Thursday, September 23, 2010

currently reading: cat party

anyone who knows me knows of my fondness for cats (well, of animals in general). so when i discovered i love cat party, i was excited and happy to find a blog that combines a love of cats, a love of fashion, and a combination of the two.


favourite posts include:

louise brooks in pandora's box (g.w. pabst, 1929)
aaaaaaand last but not least, colette with cats:

i love her sense of humour, love of pop culture, and little hilarious jabs at celebrity worship. the perfect balance of kitsch, ridiculousness, and awesome taste. just what i needed to waste my thursday afternoon.

that is all.

have a nice day!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

what i wore: matching our surroundings

last week, my friend anne-marie took me thrifting. as we stepped out of our doors, we realized... we match our neighbourhood!

anne mariei match my door

anne marie

i absolutely love anne-marie's t-strap shoes, and i could not believe the colour was the exact same as her front door.

we don't mess around here in québec city; we are so stylish, we accidentally end up matching our beautiful surroundings. how about that.

posting these very fall-themed photos reminds me... anne-marie, morgan, simon & i went swimming during the heat wave a few weeks back, and it was possibly my favourite day of the entire summer. okay perhaps second favourite, a close second to swimming in the pacific back in july. i better post those photos before we forget what the summer heat felt like! not to mention all of the writing i have to work on before we come up on the 1 year anniversary of this here little blog.

anyway, back to the grindstone. until then!

i believe i can fly

Sunday, September 19, 2010

art: craftivism at fashion week

the blogging world is abuzz with fashion week news, talking about which collections are their favourite, what is the hot new colour palette, and who was in the front row. that's fun and all, but how about some food for thought: craftivist Sarah Corbett of the London Craftivist Collective snuck into the London Fashion Week premises to leave this lovely message:

Lowest paid models at London Fashion Week paid £125 an hour. Majority of garment workers in Vietnam paid £25 a month. - love from the Craftivist Collective

this news courtesy of mr x stitch, via the lovely mccall. simple, beautiful, powerful stuff. this amazing team are forcing people to pay attention to the massive discrepancies and rampant abuse of worker's rights, all while using fashion's very own tools, a needle and thread. talk about using the master's tools to dismantle the master's house...

i really like this kind of activism, which has been coined as "craftivism." it's in your face without being flashy. simple and to the point, presenting the viewer with a fact that is confrontational and hard to forget. for some more context, let's look at the london craftivist collective's manifesto:

To expose the scandal of global poverty, and human rights injustices though the power of craft and public art. This will be done through provocative, non-violent creative actions.

after a bit of digging around, i found that this is far from the first fashion related craftivist activity that has happened! here are some more lovely projects.

and of course, my favourite part: "love fashion, hate sweatshops." click here to read more about this initiative.

courtesy of the sugar paper gang

happy link perusing!


the first photo has been making the rounds on tumblr, and i wanted to add what i thought were some interesting reflections and statements.

from antibromide:
Those two statements aren’t correlated. Garments worn in fashion week are not made in Vietnam for pennies an hour. The garments made in Vietnam are the things sold at stores like Forever 21 to people who want to look like they buy designer goods but don’t want to pay designer prices (or pay the high prices of goods manufacured in the United States). Fashion week isn’t the problem, fast fashion stores that will do anything to have goods made faster and cheaper and the people who shop those stores are the problem.
and some wise words from materialworld:
Co-relation point = well, yes but no.
The message is simplistic for impact, but it’s also an oversimplification that cheap brands exploit workers while expensive designer labels don’t. In Australia this has been disproven by rights monitoring agencies including Fair Wear, as labels may outsource for some items in a range only, produce the garments in-house from under-priced outsourced fabrics, or produce multiple ranges for different economic niches with different production ethics in each.
Eco-Chic by Matilda Lee gives a handy, more UK focussed introduction to the unseen supply/demand impacts of trend based fashion, if anyone is interested.
I don’t interpret this as directed at any particular Fashion Week label anyway. More a general, clever, protest of the way global fashion cultures - which Fashion Week sets trends for - privilege women in wealthier nations as objects of desire or consumers over those women in the majority world supply chain as labourers.
i think both people raise very important and interesting points. i completely agree with materialworld's last point: the fact that this kind of craftivism is at least in some manner confronting the unfair and exploitative world of who imagines, who creates, and who consumes fashion. i think this could start a very important conversation about the relationship that fashion weeks around the world have to the "fast fashion" industry that we are so quick to criticize, while simultaneously upholding these unproven statements that the "higher" fashion industries (prêt à porter, haute couture, runways shows, etc) do not play a part in exploitation.

in my opinion, stating something like "fashion week isn't the problem, fast fashion is" as antibromide does is just too reductive for me to swallow.

what do you think?

