Saturday, April 29, 2017

A few weeks ago, Treasure Seeker Colleen and I found out we won a trip to New York, from the Toronto Star Wonderlist! The trip was hosted by Warner Brothers Canada and included tickets to see the global premiere of the new Going in Style movie! We arrived the evening before the premiere and decided to stay a few days after as well. 

The Going in Style premiere was fantastic! All of the stars were there including director Zach Braff, Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin, Michael Caine, and Ann-Margret, to name a few! Zach gave an introduction to the film and all of the stars before the screening. The movie was hilarious, and we would definitely recommend it for a good laugh! 

Treasure Seeker Colleen had never visited the Statue of Liberty, so we ventured out there on a beautiful, but cold, sunny day. Our hotel was in beautiful Chelsea, so naturally, we decided to visit the Sunday Chelsea flea market. So much to see, including the fabulous Sue Kreitzman! Her outfit was fantastic and she was so friendly and happy to meet us. We even took pictures with her! 

We also stumbled upon the Brooklyn food event called Smorgasburg in Williamsburg and visited the William Vale Rooftop, which was phenomenal and worth the wait! 

Colleen and I also sported some talented designers' wear on our adventures. We wore Carolyn Bruce Designs Jewelry and Green Embassy and Chloe Angus designs clothing. 

This is our third trip to New York together, and there are always new things to see and do. We always have adventures and meet fantastic people along the way. Thanks to the Toronto Star Wonderlist and Warner Brothers Canada for this amazing trip! 

Special thanks to the Toronto Star Wonderlist and Warner Brothers Canada teams for organizing and being so helpful. We loved the Hampton Inn Manhattan Chelsea hotel. The staff were fantastic and went out of their way to make our stay special. Bravo! 





Washington Square Park

Ladies who lunch
Wearing Carolyn Bruce Designs necklace and Chloe Angus Designs jacket

Going in Style Premiere!

Here we are!

Visiting MOMA. Despite the dreary day, this is one of my favorite
spaces in New York


Colleen and Sue Kreitzman

The three of us!

Colleen wearing Green Embassy 

Colleen wearing Green Embassy 

At the William Vale



Colleen wearing Uniqlo top, Champion jacket and shoes by Fluevog

Monday, April 24, 2017

Photos and writing by Colleen Tsoukalas

Evan's Biddell's remarkable collection of 81 pounds of repurposed fashion is truly a stunning visual example of why and how clothing can have a long, purposeful life, instead of a short, destructive one, filling landfills and killing oceans. This collection debuted at Eco Fashion Week, Toronto, this season, and is now at the Museum of Vancouver until April 17th. On the way there, I was thinking about design, pattern and color, all of which I knew I would see in Evan's work. The museum's spectacular setting is perfect; how much of this will remain if every person continues to toss 81 pounds of textiles every year?

I loved the way leather jackets and coats were refashioned and paired in such unique combinations. Fabulous earrings and painted shoes reminded me so much of the 60's, a dynamic and revolutionary era of fashion that I would be thrilled to wear today. Is this collection for sale? I really want that record purse. Oh, and I also covet that little jacket with the sculpted hem and the red plaid coat skirt with it. 

The 81 pound challenge is always such a power reminder not to discard what can be beautifully recreated and reused. Thanks to Evan Biddell and to Value Village and yes, Eco Fashion Week, for leading the way.

Dianne Drahanchuk
Here's Dianna D. partnering up with this look, wearing her own, one of a kind, 
high collared jacket and skirt, saved from the landfill by her and 
My Sister's Closet Thrift Boutique at Semour and Helmckken.





Photos and writing by Dianna Drahanchuk

Evan Biddell Designs Unique Looks from clothes destined for the landfill. His collection created for Eco Fashion Week 2017 in Toronto, also came to EFW Vancouver and is at The Museum of Vancouver until April 17th. Here is my perspective, Colleen's to follow.

