Wednesday, November 30, 2011

At The Market - The Big Sweater

Her cozy, oversize sweater reminds me of those grey wool socks with the red and white trim that were known as "work socks" when I was growing up (and were part of my father's Christmas present every year).  She's kept the colour scheme going with the cool knee socks paired with red Converse.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Marching to the Beat of his Own Drum (Piano, Guitar, etc.)

It was a beautiful day on Saturday, especially for late November, and there were a lot of people out enjoying the weather.  I had the pleasure of running into one of London's talented musicians, who is also a very sharp dresser, and I've been remiss in not photographing him for my blog before now.   Jonathan has a particular fondness for vintage (note the vest and tartan tie) and is known for his rather impressive collection of shoes ("there's always room for another pair of cowboy boots").

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fifty??!!

 knit dress and brown brogues from Lovesick

I turned 50 yesterday.  And it was a bit of a shock, let me tell you.  A friend who has passed the 50 mark, whose birthday I share, told me that the anticipation is often worse than the reality, and for me, that was certainly true.  This was a tough one - after all, when you're 50, you can't say you're young any more, regardless of whether the media has led us to believe that 50 is the new 40.  You're not old either; retirement is still years away, but you've definitely crossed over the line of middle-age.  But aside from the stiff joints, menopause, and frequent moments of "now, what did I come out here for?", I have to say that I feel pretty damn lucky.  Lucky to have made it this far with no life-threatening illnesses. Lucky to be able to walk to the store and carry my groceries home.  Lucky to have money to buy that pair of shoes.  Lucky to have wonderful friends and family who love and appreciate me for who I am.

A large part of what has helped to make this birthday more of a cause for celebration, rather than a mourning of lost youth, are the incredible women I have connected with through Ari Cohen's inspiring blog, Advanced Style.  As we age, we need to see women who are older than we are, living healthy, creative, and purposeful lives, and if you doubt they exist, just look through Ari's blog.   I had the good fortune to meet three of them while I was in New York, and as I look forward to the years ahead, people like Jean, Valerie, Judith and Debra will inspire me to open my heart and my life to new ideas and new people, remind me that a sense of humour is an essential and marvelous thing, and, most important of all--to wear what makes me happy!


The "celebrating with the girls" outfit worn later that night.  Fascinator from Fashion Crimes in Toronto, faux leather jacket from Frilly Lizard, swishy skirt from Talize and kickass birthday boots purchased last year on sale at From Mars.  See photo below for a closeup of their total awesomeness.
*thanks to Heather for the birthday outfit photos!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Golden

One of our graduate students wore these shiny shoes on the day she defended her Master's Thesis, and they must have brought her a bit of luck.  Not only did she defend successfully, but she had NO revisions, which is rare.  Congratulations Jessica!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hats!! (aka "Judith, This One's For You")

This post is dedicated to Judith, author of the blog Style Crone, and a fellow hat aficionado. She has an enviable collection of hats which she wears regularly and is a creative, caring, and courageous woman who inspires me to smile more and complain less.  

I seem to be amassing a rather sizeable hat collection, and I've learned that with the acquisition of hats, particularly vintage ones made from wool felt, comes great responsibility.  If I want them to last and not be chewed on by insects, I'll be investing in some hatboxes, acid-free tissue paper, and a hat brush. I had posted a photo of myself, wearing one of the hats I had purchased in New York in an earlier post, below are photos of the other two:
This little 60's hat was $10, and while I can't decide if it's a flattering shape on me, I loved the black velvet flocking on the orange-y background, and it makes a nice little display piece on one of my styrofoam mannequin heads.
I couldn't resist the feminine fluffiness of this large brimmed plush hat from Saks Fifth Avenue Millinery Salon (says the label inside)--paired with a little black dress,  I could pretend that I was an extra from the film "Breakfast at Tiffanys".
I picked up this wool felt fedora made by Artistique of Montreal at The Sentimentalist before I went to New York, and after seeing the prices that vendors were charging for similar hats at the Vintage Show, I came home with a new appreciation for the stores we have here in London.
And speaking of The Sentimentalist, look at this fabulously chic women's fez that was on display when I was last in the store.  I couldn't carry it off, but I know there's a woman out there that will be able to do it justice.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cheerful Colour Blocking

Back in October, before my trip to New York, I spent a day in Toronto visiting a couple of friends.   Most of the day was spent on Queen West, where there is always an eclectic mix of style on the street.  This young woman's outfit just begged for a photo--I love the bold mix of colours, especially the bright blue bow in her hair.  It's amazing how much joy clothing can bring--I didn't stop smiling for blocks after seeing her.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Post #500 - "Baby, It's Cold Outside!"

