paper doll – Preloved Fall 2010

I have to rush, because its fashion week and I’m going to be late, but I really wanted to post this doll I made of Preloved‘s Fall 2010 collection that I saw on Monday.  The collection was so much of what Preloved does so well – cozy cut and sew knits, deconstructed men’s clothing, etcetera – and I was particularly inspired with the simple styling of the models, without fussy hair and makeup they just looked so cute.  I love a paper doll in glasses.

As my gift to you, you can download the Preloved Paper doll as a PDF to print yourself. Have fun!

a word from… March 10 Sponsors


A word from… is a monthly news post contributed by the sponsors who support Final Fashion. All of these sponsors are intrepid entrepreneurs with a lot of personality, and I encourage you to check out what they are doing and making. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please get in touch!

Vanessa from 18karat says…

18Karat is beefing up its gallery status – we are pleased to announce our call for entry for Envy – to covet and desire, a juried show. We invite jewellery artists and designers to enter works that explore the complex ways we express our insatiable desires using that which we covet most – jewellery. Exhibit runs from August 9 – 21st, with deadline for submissions on May 31st 2010. For more information, visit

Darlene from Bijouxbead says…

Bijouxbead’s fans on Facebook have grown 200% in the last week! Once the fan number reaches 500, Darlene will be awarding a lucky fan with a pair of semi-precious and sterling earrings from the Spring/Summer 2010 collection. To become eligible, become a fan here. Over 100 pairs of Bijouxbead earrings will be rolled out into stores in the coming weeks; Peridot, Turquoise and Amethyst are among the variety of stones used in this season’s collection. For a list Bijouxbead stockists, click here.

Bijouxbead fan Kimberly Lyn, blogger, The Souls of my Shoes
photo source Paul Baik

Nina from the Toronto Fashion Incubator says…

Meet Hbc’s Fashion Director & VP of Merchandising

Suzanne Timmins, Fashion Director, Hudson’s Bay Company
Suzanne is responsible for providing the national fashion direction for Canada’s iconic department store and its complement of 94 stores across Canada. She has over 25 years experience in Canada’s diverse retail environments, ranging from luxury retailers, dept stores and mass consumer chains, notably Holt Renfrew, The Bay, Zellers and Home Outfitters.

Mary Turner, Vice President of Merchandising, Hudson’s Bay Company
Mary brings with her over 20 years experience in better department store and specialty store retailing to the Hudson’s Bay Company. In addition to 10 years at the Hudson’s Bay Company, she spent 12 years at Holt Renfrew. During her tenure there, she had extensive store operations and merchandising experience. At The Bay, Mary oversees strategies for all apparel businesses for sales, merchandising and marketing.

Come to this seminar to discover:

* The future of Hbc and how Canadian fashion design fits with this corporate strategy
* The vision behind the Canadian Olympic team uniforms
* What’s in store at The Room, Hbc’s flagship luxury designer showcase
* The role and responsibilities of Hbc’s Fashion Director
* The role and responsibilities of Hbc’s VP of Merchandising

Date: Thursday, April 8, 2010
5:30pm Doors open for Coffee & Networking
6:00pm Seminar Presentation with Q&A

Location: Toronto Fashion Incubator
285 Manitoba Drive, Pod 3, Exhibition Place, Toronto

Buy Tickets Here

Odessa from Buy Design for Windfall says…

Buy Design for Windfall – Spring Social – April 10th, 2010

Get ready to shake, jitter and jive at Buy Design again this year! Buy your tickets now for Toronto’s favourite fashion charity event, and make sure you’re a part of all of the Dirty Thirties fun! Encore Catering will provide a sumptuous, brown-bagged feast including Parmesan-encrusted Mac & Cheese, Mini Sirloin Burgers, and Miniature Hot Dogs in puff pastry! Wash these tasty delights down with one of our signature Buy Design cocktails from the open bar – and your next stop will be the rocking dance floor, featuring live entertainment and a DJ, to help take all your cares away.

Make sure to catch a game of badminton or croquet at the greens, and peruse the Mess Hall Silent Auction for a treat for someone special – or for yourself, of course! Jay Mandarino will be our Live Auction MC this year, and you don’t want to miss a moment of the bidding action. This year’s festivities will also include a Boater Pageant, featuring design collaborations from Toronto’s hottest fashion personalities and milliners including Lilliput, Lara Vincent and Petit Beret. And for those who love a good ol’ fashion game, the Beauty Balloon Buster gives you a chance to get all dolled up with prizes ranging from mani/pedi kits to lipsticks and much, much more!

