FC Designer Spotlight: Paper People Clothing

Jennifer Fukushimaand her team spend hours sifting through vintage castoffs to find the best materials to create their eclectic palette of printed, tonal and textural fashions.Layer up and stay warm without compromising your individuality and personal style.  Paper People is sleek, stylish and feminine – you’ll never look frumpy when you put on one of our sweaters!Made from the highest quality reclaimed sweaters and eco-conscious textiles, with a little tender loving care your favourite sweater will stay looking fresh for seasons to come!  This winter we have expanded our accessories offerings to keep you feeling warm, cozy and stylish.


The Maude Blazer is a repeat from last Fall/Winter. We made them late in the season (right before Xmas) so they had a very late launch but we found they did amazingly well at the One of a Kind Show so we decided to bring them back this year! The sleeves are cut long with lined cuffs so they can be rolled up – no need to hem or alter. They are professional enough to wear to the office but are also so cozy you’ll want to wear them around the house or out for a walk in the brisk autumn weather.  They look great with a tee and jeans, over a dress or paired with a pencil skirt and blouse.

The Alexandra Dress is our other “it” piece. Over the past few years we’ve become known for our body hugging sweater dresses. They’re equal parts cozy and sexy. We think that staying warm shouldn’t equal looking frumpy. This dress has princess seams that cut up the body in a flattering way and the v-neckline is trimmed with a matching velvet ribbon.  Much like the blazer, this one can be dressed up or down. Pair it with tights and boots for a cozy and casual look or throw on a fancy necklace and heels and you’re ready for a night out.

Q&A with Paper People Designer Jennifer Fukushima:

How long have you been designing/where did you get your start?
I have been designing under my current label for 11 years. I started my business making handbags and accessories when I was 17. After graduating high school, I moved to Toronto to attend Ryerson University’s fashion design program and began designing and selling clothing.
Where did you find your inspiration for this collection?

My designs are often inspired by vintage pieces, things from the past and the very materials that we reclaim.  The bottom line is that we aim to design pieces that are wearable, yet creative and inspired.

If you could dress any celebrity who would it be?

Devendra Banhart.

What is the most rewarding part about having your own line?

I love the freedom of being able to make my own choices and take my own direction with my career, plus giving other people the opportunity to share in the experience.  That and I always get a kick out of how shocked people are when they find out that I run my own clothing line and that it is carried in stores across Canada and no I don’t work from home.  I look and act younger than I am so most people assume I’m a student or a dirty hippie.

What has been the best part of your Fresh Collective journey thus far?

I love Fresh Collective because it has given me the opportunity to meet, network with, befriend, mentor and be mentored by so many like minded, creative individuals.

Fresh Sounds: Peter Gabriel Live at the ACC

Last night I had the wondrous pleasure of seeing the incomparable Peter Gabriel live at the Air Canada Centre. A few months back I received a notification via email that in honor of its 25th anniversary, Peter would be touring his groundbreaking record SO. This album, featuring some of his greatest hits (In Your Eyes, Sledgehammer, Don’t Give Up & more!), just so happens to be the first album I ever owned. My father bought the cassette for me when I was around 8 years old and I fell madly in love. I would sit in my bedroom, dressing up my Barbie dolls, singing along and gazing at the photo on the cover (I thought he was SO handsome because he looked JUST like my Daddy). Luckily enough my Dad is still as awesome now as he was then and bought tickets for me, my younger brother  and himself as a birthday gift!

Even though this was my third time seeing him live and I’m well aware that he exists in real life, I still squealed “OH MY GOD IT’S HIM!” when he walked out on stage. He let us know that the performance would be split into 3 parts – the first would be a few songs acoustic, followed by a set of old favourites and finally, SO in its entirety. He opened with a beautiful new song on the piano accompanied by Tony Levin (the coolest bassist of all time) on electric stand up bass, followed by a beautiful rendition of Come Talk to Me – one of my all time favourites. An acoustic version of Shock The Monkey (can you believe it?) was probably the highlight of the stripped-down portion of the show, mainly because it somehow felt like a less cheesy song when all the 80’s synthesizers are swapped out for an acoustic guitar.

When the show kicked into gear and went electric, I could not believe my ears and eyes. Of course he played crowd pleasers like Digging in the Dirt and Solsbury Hill, but he also dove into some more obscure tracks such as No Self Control and The Family and The Fishing Net which had me over the moon!

