what I wear – Tilley Hat + giveaway

When I think of Tilley hats, I think of my dad.  Dad has worn his way through many a Tilley hat, taking advantage of the lifetime guarantee multiple times.  When I found out that Tilley was working with stylist and dear friend Linda Gaylard, I was pleased to have the opportunity to see what was new.  Besides the iconic hats and 12-pocket vests, Tilley has a complete line of clothing created with traveling attractively in mind.

Want to check it out for yourself?  Thanks to Tilley, I have a $250 (!!) gift card to give away.  If you’re in Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver you can use it in the flagship stores in those cities.  As a little bonus for the winner, I’m also going to include a little something for you from me.  To enter, please leave a comment on this post with the travel destination you’re dreaming of right now and your real email address so I can contact you.  I’ll pick the winner randomly next Wednesday.

The Tilley store is down at Queen’s Quay by the lake, and walking back I was curious to see some tall ships docking, covered with young sailors (and sailettes?) in denim shirts, pulling ropes and tugging on sails.

Linda and Andrea from Edelman helped me pick out a beautiful straw hat for myself – it has a pocket too – and a pink printed top with my favourite feature, the rolly cuff.  I’m wearing it here with Paper Denim & Cloth jeans and a new purchase, my first ever Converse All-Star hi-tops.  Though its common to think of Tilley being for older ladies and gentleman, Linda showed me how good quality, versatile and functional clothing, can be styled to anyone’s taste.

This lady looks far too proper to be perched on the prow of a ship.

It was fun to go through the collection with Linda as a guide. I especially liked the military inspired bags Tilley is working on for fall.  The fabrics are all practical, the signature pocket is in almost everything.  Linda looks great here in a Liberty print top, techy-fabric cardigan and a terrific execution of an idea which is I’ve seen before but usually looks clunky – the skirt zips off to reveal shorts underneath.  This version is sleek, the layers of fabric around the waist have been handled in a way that makes the zipper invisible.

Thanks so much to Tilley, Linda and Edelman PR for the generosity!  Please take them up on a kind offer and enter your dream destination in the comments.

a word from… June 09 Sponsors


A word from… is a monthly news post contributed by the intrepid sponsors who support Final Fashion. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please get in touch.

Darlene from Bijouxbead says…

Inspired by Danielle’s workspace post, I thought I’d share mine. My workspace is small, but inspired and functional, as long as I keep it tidy. A 7’x6′ space with chocolate brown walls, a window overlooking the ravine on the left, and a doorway opening to my living room on the right. The only furniture is a caramel mottled caramel and amber coloured Marmolium tabletop resting on two black filing cabinets, a Herman Miller chair, and an old bar cabinet that once belonged to my grandfather. Like Danielle, I too have a 27″ iMac, and am grateful for the extra legroom now that there isn’t a cpu under my desk.

I’ve been spending the majority of my time in here for the last three months working on a new collection, which is now complete, and will be shot later this summer. Every week from April through November I gather flowers from my gardens and put them on the antique blanket box or fireplace mantel in the living room to help keep my creative juices flowing.

Ashley from rock-it promotions says…

Spending more than you can afford ruins the pleasure of finding a great new pair of jeans or cute top (and the fun of wearing the new item)!  True story: The Canadian consumer debt load has risen from 15% to 20% in the last ten years. Yikes!

Here are a few tips from Consolidated Credit to help you decide which pair of stilettos are really worth it, and which pair you can leave behind. The sooner you’ve got the budget in check, the sooner you can grab those cute cargo skinnies you’ve been eying.

  • Shop at consignment shops, and consider rebuilt and pre-owned items.
  • Don’t buy on impulse. Purchase only the items you originally planned to get. Limit the amount of cash you carry as well as the number of credit cards.
  • Make two shopping trips before you buy. On your first trip, compare prices, then think about the item’s price and value (and how much you love it), and go back to the store a second time to make your purchase.

For more shopping and saving tips, check this out.  Being in debt is scary, but there are experts out there you can talk to. Consolidated Credit is a non-profit debt counselling service offering support and education programs. Topics include learning how to budget, get out of debt, and use credit wisely.  Give them a call to talk to an experienced counsellor at no charge – 1-(800)-656-3920.

