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
We had a great time shooting our Winter Lookbook at the end of January with an amazing team. The beautiful and historic Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts served as our shoot location, and it was such a dream to shoot in such a remarkable space! Founded in 1897, the Conservatory is rich in Hamilton history and current owner Vitek Wincza has done an amazing job in restoring and maintaining the building. The space was ideal for a winter shoot, as we all stayed warm and cozy and had fun exploring the various music rooms, dance studios and art spaces. The theme of the shoot was "Arts and Culture" so you can only imagine how perfect the Conservatory fit in with this.
Our wonderful photographer, Vai Yu Law, has been a constant collaborator since Girl on the Wing's beginning. This was our fifth lookbook shoot together and her skills never cease to amaze me. She's also one of my favourite people to work with because of her calm and professional demeanour on set and her ability to make any model feel instantly comfortable. She had lots of fun working with the numerous rooms and studios and did an amazing job at adapting to the varying lighting situations and spaces.
On hair and makeup, Leesa Arsenault of Pinch Cosmetics did a beautiful job. It was our first time working together and it was amazing how quickly she understood and responded to the Girl on the Wing aesthetic. She transitioned so smoothly between looks and focused on simple, yet dramatic looks. Leesa is truly a master of bringing out her client's natural beauty and it was such an honour to be able to work with such a talented woman. Plus, her three year old daughter Ava was so fun to have on set and kept everyone's spirits up throughout the day.
The beauty behind this season's lookbook is the amazing model Haruko, represented by Spot 6. Haruko has an instant positive energy to her and she encompassed the most important Girl on the Wing qualities; grace and poise, fun and spirited, and smart and sophisticated. It was such a joy to see how she interacted in the different scenes and she is a natural born performer! For a fairly new model she is extremely talented in her posing and such a natural in front of the camera.
I was so excited that my employee Haley could witness and be a part of this shoot, as it's her first since starting at the shop. She was another great energy to have on set and helped keep us all motivated, and also entertained little Ava like a pro. An integral part of the team, it's always great to have her around!
And as always Styling and Art Direction by me, Whitney McMeekin. The space was like a dream come true, having so much space to lay out my wardrobe and more than enough location options. I love what I do and these days are definitely the reason I do Girl on the Wing. Can't wait to share all the photos with you guys this Friday January 13th at our winter " Galentines" shopping party!
Well this week started with a snow storm and I must say, it officially feels like winter now. After the holidays, it always takes me a while to get adjusted and back into the swing of things. January often passes with it's challenges and the realization that most of the sparkle is gone and now it's on to a few months of hibernation. And although we still have a ways to go, I also find inspiration and comfort in the month of February rolling around. To me it signifies a cozy, fuzzy, rosy feeling and the return to normal life. There's a few exciting things coming up over the next few weeks that are contributing to my love of February. This Saturday marks the City of Hamilton's annual Winterfest; an arts and culture week-long affair! Art installations, family fun, and special events around the city help bring a bit of warmth to this cold season.
I was honoured to be asked to coordinate and contribute to a fashion show as part of the festival's opening ceremony! Teaming up with some of my favourite local shops and designers, including the Eye of Faith, O's Clothes, Hawk and Sparrow, Volver and La Bichette, we'll be showcasing some winter looks that represent each of our shops/labels. The wonderful Rachael Henderson aka "DJ Donna Lovejoy" is signed on to be the emcee and dj of the event and each scene will be set to music by our favourite local musicians. It's all going down at 6:00pm this Saturday February 7th at the Pier 8 Skating Rink, down by the waterfront. It's sure to be an interesting show as we roll the red carpet out on the skating rink and send some local models down the runway.
My collection is inspired by the "Apres Ski" lifestyle; think cozy ski-bunny looks, figure skater approved outfits and all the wooly plaids you can imagine! Very excited to showcase this collection and hope to see you all there!
Link to the Facebook event here.
Over the next week I have about 3 different Christmas gatherings and I'm planning to pack in as much sparkle and festive colours into my wardrobe as possible! Wanted to show you some of my favourite pieces in shop right now that would be great for any holiday gathering!
vintage Eaton's knit cardigan- would look great with some trousers or over a party dress!
vintage beaded cardigan with velvet party dress.
vintage lace crop top, vintage plaid skirt and crystal pendant necklace.
vintage knit candy striper top with velvet mini skirt.
the perfect vintage red velvet dress with wild moon statement earrings.
vintage beaded poinsetta dress.
be a lady in this 1960's green party dress and then a temptress in this vintage red negligee.
ho ho ho!!!
