fashion illustrated – student work

fashion illustrated — Danielle on September 29, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Preparing to move means a lot of purging, and this time, even more so. I’ve been tossing old binders of schoolwork, and I’ve thrown out a lot of my early clothing designs from fashion school, patterns, and so on. The trickiest to go through was old artwork – sketchbooks and illustration assignments. I’ve decided to err on the side of ruthlessness rather than sentimentality.

Still, its quite something to reflect on past work. Hindsight makes it a lot easier to understand what my illustration professors were trying to teach me, when it comes to loosening up and being less slavish to my influences. A lot of my student work is quite… crap, to be honest. Some of it is interesting. One thing that I miss about illustration classes was how they took me out of my comfort zone. I found these two from a series of chalk pastel stuff from ’03 or ’04 – not my favourite medium by any means, but something about them is quite nice and I hesitated to toss them, for a moment.

I hope any aspiring fashion illustrators out there can take comfort from the awkward feet and overworked (or underworked) facial features. The nice thing about these drawings is how I demonstrated at least some sense of brevity.

If I ever have any future biographers, they will hate me for being such a poor archivist. One of the things that I love about modern illustration is just how little space pixels takes up, and the freedom that affords. In order to make a move, I have to reduce the amount of things I have to just a few. I’ve chosen the things I will keep and store according to usefulness – mostly furniture & tools. My early development as a fashion illustrator will remain, mercifully, mostly undigitized.

a word from… September 2010 Sponsors

a word from... — Danielle on September 28, 2010 at 10:50 am

a-word-from

A word from… is a monthly news post contributed by the sponsors who kindly support Final Fashion.

Ofra from Boa says…

Fleece lined leggings.  Warm, cozy, and only $29.99. www.theboaroom.com

Michelle from rock-it promotions says…

West Queen West + Canadian designers + style = Shopgirls Gallery Boutique. The gals at rock-it promotions can’t get enough of Shopgirls, located in the artsy Parkdale Village area, especially since they house the largest selection of Yoga Jeans by Second Clothing in the country (our pick: their new charcoal wash for fall!).

How do we love Shopgirls? Let us count the ways:

  • The staff is made up entirely of designers and artists, giving customers a special and distinct experience.
  • Many items in the store are one-of-a-kind and limited edition designs from more than 80 Canadian designers.
  • Also referred to as a retail-collective, ShopGirls offers everything from clothing, hair accessories and jewelry to furniture, art and home décor.
  • More of a cozy gallery space than a typical retail store, the airy and bright boutique is caringly curated with the unique urbanite (like us) in mind.

In addition to scouting and recruiting local artists, Shopgirls also offers select talent the chance to become part of the Shopgirls Artist Circle. As a member of the “Resident Artist” sales team, those chosen to join the Artist Circle benefit from mentorship, training, development and marketing support.

Swing by 1342 Queen Street West for some truly amazing finds on your next shopping adventure. Get in touch at www.shopgirls.ca or on Twitter (@ShopgirlsGB) or Facebook.

Vanessa from 18Karat says…

It’s not just about Thanksgiving feasts and Halloween soirées, it’s the on-your-mark. Get-set. Go! Head first into the upcoming holiday shopping blitz.  We give gifts for many different reasons, but sometimes we are looking for a way to express without words, our most poignant emotions and important connections. It can symbolize a relationship and a sense of belonging. It can signal achievements and accolades. And sometimes it serves as a reminder of who we are and where we have come from.  Just as cold metal absorbs the warmth of a touch – jewellery has the ability to tell a story, one that grows and becomes apart of the person who receives it.

