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.

Jacqueline

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.

Maude

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

What Should I Wear? – The Eternal Fall Weather Dilemma

Monika from Monikova Design shares with us how she feels about fall, and what she keeps in mind when dressing for the season.

fall coloursI enjoy fall. I embrace the change of seasons as it is a most wonderful thing; as change is good, and all things can be considered new and refreshed.  It reminds me of a rebirth, of youth and energy, which are all positive.  This change alters the fashion scene big time.  I embrace fall fashion changes, and fashion always changes – so play with it. I love the chance to change it up with sweaters, boots, and the drama you can create with layers of clothes, shawls and hats.

So what are the rules for how you should dress this fall?  No rules, please!!! In this area we don’t like rules.  I suggest you build on your own individuality – as individuality is the biggest trend this past decade.

We are all unique and different, so embellish it.  Do what suits your needs. Don’t be afraid to mix, play, and combine colours, textures and prints – you never know what you may come up with!  But remember – never be afraid of layering, fall is sometimes tricky, with the warmth of the day, and the cool of night, which also makes the mornings freezing.  We’ve created our blouses so they’re perfect as a part of this layering, perfect for the warm weather during the day and easy to fit under a sweater, vest, or the fitted jackets that we love this fall.

Monika from Monikova wearing the Ivy blouse paired with a waist cinching belt from Susana Erazo and the new Lonna Shooties from Hush Puppies

Monika from Monikova wearing the Ivy blouse ($190.00) paired with a waist cinching Kimono belt ($160.00-$185.00) from Susana Erazo and the new Lonna Shooties ($137.00) from Hush Puppies

So as you play and layer, try to stay true to your curves. There can be a tendency to look boxy or to lose your shape when it comes to fall layering.  Whether you are young, middle aged or mature everyone looks good showcasing their curves.  And as with all fashion, trendy has its limits, and not all trends are for everyone. So choose what the best look is for your body type.

Another big part of looking good is feeling comfortable in what you are wearing.  This is one of the main reasons why I always choose natural fabrics for the Monikova line, which feels nice next to the skin. So when choosing, pick something that feels nice to wear.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to play with colour, and the brightness of colour as the season progresses. Perhaps a royal blue or gold sweater or dress may brighten your fall day and those around you with your originality!

Monikova

This is a new season, see it as new start. Be yourself, and play with it, you will be amazed at your own unique creations.  Flaunt your sense of style and send me pictures of your creations at info@monikova.ca.

 

 

….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

salomeblogimage

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”
Me: (YESYESYES, THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!!!) “ok.
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!”
Me: “ABSOLUTELY! WHATS A TRUNK SHOW?”
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. ab.so.luters.

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.

 

 

Love Letter from Laura-Jean

love-letter-copy-copyPeople often ask us how we choose what product to sell in our stores. With the new, fresh, fall season upon us, what better time than now to let you know a bit of our product selection process.

First, our specialty is independent Canadian designers with a focus on Toronto based lines.  We carry boots, shoes, and tights from international brands so we can offer a complete look for our customers.

When looking for product, we really have your life in mind.  We know our customers well and are always looking for what’s going to work for the lives YOU live in the clothes.

For instance, when sourcing tights and leggings, we’re thinking about what you’re doing in them. We know you’re living big lives – going from daycare drop off to a client meeting to grocery shopping and back again…  Or working a full day, then planning your art show or new business launch at night…  Or maybe you’re finishing your PhD and working part-time while dating a hot new guy and training for a 5K run.  Our job is to pay attention to the quality of the tights, knowing that they have to stand up to your full, busy lives, and has to be a high quality, as to not run or catch when your dog jumps up.

WE KNOW!  It’s crazy, right?  And really, would you have your life any other way?

So that’s why we source cute dresses you can ride your bike in.  Boots that look sexy but you can walk all day in.  Soft and cozy cardigans that take you from the office to a date.  We look for comfort, practicality, quality AND great style, flattering cuts and awesome colours.  We seek out timeless shapes, versatility and pieces that can build a great wardrobe.

Then, we let YOU decide.  We try out lines based on our best instincts, and then we keep and expand on the lines that are selling.  Every week we analyze our best-sellers to see why they’re succeeding – what it is that you like about them – and then we work to replicate and expand on that in future choices.

We believe fashion should be easy and fun and support the big stuff you’re up to in life.  We do the legwork so you can be gorgeous, free, comfortable and look like a million bucks with ease.

And with that, I’d like to introduce two of the lines we’ve launched this fall; enCircled and burfurtART.

This fall, we were intent on finding pieces with “convertibility”, the ability to wear it more than one way and to provide our customers a versatile piece for your wardrobe that can last you season after season. Both burfurtART and enCircled fit this bill perfectly with many different ways to wear pieces in each of their lines.

enCircled creates The Chrysalis Cardi. We loved this piece because it can streamline your wardrobe, so you can maximize your closet (and suitcase) space, and make space in your life for other more important things, like travel, friends and family.

