Roslyn Griffith Hall is known for her cool, crazy, fun, and contagious energy in a world where she is defined by a quest to be free. After all, wasn’t it Paul Smith who said you could find inspiration in everything? Whether she is styling for Top Chef Canada; running her one of a kind jewellery line Fitz and Fur; or photographing street style for her visual diaries Rue de Roz, she finds a way to let go and just dream.
What do you do?
I am a whole bunch of everything. Right now what pays the bills is being a fashion stylist.
Who do you style for?
Right now I’m mostly with TV Productions. I work for a Production company called Insight Productions. Most notably I worked on Canadian Idol, and now I am working on Top Chef Canada.
What else do you do?
I am a photographer. I guess it is like street style photography for lack of a better word. Because you know, if you are running around with a camera and shooting people, clothes and cool things on the street, it is now called street style. And if you have a website where you show your visual diaries, it is also called a blog.
My visual diary is called Rue de Roz. So Roz Street or The Street of Roz. It’s what Roz sees when she is out and about.
How long have you done that for?
The thing is, I’ve just given it a title recently, but I have been doing the photography thing for as long as I can remember. In school, I started off with a hand camera, taking shots of everything.
What is it that drew you to street fashion?
I started taking photos in Toronto but then I started taking pictures wherever I went. I took pictures because I was always interested in the minutia of things. It doesn’t have to be street fashion per se, it could your bag, it could be your shoe, it could be the litter on the street. It could be, “why do cigarette butts look so much cooler in Paris than they do here (in Toronto)”.
You also recently started your Jewellery line Fitz and Fur, tell me more about this.
Fitz and Fur is another thing that I've been working on for a long time but it didn't have a name until recently. While I was working at Canadian Idol I started customizing different looks. Sometimes I wanted to make things longer, or realized those two necklaces look better together, so I started to make things up.
Did you always know that you wanted to be a stylist/photographer?
No, I just knew that I was creative. I was always doing stuff to try and make things cooler and did things that allowed me to express myself creatively. I never knew anything else but to do stuff like that.
Where did you go to school?
I went to York University, George Brown, Ryerson on that sort of quest of changing/flip flopping from fashion to art, back to fashion. I eventually ended up at the display department at Holt Renfrew which was kind of cool because it was sort of blending art and fashion together.
What is your idea of fashion?
I like strong design. I could get into art and function and all that kind of crap but the thing is, you could try to reinvent the wheel but you really don't really have to. There are certain things that become the foundation of fashion and I do have that sort of idea or mantra. In the past I have been asked, what is the fad this season? And I don't believe in this kind of fleeting kind of trend. I really go on what appeals to me, what I see that is available, I love a good shoe, I love a good jean, I love black, I love a grey hat. Everything just has to have substance. You just sort of choose from there.
Do you have a muse or anything that really inspires you?
Well, there are a few strong women. It's a whole mash up of things. I love the Mama of Dada was Beatrice Wood. I love surrealist, I love Dada, I love Margiela’s because they have an art sensibility to them, Daphne Guinness, I really loved Alexander Mcqueen RIP and I really loved Isabella Blow RIP again.
Then, there are other things that inspire you too. It could be the wet concrete, or sunny day, or sunny and wet day, driving down Rosedale Valley....Paris. Paris is a big muse, London is a big muse. So it's not just a person, it could be a smell. I just find that there are a lot of things that affect what I do.
Going back to the Jewellery line, what were some of the biggest inspirations for your collections? Do you have multiple collections?
I think it is always going to be one collection so to speak. Fitz and Fur is one of a kind so I am always building on it but the basis of it is the same. If I were to talk collections, I would say there are two collections. One collection is the lost and found part of it which consists of all the watches, all the little trinkets and treasures that I find in flea markets to make these really layered opulent parlours of watches and keys and all this found art, jewellery and rhinestones. There's always going to be that, and I'll always build on that. It's the gel of Fitz and Fur.
And the other collection?
The other collection, let's say, is the stuff that can be mass produced per se. It seems to be hardware and kind of erotic. At the same time, Fitz and Fur wants to be clothing. It is the kind of the things that you want to wear. I don't mind that. I don't mind that it suddenly becomes a concept pop up store in itself where it’s the necklaces that become the bag, that become the smock coat. It's a capsule of accessories that are one of a kind. It always goes back to how I see fashion. You always need a pair of leather legs, a really good skinny jean, a really great black dress... and those are the things... because you always come back to these touch points. And that's the way I see the way Fitz and Fur evolving. As well as, the art and the photos, it's all the same.
