a grand year

Photo by Stu Vickars
Photo by Stu Vickars

Its the end of 2008, and I find myself without very much time to reflect over the year.  The new year is starting with lots of projects and plans.  This past year, many wonderful opportunities came my way.  It was the first year that I supported myself entirely as a freelance illustrator, and that makes me very happy.

Thank you for being part of Final Fashion and for your patience when posts are fewer and farther apart.  There will be more to come when the time is right.  Have a lovely New Year’s Eve and all my best wishes to you for 2009.

sidebar tour

If you check out the right sidebar => you’ll notice it extends down a long ways now with various feeds and links.  These are all other ways that you can connect with me on the internet if you wish, to see what I’m reading, or check out my illustrations.  If you are new to the site or follow via RSS, this is a guide to what is currently sidebar-worthy.

From the top:

Illustration Portfolio – This is where I showcase a selection of my fashion illustration work along with my contact information as a reference for clients or others who are interested in what I do.  I update it occasionally, about twice a month, with new items.

Rags and Mags – This is a “story blog” website I collaborate on with Carolyn RohalyRags and Mags affectionately sends up the fashion scene in Toronto, featuring two (fictional) characters.  Max is an up-and-coming designer and Lucinda is a established journalist, and their perspectives show the contrasts between two different sides of the fashion scene.  In addition to attending (real) events and showcasing the work of (real) Canadian designers, Max and Lucinda have various dramatic (imaginary) adventures.  If you are new to Rags and Mags, this is the perfect time to catch up with a little holiday reading.  Start at the beginning and click through to each consecutive post on the bottom right link.

My Dr. Martens Boot – this is the winning boot I designed for a Dr. Martens design contest.  It will be manufactured and sold in 2009 – click this link to get on the waiting list!

Search – You can search my site here.

Pages – These are a few links to my “about me” page (can never think of what to put there) as well as some links to random projects that are either from fashion school or don’t really fit onto my portfolio site.

Recent Comments – This is a list of the most recent comments on my posts – you can check out what people are discussing or which recent posts people find most interesting.

Flickr – This widget shows a selection from my Flickr photostream.  Among other things, you can see a broader portfolio of my work, press clippings, some photos of me and collections of images I find interesting or inspiring.  I’m still not great at tagging my photos (so feel free to tag if you wish) and I’m a bit slower to respond to my Flickr mail and comments, but I really appreciate all the views.

Subscribe – if you would like to receive Final Fashion updates in your email inbox, you can subscribe.

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My Del.icio.us – This is my profile on the social bookmarking site Del.icio.us, where I collect all the links that I find interesting.  Besides fashion, I also collect links about business, media, and food.  If you are also a user, please feel free to add me as a contact or suggest links.

My Shared Items – I recently changed RSS readers from Bloglines to Google Reader.  Among the features that prompted me to make the switch is “Shared Items“, which allows me to collect the posts I find most interesting from the blogs that I subscribe to and read regularly.  Want to be included among them?  Please publish an RSS feed for your blog!  Have suggestions for my new reader?  Share some items with me.  I’d love to learn what blogs you can’t wait for updates on, fashion related or otherwise.

Follow Me on Twitter – I was pretty slow on the adoption curve for this application, but I’m completely hooked now.  Twitter is hard to explain and takes a bit of dedication.  If you do it consistently it is a rewarding way to make connections.  This is where I post wee updates about my daily doings or discuss whatever comes up with my followees.  If you’re in Toronto or into fashion, please follow along.

Canadian Fashion Blogs – This is a list of some fashion blogs by Canadians that I am aware of.  It is by no means exhaustive.  I update it every few months.  I try to keep it limited to active blogs that post fairly regularly.  Feel free to suggest links for the blogroll, however as I try to keep the blogroll from being excessively long, please do not take it personally if your link is not on it.  There are far too many great blogs to list.

International Fashion Blogs – This is a list of a few international blogs that I read regularly, or have been influenced by.  It is even less exhaustive than the Canadian Fashion Blogs list, and is updated far less frequently.  Again, feel free to make suggestions but please understand I am not creating a directory here.  The blogroll is not something I like to spend a lot of time worrying about, it seems like a throwback to 2005 in a way.

Badges – These are a collection of websites that I visit regularly, am a member of, or support their mission somehow, but don’t fit into the narrow definition of a blogroll.

