The Women Behind the Exhibit


Photographer Arline Malakian’s photo featured at the exhibit.

by Kelsey Malenchak

After much success and incredible turnout of their first event in 2009, the ambitious young creators of WOMEN x WOMEN, have yet again created a sensational Fashion Week event. In high spirits from the media reception turnout and with exhaustion setting in, the pair agreed to answer a few questions on their first-of-its-kind exhibit and the culmination of hard work.
VG: How did the idea of WxW come about?
Alice: It started as an idea of doing a small gallery show to feature female fashion photographers. At that time, it wasn’t going anywhere too fast. Angela and I were introduced and we started talking. We felt like we could make this happen together and make it into something a lot bigger. We approached Fashion Week and they agreed to let it be an official Fashion Week event.
Angela: When Fashion Television came on board it really took it to the next level. We didn’t realize how big of a concept we had. We were inspired by each other’s enthusiasm and drive to do something bigger and more interesting. We both share a common goal of wanting to bring a new generation of cultural experience to Toronto
VG: What was the very first move to get started?
Alice: The very first thing was getting a venue. Then we reached out to all the photographers to see if they were on board with the idea. Once we had the photographer’s support and the venue space, we figured everything else would come together.
VG: Last years exhibit was a hit, did you expect such a good turnout?
Angela: I think we knew we were on to something with the idea. Nothing like it has ever been done before. But we had no idea how big it was going to get.
Alice: The guest list was too big last year so this year we were much more in control.
VG: Did you start planning for Year 2 immediately after the first event?
Angela: We were kinda going back and forth about whether we wanted to do it. We put this event together sorta on a not-for-profit basis and with a shoestring budget. It was a lot of work, we were like “do we really want to do it, do we have the photographers?” We gave ourselves a two-week window to say, “if we get the photographers, then we’ll do it”. They ended up saying yes, then we worked extremely hard for 31/2 months. And here we are.
VG: Adding video was a great element. It brings the exhibit to a whole new level. Do you think the video component will continue?
Angela: I think that video is going to be a big part of what we do because it does really take the message from the event to a greater audience.
We did three trailers that were released before the event and so much of the media embedded those videos in their coverage. I really think it added to their content.
Alice: With blogs being such a huge part of the media, the fact that you can easily embed the video is great. The trailers really hyped the event upped a lot.
Check out the trailer below!
Angela: We have such a good relationship with ARC (Artists Raising Consciousness), we collaborate really well with them and they do amazing work for us. Plus, they have amazing equipment, that’s what enables us to get these gorgeous shots and I think that’s what really takes them to the next level, it’s the quality of the videos.
VG: What is it that you’re hoping that people who attend the exhibit take away from it?
Alice: That female fashion photographers have a special vision, a special eye. The work this year is top of the line.
 The pair have big plans moving forward and there’s no doubt that we will be seeing more from the exhibit and their increasing success.

WOMEN x WOMEN 2010 Event Highlights

WOMEN x WOMEN teaser trailer:

Check out the blooper reel!


Note from the Online Editor: You may recognize Kelsey from reading her fashion and beauty articles in Vervegirl Magazine and on Starting out as an intern and then working her way up to Online and Beauty Editor, she has now entered the world of freelance writing. Kelsey has also started her own fashion and beauty blog, The Dressing Room!