fashion illustrated – the Living Doll project

My friend Caitlin Cronenberg is soft launching a brand new secret project on the heels of her first book, Poser. It is called The Living Doll Project, and as a fellow doll enthusiast, Caitlin enlisted me to help create a paper doll inspired logo illustration. Caitlin knows how to dream big and make big dreams happen, so I am incredibly excited to see what this will become.

heads up – blogger windows at Holt Renfrew

I was waiting for the press release (the social media fever is not as viral as I thought), and then WWD posted the news first:

BLOGGER WINDOWS: Holt Renfrew is the latest fashion player to catch social media fever. The Canadian department store chain is preparing a series of blogger-inspired window displays for nine stores, including the Toronto and Vancouver flagships. Due to be unveiled Friday, the windows will salute high-profile names in the fashion blogosphere, notably The Sartorialist’s Scott Schuman, Bryanboy, Tommy Ton (Jak & Jil) and 17-year-old Texan Jane Aldridge (Sea of Shoes). Engineered by Holt Renfrew’s creative director John Gerhardt — and apparently with no direct input from the bloggers themselves — the windows will include captures from the blogs and possibly mannequins dressed as the bloggers.

I can still scoop though – not mentioned in WWD is Toronto’s top shopping blogger, Anita Clarke of I want – I got.  Hoping some of the bloggers will be on hand for the big unveiling on Friday the 26th… and with luck I will be there too.

UPDATE: the official press release is finally out –

  National Windows Pay Homage to Online Style-Leaders

    TORONTO, June 23 /CNW/ - This Friday evening, Holt Renfrew, Canada's
leading specialty retailer, will pay tribute to the newest international style
influencers - fashion bloggers - with a national window installation
celebrating their diversity and spirit.
    Six bloggers were invited by Holt Renfrew Creative Director John Gerhardt
to be part of the celebration. The bloggers are a diverse mix of fashion
leaders from around the globe and include Scott Schuman
(; Jane Aldridge (; Anita
Clarke (; Tommy Ton (; Bryan Boy
( and Garance Dore (
    "Bloggers have become the fashion world's new celebrities," says
Gerhardt. "They're knowledgeable and influential contributors to the modern
media landscape. Their opinions and visuals are relevant, creative and
thought-provoking, providing a constant source of inspiration. We are honoured
to pay homage to their style."

a week’s worth – 20-06-09

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

Tuesday night I attended SketchCom-ageddon, a comedy night of sketches by different troupes where we got to vote for the ones we liked.  The team I voted for – the Chesterfields – were one of the night’s winners and get to go on to compete in a higher bracket.  I liked their “Luger” sketch, maybe I found it even funnier because as a kid my neighbors had a luge hill, no kidding.
the Chesterfields

Thursday was a busy night with a lot of events going on, so I got to choose the best two.  I went to visit Magpie for a press event put on by the lovely ladies of The Style Box.  It was a pleasure to meet the designers and check out their space.  They do a lot of one-offs and custom pieces for women in the arts community.  The store is a gorgeous space – I love boutiques where the sewing area is a celebrated part of the store.
ladies of Magpie and The Style Box

At Magpie I met Ivana Santilli, one of Toronto’s sweetest recording artists!  She was so gorgeous and indulged me when I asked for a picture of us together.
Me and Ivana Santilli at Magpie

The store also has a tremendous little back yard, where I photographed one of the models wearing a Magpie design, on the left.
model in Magpie, Biddell on his throne
On the right Evan Biddell sits in the “throne” he designed at Casalife, a furniture store.  They had asked a number of artists, designers and personalities to design unique pieces of furniture, which they created gorgeous, finished prototypes of.  On Wednesday, they had a party to unveil the prototypes.

It was cool to meet the designers, check out their sketches and talk to them about their ideas.  I met Peter of Studio Lit and the table he designed.  Its hard to show in a picture, but it has a panel in it which you can change by turning a knob, that looks a lot like the rotating ads they have in bus shelters sometimes.  Peter is a graphic designer and created colourful layouts of some phrases about ideas which you could change up as your mood strikes you.
Peter and his design at Casalife

Friday Anita came over to visit my roommate’s new kitten, Dakota.  Awwww….
Anita and Dakota
Anita, Dakota and the CPJs

And also to show me that she was the first to buy my boots – as far as we know – and thus winning my undying affection for all time.  She looks awesome in them!  So exciting to see what I designed being worn.

How was your week?

a week’s worth – 06-06-09

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

Barbara Atkin interviews Joseph Altuzarra
On Tuesday I attended the Holt Renfrew Fall 2009 womenswear preview, featuring American designer Joseph Altuzarra, seen here being interviewed by Holt Renfrew Fashion Director Barbara Atkin.  Joseph was very personable, relaxed and as Nathalie Lecomte said – “normal” – a relative rarity among fashion designers.

jacket by Joseph Altuzarra
Here is a detail of one of Joseph Altuzarra’s jacket designs for fall.