Independent Fashion Bloggers/

Technorati Profile – This is where you can see all the various blogs that link to Final Fashion.

Categories – this is my unwieldy list of categories, which I now realize are neither descriptive or useful and need a thorough rehaul.  Because this will mean going through my entire archives, this is a task that I will probably put off indefinitely.

Archives – an incomplete and edited list of my more recent archives.  For complete archives, check Wayback.

Meta – you can subscribe to my RSS feed or my comments feed here.

So there it is, my current sidebar.  I hope this post encourages some of you to click through and check out my various profiles, try a new application, read, follow, subscribe, comment, befriend, or whatever.

December break

Photo by Stu Vickars.

The shortest days of the year are often the fullest – and it is a time best spent among the people you love enjoying good food and good company.  I will be taking a short break and will be back next week before the new year.

Thank you very much for reading, linking, and commenting on Final Fashion, I am so grateful to be able to share this tiny corner of the internet with such lovely friends.  Wishing you a Merry Christmas, and have a wonderful week everyone!

a million little clicks

Welcome to the click post, the irregular roundup of what I found worth clicking on the internet.  It has been a while so expect a long list… I’ve broken it down into categories to make it easier to find what interests you.

Canadian Fashion Links

Online Fashion & Style Links

  • I Like My Style – sort of an upmarket Wardrobe Remix – less thrifty more haute.
  • The Photography Link – gorgeous scans of fashion editorials.
  • Designer Blog Shop – vintage shopping combined with trend posts, from Vintage Couture but featuring more recent designer items.
  • You Know You Love It – Leith, the talented teenage fashion blogger who found notoriety and quit because of it is back – and its nice to read her trademark snark again.
  • Style Rookie – speaking of the awfully precocious, this style blogger can post circles around most of us and she’s 12 years old.  She claims that she even does the photos herself.  And I believe her.
  • Sea of Shoes – another lovely envy-provoking teenage fashion blogger with access to a closet that most of us can only dream of.
  • Advanced Style – thankfully, the under-20 set don’t have the monopoly on terrific style.  Check out the over-60 set.
  • Rise of the Machines – For those of us that miss Adrian Corsin (Fashion Verbatim just isn’t the same), he returns on Jak & Jil to preach the zenith of insider style without a trace of salt.
  • The Fashion List – promises to organize our busy fashion event calendars – so far seems a bit  NYC-centric and somehow glitches every time I try to sign up, but seems like a very useful service.

Illustration & Art Links

Fashion Blog Karma – link love for all my commenters, twitter followers, and incoming linkers!  Thank you all.


This macro-economic shift is registering some interesting changes in fashion and language that I think bear remarking upon.


Depressionista?  I Object! Finally someone speaks out over the rampant misuse of the so-called-suffix “ista” – this time used in the service of Wal-Mart, the “Hot New Store“.  The use of fear to incite a stampede of consumerism is a low point for fashion blogging.  Dare I coin the word PRopogandista?

I have been reading a lot of “Recessionista” posts that exhort people to purchase more cheap stuff, with nary a mention of the thriftiest of lost arts, mending.  Mend not Spend!  Extend your wardrobe for nothing.  The feeling of pride and satisfaction is far greater than the rush and regret of shopping.  Try it.


Speaking of words past their due date, NOW announces “The End of the Hipster” which provoked a lot of discussion on the internet, and presumably in real life, before everyone suddenly lost interest on Thursday afternoon.  There is a lot of distancing language being used by the Hipster Spokespersons in the article.  This is the kind of revulsion only the collapse of a recent fashion can inspire.  While I welcome the new post-ironic age, I’m already anticipating the Hipster Revival of 2010.  Also worth checking out is the fashion spread (dare I utter the word Hipsterista?).

Ok, I took the quiz to make sure, because I suspected I may in fact be a hipster.

Are you a HIPSTER?

My Result: You wish!
View user's Quiz School Profile
OK, you dress
like a hipster, act like a hipster and listen to hipster music. But you
just don’t have the whole package. Sorry, keep trying. You are not a
Quiz School Take this quiz & get your result
Powered By ProProfs: Create A Quiz

I think it was my proclivity for the East End of Toronto which did me in.  What’s your score?

