I'm happy to be back with another installment of our Girl About Town series. With these blog posts I like to focus on cool women in Hamilton doing cool things…and looking cool while doing them! This month's gal is a special one to me. I first met Jen Anisef at the shop when she was searching for a dress to wear to last winter's "Moonlight Desires Prom Party" at the Spice Factory. There was something about her that I instantly liked but it wasn't until the following week, when we spotted each other at the Prom party that I truly fell for this lady! I remember being in awe of her dance moves and thinking how cool and confident she was. Fast forward to now and I consider her not only a great friend, but also and inspiration, collaborater and motivator.
As Cultural Projects Specialist in the Tourism & Culture Division for the City of Hamilton, Jen is a coordinator to some of our City's biggest and best events. She's currently working away on the Hamilton Arts Awards and has lent her professional touch to countless other events in this city. We got our first chance to work closely together on this year's Winterfest. You may remember the fashion show I produced in partnership with Jen, and she was also the coordinator for the entire festival! Working on that project together is what really opened up my eyes to her talents and I couldn't have imagined a better person to work with. She's got such a unique and collaborative work style that is so inclusive and she is so great at bringing people from all over together to build a successful community event. I really admire her for how hard she works and how dedicated she is to supporting local design and talent. I could go on for hours about how inspirational she's been to me in the short time we've known each other, but I can't fail to mention her awesome style.
One thing I've always noticed about Jen is her fearless sense of fashion. She wears what she wants and can pull anything off because she has the confidence and grace to make anything look amazing. The way she mixes and matches her eclectic wardrobe is always great to see and she reminds me that fashion is about being true to yourself and dressing in what makes you feel good. Her closet is filled with pieces that all have stories; whether it's something made by a friend or designer she admires or a totally unique vintage piece, or an article from a distant land. Colours and patterns are what she does best and I can't help but ask her questions about everything she's wearing anytime I see her. We chatted style, what and who inspires her and this fine city of Hamilton.
Occupation: Cultural Projects Specialist in Tourism & Culture Division, City of Hamilton
Years Living in Hamilton: 4 years
Describe your style: Conversations between colour, texture, pattern & form.
What sort of stuff inspires you? Discussions with friends and strangers, vintage and contemporary textiles, people who break the matching rules well, travelling to new cities and exploring Ontario, collaborating with smart people on new projects.
Who is your fashion icon? No one person (my style is too fickle for that!), but I often think of my friend Serene Daoud from Montreal who is extremely experimental with her style. I remember thrift shopping with her and her pulling out things that made no sense on the hanger but totally worked when she put it on. Lots of found textiles from other cultures, plants turned in to temporary brooches, etc. She’s not at all concerned with trends and her eyes are wide open to everyday beauty in a way that’s pretty inspiring. Also, I can’t wait to see the AGH film fest film “Iris” about Iris Apfel, the 93-year-old style hero. I often daydream about getting old and really kicking out the jams with accessories, headscarves, caftans, etc.
What’s your favourite part about working for Tourism & Culture Hamilton? This really is my ideal job – I’ve been active in cultural programming and community organizing for years, and this is the first time I’ve been able to do that for a paycheque! There’s lots I love about it, but I’d say my favourite part is creating opportunities within the arts and culture community for creative workers to share their work and get paid for it. It’s almost a cliché now to talk about Hamilton’s “vibrant/thriving/insert your adjective here” arts community, but it’s pretty cool to be working in Culture in the City at this exploding cultural moment. I feel lucky to have a voice in this conversation, and strive to make it a respectful one that honours the major contributions that creative workers are making to Hamilton.
Who’s one creative in Hamilton that you admire? Aw jeez…Just one? I don’t think I can do it! I’m going to cheat and say the ladies of the Beehive Craft Collective [Roisin Fagan, Courtney Lakin, Thea Haines, Hollie Poscai, Meg Makins, Kate Hunter, Liz Simpson] (of which I am a member). There are so many things I admire about this group of textile artists, entrepreneurs, shop proprietors, garment sewers, engineers, natural dyers canners & picklers, quilters, moms, babes, etc. but I would say that their deep DIY spirit is what inspires me most. Plus they are all pretty snappy dressers!
Where are your favourite places to hang out in Hamilton? I’ve recently discovered the “park bed” – where you bring a blanket and pillows to the park and hang out under a tree for hours on a hot day. So park bed in Victoria Park will be my Hamilton Hot Spot this summer! Vertically, I really enjoy the Brain for cocktails, Needlework for working on sewing projects, walking or biking the Waterfront Trail, and hitting up Aberfoyle for beautiful junk on the weekends.
