Friday Night Live, or FNL for short is a popular event series hosted by the Royal Ontario Museum. Last week Friday I was invited to attend, and as a regular FNL attendee I’ve noticed a reoccurring theme; it tends to bring out a very fashionable crowd. With FNL’s weekly themes and the ROM’s beautiful architecture, it can be easy to understand why people come out ‘dressed to the nines.’ So you’re not into fashion? Don’t worry as there isn’t really a dress code, but with top DJ’s, performances, dancing, and bar and food stations scattered amongst the dinosaur fossils and exhibits, it definitely gives off a club vibe (minus the pretentiousness). FNL is an event that has something to please everyone because there so many different sights and activities. Here are some photos and a recap of my last FNL experience.
Each Friday line-up includes a different theme that is incorporated into the events entertainment and exhibitions. Last Friday’s theme was Indigenous Now, which celebrated contemporary Canadian Indigenous Art through artists and performances. As my friend Kristen (Twenties and Fabulous) and I wandered around we were able to catch the very end of an improv performance by Indigenous theater artist, Theo. She was in full traditional clothing which she handmade herself over the course of 6 months. I really admired the intricacy and detailing of the whole outfit, which was lined with colourful beads, fur, and fringes.
After Kristen and I finished chatting with Theo, there was another interactive Q& A style performance, which encouraged the audience to ask an Aboriginal woman questions they had about Indigenous culture. No topic was off limits, so the discussion was really insightful.
With all the action going on inside of the ROM, it can be easy to forget that you’re inside a museum. There is so much beautiful architecture and design in the building which makes it the perfect set up for a photo-op, which is exactly what Kristen and I took a moment to do.
Next, we visited the ROM’s featured exhibition, ¡Viva México! Clothing & Culture. The exhibit showcases hundreds of historic and contemporary Mexican pieces from the 18th – 21st centuries. The pieces ranged from costumes, textiles, and embroidery. I loved the vibrant colours, floral prints, bead work and varying textures found throughout the outfits. After doing some reading, I found out the elaborate outfits hold a strong cultural significance. They were worn by Tehuanas woman in the 1920s to project femininity and to display national pride after post-revolutionary leaders rejected European values.
We also took a peak at the sarapes which are textiles dyed with all natural colourants from plants and insects. The main colours of red, blue, and yellow were mixed to make secondary colours. Some of the dying processes have been used in Mexico for over 2,000 years! I was so inspired by the artistry and creativity throughout the event, it made me really appreciate the skill and precision that go into making the items.
After we finished gawking at the beautiful outfits, we made our way to the first floor where we danced and looked for our photos on the photo wall. The interactive photo wall displays photos in real time if you use the hashtag #FNLRom on your Instagram and Twitter. It’s always fun to see peoples varying experiences captured throughout the night. And you can’t help but get a bit excited when you catch a glimpse of your photo blown up on the wall of the museum.
As the night came to an end I decided to snap a few more photos of the well-dressed patrons, and this is how I was able to briefly meet another one of the artists, Summer Garcia. I ran up to her to compliment her on her outfit, and when we started chatting she mentioned that her exhibit Aasooke, was on display in the Bronfman Hall. Summer’s installation creatively combined photography, makeup artistry, and digital mixed media.
There are only 3 more weeks left for FNL until it returns for the fall season. This Fridays theme for FNL is Toga Toga! Which is a celebration and sneak preview of the ROM’s newest exhibit, Pompeii: In the Shadow of the Volcano. If you’re in the Toronto area and haven’t been yet I definitely recommend you check it out! You can find out more information about upcoming FNL events here.