Sweet Summer Sale

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It’s that time of year again! Fresh Collective has knocked down prices on some of your favourite Spring and Summer looks. Save up to 25% on some of our most popular designers including Address Apparel, Mandala DesignStudio Fresh, and Rita Di Cesare!

You don’t want to wait when we have a sale this great! With one-offs and limited sizes and colours left from our Spring/Summer collections, you’ll want to get into your favourite store today to get your hands on that peice you’ve been eyeing up all season long.

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Our #FRESH10 Contest Winner

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Just two weeks ago we announced the winner to our #FRESH10 Contest – a contest celebrating our 10 year anniversary and giving one lucky FC fan the chance to win a 10-piece wardrobe!

We were overwhelmed with the entries – hundreds of tweets, likes and lovely top ten lists came flooding our way and we were genuinely moved by it all!

Photo: Our lucky #FRESH10 winner Carley grabbed over $1000 of goodies today! CONGRATS! @someonecallacab

Meet Carley – our fabulous #FRESH10 winner. We had a blast shopping with her this Saturday.

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Carley was on the hunt for a nice skirt to fill out her wardrobe. She didn’t have to look far. The minute she spotted this fun print, she was head over heels! (LENA skirt from Mandala Design – $88)

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This sassy tank was a must-have! (Cancan Tunic from Kollontai – $152)

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Our newest Queen Street gal Ana, was excited to have a twin when Carley tried on this best-seller from Rita Di Cesare – they couldn’t help but snap a picture together! (Christina Tank Dress from Rita Di Cesare – $159)

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There was a bit of a squeal of delight when I pulled out the domino pieces Tara of Odd Bird Design had dropped off!

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I
 believe “YES PLEASE!” was all Carley said when she saw this gorgeous 100% silk creation from Monikova. The LAST one of its kind! Lucky steal!

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This cozy cardigan from Paper People clothing looks great with Carley’s colouring and will be the perfect transitional piece for fall! (Rosemary Cardigan from Paper People Clothing $139)

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A pair of earrings and a necklace from Curious Oddities definitely had us all swooning a little…

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Carley received a voucher to grab a pair of Hush Puppies online, but she had to try on what we had in-store and fell for these coral pumps! (Sanguin Pumps from Hush Puppies – $120)

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Not only did she get a cute pair of Candi Factory undies for herself, but she got to treat her lucky boyfriend to a pair as well! (Candi Factory underpants – men’s $32, women’s $22)

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We adored this bold piece with a belted sash from Studio Fresh – looked great with her jeans, but can you imagine it with a pencil skirt in a classic black or a bold colour? Va va voom! (Vestie w/Sash from Studio Fresh – $120)

It was a pleasure spending the afternoon with Carley – she was an absolute doll and we can’t wait for updates on what she’s up to in her new Fresh Collective wardrobe!

xoFC

 

Have a #PicturePerfectSummer in Fresh Collective: Photos

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Hello there, June!

‘Tis the season for bike riding, sunshine-ing, picnic-ing and general good times.
Have a #PicturePerfectSummer in Fresh Collective!

Earth Day Swap and Shop with Fresh Collective and Paper People Clothing

Last night our Queen St store was full to the brim with lovely ladies ready to celebrate Earth Day in style at our Swap and Shop event! We had so much fun browsing the overflowing rack of pre-loved goodies, making new friends, munching on organic snacks from 4 Life Natural Foods, and finding new gems to wear for spring!

We’d like to give special thanks to Bullfrog Power who donated an amazing gift basket (and provide green energy to all three of our stores), and to our new friends at Trend Trunk who hooked up our swappers with some awesome gift cards!

Thank you to everyone who came out and participated in our Earth Day celebration! We hope you all love your new goodies!

Happy Earth Day from Fresh Collective

At Fresh Collective, we are committed to sustainability, eco-consciousness, and being a contribution to the world.

We shop local, support local talent and in the last year switched to a sustainable energy source in all our stores through Bullfrog Power.

Tonight we are hosting a Swap & Shop event in our Queen St store and it’s hosted by one of our most prominent eco-friendly designers: Jennifer Fukushima of Paper People Clothing.

At tonight’s event she will be launching The Cynthia Dress:

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The handkerchief hem scarf dress is quickly becoming Paper People’s signature piece for the spring/summer season.  This year we’re pleased to offer the Cynthia Dress.  The dress features a cross over v-neck bodice with narrow lapel and long ties that can be wrapped around to cinch you in where it counts!  Made from super comfy organic cotton/spandex jersey and matching poly lining, the patterned, reclaimed scarves make each one special and unique!  Dress it up for graduation or a summer wedding or just have fun every day!

