Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Press!

Links and quotes from the Press!

From Briony at blogto

“…another winner was present in the form of House of Groves, which was, I think, actually the superior collection. Jennifer Waters' collection was definitely a crowd favourite, and also showed an eye for timeless cuts, excellent fit, and classy carnality that was pretty impressive. She could've just as easily won.

Damn, House of Groves--you should have won after all. I think I love you.”

Briony - I think I love you!

From realstylenetwork

"I loved Jennifer Waters’ House Of Groves fashion collection. ...The “lady of the manor” feel to those pieces was further accentuated by top hats as accessories and riding crops."

From Backseat Stylers

"House of Groves designer Jennifer Waters had the biggest crowd-pleasers of the night, eliciting spontaneous applause with several of the looks from her collection. The styling was impeccable. This collection felt most relevant to the personal styles of J and myself than any other that night."

From Final Fashion

"House of Groves was leather, studs and riding crops...the crowd really applauded when the full-skirted silhouette came out.... just feels like a breath of fresh air"

Pictures behind the scenes

Here are some pictures behind the scenes at the Carlu. The models were ready and waiting to walk the runway.

These were taken with a camera phone and are pretty blurry!

Shelby and Katrina looking so beautiful.

Ishie was taking a ton of pics. It's like on que - as soon as a camera appeared, any camera, the models were posing and playing up the looks. After a few shots everyone gathered around to view.

Jaz and Victoria. These two have such big personalities - so easy to work with.

Sofiya and Jaz playing to the camera.

The Gang

Waiting to go! I wish this picture had turned out better.

Favourites from my fellow designers

When we were in the rounds of competition we had the chance to see the other designer's work. There were pieces that all of us collectively ooohed at. Here are some of my favourites.

Pictures are from the Canada Digital Site. I'm not sure why they are small.
I've included the link to the site below.

Birds of North America - Designer Hayley Gibson
This dress was magnificent. The construction and form were impeccable. I wish I had a good picture of the back as well.

Paris Li
So sophisticated. I really loved this dress - the fur detail on the sleeves was perfect.

Anastasia Lomonova
I saw Daisy back stage in this and was blown away.

Diepo - Designers Justine Diener and Kristen Poon
The simplicity of this piece was lovely and makes me wish I was 20 again!

Canada Digital web site:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Behind the scenes

Sunday I was banned from any sort of communication by my family. Today and Monday I was heads down in my day job, hence the late post on behind the scenes.

To give you a little background - I have been writing stories and thinking about clothes and design ever since I can remember. Any book I read, I gave the character a wardrobe.

I have also been in the IT industry for 10 years. I've done work that I am proud of and won a few awards, but even speaking to a few hundred people at a product launch and coming off that buzz was NOTHING compared to Saturday night.

The sheer and total joy that I had from being part of a creative group of people that sincerely took pride in what they do was so much fun. Watching the hair and makeup looks being created, the dressers admiring the clothes, the models practicing their strut, the stylists and designers (me, too!) rushing about was bliss.

I arrived an hour early by mistake - which was actually fantastic. I had spent the day frantically trying to make the last few final masks and do a hundred and one other things while alternately refereeing or fending off my two year old son and five year old daughter. My husband engaged me in a lengthy conversation on whether or not to take his scooter or the car to run an errand for me (the damn scooter). My mother came early and was seriously concerned that my children may not have vegetables for their dinner that night (I REALLY didn't care). So you can see why an hour alone, even back stage was a very nice break.

Hayley from Birds of North America arrived and the two of us had a lovely stroll around the Elle show and checked out the Barbie collection on display. Paris, Kristen and Justine from Diepo and Anastasia slowly trickled in and we spent some time chatting, and snacking before we prepped our collections. It was good to spend some time together pre-madness. We had to practice our walks down the runway and even that was fun in a hanging with your girlfriends kind of way.

