Fashion editor Bernadette Morra and stylist Derick Chetty are discussing Fashion Cares new format. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the comments link below. Refresh this page often to see the latest remarks.
|TARA WALTON/TORONTO STAR|
|There was no runway at the 2007 Fashion Cares Peep, and fashion was limited to about a dozen unidentified outfits on dancers.|
I am getting lots of feedback to my column about Fashion Cares in this today's newspaper. Some readers seem to feel that, in one man's words, I nailed it. Someone else told me he felt I was too soft. What is really alarming and sad is how everyone seems to agree that this year's Fashion Cares was a disaster. Bernadette
Good morning… It was with extreme glee I read your review of Fashion Cares. The articles summed up most of my feelings of disappointment on Saturday night.
I've always considered it a great privilege to attend Fashion Cares and this year I was so sad to see the lack of vitality to the event. From the venue – a nightmare to the stiletto wearing fashionistas to the non-fashion show it was a supreme let down. The only good thing was the food – it was actually excellent. Forget about people watching which is half the fun of the event – how could you see anyone when it was so spread out. It was painful to watch the live auction. Can you blame people for not wanting to part with their money – their fingers were probably too cold to reach into their wallets. Hello – heat lamps!!!!!
I think the big winner of the night was Philip Ing – I hope he felt extreme satisfaction at the conclusion of that atrocious show that closed the event. ACT should re-hire him and pay him double whatever they used to pay him if he is paid for doing that event. ACT definitely has to return the event to its roots next year – I think there is going to be a considerable fundraising issue if sponsors think twice about signing up for next year.
|VINCE TALOTTA/TORONTO STAR|
|Some Toronto Star readers are calling for the return of retired Fashion Cares artistic director Phillip Ing of MAC Cosmetics.|
I have been to Fashion Cares on several occasions in the past. Last weekends event was absolutely horrible. There was zero WOW factor, it was freezing cold, poor entertainment, severely restricted areas to drink in, poorly trained event staff, awful show, no actual fashion show, annoying MC, terrible auctioneers, etc, etc, etc. I was very disappointed and felt betrayed. For the increased price of the event, I expected so much more than previous years and in return was let down beyond compare. I had convinced friends who had never been to the event to come, essentially guaranteeing a spectacular evening. You can imagine my embarrassment at the end of the evening and several thousand dollars later when I was left explaining that in past years it really was good. I doubt I will go back. I would certainly need some assurance of the return to the previous format on all levels. Bring back Phillip Ing!!!!!!
Dr. Garry Wallace
I have yet to speak to someone who has something nice to say about the event. Comments ranged from "an amateur high school production" to "highly disorganized." I didn't mind a change in venue. I was in that camp of people who was tired of the Convention Centre. But I think it was very disorganized at the Distillery. Guests couldn't find the restaurants they were supposed to eat in. And why was there such a huge and slow line-up to get into the tents? It was also dangerous when leaving that there was only one exit in that tent. But my biggest disappointment had to have been the show. It felt very amateurish. There was long gaps between each performance. It's a live show! You can't have an audience sitting there for ten minutes with nothing to do whilst you're getting ready for the next act! Derick
I attended Fashion Cares at the Distillery last week and felt I had to respond to my displeasure for the event. I was expecting an event as exciting as the past events that I have attended and was left severely disappointed for the following reasons: We jumped at the opportunity to purchase early-bird tickets at $500 for the first 300 guests. Imagine my surprise, when four days before the event, The Toronto Star is advertising tickets for $500. Did anyone pay $1,000 per ticket? If you are hosting an outdoor event, maybe late June would be a better date as the weather would not be freezing cold. The event was choppy and since no maps were provided, we had no idea where the entire event was taking place. Trying to find a washroom was a nightmare as half the volunteers had no idea where they were located either. The drinking restrictions were ridiculous. Once we received a drink near the Boutique, we were stuck in a small corralled area and could not wander the Boutique. We could not explore the entire area as we had to stay in the licensed areas if we wanted to drink. The small dining rooms lacked the excitement and ambience of being at a large event. (Although I did receive the best meal I have ever had at Fashion Cares) There wasn't really a Fashion Show.....very, very disappointing. We had explained to the friends who attended with us, plus some new friends who we met over dinner, that the Fashion Show would justify the ticket price as it is always incredible. The event should have been called "Musicians Care". The Auctioneers were absolutely disastrous. 