Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ready for Spring in Wortley Village - Part 2

This was the second woman I ran into last weekend who was wearing a unique coat.  The fabric is a textured or quilted velvet (at least that's what it looked like) and she purchased it in Europe. She made her fabulous necklace from felted wool; I love brightly coloured, fun pieces of jewellery like this, especially when paired with neutral basics.  Although you can't tell in this photo (as much as I love bright sunny days, they make candid photos a challenge), her eyeglass frames are a lovely bright green that looked amazing with her red-toned curls.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ready for Spring in Wortley Village

I saw this woman as I was heading into the Black Walnut Cafe in Wortley Village and followed her outside to ask her for her photo.   Even though it was definitely winter temperatures, she was dressed for spring in her cheerful plaid coat and bright scarf.  A self-described avid vintage shopper, she said she picked it up in a store in Clinton, Ontario.  The coat is by Hilary Radley, and I loved the contrasting solid colour on the pockets and sleeves.  The back had some fun details as well:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mine101 Grand Opening

A few friends and I went to the grand opening of Mine101 on Thursday night, which despite its name, is not a bar, but a used clothing store operated by Women's Community House.  The evening started on a bit of a sour note due to the unfortunate, and last minute, change of the start time for the fashion show, however, determined to make the best of things, we did some shopping, and chatted with people like Kate Wiggins, Executive Director of WCH, who has a delightfully wicked sense of humour, and Rachele, the charming woman who manages the store.  Overall, I think it's a great addition to the small selection of second hand shopping venues in London.  The store is bright and clean, and there was a well-chosen selection of excellent condition used clothing and accessories at more than reasonable prices.  Sales seemed to be brisk, and while I was there, a woman found a pair of gently worn, magenta and lilac John Fluevog shoes for $20, and another left with a very nice red linen Liz Claiborne jacket for $14.  Jeans are all $10 a pair.   For the time being, any donations people wish to make to the store should be made through Women's Community House.   The store is located in Bellwood Plaza, on Oxford Street East at Gammage, opposite the Loblaw's Superstore.  Check their website for hours of
operation and more information about the store.
WCH Executive Director Kate Wiggins, looking very chic in her print dress and a pair of tan boots that she purchased from the store
The store had a good selection of accessories at very reasonable prices
Tattoos and patterned stockings adorned the legs of one shopper.  And she had very cool boots!
I lusted after the funky leather jacket worn by WCH board member Sue Elliot
A stylish trio enjoy a lively conversation while bargain hunting

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

R.I.P Elizabeth Taylor

I feel a bit like I lost a friend today, even though I never met her.  I worshiped Elizabeth Taylor from the time I bought my first movie magazine, and was the only kid I knew with the patience to watch "Cleopatra" from start to finish.   I religiously followed every movie, every health issue and every husband, until I got my own adult life, and even then, I still had a place in my heart for the brash, violet-eyed, raven-haired broad who did so much for people who were infected with HIV and AIDS.  She took no crap from anyone, didn't take herself too seriously, and was fiercely loyal to her friends, even when it seemed unreasonable to do so.  If I could go to her funeral, I'd wear the outfit in the photo above.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Supporting Women's Community House By Shopping

On Thursday this week (March 24th), Women's Community House is hosting a grand opening of their used clothing store, called Mine101 (thank you Sandra once again for your information gathering).  The store is located in Bellwood Plaza, on Oxford Street, east of Adelaide, opposite the Loblaws Superstore.  Doors open at 6 pm, and the fashion show (yes, there's a fashion show!) starts at 7 pm.  I will be there, as a devoted fan of secondhand shopping, and a supporter of Women's Community House.   Come on out, and if you wear something cool, you might see yourself on my blog.

Monday, March 21, 2011

As The Season Changes, So Does The Footwear

On the street - grey suede lace-ups, perfect for the winter to spring transition
And in the stores -  these fire-engine red Sorel rain boots are available at Apocalypse on Talbot Street (City Mom, these may be the red boots you've been looking for!), and also come in sunshine yellow and bright blue.
These chunky heels are more summer than spring, but you could always wear them with a pair of striped tights til the temperature gets up to 20.  These are the kind of shoes I'm looking forward to wearing--I love anything with an ankle strap, and the colour goes with everything. You can find these, and other fabulous funky shoes and sandals at From Mars on Talbot Street.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Winter-into-Spring Coat

The coat this young woman is wearing is the perfect transition piece--it's not bulky but looks like it could still be fairly warm, is an all-season colour, and has unique details (over-sized buttons and a furry bow) that give it a bit of a vintage look.  She said she got it in China.  The stars on her sleeves peeking out from the coat add a bit of edge to her look.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

On the Bus - Hedgehogs!?

