Fresh Collective Style Profile – Sophia Perlman

I met Sophia last year, when she sent us a picture of herself performing in a Paper People Clothing dress similar to the one she is modeling here.  We chatted a bit through Facebook several times about various things and just got to know each other through there.  She told me how much she LOVES Fresh Collective, and how she has bought a lot from us over the years, and it just seemed a natural match to feature her as a Style Profile model, especially given the launch of her tour!  Make sure you check out this lovely lady at a gig near you soon!

– Laura-Jean Bernhardson, CEO and founder of Fresh Collective

Name: Sophia Perlman

Occupation: Singer, musician, teacher and creative co-consipriator

Age: 29

Lifestyle: Always on an adventure of some kind.


Style Coach Notes: When Sophia isn’t performing, her lifestyle is pretty casual, so this dress is great. It doubles as a tunic, and can be worn with leggings or skinny jeans. (Dress: Panel Tee dress – Desserts and Skirts $88, Necklace: Hand inked & dyed turquoise locket – Curious Oddities $32, Shoes: Lonna T-bar – Hush Puppies $100)

 What’s a typical day like for you? A typical day means that it wasn’t anything like any other day I’ve had, and will probably not be like any other day to follow! Some days I’m performing, other days I’m teaching (everything from Kindergarten to College), or living my double  life as my own booking agent/manager/publicist. Rare days are the ones where I get to hide out at home and practice or work on my songwriting – when the weather’s nice, I’ll take Tallulah – my precious junk-shop rescue accordion out and find somewhere outside to sing and practice (which I think my neighbour upstairs much prefers to my staying home!). Most days will be a combination of some or all of the above. I have a hard time keeping still at the best of times. Luckily my husband Adrean, who is also a musician, is really grounded and patient and into doing things one at a time. He helps me remember to slow down and keeps me grounded!

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Style Profile – Laura-Jean Bernhardson

Our Style Profile series is where we feature some of our fabulous outfits in real life, on real women. In the first of our style profile series, our CEO Laura-Jean talks about what she wore to a Rock’n’Roll show at Lee’s Palace.

Style Profile

What to wear: Rock’n’roll show at Lee’s Palace

My husband, Steve Singh, worked with Brendan Canning for about 2 years on his new album You Gots 2 Chill (my favourite album title of all time!) and finally it’s done and the tour has started.  Steve is a music producer and all around musical genius.  The only instrument he can’t play is cello.  He also plays with Ron Hawkins in the Do Good Assassins as well as with several other partners on various projects.  Ok, like he is just awesome.

Their big kick off gig was at Lee’s Palace, and I had to deal with the what to wear dilemma.  I texted Joe, the leader at at Fresh Collective Roncesvalles, and said I needed a dress for a rock show and I’d be there in half an hour.

When I got there, I was skeptical when he pulled out the striped tunic from Studio Fresh, but he insisted, “It’s rock ‘n’ roll!”  and showed the jewellery he had selected – two bracelets from Burfurtart’s Ch-ch-chains collection and rings from Curious Oddities.

Yeah, ok, I got it.  Joe got me out of my pretty dress comfort zone and got me thinking like an “I’m with the band” babe.


The outfit:  A-Symetry Tunic by Studio Fresh; $159; Look at me Spanx leggings, $80, Curious Oddities rings, $25, BurfurtART Ch-Ch-Ch-Chains bracelets, $65 each, Amelia boots, $268.

All available at Fresh Collective.

What I loved about this outfit, aside from how great, effortless and cool it looked, was the versatility.  I could wear the tunic to work, with a pencil skirt, with skinny jeans, belted or not.  Both bracelets convert into necklaces with an extender.  Each piece I got will be a great long term building block of my wardrobe.

I did dark red nails and lipstick, a messy ponytail and black eyeliner on top only.  Easy.

PhotoGrid_1384709308004-1Since my husband was on stage, I needed a date or two.  I called up my wogging partner/ex-boyfriend from 1993/ current lawyer, David Shiller, and my business partner at my other business (Rowanwood Daycare), Annie Chan, and we prepared to party the night away.

