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Friday, November 02, 2012

Rookie in Toronto! A.K.A. 101 Reasons why Halloween is the best holiday!

Last week, we had a glorious series of events with the one and only Tavi Gevinson. She came to my hometown of Toronto, our maple syrup-loving nation's biggest metropolis, and had two book launches! On the same day! That is how a professional does it, y'all! Here are a selection of photos from an epic Saturday of fun times. Don't forget to check out the Magic Pony and Rookie Mag photo sets - they capture the joyful atmosphere (and incredible costumes) at the Magic Pony event way better than my boring write-up (and largely mediocre-to-bad photography) ever could.

First things first, early on a rainy Saturday morning, I picked Tavi & Berit up at their hotel, and brought them out for brunch. Tavi & longtime D+Q-friend-whose-books-I-love-and-whose-book-launches-we-love-to-host Sheila Heti had a big long interview that will be appearing in The Believer one of these months. Keep your eyes peeled for that!

Meanwhile, Berit and I had a lovely brunch, and she even showed me some of her beautiful tapestries. She brings them on trips with her:

After that we headed to the YORKDALE MALL. People, the last time I was in this mall, I may have been a teen myself! Below is Indigo events manager Melissa who was extremely helpful and positive, not to mention really excited about hosting the launch. In fact, the entire staff at Indigo was so cheerful, happy, and interested. It was a pleasure to work with all of them!

Before the event, they got us comfortably ensconced in the greenroom, where Tavi did a stock signing and was regaled with candy necklaces, ring pops, and hot chocolate. Best greenroom ever!

And then we headed out to face the crowd. There was a great turnout. After a "yeesh, glad that's over" icebreaker of an introduction from me, Tavi got up and bitchfaced her way into the hearts of each and every audience member.

Then Anna Fitzpatrick, web editor at Worn Journal, bookseller at the awesome Mabel's Fables, and Rookie staffer, read a short piece of her own.

After Anna, Tavi read a piece about how Joni Mitchell is LITERALLY THE BEST THING EVER, cuz, well, when in Canada... but also cuz, let's face it, Joni kinda is. And then we all got up on stage, and I had the pleasure of hosting a really great Q&A with four Rookie staffers. It looked a little like this:

Q: Julia poses a Hard-Hitting Journalistic Inquiry.
A: Petra Collins, Anna, Hannah Johnson, and Tavi roll their eyes and bite their tongues.

Just kidding! Here's what it actually looked like:

The Q&A was awesome! There were tons of audience questions! Tavi, Anna, Hannah, and Petra told stories about how Rookie came into being and offered style tips like "Wear what makes you feel good about yourself," and "Etsy!"

After the Q&A, a looooooong signing line formed, complete with hugs, photo ops, and even one group singing of happy birthday (shh, don't tell Warner). Girls came in beautiful outfits (peep the Huff Po slideshow here for more photos!), making their way uptown from Toronto, but also driving in from places as far away as Welland, ON! And I think a good place to end the Indigo event is with these two adorable girls. Melissa told us they were the first to arrive, and also the last ones standing. They were front and centre, crowns on, for the whole reading. ADORBS!

After that, we all headed to our respective lodgings for a quick costume change before the Magic Pony masquerade!

You guys, this was one of the most beautifully decorated parties I have EVER ATTENDED, from the window display to the candy selection, to the cat figurines, to the sparkly OUTFITS the entire staff was wearing and had sewn themselves. The Magic Pony crew (Kristin, Steve, Diana, Inez, Andrew, and many more!) was not just completely dedicated to making this the most perfect event, they were also professional, helpful, friendly, and easygoing!

The attention to details, you guys! Look at these pompoms on the signing table!

While they added finishing touches to the decor, Tavi & Petra added finishing touches to their costume as the Grady twins from The Shining...  in the street of course - don't wanna get fake blood everywhere.

Then, costumes in place, there were interviews to do! Space TV, followed by MuchMusic, which teenage Julia would have been so into. I loved that the Much host interviewed them in costume.

And outside, the line started to form, with people happily buzzing about, waiting to get in.

Once inside, masqueraders were offered an array of incredible treats - pastel-coloured popcorn, cupcakes, gummy organs, chocolate graveyard pudding, and more. It was a smorgasbord of spookiness (this is my new tagline for everything, I've just decided).

And in the back room (soon to become the dance party room), Tavi signed books and posed for photos with Britney Spears, Suzy Bishop, Wednesday Addams, and all manner of costume in between.

One girl who had attended the McNally Jackson launch in NYC in September brought an essay for Tavi to sign. It was titled "Feminism is about Love."

The signing wrapped up, and the dance party began. The Taylor Swift singalong made my heart ache. The Carly Rae Jepsen one was equally impressive. I hear rumours of videos of this, but for now, content yourselves with this crowd shot, courtesy of Steve at Magic Pony:

After a bout of dancing, what we all needed was a multi-layer pastel mythical creature of a cake, and Diana from Magic Pony provided. Here are Petra and Tavi cutting the cake, wedding reception-style.

Let's take a second look at that cake, made by the masterful Diana:

Why yes, that is a multi-layer, multi-pastel cake, covered in what I count to be at least four colours of frosting + candy hearts, sprinkles, and fake flowers. It was the single most impressive cake I have ever seen. Photographed at five and a little layers, I would guess it started as eight or more.

And now, here are a selection of costumes I snapped. Again, for complete costume coverage, check out Magic Pony & Rookie's photo sets. You won't regret it. It's a smorgasbord of spookiness.

Frida & Log Lady (Twin Peaks)
Wednesday Addams
Group shot! Featuring at least two Worn staffers!
Anna Wintour!
Let me take this time to give a second shout out to the Magic Pony team. Thank you to all the staffers who worked the event! Thank you for making glittery cat ears and dressing up in the world's cutest outfits! Thank you for perfecting every detail of the space and for being so warm and welcoming! Thank you for being so enthusiastic. Thank you to Steve and Kristin for sharing your photos and helping out with all the little things.

Here are two goodbye shots: Andrew the door cat, who stamped hands with aplomb...

...And (L-R) Kristin, Diana, Inez, and Zannie! World's cutest staff!

And finally, just for you, a reward for making it to the end of the post. Here is a real, live Magic Pony!

That's all, folks! Thanks to everyone for coming out!


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