Coming up at the end of October, 18Karat will be hosting a group exhibition by the artists of local studio Jewel Envy. Embracing the shows theme of Red we will be hosting an opening reception October 23rd from 2 – 5 pm. We will also be treating all of 18Karat’s Facebook Fans and Blog subscribers to a little something special throughout the month of October – but for now, my lips are sealed.

click click – 23-09-10

click click — Danielle on September 23, 2010 at 12:52 pm

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

Yesterday I got to see one of the more exciting annual shows in Toronto – the Cashmere 2010 bathroom tissue collection. Cashmere is a brand that has really made the effort to feature Canadian design talent, and encouraging them to create designs that are unusual and extreme, out of toilet paper. Every year it is exciting to see what the designers do with the brief, and this year’s collection did not disappoint. The design above is by Zoran Dobric.

Karma for all the commenters and linkers who make Final Fashion so much livelier <3 you all really came out of the woodwork this week to wish me well, thanks so much!

  • Spontaneous Reality - “spon·ta·ne·ous: sudden inner impulse without premeditation. re·al·i·ty: the world or the state of things as they actually exist.”
  • The Runaway DressOur minds are deceiving, we believe whatever we assume and at times, we assumed wrong.”
  • Nature Insider“I will be your guide into the world of gourmet cuisine with a healthy touch :)”
  • Style Salvage“an open discussion conducted by two friends, Steve and EJ, on how men could (and should) dress.”
  • Ashley Bartlett“A girl about town, Ashley is constantly on the go. Call this a diary of sorts. A diary of travels. A diary of experiences.”
  • With a glowing heart“I am in transition between a city I dearly love and a city I know nothing about, here are some thoughts and images along the journey.”
  • Dream on Rainy Days“She’s out to cure her wanderlust, indulge her love of books, food and fashion, and whenever possible, write about those things with gusto.”
  • Starrilicious“My current obsession is sewing followed closely by crochet.”
  • Dara Dot Designs - “handcrafted jewellery and accessories company focused on bringing fun back into fashion.”

my Dr. Martens history

boots,what I wear — Danielle on September 22, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Dr. Martens just opened a flagship store at 391 Queen Street West. Canada’s first ever. For anyone who is a devotee of the brand, it stocks the complete current collection. I had the pleasure of attending a little cocktail to celebrate the opening, and courtesy of Dr. Martens picked up a beautiful new pair which are sitting at the bottom of this (long) post.

When I came home, I lined up all of the Dr. Martens I’ve ever owned. I’ve never had the heart to throw any of them out, even though several of them are no longer wearable. Now that I am moving to London (birthplace of the Doctor), I have to throw out a lot of stuff. Before I lay these boots down to rest, I wanted to record them and their stories. Here is my history, in DMs.

The first pair of Dr. Martens I ever owned I got when I was 14 years old. I was visiting my cousins in White Rock, a suburb of Vancouver, and my cousin Sarah and I found them in a thrift store. Even though they fit her better than they fit me, I insisted that I get them, because I knew there was no way my parents would ever give me $150 for a new pair. I had to wear thick socks with them, and I didn’t even really like the colour, but I had been wanting them so much for so long that didn’t matter.

They’re covered in paint because later in life, they became my grubby boots for doing work in. I renovated two studios in these boots.

The second pair of Dr. Martens boots were the ones I really wanted. Using money from my job at McDonalds, I went shopping in Huntsville Ontario at the age of 16. Huntsville was where my exquisite, 16 year old, motorcycle-riding, snowboarding first real boyfriend lived. The 1460 Quads were everything I wanted in a boot – the super-thick sole, and the rounded toe, were the ultimate in 1990s footwear. The matte finished leather was soft as anything.

I wore and wore and wore these boots for the next five years, until the thick sole finally cracked in half. RIP, Quads. Like my first boyfriend, you were a perfect teenage memory and I will always love you.

I bought my third pair of Dr. Martens with my OSAP money, around the corner from the first studio I shared with my ex at Yonge and Wellesly. They were red patent, finished to look like they were blackened and then with the black worn away. They also had two little “knife-holder” buckles on the side that got caught on everything and eventually had to be cut off.

