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Anna Dello Russo likes Toronto, trashy clothes, Disney, sparkles and garbage

Tommy Ton laughs, but not at Anna Dello Russo’s archival Wayne Clarke feather bomb (Image: David Pike)

We weren’t sure what to expect when granted the opportunity to participate in a group interview of Anna Dello Russo and Tommy Ton at The Room. And we really didn’t know what to expect when the event was delayed an hour and we were asked to wait in complete silence (a video was being recorded). Was Dello Russo as much of a diva as one might expect from a woman whose glamorous and expensive wardrobe requires its own apartment? When we finally sat down with her and Ton, we discovered that underneath her abundant Wayne Clarke feather cape and the Erdem sheath dress, she was not what we expected—as a matter of fact, she was hilarious. After the jump, see a gallery of the photo exhibition, Dello Russo’s hour-seven outfit (she had many costume changes) and the adorable relationship that is When Tommy Met Anna.

Russo is known for her somewhat uniquely left-of-centre fashion sense, wearing, as model agency owner Ben Barry noted, “the fantasy of the designer that is seen on the runway.” We couldn’t agree more, but Dello Russo doesn’t necessarily see runway; she sees an opportunity to “play like a kid” with her clothes. “I like to explore,” says Dello Russo. “Some women think trashy isn’t [their] thing, but [they should] go there… If I think, ‘this is shit, I don’t like it,’ that is where I go.”

Her style philosophy has become its own brand (it caught Ton’s attention), which she is expanding on the Internet with a Disneyfied website. “I wanted Disney and sparkles and more sparkles. My website is my liberation. It’s fantasy and garbage.”

In the pursuit of all things decadent, trashy, novel and garbage, Ton wants to take Dello Russo to Ontario Specialty Company, Toronto’s bastion of oddities. We think the excursion will be like, as Dello Russo said, “giving a kid a [crayon].” Perhaps not the most poetic statement, but we’re happy she’s colouring outside the lines.