It’s been a busy summer for us here at the shop- we celebrated our two-year anniversary, co-organized the first ever Hamilton Flea and been on serious personal-life event duty (bachelorette parties, weddings, birthdays, the good times never end!). My favourite thing to do is our seasonal lookbook shoots and the time passing,without a summer photoshoot, was weighing on me so heavily. But thankfully after a busy month, we were able to get an amazing team together and produce one of my favourite shoots to date! We’re just going to call it our “Late Summer Lookbook”. Excited to unveil the photos and late-summer vintage collection at our “Summer Never Ends” shopping party coming up on Thursday August 6th.
Here are some behind-the-scenes shots before you get to see the final images!
We shot on a beautiful summer day in the east-end, close to the shop. I wanted to focus on the beauty of Hamilton and how so much of what some people first see as “run-down” is actually so historic, beautiful, inspiring, interesting and what makes Hamilton the unique and wonderful place that it is! The majority of the shots were taken just off of Barton Street in an amazing alley with endless locations. In the few hours we were there we experienced such classic Hamilton characters and the vibe was just full of all the charms that this city is known for, and what I have come to love about where I live.
Our photographer was the lovely Katie Benfey. She previously shot our spring 2015 and fall 2014 lookbooks in-studio so we were excited to get outside and do a natural-light shoot together. She’s always such a joy to work with as she has the best eye for shots and the sweetest/calmest demeanour. I feel like every shoot we work on together is better than the last and her refined style comes through in every shot. It was cool to shoot in her “backyard”- err, back alley and her location suggestions really made the shoot.
On makeup we had Sara Height of Face It I’m Pretty. I feel so lucky to have met Sara and been able to work with her on various photoshoots, fashion shows, and even her doing my personal makeup for a special event! She is so talented at creating classic and beautiful looks that are the perfect amount glamorous and natural. Apart from being amazing at what she does, she is the sweetest gal and she really lights up any shoot. We always laugh when she’s around and sometimes I forget we’re working. She’s available for weddings, personal makeup and shoots and I would recommend her in a second to anyone!
It was exciting to work with Brenda Beltran of Vibrant Beauty for the first time on this shoot and she did a wonderful job on creating some feminine summer hair looks. She started with a beautiful loose summer wave that with time got pinned up into a retro 70’s look and eventually ended in a fun and cute ponytail. I loved all the looks because they were well-done but also inspiring for everyday summer hair. She was great on set and had lots of great thoughts on shots, lighting and it’s always nice working with other collaborative and creative personalities. She also does weddings and events and while she was strictly hair on this shoot, she is also available for makeup.
Our lovely model was Hamilton born and bred, Delaney Stone. I was shocked when Delaney said she was available for the shoot as she had just returned home from a few months of professional modeling in Asia. We first met in the shop and she has walked in various fashion shows that I’ve produced so I was so excited to finally be able to work on a photoshoot together. She was amazing and obviously her time away gave her so much experience that her posing was instantly on-point. It’s been such a joy to get to see her progress and growth in the modeling industry. We have such a blast together and her attitude is so laid-back and earnest, she really has it all- beauty, brains and an amazing personality. Can’t wait to see where she goes in her career!
Styling was done, as always, by me, Whitney McMeekin. I was inspired by the late-summer vibes of the 70’s. I tried to focus on vibrant colours, bold prints and fun pieces. Summer is the best season for being playful with your clothing and I love mixing stand-out pieces with simple and minimal styling for the season.
We also had a few friends at the shoot. Dave and “Popper” were two of our biggest fans. They were hanging out in the alley that afternoon and kept stopping by to show us lots of fun stuff; kittens, 70’s camper vans and vintage signs. They were a completely unique element of this shoot and it really added to the Hamilton vibe.
Can’t wait to share the photos with you on Thursday at our “Summer Never Ends” shopping party!
Whenever someone asks me what my favourite part of my job is I say, without hesitation, the lookbook photoshoots. Nothing makes me happier than compiling my favourite looks for that season and working with an amazing team of creatives to make my vision a reality. This past weekend we shot our Spring Lookbook at Low Key Studios, located in the Empire Times building on King William in Hamilton. I really love working at this studio and you may remember it from our Fall 15 shoot. For spring, I wanted to show off soft, feminine pieces and since it's our two-year anniversary this weekend I decided a party theme was in order! We filled the studio with balloons, champagne, noisemakers, and party dresses. As always, the team that was responsible for the finished product was made up of some amazingly talented women.
Katie Benfey was our photographer and I was so happy to work with her again, after the last fall shoot. The best thing about Katie is her calm and collected way of working- as soon as we arrived it felt like we were all just hanging out and playing dress up! Katie's got a great eye for composition and her aesthetic matches so nicely with that of Girl on the Wing. Plus she's just all-around lovely and easy to work with. I feel like I've seen her work evolve and get even better in the few months I've know her and I can't wait to collaborate with her again and see all the amazing work she will produce.