Get your tickets online at, or by phone at 416-703-8435. $75 get you in on all the action, and for maximum fun, you can buy six tickets for just $375.  See you April 10th!

Crystal from Fashion Crimes invites you to a party!

Gail from Magnet Creative says…

It’s been a busy month over here at Magnet Creative. I started a new fashion blog, Fashion Magnet, which features interviews with industry professionals, job and intern postings, events and fashion news. I signed Soos Jewellery to our Publicity roster and booked them a spot on MuchMusic’s MOD (Music on Demand) on their first day with us! On Thursday, March 18 I coordinated Breeyn McCarney’s first independent fashion show to a packed house at The Courthouse in Toronto. Images can be viewed here. Flare, Toronto Sun, NOW Magazine, and BlogTO were just some of the outlets who came to cover the event. And lastly, I had a fantastic opportunity on Thursday, March 25 to choreograph and direct LINE Knitwear’s fashion show which featured some of country’s top models, including Alana Zimmer and Tara Gill.

In-between my packed LG Fashion Week schedule, I am prepping for a few jobs, most notably, the PR campaign for Starkers by Dianna DiNoble’s fashion show happening during Toronto’s Alternative Arts and Fashion Week [FAT] on Thursday, April 22 at 7:00pm. Ticket information is available at

Ashley from Shopgirls says…

We are so happy to announce that Shopgirls artist (and manager!) Ashley Winnington-Ball is participating in the first-ever Get Dressed on-site boutique at LG Fashion Week! Find her artful jewellery made from recycled and found objects in a high-end boutique setting, along with 20 other creative Canadian designers. On till April 1st! If you don’t make it, check out her brand-new website here, for images of her work. Of course, as always, her work is available exclusively at Shopgirls.

click click – 29-03-10


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

Karma for commenters and linkers, cheers!

  • wires“Fashion is art that doesn’t wait to be seen. Once worn, it comes to you: in the street, at a party, on the bus.”
  • Arts and Sciences“Sarcasm, science, art, craft, music and popular culture. Lady-written.”
  • Wicked Whimsy“I believe that the way you dress and the way you feel are inextricably tangled.”

library finds – Hope in a Jar

This book is just excellent – Hope in a Jar: The Making of America’s Beauty Culture
by Kathy Peiss.  It tells the story of the development of the cosmetics industry – from Victorian puritanism to the triumph of consumerism, covering the period from the turn of the 20th century up until the 1960s.  With so many angles – from entrepreneurship, to class, to race politics, celebrity and identity, its a vast topic that Peiss manages to render down into a fascinating read.

Some favourite excerpts follow.  On the inherent political virtue of eschewing cosmetics:

In a republican society, manly citizens and virtuous women were expected to reject costly beauty preparations and other signs of aristocratic style. The transformation in self-presentation was most pronounced in men, who spurned luxurious fabrics, perfume, and adornments as effete and unmanly.  In a personal declaration of independence, Benjamin Franklin discarded his periwig. The “great masculine renunciation,” as fashion historians call it, replaced spectacular male display, once considered an essential symbol of monarchial rule, with a subdued and understated appearance. Republican ideals of manly citizenship reinforced the idea: men need not display their authority, since their virtue was inherent. (p. 23)

I like thinking about the “great masculine renunciation” because of how deeply it connects to the idea of work as something to be proud of.  Inherent in the trappings of fashion – pointed, uncomfortable shoes, time-consuming hairstyles and makeup – is the idea of flaunting leisure.  So, just as men were renunciating the trappings of fashion, they were also renunciating leisure – turning the idea of doing useful work itself into a sort of fashion.  I believe that there is a feminine renunciation too – though its been a somewhat less dramatic process of turning the idea of a working woman into a respectable, fashionable ideal.  I like thinking about these things because I believe that fashion is not just about what you wear, but also about what you do.

