For the past month and a half, I’ve been busy working away on one of my side-projects, the Hamilton Flea. You may remember our very first event in July that took place at the beautiful and historic Treble Hall. The idea for Flea happened when my sister, Erika and I were given the opportunity from Treble Hall owner, Jeff Feswick, to put on an event in his space. With Erika’s skills for facilitating events and cool happenings (she’s the founder of The Academy of All Things Awesome and most recently one-half of the brains behind Sous Bas) combined with my love of community, small business and all things retail, we made the perfect team! Because Treble Hall had been closed to the public in so long we decided that this would be our inspiration for this new joint-effort. Our main goal with these events is to open up spaces that are mysterious or have been unused for years and show their beauty and history off. The idea behind bringing vendors in is to infuse the spaces with the creative culture that is currently going on in Hamilton.
This time around we were excited to discover and open up a new location. One day when asking around about a location, Susie Braithwaite from the International Village BIA sent me the contact info of someone she had met who recently purchased a building at the corner of King William and Wellington. As soon as she mentioned the building, I knew exactly which one it was. It’s right in my neighbourhood and I had passed the building countless times and always wondered about it. More recently I had noticed that the old vacuum store that was there (and had been closed for ten years) had been cleared out and you could, for the first time in ages, see into the windows. The history-lover in me knew I had to get into the space and so receiving the contact info to the owner felt like a higher power shining down on me. I quickly emailed the owner and expected I’d have to wait a while to hear anything back. But to my surprise, I got an email pretty much instantly back from the owner, Kevin Wride, that said “YES! LET’S DO IT!”. We made a meeting for that evening and I felt that it was almost all too good to be true.
Meeting Kevin was a very memorable experience for me. As soon as I arrived at the space, he welcomed me with such warmth and excitement. Up until this point, the space hadn’t been seen by many people and had been a passion project he had been working on to get it fixed up. Kevin purchased the building with a partner and is still trying to figure out what he wants to do with the space. He started telling me about his dreams for the building as being something for the community and a positive space for the neighbourhood. I couldn’t stop staring at the building’s beauty with giant eyes (and maybe even my mouth hanging open in shock for most of my visit). I knew it was the perfect space for the next Flea. Kevin loved the idea and from there we started working hard to get the building fixed up and started looking more into the history of the space.
One of the coolest parts of this whole process has been learning about the history of the building. Most notably it was the business “Brown’s Tire Ltd.” through the 40’s and 50’s. One day when we were walking through the building we found a receipt book from the 50’s up in the rafters. But other than these small snippets, we didn’t have much concrete information. One day, Kevin came into the store, after a long day in the Library archives with some exciting news. He had tracked down one of the only photos of the building- and it was perfect! The image, from 1949, shows the beautiful old façade of the space with the Brown’s Tire lettering and the Firestone tire logo (they were a Firestone dealer when the factory was just down the street in Hamilton). Seeing this image made me so excited! Now all the stories I had been hearing were given such an amazing visual. I love the left side of the photo where you can see one of the workers entering the building. To imagine the buzz that used to go on through the walls of the building and all the people who were going about their business here. I can’t wait to fill its walls again with people for the event and feel it come to life all over again!
Kevin also found out some information about some of the other businesses that used to be there, even before Brown’s Tire. The first business dates back to 1925 and was “Farr and McManus Furniture Finishes”. From there, he found listings for “Bamford Tire Service”, “Classic Athletic Club”, “Wentworth Hall”, and “Wellington Tire Service”. While we’ve only begun to delve into it’s rich history, it’s obvious that this building is something special and has been such a part of Hamilton’s business community.
Being in the space, I've fallen in love with so many details- The beautiful peeling paint in various colours, the rich woods floors, the vaulted ceiling on the third floor, and the many artifacts discovered. We've had some amazing people to help bring the space to life. Dee, also known as "The Story Girl" is a sign-painter and calligraphy expert who did a wonderful job in beautifying two of the large boarded-up windows and drawing people's attention to the space. Craig and Lesley from Circa Projects were given the task of installing some window art and used some wonderful blown-up automotive-themed photos from their collection of vernacular photography combined with classic auto-shop bunting. I love how they interpreted the "Brown's Tire" history! I feel like everyone who has been working hard on the event is engraining a piece of themselves within the walls of the space. We feel so lucky to have been able to meet Kevin and bring the Hamilton community into this beauty of a project he’s working on.
And I’m so thankful for everyone who has supported Flea thus far, though still in it’s early stages. I love what I do with the shop, but this event has become such an important part of my life. Working with other creative visionaries to put something together for our community is not only fun but has taught me so many important lessons. I can’t wait to share the space with all of you and the amazing vendors! This time round we've got some special out-of-town vendors coming in, combined with some classic Hamilton favourites. You can expect vintage and retro-wares, handmade objects, art work, records, yummy treats, plants and more! Big thanks goes out to everyone involved. A special shoutout to our presenting partners and sponsors: Young Lions Music Club, VarageSale, Kevin Wride, SoBi Hamilton.