Nina at the Toronto Fashion Incubator says…



SEMINAR: Fall/Winter 2011/2012

Date: Tuesday, July 27th Time: 5:30pm Doors open for Coffee & Networking
Location: Toronto Fashion Incubator, steps away from Liberty Village
Register NOW online at www.fashionincubator.com in TFI Shop

If you are not a TFI Member but want to come to this seminar, join TFI’s Outreach Membership program today. It’s open to everyone including you! Join online today online at www.fashionincubator.com/shop

Vanessa from 18Karat says…

Emerge 2010 marks the second year that selected graduates from George Brown’s Jewellery Arts Program take center stage at 18Karat. After completing an intensive three year course, these students-now-goldsmiths have embarked on a journey through the curious world of professional jewellery design. This show features the works of five young artists: Mariangela Aguirre, Ivanne Binetruy, Tara Brownlee, Jennifer House, and Kathleen Kerr and we are excited to be able to host their first show – post-graduation. Emerge 2010 opens July 5th, with a reception to be hosted from 5 – 7pm, until July 31st.

click click – 29-06-10

Welcome to click click, the sporadic review of what I find worth clicking on the internet.

I want – I got shares some pictures of Dsquared2 “Frank N Furter” pumps.  Reminds me a bit of this old fashion school project.

Big hearted karma for linkers and commenters and friends –

  • Kiki“British fashion student. Love music, sunshine, relaxing, coffee and travel.”
  • Jen Tse“I’m a fashion wardrobe stylist and writer who really likes fine food, beaches and tattoos.”
  • profiscamur!“I’m in my twenties and I live around Cincinnati. This blog is mostly a discussion of superficial junk like fashion and beauty products.”

what I wear – Butikofer sundress

This is my current go-to, wear-everywhere sundress.  I picked it up while helping out at the Butikofer booth at The Clothing Show last fall, and it hung around all winter, waiting patiently, for gorgeous summer weather just like today.  It is comfortable, makes me look and feel petite, put together, and cool even when it is humid. Just an all-around ingenious design.  The back view, below, shows how the straps are adjustable, making it easy to fit to preference.

I’m wearing it with thrifted sandals and a belt which was a hand-me-down from my Mom. Adrienne says she doesn’t have any more of these dresses in stock – which is a shame – I’m trying to talk her into cutting just a few more to indulge me.

plastic paillette dress at Upside Dive

Upside Dive at 269 Queen Street East in Toronto is currently featuring my Trash Fusion paillette dress in their window.  So if you ever wanted to get a closer look at every little piece of plastic ephemera that I singlehandedly stitched, one by one, you should take a stroll down Queen Street East sometime in the next week or so and visit the shop.

Thanks so much Mike for kindly offering to give my effort in recycled fashion such a well appointed home for a couple weeks!

There’s lots of stuff to look at at Upside Dive – kitschy knicknacks, handsome housewares, vintage vestures for ladies and gentlemen, and soft spoken sibling shopkeepers.  Check out their blog for a taste.

cool dad

This is my Dad.  This past weekend, in the National Post, this photo was featured among photos of other cool dads (including Nathalie Atkinson‘s and Nolan Bryant‘s), as a little tribute for Father’s day.

In this picture Dad is around the same age I am now.  He is a wonderful Dad – every bit as fun and active as he is in this picture, the kind of guy who finds it amusing that his daughter called him “goofy” in a national paper. I love my Dad. Thanks Dad, for everything.

Julian Roberts Subtraction Cutting Tour comes to Toronto

Julian Roberts came en route from Kent State in New York to Ryerson University in Toronto this week to demonstrate his Subtraction Cutting technique.  This is an event I have been lobbying for, for a long time, and thanks to Sandra Ericson of the Center for Pattern Design, Robert Ott, the Chair of the Ryerson School of Fashion, and Charanya Bala of Balanche Communications, my wish became reality this week.  To say that it was a marvelous day would be a vast understatement.  It was so much fun.

Julian cut a dress live, in front of us.  The class was full of fashion design all-stars – Heidi Ackerman, John Hillifer, Adrienne Butikofer, Cristina Sabaiduc, and Canada’s own fashion fairy godmother, Linda Lundstrom, were all in attendance, among other students, teachers, and professional designers.  The cohesion and enthusiasm of the class was obvious once we all cut our own dresses – there was a remarkable atmosphere of playfulness but also the cool sense of proficiency you get only when you are surrounded by talented people immersed in something they find fascinating.

This is Julian showing his dress on his assistant, Rachel.

I made my own dress out of a length of white bemberg lining and pink plaid sheer sparkle poly organza, intending to create something light which showed the inner seams to display some of the construction of the garment.

This is the “tunnel technique” where the dress is made of a long tube, through which the body passes in and out as if through a winding cave.

I also used the tunnel idea to create two more holes at the front and the back of the bodice, but just for the white linear effect, these holes are too small for the body to go through.

It was such a thrilling day, it was almost overwhelming – and just like that, it was over.  Julian is now in Vancouver at Kwantlen, and then on to California. Thank you to Julian and everyone who made this day such a dream come true, and I hope very much that we can do it again.

press – FLARE July 2010

What an honour it is to be included among some of Canada’s best fashion blogs in the July issue of FLARE. Click scan for big – and if you can, pick up a copy because there is so much good stuff in this issue. As an aside, I think I misunderstood the usage of “hometown” in the interview, because now it seems like I am still based in the town where I grew up, though how neat that Bancroft Ontario gets a shout-out in FLARE too. Thanks so much Alexandra!