Colours: black, purple (shown), red, sage green, taupe  (these base colours will be combined with scarves in matching and complementary colours)

Fabrication: reclaimed scarves, organic cotton/spandex jersey, polyester lining

Sizes: xs, s/p, m, l/g

Retail price: $139

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We’re excited for these new dresses to arrive and think they’re going to be a big hit this summer! Come by and try one on this week!

 

 

Love Letter from Laura-Jean: Unleashing Your Inner Pin-Up Girl

love letter copy copyThis month, we’re having a lot of fun unleashing our inner pin-up girls!  We’ve been talking a lot behind the scenes about just how to go about choosing models for our marketing.  Professional models pose and emote beautifully, and we’ve used them in the past.  But in the end, I end up feeling, “Who are they to us and our customers?”

Our business is about so much more than pretty dresses.  It’s about women feeling confident, powerful, self-expressed and yes – pretty and sexy too!  It’s about a celebration of life and all that it offers us in relationships, love, creativity and beauty.

For this spring photo shoot, we chose models from our own community who we thought represented our mission of  being beautiful and amazing, inside and out. They are women who are living the Fresh Collective lifestyle; creating amazing lives for themselves and the people around them.

Dress: Brenda Beddome, Shoes: Hush Puppies (Coming Soon!)

Dress: Brenda Beddome, Shoes: Hush Puppies (Coming Soon!)

Of course – with the theme being “Pin-up Girl” – I was the first in line.  I am a mom, an entrepreneur, 43 years old (I still can’t quite believe I’m a grown up!) and loving life more with each passing year!  I love being a woman and I am continually working on being a great leader in my business, community and family.  I am committed to making the world a better place.

Kat Shura looking great in a Melow top and Brenda Beddome pants.

Kat Shura looking great in a Melow top and Brenda Beddome pants.

We also asked Kat Shura, the designer of Curious Oddities jewellery who has been working with us for several years.  She joined us when her business was in it’s early days and we have watched her (and the business) grow in leaps and bounds.  Kat is a person I feel blessed to know;  as an entrepreneur she is driven, committed and just making it happen. As a friend, she is caring, thoughtful and present. She’s a real inspiration in so many ways.

Kathryn Barlow looks ravishing in a Michelle Carey dress and shoes by Hush Puppies

Kathryn Barlow looks ravishing in a Michelle Carey dress and shoes by Hush Puppies

Kathryn Barlow is another awesome woman from our Fresh Collective community.  She’s been designing our website and most of our graphics for several years.  I think she may have been heaven sent, as she was shopping in the store one day years ago and overheard me saying my web designer had disappeared on me and I wasn’t sure what to do.  She popped out from behind a jewellery case saying “I do websites!” and we made a plan to meet.  She is the easiest person to work with, always getting things done more beautifully than I expected and on time.  She’s just a dream girl, and cute to boot!

The lovely Emilia in a Paper People Clothing dress with Hush Puppies shoes.

The lovely Emilia in a Paper People Clothing dress with Hush Puppies shoes.

Emilia Farrace is a new friend who is also an entrepreneur.  She’s the owner of Simply Elaborate Creative Agency and I’ve come to know her as a woman of integrity and commitment, with a bubbly energy and contagious smile.  She also is working on a personal project – The Empowerment Initiative – to make the world a better place by providing mentors from the business community to teens.

I am blessed.  I look around me and I’m inspired by the women I know and all that they are up to in life.  I have amazing friends, fantastic neighbours and awesome colleagues.  We have a large community of designers at Fresh Collective who have taken the brave steps of running their own businesses and a wide variety of customers who are doing incredible things with their lives.

So this month we’re celebrating womanhood and having a bit of flirty fun with inviting all the inspiring and amazing women in Toronto to unleash their inner pin-up girl!

As always, we LOVE your feedback on everything we do.  What kind of campaigns would you like to see from us in the future?  Do these photos inspire you to unleash your inner pin-up girl and have a little fun with fashion this spring?  Please email us at media@freshcollective.com. We’d love to hear from you!

xoxoxo

-LJ

What to Wear Wednesday – Prints & Pinks

What to Wear Wednesday - Prints & Pinks

What to Wear Wednesday – Prints & Pinks by freshcollective

Hard to imagine when the weather is this dismal, but Spring IS just around the corner (we must keep telling ourselves that)! So I put together a look with some hot seasonal trends featuring great new Fresh Collective arrivals!

TOP: The Joan Cowl top from Paper People Clothing adds a bright colour pop to an otherwise black and white outfit. It’s a great way to introduce spring brights slowly (but boldly)!

PANTS: These cropped pants from Brenda Beddome are one of my favourite new arrivals of the season so far! They perfectly capture two of the hottest trends of the coming season: Black & White, and Bold Prints!

CARDIGAN: It’s still too soon to go sleeve-free so top of your look with a smart black cardigan like this one from Mandala to stay toasty.

