Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Fenix is impossible to miss. In every sense, to this day. In fashion school she was the one with the fiery red multicolour hair, the insane magpie outfits, bright colours, and a constant state of manic energy occasionally verging on panic. Even when she was gone, she would literally leave feathers, sequins, pins and other sharp objects in her wake, trails of paint and sometimes even scorched fabric.

Allie and I were in Fashion Communications; Fenix belonged on the other, darker side – Design. Girls in our program usually got into fashion because they were good at shopping. Girls in the design program usually grew up making their own clothes. It was a class divide, so to speak, and the two solitudes tended to stay in their own camps.

The only fashion design girl we regularly hung out with was Ash, because she was Allie’s roommate and hometown girl. Ash and Allie both came from London, Ontario, and went to the same high school, so when they moved to Toronto they got a place together.

Ash had about as much in common with the design kids as I did with communications crowd. Ash’s parents were loaded. She was exquisitely beautiful, like Allie, but even more maddeningly so because she was also impossibly polished.

In third year, the design kids had a team project. They had to produce a menswear collection with a partner, which was chosen by a draw. Ash picked unlucky number nine, and so the second term of third year turned into a three month long episode of the “odd couple”. Ash and Fenix: the match made in hell.

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