Creating and Styling Versatile Looks For Your Lifestyle

Guest post by Jennifer Fukushima of Paper People Clothing

Do you ever feel like your wardrobe has a split personality? 


For many of you, this might sound familiar:

You have your generic office wardrobe.  It allows you to fit in and look professional.  It serves a purpose.  Then you have your real life clothes.  The ones that feel good when you put them on and help you to express who you truly are.  They make you stand out rather than fit in.

Here at Paper People Clothing, we know you demand a lot from your wardrobe, so we create versatile pieces to suit your lifestyle that can transition from the office to real life.  Here are some things we like to keep in mind when creating our unique, one of a kind and few of a kind garments:

  • Layering – If you can layer it, the possibilities are limitless
  • Uniqueness and wearability – This is a delicate balance.  Creating “unique” garments is always fun for us designers, but if it’s not down to earth enough, the versatility is limited.  Loud prints, short skirts and excessive fabric are not work appropriate for most people.
  • Comfort & function – This is a big one, and can easily get lost in the creative process.  So it looks good, but how does it feel and function?  Is the garment too constrictive to move in or is there excess fabric that gets in the way?  Can the wearer perform everyday tasks?
Left: Meaghan is all ready for a lunch meeting.  She pairs her Elaine Vest with a silk blouse and grey slacks.  Right: Jenn is cute and casual, pairing her Elaine Vest with a whimsical lacy long sleeve top and floral print cords.

The Elaine Vest
Left: Meaghan is all ready for a lunch meeting. She pairs her Elaine Vest with a silk blouse and grey slacks.
Right: Jenn is cute and casual, pairing her Elaine Vest with a whimsical lacy long sleeve top and floral print cords.


Paper People’s Elaine Vest is the perfect fusion of quirky yet office appropriate. The suiting, collar and welt pocket detailing are classic and timeless, but the asymmetric cut, curved hemline and sweater fabrication update the look and add some personality.


The Jacqueline Dress
Left: Meaghan uses a cute, cropped blazer and lace up shoes to transition her look to the office.
Right: Jenn layers up with textured scarves, tights and boots, creating a bohemian look.

Paper People’s Jacqueline Dress is another fun yet versatile piece.  This dress provides enough coverage to be work appropriate and the generous drape of the skirt and stretchy fabric allow for plenty of comfort and movement.


The Maude Blazer
Left: Meaghan is ready to seal the deal. She pairs her Maude Blazer with a traditional button down shirt and grey slacks for a polished, professional look.
Right: Jenn just wants to have fun. She layers her Maude Blazer over a paisley mini dress, cable knit leggings and knee high riding boots.

Paper People’s Maude Blazer is a favourite for many and there’s no question why.  This piece fuses a crisp, classic suit detailing with comfy sweater fabric to create a polished yet versatile look.

I hope we’ve demonstrated how transitioning from office to real life isn’t that hard at all.  It’s all about choosing unique yet versatile pieces.  Come visit us at Fresh Collective today for a wardrobe makeover.  We promise that with the addition of a few of these key pieces you’ll look forward to getting dressed for work in the morning.

The Elaine Vest is available at Fresh Collective Roncesvalles and Fresh Collective Queen.

The Jacqueline Dress is available at Fresh Collective Queen and Fresh Collective Kensington.

The Maude Blazer is available at all 3 Fresh Collective locations.

See all of the Paper People Clothing 2013 Fall Winter Collection here!


Curious Oddities: Treasures Lost and Found

Ever wonder how designer Kat Shura creates the beautiful pieces in her Curious Oddities collections? We journey with her on her travels through Belgium, Nevada and Ohio to seek out the gorgeous found treasures she includes in her line.

Curious Oddities: Treasures Lost and Found

“C’est combien?” I ask the man leaning over the table. He looks down at my grubby, outstretched hands that display a chaotic mess of aged paper, bits of brass, keys, broken glass and hardware. “Quinze” he replies. Struggling to match his Morrocan-Belgian accented French to my own very limited, grade 11/12 French, I play it safe and handed him a 20 Euro note. Stuffing my change into my pocket, I take the brown paper bag of treasures and move to the next stall to dig through another mound of boxes. Littered with old buttons, ancient wooden spools and shoe forms, this one’s an exciting collection, cleared out of an old garment factory.
From the outdoor junk market in Belgium to the wilds of the Nevada desert, from a crystal mine in California to an antique mall in Ohio, collecting is the most delightful part of my job as Curator for the Curious Oddities collection.

