Our magazine recently teamed up with the Ottawa Fashion Week and ran a readers’ fashion contest. Participants were asked to send a photo of themselves in their most stylish outfit. The winner of the contest would receive a photoshoot and interview with our magazine, as well as a pair of full-week passes to the Ottawa Fashion Week. After going through dozens of submissions, our editor-in-chief, Hannah Yakobi, selected Masha Sorina as the contest winner. Congratulations to Masha and to all who participated!
By Katherine Ellis
Photography by Maximilian Engel
When Masha Sorina, a graduate student at Concordia University, heard that she had won our Ottawa Fashion Week contest, she was immensely excited: “I was so happy! I was screaming, I was jumping around the room!”
Sorina won by submitting a photo from her graduation, wearing a cream/accented dress from Mexx, red pumps from Zara Basic, a pearl necklace, Tiffany & Co. bracelet and a granite ring.
A woman of style and creativity, Sorina has a little bit of modelling experience under her belt. Though not a professional, full-time model, she recently participated in her first fashion show at the charity event I Heart Fashion.
Her style, influenced by classic looks, including structure, shape and colour, is accented with unique jewelry, some of which was handed down from her grandmother to her mother to her. This collection ranges from vintage to newer pieces, but all of them have a special emotional attachment.
Sorina says that it is her collection of jewelry that best describes her style: modern but classic and clean, with a few eclectic pieces, and pieces that she cannot live without. “I think it is a Russian tradition,” says Sorina who was born in Moscow. “You buy jewelry, things that will last, to then pass them on.”
Though born in Russia, Sorina did not move to Canada until she was four years old, having lived in France before Montreal.
It was here that her style was influenced by an unusual career choice: accounting.
“My friends call me’ the spreadsheet girl’,” laughs Sorina. “I always start making a spreadsheet, even when organizing a barbecue or a birthday in order to not forget anything!”
“In accounting […] everyone also has to dress up and play the role, and look the part,” she adds.
Sorina buys classic-cut suits and blazers for networking lunches, which she often pairs with jeans for weekends. “[My personal style] got enhanced by my career choice – I needed all these work clothes that I never owned before.”
Though she has a self-professed love affair with Marc Jacobs, her fashion guru is the pioneer herself: Coco Chanel. “I love that she was a big believer in elegant simplicity, and that less is more,” says Sorina. “I think this is a very European way of thinking, and not American. A lot of the fashion [here] is over the top, [there is] a lot of bling. Europe is simple, elegant, and I love that aspect.”
On occasion when Sorina finds the simplicity boring, she does take the chance to break away with an extravagant piece―including a pink sequin dress. Ultimately, however, she always comes back to her basic style.
Her go-to outfit for the fall is knee-high caramel-coloured leather boots, a double-breasted jacket with a military feel and a big fluffy scarf.
During the summer, her favourite outfit consists of jean shorts, a linen blouse, a long necklace and wooden bracelets, and always something to add a pop of colour. Sorina also pays a lot of attention to fabrics, and uses this factor as a determinant of her purchases. She steers clear of polyester.
Recently, Sorina returned from a trip to Spain, Portugal and Italy, and says that, following her trip, her closet has become quite full. “[Clothes that] I bought there are completely different. [They are] classical, and a little more bohemian and flowy, [including] big scarves, long necklaces and big wooden bracelets.”
While completing her Chartered Accounting program at Concordia University and working at Ernst & Young in Montreal, Sorina does not want to neglect her fashion style or time spent on shopping – she is always on the hunt for the next best item to add to her collection.
“Picking outfits in advance is the key!” she says.