Creative minds are rare and magical. This is a fact. They look at a door, and they see a photobooth backdrop. They look at a canvas bag, and imagine it as a pillow cover. They turn skirts into tea cozies and old men’s button-down shirts into girly dresses.
One of the most creative minds I have the pleasure of knowing is Jenn Fukushima, the brilliant artist behind the Paper People Clothing line carried here at Fresh Collective. Not only is Jenn a remarkably cool gal who lives just a hop skip and jump away from my store in Kensington Market, she’s a master of her craft and has been at it for over a decade. She’s worked with well-known Toronto alt-fashion staples like Preloved and Peach Berserk, and has used her experience and love of off-beat fashion to create a line totally unlike anything we’ve seen here at Fresh Collective. Jenn’s stuff is a modern bohemian mosaic of lovely colours and textures, thanks to her passion for reclaimed vintage and upcycled fabrics. Her biggest hits have included a dress which has an adjustable skirt made from layers of beautiful silk scarves and saris, and a hyper-flattering winter dress featuring tone-on-tone geometric blocking, made entirely from cozy pre-owned sweaters.
She’s also the creator of the Adrienne and Joan tops, two of our best-selling tees which fit like a dream and are made from Tencel, a plant-derived fabric. Over the last few seasons, Jenn has seen a lot of success and popularity in her eco-fabric items, which are made from all-new materials, but with the Earth-friendly impact of upcycling.
In another life, Jenn must have been someone’s Fairy Godmother, because she truly has a knack for turning pumpkins into carriages. Well, for turning old, ugly garments into cool, sexy, new ones. She’s pretty magical.
Jenn stopped by the Kenzie store this week, and we got a chance to sit down and chat about the cool new things coming up for her much-awaited fall line. Then she gave me the news: the Fall 2013 collection will be her LAST using reclaimed fabrics. Instead, she will focus her collection around using planet-friendly eco-fabrics and ethically sourced materials from around the world. I almost cried. I’ve grown to love the quirky pattern matching and the ability a garment has, to be “reborn” as something totally new.
As we chatted, I began to fully understand the process behind her reclaimed items, and exactly what one finished garment entails; hours of picking, days of sorting and WEEKS of cutting and sewing. Of course, while the reclaimed and vintage fabrics are visually striking, Jenn has created an all-new way of achieving the same effect in her new items, and after seeing sneak peeks of her Spring 2014 line, and getting to feel some of her new fabrics (fresh off the plane from Italy!) I’ve seen the light… And its a brilliant, beautiful, eco-friendly light.
Since this upcoming Fall collection will be her last with reclaimed vintage fabrics, I thought it would be fun to share a blog post from Jenn herself, who chronicled the tales of her line, and explains exactly how she does what she does to give you an inside peek into her colourful, cozy, whimsical world! Check it out, friends!
Here’s a sneak peak of some fantastic Fall Paper People Clothing designs we’ll have flowing into our stores in the next few weeks!