Man-Made: Producing Myles Sexton’s Fashion Show

Photos by Jonathan M. Hooper.

[A]s the industries of fashion and art merge in modernity, so too do the means by which it’s produced. The new era relies on collaborative efforts to capture the full spectrum of society and showcase these emerging innovations. Young entrepreneurs and visionaries are reaching out and connecting in viral networks to forge their movements and diversify themselves.

It was through this viral process that multi-faceted Canadian designer and icon Myles Sexton came to build his brand and international following. It was also through this process that he signed me on to produce his fashion show. Here’s a behind the scenes look at what happened leading up to the night of Myles Sexton’s latest show.

At the Myles Sexton fashion show. Photo by Jonathan M. Hooper.

At the Myles Sexton fashion show. Photo by Jonathan M. Hooper.

The icy front crept into the atmosphere on that tenth day to December as I sat shivering in anticipation of meeting Myles Sexton. Initially connecting over Twitter, it wasn’t until I brought Myles in as the lead make-up artist for my first production, DISTRICT Fashion Show, that I was able to recognize his strength, character and drive. After highlighting Myles in my premiere MTV FORA column featuring national innovators – “THE NEW ERA”, I invited him as a special guest to the MYR1AD Fashion Show, my latest production at the time. It was following this event that Myles approached me to produce his presentation. When the two of us sat down to draft out his vision for the forthcoming show, an energy unveiled itself; our East Coast roots and passion for creation mirrored in each other. The opportunity presented by Myles wasn’t only the start of an electric relationship for us, but the genesis of the new era for myself.

When the doors to The Spoke Club opened on January 11, 2014, the room filled to capacity with Toronto’s top in the industry. The flash of cameras and sloshing of Myles’ signature green drinks, cast beside the tropical runway, set the social scene at the first event of the New Year. The hype surrounding Myles’ first independent collection was palpable as he spent the last two years re-contextualizing the prismatic wings of the Elytra “jewel” beetle into his jewelry line. The meticulous production of these pieces through the beetle’s native Thai embroidery techniques personified the spectrum of individuality conceptualized in Myles’ brand message and reflected throughout the presentation.

[A]s the lights dimmed and the sounds of tropic thunder and techno beats mingled, all eyes fell to the lush Thai backdrop from which the models emerged. The production’s diverse ranges of models were selected for their intangible individual characteristics, and embodied Myles signature gender-bending style and emphasizing the unique qualities of the jewelry itself. Dramatic hues of the beetle wings glistened against the dark and provocative clothing being showcased by Montréal-based designer Luca Galardo of DIODATI, whom Myles secured for the show through Instagram. All of these elements contributed back to the show’s central theme of denoting society’s conceptions of classic beauty. This production showcased more than “pretty jewelry down a runway, it was about showing unique beauty, the truest form of beauty,” as stated by Myles at the close of his show.

At the Myles Sexton fashion show. Photo by Jonathan M. Hooper.

At the Myles Sexton fashion show. Photo by Jonathan M. Hooper.

These words emphasized the show’s personal significance for Myles, who dedicated this production to Matt Rowson, a dear friend and significant player in the conception of this collection. It was Matt’s own battle with self-acceptance that led to his passing earlier this year, and epitomized the message of Myles Sexton’s line.

This production couldn’t have been made possible without my business partner and fellow Ryerson student, Megan Young, who acted as the assistant producer and head of public relations for Myles Sexton’s show. BY GENERATION, the business formed by Megan and I over our past four productions, came to fruition during this show. Focusing on the production, promotion and management of leaders and innovators in the industry, our first client Myles Sexton exemplified all we had been working towards. This synergy between Myles, Megan and myself allowed for a harmonious transition from development to production, each member contributing their skills, connections and creativity towards Myles’ unified vision.

The productions tone had a tremendous impact on our attendees whose admiration for Myles Sexton and his latest collection transcended the viral scope. From the top trending feature by Elle Canada, to Danilo Ursini’s behind the scenes shot of model Winnie Harlow for Vogue Italia, this production and collection was noticed by the international industry and presented the man-made brand of Myles Sexton.