a week’s worth – 31-07-09

A Week’s Worth, documents what I did all week – a little peek into the life of a fashion illustrator and blogger.  Pardon the two week hiatus there on AWW.  I was bad about carrying the camera around for a bit there.  But this week, the perfect combination of rain and high sun made for some terrific pictures.  Plus, stuff happened…

On Tuesday I woke up bright and early to walk to Holt Renfrew and see the Holiday 2009 preview.  Holt Renfrew holidays are much different than my holidays. There was a distinct seaside-on-the-south-Pacific sort of vibe, from bubbly sea creature looking purses –
bubble bag at Holt Renfrew
To fishy sandals.
fishbone sandal at Holt Renfrew

That evening I went to a panel hosted by IDS10, the big consumer interior design show that is happening from January 21 to 24 next year.  IDS is currently recruiting the best Canadian and international designers, mostly of furniture, interiors and objects.
IDS panel at The Gladstone
The discussion, hosted by Karen Von Hahn and featuring fiesty designer Patty Johnson, curator Rachel Gotlieb and Shaun Moore and Julie Nicholson from Made Gallery – was lively.  On the topics of Canadian based design, its advantages and struggles, was taken in by a bright and attentive crowd.
audience at IDS panel

Notes I took include:

Canadians want to be International not local. The paradox is that int’l markets are looking for a savvy sense of identity.

The design market is a fashion market.  It is about intellectual engagement – Patty

To young designers:  Don’t think so HARD, so EARNESTLY.

Trend among int’l design customers – opposition to “low” American Culture.

If Canada was an emerging market (and it is) here is a plan for developing a robust design industry: focused projects on reviving local industries before they disappear. Broader representation of first nations, mennonites, indigenous materials.  Designers need to be more inventive in conceiving their ideas according to the technical ability and resources available locally.

Never ignore your local market.  It is a mistake.

Thursday early evening I dropped by the Umbra store on John Street for an evening shopping event-thing.  There was a big lineup when I got there because apparently the first 20 people get a $20 gift card.  Aw, carrots.
lineup at Umbra
I went in and was glad I did – never been in Umbra before.  It has a lot of small objects in it, like bath fixtures, lamps, jewelry hangers, mostly in bright plastic colours, black white and chrome.  Things were inexpensive, some quite cool and several would be easily DIY’ed.
inside Umbra

On my way through Kensington market my spidey sense spotted another fashion blogger in the vicinity – Jacquieshambles.  She was hanging out with her friend Paul from fashion school at Humber.  As I have just as great affection for fashion students and fashion bloggers, we all hit it off like old friends.
Jacquie and Paul in Kensington
Jacquie and Paul were both showing off some excellent denim, proudly unwashed.  Adorable denim freaks.

After that I walked up to the new consignment boutique, Drool, at 198 Augusta Avenue.  I was invited by Olga, designer of Decadent Designs.  I took this meta-picture of Enza Supermodel taking Olga’s picture, plus the small child, the dog and the fashion illustration in the background, what a perfect moment.
Olga, a small child a dog and Enza
Then I took a picture of Olga in front of the big mural in front of the store.
Olga at Drool
Like the mural, Drool itself is a bit of a hodge-podge – pretty accessories (including Feathered), gothy stuff, printed t-shirts, some cute boho stuff, it sort of seems more like a bazaar than a boutique, which fits into Kensington just fine.

How was your week?

a week’s worth – 10-07-09

A Week’s Worth, documents what I did all week – a little peek into the life of a fashion illustrator and blogger.  Lots of good pictures this week, I think I am beginning to get the hang of the camera.

Monday night I went to see Valentino, The Last Emperor.  The Q&A was particularly interesting.  If you want to get a feel for Matt Tyrnauer’s frustration, humour and affection for a subject which seems to have found him rather than vice versa.  Curious? You can also hear Tyrnauer talking about many of the same things on his interview for Q on CBC Radio and read the Vanity Fair article that started it all.
Matt Tyrnauer talks about Valentino

Tuesday afternoon I tagged along on a shopping tour given by Wendy Woods of the ReFINEery.  We started at Tealish where I discovered the roasted almond tea is so yummy and learned about how to cold-brew iced tea.
at Tealish with Wendy Woods

We visited Preloved, Shopgirls and Made You Look and made some new friends along the way.  Here are Sonja, Wendy and Anita smiling at Made You Look.  Wendy is good natured, candid and passionate about shopping locally.  Among her upcoming projects she is hosting a night of consultation for designers offering a pro shopper’s perspective on design.
Sonja, Wendy and Anita at Made You Look

On Wednesday I attended a fall trends preview hosted by FASHION Magazine.  The editors broke down the essential trends, and designers were there with their take on Fall 2009 as well.  Here are the designers from Mercy with their designs on a rolling rack behind them
Mercy and their Fall 2009 collection

