Toronto Fashion Week 2016 & Chatting with Rita Remark (Essie’s Global Lead Educator)

Toronto Fashion Week 2016 Rita Remark Essie

Yesterday evening, I had the pleasure of attending the Toronto Fashion Week 2016, which was held at David Pecaut Square in Toronto.

If you follow me on social media, you already know that and got to see a few photos that I snapped with my phone during the event.

This post contains those photos, since not everyone uses social media, as well as many additional photos. I hope they give you a taste of what it was like to be backstage at a runway show!

Also, I got to chat with Rita Remark, Essie’s Global Lead Educator. This will be the third time that I’ve had this honour, and each time, I leave inspired by how hard-working, humble, and successful she is!

Rita is one of those people who, I believe, will always stay grounded with her heart in the right place, no matter how far her career takes her.

Later in this post, I share with you some of the questions I asked and her answers.

P.S. When looking more closely at the photo of Rita and me, I laughed. The way the light is shining on my glasses makes me look like I have painted a “W” across my face! (Oh the first-world problems of those with bad eyesight!)

Amidst the frenzy of makeup brushes and hairspray spritzing, there were makeup artists, hair stylists, models, public relations teams, and people from the media.

From afar, it looks like a fashionable version of an ant farm with all the hustle and bustle. It’s a lot to take in!

To avoid feeling overwhelmed, public relations conveniently set up a small media lounge, so people like me could enjoy a calm environment, sit down on cushy stools, enjoy some complimentary Maybelline and Essie beauty products, have something to drink, and take photos with fun cards containing hashtag phrases (such as the one below).

Maybelline Toronto Fashion Week 2016

Venturing out, as far as the eye could see was a makeup paradise with Maybelline beauty products!

Grace Lee, Maybelline’s Lead Makeup Artist had a setup that was totally drool-worthy. See for yourself!

Toronto Fashion Week 2016 Grace Lee

On the other side was a Redken vanity, filled with hair products and tools:

Redken Canada Toronto Fashion Week 2016

Here’s Grace Lee working on a model:

Grace Lee Maybelline Toronto Fashion Week 2016

Toronto Fashion Week 2016

Here’s the front view of the winged eyeliner and bold lip. (Gorgeous model!)

Toronto Fashion Week 2016 Model Makeup

Later on, Grace was working on another model and showing the other Maybelline makeup artists the look they needed to replicate on other models.

It was such an awesome fierce double-winged look on the top and bottom eyelids.

Model at Toronto Fashion Week 2016

Here are some of the other looks that the makeup artists worked on:

Toronto Fashion Week 2016 Makeup Artistry

Toronto Fashion Week 2016 Model Makeup Artist

Makeup Artist Toronto Fashion Week 2016
These are the magic makers!

Toronto Fashion Week 2016 Model

Toronto Fashion Week 2016 Beauty Team While wandering around, I saw a group of models and asked to take their photo. Three obliged.

I love how precise their top knots are. (Mine never turn out neatly.)
Toronto Fashion Week 2016 Top Knot Hair

Back at the media lounge, there was a manicure station with a nail artist who could paint your nails with any design featuring Essie nail polishes, if you’d like!

I watched as one woman got her nails painted with cute grids and asked if I could take a photo of her nails.

This wasn’t one of the runway designs, however. The nail artist created something that complemented the woman’s outfit.

Toronto Fashion Week Mani

Chatting with Rita Remark

During my chat with Rita Remark (not the same nail artist who did the above manicure), I asked her for tips on how to shape my nails because I can’t seem to get my candy-corn-shaped ring to look like my other fingers.

She suggested that I curl my fingers inward, facing me, as though I’m gripping something. Then, line up my fingers at the cuticles. This way, you can begin adjusting the length to ensure they’re even.

Rita was sweet to whip out a nail file to show me. Since oval nails like mine are longer in the middle, she said to first file down that part to the length you want.

