Style Profile – Brina Ludwig-Prout

Name: Brina Ludwig Prout
Age: I’m a Baby Boomer, and member of the generation that’s going to change the face of “empty-nesting” and “retirement” forever.
Lifestyle: Still aiming for the perfect balance of personal and professional life. Also, I’m actively working on curing my Blackberry addiction!

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Dress: Gayle Kitsch Floral Dress – Mandala Design, $128

Occupation: It depends on the day. I am the Volunteer Coordinator, Boomer-in-Residence, and Pro-Bono Strategic Consultant for the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) Ontario. Founded in London, England in 1997, SSE assists everyday people in launching a social purpose business, non-profit organization, cooperative, or social venture for the benefit of their community. SSE Ontario came to Canada in 2012, and is a vibrant member of an international network of 18 SSE schools worldwide. I’m also a Change Management specialist and program manager for large complex projects through my company Projects Plus, Inc.

What’s a typical day like for you? There is no typical day. After 20 years of continuous consulting with Corporate Canada, I made a trade with Marjorie Brans, Managing Director of SSE Ontario: my professional skills on a pro-bono basis for an education in Social Entrepreneurship. Under Marjorie’s transformational leadership, I have spent the last 10 months meeting an amazingly talented, diverse set of volunteers and matching them with our students or with projects for the School that will ultimately contribute to Canada’s healthy growth.

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Top: Evolve Top – Encircled, $92 Necklace: BurfurtART Pants: Diamond Ankle Length pants- Brenda Beddome, $139 Purse: Akibo Clutch – Matt and Natt, $79

 

What in your life is really important to you? My marriage of 38 years to the amazing Jim, my relationships with my children, my friendships both new and old, and my work with SSE Ontario trying to create new economic models for the future.

What would you like to be remembered for? My ability to help others learn what I have learned. My passion for intergenerational collaboration, and my ability to bring projects to efficient, successful completion through leveraging the skills and diversity ofall team members.

What role does fashion play in your life? I have learned that when you look stylish and up to date, people of all ages gravitate towards you.

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective? The great clothes, of course. But what really makes me love Fresh Collective is Laura-Jean’s focus on mentoring and developing up and coming designers in Canada.

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Necklace: Colleen Poitras Pants: Prada Cropped Skinny Pants- Brenda Beddome, $139

 

What do you have that you want to promote?  I’m calling on my fellow Baby Boomers to think about the social legacy they could leave in the “third act” of their career. I’m out to prove that professionally successful Boomers can creatively apply their professional skills and experiences to the most complex social and environmental challenges of our day. All that is required is for us to jump in and find our place. The rewards are beyond measure!

As for me, I found that place at SSE and have been helping develop a new program called “Primed for Purpose” which helps Boomers like myself find their way by matching people to soul-fulfilling opportunities that leverage their expertise and lend deep meaning and purpose to the latter stages of their professional careers. Check out the Primed for Purpose program at www.sseontario.org.

Finally, our Social Entrepreneur Fellowship Program is open for applications until April10th. SEF is designed for people from all walks of life who want to improve their community through a new social purpose business, non-profit, or cooperative, and who want help to become a more effective and capable leader. – See more here!

Is there anything else we should know about you? I believe that intergenerational collaboration is key to improving the world: younger generations will ultimately lead us through this time of change in the world and we should use our skills, wisdom, and lived experience to guide and mentor them.

How can people contact you?

I can be reached at brinaludwigprout@sseontario.org.

Find SSE:

Twitter: @TheSSEOntario

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sseontario.

 

 

 

 

Show Stopping Sook-Yin Lee

We have customers from all different walks of life. From teachers to nurses; authors to producers; musicians to artists…

One such artist is Sook-Yin Lee, who recently stopped by Fresh Collective Kensington. There, she scored the perfect dress to wear onstage at the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards to present at the gala event.

Sook-Yin looking great in the Brenda Beddome Watercolour Wrap Dress from Fresh Collective

Sook-Yin looking great in the Brenda Beddome Wrap Cascade Dress from Fresh Collective (Spring/Summer 2013)

 

We’re so honoured Sook-Yin chose to wear a Canadian designer from Fresh Collective, and we asked her for a few words on her selection.