The designers and the editors seemed to agree on a lot of major trends, especially Ashley Rowe whose strong-shouldered, long and lean leather superwoman looks seem perfectly timed for fall.
Ashley Rowe fall 2009

Anita and I then headed to the French Lingerie show at the Wychwood barns.  Classic lace lingerie was accessorized to the extreme.
Lejaby at the Lingerie show

Lingerie is nice – and one of those types of fashion shows where the audience is just as fun to watch as the show.
audience at Lingerie show

There were also dancers.
rope dancer at Lingerie show
ballerina at Lingerie show

And a very traditional finale.
bride at the Lingerie show

Finally we stopped at The Press Club for Press Pass, a social night for, press I guess.  I was tipsy and a bit of a gatecrasher as a blogger but it was fun to see some friends there.
jazz band at The Press Club

Thursday I went to Trinity Bellwoods park to make kites with the Deadly Nightshades, the girls from 69 Vintage, and other friends.  Artist Yoshinori Niwa showed us how.  Below is fashion designer Breeyn McCarney making her kite.
Breeyn making her kite

I made mine from an old silk painting sampler.  It looked so pretty but the wind wasn’t steady enough to sustain a long flight.  My kite and many others made by all sorts of people will be displayed at an opening at the Gendai Gallery this Saturday – including a flight for the more successful kites.  If you can, you should go!
my kite

I won’t be able to make it because I’m volunteering at The Peek tomorrow, which is another place I’d like to see you go if you can.

How was your week?

a week’s worth – 03-07-09

A Week’s Worth, documents what I did all week – a little peek into the life of a fashion illustrator and blogger.

This week started up north, doing manual labour.  On breaks, I turned on the macro setting on my camera as I ate my way through a wild strawberry patch.  Is there anything sweeter and tastier than perfect red fruit that grows out of the ground all by itself?  No.
wild strawberry

I kept gazing at the ground and saw these two pretty plants in my Mom’s garden.  This one is called “hens” I think.  Below that is a pretty cactus flower.
cactus flower

I went to visit my Oma with some fabric to do some test samples for a special top secret project.  This is all I will be able to show of this for a long while.
top secret project

On Thursday I received my first ever clutch – the charcoal goat skin “Envelope” clutch by Jessica Jensen.  Up until now I owned only one bag – a messenger bag – which I wore with everything even though it does not fit with every outfit, especially dresses.  Now I have a bag I can wear with dresses, I feel so sophisticated.
Jessica Jensen envelope clutch

Thursday afternoon I got another special surprise – my second boot spotting on my friend and client, singer Coko Galore!  The colours fit perfectly with her pop style.
Coko in her CPJs

Gosh, I love seeing my Dr. Martens boot design on people – if you have bought a pair, please send pictures!  Did you know there are only 36 pairs in Canada?  Boot owners get VIP passes to my heart.

How was your week?

a week’s worth – 25-06-09

A Week’s Worth, documents what I did all week – a little peek into the life of a fashion illustrator and blogger.

On Monday evening I went to the new Toronto offices of Dermalogica for an educational event for bloggers.  I met some lovely new blog friends including (in no particular order), Janine of beautygeeks, Katherine of I Heart Beauty, Casie Stewart, Monica of Beauty Parler, and the girls of Toronto Styles.
bloggers at Dermalogica

My skin has had issues ever since a stressful period of time in May, so I certainly could use all the education I can get – and the samples help too.  Dermalogica also puts on free education events for consumers as well – you can get more info on their facebook page.  The process was fun, we all washed our faces and tried out products together.
me at Dermalogica

These days after work, I have been going down to Cherry Beach a lot just to get the cool wind off the lake.  Toronto is on a lake, but you can go months in the city without seeing it.  Right now all the trees are sending off these fluffy little seeds so it looks like it is snowing.  I like Cherry Beach because it is kind of rough and not fancy.  Lots of kids, dogs, bikes, and often hippies with drums.
me at Cherry Beach

Wednesday evening I showed up very early to the FASHION House party – it was so early that besides me, it was just the lovely ladies of ASC PR and a few fashion designers, some still setting up their mood boards.  I didn’t stay long because I wasn’t feeling dressed up enough.
early at Fashion House

FASHION House is a condominium where they commissioned fashion designers to create the interiors for each floor’s common areas – the halls.  A very cool project and it was interesting to see each designer’s take on it and ask them a bit about it.  I especially admired the collaged fashion illustration by Andy The Anh.  He used wallpaper, wood, wire and crystal as textures and rendered his concept as a glamourous dress.  It will be interesting to see how the developers take the concepts and execute them.
collage by Andy The Anh

A Week’s Worth comes to you early this week because I am headed out of the city for a few days.  Toronto is very hot and stinky right now so it seems like a great time to head up north.  Will be back next week!

