Monthly Archives: March 2011
By Beryl Bacchus
Canada has become a leader on the festival world stage hosting the likes of the Toronto International Film Festival, the Montreal Jazz Festival, and the Edmonton Fringe Festival. Edmonton is also home to the Edmonton Folk Music Festival (EFMF), an event that is now viewed as one of the foremost music festivals in the world offering an incredibly diverse musical range that many say is not just folk-based, at affordable prices. Held in Edmonton’s downtown Gallagher Park every second weekend in August, past performers include Elvis Costello, Sarah McLachlan, Blue Rodeo and Ryan Adams. In 2010, festival goers were treated to performances by artists such as Jakob Dylan, Ben Harper, Gord Downie, Colleen Brown and Basia Bulat. “When I joined the EFMF the festival was $60,000 in debt and weekend passes were selling for $20,” Producer Terry Wickham tells Phabrik Magazine. “I come from a business and economic background. To change an image or perception of something you have to change the programming.” This is exactly what he did. One of his goals was to increase the awareness of folk music through the depth of the performer line-ups selecting artists within a broad musical mandate--mixing familiar and not so familiar as well as repeat and first time performers together. Festival goers have the chance to experience music from around the world such as this past season’s performance by Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba from Africa. At the same time, the festival maintains at least 40% Canadian content. ”I remember driving back from Calgary after the 1992 North American Folk Alliance Conference. I had this sudden flash of the full potential of our festival and here we are 18 years later,” says Wickham. His goal was realized when his dream came true to have Van Morrison play for the fans in August 2010. When asked who would be next now that this dream has been realized? “There are so many, but I would have to say my next would be Paul Simon. The festival is volunteer driven and works to ensure the proper treatment and respect of the volunteers, audience, performers, sponsors and media. Over 2,000 volunteers work to deliver the majority of services provided to patrons of the festival. Media Liaison, Sylvio Dobri, has been involved with the EFMF for 31 years. “I am encouraged by the growing number of younger volunteers who are becoming involved in the festival community,” says Dobri. The number of youth volunteers continues to grow each year, ensuring there will be a well trained group to keep the festival alive. “Musicians laud and applaud the festival and its army of volunteers. Whether young or old, first-timers or festival veterans, musicians performing here are always eager to talk to the Edmonton writers and broadcasters,” states Dobri. He shares his favourite memory to date of, “Taking Ramblin’ Jack Elliot to a local radio interview and after he was done driving him to the Hudson’s Bay store on Jasper Avenue where he spent an hour trying on colourful Hudson’s Bay coats.”
From the kitchen party culture of the east coast to west coast jazz, Canada’s vibrant music scene boasts a spectacular roster of talent and innumerable ways for fans to enjoy the music. Canadian artists continue to pump out top-drawer recordings notably Calgary-based Grammy Award winning bluesman Donald Ray Johnson, Quebec City’s Carocol, Toronto’s Shakura S’Aida and Vancouver’s Randy Bachman of Bachman Turner Overdrive fame. Recently, Canadian artists made a strong showing at the US Grammy Awards and they may walk away with more awards when we celebrate Canadian talent at the upcoming JUNO Awards in March. Youthful stars such as pop dynamo Justin Beiber, jazz singer Nikki Yanofsky, and classical piano sensation Jan Liesicky have captured the world’s attention, standing shoulder to shoulder with the likes of jazz icon Oliver Jones , and renowned folk/pop artists Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Bryan Adams, Bruce Coburn, Ian Tyson and Gordon Lightfoot. Events such as the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Toronto Beaches Jazz Festival, Winnipeg Folkfest, Calgary International Blues Festival and the Vancouver Island MusicFest speak to the range of dynamic, family-oriented events showcasing local, regional and international music. Live clubs have dedicated years to presenting Canadian music notably the Yardbird Suite in Edmonton that recently celebrated 50 years of bringing marvellous music to patrons, Bud’s on Broadway in Saskatoon and the Bistro a Jojo in Montreal. Distinguished venues such as Massey Hall in Toronto, Vancouver’s Orpheum and the Chrysler Theatre in Windsor are home to some of the finest symphony orchestras and opera companies in the world. Radio stations both commercial and commercial-free continue to profile the vast array of up and coming Canadian talent as well as reminding us of those that created the musical footprint. Television programming gives us Elvis Costello’s Spectacle, along with Bravo, Much Music, and CBC television that all profile musical greats for the planet to enjoy. Canadians and visitors to our fair nation can anticipate an exciting and eclectic music scene in any given community across the country, one simply has to choose from a myriad of selections of genres, styles and artists. We are proud of our music and are more than willing to share. Indeed we do, with our artists being picked up by record companies and setting off on tours around the globe for millions of fans. Cindy McLeod producer of the Calgary International Blues Festival calgarybluesfest.com