These boots were hell to wear in, but looked flashy and rad at fashion school. I would re-black them occasionally and then rub the black off – I really dig the contrast, you can see it better in the side view. Eventually these developed a lot of small splits over the toe, and the insole totally got unglued and would bunch up and be uncomfortable.

Following the red patent 14 holes, I took a break from Dr. Martens for a four year long fling with Fluevog Bond Girl boots.

If you’ve been following the blog, you know that I won a certain contest. Because the delivery of the contest-winning boots was taking a little longer than anticipated, Doug who handles the marketing for Dr. Martens in North America kindly sent me this pair of classic 1460s, which I wear frequently, and adore. Doug is awesome, and so are his friends – they spontaneously asked me to have dinner with them last night – having dinner with new friends is the best.

And then they came – the contest boots! They get a little shabbier every time I wear them, but more than anything they give me a boost of confidence and colour every time I wear them. I take them out when I’m craving attention. They always get compliments, and I always get to say that I designed them. No really, I did!

Dedication to the brand eventually pays off, because Dr. Martens gifted me another pair when they celebrated their 50th in Toronto. I wanted the classic cherry reds, but I got these instead – so I decided to try another splatter theme with designer Ashley Rowe, who splattered everything and anything for Fall 2010. These boots are extremely hard on the feet but look so sharp, Ashley really took them from a-little-too-gothy to preppy-arty.

Dr. Martens is so incredibly generous. I never expected another gift, but at the store opening they offered and I would never, ever say no to another pair. I knew exactly the ones I wanted – the cherry-red, made in England, classic 1460s. They’re just perfect the way they are, no customization necessary, but I know once they start getting worn in I’m going to black them up to get the classic two-tone effect.

I love Dr. Martens. There really isn’t any other brand I feel the same level of dedication towards, and the best part is that the feeling seems to be mutual. Thanks, Dr. Martens, for keeping me well shod for the better part of my adolescence and adulthood.

London UK bound

trips — Danielle on September 21, 2010 at 4:34 pm


St Paul’s Cathedral and London Eye by J. A. Alcaide

I am moving to London UK on November 18, 2010. Got my VISA in hand, flight booked. This is real. I have never been to London before. A grand move into the unknown. What am I doing there? The same thing I do here, even grander, and without a plan.

At the beginning of 2010, I said 2010 seemed like a year where things would happen – and I had no idea how right I would be. In June, my eight-year relationship ended. If posting seems to have dropped off a bit over the last three months, this is the reason why. Heartbreak is hard enough, and at the same time, all certainties evaporate. From another angle, it was an unexpected opportunity to radically re-evaluate my life and my career. I felt determined not to spend the rest of my 20s (just 2 years) with a single regret. Knowing I had to make a move, I thought I would make a big one. One thing I have always wanted to experience is living in a fashion capital. Getting a VISA for the UK is fairly easy as a Canadian under 30, so it really seems like now is the time to go.

Of course, this is just the catalyst for so many other changes. For the blog, my plan is to get much more personal. I would really like to be able to document with candour the experience of pursuing a career as an independent creative in the fashion industry, which I think is the real essence of Final Fashion. Less posts, more purpose. Better.

The transition will be a gradual one, and it starts now. Thanks to all of you, always.

giveaway – tickets to The Clothing Show Fall 2010

events,giveaways,toronto — Danielle on September 14, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Hey Toronto readers, I have three pairs of tickets to give away for The Clothing Show coming up September 24, 25 & 26. Its a one stop shop for vintage & indie stuff among other wares. If you’d like to go, please leave a comment naming your most coveted fashion item this fall – I’ll pick three comments randomly next Tuesday September 21. Thanks for playing.