When Anastasia and I had our models dressed and lined, it was like watching a fashionista version of a West Side Story. The Jets and the Sharks ready to do the rumble. Our collections were so different but in a complimentary way.

People asked me whether I cared if I won. Before Saturday night, I did and I didn't.

That changed when I saw my models en masse in the collection, with perfect hair (Daniel Fiorio really is a perfectionist and sweet, sweet, sweet), gorgeous belts from Noelle, the lace masks, the top hats just so and the crinoline peeping out, I almost cried. It was one of the most wonderful things I have ever experienced. After seeing this in my head for such a long, long time it was almost a relief that what I had pictured came out better than I had hoped. Hearing the crowd applause spontaneously at a few looks was the icing on the cake.

I've felt all along with this thing, that we were not in competition with each other, but in competition with ourselves. There was no way that I ever could have created what any one of the other designers did because it was not my vision.

Did I care that I won in the end? Standing backstage with the models dressed and styled, I felt like I already did. Would I have liked the prize? Absolutely :>

Backstage pictures coming soon! Plus - my favourite pieces from my fellow designers.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Saturday night!

Pictures first!! The lowdown on backstage and the aftermath will come later today.

But quickly...

Congratulations to Anastasia! But also, congratulations to all the designers. This was a long, intense haul. Seeing the collections come together was so amazing. This is a talented group of women who took a leap.

To my dynamic duo - the stylists - Dwayne and his amazing partner and boyfriend Brian, thank you for your hard work and support. Love you guys.

To Julie and Jeffrey from theideashop - you are lovely and amazing and I can't thank you enough for your help and kind words.

To the judges, Jason Morikawa, Derek Chetty, Noreen Flanagan, Rita Silvan, David Dixon, Adriana Gut and Peter Papapetrou - thank you for your generous feedback and time.

To TFI, Susan Langdon, Nina and Kathleen - thank you for your support!

And of course, to my family and friends who came out to support me. It means so, so much. The pictures are courtesy of my talented husband, Chris Snyder, who put up with multiple outbursts and ran multiple errands!

House of Groves - The Collection

Ruffle dress in leather
Worn by Ishie

As we were waiting backstage, Daniel Fiorio asked if he could buy a few of the dresses post show (including this one). It made my night. He is the SWEETEST man and a total perfectionist. Even with the all the madness of rotating models between shows, he still insisted on being true to our looks. The hair was exactly what we had discussed at the consultation. Thank you, Daniel!

Leather bodice flared dress
Worn by Kamila

Wool circle jacket, Vinyl pants

Worn by Daisy
She stopped by for a fitting before the show and came with her two children (!!) - who are gorgeous, of course.

Guipere lace ruffle blouse, Peg skirt with ruffle
Worn by Sofia

Wool and vinyl bolero, Vinyl flared skirt
Worn by Jaz

Jaz has a HUGE personality. She walked to the centre of steps with the whip by her side, then flicked it up with such command. We all squealed back stage! It was a thing of beauty.

Leather cropped jacket, Bamboo pleated blouse, Wool pipe pant
Worn by Victoria

Victoria OWNED that hat.

Leather and vinyl tail coat, Bamboo bow blouse, Wool tail skirt
Worn by Shelby

The crowd loved this. I could hear the applause and cheers back stage. So much fun!! When Shelby came to the fitting, I knew this look was for her - look at that hair!

Wool twill ruffle catsuit
Worn by Katrina

This is one of my favourite pieces and like Shelby, it was an instant fit for Katrina. Saw Anita Clarke from later that night at Charlie's Gallery she likes it, too!

Wool tail coat with leather
Worn by Josefine

This coat was a favourite with everyone! So exciting. The dressers were passing it around back stage and I could hear the audience applause.
So glad I put it last for the core collection!!

Barbie dresses

Wool and leather sheath dress
Worn by Ishie

Ishie has the face of a doll. Gorgeous.

Guipere lace and leather dress
Worn by Gabrielle

Can you believe this was Gabrielle's first time on the runway!
Multiple inquiries about this dress - it was a crowd pleaser!

