stirrup pants, Diesel T, do you read these?

Maybe it means "Kill deer." They resemble hunting pants after all. That would be alarming to me. The stirrup foot loops are trimmed with stiff brown glittery lace, which is a bit weird, and there is red and white gingham fabric like a tablecloth(!) lining the front flap and edging the pockets. I don't want to kill deer. 

And look! - writing on the left shoulder of the T-shirt. One would assume it says Diesel, but maybe this is German, Dies El. Or maybe it's English, like "die hard" but instead it's "dies el." What does it mean?! Everything is abstruse in a sideways world.

Outfit 2
More brown, but it's mixed with dried mustard so it's not truly brown. I'm referring of course to my maxi muppet coat. There's no writing on it but the message is fairly clear, sometimes with expletives, sometimes not, depending on my mood. Here? With, despite the smile. I put an IG photo looking mean, here

Mel Kobayashi, fashion blogger, in a muppet coat

It's a whapping, flapping, flowing monster of goodness, grrr. The pants do have writing on them, embroidery on the back right waistband: "Sanchez." They used to belong to him; they're mine now. 

I love those tufts. And my tuxedo blouse, it's slightly stretchy, fits well. Thrifted. All thrifted.

Here I am walking swiftly towards the wall, coattails whapping. It looks like there's a small animal on my head; that's just my hair, although it too can be playful and do tricks like real animals. That day I saw a woman piling six rats onto her shoulders as I walked by - I counted them. 

Melanie Kobayashi in maxi muppet coat, bagandaberet

I bought a very pink swishy vintage gown for the gala (What gala? See previous post) and realized I'm an idiot. I got the gown home, then hand washed it, and portions of it disintegrated. That wouldn't bother me too much if it was only $5 but it was expensive, at least much more than I usually pay. 

Why can't there be an "Undo" button for life?

Among other things, I've been busy styling for the gala, which I'm enjoying immensely, working with some awesome people. I'm learning a lot. I'll show you photos of the outfits next week. 

That's all. I'm linking with Patti's superb Visible Monday party at Not Dead Yet Style. Yay, Patti!! Weren't the finger sandwiches last week faboo? I must ask where she gets her gherkins. This week, corn pudding! Hurrah, my favourite. Is there corn in that?

One more thing:
Kezzie of KezzieAG has entered Lady Vintage's Hall of Fame photo competition. In her submission, she is wearing a fantastic Lady V dress in front of Doddington Hall. If you love this shot as much as I do, you can vote for her on Facebook HERE. She definitely looks prizeworthy! (This info is entirely unsolicited.)

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