Quick Q&A w/Greta Constantine, and Currently Coveting Prada SS13 Eyewear

Quick Q&A w/Greta Constantine, and Currently Coveting Prada SS13 Eyewear

One of my most favourite parts of attending fashion weeks, is without a shadow of a doubt getting to see the development and big reveal of everything coming together before it hits the runway.  You’d think it would also make me into something of an unstoppable shopaholic, but in actuality, it mostly has the reverse effect.  Capturing the awe in a photo is all I need to generally take away the craving to posses… almost as if I’m stealing a part of it for myself.  Maybe it’s the feeling of the actual industry outside the finalized photos that also play a part in feeling differently about a said designer’s show and their clothing.  The reality of the productions may still be incredibly beautiful, but they are not as sensationalized in person as you may think.

I don’t find there to be much of a dark underbelly or anything, just professionals getting their jobs done.  Instead of the feeling of want that magazines often lend, I feel only deep respect for all the little but crucial details that really build up to make something noteworthy.  Seeing the clothing up close you can do in stores, but on the models, with the hair, the makeup, the anticipation… surprisingly, it’s all rather down to earth.

prada ss13 accessories

So when I go nuts for a certain fashion fix, you know it’s a serious case!  This upcoming season’s Prada glasses have me in a craze, and since my current glasses are disastrously mauled with puppy toothmarks, I’d say it’s time for an update.  One of my dreams as I age, is to really give into owning few things, all with big personalities.  Just as Denis Gagnon has his oversized frames (think I’ll look like the hippy version of him?), Vivienne Westwood has her orange hair, and Karl Lagerfeld everything black and white, I love it when people stick to the things that truly suit them.  There is something very powerful about not swaying with trends and taking pieces of them all to create your own brand of unique.  These glasses may just look hideous on me, but I know that as I sit down to write for extended periods of time, they will be a comfortable fix, possibly even an indicator to indulge in something productive.  Of course I could stop there, but did you see the Prada show?  While I’m not so interested in the clothing and matching fur coats (really?  For spring?), the accessories all nearly ended me.  Japanese slipper-esque platform heels… some even without any sole.  Makes me all rather curious as to what they’ll release into stores (and if those silver toe-dividing socks will be included).

Black white and red frames?  Try and stop me.

prada ss13 japanese shoes

On another note, I recently shot some questions Stephen and Kirk’s way from Greta Constantine.  A quicky if you will…

What is the one thing people normally assume of you that isn’t necessarily true (could be a stereotype of the industry, something tied to your image, etc…)?  What would people be surprised to know about you?

Kirk: (To Stephen) That you speak Cantonese or Mandarin. Or that you’re Jamaican.

Stephen: It’s funny.  I’m Jamaican – third generation, born in Jamaica and most people never seem to guess that.

How important is it for you to transcend commercial mediums to showcase both your vision and talents (eg: partnering with a division of the food industry such as 5 gum, and combining it with a fashion brand such as yourself)?

Stephen:  I think it’s very important to partner with likeminded brands simply because it offers the consumer access and interaction that otherwise would not be possible. For us, Greta Constantine is much more than fashion.  Each season, we’re presenting a lifestyle, an aesthetic.  With 5 Gum, we’re sharing our vision with a wider, and in some respect, different customer than our collection traditionally communicates to.

prada ss13 jessica stam eyeglasses

 Looking back at the evolution of both Greta and Ezra Constantine throughout the years, what has been the biggest realization/adaptation you’ve had to face?  

Stephen:  It’s a lot more hard work than we could ever have guessed. In our industry, it’s not just about striving for success.  It’s about surviving.

Kirk:  It’s a lot of hard work.  People say don’t believe the hype that fashion is glamorous, but it is glamorous!  It has its glamorous moments – don’t get me wrong – but it’s a lot of hard work, a lot of hours, thinking outside the box, often having to be three or four steps ahead of other people.

Stephen:  When we started our business people were telling us that it was going to be five years before you start making money, and ten years before you make it. We thought that was crazy, but now in our sixth year, it’s absolutely true.

Kirk:  It is more challenging in Canada than, say, Europe.  Here it’s all hands on. It’s all in studio.  We have to order paper, equipment and everything.  As well, the luxury market in Canada for domestic design isn’t as ripe as it is in many American, European, and increasingly Middle Eastern and East Asian cities.


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