BY JOÃO PAULO NUNES
The Construction of the Self through Clothing The exhibition “Aware: Art Fashion Identity”, currently on at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, sets out to depict how artists and designers examine clothing as a mechanism to construct and communicate individual and collective identities. Despite some lukewarm reviews in a number of newspapers, mostly owing to somewhat set expectations of what themes fashion exhibitions should focus on, this is an outstanding and thought-provoking collection of pieces by talented artists and designers that addresses the conceptual roles that fashion can have. The exhibition contains work by 30 emerging as well as established international contemporary practitioners including Hussein Chalayan, Andreas Gursky, Susie MacMurray, Alexander McQueen, Yoko Ono, Grayson Perry, Cindy Sherman, Yinka Shonibare and Yohji Yamamoto. Occupying the main galleries of the Royal Academy’s Burlington Gardens building, “Aware” is divided into four clearly demarcated sections. The circular and fluid layout of the galleries allows the visitor the possibility of revisiting the art works at different paces and developing personal interpretations of the rich layers of meaning that they produce regarding the role of fashion in the construction of identity. The first section, “Storytelling”, acknowledges the role of clothing in the representation of the self, within a formative background of personal history and moulded by shared cultural experiences. Visitors are welcomed to the exhibition by Grayson Perry’s “Artist’s Robe’”(2004), an elaborate patchwork coat of luxurious fabrics and a comment on the role and the status of artists in today’s world. This section also hosts works by artists Lucy Orta and Cindy Sherman and introduces the narrative of the exhibition by questioning the role of the body and the garment as material embodiments of identity and emotions. In this context, Susie MacMurray’s “Widow (2009), an elegant dress structure of black nappa leather covered in sharp dressmaker pins, translates the internal pain of love loss into an aggressive external presentation of the garment as object that inflicts pain to the wearer while repelling human contact. The second section “Building” addresses the concept that clothing can be both a form of protection and a way to carry one’s own shelter, referencing the nomadic, portable nature of modern life. On display is “Shelter Me 1” (2005) by Mella Jaarsma, well-known for work establishing parallels between garments and architecture. Jaarsma’s piece depicts shelter not as a house but as the minimal construction needed for individual protection according to the proportions of the human body. Similarly, Azra Akšamija’s “Nomadic Mosque” (2005) portrays a garment as wearable religious architecture, challenging commonly held notions of the physical public and collective spaces of worship.
By James Kershaw
Calgary Stile Gone are the days of tile being just a natural subdued backdrop! Current tile design, whether it is for floor or wall applications, take a more intense approach in the world of design. Not only has tile itself become available in a great variety of hues, textures and sizes but also very attractive tile layouts and grout colors have helped to create an eye-catching feature. Here are just a few examples that the Calgary Design market is going crazy about this year. When a space seems to have no visual focal point those are a few examples of how designers have created show-stopping impressions. Take a look around you and see how you can express your own personal sTile! Photos provided by and product available at Stone Tile, Calgary location www.stone-tile.com Liz Nandee, designer at Basic Black Designs Inc. www.basicblackdesigns.com Rooms With A (point of) View How we dress the environments we inhabit and the message that sends very often mirrors the way we dress ourselves and the message our wardrobe sends. Many of the hottest trends in fashion often apply to decor and this year it is hits of bright colour, oversized accessories, and an eclectic blend of styles popular from other eras The 50s, 60s and 70s are the “haute’’ decades now. Iconic mid-century modern classics such as the Womb chair and ottoman from Knoll designed by Eero Saarinen have become the LBDs of home decor. Introduce old Hollywood glamour into your space using lighting that incorporates 21st century technology. The Swarovski Architectural lighting available exclusively in Edmonton at Vivid Inc.Concepts Lighting + Design, is a great example of modern meets classic. For a comprehensive source of contemporary home furnishings in Edmonton, visit retailers such as Inspired Home Interiors, Vivid Inc. and the shops that comprise the Lightform Design Centre.