Love, Loss and What I Wore + my own stories

books,illustration,meme,reviews,what I wear — Danielle on September 13, 2010 at 8:43 pm

On the weekend I was treated to a Canadian stage adaptation of the book Love, Loss, and What I Wore
by Ilene Beckerman. The original book was a collection of memories and drawings by Beckerman, who was a grandmother, not a novelist, who just wanted to record something for her children and grandchildren, to give them a sense of who she was when she was young. Chick-lit novelists and screenwriters Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron expanded on the simple premise to create a stage play which is more like a reading, not only using Beckerman’s stories but a variety of stories from various characters.

The cast of accomplished actresses includes Canada’s formidable fairy godmother of fashion media, Jeanne Beker. Beker’s at the top of her game right now – writing books, designing clothes, and celebrating a 25 year run as the face and force of Fashion Television. I can only hope that at Beker’s age, I’ll have a fraction of the hotness she’s got – her career is on fire. As an actress, she’s amazing when she tones it down (as she tells a story of being a breast cancer survivor), though when she tones it up (as when she mimics a teenager) she gets very brassy. The stand-out story of the night was actress Sheila McCarthy’s rant against the burden of handbags, which I found relatable and hilarious. Sometimes it seemed like the humour was a bit old-fashioned, designed to appeal to moms and grandmas, but overall it was an entertaining evening and probably just the thing to bring your mom or your grandma to, if she doesn’t mind a bit of swearing.

In the play, the character who corresponds with Beckerman, played by Barbara Budd, even shows the audience how to draw a simple figure, encouraging them to record drawings of their own sartorial memories.  In the spirit of the play, I was inspired to sketch and remember a few things from my own brief history, though I had to stop at the point where love and loss really started to come into play. I’ll save that for when I’m much older. Its funny how so many of my early memories involve clothes, and often some kind of distress. Maybe its because distress is such a strong emotion, it sticks.

My Nana used to knit all of her grandchildren matching sweaters and hats.  I had a white sweater and a maroon coloured hat with a white pompom.  One of my very earliest memories is chewing the pompom off of this hat, and then feeling, with great intensity, regret. I didn’t know why I had done such a thing, and I couldn’t put the pompom back on.

One Christmas, my cousins came to visit, and we were all dressed up in our best clothes for pictures. My cousin Sarah, who is the same age as me, had a new white dress and white stockings and white shoes, and she looked so exquisite. I had a hand-me-down dress which was all different colours, I think the skirt was striped and the top was white with plaid trim, and I wore with it itchy, fuzzy red wool stockings which fell down with the crotch around my knees, and black shoes. I remember being photographed next to Sarah and feeling deep envy.

When I was around four years old, I remember dressing myself for the first time, by myself. Alone in my room, I tugged every item of clothing I owned out of the dresser, and put things on and took things off for what seemed like hours until I had successfully assembled an outfit, a pink top and a maroon-red pair of corduroy overalls. Feeling very proud, I ran downstairs to show my mom, and the first thing she said to me was that pink and red clashed. I had no idea what clashing meant and didn’t understand what I had done wrong. The funny thing about this story is that my Mom is anything but a fashion expert, quite the opposite, and what she said was just something she remembered her mom saying, and she remembers this story with a similar sort of bemusement for totally different reasons.

When I first went to school in the cold winter, my mom would put hat and mittens on me every morning. She put a little white hat on my head that tied under the chin. At school, a redheaded boy in the grade ahead of me told me it was a baby hat. I don’t think I had ever been insulted before in my life. It was massively distressing and affected me all year – not just with a total revulsion towards anything babyish or hats, but I remember actively avoiding this little boy, literally hiding from him, for the remainder of the school year, not that he would have noticed.

When I was in middle school, I realized I needed glasses when I had to copy notes from the boy who sat behind me. My first pair of glasses, which I chose, were large and round and unstylish, and by grade 8 I totally regretted my choice. Unable to get new glasses due to the expense, and not being devious enough to break them by “accident”, my response was to wear my hair over my head and wear a very floppy, suede hat overtop that almost totally obscured my entire face. I looked like Cousin It. I wanted to be invisible. I didn’t even want to take my hat off for the school formal dance at the end of the year, to the objection of my mom, who once again remembers saying something her mother would say: “you can’t go to town in that hat”.  For grade 9, I decided to homeschool, thus achieving total invisibility.