Is it an amalgamation of who you are?
I think so because you know, I find for me, in Toronto as my base I can't just be a stylist. In many ways I feel I've outgrown the monocle of stylist because everybody including his brother wants to be a stylist. I ain't gonna lie, there are only so many jobs to go around so yeah, I have a great, nouveau niche job, I've got my top chef or whatever job I'm going to be asked to do next like dress a celebrity, starlet or so on and so forth. I'm cool doing that. I know what that does. But it's the other stuff, it's almost like being a student. I'm planning on being a starving artist. I've got a bunch of little projects and one of them is bound to stick, and I feel that it is necessary to do it. Right? Like we could go home each night and say "I can do that" but we really have to do it.
Where can people purchase your jewellery?
Hazelton Lanes at a store called Fabrice. What's interesting about that is before I knew what I was doing, I used to buy a lot of sale jewellery from Fabrice. A lot of that sale jewellery I bought over ten years ago, have been incorporated in my jewellery collection now.
Do you actually create each piece?
I have an assembler who does all the finer points, like hooking everything up. In the true sense of the fashion and art, I take each piece, measure each piece, and hook everything up with fine embroidery thread and go to see my trusty assembler who takes all that thread and hooks it up with the silver, she does all the technical components. I just do all the visual: how I want it, how I see it. I'm the designer.
What's coming up for the next phase?
I'm working on the fulfillment of things. I love lab coats and smock coats. It's always been part of the Fitz and Fur thing. The jewellery, the neck piece and the smock coat is all you need right? I'm working on the capsule collection. I think I'll start with the lab coat but there are a couple other things like, I love Margiela. They have a line called Replica where things already exist but they make it again, they make it in the leather, or change the colour or whatever they do. Working within the idea of how I see fashion, there are certain things in my personal collection that I've had forever that I want to knock off. There are things that were always cool, and will never go out of style, NEVER. Because they can't. They all have a pivotal role in the way we look and the way we dress and the way we act. I have a sweater with the really really long arms, I love that shit. Or the skinny skinny skinny leather stocking that you wear but you wear it underneath the skirt. I love wearing a t-shirt with long black leather gloves, where maybe you don't want to wear the glove, and you just want to wear the sleeve so I just want to make sleeves and stuff. All sort of still formative stages but I'm just trying to make this sort of collection in two pieces. All black for fall, all white for summer. Is it mohair, is it fur, is it leather, is it stretch? That's how I like to do it.
If you were a colour what would you be?
Woooo! I think I'm a rainbow because I'm the spectrum baby.
Is that how you define your style?
I used to say (my style is) miscellaneous because I don't think I can be categorized. We're all so yin and yang about everything. But I just want to be free.
Favorite moments, Standout moments:
Meeting David Cronenberg was one of my highlights. Styling him for a magazine after he did the movie Crash.
Favorite places to travel:
I like Paris, I love England.
What keeps you up at night?
Trying to keep creative and tap into the next thing.
How do you want people to remember you?
She was kind of crazy, was always fun, she always had a dirty time, would make you laugh and she always had a ton of energy.
Have patience. On set there is always, hurry up and wait. Patience is a big thing. You gotta know when to hold em’ and you gotta know when to fold em’ ~ Kenny Rogers.
What websites do you often visit?
Sometimes I have to remind myself where I am in this street style orbit. I will look at The Sartorialist, All the Pretty Birds or Textiles. I like flipping through magazines so I’m always using the internet that way.
If you had an ultimate dinner party, who would be sitting around the table?
Paul Smith, Isabella Blow (we could have a séance to bring her back to my party), Yohji Yamamoto, Haider Ackermann, Tilda Swinton, (They're great buddies so they'll bring the party). I want Daphne Guinness and John Galliano at my party because that dude needs to come out and play. I miss him and he would be a good dinner party. In that case, I better get Kate to come with her 5 pounds of sugar.
Find Roz at: www.fitzandfur.com | www.ruederoz.com