|GEORGE PIMENTEL PHOTO|
|Yasmin Warsame, model and judge on Canada’s Next Top Model, says her "style depends on my mood. If I feel like a lady, I dress up. If I feel casual, I dress down."|
The Toronto Star's 2007 Best Dressed List honours 10 men and 10 women with style in the GTA. Below, fashion editor Bernadette Morra, stylist Derick Chetty and fashion and beauty writer Erin Kobayashi discuss with readers whether they agree with who is on the list. Add your comments to the discussion by clicking on the comment link.
Of course I can't agree. Every person on this list has a relatively well paying job or is in the limelight. If you can afford Yves or D&G as part of your daily wardrobe, then style is purchased more than it is created. I'd love to see a list of "real" people being recognized for making something out of nothing.
Getting all your shirts tailor-made is not about having style - it's about having enough disposable income. If you're buying them off a clearance rack and making them your own - then you should definitely make the list.
It sometimes feels like being a clothes-horse is being misinterpreted as having style. Having style means you can take a piece of clothing that at least 50% of the population would not even sniff at (and NOT because of the price-tag) and turn it into something that turns heads.
I have seen more than a few goths, punks and every-day folk who have far more style than the people on either of these lists.
P.S. why is it that 9 guys on a list about style share the same look? A button down shirt with either A) jeans or B) slacks...how is that having style? The death of men's fashion has been the standardization of it - somehow all guys now believe a button down shirt, not tucked with jeans is being cool and edgy. We all end up looking the same! Paul Gallo
You make a lot of good points, Paul. I will address the last one myself. We didn't instruct the honourees on what to wear in their photos. So it was more coincidence than anything that several appear in similar looks. When we were doing the judging, we either had several photos of each man in different looks to base our debate on, or we have seen them on a number of occasions in different ensembles. And I am not sure that men's fashion is more standardized now than, say, 100 years ago. Bernadette
I don't think that everyone on the list has a high paying job. So I certainly don't think that had an impact on who was chosen. You only have to look at Hollywood to see that money does not necessarily equate style. Also men who get their shirts custom made often do so for the benefit of a flawless fit. And there is more creativity involved with such a purchase. Selecting fabric, collar, cuff, buttons are all things that the wearer has to decide on. I think that is actually a more involved and difficult process than buying off the rack. Derick
Bruno Billio, who is on the cover, is an artist-in-residence at the Gladstone Hotel in Parkdale. I would not assume that he blows his entire income on clothing. In fact, Billio still wears clothing he purchased in the 1990s and hardly ever shops. When he does make a purchase, he never buys big-name designers. Erin
And as Flare fashion director Elizabeth Cabral said, she can't afford everything she wants and so she has to make choices. All of the people on the list have made fashion a priority in their lives. Some spend on fashion rather than cars, real estate, furniture... How many fashionistas do we know who walk in Prada shoes but sit on Ikea furniture? Also, most of the people on the list mix high and low labels. I wonder if Paul isn't referring to aesthetics. He mentions that he knows lots of goths and punks with style. These are very different sensibilities than the polished "fashion" look that we are rewarding on our list. Bernadette
First of all, when deciding the best dressed list, I think you should have different categories for income levels What I am trying to say is try getting a few people on the list who are inventive on a low budget. The list only contains people who are, at the very least, financially comfortable. While I do understand having money doesn't guarantee fashion sense-I've seen more than my share of wealthy people who look as if they don't own a full length mirror, I believe you should open up this list to include those who are 'financially strapped'.
In doing this you would get a better picture of who/what Torontonians who enjoy fashion/style really look like.
THINK ABOUT IT-REALLY! Renee
We will, Renee. In fact when The Star launched its Best Dressed List in 2000, we asked readers for their nominations. Our intent was to unearth the well-dressed average guy-next-door. But we found that readers either nominated very well known Canadians (newscasters, etc) or that the nominations were suspiciously promotional, like they were from public relations people nominating their clients. We did include reader involvement for several years, but we found it was too difficult to judge. Bernadette
Thanks Bernadette for commenting on my email & you have a point about men's style over the past 100 years. I just wish there was some sense of evolution in the mainstream. I'm not looking to wear pirate shirts and puffy pants, but at least something that also doesn't involve being tart'ed up in something by costume designer, oops, I mean clothes designer Galliano.
As for the lists, might I suggest you create a new set of lists for next year that are about every day people, and do field studies of people who hang around Kensington, or Queen East or Queen West (west of Spadina) in search of candidates. Paul
I live on Queen West and I know that many of the people on the list either live or frequent the area. Nicole Sibonney has a store a few doors down from where I live and Americo hardly caters to the Yorkville crowd, all of the store's original designs are affordable to those who live on Queen West. Alon Freeman lives by the Drake and Bruno lives in the Gladstone Hotel. I think the list does reflect a diverse group of people from all areas of the city. Erin
What I am hearing is that some readers think our list is too narrowly focused. Although I have also had some very positive feedback. Several people remarked that they are inspired by people on our list. And one thing I meant to point out in today's column, but didn't have room to do, is that I was surprised by how many of the men we chose go to tailors. Tailoring seemed to be a dying craft. Could there be a renaissance afoot? Thanks very much for all your comments,today. Bernadette