As I was sitting on the bus today, I looked up, and was rather surprised to find myself face to face with a bunch of rather cheerful looking hedgehogs.  I have no idea where one would get a knapsack patterned with hedgehogs and mushrooms, but just knowing there was one out there, and a guy that would carry it, made me smile.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Artist and her Palette

Maureen Riley (pictured above) is one of those people who make you feel better about the world, and yourself, just by having a conversation with her--she is an incredibly talented painter, and a very positive, caring person.  Her paintings focus on women, in their various roles as mother, daughter, sister, lover, goddess, angel, etc. and are executed in beautiful jewel-like colours that manage to look like watercolours.   She will often work with various themes--one of her shows featured works inspired by the songs on Laurie Anderson's 1989 album "Strange Angels".  Maureen also has her own style, which for as long as I've known her, consists of wearing primarily black, but she always adds a creative, colourful accent such as a fabric bag, a jacket with embroidered panels, or as in this case, a beautiful piece of vintage jewellery, that given her vocation, is completely appropriate:
The pin is from a line of enameled copper jewellery made by a California jewellery company, Renoir, in the 1950's.  This particular line was called "Matisse", and is very collectible.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Forest City Fashionista Blogging for OurLondon

The kind folks at the website OurLondon asked me if I would be interested in blogging for them, so as of today, you will be able to see me over there as well (it's all just part of my master plan to take over all of the media outlets in London).  The posts will be similar, if not the same as what you're getting here, but if you haven't been to the site, I would definitely recommend a visit--there's a good mix of local news stories, event listings, general info about the Forest City, and contributions from bloggers such as myself, Kelly, from City Mom and Ken, of Rockin On: The Blog.   A number of the writers, including the Content Manager, Laura Downs, are graduates of Western's Master of Arts in Journalism program.  As my (paid) working life is spent assisting these students as they go through the program,  I'm happy to see them putting their writing skills to good use.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

At The Bus Stop - Bright Colour on a Cold Rainy Day

This young woman's red boots, beret and gloves were a welcome splash of cheerful colour in a landscape covered in dirty snow and cigarette butts on a cold and rainy morning.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The "Anti Fashion" Fashion Show - Part 2

 This was the outfit that I would definitely wear--leather and a silver crinoline from The Sentimentalist
The three outfits from The Sentimentalist - definitely channeling the 1950's
Have no idea where this dress was from, but it certainly shows off her kickass tattoo
One of the pro-feminist t-shirt designs featured in the show
Lindsey Cherrett (who is also one of the cheerful staff at Hasbeans in the Covent Garden Market) did the cool face paint on the models in the show--thanks to the readers who helped me out (and to Lindsey herself, I knew I recognized you from somewhere!)
some wise words on a long-sleeved T
Can't go wrong with black and white
The show ended with some cute knitted hats, scarves, and hoods.  If you're interested in more info about any of the clothing in the show,  please contact Sarah Scanlon at the Sexual Assault Centre of London.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The "Anti Fashion" Fashion Show - Part 1

I went to the "Anti-Fashion" Fashion Show hosted by Amazon Collective and the Sexual Assault Centre on Friday night, at the APK on Wellington Street.  I was disappointed that the people in the audience didn't take the opportunity to have some fun with their clothes, given the theme of "anti-fashion", but most of the attendees,  primarily women, with a few young guys thrown in, seemed to take that to mean jeans and sweaters, and as is often the case, the Forest City Fashionista felt a bit overdressed (just for the record, everything I wore was thrifted).   The outfits presented featured local "Environmentally Friendly, Socially Conscious, and Sweatshop Free" clothing, from retailers such as Tribal Mountain, Talize, The Sentimentalist, and Ten Thousand Villages.   Unfortunately, there was no hard-copy program that listed what clothing was from where, and although MC Sarah Scanlon gave an introduction to each section, she's one of the fastest talkers I've ever heard, so it was difficult to tell, and remember, where the outfits came from.  The second half featured a lot of t-shirts with witty, pro-feminist, anti-establishment (how 1960's does that sound) messages made by P'Lovers, Unlearn, and Empowerment.   I was happy to see the eclectic group of models in a range of ages, sizes and styles that were used to show the clothing.  Below are some photos from the show, more to follow
MC Sarah Scanlon from the Sexual Assault Centre
Nice Coat!
Nautical stripes, military braid, and bold colours
 Two outfits from Tribal Mountain
cozy and casual from Talize
This woman was one of my favourite models--she brought a funky vibe and great energy to everything she wore, including this layered look from Talize
One of my personal favourites - girly pinstripes

Friday, March 4, 2011


I was browsing in the store "A Gift of Art", on Richmond Street a couple of weeks ago, and my eye was caught by this:
By "this", I mean the gigantic ring on my forefinger.  It wasn't on my forefinger when I saw it, it was just sitting ever so nicely on a shelf surrounded by a lot of other silver rings that had a similar style, but were not nearly as jaw-dropping as this one.  It's made by an artist named Patrick Stevens, from an piece of antique silverware, a fork to be exact.  I love the way he has shaped the tines of the fork into a spiral so that it sits on my hand perfectly, and the shape complements the other rings that I wear.  The prices of his rings are very reasonable as well.  You can see his other designs at "A Gift of Art", as well as lots of other unique and reasonably priced items made by local artists.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

At the Farmer's Market - Black and Blue

Ran across this woman in her striking black and blue coat at the Farmer's Market.  The blue design is stitched on the coat with yarn, which gives it a nice texture, and she's paired it with basic black so as not to distract from the strong statement of the coat itself.  She's also got the height to carry it off and not look like the coat is wearing her.