“The Masters of Modern Dance” (according to Peter) doing a little side-step during This is the Picture

Next it was time for SO and it was every bit as wonderful as I could have dreamed. Though well into his 60’s, the man still has the voice and charisma of his youth. New opening act/backup singer Jennie Abrahamson was an incredible last-minute addition to the tour, and when she accompanied Peter on the classic Don’t Give Up (singing the part of the wonderful Kate Bush), I got goosebumps and tears came to my eyes.

After finishing with In Your Eyes to a roaring standing ovation Peter and co. returned to the stage for two more songs, finishing with the incredible Biko (an homage to anti-apartheid activist Steven Biko). The crowd chanted and threw their fists in the air along with the song, and continued even after the band left the stage, a beautiful reminder that Peter is not only an incredible musician but also an inspiring activist. Gabriel is well known for his longstanding association with Amnesty International, but you may not know that he also co-founded WITNESS, an organization that empowers human rights defenders to use video to fight injustice, and to transform personal stories of abuse into powerful tools that can pressure those in power or with power to act. As well, he helped initiate The Elders (along with Sir Richard Branson and South African politician/activist Nelson Mandela) – an international non-government organisation of public figures noted as elder statesmen, peace activists and human rights advocates whose goal is to use their “almost 1,000 years of collective experience” to work on solutions for seemingly insurmountable problems like climate change, HIV/AIDS, and poverty, as well as to “use their political independence to help resolve some of the world’s most intractable conflicts”

Moral of the story? Peter Gabriel may just be THE BEST.

NOW to answer the question that’s been plaguing you all since my cliffhanger facebook post yesterday… WHICH DRESS DID I WEAR TO THE SHOW?! ………………………

TA DA! In the end I chose the Fresh Baked Goods stretch peasant dress because it seemed the most fitting for a night out with my Dad and Brother (I believe Jane said I look “wholesome” in it)! After wearing it for a few hours I fell madly in love. The fit is incredibly flattering, the fabric is SO comfortable and the weight is perfect for fall/winter. I love the mid-calf length and the tapered hemline (it’s a touch longer in the back) and the weight of the jersey makes the skirt fall so beautifully! There are only limited colours/quantities in store right now (more on the way soon!) so call your nearest store to check availability OR snag it from our online store now!

I’m so happy I had the opportunity to see such a spellbinding show by one of the most influential artists of our time, but I’m equally thrilled that I got to share it with my amazing Father and wonderful brother. A night of family bonding and amazing music (don’t forget a fabulous dress!) what more could a girl ask for?

My favourite person. Dad.

– Untitled New song
– Come Talk To Me
– Shock The Monkey
– Family Snapshot
– Digging in the Dirt
– Secret World
– The Family & the Fishing Net
– No Self Control
– Solsbury Hill
Followed by SO in its entirety:
– Red Rain
– Sledgehammer
– Don’t Give Up
– That Voice Again
– Mercy Street
– Big Time
– We Do What We’re Told
– This is the Picture
– In Your Eyes
– The Tower That Ate People
– Biko

What to Wear Wednesday – Lunch Date

 So he asked you out to lunch! Great! Easygoing, informal – a lunch date is a great way to get to know someone. Then your mind starts spinning about wardrobe choices – you want to look sexy, but not too sexy (it is DAYTIME after all), you want to be comfortable but still polished. The whole “accidentally sexy” look is one I’m personally always striving for!

What to Wear Wednesday - Lunch DateWhat to Wear Wednesday – Lunch Date by freshcollective featuring china glaze nail polish

Here is a little outfit I threw together that is casual and feminine but with a little rock and roll edge (my favourite thing to add to any outfit) that is sure to turn heads.

Base your outfit around a dress – one that’s comfortable but flattering with a fun pattern. The dress above by Mandala is a great option, not too low-cut, not too short, but still very flirty and in a great fall pattern/colour combo (available online now!)

Add some boots and a leather jacket – I’m not talking lace-up, vinyl thigh high boots with a 6in stiletto heel or a beat up biker jacket with chains – just a nice pair of knee-high fall boots and a classic leather jacket to add a splash of sex appeal that’s still daytime appropriate. (Boots in set by Miz Mooz – available at FC Roncesvalles, Jacket available at Joie.com)

Keep makeup and hair simple – a nude or pale peach lip gloss and a simple cat eye (think Christina Hendricks, not Amy Winehouse) will do the trick!

Finish with a touch of sparkle – a pair of earrings with crystal or rhinestones and some metallic nail polish (fall trend alert!) will add just the right amount of shimmer and sparkle to balance out the leather accessories. (Earrings by Sugar Rush – styles available vary by location)