Diary of a Chatelaine intern: The LGFW experience and event tips every aspiring fashionista should know

Being an intern has its perks. Though we do slave away for our editors on a daily basis, sometimes we get to do some really cool things…like go to LG Fashion Week.

I am one happy intern!

My friend Samantha, with L’Oreal hairstylist, Steven Hoeg

Everyone needs a Ken…but I opted for all four.

A look from David Dixon

Models walking down the black runway at ATTITUDE by Jay Manuel

Finale at Comrags

A look from LOVAS by Wesley Badanjak

C’est moi, the intern, ready to go

Being an intern has its perks. Though we do slave away for our editors on a daily basis, sometimes we get to do some really cool things…like go to LG Fashion Week.


I used to volunteer at LGFW, so it was nice to be able to attend and enjoy the shows for a change. Taking a cue from my style hero, The Man Repeller, I put together my best fashion week outfit: leather leggings, obnoxious vest, fuchsia lips, studded ring, and sky high heels.

Armed with a notebook, camera, and my best friend, I headed to the Heritage Court at the Exhibition Place in Toronto, ready to see what Canadian designers had in store for Fall/Winter 2011.

Though the fashion journalist inside of me wants to give you a roundup of the collections (LOVAS – evening wear mixed with cozy knits, Comrags – classic silhouettes for the Park Avenue princess, ATTITUDE by Jay Manuel – fierce femme fatale, David Dixon – tribal prints providing the perfect escape from cold winters), the intern in me wants to share with you the experience. I have the rest of my career to critique the collections, right?

So if ever you’re planning to go to a fashion show, here’s what you should know:

1. Designers are allowed to start their shows late…and they usually will. Sometimes more than an hour late. You, however, should not be late to a show. Serious fashion faux-pas…especially if you trip over the bleachers in your heels (true story).

2. People don’t take notes anymore. Tweeting from your smartphone is the new way to report straight from the runway. But for those of you who enjoy the act of writing (namely, me), each designer provides a program of their collection. Some even leave room for notes. My favourite? Jay Manuel’s hardcover booklet, since I could actually take notes without poking holes through the pages. 

3. Don’t be afraid to accept gift bags, but don’t collect them either. Being a hoarder is so not chic…especially when you have no room to put them when you sit down to watch a show. 

4. Dress to impress. If you want to get photographed (it’s a great feeling, really), wear something that stands out. You don’t have to be outrageous, but try to wear one statement piece, whether it’s sparkly shoes, a fabulous cocktail ring, or a bold lip colour. 

5. The hot-shots sit in the front row. Those well-dressed people who wear their sunglasses indoors and look really unimpressed are very important people. Or at least they want you to think they are. So on that note…

6. Try to sit as close to the front-row as possible. Sitting front-row really gives you that “OMG I finally made it!” feeling.

7. Pack a pair of flats. Your soles will thank you.

8. Clap, don’t cheer…unless you want to receive plenty of dirty looks.

9. Do get your hair and makeup done by L’Oreal’s expert team. Admire how fabulous you look in the mirror. Air kiss the makeup artist and hair stylist. Then get your picture taken again.

10. Don’t bring a guest if you didn’t plan for a plus one. Unless your guest can pull a legit, or at least a convincing, “Do you know who I am?” card, this is a bad idea.

11. Make sure you have enough battery life in your cellphone and camera, or else be prepared to be very, very frustrated.

12. A couple drinks are acceptable, but don’t drink to the point where you’re a hot mess stumbling around the venue (we did witness this).

13. You may run into some famous Canadians. They’re usually nice, so don’t be afraid to say hi.

Other notable moments:

  • One woman was recording each runway show from her laptop. Live-streaming, perhaps? Kind of a good idea, though she did look like she was having a hard time balancing her MacBook on her lap.
  • Jay Manuel’s immaculate black runway—so clean you could see your reflection in it…and also up the models’ dresses… 
  • The Ken doll exhibit. Guests could channel their inner Barbie by posing with one of the four real-life “Kens”: City Date, Red Carpet Date, Beach Date, or Cottage Date. My friend and I both swooned over Cottage Date Ken, mainly because he was the least scary-looking.

Overall, we had a fabulous time, though our feet were suffering by the end of the night. As the French say, il faut souffir pour être belle!

Note to the editors: I was just kidding about the slave labour…I really do love my job!

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