Holt Renfrew Calgary model
There was also a model on display of the new Calgary Holt Renfrew, currently under construction.

checking out Fall 09 at Holts
Pretty fashion girls named Sarah and Sarah checking out all the fall samples.

Alia Juma and FT cameraman
On Thursday, Juma had a trunk show at UPC in Yorkville – here is Alia just as the night is beginning.  They were going to be followed around all night by a crew from Fashion Television – looking forward to seeing the profile.

panelists at Androgyny
Later that night it was time for the Texstyles: Androgyny event.  The highlight was a panel discussion featuring three very animated and opinionated thinkers – author Derek McCormack, designer Mikhael Kale, and journalist David Livingstone.  The discussion was fascinating and entertaining – makes me think all fashion parties should start with a seminar.

Susie and Holly
Attendees really got into the theme in their costumes including jewelry designer Susie Love and her friend Holly.  Susie’s outfit was “half-and-half” – very disarming.

Beckermans in Sephora makeup
Sephora was on hand to do makeup and they went “full ziggy” on the Beckermans.

me and Loenne
On Friday I went and got my hair cut at Vidal Sassoon (love it), and then took the trip up to visit Adrienne and her new baby Loenne.  Loenne is so new she does not quite know how to smile yet.  She is adorable eh?

After that I trekked way out to Capital Findings in the industrial park area around Dufferin, Wingold and Tycos.  It was quite the bus trip but I needed to pick up some thread for the Sol[e]d event tonight (Saturday June 6) at the Bata Shoe Museum.  What will I be doing with it?  Please come and see.

How was your week?

2008 – favourite posts

A list of some posts that remind me of my favourite moments of 2008, in no particular order.

There are so many honourable mentions too – seeing five fashion weeks (two in New York and three in Toronto), two terrific Vidal Sassoon haircuts, two lovely posters for Fashion Crimes, many wonderful brunches, and more great clients, fashion blog friends old and new, and clickable links than I would ever be able to count.  It really was a grand year.

a grand year

Photo by Stu Vickars
Photo by Stu Vickars

Its the end of 2008, and I find myself without very much time to reflect over the year.  The new year is starting with lots of projects and plans.  This past year, many wonderful opportunities came my way.  It was the first year that I supported myself entirely as a freelance illustrator, and that makes me very happy.

Thank you for being part of Final Fashion and for your patience when posts are fewer and farther apart.  There will be more to come when the time is right.  Have a lovely New Year’s Eve and all my best wishes to you for 2009.

click post – the You Rock edition

Welcome to the latest installment of the click post – the irregular roundup of online findings both local and international.  Today’s theme is courtesy of Anthea from Clothesline Finds, who nominated me for the prestigious “You Rock Award”.  Thanks Anthea – and congratulations on graduating!

My mission is to list six things that make me happy – and since I’m folding this into a click post, with links.

  1. Jay McCarrol and Jay McCarroll.  I am a huge fan of both of these guys, and this week I heard a story that made me squeal with delight!  It involves an absurd fashion design contest, burlap, Michelle Obama, a Ryerson fashion student, and an awkward situation for former Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown.
  2. Being named one of FASHION Magazine‘s online editor Jennifer Campbell’s favourite blogs in an interview on Masthead.  Jennifer has really made an effort to reach out to bloggers online as well as recruiting fashion bloggers to write on FASHION’s website.  Its a thrill to know that she’s reading – though I’ll gladly concede that her favourite is Auntie Fashion.
  3. 15 Minutes (’til last call) – is a “hyper-reality” television show featuring Toronto’s own Jack of Clubs Matt Sims and his upstart rival Cory Stewart.  I went to see a preview screening of the pilot at CiRCA last week – wasn’t sure what to expect.  It was laugh-out-loud hilarious.  The two leads were extremely charismatic in person and I was left wanting to see more.  I hope some smart entrepreneur figures out how to deliver this.
  4. Simon Says.  In life… we have a choice.  I think you’ll make the right decision.
  5. Using my new USA-made cast iron pan to make delicious food like the miraculous Dutch Baby and fry up my Spatzle in butter until its crispy-chewy.  While its blowing cold outside and snow’s coming, there’s nothing like comfort food from the old country to warm you up from the inside.
  6. Wearing my new Skinny Sweats from my fashion designer friend Adrienne Butikofer!  I haven’t owned a pair of sweatpants in years – knit pants always seemed a bit indecent to me – but somehow the Skinny Sweats manage to be comfy, cute, and decent too.  Perfect for hanging out in the studio.

Now the rules of the You Rock award is I get to tag some more rockin’ bloggers to share six things that make them happy too.  Its Fashion Blog Karma time!  I’d like to nominate –

one click is never enough

Welcome to my irregular review of what I find worth a click on the internet.