Curious Oddities Treasure hunting

Working with salvaged materials is a wonderful challenge: to combine materials and finishes, to breathe new life into cast-away pieces. Exposure to a variety of antiquities also serves as an inspiration for the pieces that I compile from new material, providing a reference for surface treatments and design.
It’s lovely to be able to share both my found treasures and the new pieces that I compile. I hope that the Curious Oddities collection inspires in you the stories of our history, the stories of your family and of your imagination.

Curious Oddities decorus globosa bulb

….Well? What took you so long? A blog post about getting “into” Fresh Collective

“LOL” That’s all we’re doing as we read through this beautiful blog post from one of our newest partners, Salomé of burfurtART. She captured PERFECTLY what it must be like for designers to wait on our decisions, as we curate and pull only the best of the best for our customers. We don’t mean to make anyone wait, and as always, Salomé makes the experience fun and sassy – just like her.
Welcome to the family Salomé, good things do come to those who wait.

…Well?  What took you so long?

…or “OMG!! you want burfurtART to become part of your fresh collective gang? Absolutely!”
Written by Salome Cordeiro


This is my story about getting my burfurtART jewellery into the Fresh Collective stores, meeting their amazing people and how to be per-freekin-sistent about it.

Almost one year ago……. It’s around 5:58 pm, November 2012, when I trudge into a Fresh Collective group/gathering that promises to talk about branding.  I’ve been wanting to connect with Laura-Jean (le grande fromage) and her managers at Fresh Collective for a while, so I figure this is a good place to do it.  Plus there’s free munchies and soft drinks….

I slink into the room, casually look around say a little breezy hello to Laura-Jean and try to look elegant in my burfurtART necklace (oh? this little thing?) and a little bit mysterious as I grab a chair and squeeze myself under a shelf of fabulous Yoga Jeans.  Shhhhhhh, the talk begins.

Was it a good talk? Yes, yes it was.  Did I learn anything? Yes, I did, but the real reason I’m there is to get my jewellery noticed in a casual “ohmygodwehavetohavethis” way.

I’m doing the connecting with people thing, when Laura-Jean comes over to me and says…

AMIGINGCRAZYLJ: “Salomé, are you wearing one of your pieces?”
Me: (of course, are you kidding me?) “yes.”
LJ: “Wow, that’s the kind of jewellery we need at Fresh Collective”
LJ: “Joe? Make sure you connect with Salomé in the new year so we can get her into the store!”
Joe: “Absolutely, Laura-Jean. Salomé can I have your card?”

At this point, I immediately go home to wait by my phone for Joe.  Who is going to be calling me anytime now to usher me into the rarefied halls of Fresh Collective.  any. time. now.

Saturday, March 2013

Ok.  No calls.  No sweat, because there is another little talk being given at the Queen Street store, so off I go in another fab little burfurtART concoction to do the whole thing again…

At this point, I connect with lovely and rock & roll ANGELA.  she’s the manager of the Queen Street store. she’s a little cray cray and we hit it off right away!

Angela: “Salomé!!! I want you for a trunk show in the spring!”
Angela:  “Oh, you’re featured in the store for a weekend or so and sell your jewellery.”
Me: “OMG, Angela, I must leave now so that I may wait by the phone for you to tell me when this trunk show is going to be a happening thing!!!!!”

Well, I finally got the call, but not from missy Angela, from missy Jamie!!!!  (Kensington Store manager). I’M NOT PICKY, I’LL TAKE ANYTHING!!!  She wants me to do a trunk sale.  At this point I don’t care if they want to glue dog biscuits to my body and have me twerk ‘a la miley cirus’ in front of their stores – I just want to sell my fabulous wares through Fresh Collective.

FUN2013-03-13 at 11.26 AM 210 am – Kensington Market store

Blaaaaaaarrrrgh – I am so sick with the most grossest cold in the world, but I’m at the kenzie store and come hell or high water,  IMMA SELL MY STUFFS!!! coff hack cof.  ……blaaaarghhhh.

Friday, May 2013

wowowowowowowowowow.  Angela called!!!!!  And she wants me to do a trunk show at the Queen store!!!!!  Why, yes, my lovely manageress, I will be there with bells. And whistles on.

