Listen up, newbie designers. We know it's hard for you to get your creative heads in order, but this might just do the trick. GenArt is accepting applications for its annual Styles competition. Contestants create two men's, women's or accessories looks and submit them to the judging panel (past judges have included Betsey Johnson and Patricia Field) by March 17. Five winners receive $5,000 and the chance to walk their designs down an NYC catwalk lined with major-league fashion players. Applications are available at www.genart.org .
Stitching at the studio
If you're fed up with the bloody ankles you get from staple-hemming your jeans, make a belated New Year's resolution to get schooled in stitching. January sessions of beginner classes at sewing arts centre Studio Opal (1184 Queen East, 416-264-6725, www.studioopal.ca) start tonight (Thursday, January 12) or January 28. Six three-hour sessions cost $249 and include all the supplies you need to jump-start your couturier career.
Learning how to create the perfect smoky eye in the middle of a packed department store just not your scene? Bring the beauty counter home with a Makeup 101 makeup lesson. Makeup artist Marrianne Ferroni started the service to help her clients recreate professional looks on their own. A two-hour personal tutor session costs $80, or gather a group and hire Makeup 101 for your stagette or birthday bash. Log on to www.makeup101.net for a list of services and contact info.
Toronto's emerging fashion scene is full of talented rising stars, but the current object of our homegrown fashion obsession is local womenswear designer Katya Revenko 's Desperately Different line. Her military-style wool coats and tweed balloon skirts are current but classic enough to earn prime wardrobe real estate for years to come. The fall/winter collection just made a late-season appearance at Boutique Le Trou (940 Queen West, 416-516-7122) and is full of sveltly tailored separates priced from $300 to $400.