Thursday, August 25, 2016

So early in the morning, last Wednesday I was dazzled by the t-shirt bundles installed at the front of the Vancouver Aquarium. They were piled up the steps, a winding colorful trail of T-Shirts, leading us past garbage containers labelled with messages about the damage fast fashion, lack of recycling and too much tossing away can do to our oceans and to our world. So many organizations working together to build awareness of clothing pollution and so many partnerships generating strategies for change. I loved the thrifted t-shirts (Value Village) stamped with #IGiveAShirt. We can thrift, repurpose, donate and educate. And there are stories: The wedding dress and suit were found on the beach. Yes, there is a lot of clothing, left behind or washed up. The stories can get better if we work together. A huge message for a day. A huge impact for our world.

Always a treat to see the EcoFashionWeek team at every event, and to see President Myriam Laroche and Jonathan Hultquist, Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, talking to everyone about the #IGiveAShirt initiative. Fantastic to meet two of the Store Managers from Value Village, Victoria Street Store and Hastings Street Store. At these locations, especially, I find good service and deals to be had,  on Sr. Day and 50% off Days, too. I would like to see the #IGiveAShirt idea available for sale year round. An extremely important cause for all of us to support. Thanks, thanks. thanks to all partners, volunteers and t-shirt wearers. Ever onward!

President of Eco Fashion Week Myriam Laroche (left) 
and Vancouver Aquarium Public Programs Manager Jonathan Hultquist

Wonderful Value Village Store Managers of
Victoria Drive and Hastings Street

The MOV's current main exhibit is about collections. Many of the collectors have been invited to present the story behind their passion, and Undressing Drag was an evening of heartfelt Vancouver stories and performances that celebrated the history and modern world of Drag.
Willow Yamauchi, a Vancouver story teller and writer, is the daughter of a man who performed as Hydrangea Bovine, with the group, The Bovines, here, in the 1980's.

Willow's story is about growing up surrounded by artists, music and best costumes at Halloween. And, she knew how to put on fishnets without snagging them and to walk in high heels, perfectly, before anyone else in her group. Too young to have been to the clubs to see him perform, she learned more when her mother gave her a bag of costumes that had been in storage, since her dad passed away ten years ago, and she discovered cowprint dresses, gloves, earrings made from pingpong balls and the beginnings of her collection, which also includes many of the people in her father's stage life.
You can hear an interview with her on Ideas, CBC Radio with Paul Kennedy.

Ivan Sayers, Historian, Curator and Collector of women's and men's clothing from 1700 and on, always has the best stories about where he finds his treasures and what they tell us about the people and the times, talked about his university days and introduction to the wild city. (He grew up in Summerland.) He outlined briefly, the history of Drag, from Shakespeare to Japanese Theatre, Pantomime and Vaudeville, to Vancouver Drag culture in the 70's and today. He brought along a pair of Springolator Shoes, with the name Bill inked on the strap. These came from his favorite Salvation Army (Sally Ann) on 12th, between Fraser and Main. Huge wigs and dresses came from a garage sale at a funeral home. Ivan's presentation was a celebration of style, artistry, talent and bravery of a community that was until very recently, secret and often misunderstood.

Peach Cobblah (Dave Deveau) and Isolde N. Barron (Cameron Mackenzie) are a couple in life and in performance. Their music was wide ranging including classic songstresses to hip hop. Their energy and talent brought those they admire most right to us at the MOV!

Costume, Performance, Stories: Collections we need to see and Collectors we are privileged to meet. And they are fantastically curious about what we treasure and especially on what we wear.
Dianna and I wore outfits from My Sister's Closet and Lynn showed off her Value Village Hermes Scarf. For this one evening, I was tall: check out the rose platforms, one of the many donated pairs of brand new fabulous shoes, at My Sister's Closet. I saw vintage Hawaaian shirts, two toned shoes, hats, and glitter galore. Chatted with William Walker, of Walker Millinery about his latest hats and costume projects.  Quite a few members of SMOC were there, too. This was an extremely popular event, with a very interactive audience.

Kudos all, and thanks to MOV for an amazing evening.

What I wore!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The giant murals have been in progress for some time, now and Sunday was a beautiful sunny day to spot them as we walked up Main from Terminal to 12th. Some of them can also be seen from the sky train. We began with a look at the decorated silos at Red Truck Brewery. Always a great way to celebrate with a wide selection of craft beers, delicious food and music of all kinds. The faces on the silos depict people enjoying the setting and their comments: Natural, Amazing, Trucked....
There were street markets, food trucks, and store sales - 150 local businesses were a busy, vibrant part of every block. 20 bands played their hearts out and people were dancing in the streets, for sure. But the main attraction was the 35 new, permanent murals bringing huge blank spaces to life, portraying everything: technology, cultures, sci-fi, a perpetual, vivid reminder of the richness of world on Main Street, every day. 40 Artists painted, sprayed, worked from great heights, on platforms and ladders and, as far as I know, all the paint went right onto the walls and none on those of us looking up. Lucky us, lucky Main Street. We need more of this, here. Lives enriched - our Art World.

PS I dressed in my own mural of fabrics and patterns, all from My Sister's Closet. The skirt is beaded and appliqued and is from India. The bag of contrasting patterns, is Japanese in origin. Cotton, black and white huaraches by ARTISANAT, handmade necklace. JORD watch. All black and white lets the murals be front and center.