Oh, what’s wogging you ask?  It’s something I invented which is half-walking, half jogging and I force David to do it with me in the wee hours of the morning.  He grumbles and whines but I think he secretly loves it.

And, oh, ok, enough about me.  What was the show like?  Freakin’ awesome!  The band rocked!  Special guest stars galore!  I hung out backstage and got free beer!  I danced!  I stayed out past 2 am!

I saw old pals like Kevin Drew (who introduced me to my husband in 1998 – thanks Kev!) and Ron Hawkins as well as met new friends like the other-worldly voiced guest singer Daniela Gesundheit from Snowblink and the amazing Lisa Lobsinger.

This band is incredible.  Buy the album.  Go see the shows.  Check out all my pics from the show!  This is the future of music.




Playing Dress Up with Daniella Watters

We’d like to introduce you to another awesome female artist showcasing next week during Canadian Music Fest! Daniella Watters is a gorgeous young talent and we had a ton of fun shopping with her this week for her performances! Learn more about her below…

d watters header

Daniella Watters is a singer/songwriter and from Toronto who regularly plays around the GTA and is in the midst of recording her first full length solo album. She released her self titled EP during the summer of 2012 after she won RDR Music Group’s Street Idol Award at Canadian Music Week last year. With this award she landed 7 radio placements for her single “Missing My Love”, her own iPhone app, and radio interviews and performances on 103.9 Proud FM. This past fall she was featured on Rogers TV and has received several CBC features since her release of her EP. During the summer Daniella produced her music video for Missing My Love and connected with multiplatinum producer Shawn Mckenzie of Reverb Music Group. Since then they have partnered and have been creating her first full length album which fuses elements of r&b, hip hop, jazz, funk, and pop, and is expected to be released by the summer of 2013!

For the last few years Daniella has performed regularly around the GTA with several bands ranging from covers with her own creative adaption and originals. She collaborates with many other talented artists writing originals for herself and also with the with the intention of acquiring placements with other emerging artists and in TV/Film. Daniella’s love for music has a beginning, but no end. Music is the one consistent element in her life that will never fade. She involves music in her life in every way possible, whether it’s performing with a band or in a play, writing originals or rearranging covers, listening at a concert, or collaborating with other talented musicians, Daniella is going full force incorporating music into her life for good!


Location: Toronto, ON Canada
Genre: Funk,Pop,R&B

CMF Showcase
Friday March 22 @ 9:00PM

CMF Showcase
Tuesday March 19 @ 9:00PM
Clinton’s Tavern

1. Top - Studio Fresh, Necklace - Kyle Osnack, 2. Top - Monikova, Pants - Brenda Beddome, 3. Dress - Address Apparel, Necklaces - Curious Oddities. Which do you like best? Sound off in the comments!

1. Top – Studio Fresh, Necklace – Kyle Osnack, 2. Top – Monikova, Pants – Brenda Beddome,  Jewellery – Curious Oddities 3. Dress – Address Apparel, Necklaces – Curious Oddities. Which do you like best? Sound off in the comments!

