just bend the pieces 'til they fit, like they were made for it, but they weren't meant for this

Part One of Two

I've had an itch for thrifting lately, I can't do it if I'm not in the mood but as soon as I get the craving it doesn't go away until I go! So I think tonight I'm going to go to Value Village with my friend Meghan, but first I'd like to plan out some ideas so I know what I want to look for.

I have a feeling there are a few key trends for this Fall season that I will be able to snatch and make my own using pieces from the thrift stores. And here they are...

Fur (Chanel//Kasia Struss)
Camel (Chloé//Siri Tollerød)
Grey suede shoes (Nina Ricci//Egle Tvirbutaite)
Thick knit socks (Prada//Ginta Lapina)
Animal print (Roberto Cavalli//Kasia Struss)
Grey knit sweater (Etro//Freja Beha Erichsen)
Army style jacket (Burberry//Ranya Mordanova)

There are very few times that I find vintage pieces that are good to wear right away. I alter almost everything I get from thrift stores, which is fine because I love to sew. But I know a lot of people who don't, and have trouble altering clothes that they buy second-hand and often will purchase something in the hopes of re-vamping it, when in reality it gets thrown in the closet and never worn due to laziness. Is it easier to just buy things that fit well and discard the ones that don't? However, I recently took a TSC at a job interview, which is a quiz of sorts, and one of the questions was "If a customer comes in to try on jeans, and find she is not satisfied with any of the styles in-store, what would you tell her?" With one of the possible answers being, "I think you should get this pair, and you can take them to get altered to better fit your needs" What a stupid answer?? Who goes out to buy jeans only to have to take them for alterations right afterwards?? My conclusion is; even if I had unlimited money I would not stop thrift shopping. I like the hunt, and being able to alter things my own way to further make them more unique. However, when buying items first-hand, you should not at any point throughout the trying-on and purchase, be questioning whether or not you will have to fix them.

I'll update later with (hopefully) the success of my purchases!

All runway photos taken from Style.com


don't hold on, go get strong, don't you know? there is no modern romance.

I've been listening to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs all night and basking in admiration of Karen O. I just love her a lot. She's fantastic as a musician, but I really appreciate her as a fashion icon also. She's worn some crazy outfits, on-stage and off; but I feel like she doesn't get that much credit for it? Not even credit, but recognition. Yeah Yeah Yeahs are pretty famous, are they not? Ipod commercials and whatnot? So why do idiots like Lady Gaga get all the hype for wearing such loud pieces and get credited for being original and unique and so ground-breaking? I could go on about all the powerful female musicians that have made a statement in the fashion world, (Björk? Madonna?) and how no one is really unique anymore and comparisons are really obvious but also annoying? (It's nice sometimes to just appreciate things and stop trying to relate everything to something else..) BUT, what I really want to talk about, is the fabulous woman behind Karen O's celebrated fashion. The magnificent mastermind of Karen O's image:

Christiane Joy Hultquist, better known as Christian Joy, was born in Iowa in '73. She's a good friend of Karen O and is so far, best known for designing costumes outfits for the lovely Miss Orzolek. She was never formally trained in fashion design, which is fair enough since she started off making things with less sewing involved; more glueing, cutting, crafting. Wearable art is one of my favourite types of design. I've got tons of respect for all the accomplished seamstresses out there, but making outfits out of found articles and putting things together in literally any way you please, is so much more fun and creative. The limits are endless.

Once Yeah Yeah Yeahs got really big, she was able to start designing full time and was involved in a lot of really cool things, like exhibits at art galleries and a collaboration with TopShop. As of this January, she's been selling on Etsy. I like her ready-to-wear collections, although I'm really falling out of love with the whole graphic tees and prints, but I don't care. It's her costumes I really fall in love with. She's a born couturier in my eyes; it makes me wish I had more special occasions other than just Halloween to dress up. Anyways, there's a documentary coming out soon on Christian Joy and her husband Jason Grisell.. I can't wait to check it out!

