UPC Boutique

One Shirt, Eight Different Ways at UPC Boutique

How many ways can you style a shirt?

This was the Show|OFF challenge faced by eight pairings of photographers and stylists, who stared down a single one-of-a-kind hand-shredded shirt by new local design duo Thomas and turned the piece into eight elegant images that are on display at contest sponsor UPC Boutique.

Couple Drew Thomas and Mikey Thomas went from sharing a bed to sharing a label when each found themselves stymied by what they saw as a lack of sartorial selection in Toronto. "Not a lot of stuff looks good," said Mikey.

UPC Boutique

"So we started deconstructing our own clothes to make something not generic," Drew said.

After working separately, the two decided to start their double-namesake label and selling their pieces at Yorkville's UPC.

UPC Boutique

The high-fashion, unique pieces also had enough netutrality to be a stylist's dream, making it a great foundation for stylists and photographers to each create something different with the same article.

And why not throw a party while they're at it? Event planners Lauren Burns-Coady and Kristie Muller put out the call to a gaggle of their fashionable under-30 friends to craft the looks and images.

UPC Boutique Art

Participants included Justin Borbely, Richard Auto, Karen Roze, Claire Edmondson, Hannah Sider, Petra Collins, Norman Wong, Adam Levett, Sarah Kosloff, and Lara Vincent (who took the idea 3-D with a miniature clothesline filled with tiny plastic dresses).

"We wanted a reason to go out, and something that mixes fashion and art," said Muller, who, along with Burns-Coady, also styled one of the shoots.

UPC Boutiqe

The opportunity to give the stylists and photographers free rein was a tantalizing one. "It gives them the platform to express themselves without restrictions," according to Burns-Coady. "When you're working with magazines or clients, you often have to consider the advertisers, but we wanted no rules."

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Photos by Fara Winestock.

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