Check out the event flyer and RSVP here.
Growing up, the country fair was synonomous with thanksgiving. Every year I'd go to the Rockton Fair with family or friends and it was really when all the fall feelings would start. The combination of the fresh country air, sweet funnel cakes and the demolition derby meant that my favourite season, fall, was here. That's why I thought it would be the perfect place to shoot our Fall lookbook. The team at the Rockton Agricultural Society was so helpful and accommodating and gave us free reign over the fair. There's such an overall friendly feeling at the fair whether with the farmers, the event organizers or the entertainers, and so many of our shots couldn't have been captured with a little help from these new friends.
Our team was made up of Hamilton-based creative women and we had such a fun day together. Our lovely photographer, Kate Benfey brought her usual chipper demeanour and did a great job at thinking on the fly for each shot. This was our first shoot together in such a busy place and it required lots of creative quick-thinking, but with Kate's calm way of working, everything was always under control. On hair and makeup, Brenda Beltran of Vibrant Beauty did an amazing job creating some soft and fresh looks. The inspiration was natural beauty and she focused on rosy cheeks, dewy skin and effortless hair. She's so good at thinking of ideas quickly and her braiding skills were top notch!
It was so exciting to get to work with model Delaney Stone again. She's really been with Girl on the Wing from the beginning, as a customer and model, and she's just part of our little family now. We always have so much fun shooting together and she brings so much beauty and personality to every thing she does. My friend Mariah Hamilton came to assist for the day and it was great to have her help. Her energy is truly contagious and she got some beautiful shots for our first-ever behind-the-scenes video! As for styling and art direction, I was inspired by classic country looks mixed with touches of femininity and quirkiness. The wonderful team mixed with the perfect setting made my job easy.
We can't thank the folks at the Rockton Fair enough for all their help in capturing this season's lookbook. I'm already counting the days down until next year! Check out some behind-the-scenes footage of the shoot and we're excited to share the final photos with you next week!
Kicking off on Thursday our Ten Dollar Sale is back! We love these days because we get to thank you all for being such great customers. All vintage clothing is just $10 a piece.
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!
This Saturday kicks off the first official Hamilton Flea! A curated collection of 20+ vendors, the sale aims to bring new life to old Hamilton buildings by infusing them with the creative spirit that Hamilton has become known for. I'm so excited to be one of the organizers of the Flea along with The Academy of All Things Awesome and Historia Restorations. The sale came up very organically and honestly at the perfect time. I'm one that thrives on being busy- and the more things I have going on, the better I am at all of them. Girl on the Wing is my passion and first love but it's always nice to work on other projects that fit in with the GOTW brand and style. I specifically love getting to work with other creatives and entrepreneurs, and the Flea has been the perfect excuse to partner with some businesses I admire.
Treble Hall was built in the late 1800s and has been home to a performance hall, the Pagoda Chop Suey House, apartments in the 50s and most recently the mixed-use boutique/cafe/bar Moulin Rouge. The owner of Moulin Rouge has a vast collection of designer samples and beautiful pieces that will be available for purchase at the Flea at huge sale prices. Along with her collection, there will be vendors selling vintage clothing, records, housewares, artwork, zines, patches, tshirts and more!
I was so excited to sign up three brands I admire to travel to Hamilton for the sale. From Toronto, No Fun Press and Yo Sick will be here slinging their awesome wares. And my absolute favourite, Olivia of Stay Home Club will be traveling here all the way from Montreal. Her stuff has been in the shop since we first opened and has always been our best seller. It's so exciting that she will be here in the flesh and I can't wait to check out her full collection. The Flea will be an awesome mix of amazing products, amazing people and an amazing place!
Treble Hall hasn't been open to the Public for ages and is a spectacle in itself. I've been having a total love affair with the building while working on getting it set up for the Flea. The peeling paint, the Art Deco carpeting, the amazing artifacts scattered throughout the space and all the history lingering in the walls. It's truly an amazing place!
Hope to see you all there this Saturday between 11 and 6! You enter the sale through "The Secret Door" and the vendors will be spread out over the 2nd and 3rd floors. On top of the amazing shopping, there will also be donuts by Donut Monster and snowcones by Sweet Ice Snow Cones, two Hamilton treat staples. My friends at Young Lions Music Club will be providing a sweet soundtrack for the day so maybe an afternoon shopping dance party is in order! See you there!
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.