2 stores down. Next step? Jewellery domination of the free world.  mua.ha.ha.websalome

…So lets tie things up,shall we?  Four months later, I had THE meeting with THE Laura-Jean and THE merry band of professional cohorts. I got 3 lines of my jewellery approved for 2 of the stores.  Rock candy, a convertible line of bracelet/necklaces that are made of semi precious stones and freshwater pearls -very graphic, very now. Ch-ch-chains, a bracelet that’s made up of either 5 or 7 different types of chains – super fresh and professional and yes, it converts into a necklace as well.  And last but not least, my vikingr line, simple and elegant necklaces with hand hammered detailing.  All these are one of a kind and ALL are made by me.

So…. Moral of this story?  It may take a while to get something you want, but if it’s meant to be, then it will happen.  and when it happens, it’s. so. worth. the. freekin’. wait.



Where have we been?!

Boy oh boy…
It’s been a long journey to fall this season! We have had so many exciting and interesting changes happening in our business over the last few months, we didn’t have the opportunity to update our blog as much as we should have.

We’ve been busy behind the scenes creating a new set of articles from some of our fantastic designers and product partners, which we will be releasing weekly.

We apologize for the delay in getting these out to you – but at long last, here is our first blog post from one of our newest partners, enCircled. We LOVE her fantastic Chrysalis Cardi that can be worn 8 ways. A fantastic, versatile piece that can take you from day to night, from runway to play ground – It’s so fabulous! But enough about what we think! Here’s enCircled designer Kristi’s first blog post sharing how the idea for the Chrysalis Cardi came to be.


Like every Entrepreneurial dream, our Chrysalis Cardi started with an idea!
Written by Kristi, Chief Fashionpreneur, enCircled

I was packing for a yoga retreat in Costa Rica. It was the night before and as I zipped up my suitcase, the zipper broke. Luckily, being an avid traveler, I had several pieces of luggage, however the next largest suitcase was half the size of the one that I packed!
Frustrated, I started pulling stuff out of the suitcase… what don’t I need? What could I do without? Was there anything that I could wear multiple times, multiple ways?
I realized I packed a ton of stuff that would likely only be worn once (a frequent traveler faux pas!) so I attempted to edit.

There were two items I’d packed that were on my radar for unpacking. First, my grey circle scarf and secondly, my grey wrap cardigan. It was snowing in Toronto and the plane might be cold, but surely I could do with one of the two?
I’d bought the circle scarf with the intention of wearing it multiple ways. It came with a card showing 25 ways to wear but I’d never attempted any of them. I was hopeful that I could make the scarf into a cardigan and therefore could ditch my wrap cardigan from my suitcase.

As I sat there at 10pm the night before a 5am flight, I tried to figure out how to create the looks with the infinity scarf. It was tricky!

To make the various looks, I had to use safety pins, or tie the scarf, which resulted in an incredibly messy look. It looked like I was trying to make a scarf into something it wasn’t supposed to be. The fabric was see-through so that eliminated the possibility of it doubling as a dress, and the edges weren’t hemmed, which made the scarf look shabby. The infinity scarf was not as multifunctional as I hoped!

I longed for a piece of clothing that could be worn a few different ways really well. I didn’t need to turn a scarf into a bag. I just wanted something versatile that could take the place of a few things in my suitcase, perhaps a dress, a cardigan, and a scarf. So I designed it.
This is how the Chrysalis Cardi came to be.

Immediately when I returned from Costa Rica, I began designing the piece.
I’m a self-taught designer, so the product development took time. I started with the 8 key looks I wanted to create and backed into a design that could deliver all of them in an effortless and iconic way.


I sketched a rough pattern and created samples at home, playing around with what ‘attachments’ to use to hold the various looks together without requiring buttons, tying or pinning. I finally landed on heavy-duty metal snaps, hidden cleverly along the hemline!
The fabric selection was key– I knew I wanted something sustainable, eco-friendly, luxurious that was opaque, easy to travel with, colorfast and non-piling. This led me to Modal, which is derived from beechwood tree fiber.

I wanted it made in Canada and found a production contractor just north of Toronto who believed in my design concept and worked with me to refine the design. We produced our first run last year, and our second this year with many more runs to come!
Today, the Chrysalis Cardi can be worn over 8 different ways from an infinity scarf, to a one-shoulder dress, tunic, cape, halter top, and of course, a cardigan.
Each Chrysalis Cardi comes with a detailed instructional look book, as well as access to our {Members Only} videos on

Every day, new looks are discovered – my customer’s have so much fun playing around the garment and trying new ways to wear.