When I was in my early teens, flared pants became fashionable. Unfortunately, all of my pants were tapered, and terribly uncool. Since I was wholly unable to find any flared pants in the church thrift store, I looked through my parent’s old clothes and found my dad‘s wedding suit, made of corduroy, naturally. The pants were massively flared, and even though I was a tiny 90 pound girl and my dad was a 6 foot tall man, I wore these pants, using his old ties as a belt to keep them from falling down.  I wore these pants so constantly, I wore holes through the knees, and patched them, and then wore holes through the patches, until they were literally rags and my parents finally relented and gave me $80 (a price they found ridiculous for a pair of pants) to go buy a pair of flares from Jean Machine at the Quinte Mall.

Raver pants became the thing as I entered my mid teens, and again I couldn’t figure out a way to get them.  I remember seeing a copy of Seventeen Magazine, either at a friend’s house or somehow acquired, which had a teeny tiny little quarter-page feature in it about a teenaged girl who made her own DIY raver pants. I obsessed over this article (much like I did over these ones, later). She would achieve this by laying another pair of pants on a piece of fabric and tracing over them, but bigger. I thought I could do this, and the first clothes I ever made were a series of these pants using old fabric my Oma got from the Levi’s factory. They were horribly cut and sewn. I didn’t finish the hem or the waist, and I couldn’t figure out how to insert a zipper so instead I just made them too big so I could tie them on with a strip of selvage. I wore these pants all the time.

I was telling the stories in this post to my mom on the phone and we both shed a few tears and laughed a bit. She said how all of these stories reveal just how clueless she is when it comes to style. I think what they all have in common is how strongly I always felt that I was wearing the wrong things, and how little resources I had to do anything about it, and how this struggle, these intense feelings of distress, so completely defined the path I would choose for my life and my career. Now, at the age of 27, I am often filled with a inordinate sense of wholeness as I wear clothes that I love and feel comfortable and attractive in. I can never take this feeling for granted.

The coolest thing about Love, Loss and What I Wore, is that it is a meme. What items do you remember that defined a moment of your life? There’s something about this simple idea which is so irresistible.

click click – 10-09-10

click click — Danielle on September 10, 2010 at 3:27 pm

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

Wow. Look at this amazing floral gown by designer Breeyn McCarney, sponsored by Perrier-Jouët – which I stumbled upon on thanks to the Girls of T.O. Photo is by Ryan Emberley.

  • The Burning of Modelburnbook – it is always sad to see a good blog go for reasons like this. Cailin, you’re a brilliant blogger, the best model blogger I’ve ever followed, and your voice will be missed. Thanks so much for sharing so much of yourself with all of us.
  • At Fashion Week, It’s Where You Sit That Counts – Another fashion week, another article about the art and agony of seating charts. One thing that I love a lot about all the live video feeds of fashion shows is when the cameras are turned on the show-before-the-show, while everyone sifts into the venue and plays the ultimate game of musical chairs.
  • Fashion’s Night Out – The Show – you can see quite a bit of seating activity in the big FNO show put on by Vogue. Anna Wintour has been to more than enough fashion shows and now she shows all of us that she can throw down a real spectacle. It is a bombardment of bombshells at high velocity, a breathless recap of the fall collections.  The commentary is a little bit weird, but entertaining when it gets candid. The big night out is tonight, Sept 10, and CBS will be airing a recap of highlights on Sept 14.
  • Back to the Drawing Board – a peek at an upcoming book of fashion designer’s sketchbooks and mood boards.
  • If Shoes Could Kill – crazy shoe pictures from all over the world wide web.
  • Penelope Trunk’s Brazen Careerist – this recommendation from Kathleen looks like a tremendous resource for all us career kids out there, but there is so much to it I have barely scratched the surface.
  • So, you want to work in fashion? – brief little interviews with some fashion pros in their 30s and 40s aimed at all the fashion students out there.
  • Donna Karan talks Twitter, tabloids and China – I like the way Donna Karan thinks and talks. She’s been around to see a lot of changes to her industry and she has strong opinions about it. Along with Norma Kamali, she is a powerful designer who I think is capable of envisioning – and advocating – for restructuring the fashion calendar, if that ever happens.

