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All photos by <a href='http://www.textstyles.ca'>Stefania Yarhi</a>
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Leilanni Todd, Fashion/Costume Designer.
What does style mean to you? Style is a form of self-expression. It is an extension of you and your personality - everyday we choose what we want to convey to the world, where we fit in socially, the things we like, etc. However, great style means taking risks with things you like and being brave enough to stand out from the status quo. It's when you wear your "look" whatever that may be, and rock it with confidence and ease.
What is your personal style? My personal style is all over the place. It changes daily and is always based on how I'm feeling. I tend to like odd pairings of things and pieces that make a statement. These are usually a mix of vintage and new. Right now I'm loving head-to-toe everything; leopard on leopard, denim on denim (the Canadian tuxedo!), all-over florals, and leather. As for inspiration, there are so many things I'm drawn to - anything from the 70's, disco sequins, costume jewelry, Dynasty, Bond Girls (the older movies), Liberace, the Golden Girls, early 90's Florida retirement to cougars. That didn't really narrow it down.
I feel naked without: My black liquid liner. I always need a good "cat eye". I like to emphasize my Asian roots.
Favourite part of Toronto? The people, the different cultures, the amazing food and my neighbourhood, Dundas and Bellwoods park.
Why do you design? I love fashion. For me, dressing is such an art form, it blows my mind! ahhhh! I find it so amazing how much is revealed about ourselves by what we choose to wear, it can be a great form of self-expression.
What makes you need to design? It's hard to describe why I need to design. There is this void in me that just has to do it. I get an idea in my head and I just have to make it happen (whether its a good one or not, is another story). I can imagine how it is going to look, how it will make you feel, how others will react to it and I have to go for it. When I see someone wearing something I've created, it's such an awesome feeling. I really like making people feel good about themselves and I want to encourage them to stand-out. On a technical level, I love the challenge of learning how a piece is constructed and the satisfaction of being able to use my own two hands to draft, cut and sew a piece from conception to final product. Seeing a finished piece that I know is going to rock feels good. Really good.
Romper: own design
Clogs: Swedish Hasbeens
Necklace: Kenneth Jay Lane