Aside from dressing stars for some of the hottest shows on the tube, from The L.A. Complex to Bitten, film and television costume designer Joanna Syrokomla is also the President of CAFTCAD, an organization supporting the Canadian costume arts in Toronto. TV and fashion fans alike can get in on the action at the Movie Wardrobe Sale on Saturday, May 31st, CAFTCAD’s biannual sale offering up sartorial gems from private vintage sellers as well as fashion pieces from film and TV shows. We caught up with Syrokomla to find out more…
Tell us a bit about yourself. What should people know?
I am a film and television costume designer and I love dressing people up to tell a story, such as the work I’ve done on TV shows like Bitten for Space and The L.A. Complex for the CW. As part of my love for costume design and the people who do it, I’m currently the President of CAFTCAD, an organization supporting the Canadian costume arts in Toronto.
What are the biggest challenges and best rewards about what you do?
Film and television are fast-paced environments that I work in, often with little time and great expectations on what a character will wear on the screen. I love seeing the final result on the actor, standing on the set, with the lighting just right and the emotion of the story about to be told. And then I rush back to create the next look for camera. As CAFTCAD’s President, I get to be involved in so many different projects such as costume seminars, social events like our TIFF party, and our upcoming Movie Wardrobe Sale on Saturday, May 31st. Seeing excited customers at that biannual sale find treasures from private vintage sellers and the cast-offs from film and TV shows is such a thrill. Also, I never know what I might find there, too, as I always have a booth and sell off pieces I’ve collected from the various shows I’ve worked on.
What are three things you can’t live without?
Typical, but my iPhone with all my contacts, my music, and the ability to take a pic of a great or crazy outfit; my reusable water jug; and my closet (or closets, really).
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
…it’s such a patchwork of people – what they wear and where they love to be seen.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
Fish Camp Restaurant at 244 Jane St. It’s really cozy with the friendliest staff and the fresh PEI oysters are a dream!
What’s one of your favourite go-to designers/brands or accessories lines?
I do a heck of a lot of shopping for my job and have learned that the labels don’t interest me terribly and you don’t know where you’re going to find the next perfect piece. (I’ve actually found many at the CAFTCAD Movie Wardrobe Sale myself.) However, of course I have my personal favourites, such as at the Pinewood Toronto Film Studios (225 Commissioners Ave.). Johanna Brierley from Winnipeg casts stones with naturally occurring holes in silver and calls them ‘lucky stones’. I currently wear a slightly tarnished looking one that swings when I shop.
What products are always in your beauty/grooming bag?
Clinique’s BB Cream and Atkinson’s 24 Bond St. Fragrance.
What style trends are you obsessed with right now?
Silk t-shirts and harem pants. Not sure if this is a trend or just a desire to lounge.
What’s your favourite spa or service?
I go to Body and Soul at 2195 Bloor West to get the best massages. The staff are so well-trained there. I also obsess, like many, about any time I can sneak off to Body Blitz (I like the east end location for the easy parking) and regularly buy their waters cards when they go on sale to share with my girlfriends.
Let’s get social for a mo’. How can people stay up-to-date with your busy life?
I’ve started this blogging thing a year ago that’s attached to my website, joannasyrokomla.com. I like to post my recent projects and CAFTCAD events, which in many cases are just more opportunities to dress up. I’m on ‘the Twitter’, too: @gosh_josy and @CAFTCAD.