“I was in the neighbourhood and passing by FC with my sister when we decided to come in. This dress is unlike anything I have. My eye was drawn to the swirl of 70s era colour, a period of time I’m curious about. Initially I thought the neckline might accentuate my already broad shoulders and make me look like a football player, but when I tried the dress on, the neckline swooped lower than I thought, and I liked the way it looked. When I discovered the shop features mostly indie Canadian designers and that this dress was made by Toronto-based Brenda Beddome, I bought it.”

 

Bright and Beautiful at the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards

Bright and Beautiful at the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards

Looking great, Sook-Yin!

– Terri-Leigh

 

 

Ok, It’s Official – We’ve Extended The Fresh & Fabulous Blowout Sale!

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We’ve heard from our loyal customers who wanted a few more days to be able to stop by for the big Fresh & Fabulous Blowout Sale. We had such a blast today helping everyone who came in find the perfect holiday dress, or the gift for that special someone – so we decided to extend the sale until December 01! Save 40% off vault stock including Brenda Beddome, Mandala Design, Kollontai, Melow, Annie50, Soia & Kyo, Dinh-Ba, Hush Puppies, Miz Mooz Shoes and more!

In addition Fresh Baked Goods is now $50.00 for all dresses and $25.00 for all tops and bottoms. We also have some $10.00 t-shirts that would make perfect stocking stuffers!

We have limited sizes and colours in all the lines, so you’re going to want to get to each store early to find the gems.

This sale is only at our Roncesvalles and Queen Street stores!

Stop by this weekend on your way to the One Of A Kind Show, and share some holiday tunes, styling advice and good times with our Style Staff!

Here are some pictures from some of our awesome guests who stopped by today. Thanks everyone for coming out.

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Jill (in the red Brenda Beddome dress) saved 40% off this hot little number and Pip in the brown scored this awesome dress from Fresh Baked Goods for only $50.00!

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Suzy saved 40% off these boots!

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The Ceil Slip Ons from Hush Puppies are the best for kicking around in (and they look perfect with jeans!). With 40% off they’re now $60.00! At Queen Street only!

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Just SOME of the racks of savings at our Queen Street Store!

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We love sending people home with bags of joy!

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Some of the perfect vacation weather dresses available at the Roncesvalles store!

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Casey our resident Style Maven loved this wrap dress from Dinh-Ba, and paired it perfectly with the necklace and wrap bracelet from Vanessa Yanow!

Fresh & Fabulous Blowout Sale – November 28 only!

blowout fbgWOW today is a busy day! I’m running around our vault with Sally, pulling lines and styles for tomorrow’s big sale. We’re really excited to be bringing our customers some of the best of the past, at discounts of 40-50%!

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Pages and pages of 40% off stickers!

We’re pulling out your favourites from Mandala Design, Brenda Beddome, Melow, Kollontai, Soia & Kyo, and of course, everyone’s favourite, Fresh Baked Goods.

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Just some of the stock for the sale tomorrow!

Our Fresh Baked Goods will actually be reduced even further at $50.00 for dresses and $25.00 for tops. You won’t want to miss these! Once they’re gone, they’re never coming back – the last of the Fresh Baked Goods collection will be on our floors again tomorrow!

Hush Puppies now 40% off!

Hush Puppies now 40% off!

We’re also going to be having some awesome shoes from Hush Puppies and Miz Mooz at 40% off. This is the biggest discount for these shoes we’ve ever done! I hope you’re going to join us tomorrow 11am – 7pm at our Queen and Roncesvalles stores.

xoxo

-Jenna

Sweet Summer Sale

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It’s that time of year again! Fresh Collective has knocked down prices on some of your favourite Spring and Summer looks. Save up to 25% on some of our most popular designers including Address Apparel, Mandala DesignStudio Fresh, and Rita Di Cesare!

You don’t want to wait when we have a sale this great! With one-offs and limited sizes and colours left from our Spring/Summer collections, you’ll want to get into your favourite store today to get your hands on that peice you’ve been eyeing up all season long.

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Have a #PicturePerfectSummer in Fresh Collective: Photos

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Hello there, June!