On the effects of widely available, affordable photography for consumers:

A fundamental and far-reaching change was taking place: the heightened importance of image-making and performance in everyday life. Photographic and stage techniques of making up and posing introduced external and standardized models of beauty that challenged the “natural” ideal.  For some advice writers, social life itself had become a performance that called for makeup, but only if used, paradoxically, to enact the part of one’s true, natural self. (p. 49)

I just found this revelation to be so reflective of the things I’ve been pondering lately in regards to exhibiting “personality” through blogs.  Its strange to think that this is just a continuation of a trend that began with inexpensive tintypes, nothing new at all, just the inevitable result of humans and their relationship to the ever-expanding implications of media.

On the genesis of the modern brands we are familiar with:

The sensual Revlon woman who “only went out at night” was one of several beauty types in the postwar decades.  … When Noxzema developed Cover Girl as a medicated makeup for teens as well as adults, it knew that a frankly sexual appeal would anger girls’ parents.  So advertisers consciously established the product’s image against the Revlon woman with a consistent look of daytime, wholesome beauty.  Interviewed about the campaign years later, they repeated the mantra that Maybelline was “for not too intelligent girls,” “Revlon was for tarts,” and “Cover Girl was for nice girls.” (p. 251)

I found this scan of Revlon’s famous “Fire and Ice” ad on this blog. Peiss uses it as an example of how advertisers began to appeal to women’s fantasies as they relate to their own identities, rather than through the conventional appeals of attracting a mate.

There’s so much good stuff in here I could go on – if you like, why don’t you go get the book so we can discuss it in the comments?

press – The Globe and Mail 27-03-10

My friend Irene Stickney of The Make Den recruited me to help her out with a very cool project she’s been working on – helping at-risk youth learn how to design and sew prom dresses.  Today’s Globe and Mail features a terrific article about the program.  Check it out – you can click the image for a bigger version, and you can see a colour picture of the illustrations that the participants drew here.

paper doll – Greta Constantine Fall 2010

The fall 2010 Greta Constantine show, hosted at the Audi flagship in Toronto, was a full-on fierceness festival on and off the runway.  The signature drapery was glamorous as always, and the leather leggings gave the models the sleek look, like the interior of a luxury car, as they sped down the long runway at top speed.  The totality of the designers’ vision is a privilege to see in person.  The show starred all of my favorite Elmer Olsen models, including Serbian stunner Bojana Reljic, who I based this paper doll on.

You can buy this paper doll as a high-resolution, printable PDF to cut out and play with! Only $3 CDN. Just click the button below.

giveaway – passes to Zoran Dobric and Jules Power

Rock-It Promotions and the FDCC have kindly offered me some free passes to give away to two fashion shows happening next week in Toronto.  I’m also very excited to be attending these shows myself.

Jules Power is showing on Monday March 29 at 5pm.

Zoran Dobric is showing on Tuesday March 30 at 5pm.

The shows are happening at the Allstream Centre.

I have a pair of passes to give away for each show, so if you’d like a chance to go with a friend, please leave a comment on this post with the name of the show you’d like to attend.  Make sure to leave your real email address so I can contact you.  I’ll be randomly selecting and notifying the two winners on Saturday, March 27.

competition – Project Sock

Joi let me know about this cute little competition sponsored by specialty sock company Little Miss Matched.

The Fan Favorite (this is the popularity contest angle) wins $1000 + socks, and there are five awards for Company Favorites who win $250 + socks.

Joi suggested I should enter, however I was disappointed when I read the OFFICIAL RULES and found it is only open to residents of the United States.  The other disappointment in the rules is that Little Miss Matched is grabby – just by entering (even if you don’t win), you forfeit the copyright to your work without compensation, “in perpetuity, anywhere in the world”. Not cute, I would hesitate to enter even if I was eligible under those terms.  Designers in the states – if you choose to enter, make sure you read and understand the terms and conditions.

just a thought – the power of personality

A major parallel trend I have noticed both in fashion and blogging is the trend towards the power of personality.

Any close examination of fashion history will reveal that its focus is constantly shifting and so is its center of power.  As I described after reading Model, the various arms of the industry are constantly trying to seize the reigns of the entire industry, to attempt to steer it in their favour.  At various points in the last century, we’ve seen models, magazine editors, designers and others wrest the spotlight away from each other in turn, or kowtow to whoever seems to control the current zeitgeist.  Much as a fashion object like clogs wins and loses favour, so do the groups that form the greater entity that we call the fashion industry.  Most recently we have seen the fashion industry become supplicant to the idea of celebrity – whether its celebrities on the covers of magazines, celebrity fashion lines and endorsements, or celebrity judges (of questionable authority) for fashion competitions, the past decade in fashion belonged to celebrity, much as past decades belonged to brands, or supermodels, or designers, or editors.

