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



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