Evan Biddell's self-taught talent is especially remarkable in the 81 pound challenge collection he designed for Toronto’s first ever Eco Fashion Week held in March 2017. The collection later traveled to the Museum of Vancouver where Colleen and I got to see about 20 mannequins dressed in 81 pounds of Value Village castoffs up close. Many coats were refashioned into colorful pants and tops. Evan cuts the ruffled and leather strip details adorning many of the pieces freehand, without a guide or template! The pieces were accessorized with hand painted boots, melted plastic jewelry disc earrings, necklaces, and bolo ties.

Evan has a great idea for creating original one-of-a-kind pieces using products from Value Village stores and selling these in-store. The aim is to entice people who normally would not visit a Value Village, encourage them to purchase recycled goods and to their recycle clothing and textiles rather than tossing these items into the landfill. We wish him luck because we would definitely go out of our way to see that!





Colleen Tsoukalas

Friday, April 14, 2017

This year, for the first time, I attended the Saturday show from 11:00 = 1:00 and it was truly an action packed couple of hours! I took two VCC Fashion Program designers with me: Nico Gruzling and Francesca Ramirez, whom I had interviewed previously here.

Here is a list of Children's Clothing Designers that we were lucky enough to see on March 25th: Jax and Lennon, Like a Scribble, Little and Lively, Rarity Kids, and Angelle Chang. You can read more about designing for children's confidence and comfort, sourcing materials locally and sustainably, and where to buy these fabulous collections, at the VFW site here:

I know that creating a collection and showing it at VFW is a crowning achievement for emerging designers. I also think that investigating other elements is very important. Beverly Card, Designer and Owner of Rarity Kids, was gracious enough to meet us and answer questions about how she got started: her grandma and mom were master sewers and taught her. She has a young daughter who inspires her every day. As the saying goes, it takes a whole community... to build a business and keep it growing and expanding. Beverly would like to see Rarity become the most highly sought after specialty Children's Wear on the West Coast. Francesca Ramirez drew her illustrations from the Rarity Kids Collection.

The second designer featured is Kelsie Power of Jax and Lennon. She is Mom to Jaxton and Lennon, and her collection features creations for babies and toddlers. She also designs women's wear. You will see several sketches of Nicole Gruzling's favorite pieces.

An enterprising baker, The Cake Mama, created 'fashionable' sweets for Kids' Fashion Week, treats that I think would go over really well for the whole event. Sweets for the sweet!

Big thanks to Sarah Murray, VCC Fashion Program Coordinator, Vancouver Fashion Week, Vancouver Kids' Fashion Week, Nico Gruzling and Francesca Ramirez for yet another fashion journey!

Sarah Murray, Francesca Ramirez, Me and Nico Gruzling

Vancouver Fashion Week MCs


Rarity, by Beverly Card







Designer, Beverly Card, Rarity and Me

Sketched by Francesca Ramirez

Jax and Lennon, by Kelsie Power 




Interested in the process of illustrating during the show, I took photos of Nico as she worked. Here is Nico illustrating two looks from Jax and Lennon. (photo) Since she sews for her own children, she knows how much they love the color and pattern and she loved the dinosaurs in this collection. She says that she is at the beginning with the process, but it gets better with practise. I think she captured the energetic playfulness of kids, perfectly. The day was expertly emceed by two very accomplished, engaging speakers, likely about ten years old. We all noticed how each collection was presented so beautifully that it was hard to choose which to draw. Each designer presented a number of looks within ten minutes, mainly because of the very young ages of many of the children. Even the very youngest walked the length of the runway and posed for photographers. There were no pauses or tears; everyone was confident, well rehearsed, yet quite natural. As always, there is a whole team working with these models: Designers, Parents, Photographers and particularly the Feng Feng Academy and Indigo Education Speak. Not only were the runway shows fantastic, but also there were dance performances at breaks.

A successfully run business owner can answer all of those questions, a new grad wants answered. Students also need to use their social media skills, not only in promoting their own designs but also in supporting the fashion community. So what can be done? How about doing some illustrations of the shows, or impressions of the experience, just to share a different perspective. There are millions of photos out there, but how many personal interpretations through illustration, are there? Illustrating, Interviewing, Writing, Networking...just a few ways to expand practice while contributing to Vancouver Fashion Week and future productions.


Sketched by Nico Gruzling


Sketched by Nico Gruzling


Fashion week treats made by The Cake Mama


 
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