All Items Available at Girl on the Wing.
As the holidays get closer, we tend to stress ourselves out about finding the perfect gift. Sometimes you feel like you just want to escape to another planet! But hey, while you're there, why not do some shopping? These spacey gifts are out of this world and will make you the best gift-giver in the whole universe!
Collage Print by Sean Gadoury ($15), Live Long and Prosper patch ($12), Le Petit Prince sweatshirt by Out of Print ($54), Goodnight Moon onesie by Out of Print ($24), Cosmic Light Calendar by Apak ($20), Sleepy Tea ($10), Galaxy Cuff by Dea Dia ($48-54). All Available at Girl on the Wing.
Also have you SEEN this NASA backpack we are carrying?! Totally out of this world!
Backpack by Red Canoe ($75).
This year we've got lots of goodies in store for all your gift-giving needs! I've spent the past few months searching high and low for an extensive collection of giftware's, for everyone on your list! Grab one of gift guides, in store, for some gifting inspiration! Last year's popular Out of Print sweatshirts are back and there are some great new designs like "Where the Wild Things Are" and "Le Petit Prince". Also, another favourite from last year, the soaps and teas by Honey Pie Hives and Herbals have already been flying off the shelf! On top of those we've got some great new lines, including vintage-inspired Canadiana bags by Red Canoe, locally made body scrubs by Perk Naturals and some amazing new jewelry lines!
My personal favourite for this year is the vintage-inspired onesie pyjama- they're hand-dyed in the US, then we've sewn some vintage ski patches on them to give a real apres ski look! We'll be sharing some of our favourite items over the coming weeks, organized by theme. To begin, we've got "Cozy Cabin". Think nights by the fire with a mug of hot cocoa, snuggling up with your favourite book- or favourite cuddle partner ;)
Onesie ($64), Vintage Plaid Blanket ($52), Stay Home Club Pennants ($14 each), Moonrise Kingdom Patch ($12), Red Cap Cards ($5 each), Twin Peaks Patch ($12), CBC Backpack ($64), Smash Poster Prints ($40), Lightfoot's Shave Soap ($8)
We’re back with our second installment of our monthly girl about town blog series. Last month, we focused on someone who was born and raised in Hamilton. This month, we look to an inspiring woman who wasn’t born here, but is now at home and happy in Hamilton. Ciara McCann is such a treasure and not only loves Hamilton, but loves her job at Joseph Brant Hospital as Web and New Media Coordinator, her creative husband and local wine. We first met at the Vintage Marketplace in 2013 and instantly hit it off. When I opened the store, Ciara and her husband Andrew were living in International Village and excited to have a new shop in their hood. Now living on Locke Street and in the midst of a Hamilton house search, this couple is all about their city. You may remember them from our Valentine’s photoshoot last year that we did in collaboration with O’s Clothes. Ciara attended Mac and has called Hamilton home for the past ten years.
Ciara instantly came to mind when I was thinking of who to feature next in our girl about town series. Not only has she accomplished so much professionally, she is also one of the sweetest, and most genuine people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. She’s truly one in a million! Here we talk about her job at Joseph Brant, her love for social media storytelling, her current “Collective Hearts Burlington” campaign and of course, her favourite places to go during her off-time in Hamilton.
What’s the best part about your job?
At Joseph Brant Hospital there are great things that happen every day and I have the honour of sharing some inspiring stories about our patients and staff with our online community. Recently, I shared a story about a patient in our Complex Care unit who was dying of lung cancer and one of his last wishes was to see his daughter get married. Family, friends and hospital staff came together to make his dream come true and his daughter and her fiancée were married in our chapel. It’s wonderful to see people coming together to make amazing things like this happen.