Getting to know Daniella Watters: A Fresh Collective Q&A

When did you start pursuing music as a passion? What sparked it?
I have loved to sing ever since I could talk, I loved to dance ever since I could walk, and I’ve loved to write poems since I experienced my first hardship. I began with poetry then started adding melodies turning my writing into lyrics. Artistic expression is the most important means of release and happiness for me.
What is your favourite song you’ve written? What is it about? How did it come to be?
Noelle is one of my favourite songs I have ever written. I wrote it as a poem in grade 10 or 11 in high school and I began writing it as a song when I was about 18, then I introduced it to a band I played with called Daytime Theft, who helped me make a fantastic arrangement around it, which we recorded a couple years ago. It was a very lengthy process, which is one of the reasons that makes it so special for me. I also called the song Noelle because I named it after a girl who was struggling and created a fake story for her to use as inspirations for others who were undergoing pain. The poem was originally about myself because my parents were going through a divorce and I was struggling, but then it evolved, as a song, into something else, a fictional story that anyone can relate to.
What is your relationship to fashion? What does it mean to you?
Fashion is one of the most visible forms of self expression! Through clothing we can set our identity and use it in a way to be creative and unique. My closet is jammed pack tight though, which is kind of embarrassing because I do not need so many things! Every few years I donate my clothing to Good Will or other charities that need support. I am fortunate to have clothing and other necessities so I think it’s important to give back.
As a local artist, what do you love most about Toronto? What about Canada?
Toronto has so many venues and opportunities to play. It’s also full of talented musicians who are interested in writing original music and collaborating. That is something I truly love about the community. I have met with other artists for the first time with the intention of writing (without even knowing each other) and it’s crazy and inspiring because most of the time we create magic and pump out songs like its our job. Music, to me, is a very organic and natural thing and it’s such an honour to get to write with other musicians and create music, which is essentially a creation of something from nothing – or something from something (depending on what you’re writing about).
Is there a woman in your life that really moves and inspires you? Who is she and why?
Yes, my grandmother Yaiya. She is not technically a blood relative, but she treated me like her own for my whole life. Every time I look at her I get inspired because she gave me her heart and soul for as long as I’ve lived and that’s something I’ll have forever no matter what happens.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Yes!! Keep your eyes open for my new album and come to my show(s) at Canadian Music Week! Music is best heard when there are ears to take it in so I hope that I can share the experience with as many music lovers as possible. AND go to Fresh Collective to check out their clothing! I’ll be wearing some of their latest arrivals at the CMW Shows 🙂

Find Daniella online – Official Site :: Facebook :: Twitter :: YouTube

Fresh Collective Mixtape – November 2012

Each month, We put together a little mixtape of the artists we’re digging right now, and of course, like everything, we share it with you!
We love supporting local and indie artists of all mediums, and fancy ourselves big time music lovers, so why not add it into the Fresh Collective experience?
Above, you can check out this months playlist on Rdio – an awesome app that allows you to discover, collect and share music from a massive online library of artists, songs and albums.

We are addicted.

Here’s a closer look at a couple of artists in this month’s playlist:

Dr. Dog – “Lonesome”

These indie popsters hail from Philadelphia, PA and have been creating their delightful brand of harmonic, medlodious, psychedilic rock music for over 10 years now.

The Darcys – “AJA”

These local Toronto indie rockers released AJA earlier this year – an interpretation of the Steely Dan album by the same name (released in 1977).

Mother Mother – “Little Pistol”

A favourite around the FC office, Mother Mother are a five-piece indie act based out of Vancouver, British Columbia known for their quirky pop harmonies.

FC on Stage: David Bowie Tribute at The Piston

David Bowie… He’s an icon of music and style, a chameleon, a boundary pusher, and one of my favourite humans of all time. Don’t believe me? This is my back:
 Yup, that’s a portrait of my beloved Bowie – my very first tattoo at age 18 (subtlety is not my strong suit).

Needless to say, when I heard that The Piston (one of my favourite bars) was putting together a tribute night, I jumped at the chance to pay homage.

David Bowie - Style Icon

Bowie has never been shy when it comes to fashion. Through the years he’s experimented and evolved, always an influential character in the world of style. He also happened to marry a supermodel, and makes up one half of one of the most stylish couples ever with wife Iman.
 Yesterday I stopped by FC Kensington to find the perfect Bowie tribute outfit… and sure enough I found this fabulous dress by Paper People Clothing that when paired with chandelier earrings and platform wedge boots, totally channeled a bit of 70’s spaced-out Ziggy Stardust style!
The bright orange reminded me so much of Bowie’s hair in the 70’s that I knew the minute I saw it I’d found the one. Made of repurposed wool, it was cozy, comfy and one of a kind.
I had such a great time singing a couple of my very favourite Bowie songs and seeing other awesome musicians pay tribute. A stellar dress for a stellar night!


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