I am not the police

By Nancy Baker
Toronto designer and artist Annie Thompson combined two of her passions at her show at the Rouge Gallery on Queen Street East last week, with two of her large abstract paintings on the walls and her latest clothing designs on both models and clients. The show title – I AM NOT THE POLICE – came from her belief that she doesn’t dictate how her clothes are worn, the wearer does.  This is was definitely in evidence at the show, with long-time clients arriving in some of the same pieces but styling them in completely different ways.
Chatting to some of the other attendees, it’s clear that Annie’s fans are a passionate and creative lot who respond to the individuality and artistry in her work.  While she’s always playing with fabric, texture and detail, there’s a core aesthetic embedded so deeply in the DNA of her clothes that a skirt purchased from the current collection will work wonderfully with a jacket from five years ago and a top from ten years ago. Since closing her store on Queen West and moving to a studio in the Junction, Annie has travelled to India several times to teach and study and the show featured pieces made from fabric she dyed and printed in local studios. The new designs looked exquisite on the sylph-like models and on several of her friends and clients – one of whom loved the dress she modeled so much she wore it to a TIFF premiere right after the show.