Monday, July 25, 2011

Fall is almost here!

The Chloe Vest photo by Carmen Cheung
Stacks of Chloe Vests ready to be sent to retailers.
So it's that time of year again that we at Paper People eagerly await!  We've been busily working on fall/winter merchandise since February and it's almost time to unveil our creations!

We spent the end of last week going through all the items so we can sort them and send them off to various stores across the country.  This is only the start and we will probably be doing this all week.  Really it's one of my favourite parts of the job as I get to see the fruits of our labour and pick a few to keep for myself!

Fall designs will be arriving at the Fresh Collective stores Friday
 August 5th.  So stop by to get first dibs on all the new dresses, sweaters, tops, skirts and more!  Or stop by before then to get last minute deals on spring and summer items.  At the moment my dresses and tops (reg $55-169) are on for $39-99!  I'll also be bringing in some sale merchandise from last fall in August so there will be deals to be had!

So now I'd like to introduce two new styles I'll be releasing in August: The Chloe Vest and the Morgan Hoodie. 

The Chloe Vest is a really cute and nicely tailored vest.  The has cute front pockets and it's meant to be worn open.  I took great care in tailoring this one so it contours nicely to the body.  We did these in a whole variety of prints and a few solids.  The front band is made from organic cotton jersey and the rest is made from reclaimed vintage wool or cotton sweaters.

The Morgan Hoodie.  Photo by Carmen Cheung
 And below we have the Morgan Hoodie.  I went on a bit of a hoodie binge last winter and got a taste for them.  My favourite hoodies were super long and fitted so I decided to design one along those lines.  The Morgan Hoodie is made from reclaimed vintage wool sweaters and organic cotton/spandex jersey.   Like the vest it comes in a wide variety of patterns.  The medium weight jersey is perfect for early fall and has lots of stretch to it.

Orders will be going out to other parts of Canada over August and September.  My new list of retailers will be going up soon (and so will my new website).  For the time being here is a list of cities: Victoria, Vancouver, Nelson, Courtenay, Duncan, Squamish (British Columbia), Calgary (Alberta), Toronto, Ottawa, Thunder Bay
(Ontario), Quebec, Montreal (Quebec), Lunenburg (Nova Scotia), St. John's (Newfoundland) and Ojai (California).
Morgan Hoodies.  So many colours and patterns!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New website coming very soon!

 So here is just a little taste of what's to come.  I've been thinking about getting a new website for about a year or longer and in a spur of the moment decision this June I decided to take action. 
So that's where Gigi came in.  I got in contact with the Ryerson School of fashion to see if there were any communications students looking for a little work and experience.  I know a few friends who have gone on to do freelance graphic and web design and it doesn't hurt to have your work floating around on the world wide web along with happy clients to back up your reputation.  Gigi has done an amazing job.  She is continually in touch showing me updates so we can work together to tweak the look and function of the site as she goes.  She's been very open to all my suggestions and has been great with suggesting technical solutions to keep things simple for me.  I think it's also been a learning experience for her working with a client as anal as I have been (but I got this way by learning to try to please my own customers)!  In the end I'm getting the website of my dreams and I really hope some of my designer friends will get in touch with her to create websites or logos for their companies too!

The top photo shows a snippet of a product page - mainly I wanted to show the super cute menu bars she has created.  The top one is scanned from a vintage handkerchief and she has manipulated the colours in photoshop.    If you see it up close it looks amazing - you can still see the wrinkles and fades in the actual fabric.  The second one has headings in a super cute old fashioned typewriter font on top of a herringbone fabric.  Orignally I wanted to scan an actual piece of fabric with frayed edges but she did such a good job in photoshop that I'm happy to keep it as is.  She's also revamped my logo.  It has a bit of a retro feel to it but still incorporates my "paper people" (silhouette cut outs).  There's something catchy about it. 

The second image is the top of Gigi's CV.  The graphics she created for her name really caught my eye.  It's intricate and girly and has a beautiful flow to it.

The bottom photo is the size chart Gigi created for me.  Maybe I'm a bit of a dork to be ooing and awing over a size chart but it's just so effective!  It has that vintage feel to it but it's a little classy.  And the tactile quality is amazing.

Apparently Gigi had just begun work on her personal site when we got started on my project so that's been postponed but here are some links to her other work:

So I'd like to give a big pre-thank you to Gigi and please inquire if you'd like to hire her for your new web site or graphics overhaul!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fresh Collective Fall/Winter Lookbook shoot!

The Fresh Collective Fall/Winter 2011 lookbook shoot was last week.  Here are a couple behind the scenes shots and actually a bit of a sneak peak at my FW11/12 line!  The shoot was orchestrated by Jane Haselgrove, one of Laura-Jean's main assistants.  I actually know Jane from a few years back.  We worked together for a summer at Preloved and became friends.  Jane was attending Seneca at the time and I was at Ryerson.  Then a few years later she turned up again as Sarah's assistant at The Rage where I was selling my line.  Then a few months back (or has it been almost a year?) Jane sent me a message saying she wanted to apply for L-J's assistant job.  Knowing what a positive, talented and hardworking individual she is I put in a good word with L-J and she's been working hard to help propel the Fresh Baked Goods line ever since!

Anyway, the shoot was photographed by Emma-Lee, super amazing graphic designer/photographer/PR specialist!  It took place at her super cool apartment/studio which is actually (coincidentally?) just behind the store.  So all morning we were running back and forth from the store to her studio to grab extra t-shirts, hangers, accessories plus steaming and ironing garments.  It was pretty crazy.

