a week’s worth – 30-05-09

Welcome to the triumphant return of A Week’s Worth, documenting what I did all week – a little peek into the life of a fashion illustrator and blogger.  It has been on hiatus for two weeks while I didn’t have a lot to report – this week I remembered to take my camera along to two events.

This week has been all about catching up on my correspondence and getting back into the swing of life in the studio.  It is great to be back.

I went out for the first time on Monday night to the meeting of the Style Advisory Council at the Textile Museum of Canada.  The council is putting the final touches on the Androgyny party next Thursday – tickets are selling fast so you should get yours now!

parlour launch

Wednesday I went west in the rain to check out the launch party for Parlour, a brand new salon on Ossington Avenue.  The haircuts and colours are gorgeous and the look is hip yet with a sense of humour and humility.  I used to work on the same block as colourist Franz, and I took a picture of him being interviewed by a reporter from Torontoist.
Franz of Parlour gets interviewed

Thanks to the ladies at Lotus Leaf for the invitation!  I had fun hanging out with the FASHION lovelies and saying hey to some new friends and acquaintances.  I guess my social life is getting back on track.

Did you know that Gala Darling is in Toronto for a few weeks?  If you spot her hot pink beacon, please make her feel welcome and make the effort to share all the great things in the city with her.  If you’re not familiar with her blog, iCing, do check it out!  She’s positive and naughty, inspirational and indulgent, all at the same time.  It is a big deal, fashion-blogwise.

Friday was “wear a gown to work day“, however I didn’t do very much work and I didn’t wear a gown.  I know.  Like Jennifer Campbell, I live a gownless existence.  But Loenne did and look how cute she is!

In my gownless state I didn’t feel quite up to attending the “semiformal” Luminosis party. So instead I took The Grumpy Owl out to check out My Tapes, an event where people watch funny Youtube videos together.

the my tapes guys

The reason why I went was to see the very special premiere of Episode 9 of Nirvana The Band The Show.  The guys were really nice and tolerated me taking very badly lit pictures of them without warning.
the guys from NTBTS
Jay from NTBTS

If you haven’t watched NTBTS yet, go do it.  It is beyond funny (especially if you follow the music scene in Toronto), a classic buddy comedy, irreverent and affectionate.  These guys are going to be big time someday soon, so you can say that you were a fan way back when.

How was your week?

invitation – Faren launches at Freedom

A little Feathered bird let me know that TFI New Labels winner Faren Tami is hosting a launch event this Saturday (tomorrow) at Freedom Clothing Collective.

Freedom Clothing Collective (at 939 Bloor St. W. near Ossington) will be hosting Faren’s Launch Party on Saturday May 30, 2009.  Doors open at 8pm.  It’s a night to meet the designer, view the award winning collection and to pre-order for Fall 2009.

career karma – Ali de Bold

Ali de Bold is a graduate of the Radio and Television Arts program at Ryerson University and with her husband Alex has started the website ChickAdvisor.com – a social networking site for women who love to shop and shop well.  I met Ali through TFBB and have always admired her poise, ambition, and work ethic.  Though our websites are very different we share a love of entrepreneurship, the internet and fashion and I always learn a lot whenever I get to talk shop with her.

I asked her a few questions about her life as a Chick Advisor.

You run an internet startup with your husband Alex. What is it like to be partnered both in business and life?

It’s great, actually. I don’t think it’s for everyone because it’s really hard to keep business out of your personal time, but I’ve learned so much from him and he’s a fantastic business partner. Also, since we both work crazy hours neither of us feels neglected because the other is working too much. When you are working towards a common goal it’s easier to be on the same page.

You’re the main chick behind ChickAdvisor.com. How did you come up with the name, and what does being a chick mean?

I spent the summer of ’05 researching the possibility of this idea and trying to come up with the name. I held countless focus groups with friends and friends of friends. In the end, I wanted a name that was memorable, easy to spell and that people could instantly understand what the company might be about. The name came to me when I was sitting by the pool on a lovely summer day – I do realize this sounds lame, but it is true ;) . I had a pad of paper with me where I was jotting down my ideas and it just seemed to fit.