Then, put the file underneath each side of your nails. It will help to avoid wonky tips. After shaping all your nails, then you can look at them with your tips facing away from you. Seeing your nails at two different perspectives will help you get an even shape.

During our chat, I asked her a few other questions:

Did She Always Want to Become a Nail Artist?

Even as a child, she was into the arts, and at one point considered becoming a graphic designer. But back then, becoming a nail artist wasn’t as popular as it is now, and it wasn’t something that she thought she could pursue.

Growing up, she had many friends who were also artistically inclined, and of course, they were one of many sources of inspirations that eventually led her to pursue the path of becoming a nail artist. (Thank goodness…because she’s a heck of a talent! I really think that she deserves to have an Essie nail polish named after her because of how many people she has inspired!)

Would She Participate in Nail Competitions?

As for participating in nail competitions, she doesn’t do that because those competitions are better suited for those who are getting their foot in the door of the industry and to gain recognition.

(Interesting tidbit is that Rita Remark was one of the Contessa Awards judges for the nail-artist category! That’s a huge honour!)

How Does She Stay Creative?

The trick to overcoming creative obstacles is to make sure that you can step away to come back refreshed. That’s when you’ll pick up new inspirations and sometimes see things differently the second, third, or fourth time around.

What Are Some Nail Trends for Fall 2016?

Since the fashion shows at this event were for the upcoming fall 2016 season, I asked Rita about the nail trends.

I was really excited that hunter greens and jet blacks will be popular. (That’s pretty cool since, coincidentally, earlier on Monday before I even went backstage, I had posted a swatch of my all-time favourite black nail polish on Instagram and my other social-media platforms. Talk about interesting timing!)

Another trend would be accents and nails that have designs that are recognizable, such as a star pattern, for instance.

I admire Rita’s work, and am looking forward to seeing the designs she comes up with in the fall. (Hehe, it seems like so far away, doesn’t it?)

Does She Have Any Influence Over the Nail-Polish Colours in Collections?

If she’s reaching for a particular colour for many runway shows and it’s a favourite among designers, sometimes that may help steer Essie’s colour design.

Ultimately, Rebecca Minkoff, Essie’s Global Colour Designer is responsible for colour forecasting, but all the elements are taken into account.

Hope you enjoyed ‘coming along with me’ backstage at Toronto Fashion Week with this little Quick Look post.

If you could ask Rita Remark anything, what would you ask? Have you ever been to a fashion show? Which designer’s work do you admire?


4 thoughts on “Toronto Fashion Week 2016 & Chatting with Rita Remark (Essie’s Global Lead Educator)

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Melissa!

      Yes, I sure did have a great time. It’s a memorable experience, and I’m thankful to have had the opportunity! Thanks for checking out my post.

  1. Cat

    Hi Mary, wow! How fun was this event?? Your enthusiasm really shines through and I feel *almost* like I was right there with you for all the adventure. (PS: those models must only be about 13!!) Will you have any photos of the clothing, or is this strictly a makeup/nail behind the scenes peek?

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Cat!

      It’s amazing how fast-paced things are backstage at the runway shows. When you see the calm demeanour on the runway, you’d never know what a frenzy it is like behind the scenes.

      I don’t know how they all do it – so busy and it’s always go-go-GO! But that’s why they’re all professionals and at the top of their game, right? Inspirational!

      I loved watching it in a relaxed mode. Wonder what it’s like to be ‘on duty’ – must be very stressful! That’s why I admire everything that goes into the shows. It’s not just what you see coming down the catwalk, but all the hard work, creativity, and passion behind the scenes. I love seeing that!

      Yes, those three models looked very young, and boy were they very tall! Hehe, when I approached the group of around seven, I felt like I was going into the forest (because I’m short and the tall models were wearing high heels, and therefore even taller)!

      In the blog post after this one, I showed some makeup and nail looks from the Mikhael Kale show. (Hehe, I see that you beat me to it and already saw…AND left a comment there. Thank you! I’m going to reply to that one right after I finish this.)


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