How was your week?

a week’s worth – 12-06-09

Welcome to A Week’s Worth, documenting what I did all week – a little peek into the life of a fashion illustrator and blogger.

The week started off with lots of work to do in the studio, but on Wednesday I had met my deadline and got to go up to Yorkville to check out the new boutique Eleven at 116 Cumberland, featuring the designs of Lundstrom, Thien Le and Joeffer Caoc.

It was packed with lovely fashion people, including Karen Cleveland of FASHION Magazine who helped organize the shopping event.
Karen at Eleven event
I am sure it cleared out a bit later, but I didn’t stay very long – feeling a little overwhelmed by so many people.  It was a pleasure meeting veteran designer Thien Le for the first time, he dressed Anita up in a gorgeous Grace Kelly-esque wrap dress and hinted that he will be working on a magazine column.

Thursday morning I met someone at the Big Thimble in Toronto’s fashion old fashion district at Spadina and Richmond.  I just like saying “meet me at the Big Thimble”.
me and the thimble

In the button next to the thimble there is a little plaque that says, a little awkwardly, “a reflection on the contributions of the workers & the presence of touch in the making of garments”.  This corner used to be the hub of the garment district in Toronto – now it is a trendy shopping area with just a few sample shops and jobbers left.
the presence of touch in the making of garments

I went up to visit the airy Juma studio today and pick up a new jacket.  I love seeing the spaces designers work in.  Alia is busy right now drafting menswear for Spring 2010 next to a rack of muslins – the rough draft of the collection.  Across the cutting table Jamil is working on his laptop.
juma studio

I also got to have coffee with Erin of Las Valentias today.  I originally met her way back when I worked at Pho Pa and she sold cute one-of-a-kind jackets there.  Now she has a business partner and co-designer, Tara, and Las Valentias is a 25-piece line of dresses and separates.  Lots to catch up on – fun to reconnect.
Erin and Tara of Las Valentias

How was your week?

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?

a week’s worth – 09-05-09

A Week’s Worth documents what I did all week – a little peek into the life of a fashion illustrator and blogger.

I did take my camera with me everywhere this week, but for whatever reason I did not use it very frequently. I missed out on The Clothing Show, spending the weekend with my family and my boyfriend instead.

On Monday I met Dianna DiNoble of Starkers! corsetry – we talked about [FAT] and different styles of corsets.  Sadly the corset I want – the brushed wool one, not the vinyl one – is out of my reach for now.  It was a pleasure to talk shop with this creator of serious corsets.

Tuesday I regret I missed out on some more events because I had to work – the Joe Fresh/Reth?nk event at the new burlesque bar Jezebel and the opening of Caitlin Cronenberg‘s exhibit for CONTACT at Rosemarie Umetsu’s studio.  I heard both of these events were terrific.


Wednesday I was invited by Alison Lawler-Dean to check out the work of fashion designer Marika Brose at Lausberg Contemporary Gallery.  The current show in the gallery, Good Timing/Bad Timing created a contrasting backdrop to Brose’ luxurious textures and structured shapes.

There was also an exhibit of wire sculptures by artist Sophie DeFrancesca.  She is known for her pieces of hollow dresses, and she also revealed a new sculpture of a ghostly unicorn.

I met designer Joseph Tassoni, here with a model wearing Marika Brose’ chainmail dress.
tassoni designer with brose model

On Thursday night I walked down to Ossington for the Canadian launch of Corduroy magazine.  I met the publisher Tim Chan, who is originally from the Toronto area and now lives in New York City.  His magazine is a tactile collection of images and interviews, aesthetically curated.
corduroy and jeans

Speaking of textures and textiles, I have been lovingly darning together this pair of jeans that I got in New York City in May 2006.  Every time a hole develops, I glue and fuse and stitch it together.  I love the way the layers of damage and repair look and feel.

Friday morning I met the illustrator for LG Fashion Week‘s “Show Love” campaign – more on that soon.  That evening, I went to celebrate Textstyle.ca‘s first anniversary at a garage party.
garage party

Stefania, the blogger behind Textstyles stood out in a bright orange jumpsuit.  Congratulations to her for one year of chronicling the looks on Toronto’s streets.

How was your week?

a week’s worth – 01-05-09

A Week’s Worth documents what I did all week – a little peek into the life of a fashion illustrator and blogger.

I started out this week at Vidal Sassoon, hair modelling in a master class.  I’ve been in to get my hair cut for classes before, but this was something entirely different.  They were presenting a themed hair collection based on the work of designer Anthony Price and artist Philip Castle.  It was a big deal.

