Nov 15

Street Style Huntress: Theatrical Flair

by Aldona Barutowicz · 0 comments


I first had the pleasure of meeting Ksenia Thurgood a few years ago through Calgary’s theatre community, and the first thing I noticed - aside from her great energy and personality - was her style.

She’s always well put-together and wears pieces that not only suit her, but are sleek, sexy and sophisticated.

Her acting resume is impressive, to say the least, and as she wraps up a stint in Theatre Calgary’s The Great Gatsby, she gets prepared to play Snow White in her next production.

I had the pleasure to photograph her on a chilly day - thankfully we were warm and toasty at The Core - and asked her some pressing questions about her work in theatre, her love of fashion and what she loves most about Calgary.

IMG_0008A Untitled-1 Untitled-4

How would you describe your personal style?

Oh my gosh, this has shifted over the years, but two constants have been knowing what ‘looks good’ to my eye and always purchasing quality fabrics. Currently I prefer well structured silhouettes with a feminine vintage slant. My time in France definitely influenced my approach to dressing in that I try to be put together before I leave the door and I kiss everything…keep it simple: less is more!

What are some of your influences when it comes to fashion?

Coco Chanel in that she said to always dress for one’s body, not what is popular. Patricia Field’s fun with how fashion can express how one is feeling - the iconic female characters in Sex and The City display that notion beautifully. And, two dear friends I met in Calgary, whom are also stylists, that I personally worked with and learned a lot from: Mealan Mezzarobba and Amy Lynn Strilchuk.

Mealan has a wonderful gift with colour. She amazes me at how she can put pieces together and it works stunningly - she can dress me any day of the week. And, Amy Lynn passed on advice that her mother passed on to her: only ever show one area of skin. When I was younger, I think I tended to display all to get attention and now, I’ve learned that a lady dresses for respect.

IMG_0038A IMG_0049A IMG_0111A

What are some of your favourite Fall/Winter Trends?

Cardigans, capes and gloves - layered dressing to stay warm. There is nothing quite like a big cuddly sweater. I have a favourite that is from Scotland, which is ancient and it’s like I’m wearing a hug. That said, another fall must-have of mine is wearing my Bano eeMee cashmere blend capes. The vintage silk lining along with the cut of the material is a piece of art. Aleem Arif has a gift with outerwear. And for fun, I accessorize with coloured leather gloves.

What fashion advice would you give to others?

In the words of Kim Flanagan, “Dress on Purpose”. Put care into what you’re wearing as currently, we are a highly visual world, so people have been trained to listen with their eyes. It would be a shame to not be taken seriously simply because one looks like she/he rolled out of bed. Also, always dress for your body. Try on many different cuts, find what you like and then find a tailor - make it work for you.

IMG_0015A Untitled-3

What are some of your favourite Downtown YYC spots?

Fun afternoon: Dust off one’s tiara for High Tea at The Palliser.

Great restaurants: Piq Niq (first bistro I ever went to in Calgary & it’s still a favourite) [editor’s note: Piq Niq is now Wine-OHs], Blink, Catch, Tribe, Divino and Cucina. The Hyatt has killer nachos that I enjoy after a show. I also like Thai Rose Garden - veggies with tofu are a personal favourite - and Sunterra Market in Banker’s Hall.

Coffee Place: Cafe Rosso on Stephen Ave.

Shopping: Studio Intent (Fashion Central) - all canadian designers: support our killer talent! Why not dress in something original? That’s just a no brainer!

IMG_0018A IMG_0155A

How long have you been involved in the theatre community?

I started competing onstage when I was five years old in both dance and oratory, but professionally I’ve been involved with theatre since I was 18 years old. After theatre school, I moved to Calgary in 2003 and have been fortunate enough to work here ever since.

What was your first show?

My first big theatre show was right out of high school. I played Anita in West Side Story with The Broadway North Theatre Company. Oh my gosh, I was such a baby! I would love to play that role again now that I’ve had more life experience.

What was your most memorable show?

Ooooooh. That is seriously a tough question…A few of stand-outs:

-Olive Ostrovsky in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Theatre Calgary): adored this entire production & William Finn’s music is incredibly beautiful to sing. Took me the entire rehearsal process to get through ‘The I Love You Song’ without crying.

-Trudy in Pageant (Fire Exit Theatre). Wicked female role! Fantastic black comedy by Canadian playwright, Daniel MacDonald.

-I toured Bosnia/Herzegovina, with my dance company Automatic Groove, to entertain Canadian Peacekeepers. Completely opened my eyes as to how lucky I am to be born in Canada and be able to pursue what I do as a career.

-And, of course: Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz (ATP). I was incredibly honoured to be cast in that production with a group of amazing talent. I still cannot believe that I was fortunate enough to tell that story and play that iconic role.

What drew you to your last role in Theatre Calgary’s The Great Gatsby?

When I first read about the audition call for Theatre Calgary’s The Great Gatsby and saw Kim Collier’s name attached, I immediately submitted as I’ve been a big fan of her work with Vancouver’s The Electric Company. She’s a Siminovitch winner and that’s no surprise as she is a gifted storyteller with laser-like vision - inspiring artist to work with. Plus, the choreographer was Calgary’s Anita Miotti and I had always wanted to work with her as she has a beautiful quality with pedestrian movement - her choreography is there for a reason, not just movement for the sake of movement.

The Great Gatsby had some beautiful fashion and costumes. As a fashionable woman, how did this show intrigue and inspire you? 

The art deco period has always fascinated me as it’s intricate, lavish, yet incredibly delicate. I adore the layered excess of simplicity. One can wear pearls, sequins and feathers all at once, but each is placed just so to compliment but not overkill the look.

What do you think makes the Calgary theatre community different/special from the rest of the country?

I have worked all across Canada, USA and EU. What Calgary has is a group of incredibly talented individuals whom are also grounded people. There is a sense of support for one another and knowing what is truly important in life. Of course, there are exceptions, but I truly believe that the artists in Calgary are comfortable in their sense of self, so there is zero need to feel threatened, hence the support for one another.

Related Posts

  • Street Style Huntress: Stylish EdgeStreet Style Huntress: Stylish Edge Danielle Kondruk and I first met over email a few years back as we worked for two separate arts companies in Calgary, and when we finally had a chance to say hello in person, it was her […]
  • Street Style Huntress: Trending Street Style Huntress: Trending Have you ever wondered what the life of a blogger might actually look like, beyond the fashionable clothes on display? What drives someone’s love for fashion and showcasing their […]
  • Street Style Huntress: Rainy Days in JuneStreet Style Huntress: Rainy Days in June As a BC gal, I have a specific love and appreciation for a rainy day, from the way the air smells, to windows speckled with raindrops. The rain also brings with it a certain level of […]
  • Street Style Huntress: Toques and TrufflesStreet Style Huntress: Toques and Truffles I recently featured a cool and fashionable Calgary blogger, and I decided that one just wasn’t enough for me. We have much talent and vision in this city, and I certainly love […]
  • Street Style Huntress: Temperate Seasons Street Style Huntress: Temperate Seasons I’ve said this a lot, but Fall is my favourite season, although I can’t help but whine each year that it’s never long enough here in Calgary - but then again, I wish it could last for […]

Previous post:

Next post: