Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Be Vewy, Vewy Quiet.....

If you're a fan of the classic Warner Bros. cartoons, I'm sure you'll get the reference.   There are some hats that reflect the wearer's personality, some that inspire the wearer to express aspects of their personality they never knew existed, and some that are just a whole lot of fun to try on.  Nothing like a classic plaid hunting cap to bring out your inner Elmer Fudd!  It was actually quite cozy and fit really well, and Melinda at The Sentimentalist tried to convince me that it looked rather cute.
What do you think, is it fwattewing or just plain widiculous?


When I checked my blog statistics this morning, I was stunned to see that Forest City Fashionista had 10,001 hits (so far) for the month of January - almost 2,000 more than December, and 4,000 more than November.  I realize that many people who land on my blog are often looking for something else, but it is obvious that a number of them like what they find and are returning.   Much of the credit for this increase in traffic goes to the other awesome bloggers out there who have directed their readers to me, and their support is appreciated more than I can say.  Thank you to Vix, Sarah, Judith, Jean and Valerie, Phronk, Dan, and all the other bloggers who have put in a good word for me.(and I promise I will be catching up with everyone soon).  A huge Thank You as well to The Sentimentalist, Mesh, From Mars, Weezi, and Lovesick for promoting my blog to their customers, and of course, to my followers, who continue to stop me on the street to tell me how much they enjoy what I do.  Mutual support of each other's creative endeavours is what helps to create a community, and I am delighted to have found mine.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Layering 101

I dropped in on the half price sale at The Sentimentalist on Friday night, thinking there would be some interesting folks there to photograph.  I love running into people I've photographed before, especially if it's been a long time since I shot them, and in the case of the young woman in the photo above, it had been a couple of years since she appeared on my blog here.  I had picked up the plaid shirt she is wearing to show her, and she tried it on, and it worked perfectly with what she was wearing.  Apparently she is known amongst her friends for her fondness for multiple layering and this outfit was a perfect example of how layering solids and patterns in different shapes makes a practical and funky look.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Fending Off the Blues in Red and Black

Between trying to fend off whatever bug is taking down my friends and co-workers, not sleeping much, and stressing about work, I haven't been out with my camera this week, so I'm afraid all I have at the moment is a photo of me from last week.  I will be out this weekend with my camera, looking for other people, I promise.   Anyway, enough about me, and on to the outfit.   I have quite a mix of decades going on, from the "Grease" era neck-scarf (the Sentimentalist), an 80's-ish leather and knit top (Value Village), red jeans from the most recent decade (The Sentimentalist) and my trusty thick-soled docs acquired in the 90's.  Red and black is a colour combination I go to if I'm feeling kind of blah, as it makes me feel like I can handle whatever the day is gonna throw at me.  Other people go for bright colours if they are feeling a bit blue, but for me, give me black with just a bit of bright, and my Docs, of course. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Roller Girl

*Disclaimer - I try to make a point of getting the best possible photograph of my subjects, given the lighting and situation, and avoid posting blurry, poorly lit photos.  Well, I'm about to break my own rules*
I used to roller skate when I was a teenager, but it's been a lot of years since I laced up a pair of boots on four wheels.  If you have followed my blog for a while, you know that I am a fan of women's Roller Derby and regularly attend the home games played by our own Thames Fatales and Luscious Lunch Ladies.   A good friend of mine, who recently joined the Forest City Derby Girls, offered to help me re-learn to skate, so on Wednesday nights you can find us at the North London Community Centre Adult Roller Skate night, with a bunch of other men and women of various ages and skating abilities.  Most of the skaters are in the 50+ age range, and it is pretty darn cool to watch people who have obviously kept their skating chops in fine form over the years show off their speed and fancy footwork.  And of course, there's music, courtesy of a DJ, and on a Wednesday night you might hear Adele, Prince or Yaz (who remembers Yaz!)  Most bring their own skates but you can rent a pair for just $2.75.  I've been going for almost two months, and am doing better than I thought I would, but stopping, and doing cross-overs are beyond my current skill set.  I have a much greater fear of falling than I did when I was a teenager, so wrist guards and knee pads are part of my regular outfit.   Most skaters favour jeans and t-shirts but there are a few of us who enjoy any excuse to dress up.  On the night the photo above was taken, I decided to break out the knit circle skirt I had picked up at Mesh.  Paired with an argyle sweater and red knee socks, I was ready to roll.   The woman in the photo below, who skates with the London Loco Derby league also has a unique and fun approach to dressing for the roller rink.  I love how she has coordinated her outfit with her skates.
Photos taken by Heather, using the crappy cameras on our respective smartphones.  For more information about roller skating at the North London Community Centre, go here.

Friday, January 20, 2012


This is my friend Judy, who lives in Toronto.  I had taken this photo when I last saw her in October and kept forgetting to post it (sorry Judy).  Her style is very chic and lady-like, and she is almost always wearing a dress and heels.   She has been honing her style for years, and knows what colours complement her gray hair, and that simple, well-cut pieces are best for her body shape.  The outfit she was wearing that day was a perfect example of her minimalist aesthetic - grey dress layered over black, topped with a bold red architecturally shaped coat, and one piece of statement jewellery.  Judy is as much of a devotee to shoes as I am, so we had to stop by the Fluevog shoe store on Queen Street to do a bit of drooling.  Their shoes are jaw-droppingly gorgeous, but fortunately, for me, don't fit my feet.  Judy has no such problem, and came away with the sleek heeled oxfords in the photo below:
The shoes looked perfect with what she was wearing, so of course she put them on right away.  Even though they were one of the more subdued styles for the brand, the unique details that Fluevog is known for are there--the sculptured heel, the mixing of textures, and the beautiful design on the suede upper.  Elegant, but with a modern, funky edge, just like Judy herself.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dark Victory

This woman is demonstrating the way to do head to toe black (actually her boots are taupe...) without looking like Sid Vicious or an undertaker.  There needs to be at least one dash of colour, strong shapes and different textures.  The pants she's wearing are awesome (she said she got them in a store in Cherryhill Mall) and she's balanced them with a fitted jacket.  Add the knit scarf, small cross-body bag, and a bold red lip, and she looks incredibly chic.  Another woman who does the all-black thing very well, and favours the same proportions of a fitted top and wide leg bottoms is Jean of the Idiosyncratic Fashionistas.  Jean usually accessorizes with pieces of colourful bakelite jewellery from her huge collection and a marvelous hat.   Both of these women prove that you can wear head to toe black and be anything but drab.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Furry and Tasseled

Yes, this is a lousy Photoshop job - I was trying to get rid of the camera on the right side of the photo in a hurry, and it just wasn't going well.   However,  let's focus on the fluffy and tasseled awesomeness that is the hat.  I found it at Mesh and it was so beautiful, and incredibly lush and soft that I had to take it home with me.   I haven't found exactly the right outfit to wear it with yet, as it is a statement maker on it's own, and I'm not quite sure how to balance it out.   If I never wear it, I could always keep it on the end of my bed and pretend it's a pet!
Even the lining is beautiful, and it was handmade here in Canada for "Eaton" (I don't know if that's a spelling mistake, or if it is because it was made in Quebec (which is possible since French is listed first on the label)

*Update* - Kim from Lovesick informed me that it was National Hat Day on January 15th (who knew there was such a thing?) so my post was perfectly timed!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Does Size Really Matter?

So, to look at Pauline wearing this clingy dress by Italian label "Save the Queen!" you would think she's probably a size small, or, maybe medium because of her height.  Then she showed me the size label in the back of the dress.   The size said "XL".  There is no way in anyone's world that this woman is an Extra Large.   Except apparently, in the world of that particular Italian label.  There have been lots of articles and blog posts written about the tyranny of sizing in women's clothing, so I'm not going to add another rant to the mix, but I will say that I have found that the only way I can shop is to pay less attention to the size on the label, and just find something that fits, whether that means I'm a size Small at The Gap,  a Large in a small boutique store, or a size 12 in a vintage 70's dress.  This also means that I am constantly aware that if women like Pauline and I have to go to a size Large to get something to fit, how do women who have more curves that we do find stylish clothing that fits?   Do you have a favourite store that carries cool clothes is real world sizes for women?

Monday, January 9, 2012

All Natural

fibres, that is....and all second hand.   Fur coat from The May Court consignment store, 80's leather pants from Etsy, wool felt hat from The Sentimentalist, Palladium boots, and scarf from a New York street vendor.  Photo by Heather, to whom I'm grateful for her patience and her photography skills.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

She's Lovesick

I had been meaning to post a photo of Kim for some time, and as it happened on this particular day she was wearing a rabbit fur vest that had a former life as a lining of a coat, and her cool platform ankle boots she had purchased online at Modcloth, so it was definitely time for her blog moment.

Kim Petrie opened her store, Lovesick, in Wortley Village 4 years ago.  It was a little slice of vintage heaven (and I do mean little) where you were assured of finding a treasure amongst the stock of women's clothing, purses, shoes, belts, jewellery, all in excellent condition and reasonably priced.  The only downside was that you couldn't have more than 3 customers in the store at the same time before everyone started feeling claustrophobic.  She solved that problem by moving her store to its current location at 723 Richmond Street, near Piccadilly, which is not only bright and spacious, but on a number of major bus routes, making it easier for people to find.  Speaking for myself, it's a bit too easy, as it's on my way home from work, and the contents of my closet have expanded considerably since her relocation.   She also has a facebook fan page for her store, on which she posts links to cool style-related articles and videos.  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Every Girl's Crazy for a Sharp-Dressed Man

And there's a story behind this photo of a very sharp dressed man.  I had stopped by Lovesick after work to say hello to Kim, and was walking south on Richmond Street towards the railroad tracks when I saw a man and woman walking towards me.  She was very attractive, and dressed nicely, but my attention was drawn to the guy, with his great hair, sleek overcoat, gloves, etc. (we all know how few men dress well in London), and I was thinking that if it hadn't been dark outside, I would have stopped him to take his photo.  They passed me and I kept walking.  I hadn't gone more than a few steps when I heard running footsteps, and a woman's voice behind me say, "Excuse me, but aren't you the Forest City Fashionista?".   I turned around to see the same woman who had just passed me a few minutes ago.  She was looking for Lovesick, which they had seen on my blog, and wondered if it was close by.  I took her and her companion back to the store and then told him that I would like to take his photo, which I then did in the store.   I was delighted to meet two of my blog fans in person and introduce them to one of my favourite stores.  Good vibes all around!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Style Evolution

Was in Commander Salamander, saw this very cool jacket, and wondered who was wearing it
Lo and behold, that would be local music legend, Scott Bentley, or, Steven R Stunning, as he was known in the 80's when he was the singer for glam/punk/rock band 63 Monroe (who are still together, having played a gig as recently as September).  Bentley's style has certainly changed over the years, as there was a time when you would hear him coming before you saw him, with all the clanking and jangling of chains, buckles, belts, etc. (I wish I had a photo of him from those days to post as a "before" photo).  I admired his over-the-top style then, and I like the quieter, stripped-down, but still rock 'n roll, look he has grown into.   I bet the Steven R Stunning of the 80's never imagined that 30 years later, he'd be wearing a jacket he found at Winners.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


You would never know it from the weather, which has required rubber boots more than winter boots.  At least these ones are a bright, cheerful colour; if there's no sun, wear sunny yellow boots (with black and white striped tights, if at all possible).  Happy New Year everyone!