Colleen Carlisle: I Spy Style


Toronto's LG Fashion Week

Celebrating Your Fabulous You-Ness

I’m a suburban mom - living in a little town about an hour from Downtown Toronto - who loves clothes and shopping and trends and pop culture. I love how the way we dress says so much about ourselves without ever having to utter a word. I love that a simple piece of fabric or a pretty necklace or a new hairstyle can make such a big impact on how we feel inside.

Last night, I got a babysitter and headed into the big city to attend a special presentation at LG Fashion Week. It wasn’t a *real* fashion show but more of a gimmicky reveal of Special K’s Start Something Fabulous contest winners in custom Cynthia Rowley outfits with full makeovers and everything. I was really excited to attend but I was pretty sure it was going to be a bunch of ugly ladies, strutting their stuff for free breakfast cereal.

It was a little rainy and traffic wasn’t the best. I decided to err on the side of caution and follow my car’s GPS to get me there on time. Turns out, my Japanese import isn’t fabulous with quick routes. I paid $15 for parking and, because I was already late, I tore off in my slouchy Coach boots with the tassels flailing.

Somehow, I ended up behind the tents where I stepped in mud, tried to get in the model entrance, tripped on some fat cables but finally I found the front door. The main tent was split into a myriad of guest lists - are you media? or a designer guest? or with a sponsor? None of the lists were in alphabetical order and the twenty-somethings running the show were less than efficient. Gah, youth! No one had any idea what I was talking about. It was then I blurted out “Look at me! I’m wearing a barn coat and I obviously don’t belong here. I’m a mommy-blogger, for God’s sake”. The adorable guy in an ironic bow-tie sheepishly admitted he read mommy-blogs himself and kindly directed me to the appropriate list.

And that’s when I found out I missed the whole thing. It was over! I pulled my barn coat around me and headed back into the street where I sat down on a cement wall and had a moment. I had never felt so old or out of place in my whole life. The skirts were SO short and the heels were SO high and no one in that tent was over 30.

But then I remembered what my four-year-old daughter said to me as I left the house that night, “I love your hairstyle, Mommy”. I thought of the brand new Snugabye suit that had arrived on my doorstep that day and laughed at the thought of my husband seeing me in the full-piece lady jammies knowing he’d be more excited to get me out of those things than any fancy lingerie.

This morning, I see the winners: Mika, Veronic and Melanie. They are beautiful, fresh-faced and wonderful! While they look stunning in their frocks, they are living healthy, balanced lifestyles and are true to their own style. I look forward to seeing their lovely faces on the cereal boxes!

Fashion Week is still a dream to me. It would have been fun to attend but, really, it’s just a whole lot of clothes. Style is something else. It’s loving your life and your family and what you’ve created for yourself. It’s about overcoming challenges. It’s being completely comfortable and celebrating your fabulous you-ness. Last night, I learned a lot about that.