Toronto Stylist, Chris Morgan, Making Power Moves
Some people are born with the Midas Touch. The chosen few are looked to for what’s next, what’s fresh, what’s hot, what’s in. You don’t just get that privilege. You have to earn it. You have to pay your dues. You have to do your research. You have to present an image that is envied, coveted almost, respected, surely. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even on rainy Sundays at the grocery store, because you never know who you will run into.
This is the Elevated mentality. Chris Morgan’s mantra is to raise the bar. If you do it on an individual level, it will inspire those around you who witness it, to aim higher, dress better, feel better, and essentially become better people who take pride in who they are — using style as one of the outlets available to them to showcase this higher state of being.
This is why Chris Morgan and his company, Elevations, has been in increasing demand these past few years. Last month alone, he styled 10 stand-up comics for CASC’s Comedians on a Catwalk, he styled and acted as creative director on Sean Jones‘ new music video, Take Me, and he also styled Canadian pop/reggae songstress/actress Kreesha Turner for her latest media push. This guy is making his mark on the current and upcoming stars of Toronto, helping them to shine a little bit brighter everyday. MobToronto was there to catch this rising star in the stylist game.
CASC’s Comedians on a Catwalk: Elevated
The Canadian Association of Stand-Up Comedians (CASC) was formed with a specific goal in mind: awareness. If you really think about it, one of this nation’s biggest exports has actually been sketch and stand-up comedians. The list of famous Canadians comics that had to risk it all to make it big south of the border is vast, but the list of Canadian comics that wanted to make it big here but had to give up their dream or attempt it while driving Ubers and other part-time jobs is endless. Stand-up Comedy is currently not recognized as an art form in Canada and therefore does not receive any subsidies like other recognized arts do. Shocking when you think about how much of an influence that Canadian comics have in the world, and how much they tout their Canadian Heritage in their acts.
Another Canadian export that is in the same predicament as Canada’s stand-up comedians, is Canada’s fashion designers. Another group that is influential as participants in the global fashion community. No government subsidies. CASC was formed to bring awareness and decided to put on a show with local fashion designers to attempt to kill two birds with one stone — Comedians on a Catwalk. A show that capped off CASC Stand-up Awareness Week where 10 comedians did their best catwalk strut to center stage, styled in local artist fashions, and do a set of their best new material. As far as CASC was concerned, there was only one man who could bring this concept to life. Enter Chris Morgan:
“Once the concept was presented to me, I was honoured and excited to be asked to dress these amazing talents. In my industry, people take fashion very seriously, but who says you can’t have a laugh and still kill it on the runway?”
The show, that took place at the Gladstone Hotel, featured heavy hitters like Kenny Robinson, Sandra Battaglini, Martha Chavez, and fresh faces like Juliana Rodriguez, Foad Hassanpour, Aisha Brown and others. The local labels that the comics and hosts (Zoe Brownstone and Anjelica Scannura) were adorned in included MYLBD, Mayer, Hoax Couture, Rock ‘N Karma, Whitney Linen, NOPAULAG!ES, amongst others.
“I relished the challenge of taking these funny-makers out of their element a little to show them a different side of themselves. I wanted to see if it would elevate their performance. It was important to me to do research on each of my clients in order to understand their personalities and which looks they would gravitate towards. I believe that everyone was happy with the selections that I made for them. They all looked great!”
During the event, the hosts announced that the CASC, headed by Sandra Battaglini, achieved one of it’s goals. A petition would be tabled in the House of Commons for review to include Stand-Up Comedians in the list of recognized art forms that receive government subsidies. An important first step announced on a special night.
Sean Jones “Take Me” Music Video: Elevated
Chris and soul crooner, Sean Jones have been friends for awhile now. He has styled Sean for several magazine and album cover shoots. Sean has respected Chris’ vision since the beginning of their friendship. They share a vibe. So when an opportunity to act as Creative Director on Sean’s new video came up, Chris jumped at the chance.
“Video direction has always been something that I’ve wanted to do… Music has always been an essential pillar in my life… I live my life like it’s one big movie, and every movie needs a soundtrack. Directing music videos sometimes can be like having a soundtrack and creating a movie that tells the soundtrack’s story.”
Sean Jones has held a summer residence at Casa Loma in Toronto for the last several summers. Attendance has grown yearly. It is now the hottest ticket in Toronto on a hot summer’s Monday night. If you aren’t there early, you aren’t getting in. This union between Sean and “The Castle” made the location an easy choice for an all-night shoot that was months in the making. From storyboarding, to assembling the right production crew, to casting the right female lead, dressing all involved, and even special FX, Chris’ Elevations stamp was all over this visual art piece.
“…Sometimes it’s really about abstraction. My next project will have me exploring the outer limits of my imagination, which to me, is like plotting a course down a completely different highway, in a different direction than you’ve gone before… You grow when you work on projects that push you out of your comfort zone.”
Kreesha Turner: Elevated
Kreesha Turner, Toronto’s pop/reggae princess, instagram superstar (over half a million followers), star of Nick Cannon’s King Of The Dancehall, and international style maven, recently invited Chris to give her his interpretation of how she should be captured.
“This was a crazy/sexy/cool shoot. …I had about 24 hours notice that Kreesha was willing to give us a few hours to shoot with her. …I don’t remember ever pushing myself as much as I did for this job, especially considering that this was two days after we wrapped the Sean Jones video shoot, and that took a lot out of me.”
This is a brand new collaboration that hasn’t been released to the public yet, but we have the sneak peak for you here:
“…With the help of my amazing contacts and some local Canadian designers, I was able to put Kreesha in some jaw-dropping looks that I’m hoping her fans… can really appreciate. We had so many looks that we decided that even though we lost our first venue after a few hours of shooting, we needed to capture her remaining looks so we moved to a second location and shot into the early hours of the morning. …It felt like three old friends just kickin it. It was a long day and good vibes kept everyone in good spirits as we captured all of the looks.”
Chris has definitely found his stride in the world of entertainment, and is starting to pick up speed with these special projects that he has been requested for, and some that are on the horizon. However, he knows and appreciates what got him here.
Chris still does personal styling for the everyday celebrity in all of us that have their own imaginary theme music when we enter rooms. He can help you turn that up. He still offers (when he’s available) personal styling at a very affordable price. He never puts you in a place you don’t want to be. Chris makes it personal. He will come to your closet, go through your outfits with you, help you see what should go, and what should stay, and show you how to rock your favourites in an all new way, because sometimes it’s all about accessorizing. Chris will take you on a personal shopping consultation, to help you pick out new outfits and styles that complement you whatever your size, personality, gender, and profession, or whatever event or red carpet gala you need to get ready for. If you’d like to know more about how you can be “Elevated”, check out Chris’s site, ElevationsInStyle.com, or follow him on Instagram at @ElevationsInStyle.