Sara Height was our makeup artist and she did a lovely job at highlighting the model's beauty, without being over-the-top. I met Sara when her company Face It I'm Pretty did the makeup for the Vintage Marketplace's fashion show I coordinated, and I was so excited to ask her to be a part of the shoot after I saw how good she was at what she does. Makeup is one of those things that I am always unsure of what direction to take it in, as I've never been one to play around too much with it. Luckily, Sara just knew what would look best and she did an impressive job of creating a bold and dramatic look that was still soft and appropriate for any occasion. Her positive attitude and laughter kept the whole team in good spirits. I actually don't think I've laughed this much on set before!
Chelsea Compton was our hair stylist and I love what she did! I met Chelsea when I first opened the shop two years ago and she did my hair for my opening night party. She works out of Bent Hair Design, a salon just a few doors down from the shop. Chelsea was amazing to have on set and had lots of great hair ideas. Everything she did was soft and feminine, with hints of retro styling. She was also a huge help in coming up with ideas for the set and shots, and her energy really added to the team. Another thing I noticed about her was how quickly and efficiently she works- I couldn't believe the beauty she would fashion up in only a few minutes! Check her out at Bent, she does great haircuts and dyeing as well!
Amanda Leal was in charge of props and set, also known as "the balloon lady". I've known Amanda for almost ten years and we met at Ryerson Univeristy where we were both in the Fashion Communication program. Throughout our friendship we've worked on a few shoots together and our creative styles work so nicely in unison. Whenever I shoot in studio, as opposed to on location, I always worry that the photos will look too simple and try to rack my brain for ways to enhance the setting. Chatting with Amanda we came up with the idea for a party theme and on the day of the shoot I supplied her with a BAZILLION balloons and just let her go with it. She ended up creating some beautiful pieces! My favourite was a lovely balloon arch she made that we hung across the backdrop. Although she spent most of the day tirelessly blowing up balloons, it's always nice to have someone on set who you've known forever, and it was great having her help.
Ailish Kennelly was our beautiful model and you may remember her from the Fall 15 shoot. She is always such a joy to work with as she has an amazing spirit and such a lovely demeanour. We originally met in the store and I just knew she had to model for the shop. There's something about her that is so representative of how I envision the girl on the wing. Classic beauty, a sense of humour, smarts and a grace beyond her years, Ailish looked amazing in all the outfits (though I can't imagine her looking bad in anything). She was also so fun on set and when you see the photos of her laughing, those are real giggles, I swear! Even though I've only known her for about half a year, I feel like a proud mama bear when I see how much she has grown and developed in only a few short months. She was great in our first shoot together, but she really shined in this one- her quirkiness was so perfectly captured and I can't wait to see where this girl goes in life!
And as always, I was in charge of wardrobe and art direction. We started with a softer, more day-worthy look and slowly transitioned into evening and party pieces. I wanted to epitomize the freshness of spring, and stick to classic looks that are time irrelevant. Some of my favourite pieces were included and I couldn't be happier with the results or the team of amazing women I was lucky to work with.
The photos will debut at our TWO-YEAR ANNIVERSARY/CUSTOMER APPRECIATION PARTY this Friday night from 6-9pm. We'll have treats and drinks, special deals and discounts and some special prizes for you! I'm so thankful for all my customers and that I get to do stuff like this for my job.
girl on the wing
After a weekend full of turkey, friends, and fall hikes, I was excited to shoot the store’s Fall Lookbook as I was feeling more inspired than ever about the changing season. I was especially excited for this shoot because for the first time in Girl on the Wing history, it featured a team of exclusively Hamilton women. I love this city more and more every day and it was great to work with so many talented people! For this season’s lookbook I was inspired by a rich fall colour palette, lush greenery, cozy yet glamorous looks, and the little joys of everyday life. We shot at Low Key Studios which is housed in the Empire Times building on King William. I love this location and it served as the perfect backdrop to the various scenes and ideas we all had in our head.
Katie Harrison Benfey and Christoph Benfey run their studio out of the space and have such an inspiring workspace. Katie was our wonderful photographer and she did such a good job at capturing the mood I was hoping for. With such a calming presence, Katie was able to capture the perfect image in only a few clicks. She has such a beautiful vision within all her work and makes every moment way more beautiful that I could ever imagine! I originally met Katie as a customer in the shop and was so happy to get the chance to work with her.
