From Sweden With Love – Styling from Prince to 007

Josefine, sat in a cafe with her laptop open, talking on Skype.
She spoke in Swedish. How did I know? I had been to Sweden many time, had friends living there, flown to Stockholm with American Airlines, connecting through Chicago.

Chicago is where Prince began a series of Chicago concerts Sept. 24 at the United Center in support of Van Jones’ Rebuild the Dream organization.

Rebuild the Dream offers entrepreneurs tools that individuals and communities can use to create a fairer economic future for all.

As Josefine spoke into her headset, I felt I was watching a scene from the film Girl Who Played with Fire directed by Daniel Alfredson and, starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist. So I decided to leave. As I walked out of the coffee shop, I paused, and thought. I could walk over to Magpie fashion down the street, see what they where making for Prince, or Andy Allo, as both where heading off to Australia for the Welcome 2 Australia Tour, or I could go back and, wait till she finished her Skype call. I went back in.

When Josefine had gotten off the phone I said to her “so where in Sweden are you from?”, she was stunned,  and yet pleasantly surprised. We became friends.

Josefine who is a student, mathematician, cook, astrologer, and model.

During the summer Josefine was in Sweden visiting family, and I sent her an email. I was going to be helping the Toronto International Film Festival, with their first fund-raising gala.

The gala was based on a James Bond 007 theme (as it was James Bonds 007 50th anniversary), and called ‘Night That Never Ends’.  Having been asked to be the Chair of VIP talent I wanted her to meet with the organizers to be one of the Bond girls.

When Josefine returned from Sweden, she met with the organizers, went to a fitting for the Bond girls.  Josefine was not selected to be a Bond girl.  She was selected to be the girl of Magpie fashion.

When Josefine went in for her fitting,  everyone at Magpie were busy getting outfits ready for Prince, those that he has been rocking on-stage in Chicago.

As the festival opened Josefine sitting at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Toronto wearing Magpie, posed for a photograph with a Jarrell guitar.  The girl from Sweden, linked to Prince and Andy Allo not with a thread or fabric, but also a guitar. She had gone, from a coffee shop, to the red-carpet wearing Magpie with one-degree of separation between Prince, Andy Allo and herself.

Magic is real and dreams come true. Now let’s  rock Chicago.

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How The King of Funk – Prince! Got Fashion in Toronto !

Prince was in town in Toronto. I needed to see him live. I had never seen him perform live. Each time an opportunity came up I could not make it. I was on my bicycle, needing a desperate fix of caffeine. It was Thanksgiving weekend in the United States and everyone who I knew who could get me to the show was on holidays. I was not about to disturb anyone over Prince, Welcome2Canada, not when they are with families. I know how big Thanksgiving is in the United States, hell, one of my director friends Gurinder Chadha discovered at the Toronto International Film Festival years ago even made a film about it, Thanksgiving Weekend. I was just gonna go with the flow. An Idea, thumped into my brain as if Thor himself had hammered it in. My neural senses went on full alert. No I was not going to go to Clafouti to get my cafe first. I was going to go see two ladies, at Magpie fashion and she what they had that Prince or Andy Allo could rock on stage. I had my weapon of choice that would allow me to distribute my findings to the world. I had my iPhone. My office.

Walking into Magpie, the energy flowing through me was at new heights. I was playing what Mark Zuckerberg calls the hacking game. You are constantly evolving your plan, your path, as things emerge, you adjust, you experiment.

Cathy and Angela, partners, owners and designers of Magpie on Toronto’s Queen Street West, were busy doing what they do, designing and stitching. Both dressed in black, looked at me and Angela with her high energy greeted me with, “hello Timothy”, while Cathy calmly smiled her way of saying hello. I explained to the girls I was on a mission and I had this idea why don’t they give a shout-out to Prince, show him a few things that he or Andy Allo could wear, I am headed over to Air Canada building, and perhaps I can show it to him, (if I run into him), nevertheless I was going to YouTube it. Quickly the girls assembled a rolling rack, and I was recording the result you can watch here.

Having beamed the video onto YouTube while having my coffee, it was time to get back on the bike and negotiate the streets of Toronto, pot holes, tram tracks, taxi’s and within a matter of time I was at Air Canada Center at the security entrance. I chatted with a few security people various people came to talk to me, but no one really could help. A car pulled up. It was at this time the security told me if anyone could help me it was that man. That man was Sammy Wong.
Sammy Wong and and I talked he looked at a few emails that I had sent to some people in Los Angeles, that had come back with a respond, ‘on holidays will not be picking up emails’. I explained to Sammy, that I was not going to call anyone on the cell phone on a long weekend.
In the conversation finding out that Sammy had been a photographer on tour with the Rolling Stones, I knew the Rolling Stones, and Sammy said “what do you need”, “tickets”, I told him. Sammy took my business card, took out his iPhone, started tapping the keys on his screen, looked at me and said, “they will be at the will call window”. I was going to see my first live performance of Prince in my hometown to which I had returned from Los Angeles, knowing virtually no-one. The show, seven encores later, was out of this world.