Project Runway Canada 2 – designers announced

Project Runway Canada 2

Eeee!  Finally got the email I have been waiting for – the designers for Project Runway Canada 2 have been announced!  I only know one personally – Jessica Biffi and I are both ’06ers for Fashion Design at Ryerson.  I am so thrilled that she is on the show – she is passionate and funny, and designs outrageous, wonderful things!

Looking forward to getting to know the other designers too.  Those that read the blog will remember I am a PRC superfan, so expect to see recaps of all the episodes and related PRC ephemera here.

Black Sunday Brunch redux

Yesterday’s Black Sunday [Toronto Fashion Bloggers] Brunch was a happy reunion with some of the regulars and a welcome opportunity to introduce new faces.  To recap, I’m going to list the attendees and let you know what they are up to.

  • Ottawa Street StyleDanah just moved to Toronto last month, and started a new position at the WOM marketing outfit Matchstick.  She’s still managing her Ottawa blog as well as posting about the events she’s attending in Toronto and the new people she’s met in the city.
  • Audit Your ClosetJas is an entrepreneur based in Mississauga.  She is developing a service offering professional tailoring to executive women.  This has been her first year of business – she is learning a lot and is transforming her own style in the process.
  • I Want – I GotAnita runs Toronto’s premiere shopping blog.  She spent the weekend working the One of a Kind show for jewelry designer Moonrox – and apparently uncovered a hidden talent for selling too.
  • Modern GuiltS and her boyfriend G are the dream team – S has an inventive style and writes thoughtful, positive posts and G takes care of the professional photography – they post daily and have built impressive traffic in less than a year.
  • Worn JournalSerah-Marie‘s alternative fashion journal just released issue #7 with a slow dance party the night before – and despite a lack of sleep she showed up with magazines to share. Her take on fashion skews towards the academic, with a focus on personal experiences and the art and science of textiles.  The next issue is all about shoes.
  • The Style BoxGail just officially launched herself as an independent fashion professional.  Among her many pursuits she is the managing editor of the TFI news – the most complete aggregate of Canadian fashion stories there is.
  • Rags and MagsCarolyn is taking Lucinda McRuvy on a mysterious adventure with the fashion mafia – if you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s time to get reading!  Carolyn’s ongoing story blog is a delicious mix of drama, satire, fashion and gossip that makes me laugh out loud.  Full disclosure – I draw the pictures and contribute story ideas too.
  • BargainistaEden has been taking on the internet beyond her shopping blog – she’s doing podcasts on online communities and just got nominated as one of Canada’s most influential women in social media!
  • I was there too.

Thank you everyone for coming!  We had one cancellation – Jacquieshambles was sick and couldn’t come.  Feel better soon Jacquie!

What did we talk about?  All sorts of stuff!  The explosion of Twitter and how we use it, personal style blogging and narcissism, academic fashion conferences, avoiding Black Friday sales, marketing and PR with a personal touch, and so much more.

Does this mean that I have revived the monthly brunches?  I don’t think so, though I will be organizing more TFBBs in the future, expect them to be irregular with very limited seating.  If you would like to come to the next one, I would suggest subscribing to my blog to be notified – check the right sidebar =>

The size and infrequency of the brunches will mean that not everyone who wants to come will be able to – so I would also like to encourage other fashion bloggers in Toronto (and elsewhere) to initiate their own brunches.  I wrote a post on it a while ago, and you’re welcome to ask me any questions if you would like to organize your own fashion bloggers brunch.

new dress from Fashion Crimes

When I did the illustration for Fashion Crimes’ holiday sale, part of the deal was I got some store credit to play with.  This morning I walked west down Queen and tried on some very pretty dresses, and this is the one I picked. I also got a soft knitted hat which I wore though perhaps it does not quite make an outfit. Zoe wanted to see it on – its a very girly dress and she had a hard time picturing it on me, so here it is.

me in Fashion Crimes

I am very happy with the dress – it has a sweeping full circle skirt, fits perfectly, and fills the party-dress shaped hole on the pole I call a closet.

This has never been a personal style blog so its a bit funny to attempt an outfit post – lots of running back and forth with the timer on the camera and a rather unflattering flash – alas not all of us have co-operative photographer boyfriends like Modern Guilt.

The sale is still on!  Toronto girls, you know you want to go to Fashion Crimes with some friends and have fun finding pretty dresses for all your December parties.