As I arrive backstage on the last day of Toronto Fashion Week to interview Stephen Wong and Kirk Pickersgill of Greta Constantine, I can’t help but recall the first time I attended one of their shows. I wore all black (as was required), and even did some heavy lifting (packs of Vitamin water, to be exact). Why? I was a volunteer, sewing hems, prepping shoes and even helping the catering team. I tagged along with my classmates back when I was a first-year fashion student to the venue, a luxury car dealership on the city’s east end. No task was too unglamorous, I just wanted to be as close to the clothes, and the frantic energy of backstage as possible. Now, I’m back at it again, this time to interview the designers, who graciously thank me for the help when I inform them of my efforts six years ago.
ON TURNING 10
Kirk: “A lot has happened in 10 years, it’s always in the back of your head that this is where we’d be, but you never realize you’d be here this quickly. We never set out with a clear plan, we’re the type of designers who take things step by step, day by day, year by year. And it’s just great to be able to do this at this time and celebrate 10 years”
Stepehen: “Every single year that we’re at it, there’s still something to learn – even now at 10 years. It keeps it fresh, feels it like we’re still young and new!”
Stephen: “When you take a look at the collection, it’s very different from things we done in the past. We’re known for our dress collections, but we’ve grown into separates. A lot has evolved now.”
Kirk: “Once we went to Paris, we had to take it seriously to be up with the big guys. Showing in Paris taught us to be more brand-aware, and part of that brand awareness is venturing into separates.”
ON SHOWING IN PARIS
Stephen: “For anyone who loves fashion, Paris is going to have a very special place in their heart. To present during fashion week with all of your heroes, all the big brands that you grew up with and admired –it’s just nice to be in their company.”
Stephen: “The feeling is the queen girls versus the mean girls. It’s divided into two types of women; both of these types of women are in our lives. It’s about having individuality, everything has its own meaning and its own say.”
Kirk: “It’s a complete look, everything has been studied, from head to toe. Down to the music to the girls, to the makeup to the hair, everything has been stylized.”
HOME SWEET HOME
Stephen: “It’s our first time doing it under the tents. It’s time to help put Toronto on the map.”
Kirk: “I think Toronto fashion is in a good place, in a developing place – just like our city. It’s developing so quickly and becoming more cosmopolitan. And we can only hope that we can somehow participate.”
See below for highlights from Greta Constantine’s fall 2016 show.
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