Yep, it's true.  This is my 500th post to this blog - how cool is that?  And speaking of cool, It was pretty darn cold out this morning, and that meant getting out a coat.  Maybe not the down-filled puffer with the fur-trimmed hood, but a real coat nonetheless.   I knew that Lily would have a coat that combined warmth with style, and sure enough, she was wearing the green draped coat she purchased last year and the colour looked wonderful with the fuschia bag she was carrying.
Later this afternoon I ran into Alex, who is one of the most consistently well-dressed men I know.  He was wearing a beautiful black pea coat that he had purchased on a recent trip to Montreal paired with one of his colourful scarves.
I stopped by to say hello to Kim at Lovesick, and took a minute to try on this beautiful fur-trimmed coat.  Fur is very big this year, and Kim has a number of fur and fur-trimmed coats in stock, at excellent prices.  This one did not come home with me, even though I was in love with the cut and the fur collar.  I did, however, find a long navy and green plaid cape that just might be finding a new home in my closet.  I had purchased the blue hat I'm wearing from Lovesick last month, and today was the first day it was cold enough to wear a hat for more than decoration.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Purple and Proud...

to be supporting the "Shine the Light on Women Abuse" campaign.  Although it appears I have no hands, they're stuffed in the pockets of the crazy picasso-esque print silk jacket I found at Lovesick.  The skirt and turtleneck sweater are from Value Village, and the fish necklace is from Ann Rompf designs at the Met.

Unfortunately, I didn't see anyone else wearing purple, except for the odd student in their UWO sweatshirt, so I'm thinking there needs to be more promotion of this campaign on the Western Campus.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Shine The (Purple) Light on Women Abuse

The London Abused Women's Centre's Shine the Light on Women Abuse Campaign runs during the month of November, and Londoners are encouraged to decorate their home, school, business, church, etc with purple (you can purchase supplies from LAWC).  You can show your support for this campaign by wearing purple on Tuesday, November 15th.   If you're a Western student, it should be easy for you to dig up some purple and promote awareness of Women Abuse, and if you and some friends are all "purpled-up", take a photo, and send it to me at:  slong88@hotmail.com (at least 100 pixels, max size 2 MB) and I'll post the best ones here.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Meg, of Megins Leggins

I stopped by the Met to say goodbye to Chris and Amber as they pack up their booths for the move to Gibraltar Trade Centre, and ran into Meg Healy, the designer behind Megins Leggins, who has had a booth at the Met since it opened.  Meg always incorporates a pair of leggings of her own design into her outfit.  I liked the black and grey tie-dye print on the ones she was wearing, and how she had paired them with a plaid shirt and vintage blazer.  Her vintage glasses frames are from The Sentimentalist.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Reasons to Come Downtown This Weekend

First of all, tomorrow is Remembrance Day, please wear a poppy, and if you can't be at the Cenotaph at 11:00 am, take a minute wherever you are, to remember the men and women who sacrificed so much for our country.  As for the scum who have been stealing the poppy boxes, I can only hope that a bunch of veterans get to kick your asses from here to next week.

If you're looking for some unique Christmas gifts, or just something cool for yourself, check out the Wearable Art Sale at Museum London this weekend.  Local artisans will have hand-crafted jewellery, bags, scarves, hats and clothing for sale (cash and cheque only).  The sale runs from 10 am - 5 pm on Saturday and 12 pm - 5 pm on Sunday.   Check out their blog for a list of vendors.

Two of my favourite booths are leaving the Metropolitan Artisans' Market after this weekend - Jackpot Vintage and Uber Cool Stuff.  They are both having sales so you may just get that Hawaiian shirt, condiment gun, or guitar-shaped spatula at a discount.  Both booths are moving to the Gibraltar Trade Centre for the Christmas season, which is a blow for the Met, which seems to be struggling to attract both vendors and customers.  Hopefully some new vendors will step in to fill the spaces, but in the meantime, Amber and Chris will be missed.