The Chrysalis Cardi looks like what it’s supposed to be. When you’re wearing it as a dress, it’s classic evening wear. When it’s a cardi, it’s a cozy cocoon wrap.

The Chrysalis Cardi as an original cardigan (top left) the X-back halter (bottom left), the grecian tunic (top right) and a one shoulder dress (bottom right).

The Chrysalis Cardi as an original cardigan (top left) the X-back halter (bottom left), the grecian tunic (top right) and a one shoulder dress (bottom right).


My Chrysalis Cardi has taken the place of a handful of things in my suitcase and closet. I am able to travel lighter, and live with less.

I’m now working on our second design – a versatile t-shirt that can be worn over 6 different ways. It will take you from the office to a night out, to Sunday brunch. Like the Chrysalis Cardi, in this next piece we will be pushing the boundaries of design in a mindful and purposeful way.
Stop by Fresh Collective and pick up your Chrysalis Cardi today!
I truly hope it becomes the most versatile piece of clothing that you will ever own.

Kristi is the Chief Fashionpreneur of enCircled. enCircled creates ethical, sustainable and versatile women’s apparel, manufactured in Canada from eco-conscious fabrics. enCircled’s first design, the Chrysalis Cardi is available at all Fresh Collective locations in Raspberry, Black and Cobalt. For more information, check out or follow enCircled on Facebook



Happy Earth Day from Fresh Collective

At Fresh Collective, we are committed to sustainability, eco-consciousness, and being a contribution to the world.

We shop local, support local talent and in the last year switched to a sustainable energy source in all our stores through Bullfrog Power.

Tonight we are hosting a Swap & Shop event in our Queen St store and it’s hosted by one of our most prominent eco-friendly designers: Jennifer Fukushima of Paper People Clothing.

At tonight’s event she will be launching The Cynthia Dress:


The handkerchief hem scarf dress is quickly becoming Paper People’s signature piece for the spring/summer season.  This year we’re pleased to offer the Cynthia Dress.  The dress features a cross over v-neck bodice with narrow lapel and long ties that can be wrapped around to cinch you in where it counts!  Made from super comfy organic cotton/spandex jersey and matching poly lining, the patterned, reclaimed scarves make each one special and unique!  Dress it up for graduation or a summer wedding or just have fun every day!

Colours: black, purple (shown), red, sage green, taupe  (these base colours will be combined with scarves in matching and complementary colours)

Fabrication: reclaimed scarves, organic cotton/spandex jersey, polyester lining

Sizes: xs, s/p, m, l/g

Retail price: $139


We’re excited for these new dresses to arrive and think they’re going to be a big hit this summer! Come by and try one on this week!



Designer Spotlight: Kyle Osnack

kyleHi my name is Kyle Osnack

I am a Jewellery designer who specifies in Chainmaile, Steam Punk & recycled Vintage/Antique Jewellery , Lapidary (faceting and polishing semi-precious stones), Wire Jewellery & Wire wrapping stones I polish myself.

I love hunting for new product to use, Have it be an auction, a thrift store, bazaars, antique shoppes or even online. I tend to keep away from all the made in China Jewelley components and sway more towards; American, Canadian, Austrian, European and Antique/Vintage Parts.

Its all about who has the best quality to me so I can ensure my pieces are built to last and will not require repairs with normal use!

Some of my Favorite materials to use are;

1.Anodized Aluminum Jumprings:
aluminum jumpringsUsed for the majority of my Chainmaile pieces. A lightweight , strong, non-tarnish metal. Similar to Gold Filled in the sense of 10% of the the metal contains the colour so it will not rub off like gold or silver plating does.


2. 92.5 & 99.9 Silver Wire, Jumprings & findings:
ring 1Silver is usually everyone’s favorite, It looks great, low tarnish, dosen’t cause many allergic reactions, and its a fraction of the price of gold or other precious metals

Check out my Sterling Silver Chainmaile Rings – available at Fresh Collective Queen location! They can easily be sized to fit and can be custom made with any colour Swarovski Crystal.
ring 2
3. Clock Parts!
Yet it be a Vintage German Coo-coo clock, an old 50’s wind up Alarm clock, A Pocket Watch or even an old mantle-wall mount clock, I’m there and I’m taking it apart!
clock closeI love taking watches and clock and re-working them into pieces of jewellery. It never gets old looking at a ticking clock with all its moving gears.

