Saturday, April 30, 2011

Downtown Welcomes the new "Met"!

Today was not only the nicest day weather-wise we have had in a while, but it was also the Grand Opening of the new Metropolitan weekend Artisans Market, at 140 Dundas Street, between Richmond and Talbot St.   Either one of these things would have brightened my day, but both together were just awesome.  The Met is a great space, built in 1912, and from 1920 - 1960 was the Metropolitan Store.  The building is now owned by Chris Kirwin, and managed by two entrepreneurial women, Savanah Sewell and Katie Wilhelm.  Their goal was to provide a space for local artisans to display and sell their wares.   Today's opening had a wonderful social atmosphere that reminded me of the Farmer's Market at the Fairgrounds.  I gave up counting how many people I ran into that I knew.    There was an impressive mix of goods for sale from the approximately 30 vendors:  prints, paintings, jewellery, clothing, and metal work.  There's a place to grab a coffee, and a large open space at the rear of the building that could easily be used for workshops, etc.  It will be interesting to see how the market shapes itself in the next few months--it is the perfect addition to downtown, in a great location, and I think London has needed something like this for years, so I am keeping my fingers crossed for their success.   If you couldn't get out today, you've still got an opportunity to go tomorrow.  The market will be open on weekends, 9 am - 5 pm on Saturdays and 12 noon - 5 pm on Sundays.  For more information, visit their website. Below are some photos of some of the stylish vendors and customers from today, Part two will follow!
 Rescued letters from the original "Metropolitan" sign fill the front window
 
Justin Bardawill, owner of Alchemy Junk Service, had a table at the market.  He's wearing a t-shirt designed by another vendor, John Sewell
These two women were part of the crowd of browsers/customers.  I loved the combination of leopard print tights with the white lacy dress.
Scott McKay of "Strong Arm Forge" stood out against his impressive metal sculptures in his yellow and black bowling shirt and matching hat.  Check out his work here

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

At the Farmers' Market - It's All in the Details

I love the little details that make this outfit eye-catching--the face-framing collar and gathered sleeves of the jacket, the caramel leather bag, and the very feminine patent strappy flats.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

At the Farmer's Market - The Musician

Cherry red shirt, cool vintage hat worn at a jaunty angle--what's not to like?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Unbound - The Finale

To conclude my three-part post on the Fanshawe College Fashion Design Students' fashion show, UnBound, here are more photos of what the audience was wearing (yours truly included).
I want a lesson in scarf-wrapping from this guy
This young lady brought some 1920's flair to the evening with a dress that she made herself
This woman attended the show with her granddaughter.  I like the mix of patterns and layers, and the  way the purple sets off her hair and skin tone.
And then there's me, with an expression on my face that seems to imply that I've had one too many cocktails, except that I hadn't had any.  Perhaps it was the very attractive and charming guy that was taking my photo.  Nonetheless, this is what I wore, and it was kind of fun being able to take up that much space with my skirt, which was on loan for the evening  (it's the same silver crinoline that was featured in the "Anti-Fashion Fashion Show" a few posts back)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Unbound - The Collections

Overall, the collections from the graduating designers were very wearable, and featured a lot of linen, interesting shapes, and shades of cream, grey, and brown.  There were some great wide leg trousers, which I was happy to see, and some creative embellishments on shoulders and backs of jackets.
Mel McCartney, who won the award for best collection, showed dresses that incorporated interesting shapes and a creative use of multiple fabrics
There was a great deal of "Mad Men" influence on the runway as dresses reached to just above the knee and featured pretty feminine detailing that Joan would be only to happy to wear to work at Sterling Cooper.  This gold and cream dress was designed by Samantha Thomson
I loved these wide leg trousers in Jame's Bailey's collection
Marisa Crandall was one of the few designers in the show who used bright colours
Erica Randi Kai Henry incorporated leather into her designs, including this one that had strong references to the 1950's in the shape and sheer sleeves and neckline.
The flower applique on the back of this jacket designed by Jaclyn Hall was quite beautiful, although maybe not the best thing to wear if you sit in a chair all day.  There were a few pairs of shorts in the show, and they had interesting details, and the length made them wearable by women over 20 as long as you've kept your legs in pretty good shape.
These fringe-trimmed pants moved so fluidly on the model as she walked--they were part of Caitlin Haveman's 1940's inspired collection, and my personal favourite piece in the show.
Another example of unusual detailing on the back of a blouse designed by Breanne Gatien