The woman behind the lush greenery and romantic floral arrangements of this shoot was the lovely Jessica Hunter. We also met through the shop and have been talking about collaborating for as long as I’ve known her so it was great to finally be able to do it! Jessica Hunter is the founder or A Fine Medley, where she specializes in floral and event styling, which is set to be launched within the next few months. She is so incredibly knowledgeable about plants and flowers and did such a beautiful job in creating different scenes that complimented the clothing just perfectly. Her Instagram is one of my favourites to follow as everything she touches turns into beauty! @jessicahhunter
Justine McKnight was the hair and makeup artist for the shoot and she was such a joy to work with! She focused on a simple, clean makeup look with the perfect merlot fall lip colour. For hair, she did a classic Old Hollywood side part and loose waves, which was both dramatic, yet feminine. Later on, she continued the side part and created a cute and fun mod-inspired high ponytail. Not only was she a complete professional but she also has such a sweet demeanor that made her one of my favourite makeup artists I’ve had the chance to work with.
Our beautiful model was Ailish Kennelly. I met Ailish through the shop and instantly wanted her to model for the store one day. This was her first photoshoot and everyone on the team found that extremely hard to believe. She had such a quiet confidence on set and her stoic posing suited the mood and looks perfectly. This girl is far more than just a beauty and is currently studying International Development at University of Guelph. She’s definitely the epitome of the perfect Girl on the Wing: kind, intelligent, quirky, stylish, wise beyond her years and has a quiet grace about her.
As always, styled by me.
Can’t wait to unveil the beautiful shots this Friday at our Fall Collection Shopping Party! We'll have the first look at our fall collection, including the vintage pieces from the shoot, treats and drinks, special deals and lots of fun! Hope to see you there. Friday October 17th 6-9pm.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org,
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!
We had an amazing weekend shooting our upcoming Winter/Pre-Spring lookbook with an amazing team of people.
Lise Varrette was our wonderful photographer. We've worked together before on some children's fashion editorials, so I was so excited to work with her on something for the store. She has such a calm and collected presence that makes everyone feel comfortable on set and she is amazing at capturing the perfect moment.
On hair and makeup we had the wonderful couple at Hairspray and Gloss work their magic. Mario Grassa was our hair stylist and he worked wonders creating unique, vintage-inspired looks. He was also such a pleasure to work with and kept the mood light and fun. His partner, Cherie Pia Grassa did the makeup and created a beautiful 60's inspired eye, nude lip and glowing skin. I love watching these two work together, they're adorable and always seem to know what the other is thinking.
Carrie from Spot 6 was our stunning model. She was the perfect Girl on the Wing and looked amazing in the clothing. I always look for models with bubbly personalities and Carrie did not disappoint. Her background in theatre was apparent and she was able to shift from glamorous, to sweet, to saucy, and make it look easy. We were so excited to work with her and can't wait to see what she accomplishes in her career.
On props styling was Amanda Cordero, a permanent part of the team. Amanda is always a joy to work with and is a perfect combination of imaginative and practical. A few days before the shoot I sent her a picture of a pink violin from a Viktor and Rolf fashion show as inspiration and she just went out and built it with her own hands. She's so talented and I feel so blessed that she donates so much of her creativity and time to the shop.
The lovely Joanna Aitcheson made some floral arrangements for the shoot. I originally met her as a customer in the shop and we became fast friends. She is an experienced floral designer and has many shoots under her belt so I was really excited to work with her. The pieces she created matched the clothing perfectly and gave it a special, romantic, quality.
And as always, my wonderful styling assistant, Trisha Topalopoulos, is so much more than just an employee. She helps keep me sane and is always so organized on set and keeps things moving. Not only does she do it all, she also does it in high heels making her truly magical. I can honestly say I can't imagine doing any of this without her.
Stay tuned for the final shots out for our next launch party, Friday February 7th!
Girl on the Wing
This Sunday mark's our fourth lookbook photoshoot and we're beyond excited! Our inspiration is always heavily rooted in femininity, romanticism, nostalgia and anything pretty. This time around we are drawn to sweet looks with hints of florals, ballerina accents, winter sparkles, and more! Stay tuned and be sure to follow us on Instagram for sneak peeks:
all images are inspirational, from various sources.
I'm excited to work with photographer Lise Varrette this Sunday for our winter/pre-spring lookbook photoshoot. I initially met Lise in 2010 through a Craigslist ad. It was my first year after graduating from Ryerson and I was working in different areas of the fashion industry, most notably as a freelance wardrobe stylist. Lise had posted an ad looking for someone to style a children's fashion editorial inspired by Le Petit Prince. The book was one of my favourite books and I'd just put together my graduating fashion thesis on the role reading plays in developing children's personalities, imagination and personal style. It was a perfect match! We had a great time working together and did a couple more shoots over the next year or so.
Le Petit Prince shoot for Babiekins magazine
All Images Copyright Lise Varrette.
This upcoming lookbook shoot will be our first non-children's shoot together and I couldn't be more more excited to collaborate with her again! Stay tuned!