This past weekend was made up of all my favourite things: good friends, good finds, good food and good times. The past few months I was quite busy with different events and things happening at the store. I love these times because I get to work on so many different things and work with all types of amazing people. But sometimes I need a weekend to get back to basics and step away from the shop a bit. Owning a business has so many amazing sides to it, but after you've been doing it for a while, like anything, it starts to become a routine. It often takes me stepping back to remember why I started Girl on the Wing in the first place. For years before the shop, I was collecting (err…hoarding) old stuff. Every weekend you'd find me at my local antique market or scouring thrift stores. It was, and still is, my favourite thing to do…in the world. This past weekend felt like the beginning of the summer antiquing season and I'm excited to share some of my favourite finds!
Saturday I was in Guelph fulfilling some maid-of-honour duties for my best friend's wedding, happening this summer. We took a little trip downtown to check out the shop Outpost Vintage and Thrift. Owned by the lovely Carolyn Fielding, I first found out about this shop when she followed GOTW on instagram. I was excited to check out her stuff in person and was so happy to see her cute little shop. She had everything displayed so nicely and had such a great selection of pieces. Her store was bright and fun and I scored an awesome vintage team shirt. I always love seeing how other shopowners display their stuff and enjoy experiencing their styles and finds. This gal has such an amazing eye and Outpost is a definite must-visit next time you're around the Guelph area.
On Sunday, my antiquing partner-in-crime, Chelsea, and I headed to our favourite Aberfoyle Antique Market. Chelsea and I met just over a year ago at last year's Vintage Marketplace, which is hard to believe, cause we've already become so close. We are pretty much neighbours, each have such a love for anything vintage, both have two kitties, are from the same hometown and are addicted to 50's and 60's style. It isn't odd for us to both spot the same exact thing from across a crowded room- but luckily for us, we (rarely) have to fight over who gets to buy it. There's nothing more fun to me then a day with this gal, scoring adorable, girly finds, chowing down on burgers and ice cream, and having giggle fits. She truly is the Betty to my Wilma. Anyways, we were excited to hit up Aberfoyle and get our summer antiquing underway.
It was such a perfect day- the sun was out, there was a perfect breeze, and because it is still early in the season, it wasn't overrun with people yet. I of course found a million things I wanted, and felt so inspired. There's nothing that makes me feel more like myself then these days surrounded by old stuff and beautiful illustrations of the past. As always, Chelsea was modest with her buying, picking up an adorable 70's Playboy ashtray. I, on the other hand, stocked up on some of my favourite things: patches, knick-knacks, costume pieces and more!
I had two things that were my absolute favourite finds of the day. The first was a little creamer jug from the 1960's by designer Turi. I collect these pieces and buy them anytime I find one. These are from Norway and I am a sucker for anything Scandinavian. I actually started my love for these designs when I was on a trip to Scandinavia before opening the shop and I hope to one day own the entire collection!
And then the piece de resistance was this beautiful hand-emboridered 1937 Coronation pillow. Two of my favourite things to find are anything regal or illustrated, and this pillow merges both of those! I just love the way it looks and it's so beautifully made. All the colours are hand painted and there is the sweetest, most delicate, embroidery around the edges.
Another special shout-out goes to this amazing captains hat with the embroidered name "Ismailia".
All in all, I had a great weekend of getting back to my roots. Girl on the Wing encompasses all of my loves and I look forward to countless more antiquing adventures! Also had the loveliest weekend soundtrack provided by this sweet man:
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
Well it's been a few days since the Vintage Marketplace took over the Hamilton Convention Centre and I'm still riding the high. The show is such a blast every year and I love getting to work side-by-side with fellow vintage enthusiast and small-business owners. This year I was set up beside my lovely friends Newolds and across from the stage where DJ Donna Lovejoy was spinning and the Vaudevillian was performing. The show is one of my favourite parts of what I do and although the setup takes time and the hours are long, I get to chat with so many new people and be a part of this wonderful event that caters to an amazing vintage community.
The past two years I was asked to coordinate the fashion show at the event, and this year I was so excited to showcase six of my favourite shops. Featured in this year's show was Newolds, Hawk and Sparrow, the Eye of Faith, Love in the Afternoon, Vintagesoulgeek and of course, Girl on the Wing. Each of these shops are Hamilton staples and my favourite part of the show is seeing everyone's unique style and picking eye in the clothing they showcased. The best thing about the Hamilton vintage community is that we all have our own vibe and they complement each other so nicely.
Makeup for the show was provided by Sara and Flo from Face It: I'm Pretty and they did such an amazing job. The models all looked beautiful and the simple, yet bold, look that they chose fit in perfectly with the range of vintage styles. Sara Height is the founder of the company and I would recommend their services to anyone; super professional, quick and lovely to be around.
The models in the show were all volunteers and did an amazing job. Although there were some quick changes backstage, the girls had such a grace to them, and the audience would never suspect the craziness backstage. I feel so lucky to know so many talented and wonderful people who donate their time and expertise to this community and couldn't do it without them!