All pictures taken from Christian Joy's official website.


i want to, i need to be under your skin, i'm dying please

My name is Alyssa. I grew up in Toronto, Ontario, Canada until I was eight years old. My family then moved to Oshawa, Ontario. I’m nineteen years old now and have been living in London, Ontario for the past two years attending Fanshawe College for Fashion Design. I have three really close friends and would describe myself as a pretty outspoken person. I enjoy music ranging from ‘90’s alternative rock’ to ‘old school punk rock’ to ‘indie folk’ as well as some ‘old school hip hop/rap’. I have an unhealthy obsession with the Beastie Boys, and I’m a big Andy Warhol fan. I like cats more than the average person should, (we have five living at my house) and I really like to organize things.

I began to really love fashion when I was seventeen. I always liked looking good, shopping, and sewing, but I only recently became immersed in the world of high fashion, magazines, blogs and runway. The decision to attend college for Fashion Design was kind of sudden; there’s a chance I didn’t think it through as well as I could have. I’ve learned a lot over the past two years and am still learning more and more about the world of fashion and what I want to do with it, every day. I love high fashion, but prefer it mixed with vintage/edgy/rebellious tastes; thus the title ‘red carpet & rebellion’ (also, it's a great song by the Distillers). The problem is, I grew up in a family with no taste for fashion, and a low income. People I know think that $80 for a skirt is ludicrous, when in reality I can flip through Vogue and pick out ten skirts by my favourite designers that cost from $500 and up. I have to say I don’t spoil myself with clothes that often at all. I don’t think a lot of people see me as a fashionable person or someone that even knows high fashion, because I don’t put a lot of effort into my appearance. I prefer a very simple style; my preferred outfit these days would be a loose tank top, lace bra, black blazer, plain tights, and either plain black flip flops or Doc Martens. As far as jewellery goes, I like big bold necklaces, and a few silver rings. I don’t wear bracelets or earrings, and I also don’t usually wear make-up. When I do, my make-up consists of mascara, and some concealer; lately I've been wearing a lot of lipstick though. I only ever wear my hair in a tight ballerina bun or down and straightened. I can’t afford high fashion; I can’t even afford brands like Aritzia or Urban Outfitters on a regular basis. I get a lot of things from thrift stores and hand-me-downs from my sister or friends.

So what is it that I love about fashion and why? I love it because I see it for what it is; purely the most accessible and beautiful art form. I love the trends and how everything changes but still stays cyclical. It's like a challenge every season to create a newer and better look, and for each individual to put their own spin on it. If I could afford it all, I would. I love seeing the amazing outfits people can put together and the insane ideas and trends that come forth every season that are thought up by some brilliant individual. The feeling I get when looking through new runway slideshows is indescribable, and it makes me want to get out and do something or say something about it. Don’t get me wrong, one day I do plan to be my own fashion muse, but until I get my dream job (or at least a steady paycheque) my personal style is at a standstill. Regardless, it’s all in my head and that’s what’s important to me (for now, at least).

I get inspiration from a variety of sources; the common ones being street style, runway shows, celebrities (some) and of course, blogs. I have a long list of female style influences ranging from musicians to actresses to writers, whom I will possibly pay homage to in a later post. I get inspiration directly from my friends, of course- one of my best friends who is an art student is probably the most fashionable person I know, even more so than myself and she influences my tastes a lot. I have a friend who recently travelled across the world on a cruise ship and bought some incredibly beautiful pieces along the way from places like Argentina and Greece, thus I see her style as more of a culturally diverse mix which I absolutely love. It seems that all of my close friends, some across Canada and some right here in Ontario, all inspire me because their personal tastes for clothing are so fabulous and they look good, somewhat effortlessly. Someone like myself who pours so much time into fashion websites and magazines can get quite flustered when my friends look so good without trying, whilst I feel like sometimes I try too hard to acquire my signature look. I'm still working on what fits me the best. Basically, I am stubborn for shopping and, again, the whole being poor thing doesn't help.

There’s still so much more I want and need to learn about fashion, writing, entrepreneurship and networking. Starting a blog is always something I’ve wanted to do, and I really need something to keep me up to date in the fashion world, and some motivation for me to open a magazine and get more immersed into this crazy world of style.