Some clocks stay whole and others end up with their insides out so they can be re-purposed into something else.
crystal clock necklaceGear Guard. Vintage alarm clock, Real amber, Chainmaile, Indian Spikes, Gears and Swarovski Crystals

TinkerBellsAntique German Coo-coo clock, Vintage Indian Brass bells, Swarovski & Precosia Crystals with Jewelers Brass chain Hand linked (Chainmaile) by me. 

clock insides Taking apart any wind up clock can be very dangerous! The larger clocks have over 60 feet of steel cord wrapped up inside, and the second you take the last screw off and give it a nudge it will all spring out into action , gears will go flying and the sound it makes usually leaves me with a bit of an adrenaline rush afterwards!

4. Natural stones:
clear quartz reiki
Vintage Brass Bullet shell, Faceted Clear Quartz, Precosia Crystal. Reiki Infused on a Braided Cotton cord.

I love the raw minerals, unpolished or polished they are all beautiful. Stones all have natural healing properties which is why I infuse my stones with Reiki. This way the stone has been pre-programmed to do what it does best and it also wont need to be cleared of stale energy.

Here are a few pictures of my Reiki Infused Bullet Pendants at Fresh Collective and come pop by this weekend if you have any questions or if you would like a specific stone to aid you in your quest!
denim crystal reikiVintage Brass Bullet Shell, Gem Quality Blue Kyanite RFaceted by myself. Denim Blue Swarovski Crystal.Reiki infused

green reiki

Vintage Brass Bullet Shell. Faceted Green Adventurine stone, Erinite Swarovski Crystal, Braided cotton cord. Reiki Infused.
I am currently in the market for some new machinery and I will be introducing my Lapidary jewellery line very soon!

If you’re interested in seeing me create a piece from the start and see the work that goes into it please check out a blog I wrote about Creating a cabochon stone:

That about sums up what I do and what I’m about!
I hope to see you all at my Trunk show at Fresh Collective Queen this weekend!
Click here for the Facebook Event

Bundle Up for Winter with Soïa & Kyo

That familiar winter chill is in the air and Christmas decor is popping up everywhere (including our windows)!
It’s time to retire the fall jacket and slip into something a bit cozier before the snow starts to fall!

Fresh Collective has just what you need to keep you warm – winter coats from the wonderful Soïa & Kyo! Whether you’re looking for a stylish wool jacket to wear over your holiday party dress, or a super toasty weatherproof down-filled parka, we’ve got it all! Check out these stunning styles in-store at FC Roncesvalles and now available ONLINE!





FC Designer Spotlight: Blackjam: Objects of Designed Happenstance

Blackjam: Objects of Designed Happenstance is headed by designer Jennifer Morris. Jennifer’s unique jewelry is impeccably hand sewn by herself at her studio, utilizing embroidery and bead weaving. All of Jennifer’s designs are one of a kind using vintage beads, buttons, cabochons, reconditioned bits of costume jewelry and fabric scraps she gets from her fellow designers. Jennifer has been doing needlework since her childhood. What stated out as a way to entertain a child when going though major surgery and illness became a vocation. She has always been interested in and inspired by needlework of the past and what is going on with modern textile arts. Jennifer attended Sheridan College: School of Craft and Design were she majored in Textile and was also a Artist in Residence at The Textile Studio in Harbourfront’s Craft Studios. She has been to Paris and seen the embroidery of the Haute couture houses, and has studied the Lunéville
embroidery technique used in the House of Lesage. She has tried her hand at many medias and always goes back to her needles and thread.

Jennifer takes her inspiration from many places. She loves the history of design, art and popular culture. She loves colours and how they play off each other and is drawn to texture and how that can work in design, putting her love of textiles into her jewelry design.

Scarf Brooches – Scraps of scarfs make up the petals of these multi coloured brooches. These brooches can dress up any outfit. Attach it to a hairband and you have a fascinator for that holiday party. The scraps come from the dresses in the past spring and summer dresses by Paper People Clothing.

Kumihimo Series – A upscale version of the friendship bracelets you wore as a kid. Necklace and bracelets are make of a braided cord using the Japanese technique of Kumihimo.* Beads are then hand-stitched onto the braid. They are finished with a clasp and a charm on the end to give them an adult feel. Wear bracelets stacked on your wrist just like you did when you were young! All pieces are one of a kind due to the nature of their design.

