Whenever it’s time to do a new Girl About Town post, I get so excited. There’s nothing more fun than thinking about which cool and talented woman to feature next. This month’s was easy for me because from the moment I first met this lady I knew I wanted to feature her at some point. Anna Wiesen is an all-around marketing genius with a quick-witted personality, the best taste in music and clothes and makes a truly lasting effect on anyone she encounters. We first met in the shop and had lots of friends in common, which gave us an instant familiarity with eachother. Over the next few months we bonded on our love of dance parties, community and bringing people together and how many cheeses we could possibly eat in one sitting. The more I got to know her the more I learned that she does- and it never seems to stop! She’s one third of Young Lions Music Club, an all-encompassing group that puts on great community events, and also keeps busy with various contracts and freelance marketing jobs.
Anna and her partner Bobby moved to Hamilton this past winter to set-up house in a smaller community and focus on their various projects. I can say with full confidence that Hamilton is so lucky to have them as part of our community. One thing I’ve noticed about everything YLMC touches- it’s always fun, inclusive and well thought-out. As a fellow organizer, I truly appreciate all that they do and see how amazing they are at it. This Saturday they’ll be set up at the Hamilton Flea, dj’ing some sweet tunes and meeting all of your sweet selves! Anna and I spent some time in the Flea’s location, the historic Treble Hall, chatting Hamilton, the challenges of moving to a new city, style and the Flea itself!
How did Young Lions Music Club start?
Young Lions Music Club started back in 2011 in my boyfriend Bobby’s basement apartment in Toronto. He had recently quit his full time job in music marketing and had been throwing dance parties where local bands would come on board as guest DJs.
The dance parties were growing in popularity and at some point Bobby decided he wanted to do other types of music events and somehow turn all this fun into a “full-time” job for himself. In those early days there was a lot of throwing around ideas and concepts, and I remember specifically the moment when we were lying in Bobby’s bed at night when he came up with the idea to create physical membership cards and then the whole idea took shape. I guess I’ve been involved with YLMC since Day 1 as the first ever member, and also as the person that would listen to Bobby’s ideas and help them take shape. The official soundboard, you could say.
I wasn’t really “officially” a part of it for a while, except that I was Bobby’s girlfriend, would go to every single party, and came up with ideas. Bobby sometimes calls me Young Lions Music Club’s First Lady, which seems to be appropriate. I had my own stuff going on – managing a singer and pursuing a career in marketing.
Fast forward to 2014, and Young Lions Music Club was planning the first of several Stanley Kubrick themed parties. This one was themed after The Shining. It was a couple of months before the party, and I asked Bobby “so…how exactly are you going to make this party feel like The Shining?” …he didn’t really know. That’s when we started assembling a team of insanely talented artists ranging from painters to set designers to lighting and projection artists to bring this party to life.
The party ended up being incredible, and changed the way Bobby looked at planning Young Lions events. When people started asking how we made the theme come to life, that’s when we dreamt up the idea of Young Offenders: a collective of artists from different disciplines that we would represent to try to find them work. I was able to apply my experience and passion for working with and managing artists, and Bobby could leverage his Young Lions relationships to find these artists some work. Bobby and I launched Young Offenders together as co-founders, and Young Lions exists as a separate entity, though the two companies work together all the time.
What’s your favourite part of YLMC/Young Offenders?
The best part is coming up with your ideas and bringing them to life without having to go up a chain of command. On the Young Offenders end, I love that we can find really great artists opportunities that they might not have found for themselves. For example, our painter Sarah got to work on a large-scale live painting piece for the Field Trip festival last month in Toronto for thousands to see. I’m proud that I could facilitate that exposure for her, and help her make money off her craft.
What was the most memorable event you’ve been involved with?
Tough question! I’m a huge fan of The Smiths, and one time Andy Rourke from the band DJ’ed on a boat for a Young Lions Music Club party and asked to borrow my headphones. That was a big deal to me.
But probably the most memorable was our Young Offenders launch party. We wanted to invite everyone we knew to see what the Young Offenders are capable of. So we got a warehouse, sent people cryptic invitations in the mail, and got all of our artists involved in some capacity to throw a party in the middle of February fit with a slingshot range, murals, and a giant eyeball installation that projected live surveillance camera footage from the party.
