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Fashion & Style

Friday nights get lively at the ROM

Posted by Guest Contributor / May 7, 2012

Friday Night Live @ROMDinosaurs have never seen such amazing footwear as what was on display last Friday at the ROM. Although I'm sure the cave ladies did their best with what they had, I just don't think they could hold a torch to some of the attendee's choices, which were highlighted by a pair that had steel spikes all along the heel — the perfect weapon for a night that was all about Fashion (with a capital F, yes).

Friday Night Live @ROMPart of the roughly two-month long Friday Night Live @ROM series, if my experience on this night was any indication, the museum turns out to be a solid nightspot in Toronto. On a first date? There's a lot to look at, a lot to comment on, and the requisite booze to lubricate your flirtation. Don't stay up past 9 p.m. anymore? That's not really a problem either, as these events give you a whiff of a nightclub without having to commit to giving up your Saturday (they wrap at 11 p.m. so you could stay out afterwards). Just make sure you're wearing the right shoes.

Friday Night Live @ROMOn this particular Friday night, the ROM looked like it had gone to New York on a shopping spree. Curtains hung lavishly, mannequins regally lined up like Madeleine with dresses from the 80s to the present (i.e. my wardrobe). There were a lot of "someones" in this beautiful space — i.e. people who project an air of importance but who you can't actually recognize. And then there were others who I hoped to meet.

Friday Night Live @ROMAfter quite the hunt, I was able to find Eco Luxe designer Mariouche Gagné. I was told to look for a woman with a bone necklace, so I went on a search, creepily staring at people's clavicles. Unsuccessful, I took a break to down a Fumé Blanc. As my eyes roamed, my ears opened to such titillating conversation pieces as "Have you seen the waffles?" Yes, there were waffles, and the aroma wafted through the room, along with Jamie Kennedy frites and c5 noodle takeout.

Mariouche GagnéThree ladies that may not have seen the waffles were my ticket to Mariouche. These Amazonian ladies in fur hats and boots looked completely out of place and therefore undeniably chic. I instantly regretted my choice of a lower heel and attempted to make eye contact, but their eyes were too high. Still, they helped me to find the designer of whose work they were decked out in.

Since 1993, Mariouche has been recycling high quality fashion apparel and she has extended the life of fur coats, silk scarves and wedding gowns. She says she often wears wedding gowns and she was initially inspired by polar bears and Inuit legend, having been born in the First Nations village of Loretteville. A lover of snowboarding, she has even incorporated fur into reversible skiwear and won a prize for doing so. She told me her main markets are Japan and Europe, but I see a movement back home starting to brew, especially given the climate these clothes are made for.

Friday Night Live @ROMAs the night waned, the platform for the models became a platform for people to take photos pretending that they were in the matrix. My date and I sat in front of an old Chinese painting and zoned out like it was a football game. It was time to go. Although many people may have been unaware of the rest of the building - the museum - as opposed to the glitter and glam, it was a lovely evening. I'm sure the dinosaurs did not mind that they were upstaged by waffles and fashion. Next week they can see if they can hold their own against photography. Best of luck.

Additional Photos:

Friday Night Live @ROMFriday Night Live @ROMFriday Night Live @ROMFriday Night Live @ROMComing up later this month as part of the series: Photography (May 11), Inside Out Film Festival (May 18) and Toronto live local music (May 25).

Writing by Courtney Sunday / Photos by Kyle Burton



AW / May 7, 2012 at 04:40 pm
I attended this event. My thoughts were mixed but I think the series has a lot of potential and I will give it another try. (I love the ROM!)

I admit, I think we misunderstood the premise. We imagined ourselves wandering the museum, glass of wine in hand.

We arrived just after 9pm, lined up, paid cover and bought a handful of non-refundable 'ROM dollars' for the food and drinks. No one informed us on our way in that access to the museum exhibits is roped off by 9:30 (even though the event runs 8:00-11:00). So we missed out on the best part - the museum itself! The most popular food stalls were long since sold out, and the line-ups for the bars were packed because that's all there really was left to do. Groups of the well groomed and well dressed mingled among themselves. The dresses on display seemed largely ignored by the 'see and be seen' attendees.
Jack / May 7, 2012 at 05:42 pm
The event actually runs 6-11 PM.
Doug / May 7, 2012 at 06:30 pm