*Kumihimo: The most prominent historical use of the cords by samurai as both a functional and decorative way to lace their lamellar armour and their horses’ armor (barding). Kumihimo cords are now used as ties on haori jackets and obijimes, which are used for tying on an obi (kimono sash).

Q&A with Jennifer Morris of BlackJam:

How long have you been designing/where did you get your start?
I have been making thing since my childhood. I was sick as a kid abd in and out of hospitals so crafts became the way I entertained myself. I had a line of hand painted jewellery when I was sixteen and I sold it in a local store near our family cottage.
I studied textiles at Sheridan Collage School of Craft and Design and was an artist in resident at Harbourfront Craft Studios. I have also have shown my work in galleries over the years. Though I make jewelry I still consider my work textiles as I use a needle and thread to create the work. I love making things with my hands! Throughout my life, with all its ups a downs, my work has help me focus on something bigger than myself.
When I got sick with Breast Cancer I decided that life was too short to not do what I loved doing. And what I loved doing was making things. It even helped me survive the cancer in some ways. I always had something to do when going through my treatments. I would see others and they didn’t have anything else other than the sickness. I always had my work to think about and even when my hands shook because of the chemo I just knitted and crochet till I was better. To me making is the equivalent to breathing – I need to make things to keep me sane.

Where did you find your inspiration for this collection?
I get inspiration from everything – from the book I am reading, to movies or television to a pattern caused by rust on a car. You can find ideas everywhere – you just need to open your eyes a see what’s out there.
I love to put my sense of humour and or whimsy in my jewelry so you can always find something just a little off in all my work. But mostly it’s about colour, texture, pattern and how they work together.
The flower brooches were inspired from the scraps of fabric that Jennifer of Paper People Clothing gave me. These are made from what was left over from the Scarf Dress in their Spring/Summer collection. When i saw them they just said they needed to be big flowers!
The Kimohimo bracelets came from a conversation with Joe the manager of FC Roncey about making upscale friendship bracelets and this is what I came up with.

If you could dress any celebrity who would it be?
Helena Bonham Carter or Cate Blanchett

What is the most rewarding part about having your own line?
Getting to live the life I always wanted. It’s hard don’t get me wrong but getting up everyday loving what I do is all I ever wanted and seeing others wearing my jewellery. We create our work in such a vacuum in our studios, so seeing and knowing others like and enjoy what I do is a great feeling.

What has been the best part of your Fresh Collective journey thus far?
There is too much to even talk about! Some of the best things are Laura-Jean and what she has given me in friendship and mentoring has been invaluable. I have found my voice as a designer and I am able to do one of a kind work that I love and find the audience of people that enjoy and understand what goes into work like mine. The other great thing is the great friends I have met on this journey. Some were co-designers and some were customers but they have become friends too.


FC Designer Spotlight: Curious Oddities

Toronto jewelry designer Kat Shura was born in a century-old log cabin in the wilds of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Surrounded by a community rich with artifacts of the early pioneers and settlers, she grew to have the heart of a dreamer and the spirit of an adventurer. Through her work, she loves to marry the natural with the mechanical, drawing unexpected beauty from the mundane.

Kat’s ever-changing collection of Curious Oddities is always an eclectic mix of romantic, whimsical and elegant designs paired with fine workmanship, quality materials and exquisite detailing. Crafted as one of a kind or limited run pieces, the collection is made up of found objects, glass, resin, stone and beautifully hand-oxidized or plated stamped brass.

Designs to spark the imagination, pieces to treasure.


Hand verdigrised brass maple leaves The leaves are machine pressed from solid sheet brass and are oxidized by hand to create the beautiful shades of green and brown verdigris.

Feather pendants – Set in copper and oxidized brass and glass settings, the lovely feathers were all hand gathered by me here in Toronto and are completely cruelty free as they were natural molted.

Q&A with Kat of Curious Oddities:

How long have you been designing/where did you get your start?
From childhood I’ve enjoyed making my own jewelry, clothing and costumes and have experimented with many different materials and techniques over the years. In February 2008 I opened my Curious Oddities Etsy shop as a part time venture while I continued to fill my days as a freelance floral designer. After two and a half years of very receptive customers and wonderful shows I quit my other jobs in September 2011, in order to focus full time on Curious Oddities.

Where did you find your inspiration for this collection?
The colours and motifs of the season are always the base inspirations for each collection: in this case, Autumn leaves, acorns and molted feathers paired with copper, bronze, shades of rust, ochre and emerald. Currently I’m in love with the rich reds, browns and textures in the semi precious stone fossil jasper and the lovely greens and browns of grass turquoise so I’ve worked them into this fall’s collection.