Favourite piece you’ve found at Girl on the Wing and why: Definitely the embroidered denim shirt I’m wearing in the shoot aka my Spirit Shirt. It reminds me of a traditional quilt pattern and is a bit psychedelic, which is totally my jam. Thanks for bringing it into my life!
Thrifted high waisted wool skirt with burgundy suede church sale belt.
Knit leggings acquired at a Berlin flea market, with Target (RIP) tennis ball yellow socks.
Samantha Pleet x Wolverine lace up boots with stacked wood heel – investment boots, zero regrets!
1950s burgundy cashmere cardigan with brass buttons from Courage My Love.
Block printed made-in-India quilted jacket gifted to me by a dear friend who gets me.
Gold earrings by Oregon-based maker Tiro Tiro.
Yellow enamel studs by White Feather Designs from White Elephant.
Embroidered denim shirt from Girl on the Wing.
We're excited about some new labels and designers we'll be carrying this fall and wanted to kick it off by introducing an artist that is unlike anything else we have in the shop. Xenia Taler makes beautiful ceramic tiles and much more!
Based out of Toronto, Xenia and her partner Steven have been in business for almost 20 years and their pieces have been collector's items for appreciator's of handmade design. Each piece is designed by Xenia and then turned into a tile by Steven.
Their beautiful tiles are works of art and can be hung on a wall, used as coasters or paperweights or be displayed amongst a collection of your favourite objects. They also make the perfect, unique gift. I was drawn to the pieces because of the beautiful illustrations and the way they're executed in simple blacks, creams with touches of metallic copper. $22-28 each.
If you love Xenia's style we also have a collection of her greeting cards, that were originally designed as tiles, then printed. These can be given as gifts or framed as art pieces. $5 each
If you hadn't already heard, the infamous comic book character, Mr Archie Andrews, will die in today's "Life with Archie" release. The series which focuses on the Riverdale gang as adults will come to an end with this surprising finish. The other versions of the characters focusing on their high school lives will continue, so no need to fear! I've always been more of a "Betty and Veronica" digest reader myself and so in honour of today's importance to Archie Comics history I've compiled a quick visual history of the two beauties that are Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge. Originally introduced in 1942, the first versions of the girls are quite different than what we're used to. Sometime in the 60's they chose a style for the comics that remains today, but the 40's and 50's saw a few different artists lending their style to the girl's look.
Beautiful through the ages! Who do you prefer- Betty or Veronica?
We're excited to announce a new paper line in the shop: Hooray Today! Hailing from Minneapolis, the company is the brainchild of illustrators Allison Black and Alyssa Nassner. The papergoods are delightfully colourful, cute as a button and will make just about anyone smile. We have a few art prints in an 8"x10" easy to frame size and a selection of greeting cards which can also be easily framed. Check out some of their work now available in store:
Art Prints: $20 each
All images copyright Hooray Today
Cards: $5 each
One of my favourite things to pick out is cute greeting cards for the shop. I've always admired illustration and love that a card is an easy way to have an amazing piece of art or give it someone you love. One of my favourite illustrator's styles in the shop right now is the beautiful, ornate and whimsical work of Yelena Bryksenkova. Originally born in Russia, Yelena grew up in Ohio and has developed a signature style that speaks to anyone with a love of magical and fantastical things. She takes the simplest moments and combines them with romanticized nature scenes and traditional elements.
We carry her cards through Red Cap Cards and are excited to order some new styles over the coming weeks.
All images copyright Red Cap Cards.
We had a great shoot this past Sunday for our Spring 2014 Lookbook debuting this Friday at our One Year Anniversary party! The inspiration for our spring collection was simple, feminine and fresh looks with pops of florals and bright colours. Featuring a mix of ladylike dresses and classic denim pieces, this collection really sums up my personal style. It was such a joy to shoot! We spent the day on location in Dundas at Dyment's Farm, which was the perfect location! The Dyment family has been a staple in the Hamilton community for years and it was so fun to shoot there, as I remember it from being a kid. The farm offered the perfect backdrop to the clothing and we lucked into some beautiful weather.