Criss-cross wool and silk dress
Worn by Juliet

So elegant - Juliet rocked it

Me!! Ridiculously nervous! How do they do it?

Friday, April 23, 2010

The final countdown...

What was that song? That is the soundtrack to my day and the next 24 hours. Madness ensues. Have been running since I woke up. Will be running for a long time to come. Making lace masks for the models now.

Picture of the Carlu above. The event location.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hats and Belts

Accessories have the power to transform an outfit. Here are the people behind the accessories that are going down the runway on Saturday night.

Thank you to Noelle, the designer behind the Leather Atelier, for creating beautiful custom made belts for the runway. I don't have an image, but they are amazing! Thin strips, studded....

Contact Noelle at

Thank you to David Dunkley of Kc's hats at Studio 998 for the loan of the magnificent vintage Holt Renfrew hat. It looks like the one on the right in the photo above, minus the lace.

Contact David at Studio 998, 416-538-0998

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Gorgeous Sofiya

Wearing the ruffle lace blouse and peg skirt for the runway.

Katerina in the Ruffle catsuit

I've re-fabricated this in a black wool twill. It looks AMAZING!! Can't wait to see Katerina walk down the runway in it.

As you can see, I'm not a great photographer. The neck line is ruffled as is the back!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Casting - a visual

Deciding on models....

L to R:
Paris Li, Hayley from Birds of North America, Justine from Diepo, Jann Coppen from theideashop (event producer)

Jeffrey bringing in the next model

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Stylist

Meet Dwayne Kennedy. Stylist for the runway show.
I am so excited to be working with him. He is edgy and has vision.
(It doesn't hurt that he has a great sense of humour and is super cute.)

He was so organized at the model fitting. Organization is not a strength for me. The state of my desk is a general reflection of my state in general - I like to think that it is organized chaos. Dwayne took the chaos out of the equation altogether.

Will post pictures of the fitting tonight. The girls look amazing!

Picture from the Plutino Group.

Branding and Illusion

I've been thinking a lot about branding lately. We all do it, whether we are conscious of it or not, everyone presents a brand. We mythologize ourselves based on a lot of different things; our looks, our smarts, our family, our travels, our job. And, we all have a public persona. Which is why dating can be so darn trying. Fun, but trying, because you can't sway from that brand you've created for a very long time (i.e. girls don't go to the bathroom).

With most companies, marketing creates the brand and the brand is comprised of a very tightly held public side, from the size of font used, to the colour of the logo, to the company "values" (their term, not mine). With many fashion houses on the other hand, the brand is the designer. With the rise of the fashion blogger, more and more is this true. Look at the success of Jane from Sea of Shoes, who launched herself, Jane the brand, as a blog and has now designed for Gryphon and Urban Outfitters. Given that this is the case, it makes sense that designers must in turn, blog to brand.

So, what is the point of this post? The point is this. The blog is the brand. Will I tell you all? No. Will I let you in on just enough? Absolutely.

The links:

Jane Aldridge, Sea of Shoes

For more on branding online:

Sonia and Tim, Ninth and Crux

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Runway - Deciding on order

Deciding on the first look to go down the runway...

Love the gray dress, but is it too subtle?

Maybe the jacket?

Theme is punk fox hunt.

For more info on the runway show and the competition, check out the links below:

TFI New Labels:

Elle Canada:

To purhase tickets to the runway show, choose either of the options labelled "TFI"

Model Casting

Katerina from Next. She walked in and we were all blown away. She is so new that she didn't have a comp card, yet.

Tuesday evening, Susan Langdon from TFI, myself and the other designers from the New Labels competition (Birds of North America, Diepo, Paris Li - Anastasia Lomonova couldn't make it) met Jann Coppen at her office for a marathon model casting. Jann and her company, theideashop, is producing the Elle/TFI runway show.