The small blurb was just an excerpt from a longer questionnaire, which follows here. In case you came here via FLARE, welcome – and if you’re curious, here is a little more about me.

1. Name, age, hometown?

Danielle Meder, 27, Bancroft Ontario

2. What inspired you to become a fashion illustrator?

I’ve been drawing fashion ever since I was a small child, so when I started to find occasional gigs illustrating for designers after graduating from fashion school, I was delighted and inspired to pursue it.

3. When did the website launch?

In its current incarnation, May 2006, and in its original ad-hoc version in February 2005.

4. Who would be your dream client?

No matter who they are, the dreamiest clients are the ones that love my style, respect my sovereignty, give me inspiring assignments, decent lead time, and pay promptly.

5. Who are your blog idols?

Kathleen Fasanella at fashion-incubator.com, Hugh McLeod at gapingvoid.com, Nubby Twiglet at nubbytwiglet.com.

6. What are your current obsessions?

The collapse of complex systems, creative action without thinking, money, the four elements, bravery, the moral problem of mass production, punk, figuring out what my thing is, old magazines and books, independence.

7. What inspires you?

A persistent lack of satisfaction.

8. Who is your favourite illustrator?


9. Who is your favourite designer?


10. Did you mean punk music/fashion?

I mean more like the punk ethos, DIY style and a resolute rejection of what came before.

11. Do you have a designer you’re currently obsessed with?

I’m really excited about Julian Roberts coming to Toronto to teach his Subtraction Cutting technique in June. And I grow to admire Evan Biddell‘s gutsiness the more I get to know him.

12. Are there any old magazines/books in particular that you’re obsessed with?

The Last Whole Earth Catalog, Vanity Fair from the 1920s and 1930s, The FACE, but really I’ll pick up anything I can find from the 20th century with equal enthusiasm.

project – Trash Fusion paillette dress

This past weekend that I took my latest sewing project, the paillette dress for the Trash Fusion show in Barrie (as seen here, here, etc) to be judged.  I also got my brother, Jake, to take some photos.  Thanks so much Jake for the hospitality and the great photos!  My family was all there, including my Oma and Opa, and I am so glad that they were.

All of the entries were so lovingly crafted.  There were a lot of talented designers in the tent (it was raining), all with very different takes on the contest brief.  You can click any of the photos in this post to see them a bit bigger.  I especially liked the coffee-filter dress (second from left, above), I thought that this designer showed a great use of “trash”.  Some of the designers were teenagers, most were fashion students, and all of them exhibited a tremendous level of work.

Here is a little video of the final procession.

The winner was the big showboat float white dress made of (apparently unused?) paper towel.  Second prize went to the colourful doily mini-dress made out of shoelaces (with a jaunty matching beret) and third went to a previous winner of Trash Fusion Milton, a truly incredible post-apocalyptic tribal dress made out of busted inner tubes and scrap wire.

I’m not going to lie – I get competitive and I would have loved to get a prize, and I am very proud of my dress and I still think it was the best one.  I think it looks incredible on the body and in movement from far away, and close up viewers are delighted to see all the printed ephemera, consumer brands and logos, it is almost Warholian.  I received a lot of positive feedback, and the best was from my 2 year old niece who said my dress was “gorgeous” – so priceless.

You can see the winning entries for yourself from all three Trash Fusion events at The Rage in Kensington from June 15 to July 15.

Thanks again to everyone who contributed and supported this little project, and thanks to Jane Haselgrove for all her hard work putting the Trash Fusion contest together.

what I wear – Greg May Hair cut

Remember my New Years resolution to grow my hair out?  Back in January, I lucked out and won a twitter contest for a haircut with Greg May, which is quite the coup considering he coifs so many of Toronto’s most fashionable and influential women.  At the time, I barely had any hair to cut, but I knew I would need that cut somewhere along the line, and the Trash Fusion Competition show I’m modelling in this weekend (!) provided the perfect opportunity.

After seven or eight months away from the shears, my hair was in a terrible, uneven state, which is why I wore ponytails every single day.  I asked Greg to give me a haircut that would allow me to transition to longer hair, and a haircut which didn’t announce itself too loudly as a capital-H haircut.  I wanted something that would just let me be me and look good doing it.  I have had more than enough wacky haircuts in my 20s, and at 27 it feels like the right time to transition to something more natural. Not as much fun as a fancy edged-out cut, yet subtlety requires a skilled hand and Greg certainly has those – as well as a tremendous, genuine personality.  We hit it off right away and I felt at ease, and now that the cut is done I feel prettier than I have in years, no kidding.  Thanks so much Greg!