The big guy in the red suit is making his annual visit to downtown on Saturday night when the London Santa Claus parade makes its way down Dundas Street starting at 6 pm. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

End of Season Derby Style

As I've mentioned in my last couple of posts, The Thames Fatales and the Luscious Lunch Ladies Roller Derby teams played their last home games of the 2011 season on November 5th.   The London teams won both of their games--The Fatales against The Roc City B-Sides from Rochester, NY, and the Lunch Ladies against the "Mystery Machine", a last-minute team made up of players from Guelph and another team to fill in for the team from Toronto that cancelled (and given that the players hadn't played together before, they did a damn fine job of holding their own).  Below are some photos of stuff that caught my eye during the evening:
Lightning Slim was the announcer for the evening - he has one of the best announcer voices I've ever heard, a delightful sense of humour, AND he had very cool boots (see below)
I always notice other women who have short hair, as we are in the minority, and I really liked the shape of this cut, and how the colour looked great with what she was wearing.
A couple of Lunch Ladies hanging out before their game
Box Kick Betty's marvelous monster boots!
The floor was a mashup of black, white and green during the Fatales/Roc City match
After their game, the Fatales Co-Captain, Mirambo, donned a moustache (in honour of Movember) and some sexy heels to assist the referees
The Lunch Ladies team captain, Mighty Thor, in her "Peanut Butter Jelly Time" booty shorts, hot pink tights and customized helmet.  How can you not love a sport that allows, or more accurately, encourages, you to dress like this?
Another of my favourite derby outfits of the night was the yellow and pink fringe micro-mini worn by Bloodlust Barbie

Monday, November 7, 2011

Go Big or Go (to the) Home Game

I haven't had time yet to edit and post photos from Roller Derby on Saturday night, but in the meantime, here's a photo of my derby outfit taken by fellow shutterbug and derby fan Matt Ward.  As it was the final home game of the season, I thought I'd do it up big, and it doesn't get much bigger than this gigantic, gorgeous crinoline, courtesy of The Sentimentalist.  I paired the crinoline with my Thames Fatales t-shirt, a vintage fluffy head scarf purchased at The Sentimentalist, and "wicked" knee socks from the Derby merchandise booth at the last home game.  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

"Not Bad, For London"

One of the many art exhibit openings on Friday night was at the Michael Gibson Gallery and was titled, "Not Bad, For London", which gets my vote for the best art show title ever.  The show features the work of a group of young artists who draw, sculpt, paint, make films, zines, installations and sound art.  The art on display showed the influence of cartoons, comics, graffiti and an acknowledgment of London's rich artistic history. The main room of the gallery contained individual works by Marc Bell, James Kirkpatrick, Amy Lockhart, Jason McLean, Jamie Q, Peter Thompson, and Billy Bert Young, while the middle gallery space featured collaborations by the group.  The opening drew a large crowd and while the art itself was definitely visually engaging, I was more concerned with what people were wearing:
Funky glasses, and a vintage band jacket that had "Scranton" on the sleeve.  Who knew that Scranton would have had such cool uniforms for their marching band?
These two swore they were mortal enemies, but agreed to let me photograph them together.  They look happy enough in the photo, but who knows what happened afterwards...
this pinup girl tattoo on the arm of a young woman caught my eye
This woman looked great in leather, cowboy boots and print scarf
I loved the "45's and cassettes" print on the hoodie that artist Jason McLean was wearing.  He bought it in a store in New York to wear to an opening of a show he was having there. 
One of McLean's pieces in the the show
This young woman was quite happy to show off her gorgeous coat, which she purchased in Collingwood.
two of the collaborative works in the show
Artists James Kirkpatrick (left) and Peter Thompson demonstrate Kirkpatrick's sound installation
Fellow artist Jamie Q plays one of Kirkpatrick's "guitars"

"Not Bad, For London" continues until November 26th at the Michael Gibson Gallery, located at 157 Carling Street.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

(Metal) Forest in the Forest City

Artist Blacksmith Scott McKay had a reception for his latest exhibit, titled "Forest in the Forest City", at The Arts Project last night.  I had first seen McKay's metal sculptures at a previous show at The Arts Project, and then at the Metropolitan Artisans' Market.  This show features over 30 pieces of beautiful forest-inspired metal work, with trees being the central motif, as the title suggests.
Scott McKay beside one of his metal trees, which are rooted by strong trunks with branches that either extend gracefully as if blown by a strong wind or coil around the trunk in geometric spirals.
 The trees come in all sizes, from large, fill-the-corner-of-a-room
to table-sized, as in this "Set of Little Trees"
My favourite piece, titled, "Artificial Limb"
detail from "Artificial Limb"
McKay finds all aspects of nature inspires his work, and includes lizards, dragonflies and birds in his "Jungle Lamp"
This line of Mexican hats laid out on a bench hinted that there may be some entertainment
We were treated to the music of Mariachi Mexico Ranchero, which made McKay's opening the only one in London that evening with a Mariachi Band.  He found them on Kijiji (what can't you find on there?) and they are available to play at your event too, just email them at: mexico.ranchero@live.com
 and they had very cool pants!