I went the first week and very much enjoyed it. A couple of comments:
- agreed, the closing of displays is not disclosed anywhere on the event webpage, Facebook, etc. and should be
- the "ROM Bucks" are good until the end of the series. This along with each week having a different theme are great thinking on the ROM's part to encourage a return visit
- food and drinks aren't permitted outside of the lounge areas on the main and second floors, so the only wandering with glass in hand are amongst the dinosaurs on the second floor.
neilson / May 7, 2012 at 08:38 pm
It's the place to be if you're looking for the finest wankers and overly mascara'd ageing fannies the city has to offer. Set your dancing shoes to "peevishly standing around like a social climber". The tepid house music is only superseded by the truly awful conversation.

let's raise a glass to squandered potential.
Thom / May 7, 2012 at 09:29 pm
neilson: i'm confused. you want it to be heavier music? lighter? more like a regular ROM crowd? less like one? your criticism is that people are too dressed up? not dressed the right way? what would you like it to be?

i've read this and at least one other article--i think it was the grid--who both liked the series. I went the first week and thought it was a great event in a cool atmosphere and drew honestly a much wider crowd than you'd find in pretty much any other room. i had no expectations walking in (i thought it might be awful) and was really pleasantly surprised. seems i'm not alone.
Greg / May 9, 2012 at 12:50 am
This is just another example of how William Thorsell is the worst thing that ever happened to the ROM. THIS IS A MUSEUM, it's meant to be accessible to everyone, not to cater to a conceited would-be elite.

The Libeskind tragedy is a design that completely ignores the primary reason that museums exist: inspiring and feeding the minds of children. Museums of natural history are the public's common treasure and bestow primary source knowledge on the young minds of every generation. Never has museum stood for a venue to throw parties for exclusive patrons.

If you want to run fashion shows at a museum, start a new, privately funded museum or open a Commonwealth sister-museum to the Victoria and Albert.
Kitty / May 10, 2012 at 07:51 pm
Greg, the event IS accessible. You can't go wrong with nine-dollar tickets (eight for students like me.) To critique it as being not family-friendly is also strange since this weekly limited series is the only time that isn't geared at families and encourages a younger audience. Maybe it isn't cool to bring your kids to the booze-soaked gatherings, but it's definitely great for mom and pop. Save the whining. As for people's comments that it's too pretentious a crowd -- save your judgements please. If an older woman (or "fanny" as you condescendingly put it, Neilson) wants to wear mascara, let her. I'll put on a silver corset and alligator boots just for you. Thom had a good point-- it received great reviews and seems fun. Let's not piss on a good thing, Toronto.
bleg replying to a comment from Greg / May 11, 2012 at 07:24 pm
@Greg: No need to shit your pants. Most, if not all, museums in London throw parties. Hell, anyone can rent their spaces for functions. The museums make a few bucks to help them keep their doors open and people get to hang out in them, not only during the day but also at night.

Cool Video on FNLROM / April 1, 2013 at 06:28 pm
Check out this video made by the Last Frame Picture people of Friday Night Live at the ROM. Really captures the feel of the event:
Paloma / November 24, 2013 at 06:11 pm
I went for my friends birthday on FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22!!.. we tried to get advanced tickets so we didnt have to wait in line but they were sold out. if it was up to me i wouldnt have went in at around 830 when we did finally get in and coat checked from lining up at 630!! i am sooo surprised at the huge line up to only be in there for 2 hours or so then it shuts down! this place should be open until 12 at the minimum.. seems like a major money grab to me.

BLONDE SECURITY/BOUNCER TAKING ID's AT THE FRONT ENTRANCE ...MALE BLONDE ..was sooo ruuuuuudeeee. ok i understand security need to be tough i get it but heres what happened:

i was there with about 6 girls for my friends birthday, my boyfriend came along and brought his friend.. his friend had a bottle of alcohol in his coat, which i had no idea he had.. anyways yes he shouldnt have and such.. so my bfs friend is first gets ID's he notices bottle and says to leave to him and my bf beside him.. I just said can he get rid of it and come back without it. he got so pissed and was staring me down asking me 3 times if i had been drinking, and giving me crap, and asking me my info on my id... ok seriously not a nice way to treat me, i am 23 there for my friends bday , first time being there, nice first impression.

that guy wasnt even my boyfriend with the bottle way to treat me like crap. even if i had been drinking which i wasnt.. what is it to you!! lots of people pre drink, im 23 legal age so what! but i didnt argue because i wanted to be there for my friends birthday!!!! wow such a nasty man, like i said ok your security but really my bf shouldnt been refused and i shouldnt have been stared at and questioned like that! i will not be returning.
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