‘Tis the season for bike riding, sunshine-ing, picnic-ing and general good times.
Have a #PicturePerfectSummer in Fresh Collective!

What to Wear Wednesday – Summer Sunshine

What to Wear Wednesday - Summer Sunshine
The sun is back after yesterday’s gloomy weather. Rejoice! Time to show of those gams – the popular Brenda Beddome printed pants also come in an adorable bermuda-style short ($126). Pair the shorts with our best-selling “Kongo Wrap” top from Melow (available in green, navy, black and black/white stripes – $115) and a flirty pair of “Cherry” sandals from Miz Mooz ($125). Add a simple long pendant necklace from Curious Oddities and a bright polish on your fingers and toes and you’re set for a summer day in the sun!

FRESH GUEST: Fun with Fashion Takes Action

Last week our Marketing Manager, Jenna and our fearless leader Laura-Jean had a fun night out on the town celebrating local fashion. Below is a guest blog post from Jenna sharing all the night’s adventures and discoveries… Read on!
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Last Wednesday, Laura-Jean and I went to Fashion Takes Action’s Connect Beauty event and had a spectacular time! Our friend Kelly Drennan was hosting her annual fundraiser to support both Fashion Takes Action and the WHEN Network.

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 We were excited to walk to the venue, but the darn weather wouldn’t cooperate so Laura-Jean picked me up in the Fresh Mobile at 6:45pm. I knew it was going to be a great night as when I walked out the door of the office. LJ looked at me with her jaw dropped and said “Wow! I only put my hair in a pony tail”! HA! I had done a pin up style do to match my adorable Michelle Carey polka dot Amy Dress ($175)!

Hair in a pony tail or not, LJ also looked fabulous – she was wearing Brenda Beddome’s colourful side-draped dress ($182) .

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Of course the minute we were ready to hit the road, the car alarm started going off. There we were, outside of our offices, in a branded car, scrambling to figure out how to turn off the car alarm. We couldn’t stop laughing, and were actually hoping it would happen again when we got to the event so we could really make a grand entrance.
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Hello Sunshine!

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allison blue topTop: “IVY 2” by Monikova – $130
Pants: “PRADA CROPPED JEAN” by Brenda Beddome – $135
Shoes: “RENOWN QUARTER STRAP” by Hush Puppies Canada – $85
Necklace by Kyle Osnack

allison yellow ivyTunic: “IVY” by Monikova – $145
Pants: “PRADA CROPPED JEAN” by Brenda Beddome – $135
Shoes: “RENOWN ANKLE STRAP” by Hush Puppies Canada – $115

jane allison ivy monikovaBoth Tunics: “IVY” by Monikova – $145
Pants: “PRADA CROPPED JEAN” by Brenda Beddome – $135
Blue shoes: “SLUMBER PUMP” by Hush Puppies Canada– $120
Brown shoes: “RENOWN ANKLE STRAP” by Hush Puppies – $115

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Dress: “SUNSET” by Annie 50 – $204
Shoes: “SLUMBER PUMP” by 
Hush Puppies Canada – $120
Bracelet: Kyle Osnack

jane monikovaTunic: “IVY” by Monikova – $145

 

 

julia allison mandala monikovaDress: “ALEXIS” by Mandala Design – $128
Tunic: “IVY” by Monikova – $145

julia mandalaDress: “ALEXIS” by Mandala Design – $128

julia ritaDress: “CHRISTINA” by Rita Di Cesare – $159
Necklace: Kyle Osnack – $280

The Swagger Coach: Putting on the Ritz – an Office-friendly Fashion special

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Fashion is fun. Simply put, not only is it a lot of fun, its also one of the easiest ways to make a statement without ever opening your mouth. I’m a lucky, lucky gal to work for a fashion company which embraces all sorts of fashion. Here at Fresh Collective, there is no set-in-stone dress code for our retail staff, and I thank my lucky stars for this every day. You’ll notice, on any given day, that many of our folks are indeed dressed in head-to-toe Fresh gear, but this is because we’re the first to see these clothes, and we often fall in love with them while trying them on… even before they hit the sales floor! Plus, we know and love our designer friends and love giving them our business. We’re customers too! When was the last time your usual chain-retailer offered to have a garment customized for you? When was the last time you were in a big-box store and a designer approached you and thanked you for trying on their garment, and then asked you for feedback? Never, that’s when.