Our lovely model, Carrie, from Spot 6 Management was the beauty in our last lookbook and I couldn't wait to work with her again. She's such a joy on set as she is so cooperative and lively. When I imagine the perfect "Girl on the Wing" she comes to mind instantly. Such a classic beauty with so much character and even though she's just finishing up high school she exudes class and confidence. Love this girl! Such a smarty pants too- bringing her adorable cozy poncho to warm up between shots.
Our photographer was the wonderful Vai Yu Law who had previously shot our summer 2013 and fall 2013 lookbooks. I love working with her because she is so calm and collected on set and knows how to get the shots she wants. I feel so lucky to have her on my team and am always floored when I see the final shots she captured.
This shoot was our first time working with Hair and Makeup artist, Melissa Keenan, and she did such an amazing job! I instantly felt like I'd known her for years and loved all her ideas for changing up the hair and makeup between each shot. For someone so young, she already has an amazing work ethic and style to her work.
And as always we had our set/props whiz, Amanda Cordero on hand to help us frame the shots and beautify the whole thing! I met Amanda a year ago at the Vintage Marketplace and she has been such a godsend! I sent her a photo of a ukulele I wanted to recreate and she made it just perfectly! Stay tuned for our upcoming Anniversary window that she's designing, also to debut this Friday!
We also had two lovely assistants; Nylene Rimando (hair&makeup) and Vanessa Smikle (wardrobe) who helped make the team what it was. It was so fun having them there and their help was much appreciated!
All in all it was a great day- perfect weather (well, minus the wind), a lovely team of talented women, beautiful clothing and the perfect setting! Can't wait to share all the photos with you this Friday at our Anniversary party from 6-9pm.
There's still a shiver in the air but with the recent reappearance of the sun, spring is the only thing on my mind! I long for the day when I can leave the house without a parka and snowboots. It's going to be here before we know it and we're starting to plan the store's spring season. We've got some exciting new product lines coming in, some stellar vintage and must-have accessories on their way. Today's spring fashion inspiration is all about folky florals.
Alberta Ferretti's spring 2014 collection was heavily influenced by various European folk cultures, specifically Hungarian floral embroidery. I've always had a love for traditional European clothing for it's intricate and decorative designs on simple, well-cut clothing. With Ferretti's latest collection, she brings this traditional folk style to a high-fashion level.
I love the way Ferretti mixes simple, feminine silhouettes with decorative embroidery and pattern. All the pieces are based in either black and white with pops of bright colours- most notably in vibrant pinks and reds, tangerine oranges, and a bold lavender. The looks feature cropped tops, tiered skirts, empire waists and full skirts. My favourite part of the collection is how she bridges the gap between so many European styles; long, flowy Grecian style dresses, hints of Parisian chic, traditional Hungarian details and Ferreti's native Italian romantic style.
How to Get the Look:
Vintage Top, Folk Heart Earrings, Vintage Silk Skirt, Hibou Fringe Necklace, Vintage Top, Flower Girls postcard set. All Items Available at Girl on the Wing.
We had the pleasure of working with floral designer and stylist, Joanna Aitcheson, on our most recent lookbook shoot. I first met Joanna in the store as a customer and we became fast friends. A fairly new addition to the Hamilton scene, Joanna has already become a go-to for custom floral arrangements and had a busy Valentines day making lovely bouquets for some very lucky ladies (boys, remember her name for next year!). We asked her some questions about her beginnings, her inspirations, and what's next for her...
floral arrangement by Joanna Aitcheson
Q: How long have you lived in Hamilton?A: We moved to Hamilton a year ago this April to share a home with some of our friends. We love it here! I do miss my community in Toronto but living in this city has given me more of a chance to chase after some of my dreams. I even have enough of a backyard to plant my own garden now!Q: What sort of work are you available to do?A: My business is very young so I'm open to a variety of work. I'm happy to have people contact me if they're interested in placing an order. I'll also be doing a limited number of arrangements around Mother's Day and other special occasions so I'll be sure to post that online. I'd love to start working on prop and food styling for photo shoots so I'll be exploring that a little more in the coming months.Q: Give a brief history of your love of flowers.A: There are so many expressions of art and design that I'm drawn to so it has always been a challenge for me to choose one thing to focus on. I ended up studying fashion design at Ryerson but I didn't really fit into that industry. It was extremely competitive and I'm a bit of a gentle soul. After school I spent a couple of years at some pretty uninspiring jobs and to keep my brain working I would read creative blogs. Many of the writers happened to be florists or stylists, people like Sarah Ryhanen, Amy Merrick and Nikole Herriott. I found their work to be so exciting and inspiring and I wanted to try my hand at it. By some miracle I ended up working for and being mentored by the incredibly talented Lisa Collins (owner of Sweet Woodruff in Toronto). I spent a year and a half learning from her before we moved away and I think that experience is what really developed my love for floral design.