BOOTS: I would ideally pair this outfit with a cute pair of flats for spring, but today I couldn’t fathom it, so instead, added weatherproof Hush Puppies boots, and I think it’s an unexpected footwear choice that really makes the look!

EARRINGS: These cute studs from Curious Oddities compliment the printed pants just right and really complete the look with a touch of vintage flair.

Spring Arrivals: Curious Oddities, Paper People Clothing, Kollontai, Soia & Kyo

Spring has begun arriving at Fresh Collective and we couldn’t be more excited! Here’s a sampling of some of our latest and greatest for Spring 2013…

CURIOUS ODDITIES:

With her vivid imagination, designer Kat Shura sees a story in everything and seeks to unveil the magic in all she touches. Her current collection features a wide variety of salvaged treasures accented with premium quality, traditionally pressed, antiqued and silver plated brass.
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Find Curious Oddities on: Facebook :: Twitter

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KOLLONTAI:

Kollontaï is the Montreal-based fashion label of Gabrielle Tousignant and a workshop employing over twenty people who share a passion for made-in-Canada fashion apparel! Each garment combines uniqueness, aesthetic appeal, comfort, and quality. The rich interplay of colors, textures, transparencies and lace create a distinctive style inspired by lingerie.

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Find Kollontai on: Facebook

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SOIA & KYO:

Since it’s debut in 2004, Soia & Kyo has made a name for itself thanks to its fabulous fit, intricate detailing and unique styling: oversized buttons, asymmetric and structured collars, wide belts and contrast trims that create looks which are young and trendy with an urban sensibility and retro twist.
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Find Soia & Kyo on: Facebook :: Twitter :: Instagram :: Pinterest

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PAPER PEOPLE CLOTHING:

Paper People aims for those versatile items that express the wearer yet are appropriate for any occasion. Customers appreciate the one of a kind nature of the reclaimed pieces as well as the eclectic tonal, textural and print variations within each garment.  Environmentally conscious pieces from new textiles often incorporate contrast from reclaimed materials or screen printed accents adding a touch of the unique, handmade aesthetic.

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To celebrate the arrival of the Paper People Clothing Penny Dress (pictured above), we will be giving one away to a lucky guest at tonight’s Sustainable Fashion Book Launch! There are a few guest spots available so RSVP now!

Find Paper People Clothing on: Facebook :: Twitter :: Pinterest

The Swagger Coach: Whoah-oh-oh Jamie’s Crying (with EXCITEMENT!)

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Bright, vibrant shades. Swirly, whimsical patterns. The ability to wear shoes without socks. Heck, the ability to wear shoes in general. Spring is a-coming, folks, and I’m super excited to feel wind on my legs and sun on my shoulders again. Will I be that girl dancing like a lunatic in the park in flip-flops and a summer skirt during the first semi-decent weekend in March? Possibly, but consider it my ode to the upcoming season rather than a chemical imbalance inside the ole’ noggin.

I’m a fashion fiend and a tragic over-spender, so any change of season creates a rush inside of me that can only be compared to new love, or possibly a really well-made pasta dish. Your wardrobe is your uniform, and it conveys more about you than you know. Are you fussy with details and accents like trimming and buttons? Are you simple and classic like a well-fitting pair of jeans and a cute tee? Are you a girl-on-the-go in yoga pants and a hoodie? What you wear is the image your project unto the world, and if your outfits start to form a pattern, it begins to tell a bit more about you as a person, your lifestyle, your attitude. Right now, my outfit tells me that I’m the lovechild between the citizens of Pleasantville and Shoshanna from Girls. I’m in a coral pleated dress, a white lace-on-knit cardigan and a matching set of pearl earrings and necklace. Tonight I’ll likely be in skinny jeans, knee-high boots, a long layered necklace and a fitted top, since I’ll be hitting a show at the Hard Rock. The following day, I may not even wear pants since I have no plans other than cleaning my apartment and doing dishes. Oversized t-shirt for the win.

My wardrobe is stylistically diverse, and I keep it that way to prevent myself from falling into the “trend trap”, where it appears as though your entire collection of clothing was supplied by the same fast-fashion retailer. I play with trends, but I’m not a slave to them, and like to keep a hint of retro flair in my outfits to keep things unexpected and playful. I get plenty of inspiration from the lovely ladies I work with and our outstandingly creative, funky customers, and would love to share my top three style-friendly trends for spring with you, primarily so that I’m not the only one hyperventilating about them. Basically, come to my store and flap around like a maniacal bird with me, there’s strength in numbers.