All in all it was a great weekend! My friend Cara of Talk that Talk made a video highlighting the event which features shots from the entire show and even some clips from the runway Check it out here:
Thanks to some lovely friends and family, I was able to venture outside my booth and do a little shopping on my own. Here are my top 3 picks of what I took home with me.
lovely spring top from Newolds cute little 45
the brownie handbook from 1970
Until next year!
It’s been a while since our last Girl About Town blog post, and I must admit, I took a bit of a break from updating the blog over the winter. But now that the weather is turning and the sun is out, I’ve been getting reinspired all over the place! This weekend marks the third annual Vintage Marketplace, which always signifies the start of spring and all the good that is to come of the season! The show features various designers, shops and makers that are all dedicated to the love of vintage and retro finds. From awesome vintage clothing picks to inspirations for your home or wedding, the show has something for everyone.
One of my favourite parts of the show are all the people I get to spend the weekend with, and this month’s girl about town, Rachael Henderson, is such an integral part of making the show what it is. Also known as DJ Donna Lovejoy to anyone who appreciates music, dancing, or style in Hamilton, this lady makes any event sparkle with her amazing tune selection and lovely demeanour. I first met Rachael two years ago at the first VMP and was immediately in awe of her. She’s one of those people that stands out instantly and has such a sense of grace and coolness to her. Each year at the VMP she spins some awesome music, a mix of classic retro hits, some groovy disco and funk and a few newer songs sprinkled in. Her music selections make the entire event flow in such a calm and fluid motion and is the cherry on top of the entire show. As a vendor, I spend hours at the show, and the things that keep me going are all the wonderful customers I get to chat with and Rachael grooving up on stage to music that is truly, good for the soul. I’ve been lucky enough to be stationed right across from her stage every year and have had some pretty amazing dance breaks, thanks to this girl.
Rachael and I have gotten to work closely together on a few fashion shows in our time and this year I’m so excited to have her providing an awesome soundtrack to the show featuring 6 of my favourite local shops. She’s been an amazing collaborator, a true inspiration, great pal and customer and I thank my lucky stars for getting to work with her. She talks about some of her own inspirations and favourite things about Hamilton here.
Mother, DJ, Retail Administrator at Art Gallery of Hamilton
Years Living in Hamilton:
Describe your style:
Vintage inspired with an eclectic twist.
What sort of stuff inspires you?
Oh gosh... Day to day inspiration comes from my son, Louis. He's the light of my life. My mom has definitely inspired my sense of style, instilling a deep appreciation for well-made vintage clothing at a very young age. I also look to my beautiful friends for wardrobe inspiration. In terms of music, disco is one of my most favourite musical genres and influences most of my DJ sets. Disco tracks usually have the best breaks and are really fun to mix with. I love reading both fiction and non-fiction, sometimes just for leisure, sometimes in search of inspiration. For example, Born to Run played a huge role in cultivating my love of running.
What are some of your favourite go-to records?
That's a tough one... it depends on the gig. However, my ultimate jams include: Blame it on the Boogie - The Jacksons, Sweet Calling - Quantic, If You Want Me To Stay - Sly & The Family Stone, Everywhere - Fleetwood Mac.
What’s been your best record find, to this day?
HUSTLE! Reggae Disco. It's compilation that was put out by Soul Jazz Records. It's my all-time most favourite record.
Where are your favourite things to do in Hamilton?
I love walking through Hamilton's little neighbourhoods with my sweethearts, Louis and Graham. Playing tag at our favourite parks (Gage, HAAA, Durand) is super fun. As mentioned, I love running and Hamilton has some pretty incredible trails. I hold most of my business meetings at either Mulberry or Democracy. And, I love playing Blackout Bingo at the Brain (third Thursday of every month - check it!).
What are you looking forward to at the Vintage Marketplace?
Adding a new dress or two to my vintage dress collection, seeing The Vaudevillian perform, chatting with vinyl record aficionados about vinyl records, and just enjoying all the lovely people!
Favourite piece you’ve found at Girl on the Wing?
I'm going to name my top 3, but there are so many more:
My dark wash Levi Skinny jeans - most magical jeans ever.
Lavender skirt (shown in photo) - the colours are quite unique, and it fits like a glove.
Rachael is wearing a skirt from Girl on the Wing, shoes from Miller’s Shoes (Brako), turtleneck from her sister-in-law (b.u.m. equipment), earrings from her mom’s friend who lived in Egypt years ago.High-waisted light wash jean shorts - So comfy, so cute. Great for riding my bike!
Check out the fashion show at the Vintage Marketplace main stage on both Saturday and Sunday at 2 pm each day.
The show is at the Hamilton Convention Centre this Saturday (9am-7pm) and Sunday (11am-4pm).