PPS Much more at

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Another surfing adventure! On the second to last day of my 5 day California trip, I decided to visit Hermosa Beach to surf in the morning. As luck would have it, the weekend I visited turned out to have only 1-2 foot waves, which are very small. I was determined to surf regardless! 

Rather than renting a board, I walked over to the Hermosa Surf Camp tent and discovered that I could take a private lesson for a very affordable price! Bill (right) was my instructor, and made sure my pop up was perfect, so I could catch more difficult waves. Overall a great learning experience and would highly recommend this camp. They also have a great day camp for kids led by Owner Vince and taught by qualified, organized and safety conscious instructors! 

After surfing, I hiked Runyon Canyon with a friend. It was straight up, but fairly short and not too difficult. Would recommend it for the walk and views, if visiting LA!

Have you tried surfing? If so, where? Leave us a comment!

Vince and Bill!

The top of Runyon Canyon

Sunday, August 21, 2016

At the end of the first year of my part-time MBA and the summer semester, I had a long weekend escape to Los Angeles, California. I visited Redondo, Hermosa and Venice beaches as well as Los Angeles. So much to see and do!

The ocean breeze was a much needed escape from the heat wave we have been having this summer, in Toronto! This brings me to the primary reason for this trip... SURFING! More to come on this in the next post.

Here I am at Redondo Beach enjoying the breeze and evening to follow, wearing a dress from Treasure Seeker Colleen and My Sister's Closet in Vancouver and sunnies from Tribal Rhythm Vintage! Would love to hear about your great escapes and adventures in the comments. Leave us one!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Hard to believe I have been visiting the wonderful Angela for 6 years! Angela, born in Limassol, Cyprus has been working at Sketchley Cleaners for over 15 years and is a pillar in the community. I am always running in with piles of clothes that are either purchased second hand or in desperate need of mending! She always greets me with a big smile, asks me where and how I have been and patiently goes through all of my beloved items. She always knows just what to do and is always honest about the way things look best! In addition to this, Angela always speaks Greek to me. She usually has to translate for me, but makes me feel like I am connected to the community here in Toronto. Lucky me!

I asked Angela a few questions about her work at Sketchley and her tips for great style. Having been in the business for many years, she has seen many trends and always looks fabulous herself! She knows what works!

As you can see by the photos, Angela loves classic pieces and always accessorizes with fantastic jewelry. She loves to see both men and women getting dressed up in their finest styles and says that her customers are her favorite part of her job. I have witnessed this first hand. I am usually in on Saturdays and everyone comes by to say hi to Angela. Some even just come by to say hello, they don't even have any dry cleaning! 

We always know we can count on Angela for the greatest care, style advice and great laughs. You're just the best Angela!

Always great dry cleaning and additional services at Sketchleys. For more information on a location near you, visit

Monday, August 15, 2016

On our last visit to New York we saw the fantastic Manus X Machina exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art! Exhibits are always exquisite and we were lucky enough to be in New York at the time this fabulous exhibit was on display.

The exhibition focuses on the reconciliation of handmade and machine-made clothes in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear. It features over 150 outfits from the early 20th century to the present and aims to highlight the relationship between hand design creation vs. machine design creation.

The exhibit also features 3D printing fashion, computer modeling, bonding and laminating, laser cutting, and ultrasonic welding. Some of the haute couture labels incorporating 3D printing into their collections in the MET exhibit are Chanel’s 2015-2016 collection and Iris Van Herpen’s Spring/Summer 2010 collection.

This was a joy to see! I also purchased the exhibit book, which was worth it as I will now always be able to go back and look at the images, in addition to those I took! It is also a great coffee table book. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Chanel wedding


Hussein Chalayan

Treasure Seeker Colleen with Dior

Gareth Pugh

Iris Van Herpen

Iris Van Herpen

Noa Raviv

Junko Koshino

Junya Watanabe and Pierre Cardin

Junya Watanabe

Iris Van Herpen

Iris Van Herpen

Iris Van Herpen



Issey Miyake

Issey Miyake

Treasure Seeker Colleen with Issey Miyake

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Presented by Wearable Arts Vancouver, this is always a must see, during those gorgeous summer days at John Lawson Park, West Vancouver. Models volunteer and are the diverse mix from which all Fashion Shows would benefit. Always a plus, is the sale that follows the show. When you see it, you want it!

This is the fourth annual display of technical skills and beautiful design, eco friendly and made over time, slow rather than fast. One of a kind, truly west coast flavor is what comes to mind.

Deb Ryan, Show Chair, did a very effective job, easily giving the most interesting highlights of each outfit and its creator. A spectacular setting, sunshine, accomplished models and really special clothing and accessories made this show shine.

Participating Artists:
Daniella Amit:
Ros Aylmer: By Hand
Linda Coe:
Rene Corder Evans
Monica Gewurz:
Elena Glazkova:
Laurie Gray:
Marianne Greaves:
Anne Gundrun:
Beryl Hickenbottom:
Anni Hunt:
Lorraine Kwan:
Janet Lee:
Doreen Marlor
Heidi Martins
Cheryl Morriseau
Freda Pagani:
Susan Perkuhn:
Christine Rio:
Dawn Michelle Russell:
Yvonne Symons
Junko Takashima:
Wendy Van Reisen:
Joanne Waters
Angelika Waters:

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