Tell us about the campaign you’re currently working on:
Collective Hearts Burlington brings 10 local charitable organizations together to celebrate giving in Burlington and to encourage Burlingtonians to give their time, treasure and talent at home. The campaign started at the beginning of November and it runs until December 2 which is Giving Tuesday – a day dedicated to inspiring people around the world to give. This is an annual campaign and we invite more organizations to join us next year. People can learn more about the campaign and share why they give at home by visiting www.collectivehearts.ca.
Where are your favourite places to go around Hamilton?
There are so many gems but these are my top three right now: Two Black Sheep for vintage cocktails and charcuterie, Democracy for relaxed weekend vibes, lattes and the best brownies in the Hammer and of course The Casbah – my favourite place to see local bands.
What inspires you- in your professional life and normal life?
My husband inspires me. He is the most driven, passionate and thoughtful person I know. Professionally, I’m inspired by new and creative ideas.
How would you describe your style?
Girly tomboy – kind of an oxymoron but that’s the only way I can describe it.
What is on your Christmas list this year?
The book, Yes Please by Amy Poehler, the latest Alvvays record and Porridge soap by Lush.
What's your favourite piece you've found at Girl on the Wing?
This coat of course! You know those special moments when you find a vintage piece that’s not only beautiful but it’s also a perfect fit and it’s pretty much meant for you? That’s what happened with this coat.
What She’s Wearing:
Vintage winter coat
Stella Bella knit hat
Vintage plaid scarf
all available at Girl on the Wing.
We’re so inspired by all the good that this girl does on a daily basis- and may we add how cute she looks while doing it! Check out Collective Hearts and give where you live!
I love Halloween for so many different reasons. First and foremost, I love coming up with cute costumes that incorporate vintage. So many of my style inspirations come from books, movies, and culture and Halloween is the perfect time to reference these parts of you. I also love seeing people's creative sides come out in their costumes and seeing how they bring their ideas to real-life! Plus you get to eat lots of treats and dance to the monster mash- so who couldn't love it right?
Every year I try and come up with a couple costumes to span over a few days- something to wear to work the day of, and then a different costume for each Halloween party. I've always loved costuming and was even interested and involved in the field of costume styling, before opening the shop. For me, it's about finding the right pieces and putting them together in a cute and stylish way. Some of my best inspirations have come from vintage costume books- where outfits were handmade and adorable.
One of my favourite books is called "Easy-to-Make Colouful Costumes" and it was put out by the Dennison Crepe Paper Company in 1952. I picked this up in my antiquing and love how sweet all the costume ideas are.
I just love how costumes were so pure back then, not like today's lingerie and a pair of animal ears trend!
For this year's costumes, I decided to keep things sweet and vintage inspired. Yesterday, employee Haley and I dressed up like some yummy edibles. She was an adorable sprinkle donut. Her dress was one of my finds from my trip to Arizona in September and it matched the plush donut she had (her boyfriend won it for her at a carnival- amazingly cute no?). Granted, her peripheral vision was a bit affected by the donut, but she looked adorable! :)
I went as a strawberry and just wore one of my favourite red dresses and added some paper seeds. Haley helped me fashion up an adorable headpiece from a vintage beret and costruction paper to make the strawberry leaves. All in all, it came together in five minutes and was cute and comfortable! I must say we went together really nicely- all pink and red and yummy! It was such a fun day in shop and reminded me of Halloween at school where everything just felt more fun because you were in a costume and eating candy.
Today's costume was inspired by one of the all-time greatest chick flick, A League of Their Own. I love this movie because it brings together my favourite things; vintage styles (set in the late 1940's), lots of Hollywood babes (Geena Davis is just a stunner), vintage sports imagery and Tom Hanks! The movie is loosely based on a real women's baseball team, The Rockford Peaches, who were part of the first All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. I'm sure most of you have seen it and if not- go do it right now! And remember, there's no crying in baseball!
Have a happy and fun Halloween!
We’re excited to present a new monthly blog feature starring our favourite Hamilton women who are doing great things… and looking good while they do them! Through the shop I’ve met so many amazing and strong women that love what they do and are contributing to the growth and betterment of this fine city. It’s truly admirable to see someone putting their talents and passions into something that they love doing, and because ‘girl on the wing’ is a reflection of it’s amazing customer base, it’s time we highlight some of these gals!