What are your favourite blogs, websites and magazines?

There are so many that I read I’m afraid I won’t do justice, but a sampling of sites I really like include Lainey Gossip, Go Fug Yourself, NYTimes, and lot of local fashion and beauty sites including yours ;)

The spirit of Chick Advisor is all about shopping mavens giving their picks and tips. What is the best shopping advice you’ve seen shared on the site?

Always spend within your means and choose quality over quantity. Having a few great basics that you’ve invested in is worth far more than a dozen disposable items because they will stand the test of time. I don’t have a lot of clothes, but what I do buy, I wear over and over. You can always spice things up with accessories. I also don’t believe in going into debt over it. That’s part of the reason why I started to the company to help women make better purchase decisions by reading reviews first so they don’t waste their money on products or services that aren’t right for them. :)

Just for Ali I’m breaking my moratorium on the “word” recessionista – to extend this invitation to a Recessionista Shop Crawl up at Bloor and Yonge on June 18th.  If you like shopping for deals, presents and new friends this is just the event for you.

fashion illustrated – being indie

being hipsters

While I was away at an undisclosed location for the past few weeks, I had the great pleasure of being surrounded by many young, independent, energetic people and I sketched a few of them in my sketchbook.

Amber by night turns into Esther De Ville, burlesque temptress.  She is currently starring in the Holt Renfrew windows on Saturdays – and she has a big debut with Starlight Burlesque coming up tomorrow – check the details here.

Jon is a comedian who writes and performs with the sketch troupe The Sketchersons who have a regular Sunday show on Bloor Street West.

press release – YES teams up with the TFI

Introducing a neat new education program for young people in the Toronto area who are interested in learning more about working in the fashion industry.

A Passion For Fashion!

Youth Employment Services YES has teamed up with Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) to create this amazing opportunity for youth to learn about entrepreneurship and fashion design.

A Passion for Fashion participants will receive:

  • Workshops on starting your own business
  • Workshops on fashion design and marketing
  • One-on-one Mentorship
  • Assistance in building a portfolio
  • Entrance into the Fashionista’s Den Competition and win $1000, a one-year membership to TFI and 50 hours of business advisory and fashion mentorship for free!

Find out more by attending one of our Orientation Sessions!

press – Keds for Worn Journal

NOW 21-05-09

Last day to pick up NOW Magazine and get a peek at a few exciting customized Keds (including mine) which are currently on display at the Bata Shoe Museum.  They will be auctioned off at the launch party for Worn Journal in support of Fashion Cares on June 6.  You should come!

If you do, you will see a special little demonstration on how I created my pair of Keds.  Ok?  Come!

just a thought – down and up

Positivity and creativity can reinforce each other and it is incredibly liberating to feel that momentum build.  On the opposite side, doubt and negativity can drag you down, deep.  So much of the my journey thus far has been battling my own dark side.

It used to be that I was unconsciously negative.  I would complain and blame, criticize and make excuses without being aware of how much of a downer I was.  As a teenager my sense of self was so low, I had no experience being positive at all.  I felt that nothing I said or did mattered.

As I slowly began to realize I was negative I would defend my negativity – I was being realistic, I was being cynical, I was being pessimistic – really, I was being irrationally sort of proud of it.  Looking back, this stage embarrasses me the most – I was being a know-it-all fashion student.

The next stage of awareness was when I started to notice the effects of my attitude.  I never before noticed when people would be hurt or annoyed by things I said or did.  It had never occurred to me before that my actions and attitude would actually be important to anyone else or affect people besides myself.  This consciousness was painful, I felt really bad for things I said and did.  The blog played a huge part in this process; before blogging I had never been able to see feedback to my own expressions in such a direct way.