If you could dress any celebrity who would it be?
When I see photographs of Florence Welch, the singer from the band Florence and the Machine- I always think “oh my gosh, how amazing would it be to have her wearing my jewelry” I’ll confess though that I’m mad for redheads, but she also has such a lovely, ethereal, bohemian style that I adore.

My first pick thought, would have to be Drew Barrymore, who I’ve always had a fondness for. Her look and style shifts seamlessly from curvy playful pin up, classic vintage glamour to California style bohemian and I think I would have a piece to suit every outfit. I think my collections would overall speak to her fun, full of life personality as well.

What is the most rewarding part about having your own line?
It’s a dream come true to make my living treasure hunting, creating jewelry and curate collections to share. I’ve spent so much of my life being a bit of an outsider, so it’s truly wonderful to have the things that bring joy to my life be treasured by others as well. To watch people have those moments of reflection, happiness and connectedness with things that I have found, compiled and created makes it all an absolute pleasure.

What has been the best part of your Fresh Collective journey thus far?
Working with so many other designers has been priceless experience- having a group to share advice, triumphs, support and feedback with. I also really love to curate my in-store jewelry cases, crafting vignettes of colour, themes and texture. When I worked at the Kensington Market location I would quietly listen in on peoples conversations as they would explore my display, just to see what they were drawn too- what spoke to them.

*Curious Oddities is available at all three Fresh Collective locations

FC Designer Spotlight: Fresh Baked Goods

Fresh Baked Goods
is the house line for Fresh Collective, and got it’s start in 1994.  Headed up by Creative Director Laura-Jean Bernhardson, a small and dedicated team create each garment in a studio in Toronto’s west end.  For Fall 2012, the theme is “The Jetsetter” and the line features dresses, skirts and tops that are made as much for comfort as for style.  The styles lean toward retro silhouettes, suggesting a time when travel was glamorous and treated as an event.  But the team has melded the look with incredibly comfortable soft and stretchy fabrics.  You won’t believe how good you’ll look feeling this comfortable.

Fresh Baked Goods is for the busy urban professional.  Our customers ride their bikes to work, juggle work and family and dash from a board meeting to the playground.  Our clothes make sure you do all that looking gorgeous and feeling great!

 Stretch Peasant Dress – The Peasant Dress is back for Fall in a stretch french terry fabric. Much like its original woven design, the dress is flattering on all body types! The Peasant Dress is great for every day wear, and the solid colour lets the wearer play with accessories for an evening look. Try it with a textured tight or over a blouse for a layered office look.

Jersey Ruffle Wrap Dress – Every woman needs a wrap dress! Layered over a contrast colour tank top or on its own, the dress can be tied to ensure a perfect fit on all body types. The 3/4 sleeve is a great transition into fall, and the fabric and rich palette will ensure year-round wear!

Q&A with Laura-Jean of Fresh Baked Goods:

How long have you been designing/where did you get your start?
My line started as a knitwear line in 1994, and it grew to the point that I was able to open my first little storefront in Kensington market. That store was called Fresh Baked Goods then and since has rebranded to be a Fresh Collective location. I used to knit sweaters in the back and sell them out of the front, and I was known as Laura-Jean the Knitting Queen.

Where did you find your inspiration for this collection?
We love a retro influence at Fresh Baked Goods, and specialize in a silhouette that accentuates womanly curves. As this collection was coming together, I thought of the title “The Jet Setter” and it just made sense. The rest fell into place easily.

If you could dress any celebrity who would it be?
I’ve always liked Drew Barrymore for her exuberance and cuteness. I love Salma Hayek because she is built like a serious babe. I like so many women who are smart and self-possessed as well as being gorgeous: Juliane Moore, Michelle Pfeiffer, Marisa Tomei, and Juliette Binoche are a few that come to mind quickly.

What is the most rewarding part about having your own line?
There was a moment a few months back when a customer stepped into the store with two friends in tow, beaming from ear to ear and wearing a Fresh Baked Goods dress. When we commented on how great she looked she said, “This is my self-esteem dress!” and that made me feel awesome. To dress women and have them feel beautiful and confident is the best reward, and if they happen to bring two friends in to shop, all the better!

Select Fresh Baked items available in all 3 Fresh Collective stores. Can’t wait? Snag these dresses now in our online store!