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!


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!


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



….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.



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!



FC Designer Spotlight: Odd Bird Designs

Odd Bird jewellery is decidedly quirky yet fun to wear.It is a collection consisting of random items such as game pieces, geometric shapes, lockets, cuffs and whatever else catches the designers eye.The pieces will get noticed, therefore perfect for those who want to stand out from the flock! The Odd Bird is actually a human named Tara who is a long-standing member of the Fresh Collective and also works in the animation industry.


Brass cuffs featuring Alphonse Mucha’s zodiac lady and a greyhound. I chose the Mucha art image not only for the Zodiac signs but because the lady is a red head (us red heads stick together!) The other cuff is a vintage star map image of a greyhound (or maybe a whippet?) representing the Canis Major constellation. I’ve always been fascinated by the stars ever since I was a kid and the dog star was always one of my favourites.


The Star domino necklace features the classic tarot card image hand-printed & coloured on the back of a large domino piece. The card is the 17th Trump or Major Arcana in most traditional tarot decks. It represents renewed hope, inspiration and discovery.

Q&A with Tara of Odd Bird Designs

How long have you been designing/where did you get your start?I’ve always been creating things ever since I can remember but it wasn’t until about 5 years ago I got serious about it and founded Odd Bird Designs as a registered business.

Where did you find your inspiration for this collection? For this Fall one of my themes is “Follow the Stars”. It’s inspired by constellations, astrology and divination….all things that have always fascinated me. Plus my name means “star” in Sanskrit so it seems appropriate 🙂

If you could dress any celebrity who would it be That would be my favourite red head, Christina Hendricks. I love her Joan character in the Mad Men series!

What is the most rewarding part about having your own line? I love seeing people on the street wearing my jewellery…it’s tempting to say “Thanks for liking my work!” to them!
What has been the best part of your Fresh Collective journey thus far? Getting feedback & suggestions from both customers and FC designers….they all have contributed to help Odd Bird become what it is now and I am very grateful for it.

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.