- Image 1 Tori: Bodysuit: Dividen
- Image 2 Tori: Bodysuit: Dividen, Greisha: Shirt: Guess, Jeans: William Rast, Shoes: Spring, Shaq: Shirt: Guess, Jeans: William Rast, Shoes: Journey
- Image 3 Tori: Bodysuit: Dividen, Shoes: Ardene, Jewelry: Stylist’s own, Greisha: Shirt: Guess, Jeans: William Rast, Shoes: Spring, Shaq: Shirt: Guess, Jeans: William Rast, Shoes: Journey
- Image 4 Tori: Bodysuit: Dividen, Shaq: Shirt: Guess, Jeans: William Rast
- Image 5 Tori: Blazer: Zara Woman, Top: Topshop, Pants: Topshop
- Image 6 Tori: Blazer: Zara Woman, Top: Topshop, Pants: Topshop, Shoes: Jefferey, Greisha: Pants: Topman, Shaq: Pants: Topman
- Image 7 Tori: Dress: Topshop, Shoes: Aldo, Shaq: Hat: Ian Alexander Co., Shirt: Lady Cox, Pants: Topman
- Image 8 Tori: Dress: Free The People, Shoes: Ralph Lauren
- Image 9 Tori: Hat: Ian Alexander Co, Necklace: Forever 21, Bracelets: Stella and Dot, Top: Topshop, Jeans: Rag and Bone, Shoes: Ardene, Greisha: Shirt: Topman, Pants: William Rast, Necklace: Ian Alexander Co, Shoes: Converse, Shaq: Shirt: Topman, Pants: William Rast, Shoes: Journey, Necklace: Marc by Marc Jacobs
- Image 10 Tori: Hat: Ian Alexander Co, Necklace: Forever 21, Bracelets: Stella and Dot, Top: Topshop, Jeans: Rag and Bone
“Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.” – Rumi
I believe in the expression of emotion through art. And I believe, strongly, that the free movement of the body, unrestricted and without judgment, offers the deepest level of artistic release. My team and I wanted to share the passion we have for Dance; for the body’s ability to communicate beyond the boundaries of spoken word.
The inspiration behind our creativity came from Emilia Kuczma-Porebska, our Makeup Artist. She loved images she had seen inspired by dancers, movement, and grace. We also wanted something edgy. She approached Sara Jomha (our stylist) and I with this idea for the collaboration; one female and 2 male models. The idea was to create a strong foundation in each image. The male models would provide movement to contrast the stillness of the female model. Finding our models was fairly easy. Emilia knew Tori Lynne, an International Model with Edge, and I knew Greisha Fathoullin and Shaquille Valentino.
Our challenge was to find a venue that could support our story. A few days after our meeting, I saw a photo of a venue hosting a fundraising event that a friend of mine was attending. It looked perfect! I knew that was our spot. I stopped looking for other locations. After a few referrals from helpful strangers, I found the source. The venue, called the HQ, was the headquarters for Calgary’s Branded Magazine. I contacted and setup a meeting with Shelby, the woman in charge of bookings at the HQ. Shelby was kind enough to meet with me and show me around. We worked out the details and we were booked! The shoot was set for the night of April 20th, 2015.
The day of the shoot was tough. It was a stressful day for everyone, for personal reasons. When we met at the location we found out that Sara had just had her car broken into the night before and all of our shoes were stolen. Emilia’s work visa renewal was denied, earlier that day. She was under extreme pressure and anxiety about the future for her family. We made a conscious decision to turn the energy around. Everyone got together, focused on their part and executed on point.
Within an hour, our vibe was contagious and we were on fire. The sense of accomplishment as we persevered and created something beautiful, was refreshing. I took a photo of our team, at the end of the shoot, to remember that moment. Knowing that we have the power to create art, to thrive on inspiration, to work in unity, support one another, and grow ideas into a team collaboration that surpassed what any of us, individually, had hoped for; To me that is what life is about.
A special thank you goes out to a few people who made this experience possible. I want to recognize Shelby and Bronwyn from Branded Magazine, Jessica Armstrong, Eloise M. Yaskiw, and our team: Emilia K, Tori T, Sara J, Greisha F, and Shaquille V. Without the strength and dedication of these individuals our creative collaboration would have not properly portrayed the emotional release and vision that we had hoped. It is with gratitude for such an open minded, supportive team that I present our collection.