What are the upsides to working freelance/for yourself/from home, etc? Downsides?
The flexibility to work when it feels right and don’t work when it doesn’t is invaluable. Sometimes we get on a creative kick at 9pm and get a bunch of work done, but then we have our fair share of later mornings when we take time to make a nice, big breakfast. I also like being able to test and execute my own ideas.
The downsides are mostly financial. It’s hard to get used to not getting a regular paycheck. Money and projects come sporadically, so it’s important to stay organized and budget myself properly.
Where are your favourite places to go/hang out?
I love doing work at Johnny’s Coffee and grabbing lunch at the Green Smoothie Bar. I do a regular visit to Newold’s, Hawk & Sparrow/Eye of Faith, Girl on the Wing & Out of the Past since I have a vintage clothing addiction that can’t be tamed. I also enjoy hanging at Dundurn Park with my dog Charles and exploring all the parks and trails around Hamilton. I grew up in the country, so I love that Hamilton has so much nature in such close proximity to downtown.
Is there a specific moment that you can remember where you thought “I love Hamilton” for the first time?
I remember my first trip to Ottawa St to go check out some antique shops. I took Barton Street across and was completely enamored with the abandoned storefronts amidst a city that was developing in other areas so rapidly. Because I come from Toronto where everything is hyper developed and established, I see so much potential in many parts of this city, especially Barton St. It’s sad to see the ghosts of failed businesses but exciting to be here in a time when many people are starting new businesses and seeing Hamilton rally around them. It’s an inspiring place, and there’s a certain feeling of soul and community that is often missing in larger cities.
How would you describe your style in 3 words?
Vintage, colourful, comfortable
What’s your favourite thing you’ve found at Girl on the Wing and why?
An aquamarine blue raincoat. Whitney described it as “the coat your mom would wear in the 80s at Niagara Falls” and man do I love sporting that look on a rainy day on a walk with my dog. The colour cheers me up on a dreary day and the pockets are big enough for a ball and dog treats. Perfection!
What can we expect from YLMC at the Hamilton Flea?
Bobby and I DJ together under the name Summer Fling. We’ll be DJing and also selling some special YLMC merch. You can also find out more about Young Lions and sign up to be a member if you aren’t yet.
Who/what are you most excited to do, see, etc at the Flea?
I’m really pumped to eat some donuts from Donut Monster! I’m also hoping to find some vinyl from Roly Poly Records & Retro, and meet some more Hamilton pals.
Sunglasses: from a sunglass vendor at Austin Psych Fest
Top: Out of the Past
Jeans: Levi’s - Girl on the Wing
Sandal: American Apparel
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).
I don't know about you, but this long winter has been quite a challenge for me. While the world looks beautiful from inside; trees covered in white, snowflakes fluttering down, as soon as I leave my house I go into instant shiver mode and wish I was back in my plaid pjs drinking hot tea. It's hard to believe spring is around the corner, and thus stems the inspiration for an exciting event we have coming up this Friday and Saturday.
Jessica Hunter is the creative woman behind A Fine Medley- a flower specialist and purveyor of all things lovely. She makes lovely arrangements and specializes in weddings and events.
We've known eachother for a while now, and she was a big part of our Fall 14 lookbook- designing floral arrangements and doing the plant/prop styling at the shoot.
It is always great to work with her and she had an idea for a Flower Pop-Up Shop to say goodbye to a long, cold February and hello to the future that shall be spring. This Pop-Up is a way for those who need a little bit of loveliness in their lives to get a bouquet or vase arrangement to help them through the end of this winter. A little "treat yourself" moment.
Jessica will have a variety of flowers and options and will be creating each arrangement right here in the shop. We are so excited to host her and her amazing work. There will be a variety of pricing options and she will be open to any special requests.
You can find her in the shop this Friday February 27th from 12-6 and Saturday February 28th from 11-5. So get excited for what comes with spring, and get a head start with a little something from A Fine Medley.
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.