Thus began the process of acquiring a positive attitude and trying to recover from years of ignorance and depression.  It has been a huge challenge.  I am not full of positivity all the time, I am sure no one is.  Sometimes I feel discouraged and down, but the difference is now I know it – I can feel the negativity crash over me like a wave and identify the irrational feelings that stifle me.

Just recently I have been able to go beyond just awareness and develop an ability to control myself.  When I notice the downward pressure I try to shut myself off and take a time out – the negativity can undo the things I have tried to build and oppress the people around me.  So I avoid the internet and the phone and try to do things that comfort me and give me energy – talk to my family, make food, take naps with my cat, take a walk, read my favourite funny books, until I feel my best self resurfaces and I can recover and get on with the good stuff.

The whole LOA stuff doesn’t appeal to me – too mystical, evangelistic, and a little creepy – but I do really think that what you put into your world is what your world is.  It just seems like common sense, I do not know why it took me so long to realize it.  I try to be helpful and creative and I put a lot of effort into making the scene around me fun and exciting to be in – and bit by bit, the life I always wanted to live is becoming real.

So – I became aware, and then I took the responsibility for my environment and now I am learning to control my own actions.  This must be what growing up is.

click click – 26-05-09

Welcome to Click Click, the regular roundup of what I find worth clicking on the internet.

Toronto-centric stuff…

Blog karma for friends of Final Fashion…

showing love to Andrea Ferkul

It took me a while, but I finally learned who the illustrator of the “Show Love” campaign for LG Fashion Week is – Andrea Stajan-Ferkul.  I love the lightness and the movement of this illustration – simple and yet spontaneous, it is a classic fashion illustration.  It was displayed everywhere in the tents – including a very cool animated graphic projected on the background of the runway between shows.

I asked Andrea about how she did the illustration:

I was asked to create a loose drawing (with no detail) of a woman walking up a runway.  I began with a more detailed drawing to get the basic proportions; much of the work is done in this preliminary stage.  I cleaned up the drawing in the second draft – then in the third, I eliminated the detail, creating a simplified version by using loose and spontaneous strokes.

I had the great pleasure to meet Andrea in person and talked about her career – she worked at Simpsons in the 1980s doing graphic design.  It seems so incredibly distant a time – back then they did graphic design by hand, and now there is no such thing as Simpsons (it was a department store).  Are there even any in-house art departments left? It was fascinating to talk to her about the business and craft of fashion illustration – there are so few working fashion illustrators in Toronto, I love the rare opportunity to talk shop.

Now Andrea focuses more on fine art and exhibitions – you can see more of her lovely work on her portfolio website.

invitation – Androgyny at the Textile Museum


The Textile Museum of Canada is in the process of creating a community including the fashion industry and young people, and the new Style Advisory Council’s first initiative is a party celebrating the theme of Androgyny.  I am on the council and had the opportunity to create an illustration for the party.  If you are in Toronto please come, it is going to be so much fun and the chance to learn a little more about the connections between textiles, fashion and art with some terrific panelists.

Texstyle: Androgyny

Thursday June 4, 8:00 pm

Presented by the Style Advisory Council.

A Coco Chanel suit. Yves Saint Laurent’s Le Smoking jacket. Ziggy Stardust. Whatever your definition of androgyny, we invite you to wear it on your sleeve on June 4th.

Join us for an ultra-stylish evening in two parts:

8 p.m. “Androgyny in Fashion and Textiles”
, a panel discussion featuring David Livingstone, Mikhael Kale and Derek McCormack; moderated by Patricia Bentley, curator at the Textile Museum of Canada.

9 p.m. Costume party.
Sip an “ambiguous” cocktail, sit for Sephora’s expert team of makeup artists, and admire androgyny-inspired pieces from some of Canada’s top fashion labels, including Andy The-Anh, Bustle, and Greta Constantine. Go behind-the-scenes into the Museum’s collections vault and enjoy a special look at The Cutting Edge exhibition featuring Issey Miyake and Yumi Eto.

Dress: Androgynous. Hint: Go big—best costume wins a fabulous prize!

Cost: $45 Reservation: Required BUY TICKETS NOW