This month’s ‘girl about town’ is the wonderful Molly Hayes. I first met Molly in the shop, but had already heard so much about her. Known for her work as a reporter for the Hamilton Spectator, she’s a true inspiration to young women based on how much she has accomplished thus far. Growing up in Hamilton, Molly was excited to move to Toronto to study journalism at Ryerson. Before she had even graduated she was offered a job at the Spec and decided to return to Hamilton. She’s been happy to see how much the city has progressed in the last few years and shares her favourite places to hang out, her first memories of style and what you can find in her closet.
What are your favourite things to do and places to be in Hamilton?
Going for a bike ride and picnic along the waterfront. Ideally with a new book- I’ve been getting mine from Bryan Prince, or the Hamilton Public Library, since I was a kid. Coffee and writing sessions at one of our many awesome coffee shops, Mulberry is an old favourite. Shows at the Casbah or This Ain’t Hollywood. I’m pretty useless in the kitchen so I like going out for dinner- Naroma, Brad Bar, Bronzie’s, the Ship and Rapscallion are my local haunts. Cheap Tuesday movies at Jackson Square, the list goes on…
What inspires you- both in your personal and professional life?
People, mostly. The best part of my job is that I get to meet new people all the time. It’s like a constant epiphany—always learning about new things from new perspectives. This city is so full of characters; there is no shortage of stories. There’s also nothing like a good book/podcast to remind me why I love journalism and writing.
How would you describe your style?
Hmm…I aim to wear something clean everyday. Haha.
What are some of your earliest fashion memories?
I had a lot of cousins so I wore a lot of hand-me-downs as a kid. Pretty much anything that came from my older cousins seemed instantly cool to me. I remember inheriting a pair of blue Modrobes (as well as a fleecy red pair…oh yeah) and I thought they were the coolest thing. Thankfully there’s no photo evidence.
What is your go-to outfit for fall?
Well today I am wearing a sweater of my boyfriend’s that I shrunk in the dryer (score) and boots. I pretty much wear a variation of this every single day in the fall. Mostly I just thank god I can finally put away the sunscreen.
What has been your favourite piece you’ve found at Girl on the Wing?
Levi’s jeans! I have been wearing the exact same type of jeans for years so I was excited to find out you’re carrying them right downtown. Lesson learned: the day you buy and break in new skinny jeans is not the day to also order Rolly Rocket’s for dinner to the newsroom.
What She’s Wearing:
High-Rise skinny jeans by Levi’s (available at Girl on the Wing)
Button down shirt and (shrunken) sweater from Club Monaco
Pleather jacket from TopShop
Bag and Earrings by Crownland Goods (designed by Amy Kenny, a fellow Hamilton Spectator writer!)
This is the epitome of a cute and classic look for fall...thanks to Molly for sharing her thoughts and teaching us a valuable lesson about breaking in your high-rise Levi’s (save your Rolly Rocket’s bbq feast for another day!). I look forward to seeing where this girl goes and Hamilton is lucky to have her! Keep an eye out for our next "girl about town" post- coming next month!
We’re so excited to announce a new collaboration with Ursa Major +, an online shop that specializes in plus-size vintage. Ursa Major + is the brainchild of Amarina Norris, a Fashion Design grad and avid vintage-hunter. I’ve known Amarina for years and have always admired her style and enthusiasm for body-positive culture and fashion. Ursa Major + responds to the need for plus-size clothing, especially when it comes to vintage shopping. Because not everyone has the time to scour numerous vintage and thrift shops to find that perfect item in their size, Amarina does all the searching for you!
In her own words: “I love body and beauty diversity and am so passionate about what is happening in the world of plus right now. Women are connecting and talking about fashion and body image and I am so thrilled to mark my small place in the movement. I have been plus size most of my life and have seen all of the judgmental looks and heard all of the criticisms about my body and other women's bodies. Ursa Major+ is my way of taking that energy and putting it towards something that makes women feel good about themselves.”
You may recognize the company name as we’ve been selling her handmade jewelry in shop since we opened. Talking with Amarina we came up with the idea to host a pop-up of her Ursa Major + collection in the shop to bring some of her amazing pieces to Hamilton. You can expect great pieces from denim, skirts, sweaters, tops, and more in sizes 16+. We’ll be launching the collection at our Fall Collection Shopping Party this Friday from 6-9pm. See you there!