Craftivist Collective
Love Fashion, Hate Sweatshops
Craftivist Collective's flickr stream
Radical Cross Stitch

Sunday, September 12, 2010

what i wore today: homage to teddy girls

consider this an homage to a jacket, to a season, and to a stylish group of badass ladies known as the teddy girls.

after a week of intense heat at the very end of august (very unusual and quite historic for québec city) we have finally been blessed with a cool autumn breeze in the air. as much as i love summer, i must say sartorially fall has always been my favourite. it's so much fun to play with colours, layers, textures... ah, tweed, plaid, how i missed thee.

today was one of those lovely early fall days, and so i dug deep in my closet to fully enjoy the autumn air while i ran some errands. here's what i came up with.

.the outfit.

(i feel like i look a wee bit... stoned in this photo)

it's moments like these where i love volunteering in a thrift store; that saddle bag and pair of high waisted pants are my rewards.

may i interest you in a book? may i interest you in a book?

.the jacket.


the shoulders! they are just the perfect cut for me.

jules closeup
and even the namesake is perfection; jules was a nickname of mine when i was younger.

this is potentially one of the best items in my closet; it can make a dress more casual, a short and pants outfit fancier, and fits me perfectly. i used to think the sleeves were too short but now i understand. when i found it years ago, i really did not appreciate the treasure i had found. i think i paid $2 for it in a thrift store in trenton, or was it peterborough? by any means, it didn't really suit my style back in 2004, but now that i am a bit older and a little less afraid of looking "serious", every fall i look forward to pulling it out and pairing it with new things. the combinations are really endless. here are two ways i wore it back in the fall of 2008.



.the inspiration.

teddy girls:

Teddy Girl, 1955. by Ken Russell

all photos by filmmaker and photographer Ken Russell

how can you see these photos and NOT want to look exactly like them? they have so much attitude, yet at the same time so much joy. i especially love how in the first and last photos, the boys are almost jealous of all the attention the teddy girls are getting, as if they wish they could be in their "club." sorry boys.

here is part of the essay that accompanied the publication of these images in picture post magazine:
These photos were taken in January 1955 in Walthamstow, Poplar and North Kensington: solidly working class areas of London. The girls photographed embody three of the great issues of the time; class, gender and youth. They are rejecting the drab costumes of class conformity and post-war austerity. They are pioneers for women looking beyond home for a place to be valued. They are young girls blazing a trail that will be followed by youth cultures for decades to come. But somehow Teddy Girls as a group remain historically almost invisible.
how great is that! pretty amazing if you ask me. i wish i could have known some of those teddy girls... hell, maybe some one you brits might have had a relative who was a teddy girl! ask around.

clearly i am not the only person to have ever been inspired by the style of these ferocious femmes. back in 2006, bust magazine had a teddy girls themed photoshoot that i enjoyed so much i scanned to share with friends. here are two:

now if only i could get someone to do my hair, the look would be complete.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

inspiration: femme fatales by niagara

darksilenceinsuburbia posted this image quite some time ago, but it's only now that i got around to digging up a bit more information about the artist. a little bit of Litchenstein, a dash of Warhol, swirl it up with a love of ladies with guns in film history and there you have it: the art of Niagara.

her femme fatales evoke some of the most powerful women from the golden age of cinema, joan crawford, bette davis, clara bow... not to mention the "pretty faces" like veronica lake and jane russell. i'm personally drawn to the bold and tough attitude the women have, and totally have my own empowering feminist interpretation of them. here are a few of my favourites:

Fuck Off Outta Here

Double Back

not to mention, the artist herself has quite an impressive and interesting story. she fronted the band Destroy All Monsters (who, as a fan of MC5, i am quite surprised i had never heard of before). here's a picture of her having quite a time in the late 70s:

plus, thurston moore of sonic youth helped to put together a compilation of Destroy All Monsters' music in 1994, since they had never formally recorded. here she is hanging with two of my favourite people, thurston moore and kim gordon.

she seems all around quite badass to me.