The process is a little dirty. Kind of like talking about someone you know you shouldn't be talking about. We were analyzing these girls for minutaie - the way their arms moved, the curve of their back, neck length etc. And, although not one of them was given feedback, positive or negative, during the casting, I can't imagine the self-analysis they must go through if they don't get cast. Some of these girls were as young as 14/15. I certainly wasn't sure enough of myself at that age to take it in stride.

Back to the actual casting. After we had seen all the models, we then had to go through our lists and choose. Some were obvious, rather like seeing someone born to act. They came in, they lit up, they walked with a certain something.
Other's were obvious in the no department, as well. One agency was clearly taking people's money and giving them promises. You know the kind. The girl pays hundreds of dollars for a photoshoot, makeup and runway lessons. They are pretty girls that unfortunately, don't conform to industry norms. The sad thing is, they know it, too. It is obvious in the casting room who comes from a reputable agency and who comes from a not so reputable one.

Links to the other designers and theideashop

Birds of North America - Hayley Gibson

Diepo - Kristin and Justine

Paris Li

Anastasia Lomonova

theideashop - Jann Coppen

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Young Artists for Haiti

My aunt's brother produced a song/video, Wavin' Flag, to support relief efforts in Haiti.

Take a look.

Makeup and Hell

So... Greg Wencel proposed a mannequin-esque look for the runway.
He just sent this image. So beautiful! Luminous, simple..
I think it is perfect.

I can't believe April 24th (Elle Canada/TFI New Labels runway show) is almost around the corner. Butterflies and a constant knot in my stomach = not enough time and too much to do. Meeting with my stylist tomorrow, Dwayne from Plutino Group. I'm really looking forward to collaborating with him and just unloading a few of the hundred things I need to accomplish to pull off a great show. Not to mention that it is now the last quarter of the fiscal at work/IT job. Must meet my numbers! I am literally working around the clock right now, often getting up in the middle of the night to work while my family sleeps.

I wish my state of mind was still here:

Panama in January. Sadly, I have cotty. Don't know the man in the water...

Model casting the other night. Very long, very odd process. More to come on this...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Rachel M

photo from

One of a Kind show:

Over the last few days I have been at the One of Kind Show in Toronto for my eco-friendly women and girls line, go go mama. It is an amazing but exhausting show. The hours are crazy long for a trade show (10 am - 9 pm) because it is consumer based. It is day in and day out of hard concrete floors, zero daylight and frenzy.

The show is full of artisans that spend hours alone, often working in a bubble, designing and creating. When you get to the show, you are so invested in your work that the constant stream of feedback from the public and media take you on an intense emotional roller coaster. You can always tell who has had a good day - they are slightly smug.

This particular show was not great. It fell over Easter, Passover and the weather was AMAZING, 25 degrees Celsius, sunny and beautiful. No one came - literally - we took pictures of our aisle completely empty and this is generally an event that people plan for, line up for and come in from out of town for.

Cut to Thursday late afternoon and we are all glumly staring at each other, hating our work, hating the weather, cursing the holidays and most of all wondering what the hell we did by deciding to become "artists" instead of listening to our parents and getting real jobs.

I look over and three people are at my booth. I said "hi" and then I think my eyes popped out of my head. Rachel McAdams was standing there holding up the ruched leggings!!! The girl with her was watching me with a half smile.

All of us had bug eyes while she was there, exchanging, "holy sh--, it's Rachel McAdams" looks. I chatted with her for a bit and after she left my booth to wander up the aisle, you could visibly see the ripple effect she had. We were all so Canadian about it though - everybody left her alone.
She was every inch as beautiful as she is on screen, but she was neither looking for nor expecting to be recognized.

Picture posted is with Anna Wintour - this is a somewhat fashion blog, afterall.

My links:

go go mama:

House of Groves:

My fellow artisans:

All Things Jenuine - Handcrafted cards

House of Hsueh - Eco-friendly accessories

Charlene Serdan - Photography