: Off The Runway

Head over heels for Jerome Rousseau!

If you've ever read the FF blog, you'll know that we're ardent supporters of skyscraper heels - comfort be damned! So of course we couldn't pass up an opportunity to spend the afternoon at Holt Renfrew with up and coming shoe designer Jerome Chouinard-Rousseau. He met us at the door, in a fitted Hugo Boss shirt, vintage bow tie and elephant grey Buddhahood boots. Before we got into it, we were met by his friends Leslie Feist and Simone Rubi (from Rubies, a Cali band by way of Sweden) who joined us for the afternoon. From his design inspiration, to his friends, it is clear music is very important to him.

Jerome's love of shoes began at twelve while watching Deee-Lite's music video for Groove is in the Heart - the perfect combination of "60's psychedelia with 70's disco".

He left Montreal at 18 to study at London's Cordwainers College, which also boasts Jimmy Choo and Patrick Cox as graduates. Once finished school he worked in London for Matthew Williamson, John Richmond and John Rocha. He then moved to LA in 2004 to head up the shoe division for Isabella Fiore, until 2007 when he launched his own collection of shoes.

Now that we're all caught up - let's get to it - what to expect from Jerome for SS09. Inspired by Ettore Sottsass the architect and designer behind the collective, Memphis Group; and hardcover book, Dreamscapes by London artist Verena Paloma Jabs, Jerome's outlook on spring is all about angles, lines and whimsy.

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Saga is available at Holt Renfrew for $ 795CDN

This is also the shoe he picks up, when asked about his favourite.

He shows us the colour palette inspired by Jabs, consisting of mint green, lilac, lipstick pink, bright coral, and a chartreuse green - subtle, but sexy.

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Dragon is available at Holt Renfrew for $625CDN

The shoes he creates are inspired by women, and named after goddesses for SS '09; and so, fittingly, they are beautifully constructed and mindful of the wearer's comfort (with padded soles, straps and linings). All of his shoes are made in Tuscany, in the same factory as many of the blue chip labels he will be standing next to on the shelves of Holt Renfrew, Barney's and Harvey Nichols.

Looking ahead to FW '09 - Jerome has mad love for Elli Medeiros of 80's French electro-pop group Elli et Jacno. The Victorian boho look of London's late 70's in Kate Bush is also a major influence - he is fascinated with the way she moves. As for colours - his signature element, it looks like purples and jewel tones will be featured.

Inspired and surrounded by strong women in music - I am compelled to ask, who is the Jerome Rousseau girl? "She has twelve lovers and another fifteen crushes ... they don't know about each other and she loves to wear her most beautiful shoes dancing alone at home to her favourite song - she's quite musical." He wants a love affair with his customer - "she will choose one of these shoes because she falls in love with it, like a crush - head over heels - the emotional connection between people and shoes is the most fascinating..."

Since he's "into shoes through music" I ended the afternoon looking for some personal inspiration, by asking what tracks are currently topping his playlist, he answered:

1. Elli et Jacno: "I am madly in love with them... #1 on my playlist"
2. A Camp: Nina Persson of The Cardigans, side project
3. Patrick Wolf: a British singer-songwriter
4. Simon Bookish: a British electro-pop composer
5. Rubies (Simone Rubi's band)
6. And of course, Ms. Feist

Posted by JACQUIE

Sao Paolo Fashion Week

A week of fashion "Brasileirismos" in Sao Paolo is, as you can imagine, a joyous affair.

Sao Polo fashion week, just over this past weekend, had for theme a celebration of the well known Brazilian character, brimming with light fun, seductive rhythms, and exuberance.

The city itself is one of the giant global urban centers: a 20 million inhabitant megalopolis with towering skyscrapers casting their shadows on cozy tropical neighborhoods still echoing a Portuguese colonial past.

The vibrant energy of the city gives birth to an exciting creative culture in music, design, and architecture, and all this of course is reflected in fashion.

The 26th edition of Sao Paolo Fashion Week also celebrated the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of Brazil's first ladies of samba burlesque, the 1940's musical star, Carmen Miranda.

So in spite of the sombre world economy, Sao Paolo's fashion offerings for Winter 09 were definitely on the side of Brazilian joie de vivre: offering a wide variety of fashion points of view.

Here are some of the highlights:

My personal favourite:

OSKLEN

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A surgeon's precision with fascinating textile research; Osklen is a brand that appeals to Japanese clients as well.

Brazilian elegance:

HUIS CLOS

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MARIA GARCIA

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REINALDO LAURENCO

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Brazilian Glamour:

ANDRE LIMA

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Hard work Brazilian style:

ELLUS with special guest star model, Agyness Deyn

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Pret a Porter savvy:

UMA

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Glam chic:

NEON

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All photos courtesy of AGENCIA FOTOSITE

Posted by MADELEINE

Angie Flips The Script

Surprise surprise, the girl you love to hate looked great again at the SAG awards on Sunday night. But wait, she put her Max Azria dress on backwards?!? Oh Jolie Angelina, you so krayzee...

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Photos courtesy www.contactmusic.com

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Photo courtesy US Weekly

Posted by LUKE

Supermodel Pizza

There's a pizza joint in my 'hood called Supermodel Pizza. Their take-out menu is too much!:

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Crazy photo. Even crazier tagline. Do they have crazy delicious pizza? No. Still, points for originality...

Posted by LUKE

Survival of the Glamorous

"Looking glamorous is a feminine survival instinct." - Alber Elbaz

Does he have a point? I think so. With all the gloom and doom forecasts we have been inundated with regarding our economic future, we may feel dull, lifeless and drab, but do we really want to see it?

During the Great Depression when people stood in bread lines and men walked unemployment marches, Hollywood's Golden Age erupted! Hollywood, particularly MGM, tapped into the audience's need for glamour and sophistication. Creating sweeping epics like "Gone with the Wind," "The Wizard of Oz," and screen legends Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo and Jean Harlow, MGM was the only Hollywood studio that never lost money and continued to pay dividends during the Great Depression. What does this mean? Maybe people don't want to be constantly reminded of the state they are in. Maybe people don't want a toned-down Golden Globes -- but to be carried away by beauty even for just a moment. Maybe the key to surviving these uncertain times, not to mention the survival of many fashion houses, is glamour!

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Photo courtesy www.doctormacro1.info

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Photo courtesy www.divasthesite.com

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Photo courtesy www.seraphicpress.com

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Photo courtest www.artdecoblog.blogspot.com

Posted by NANCY