50 Minutes to auction 5 items?? I had to leave the tent as I could no long listen to them as they were annoying me to death. Why have the large screen at the rear of the stage if you were not going to project the acts onto it. I heard from many people at the rear that they could not see anything. The only Fashion Show portion, the Ballet Fashion, was unbearable to watch as the horrible red/orange screen behind them, made it difficult to see the actual dancers. Dita Von Teese was incredible....too bad it nosedived from there. The constant breaks between acts were bad enough, but to sit through commercials was unacceptable. What is a Fashion Show without a runway? ...A concert I guess!!! It would have been great to have the After-party at the same location....who wants to travel to a second location. When we checked in at the beginning, no one explained what the purple wrist bands were for, so we left them in the hotel room between venues. Once we arrive at the After-party, we realize they were for the upper portion of Koolhaus. Some explanation would have been helpful. Picture this scenario.....2000 or so people dancing, having fun and all of a sudden....the music stops and someone starts singing a slow burlesque number while multiple women strip on stage.....hmmm...I would have rather danced! 80% Gay men, 18% Women, 2% Straight Men....Women stripping huh? Isn't Fashion Cares supposed to be daring, raunchy, and different? Burlesque with a Gay Appeal might have been the better way to go. These are a few comments; I could provide many more but you get the idea. I hope that Fashion Cares returns to its roots. I could not understand why Fashion Cares needed to be re-invented, since it was working great. It was a highly respected, highly attended fundraiser that many looked forward to returning year after year. The change was not well-received and hopefully the committee responsible will reconsider the changes. In order for myself to attend again, I want assurances that I can expect a Fashion Cares comparable to the great ones in the past. Kevin McKitrick
|TARA WALTON/TORONTO STAR|
|The emphasis of the show was on musical performances, including singer Mya.|
One thing which I did not mention in my story is the politics behind what Fashion Cares has become. I did call ACT to try to speak to someone there and get more insight into what is going on behind the scenes. We never connected and not because of lack of effort on my part. And as I said in my story, there is always going to be lots of fingerpointing and scapegoating in cases like this. So I am not sure it would be possible to try to understand what went wrong. Bernadette
Asking if Fashion Cares is “terminally ill" on the front page of today's Fashion Section of the Toronto Star is horrifically insensitive and offensive. Have you forgotten what Fashion Cares is really about? People living with HIV/AIDS receive vital supports and services as a result of the funds raised by Fashion Cares. It is one thing to debate whether the show has run its course, but please show some respect and sensitivity. Jill McNall
Point taken, Jill. Absolutely Fashion Cares is about Aids. But I think there was more talk about Canada's Next Top Model on the Fashion Cares stage than that tragic disease. Bernadette
Yes, it felt like every performer on stage had to plug their next project. Every time Jay Manuel came out he mentioned Canada's Next Top Model - that was irritating for most people after awhile. But we can go on endlessly about what when wrong with the event. How are they going to fix it for next year? There's a lot at stake obviously. It's going to be a battle to get sponsors and the public to come out next year and support this. One solution someone suggested is to try bring in a popular gay icon to lure the crowd back. Someone like Elton John or Barbara Striesand perhaps. Derick
Or Cher! The real one, not the pretend one roaming around Fashion Cares on Saturday night! Bernadette
Do you think the new ticket price ($1000/person) was a slap in the
face to the many people who have supported Fashion Cares from the
beginning, for many years, but are now unable to afford the new ticket
Also, did this new ticket price bring in more money for the
fundraiser? Or was roughly the same amount raised (higher ticket
price, but fewer people)? Hannah
That is one of the questions I wanted to ask ACT, Hannah. From what I have learned, they are hoping that the television show will bring in more funds. Thanks, everyone, for this chat. I know we all hope that the past glory of this event can be revived. Bernadette