- By James Kershaw - Photography: Ernest at Studio-e.ca The avid beauty connoisseur’s ‘’must haves’’ list this season will include skin perfecting and protecting items such as Clinique’s new Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer SPF15 or Lise Watier’s Teint Parfait Flawless Complexion Foundation and Concealer Duo. The fashion and beauty world is definitely having a colour moment this season, so the next items on the list should include any cosmetic items drenched in colour. Lise Watier’s Duo Glam Rouge Infini is a long wear two part lip system that starts with a water based liquid lip stain followed with a pigment rich lipstick, available in a range of brights, pastels and neutrals, the two products may be used separately or together. This season, items to brighten both eyes and cheeks are available in every hue one can imagine. Check out Clarin’s new Blush Prodige Illuminating Cheek colour available in six skin flattering shades or their limited edition Neo Pastels Eye Colour & Liner Palette which includes a range of soft neutral and bright shadows paired with a rich and intense cream liner. Complete your list with one of the new innovations in mascara. Clinique introduces Bottom Lash Mascara, a long wear formula applied with a specially designed micro-mini brush that will ensure you find every one of those hard to find delicate lower lashes.
BY JOÃO PAULO NUNES
In stark contrast to the tight-fitting, tailored suits and jackets inspired by menswear of the 1970s many designers at the recent fashion shows in Milan and Paris opted for a completely contrasting approach to designing overcoats for Autumn/Winter 2011/12. For the cool months of next year, the designers’ collective decision to choose oversized coats indicates the adoption of a trend that favours deconstructed, boxy shapes. In most designer collections shown, these shapes eliminate the contours and overall physicality of the male body by omitting the waist line and allowing the fabric to drape freely from the shoulders. In addition, a recurrent option has been to adopt narrow and sloping shoulders with little or no padding thus only relying on the pulling of fabric at the sleeves to give shape to the garment while its length often goes below the knees. After the return of a moderate version of the 1980s shoulder pads in the first decade of the 21st century, this trend seems to be a resurgence of the anti-power shoulder that many Japanese designers adopted in the 1990s, and that subsequently permeated the designs of Western designers, too. More interestingly, if one bears in mind that the 1990s rejection of large shoulders and sharp silhouettes was a subtle way to voice social concerns by designers, and consumers that rejected a fashion of excess and capitalistic overindulgence, at a time when movements of social unrest seem to be taking place all over the world. This trend can be interpreted as an interesting coincidence or an apt metaphorical comment on the state of world. Coincidence or not, fashion plays an important role in all that we do, and a new style can bring a fresh perspective and reflection of changing times.
By Angela Jelicic
- Photography: Marco Casiraghi When we travel, it is the sounds, smells, tastes and sights that stay in our hearts and minds. Photographer Marco Casiraghi shares these experiences with us as he captures Vietnam’s rich culture that explodes with refreshing colour. Casiraghi is a published photographer, journalist and writer. His work has appeared in Viajes National Geographic, Marie Claire Travel and Yacht and Sail and other major publications.
BY JOÃO PAULO NUNES
Phabrik is delighted to reveal to you the first photos of Guangzhou’s new Opera House, designed by Zaha Hadid and partner Patrik Schumacher of Zaha Hadid Architects, one of the most outstanding architectural firms in the world (www.zaha-hadid.com). As the building nears completion, the 70,000 m2 complex intends to revitalise the city’s cultural life and establish a close relationship with the Pearl River named so for its pearl coloured shells that lie on the river bed in the section that flows through Guangzhou. The project is made up of two main areas covered in a triangulated skin of concrete, glass, and steel. Internally, the different and numerous levels of the building provide views of the main atrium space. In addition to the 1,800 seat main auditorium, the complex hosts a multifunction hall, and a number of auxiliary facilities and support premises. The Opera House is the first step of the local government to enhance the city and the quality of life of its inhabitants by opening access to the riverside and dock, and it intends to be an iconic architectural gateway to the city, to China and to Asia.