I love a pencil skirt and a blazer as much as the next gal, but I’m not the kind of girl to get gussied up in office wear for sport. Life is good when your wardrobe can be as creative and funky as you like. Its also nice to come home, flop down on the couch and not have to immediately slither out of a suit as though it’s trying to eat me. As much as I enjoy being fashionably free, most of my friends work in corporate environments, which requires modest, straight-laced outfits and that often limits creativity and expression in dressing. Its all-too easy to get caught up in the over-structured, oatmeal-coloured world of crisp lines and classic cuts, and some of us simply fall into this pattern for lack of inspiration, concern over maintaining professionalism, or even inexperience with mixing professional items with more casual ones. A friend of mine suggested writing this week’s blog about dressing for the office, but keeping your sense of self and pushing the bar while still dressing appropriately, with class and style. Janet, this one is for you!


First thing’s first: The “office” has been redefined over the last decade. While the word “office” once conveyed greyscale cubicles, navy pantsuits and buttoned-collar tops, it can now refer to a relaxed environment, some welcoming pets, casual clothes and mid-day social activities for staff members. Depending on your field, your place of work could indeed be quite welcoming of jeans, comfy clothes and sensible footwear. Take a look around you, and use your better judgement to establish the “feel” of your environment. Dressing in a way which reflects your surroundings and team is always appropriate, but dressing just a bit more neatly will convey your attention to detail and commitment to presenting yourself in a flattering light. Coming to work looking groomed, collected and neat reflects your ability to look after yourself, and this is a trait which most managers, supervisors and bosses value, as you’ll likely be able to pay due attention to projects, tasks and finishing touches you’re assigned. Regardless of what kind of environment you work in, there are definitely ways to incorporate unexpected elements of fashion and design in your wardrobe, even if you are one of the few who have to abide by strict and modest guidelines.
As far as fashion goes, there are a zillion gurus out there who preach the wonders of certain strategies and themes in dressing and adorning your body. Personally, I take a bit from each of them, and roll it all up into one big fashion advice ball. One of my personal favourite teachings, though, was from the all-knowing, omnipresent Stacy London, who is known for her femme-chic yet powerful and no-nonsense approach to dressing. On one particular episode of What Not to Wear, she scolded a frumpy woman as she stood in front of the wraparound mirror and claimed that no one noticed her. No one noticed her because she never gave them reason to notice her, and it was sad to see the woman (who was lovely, really, but totally unkempt) express such apathy over her appearance. In a cut-away segment, they showed clips of the woman’s boss being interviewed, and he expressed that there had actually been complaints from other workers who would observe the woman coming to work in sweatpants, sports-team t-shirts and rubber shoes, even though her job description involved recruiting, hiring and general HR duties. She didn’t define her work environment as “professional”, as it was a rather relaxed environment. She knew that her appearance probably left the wrong impression on people who came to the agency to find work, and were greeted and processed by a woman who looked as though she had been abducted from her home at 3am, rolled up in blankets, and dropped at her office bleary-eyed and swathed in fleece. Stacy showed the woman an endless combination of outfits the incorporated comfy, dark-wash jeans in a slack-like cut, relaxed, stretch blazers which wore more like cardigans and simple tops with fun necklines to jazz up the most casual of combinations. While she showed off the garments, she taught the woman about 5 key elements of creating a memorable, captivating outfit that communicates confidence and style. I loved these rules, and wanted to share them, with my own fun twist, for you guys to chew on this week.
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FIT

Blouse by Monikova

Blouse by Monikova

YOUR CLOTHES HAVE TO FIT. They have to fit. There are two routes to getting clothes to fit you perfectly. Both start with the essential understanding that, if a garment is not the perfect fit off the rack, it is NOT an issue with your body, and it is NOT an issue with the garment. No one yells at the square peg for not fitting in the round hole. The issue is simply that the garment is not constructed perfectly for your body… yet. Now, your options are either to search for garments which DO fit your body perfectly, or to alter the garments you find and love to fit you. I’d suggest the second option, to save you from passing up on great items which could be showstopping on you, if a few simple tweaks are made. Clothes that fit well create balance and proportion on your frame, and make the difference between looking sharp and looking frumpy. Hem those pants. Nip that too-baggy waistline. Crop those sleeves.
Play it safe: well-tailored jackets, proper-length skirts and pants, dresses which are shaped proportionately
Push the Limits: Architecture-inspired seams, added volume in choice spots (shoulders, hips) retro-influenced waistlines and necklines, bias hems.