Viktor & Rolf SS09 with Shalom Harlow

Take your front row seat at Viktor & Rolf… a lovely internet presentation of their Spring 09 line starring gorgeous Shalom Harlow.

Heads up Chicago and Indianapolis – Julian Roberts is on tour and coming to your lucky cities.  A day subtraction cutting with Julian will earn my envy… if you go please report back!

The Toronto Fashion Incubator newsletter for September/October is out – the editors have the inside story on what is going on in Toronto fashion and it is free.

Want to see more pictures of Indigo Planet?  Check out this massive recap post on the Inside Rainbow blog.

Having just spent 2 weeks doing it, I can assure you that destroying denim is not as easy as it looks.  I liked this photo essay on a denim detailing factory, found via Ironic Sans.

Fellow TFBB‘er and entrepreneur Patricia Sheng of Luxual has recently launched Luxual Boutique.  She offers luxurious, eco-friendly casual clothing – and Canadian customers get free shipping.

The original street style photographer, Bill Cunningham, has some wonderful photo essays on the New York Times website.  I love this one about the lengths ladies go for legs and high heels.

Tommy Ton brings us the best of the streets of Paris during fashion week, photographing what he loves best and posting it on Jak & Jil. He also recorded Susie Bubble‘s outfits for fashion week in Paris.  Lucky bloggers!

Seen The Selby yet?  Incredible studios and apartments and the people who live and create in them

Two videos peer over my shoulder while I’m sketching – and yes, I hold my pencil weird.  Check out Inside Fashion (3:23) and Chic Inspector on Youtube (0:30).

Sometimes I feel bad about being behind on so many posts.  I never run out of ideas, only time.  This post justifies slow bloggers like me.

Illustration Links:

  • Daisy de Villeneuve – one of the panelists who chose my Doc Martens and an incredible fashion illustrator too!
  • Gi Myao – another UK illustrator with a charming, naif-style.
  • Anna Goodson is an illustrator’s rep from Montreal with an impressive internet presence and an admirable roster.

Canadian Fashion Links:

Fashion Blog Karma:

  • Ali-bell – adorable Australian sewing blog
  • 69 Vintage – Toronto vintage boutique now blogs
  • JacquieShambles blogs fashion and art in Toronto, and looks cute doing it.
  • “le smoking” – pithy thoughts and pretty pictures from Rea
  • Doe Deere – I used to read Xenia’s old site Limecrime and loved the makeup tutorials – so happy to find her again!
  • Papergown – she sews and makes her own patterns.

pass the clicker box

Auntie Fashion tells me that I should spend less time on my needs – duly noted. Lets channel surf.

Rayanne Langdon somehow combines sincerity with public relations – and she’s a dynamo with the internet thing. Quite a nice combination of qualities, I’m looking forward to seeing more of her around fashion blogland and in Toronto.

This Agent Lover Paper Doll is adorable. I want to learn how to make “paper” dolls like that. Even better when the paper dolls come to life.

Meta Filter “discovers” an unusual species – Lady Bloggers. Who knew that friends had things in common? That fashion, personality, self improvement, branding, friendship and creativity are all somehow connected? The more you know!

The outfits are amazing, but what really stopped me in my tracks was the collaged images used for the Ostwalk Helgason lookbook. Thanks to Stylist Stuff for the tip.

Amazing use of GIFs in this creative shoot of Jeremy Laing‘s designs, by photographer Graydon Sheppard.

Tricia of Bits & Bobbins has given birth to a beautiful baby girl. A warm welcome to Poppy Beatrice!

As someone who spends a lot of time in my studio, I completely relate to studio-pride. No matter if it is a one-girl operation or a whole team – us creative-class types believe in making your space reflect your style both in art and business. For the extravagant version, visit This Ain’t No Disco, its Where We Work.

Eduard Erlikh is a fashion illustrator whose work exudes a quality of life drawing. His touch is really light, his techniques are classic but the attitude is of the times. Inspiring.

Magazine sales are flatlining. May the best of the best survive, there’s enough mediocrity on the internet for free already.

Michael Kamen composed my favourite score ever – Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. I love this interview with him, he exudes passion for his work that really comes through in this simple and emotional score.

Smart ladies I know are turning over new leaves before the leaves turn this year. Eden of Bargainista just launched the Community Divas podcast about her passion for online community building. Ali and the team at Chick Advisor is launching a redesign, and also they have created a whole new video series.

Kingdom of Style hands over the keys to Success in fashion blogging.

Along The Shore is an adorable East Coast Canadian fashion blog – its always nice to see more of those. I found her via incoming link, thank you BeccaJane!

Slave to the Square Wave – saw them live and loved them! Smart, sexy, danceable.

Saul Stienberg – inspiring, modern, brilliant illustration.