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Unbound - Part 1

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending "Unbound", a fashion show featuring the collections of the Fanshawe College Fashion Design students who are graduating this year.  The show was held at Museum London, and as this was my first time attending the Fanshawe fashion show, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was very impressed with the clothing as well as the overall professionalism of the show.  Given the number of photos I have from the evening, I'm going to split this post into 3 parts.   The first features some of the stylish fashion fans and designers I met prior to the show.
Draped in black, accessorized with gold
Most men were content to wear some variation of basic black, but not this guy, whose companion didn't stand a chance competing against a flag-covered leather jacket. 
Easily the coolest leg-wear I saw all night
A member of the graduating class of design students in black and white
This young woman was wearing a striking dress made by one of last year's graduates of the Fashion Design program
Graduating design student Caitlin Haveman was channeling a byegone era in an adorable print dress of her own design.  Photos of some her designs, as well as those from the other students whose collections were in the show, will appear in a later post.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Elfin

If you have been following my blog for a while,  you are probably aware of my fondness for clothing from The Fairies Pyjamas.  As soon as I saw this woman in her blue cloak, I knew it had to be a Fairies creation.  The shape and colour are so flattering, and she looks like she could have stepped out of an enchanted forest.  Fairies has men's clothing as well, and you can see some of their new designs for spring and summer (including this coat) on their website.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

All Dolled Up and Cutting a Rug at Cherryhill - Part 2

More photos from the Seniors' Dance at Cherryhill Mall:
Some of the women took such care in the way they were dressed, like this woman, in black with pearls (set off nicely by her husband in gray)
This little girl in her pink flowered dress and funky little booties was up dancing with her Mom and having a great time watching the other dancers.
I loved the plaid tie worn by this gentleman who said he had just come from church.
These two win the prize for being the couple most fun to watch.  You couldn't miss her snow white hair, bright blue jacket and incredible smile, and she was jiving and twirling with the energy of someone half her age.  He was easily the most striking man on the floor in his print shirt, neatly trimmed beard and black pants.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

All Dolled Up and Cutting a Rug at Cherryhill - Part 1

I want to begin the third year of FCF (yes, my baby turned two this week!) with a bit of a different post than what you're used to seeing here, but the subject was so inspiring that I knew it deserved space on my blog.   It's about seniors, a group that is often ignored when it comes to their style for a number of reasons--they aren't a target market for the latest trends, and they often don't buy a lot of clothing and accessories because of limited income, poor health, or because they learned growing up that you didn't buy new things when old ones were still serviceable.   Of course there are always those seniors who loved dressing up when they were young and continue to do so, or, who only discovered their personal style as they aged when they stopped worrying about what others thought of them, and decided to wear what makes them happy.   Ari Cohen, author of the blog Advanced Style, spends most of his time documenting the style and wisdom of what he calls "the silver hair set" in New York and if you're ever thinking that being over 60 equates with boring, polyester, and pastels, his blog subjects will quickly change your mind.

As for the style of seniors here in a smaller, conservative city like London, you certainly don't have the variety that you do in a city like New York, but as I found when I went to one of the Seniors' Dances held at the end of each month in Cherryhill Mall (which serves a large senior's community here in London) there are some pretty amazing and inspiring men and women out there who are doing their part to demonstrate that style is about more than just what you're wearing, and even if your hips don't move as easily as they used to, there's no reason to not take a turn on the dance floor.  And my thanks to Sandra for the title of this post!
I could not take my eyes off this couple on the dance floor;  I'm sure they have been dancing together their entire lives.  I love the way his hand is gently but firmly placed on her back, guiding her across the floor.  She is dressed so simply, but the combination of black, grey and white with the patterned stockings is timeless and elegant.
This woman was a part of the crowd watching the dancers, and immediately caught my eye in her black coat and hat accented with leopard print
This woman stood out in pale pink and turquoise.  She had a brooch pinned to the front of her pink hat, and her lipstick and nail polish matched the rest of her outfit.  I told her how nice I thought she looked, and she replied, "I guess it was worth the time I took to get ready".  Yes, it was--I know she brightened my day considerably.
Given the age group of the crowd, I expected to see more hats on the men, but this was the only one.