SPARKLE
Sugar Rush Summer Romance Collection

Sugar Rush Summer Romance Collection

Unless you work in a mine, your workplace has a light source. It could be those evil fluorescent lights in your office or the natural warm sunlight which comes streaming in your windows (stop pressing your nose against the glass and just go for a walk, people are staring). What catches light better than a little twinkle? Jazzing up simple outfits with a string of glittering beads, wearing a top with a glittering pinstripe, or wearing a flashy, bright ring will update your look and add a bit of glamour while respecting office dress code. One of the guys, my butt.
Play it Safe: Simple necklace, crystal earrings, a hammered brass cuff bracelet, beaded necklines, metallic-toe shoes
Push the Limits: Subtle glitter-woven garments, sparkly embellishments on lapels and pockets, a blinged-out bib-style necklace over a classic oxford shirt, studded details, bejeweled hair fascinators



TEXTURE

Top by Mandala Design

Top by Mandala Design

Fun fur, pleather pants, and fishnet anything have NO place in a professional environment. None. Scrap that idea now. Done? Okay, good, now we can move on to incorporating fun materials and textures into your wardrobe. Keeping shapes classic, you can get a lot of bang for your buck when mixing and matching fabrics. Keep more playful materials office-friendly by balancing textured pieces with simpler ones, and play them up for night-time!

Play it safe: Linen in fun colours, pairing two contrasting fabrics in the same colour family (pale pink chiffon and cotton twill, or ivory lace and satin), items with accents and decals in fun textures and overlays
Push the Limits: A leather blazer paired with simple bottoms, layering sheers, snakeskin shoes, layering two contrasting fabrics in contrasting colours (red leather with royal blue silk, yellow flocked cotton with violet crochet knit) A stiff peplum top, or panels of various textures incorporated into a skirt



COLOUR

Wrap dress from Address Apparel

Wrap dress from Address Apparel

Everyone can wear colour. the brightness, saturation and amount of it worn are up to you. Colour is a BRILLIANT way to add a splash of fun to an otherwise boring outfit. Picking out garments and accessories in fun colours can also breathe new life into what you own already, and can play up your natural features, like your beautiful blue eyes, your chestnut hair, or your porcelain/freckled/gloriously tanned skin.

Play it Safe: Vivid shoes, colourful stacked bracelets, a playful headband, a pop of colour on your earrings, a bright hued top under a classic suit
Push the Limits: Contrasting primary colours (red jacket with a blue skirt and yellow shoes) tone-on-tone layering in slightly different shades, Matching garments to makeup (turquoise blazer with a bold streak of the same colour lining your eyes, or a mandarin orange lipstick which matches your pants) colour-family stacking (all pastels, all brights)



PRINTS

Printed pants from Brenda Beddome

Printed pants from Brenda Beddome

You guys know I love a good print. But how to incorporate a print into office-friendly attire? Simple. Balance. If you work in a creative field, bright, wacky prints can be totally acceptable. If you work in a more conservative environment, subtle prints will be your bff. Prints can add a playful touch, they can draw the eye and shape the body, or they can simply add dimension and interest to solids. Pick your favourite print, pair with matching accessories, and have a blast!

Play it safe: Pinstripes, small polka dots, subtle stripes, soft florals, pairing a print with a basic, layering under/over solids
Push the Limits: Combining two contrasting prints in similar colours (white and navy stripes paired with white and navy dots), double-exposed prints (large polka dots on top, small dots on the bottom), loud prints, allover printed garments, colour-blocked accessories (pink and green printed dress with bold green shoes, pink bracelets and a pink and green necklace) Pairing a print with ANY of the above mentioned (sparkle, texture, colour)

There you have it folks! Challenge yourself to incorporate one of these fun strategies each and every day next week, and see heads turn!