floral arrangement by Amy MerrickQ: What is your favourite flower and why?A: That's a tough one! I like anything that's bursting with petals and has that soft romantic look. Ranunculus, Anemones, Hellebore and Spirea are always up there on my list but I think my absolute favourite will always be a bright orange-red Icelandic Poppy.Q: What flowers were used in the GOTW Lookbook?A: For the over-sized pin corsage I used a bouquet of off-white sweetheart roses. I combined some of those same white roses with a couple of white ranunculus to make the wrist corsage. And for the cute little hair piece I used a bouquet of soft yellow sweetheart roses.
Q: What inspires you?A: So many things inspire me! Lately, I've been studying Dutch Still Lifes. The floral arrangements in these paintings are so stunning! I also look to other florists whose work I admire. I mentioned some of them in an earlier question but I would also add Sarah Winward, Riley Messina and Emily Thompson. Inspiration is a tricky creature because it can easily turn into copying or can leave you dissatisfied with your own ideas so I try to be very careful and let my taste shine through in every piece.
the lovely Joanna AitchesonWe loved working with Joanna and hope to collaborate more in the future! Find her on Twitter and Instagram @joannaaitchesonFor custom orders contact her at email@example.com,
Girl on the Wing
In honour of Valentines Day we teamed up with our pal, Oliver, from O's Clothes to bring you a couple's fashion story. The photos were shot on location at the James Street Bookseller, a beautiful bookstore located at 134 James St South, that sells new and gently used books and has an impressive collection of rare and special editions. Our beautiful couple was "Hamilton lovers", Ciara McCann and Andrew Baulcomb. Ciara recently started working at Joseph Brant Hospital as their Web and New Media Coordinator. Andrew is a talented writer that has worked for many local publications and is currently putting the finishing touches on his own book all about the Hamilton music scene from 2006-2011. The two lovebirds were married this past May and their adorable connection is apparent in the photos.
Finally, our talented photographer was George Qua-Enoo, a portrait and lifestyle photographer based in Hamilton. George was originally born in Ghana, and often travels around the world shooting photos for various NGO's. He did a great job capturing Ciara and Andrew's natural chemistry and was a delight to work with.
Check out the shots here featuring clothing from Girl on the Wing and O's Clothes:
"Hamilton: A Work in Progress" tshirts by Matt Jelly ($30) available at Girl on the Wing, Headband by EssenC ($38) available at Girl on the Wing, Jeans by Cheap Monday ($85) available at O's Clothes
On Ciara: Vintage Sweater ($34), Blouse ($24), Skirt ($36) and boots ($45) all available at Girl on the Wing. On Andrew: plaid shirt by United Dry Goods ($110), Knit Sweater by Lifetime Collective ($160), Raw Jeans by United ($140); all available at O's Clothes.
On Ciara: Headband by EssenC ($32), Vintage Cardigan ($26), Loly in the Sky flats ($42); all available at Girl on the Wing. Jeans by Cheap Monday ($85) available at O's Clothes. On Andrew: '1984' Sweater by Out of Print ($54) available at Girl on the Wing, Beanie by Brixton Knox ($30), Raw Jeans by United ($140), Backpack by Fjallraven ($110); all available at O's Clothes.
On Ciara: Vintage Sweater ($34), Blouse ($24), Skirt ($36) and boots ($45), Necklace by Adina Mills ($64); all available at Girl on the Wing. On Andrew: plaid shirt by United Dry Goods ($110), Knit Sweater by Lifetime Collective ($160), Raw Jeans by United ($140); all available at O's Clothes.
We hope this gives you some valentines gift ideas! Thanks to everyone involved.
It's been a while since our last shopping event and we're beyond excited to debut some new vintage pieces just in time for Valentines! This friday we'll be hosting a shopping party from 6-9pm and will have the usual treats, tunes, and deals! We will also be unveiling our latest photoshoot we did for our Winter/Pre-Spring Lookbook.
It'll be a great night and a perfect way to kick off your valentines season. Bring your favourite girls and make it a Galentines to remember! We also have some cute valentines cards for your special someone and will be putting out some special guy's wear!