- Make up / concept : James Kershaw - Photography / Digital Art: Ernest at Studio-e.ca The 20th century was an era of dramatic and rapid change in the world of beauty. Phabrik Beauty looks at five decades, referencing four from the history books and hypothesizing what might occur in the decade ahead. The eras chosen were those deemed to have produced the most iconic and easily identifiable beauty trends. The worlds of art and cinema have always had great influence on what was determined to be modern and attractive in each era. The 1920s saw the rise of screen stars as beauty icons. Clara Bow, Gloria Swanson and Greta Garbo were the great beauties of the day and all wore the dramatically thin, arched and penciled brow, the “beauty” mark, and the “cupids bow” lip. Beauty pioneers like Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein appeared on the scene and innovations such as the powder compact, powder rouge, nail lacquer and long wear lipsticks were first introduced during this time. Magazines, movies and that new technology...television...all spread the word of new beauty ideals to the masses during the 1950s. Femme Fatales like Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren wore the full, painted brow, the emphatically elongated liquid liner with false lashes, the bright red lip, and the beauty mark also made a return engagement. Helena Rubinstein developed the first modern mascara wand in 1957. The Swinging 60s was truly THE decade of change with popular culture playing an important role in shaping what was considered modern and attractive. The “British Invasion” not only referred to the music scene but also to the many influential fashion and beauty icons that came from the region. Vidal Sassoon’s cutting edge, revolutionary cuts, and Mary Quant’s development of the miniskirt, hot pants and her own line of cosmetics created worldwide excitement. The most famous model in the world at that time also hailed from the region, Twiggy, the 5’6’’, 90 pound waif took the fashion world by storm. Twiggy’s petite heart shaped face, was dominated by huge eyes made even more expressive with false lashes, inky eye liner and an array of shimmering pastel eye shadows paired with a pale glossy pout. The1970s had its own versions of what was considered beautiful. As a reaction to the natural, make up free hippy vibe of the late 60s that overlapped into the early seventies, the latter part of the decade saw a rather aggressive, strong make up look develop. Disco and punk, although wildly different, both had profound effects on beauty culture. Cheeks were emblazoned with slashes of colour often combined with dark contouring, and intensely pigmented and shimmered shadows, elongated eyes lined with inky black kohl pencil and brilliant, heavily glossed and often obviously lined and defined mouths were the order of the day. The look was further brought into the limelight by the hottest fashion photographers and designers of the day. Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin and Chris Von Wangenheim shot layouts and ad campaigns for the houses of Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior and Charles Jourdan with models wearing the look often accessorized with either sleek pulled back or enormous masses of crimped hair. This season’s Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs ad campaigns are excellent examples of the look mildly updated for 2011. The 80s, 90s and the first decade of the 21st century have been mostly filled with looks referenced from the past. What will the next decade bring? Asymmetry, the absence of eyebrows, unusual colour placement such as aqua blue lips and fuchsia lined eyes? Modern cosmetic technologies along with pop culture and fashion icons like Lady Gaga pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable gives hope that maybe something new and exciting will happen in the world of beauty in the next ten years. Only time will tell.
Western Canadian Designers Making a Mark in New York Michael Kaye Michael Kaye, an Edmonton native, and a regular contributer to Western Canada Fashion Week,has turned his fashion flair into an extraordinary career. A significant player in the New York fashion scene, Kaye was back in Edmonton in 2010 to receive the Alumni Centenary Award for Volunteer Service from the University of Alberta, his alma mater. In turn to show his support to the university and students, he donated a one-of-a-kind tartan gown to the Department of Human Ecology. A graduate, cum laude, of the Fashion Institute in New York, Kaye has a list of awards and recognition that include The Fashion Group International’s “Rising Star Award” and the “Women’s Apparel Award” present in 2004 by hit series television show, Sex and the City Costumer, Patricia Field. “It is through my passion of cut and fabric that I am able to evolve the concept of the modern couture philosophy,” says Kaye. His creativity ranges from lace, beading, ruffles and bias tartans to sleek modern double-faced crepe dress and coat styles. Crowned the “Bonnie Prince of Tartan” by press and peers, for his love and creations with that marvellous material, Kaye’s creations have been showcased Sir Sean Connery’s “Dressed to Kilt” event since 2003. Kaye plans on creating 15 tartan gowns, one for each of the 10 Canadian provinces and three territories, and tour them across Canada. It was through Michael’s insistence that an official tartan was created for Canada’s newest territory, Nunavut. A Canadian who has certainly made his niche in the fashion industry for 21 years, Kaye’s view of couture is “an easy, modern, elegant lifestyle” that has been embraced by distinguished women across the globe. Sid Neigum Sid Neigum hails from Drayton Valley, Alberta. He studied fashion design at Marvel College, taking his first step into notoriety was in 2009 where he won the “Emerging Designer Award” at the inaugural edition of Western Canada Fashion Week. Neigum created a dress entirely out of recycled tires for WCFW’s Phabrikated for the Arts competition. He gained notoriety and press coverage for his unique designs that eventually led to an internship with renowned designer Yigal Azrouel in New York City. Currently making his home in New York, Neigum was recently accepted at the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology. His self-described design philosophy is “masculine, modern and unconventional.” The spirit of Neigum’s designs is bold, dark and innovative. Neigum, launched at Western Canada Fashion Week continues to be supported by the Canadian fashion industry, his participation at Vancouver Fashion Week and LG Fashion Week keeps him at the forfront of emerging design talent. Neigum