There were even some illustrations in the brief of clothing designs inspired by Price’s work.

Anthony Price inspired dress

…and actual dresses and jewelry and makeup to go with the hairstyles.  It was interesting but a long day and stressful.
Anthony Price girls at Vidal

I got a cut and colour that was slightly more “salon-friendly”.  I really love the colour and 90% of the cut… that’s the way it is being a hair model.

Wednesday I went to a cocktail event at Browns shoe store celebrating Italian shoes and mingling with friends and FASHION lovelies.  They had a big wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano that I indulged in a lot… its been a while since I could afford to buy my favourite cheese.  What a treat!

After that Andrew took me down to Kensington Market to check out the Deadly Nightshades trunk sale.  You can currently order pieces from their Fall/Winter 09 line whether you’re a consumer or a retailer.  Their stuff is tricked out, super stylish, organic bicycle gear for cool girls.  Get in touch with them for more information.
Deadly Nightshades drunken trunk sale

Last night Anita took me as her +1 to the Innovators Ball at the Ontario Science Centre.  Thanks to LG for the tickets!  I’ve never been to a black-tie event before, I wore my dress from Fashion Crimes and a real flower in my hair from Andrew.
Me in the light tunnel

Ainsley was there looking amazing in Jessica Biffi’s “Crow” dress.
Ainsley in jessica Biffi

There was a cool mix of people there and the surprise of the night for me was meeting Matt from Nirvana the Band the Show!  I am a big fan of the show, its a great sendup of the music scene in Toronto and a classic buddy comedy too.  Here he is on the right, posing with Anita and a photographer I don’t think I met?  Anyway, its a funny picture.
a photographer, Anita, and Matt from Nirvana the Band!

Those were some highlights from my week, how was yours?

a week’s worth – 24-04-09

A Week’s Worth documents what I did all week – a little peek into the life of a fashion illustrator and blogger.

As you can tell, most of this week I have been going to [FAT].  I did some other stuff too but didn’t get a lot of pictures.

A very cool (and gutsy) high school student named Vanessa asked to come see my studio and I said yes.  She asked me questions for her guidance class at school and was very poised and intelligent.

Berkeley Church for Third Tuesday

I went to the Berkeley Church on Tuesday to check out what Third Tuesday was about.  Ali and Alex de Bold of Chick Advisor told me about it – its a series of free talks on public relations, the internet and entrepreneurship and this past Tuesday was the fellow from B5 Media.  I was interested despite (maybe because of) my cynicism towards blog networks.  Unfortunately I couldn’t stay long enough to hear him speak, but I might try a future Third Tuesday.

Anita and I walked over to [FAT] together and just before we got there she changed into her pumps.

Anita switches shoes

I also paid a visit to Fashion Crimes on Queen Street for a chat (more on that later).  Checked out their Prom window which is up for just one more week – very lovely!

mannequins at Fashion Crimes

How was your week?

a week’s worth – 17-04-09

A Week’s Worth documents what I did all week – a little peek into the life of a fashion illustrator and blogger.

Jessica cuts her face off
Jessica’s birthday party/finale viewing included a cake… with a tv on it… with her face on it!  Here she is, cutting off her face.  Seconds later she bit her face.
Brandon, Jessica, Jeff and Camille
Fellow Project Runway Canada alumni were in attendance – group photo op!

The F-List - Thieves
The F-List‘s designer series continues with Thieves by Sonja den Elzen at the very posh Cosmopolitan Hotel.  It was packed!  Sonja showed her spring collection to touch on the rack… she’s saving her fall collection for the New Labels Gala at the ELLE Show, because she is a finalist.

I asked her if she ever did denim.  The other day I was googling around for hemp denim.  Considering that Levis were originally made from hemp, I was surprised that the available options for hemp jeans were pretty dire.  I found two nice pairs, neither were from current collections – the cotton/hemp blend from the special edition Levi’s warped collection, and this one on Amazon by Thieves – and I wondered, this Thieves?

It was this Thieves – Sonja did this pair a few seasons ago and she still has some pairs in her store as well.  The issue with doing more denim comes down to the difficulty sourcing good hemp or organic cotton denim fabric as a small designer.  In this case, Sonja found that the denim crocked and faded to a too-bright colour.  Also her clients prefer some stretch in their jeans.  Me, I like them hard and unyielding.  I’ll have to drop by and try them on at some point.  Sonja says that if you buy them in her store she offers alteration services to perfect the fit.
Sonja den Elzen

After chatting, Sonja humoured me by posing for a photo without flash.  She’s a very cool designer with a distinct style (and did I mention she’s eco?) and I am really looking forward to seeing her Fall 09 collection.

Those were two highlights from my week – the rest of it was lots of working and not enough enjoying the gorgeous weather.  How was your week?