The many looks of the enCircled Chrysalis Cardi

The many looks of the enCircled Chrysalis Cardi

We loved that enCircled creates products thinking versatility first. Innovative design, iconic style. Sustainably & ethically produced, to give people more with less.

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 http://www.encircled.ca or follow enCircled on Facebook.  (http://www.facebook.com/getencircled)

Check out her most recent blog post here.

Salome is the force behind burfurtART. We love her line because it is as quirky and fun as she is, AND the ch-ch-chains collection sold us on the versatility. It can be worn as a bracelet, or a necklace with an extender. With two bracelets, you can increase the drama of the necklace for a real statement piece. It’s a collection that you can have for years, and add new ch-ch-chains pieces to refresh the look.

Laura-Jean modelling the pieces from the ch-ch-chains line

Laura-Jean modelling the pieces from the ch-ch-chains line

She told us in her own words why she does what she does:

“I know that I’m not the only jewelry crocheter in the world, and that’s cool. But I do strive to be as distinctive and unique as I possibly can.

 

I make, really and for true, one of a kind.

Everyone of my pieces are individually hand made by me, never to be exactly reproduced again. I’m not comfortable with re-making the same piece.

 

I use high quality stock, and buy small amounts of semi precious stones. agates, amber, carnelian, coral, jaspers, Canadian labradorite, pearls…I could go on forever.

These are but a few of the stones that inspire me.

As often as possible,  I strive to ensure that the piece you own fits you perfectly. When you wear my jewelry, you get noticed. When you get noticed, you feel good… When you feel good – I’ve done my job.

 

On a different note…

 

The first cat I ever had the pleasure of being an owner to, was wonderfully fun, charming and beautifully awkward. After he passed away, I promised myself that at some point in my life he would be honoured.

 

So, I named my company after him.”

You can read more about Salome’s journey to Fresh Collective here, and see pictures of her fantastic lines, including her convertible ch-ch-chains collection here.

Busy, busy fall

love letter copy copy

As the summer comes to a close, we’re busy, busy, busy in both my businesses, preparing for the season’s changes.  Dexter, my almost seven year old son, is going back to school planning his birthday, and we’ve had one last weekend at our friend’s cottage as it’s officially September!

With September comes the seasonal what to wear dilemma!  It’s cool in the morning and warm in the afternoon.  Evenings are chilly and we want to look put-together and feel great.

Lately I’ve been relying on our fabulous store staff to be my personal shoppers.  The say it takes a village to raise a child.  Well, it seems it takes a staff to keep this busy lady looking polished and great everyday!

Our store staff are fashion experts – they know my style, my shape as well as what I like.  When I plan to come by, they pre-stock the changeroom for me.  It makes shopping a breeze, and often I try things I wouldn’t normally try, and I’m pleasantly surprised.  When accessories that come in that help me get more looks out of the pieces I have, they send me a snapshot and ask if I’d like it held to pick up when I come by next.

I feel like a pampered VIP and you know what, you can too!

This personalized service is available to any customers who ask.  Our staff is thrilled to be able to select things and suggest them just for you.  Our business is all about matching up the wonderful pieces we carry with the fabulous ladies who may not have the time in their great and busy lives to spend a lot of time shopping.

For fall, I’m stocking up on the great cardis, wraps and accessories we’re receiving every day.  This is an easy way to transition my summer dresses to fall while the weather is still warm, and I can layer and unlayer as needed throughout the day.

 

Paper People Clothing - Transition sweater

Here’s my fall transition, based around my summer Address Apparel Richmond wrap dress (now $90.00), and Miz Mooz Cherry shoes (now $75.00). Add Yvonne Cardigan from Paper People Clothing in Burgundy ($149.00), a new Mat and Nat Alter Vintage bag ($150) and new shoes; Miz Mooz Sundown (now $93.00), and you’re ready for fall!

Joe and Aimee at Fresh Collective Roncesvalles suggested this for me, and I think they made a fabulous choice.  Don’t you?  This cardi will go with so many dresses and skirts I already own, and be that perfect versatile layering piece.  In fact, I might need to pick up a couple more colours!

XO

-LJ

Help Sailor Girl name her new line

We’re trying to help Catherine from Sailor Girl name her new line! Head on over to our facebook page and leave your suggestions for this beautiful design:)

Swagger Coach – I Love People! Paper People, That is…

swagger coach

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 from Paper People Clothing perched on the wall at Kensington

Jenn at our Kenzie store during the launch party for the Cynthia dress, shown with their full layered skirts swirling in the breeze to the right. Can you spot her perched up on the wall?

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!

Fall 2013 Paper People Clothing

Jacqueline Dress $179.00

 

Fall 2013 Paper People Clothing

Holly Top $79.00

Fall 2013 Paper People Clothing

Denise Sweater $149.00

Fall 2013 Paper People Clothing

Rose Cardigan $169.00

Fall 2013 Paper People Clothing

Yvonne Cardigan $149.00

Fall 2013 Paper People Clothing

Lorraine Cardigan $189.00

Fall 2013 Paper People Clothing

Elaine Vest $159.00

Fall 2013 Paper People Clothing

Maude Blazer $179.00