Friday, November 4, 2011

This Weekend - Art! More Art! Roller Derby!

Lots of things to see and do downtown this weekend - tonight there are at least three art shows opening in the downtown area.  The award for the best exhibit title goes to the Michael Gibson Gallery for the "Not Bad For London" show, featuring works by young artists Marc Bell, James Kirkpatrick, Amy Lockhart, Jason McLean, Jamie Q, Peter Thompson and Billy Bert Young.  The exhibit opens tonight, from 8 pm - 10 pm at the Michael Gibson Gallery at 157 Carling Street, and runs until November 26th.  There will be a screening of Amy Lockhart's animated films on Saturday, November 5th at 3:00 pm. For more info go to the Gallery's website.

Blacksmith Scott McKay is having a reception for his latest show at The Arts Project (203 Dundas Street) tonight, from 7 pm - 9 pm, with food, drinks and a Mariachi band (who doesn't like a Mariachi Band?).  The exhibit is called "Forest in the Forest City" and features over 30 pieces of McKay's forest-inspired metal works.  For more info, visit his website

Strand Fine Art Services, located at 1161 Florence Street (off of Eleanor Street) has an exhibit of new works by local artists Susan Day, Marcy Saddy, Brian Jesney and Bill Stelpstra opening tonight at 7 pm.  The exhibit continues until November 26th and can be viewed Tuesday - Friday 10 am - 5 pm, and Saturdays 10 am - 1 pm. 

And finally, for all you fans of strong, sassy women in hotpants and fishnets knocking each other down, there's the Thames Fatales/Luscious Lunch Ladies double header Roller Derby game on Saturday night.  Doors open at 5 pm, and in a bit of a switcheroo, the Thames Fatales will be playing first, at 6 pm, followed by the Lunch Ladies at 8:30 pm.  Not sure who the opposing teams are, but no matter, I'm sure London will beat 'em anyway.  The game is at the Canada Building, Western Fairgrounds, tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. It's the final home game of the 2011 season, so come on out and support the Forest City Derby Girls!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"Hallowed Be Thy Souls" at Dollirium

On Sunday, October 30th, Jacqui Gallant and Dollirium Art Doll Emporium hosted an opening reception for her latest exhibit, "Hallowed Be Thy Souls", just in time for Halloween and The Day of the Dead.  The dolls and sculptures in the exhibit definitely lean towards the creepy, and include goblins, zombies, fearies and swamp creatures.  They are also meticulously crafted works of art.  The exhibit includes pieces created by London artists Anthony Veilleux, Deb Mellor, Jacqui Gallant and Sarah Legault, and international artists Beth Robinson, Ryan Friant, Sheri DeBow, and Shyla Uglyshyla.   The photos below feature some pieces in the show, their creators, and their fans.
Multi-faceted artist Anthony Veilleux has a number of sculptures in the show, including the ones on the wall behind him.
A close up view of Veilleux's "Bloody Fearie", which features a quote from Labyrinth, one of his favourite films, on the base.
Another of Veilleux's beautifully detailed "Fearies", in resin and mixed media
Jacqui Gallant, with one of her dolls in the exhibit
One of my favourite pieces, a sculpture entitled "Adrian and Sam - Swamp Souls" by Deb Mellor
Philadelphia illustrator and sculptor, Illworx (aka Ryan Friant), created this violin playing blue demon, "Niccolo Diavolo".  For more of his creations see his website.
The sad-eyed doll on the left is by Jacqui Gallant, the one on the right, crafted from California driftwood, clay and found trinkets, is by Sheri DeBow
London artist Sarah Legault's "Halloween Bird", complete with his little trick or treat bag
Samurai Darth Vader dropped by to view the exhibit (and made his own costume!)
Always stylin' local musician Jeremy Hobbs (in his awesome two-tone shoes) and friend were there
This mother and daughter were definitely the best "dress"-ed

The exhibit runs until December 11th.  Dollirium Art Doll Emporium is located at 1 Cliftondale Avenue, behind True Love Tattoo on Wharncliffe Rd.  and is open most days until 7 pm.  There are many pieces in the show priced at $100 or less, so if you are looking for a unique gift for a fan of the dark side, or a work of art that is sure to start a conversation, this is the place to go.