A day later, I was again riding my bike having stopped for a coffee at another cafe. My cell phone rang, it was the girls of Magpie (correction it was Angela), “Prince’s assistant called she told us he saw your video, and wants us to send clothes to him in Montreal for the show”, “You’re screwing with me right?”, I said. Angela let me know it was for real. I jumped on my bike and raced over.

Arriving at the Magpie, (magical kingdom) as I like to call it, Angela gave me the number of Prince’s, assistant to call. Angela had already told Prince’s assistant about me, and how I know various bands. I called, and Prince’s assistant and I spoke, no this was no prank, it was real, she told me Prince saw the video, and if I could bring up some cloths to Montreal for Prince, and Andy Allo, she gave me the information where to take them, we exchanged contact information. I was going to personally transport them for Prince.

After the Montreal show, I was sitting with friends at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, bar drinking wine, Prince, Andy Allo, and his assistant were off to the after-party jamming session. The iPhone sitting on the bar, rang, I apologized to my friends, told them I was working. The voice on the other end was that of Prince’s assistant, “Tim, can you text me the telephone number of your designer friends, Prince loves everything, he wants to call them personally”.

This my friends is a story of magic, of going with the flow, of the hacking game of experimentation that through social media with social interaction can lead to potentially, unleashing the forces that create magic in this world.

Angela and Cathy of Magpie, ended up designing for Andy Allo, who now is out performing in Chicago her ‘Superconductor’album produced by Prince as well as the King himself, the master of funk, Prince.

These are the things that happen in life that makes it all worthwhile.

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Prince – Ready to Roll Spectacular “Welcome2Australia”

The Gold Coast of Australia was a great time for me. It was in Australia that my sponsored Indy Car Racing team of American Spirit came in first and second. So for me it will be a great time to return to Australia looking at the people and talking to them about the artist and performer who gave us magic in Canada. Prince.
After a not-so-cryptic hint yesterday, one of the greatest entertainers of our era has finally announced his return to Australia.
His name is Prince, and he is set to bring a 360 degree arena spectacular to Australia this May.

Arguably the definitive pop artist of the past three decades, Prince has steadfastly played by his own rules – continuing to release quality material through a variety of unconventional methods.

His live performance is stuff of legend, rocking through an immaculate canon of certified classics – including Purple Rain, Let’s Go Crazy, Kiss and countless more.
Prince performs at Rod Laver Arena on Monday May 14.

The best place to start the Prince tour to Australia for me, was not far form the design center for Prince on Queen Street West of Magpie. Nearby I found Mark Fosco who has a band called Rad Habits sitting with his guitar chilling. Mark told me he can do that as he has no girl-friend. I did manage to tell him that it is a good thing, leaves us time to do what we want to do, and it really is not a good idea if you are gonna be a rocker.

So here we go, from Toronto where Prince began his Welcome 2 Canada Tour with comments from Mark Fosco of the band Rad Habits, views on Prince and why everyone will be ecstatic to see his live show.

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Tom Ford Plunging for Jenniffer Lawrence

Jenniffer Lawrence has gone fashion. Then again it’s a Tom Ford.

With million and million of premieres, OK, OK, not a million maybe just few thousand ‘The Hunger Games’ star seems to be everywhere. She had the fashion world talking when she donned gleaming gold Prabal on the Los Angeles red carpet and she chose gold again, by Ralph Lauren, for the London premiere.

My favorite was Thursday’s pick, for the movie’s Paris photocall. Lawrence walked the black carpet in a sophisticated black sheath with a deceptively simple front and a plunging, unzipped back. Tom Ford on Jenniffer Lawrence was magic is real and dreams come true. I would really like to see Jennifer Lawrence in Magpie fashion for Toronto. I know they can rock her on the red carpet.

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Babe and strings – Lara St. John

“It is difficult to argue with such a technically dazzling and unfailingly musical interpretation.”

-Gramophone Magazine

Magpie fashion is bewitching created in a haunting manner by two women who are close to my heart, because they are creative, beautiful women that fly by the seat of their pants, creating fashion for both men and women that is alluring, enchanting, bewildering, dramatic, originally creativity from their imagination that is so Merlinish. The House of Magpie is a magical kingdom where those of rock, such as Prince, Andy Allo, Kevin Hearn of Barenaked Ladies, and members of Pear Jam have come to be outfitted. No Magpie fashion is not just for rock star’s, it also for those who pull strings, such as Canadian violinist Lara St. John, who wears a Magpie design dress on the cover for her album Bach Sonata’s.

The Strad magazine selected Laura St. John as one of “the stars of the next decade” and called her “an electrifying player, as deeply satisfying in Bach as she is bewitchingly seductive in Waxman’s ‘Carmen’ Fantasy. The L.A. Times has said: “St. John brings to the stage personal charisma, an unflagging musical imagination and genuine passion. Her two albums to date are bona-fide classics of the violin discography.”

Lara began playing the violin when she was 2 years old. She first soloed with orchestra at age 5, and made her European debut with the Gulbenkian Orchestra (Lisbon) five years later. She toured Spain, France, Portugal and Hungary at ages 12 and 13, entered the Curtis Institute at 14, and spent her first summer at Marlboro three years later. Bach Sonatas was released on her own label. Lara and Magpie fashion create a kingdom where magic is real and dreams come true.

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