Clickarma for incoming linkers and commenters, hearts to all <3

  • IF I WAS A RICH GIRL…. TORONTO“STYLIN-FREE MUSINGS ON ALL THE BEAUTIFUL-FUGLY PIECES IN BETWEEN POINT A AND POINT B”
  • Fashion Luvr – “Fashion Luvr collects and publishes awesome fashion sites worth recommending.”
  • Orlando’s Biggest Sample Sale“THIS IS BOTH AN ONLINE & ONSITE SALE. VENDORS BRINGING THE MOST CREATIVE AND LUXURIOUS ITEMS AT CELEBRATED PRICES UP TO 90% OFF.”
  • Closet Hound“sisters who enjoy fashion, shopping, celebrity style, and writing.”

just a thought – photoshop police state

just a thought — Danielle on September 8, 2010 at 9:40 pm


There’s a certain aspect of the internet that drives me nuts. Its when the mob goes mental over the most minute, mundane things as if Great Revelations of Terrible Injustice are being made. A great example of this phenomenon in fashion blogland is Photoshop Phreakouts.

Examples of bad photoshop jobs are everywhere and are not exactly news stories, except that they are. Sites like Jezebel have popularized this genre of blog posts, always delivered with an accusatory tone. The posts always generate a ton of comments. Something about them usually bothers me, whether the accusation of “photochopping” seems justified, or not.  This post has been a long time on the back burner, because its taken me a while to tease out what it is that really gets to me when people get so indignant about this subject. Lets break it down.

1. The Photoshopping is so Glaringly Ridiculous it is Obviously Accidental

Examples: Ralph Lauren’s lollipop-head model, Bloomingdale’s razor-elbowed model

This stuff is genuine AHA “journalism”, even though it shouldn’t be, because all it takes to uncover something wrong with the image is the sense of sight.  Because bloggers are perfect people who never screw up ever, they’ve been endowed with the right to shame mere mortals who make mistakes. No creative director allows this kind of stuff to see the light of day on purpose, its not a conspiracy to make people feel like their elbows are not acute enough. It is just the result of human error, and there’s something about gleefully, self-righteously shaming people for making honest mistakes, whether caused by omission or inexperience, that bothers me. It is bullying.

2. The Photoshopping is so Tastefully Done, People Mistake Real Incongruity for Bad Retouching

Examples: Demi Moore’s angled hip on the W cover, Nordstrom’s skinny polo shirt model

This one drives me crazy, because its often seized upon by otherwise intelligent people who should know better. One thing that I’ve learned as someone who draws, is that when you really pay very close attention to the way things actually look in real life, they often look really weird. Often when I’m using reference material, I have to make changes to the way something is folded or change the angle of an arm or a hand, because if I don’t, the drawing looks awkward or “unnatural”. Even though I’m using a real model or an un-retouched photograph as a subject.

My ex, who works in special effects explained it to me really well once, he observed that real snow often creates unusual looking formations that don’t conform to our expectations of how snow should look. When he dressed a set to look snow-covered, it was more important to do it the way that people expect snow to look like rather than imitating actual nature. Otherwise, the eye gets drawn to unimportant details instead of focusing on what’s important in the scene.

