Friday, June 10, 2011

Woofstock Is This Weekend!

Donnalee Clarke goes to Woofstock for the fashions — for her Yorkshire Terrier, Princess, that is. The professional image consultant, who buy clothes for female clients, is happy that fashion has come to the world of canines. Until recently, she’s been dressing her dog as super models and superstars with outfits cobbled together at her Toronto home. “I could do a reality show of how not to sew but the end result seems to work,” laughs Clarke, who will be dressing Princess in a pink — her signature colour — tutu for the  Woofstock costume contest taking place at the St. Lawrence Market area on Front St. on June 11 and 12. The dogs dressed in funny costumes is one of many crowd-pleasers of the annual festival, now in its ninth year. Clarke was there for the first Woofstock and has been going ever year since. Last year, more than 100,000 dogs and 250,000 people attended the free, outdoor pooch party.

Clarke has made numerous costumes and outfits for Princess including a BeyoncĂ©-style unitard from the Single Ladies video, which she fashioned out of a pantsuit from the ’80s. In May, Princess came second at a celebrity fashion show held to publicize Woofstock. She wore pink lingerie inspired by Victoria Secret model Heidi Klum that Clarke made by cutting down — greatly — sexy underwear she owned. (The winner was dressed as the Black Swan movie character portrayed by Natalie Portman.) But Clark is thrilled to shop at Woofstock where 200 vendors, including dog clothing designers, will have displays. “The No. 1 reason I go to Woofstock is for the fashion,” says Clarke. “The second reason is that I can take my dog. There aren’t a lot of events for dogs.”

Woofstock founder Marlene Cook says interest in designer dog duds has become huge in recent years as people get accustomed to seeing it on the streets every day. “People love it and think it’s great.”

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