Runway rising star heads home for Fashion Week
After a Spring 2014 season that brought her to New York, London and Paris, Frances Coombe is ready for a victory lap in Toronto. Fresh off a series of 23 shows on the international circuit, including Louis Vuitton and Issey Miyake, the model and Toronto fashion week veteran is back on her home turf for a walk on the Joe Fresh runway this week.
Over email, I ask Coombe, who first got her start at the Toronto shows in fall 2009, to compare fashion weeks at home and abroad. I'm half-expecting to hear tales of insane globe-spanning gauntlets peppered with high-pressure shows.
Instead, Coombe's just thinking about how nice it is to see some familiar faces backstage. "It's a chance for me to catch up with the designers, hair stylists, makeup artists, stylists, editors, bloggers, bookers that supported me from the beginning," she says. "The fact that I get to see everyone makes it exciting - and more of a pleasant experience than the tents at (New York's) Lincoln Center," where every show has a totally different crew.
For all her recent success, the rising model seems pretty grounded, and maybe even a bit of a homebody: Along with snaps of her seemingly constant editorial and runway work, Coombe's Instagram features shots of her first attempts at pumpkin pie (for Canadian Thanksgiving, natch).
When asked about what she's looking forward to most about Fashion Week, she gushes about how excited she is to see family, then shouts out her mom as the reason she's made it in the fashion world: "If it wasn't for her endless support and encouragement, I wouldn't be living and working full-time in New York."
Coombe actually moved apartments in the Big Apple this past weekend (and posted photos of her disgruntled-looking cat to prove it). Since she's heading into another Fashion Week, however, the chaos won't end there.
"The average day of fashion week for me is hectic. I am someone who loves organization and being on time - quite the opposite to how my days unfold when shows start," she says.
"Call times overlap. Last-minute fittings and castings are set randomly throughout the day. hair and makeup and nails are all being done at the same time to make up for late arrivals. Days (are) starting early and ending late. By the time it is all over, we all feel like we haven't slept in weeks.
"But it's all worth it! Gotta love that adrenaline when you finally step down that runway. Patience is key."
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