Really tasteful photoshop jobs are incredibly subtle – if you look at the Demi Moore photo in question above, you can see that a few minor changes were made, to the angle of the ring, the saturation of the colours, the fold on the waist. But mostly, the photo was left alone. The paradox is that for a sharp-eyed audience tuned to spot “photochops”, the focus was on the sharp angle of her hip, obscured by the swag of fabric on the bodysuit. Looked at in isolation, the line seems too straight and looks wrong, however when I traced the outline of Demi’s body, the proportion and angles all seem to be in the right place. The irony here is that the real mistake might have not enough photoshopping, because if a slight curve was introduced by the retoucher nobody would have “noticed” anything wrong.

3. The Photoshopping isn’t Recognized for the Art it Is

Examples: David LaChappelle’s portrait of Sophie Dahl, Madonna for Louis Vuitton

Photoshop isn’t just a totalitarian tool to turn people into idealized robot versions of themselves – its an incredible tool that allows artists to transcend reality to create fantastic visions and impossible scenarios. Accusing LaChappelle of using Photoshop is like blaming the rain for being wet – this is what LaChappelle does! Madonna has been creating over-the-top, fantastic identities for herself for her entire career, using every weapon in her considerable arsenal – why should she be barred from using photoshop too?

Marlene Dietrich continued her career as an icon of style and glamour with a stage show well into her sixties and even seventies. She did this with lighting, makeup, restrictive garments, every artifice she could get her hands on. She would have loved the possibilities of Photoshop. There’s an anecdote I read in this book that I am reminded of – at one stage show a member of the audience brought out a pair of binoculars. Dietrich stopped the show to call him out. “No,” she said, “don’t ruin the illusion.”.

For those who want unimaginative reality, you have it surrounding you every day of your life. Some of us want to create and enjoy fantasy and beauty that transcends the ordinary, that is exceptional, even impossible. If you don’t like it, don’t buy fashion magazines, go to movies, or consume any other type of art or media, and please, stop spoiling it for the rest of us.

4. The Photoshopping is Overdone

Examples: Kelly Clarkson on the SELF Magazine cover, Faith Hill on the Redbook cover.

This is the one flavour of photoshop outrage I don’t have a problem with. Photoshopping people to appear a different size or age than they actually are is patronizing, distasteful, and insulting to both the subject and the audience.

tearsheets – NYLON 2001 selections

tearsheets — Danielle on September 6, 2010 at 8:39 am

In 2001, I lived in rural Ontario near a small town of around 2400 people. I knew that my clothes weren’t right and that I was in the wrong place, but I didn’t know anything about what the right clothes and the right place for me was. I was 18 going on 19. I would go to the Jug City next door to the health food store where I worked, and I would look at the magazines. When I discovered NYLON I became totally transfixed.

I didn’t understand almost all of the music references. I didn’t really like many of the editorials. But what I did like was the idea of being a city girl in New York or London, of being surrounded by variety and ideas, the possibilities of doing something creative as a career. And I liked how the DIY, deliberately unslick proto-hipster style was so easily mimicked with my limited resources. I bought each issue and examined it exhaustively. Around this time I shook a strong leaning towards apathy and applied to fashion school.

In the spirit of labour day and returning to school, I was inspired to dig into my back issues of NYLON.

Below are two stories which I want to preserve in scanned form, just because they were so incredibly crucial in creating the idea of what I could become. You can click the scans to see them larger. The first, from JUNE/JULY 2001 is a story about designer Mark Kroeker (New York Magazine tells me his label lasted from 1993-2006) which included DIY instructions for a tube dress, which I adapted, inelegantly, in unforgiving stretch denim to create the dress I wore to my high school graduation. I hope I can find a picture, when I do I’ll post it.

Second, from AUGUST 2001, an illustrated editorial by Tayashi Miyazawa which unabashedly influenced the slightly anime-esque illustration style I had in my early years of fashion school.

Were there any stories from magazines you had as a teen that were similarly pivotal in your formation as an adult?

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