Blogging is a relatively new subsection to fashion, and yet its short history has already gone through some massive shifts in focus – from the early, romantic preoccupation with ideas (’05 to ’06) to the pragmatic obsession with speed (’07 to ’08), and now resolutely embracing (along with the rest of modern culture) the power of personality.

It was in 2008 when I started to really notice the growing influence a new breed of bloggers which I would describe as “personality bloggers”.  These bloggers focus less on a particular niche or topic than they did on themselves – creating an artfully crafted online persona was their main mandate.  How do you tell a personality blogger?  Their URL is often their own name; their face is in the header – and in most if not all of their posts. Most of all, when a personality blogger is successful, they are very successful – even if the content isn’t particularly powerful.  Its a genre that rewards photogenic faces and popularity begets more popularity.  Scientifically, human brains are primarily responsive to human faces – I just heard that on Radiolab. Also, we are evolutionarily hardwired to devote attention towards those we perceive as being powerful. Its a survival mechanism if you’re living in a pack of apes when the leaders of the pack directly determine the quality of your own life. Whether its still a useful instinct is debatable.  In any case, personality blogging has been an inexorable force to contend with as a fashion blogger, and the lines between fashion bloggers and personality bloggers have been becoming tremendously blurred.

As we are watching fashion begin the backlash against the celebrity trend (designers trying to distance themselves, denying celebrity attendance at fashion shows, etc), timing is perfect for the rise of the personality.  The difference between celebrity and personality is a fuzzy one – but the essence of it is that personality is something which is more accessible, less godlike, and usually the individual addresses their audience in a very direct way.  The trend towards “reality” within celebrity culture to me represents the process of downgrading stars into personalities, just as “cewebrity” mirrors the process by upgrading bloggers to the level of personalities.  It just happens that the development of platforms like blogs and twitter is tremendously supportive of the development of personalities – because they are types of media which are easily controlled by a single individual.

I have noticed the effects of the power of personality even here on my own blog, and my own feelings towards these changes are ambivalent at best.  I am a fashion illustrator who spends a lot of time and effort crafting drawings, paintings, and paper dolls, and as a blogger I like to explore history and ideas.  Even so, current reactions to my art and my writing in no way compare to the response I get for my infrequent “outfit” posts.  It is a somewhat unsatisfying form of validation to receive more acclaim for a snapshot of myself in a jacket I got at the thrift store than for a painting I spent days creating.

And yet, this is the reality of the situation.  Bloggers who make a point of keeping their face and name off their blog are playing with a major handicap. Anonymity is anathema in the current atmosphere. Accolades go to those who can artfully package themselves using their own image and more often than not, their own URL. First person posts and opinions gather more momentum than carefully researched, more balanced writing. Unfortunately, the positive effect of being able to define oneself independently without depending on affiliations is counteracted by the overwhelming pressures of appearance over substance, and the inevitable economic necessity of cultivating hits rather than creating original work.

Who can name the people who write for GQ, or Glamour, and how many magazine websites are worth subscribing to? And yet we know all the top style bloggers on a first name basis. How many of you follow Lisa Tant on twitter but don’t buy Flare? Being able to parse a personal voice seems to be more important to consumers of modern media than the masthead, the delivery method, or even the content and subject.

Do you agree or disagree?  How have you noticed the power of personality affecting your own role as a creator or consumer of media and fashion media in particular?

paper doll – Balenciaga Fall 2010

After so much taupe and black, I was craving a colourful paper doll and so Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquière was a natural choice – all the more fun to draw because the clothes are so unusual.  The most difficult thing to render was the typography prints, and there was so much texture and detail to every garment that I had to take some shortcuts here and there so the doll wouldn’t take a prohibitive amount of time to create.  I am incredibly curious about how this collection would appear up close.  The doll is based on Sara Blomqvist.

You can buy this paper doll as a high-resolution, printable PDF to cut out and play with! Only $5 CDN.  Just click the button below.