1) OXFORDS – I have always loved oxfords. When I was in high school, I found the most hideous pair of size 7 men’s oxfords in a thrift store, and although I knew I’d likely never get the chance to wear them (they really were decrepit) I had to have them and took them home. I racked my brain trying to find an excuse to break out these bad boys, but alas, it was late summer and they were roughly 5 lbs apiece. That chance didn’t come until early October, when it dawned on me. I collected an oversized blazer, tuxedo pants and a top hat, and a ruffled shirt. I drew two lines from the corners of my mouth to the sides of my chin, and darkened my eyes and eyebrows. I was a haunted ventriloquist dummy for Halloween. Times have changed and the oxfords of this spring are ladylike and classic, rather than boxy and clunky. Plus, with the vintage trend emerging in full-force, the oxford pattern is now found on bags, skirts and even sunglasses. Oh, and these (below) are coming to my store in both black and brown in the upcoming weeks, and are from one of my favourite shoe lines. Pardon me while I take out a line of credit, this season is going to hit me like a ton of bricks.

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2) CORAL – Every season I have a colour crush. During the winter season, it was mustard. The one before was emerald and before that (in the summer) I was obsessed with butter yellow. Once every couple of years I fall head over heels with coral, which is (in my opinion) the most universally flattering shade on almost any skin tone, and is the quickest way to liven up a complexion since cream blush. Picking a shade can be a bit tricky, so my best suggestion is the most well-known: Stick out your bottom lip, as though you’re pouting, and the deepest shade of pinky-coral is your best match. This season, orange-based corals are hot, so take that in stride and keep an eye open for those peachy-pinks and grapefruit tones! In store, we’re expecting our best-selling Yoga Jeans in a brand-new shade called Cardinal (vibrant coral) and our year-round essential Paper People tops in a similar shade. We’re also getting the farewell piece from the Fresh Baked Goods collection, the Lauren dress, in coral as well. I wouldn’t suggest wearing them together, per se, but individually these are sure to punch up your wardrobe in a splashy way!

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3) BELTS – I remember low-rise jeans. I know you do too. Now here’s the dilemma: allow them to shimmy down your hips, or belt them for that exquisite muffin-top look that happens to everyone, regardless of how tight your mid-section is. Belts were things to be hated, and quickly became a staple accessory for the skater crowd of Avril Lavigne wannabes. Then someone in the fashion world sat back on their couch on a night off to watch Grease and said to themselves,”Hmm. Those high-waisted belts sure do create an awesome silhouette.” and suddenly the wide belt was back in fashion. Luckily for us, designers are working in fabrics like elastic, satin and leather for more contemporary versions of throwback styles, and words like “sash belt” and “skinny belt” are commonplace. If you were to walk to your closet right now, you’d find at least five different pieces that could be contemporized or refreshed by adding a belt. Personally (and I know I’m biased here, but you’ve got to see them to understand) I’m absolutely in love with the Susana Erazo belts (carried at Fresh Collective!) which all feature elastic sides, adjustable widths (like a bra strap, they’re unbelievable) and oversized leather-bound buttons as clasps. Her collections also include wide sash belts and skinny classic ones, but the way I see it, the bigger the better! I’ve collected several in classic tones, intense colours and funky combos but my all-time favourite is a whiskey-coloured leather one with two buttons. Love love love.

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What are you excited for this spring? Are there any trends which you’re interested in but unsure of how to pull off? Picked up a wicked item but just not sure how to pair it for a modern, stylish effect? I love getting feedback from our fans, so send in your comments and questions! You can reach me at Jamie@freshcollective.com and I’m available for advice, style tips or just to listen to you rant about your terrible ex. Better yet, swing by the Kensington Fresh Collective location and we can do it in person. See you soon friends!

What to Wear Wednesday – Deep Freeze Darling

What to Wear Wednesday - Deep Freeze Darling

What to Wear Wednesday – Deep Freeze Darling by freshcollective

Well… it’s a bit brisk outside, wouldn’t you say? I kind of wanted to put together some sort of head-to-toe down-filled ensemble (can someone design me one that’s still chic?) but instead this adorable number will have to do!

Top: This Alexi Isla Knit top from Studio Fresh is great for winter layering. It’s lightweight knit makes it great for transitioning from outdoors (don’t you hate when you bundle up in a heavy sweater only to find yourself overwhelmed and overheated when you get to work?)

Jeans: Our beloved Yoga Jeans are great for an active winter lifestyle. These jeans move with you and form to your curves so you can look great while you skate! Available in several colours, this merlot tone will bring a warm glow to the winter cold.

Boots: I’ve overlooked these little Miz Mooz ankle boots for awhile now, and I can’t figure out why…they’re adorable! Maybe not perfect for trudging through snow, but my goodness, if you’re indoors – try these on for size!

Headwear: Last but not least, keep yourself toasty with a bit of Paper People Clothing winter style. A fashionable alternative to your normal knit cap, this headband/turban hybrid made from repurposed wool is a stylish way to stay warm!