As a side note, Emma-Lee is also an incredibly talented singer/songwriter!

The first photo is the new Audrey Sweater.  This is actually my favourite sweater style for the new season!  It's got a super cool slouchy shape with a raised neckline and cowl.  The back has some interesting detailing but you might have to wait for more photos to see that. 

The second photo shows my new Brett Hat and Ashleigh Mitts (designed by my former assistant Ashleigh McIver).  Having done so well with my armwarmers and hoodscarves I decided to expand my selection of winter accessories to include cute hats and mitts.  And the best part is I can use all the leftover scraps from my clothing items to make them! 

I'll be unveiling my new website as well as my Fall/Winter collection at month's end it looks like so stay tuned!

Monday, July 11, 2011

My bathing suit finally came!

Okay, so actually it came last week but I was too busy getting ready for the photoshoots to blog about it. 

I've been looking for a new bathing suit for a while.  I've had the same black bikini since high school and apparently still haven't found anything exciting OR flattering enough to replace it with.  It's a pretty good bathing suit I guess.  I got it at La Vie en Rose.  The top has underwire and a decent but not overly generous amount of padding for those of us who are "petite".  My biggest complaint about bathing suits is that they aren't built more like bras.  A bandeau or a triangle top is going to do nothing for my (non existent) cleavage thank you very much.

So I had been ogling this suit on the Free People website for a while but was unsure about making the purchase and it quickly went out of stock.  After further visits to the site I decided I needed to have it so I searched the manufacturer's website: Lisa Maree (apparently an Australian brand) but alas, they too were out of stock.  Googling crocheted bathing suit got me a few cheap, slutty looking alternatives.  Then one day I was killing time on the Free People website and lo and behold it was back in stock!  I read the reviews thoroughly and made my choice carefully.  Normally I always buy xs at Free People but the reviews advised that the suit didn't stretch much and was short in the torso.  Now normally I can't even wear a one piece because of my long torso but this suit has a low neckline and adjustable tie around the neck so I didn't think I had much to worry about.  The side cut outs are great for sculpting the waistline (I'm not particularly curvy so this was an added bonus) and the delicate crochet fabrication appealed deeply to my doily and lace obsession!  So basically, this suit was made for me!  I ordered the small.

Now just to remind you this was during the Canada Post strike.  I remembered reading a big banner on the site a few nights earlier stating that all orders to Canada would be shipped UPS (or was it FedEx?) to avoid any delays or mix ups.  Well wouldn't you know they shipping it USPS and my package got stuck at the bordered for a good few weeks.  I ordered the suit in early June but it didn't arrive until early July.

Anyway, it was well worth the wait.  My decison to buy the s/p instead of the xs was right on.  It fits perfectly!  Now I just need to find the time to make it to a beach!!

So many photoshoots!

 So we had our big lifestyle shoot on Thursday.  My assistant Sivan and intern Aris were kind enough to take some "behind the scenes" photos so I thought I would share them with you!  We did shots for both Fall/Winter 2011/12 and Spring/Summer 2012.  Angela has already sent preliminary shots for me to pick from but I won't be sharing those until later . . . I'm thinking of releasing them one by one.  How painful!

When I pulled up to Jess & Ken's house on Thursday morning I was a little taken aback.  There was a construction crew set up right next door jackhammering the neighbour's driveway (and they soon pulled up the bulldozer to scoop what they were hammering at I assume?).  They insisted that I couldn't pull up my car to unload the: bike, suitcase, garment bags, computer & lunch for 7 people.  But they were nice enough and suggested I park a little ways down so that the rental car didn't get damaged . . . by flying rocks I'm assuming?  Someone tipped them off that we were doing a photoshoot and they were extra friendly to us pretty ladies.  Lucky thing we hadn't planned to do any shots in the front garden!

So here we have some accessories I picked up for the shoot: jewellery by my friend Kat of Curious Oddities, various jeans, leggings and t-shirts (we all need basics sometimes) as well as some super cute tights and hats from Urban Outfitters.  I was
 really tempted to keep one of the hats for myself but there is no way I could pull off having more volume on top of my hair!

So here to the left we have Andrea of Friskey Brown Makeup getting Ellen and Mackenzie ready for the shoot.  Andrea was a pleasure to work with!  Always enthusiastic and positive even by the end of a long day.  Andrea does makeup primarily but she was happy to step in and take care of the hair as well.  She did this really cool thing with Ellen's hair for our last scene at the beach - she did a few thin braids and then pulled it to the side.  It was simple but so stunning on Ellen's blonde mane.

I don't know why but I always think people love to see behind the scenes photos of models getting their makeup done!

We spent the morning and into the afternoon shooting at Jess & Ken's house.  They have a lovely roof top patio were we did the first few looks.  We were super lucky to have access to the house.  There was a room upstairs where we set up the wardrobe area, a family room where Andrea set up her hair & makeup station, a kitchen to get the lunch & snacks prepared and lots of great spaces to shoot in.  I even borrowed some vintage bikes from my kind friends Theresa and Amber so we could do some fun shots with them around the neighbourhood.  With all that time running between rooms and around the neighbourhood we ran a bit off schedule.  By the time we were ready to head to the beach we were hitting rush hour traffic.  I felt bad keeping everyone later (apparently next time I should be a little more anal and start hustling people around!) but it was totally worth it.  Due to scheduling and car space our behind the scenes photo crew had to head home so I don't have any candid beach shots to show you but it was nice!  As soon as I stepped out of the car I felt totally refreshed.  I couldn't believe how fast the last few shots went and I can't wait to share them with you . . . but not until next March or April!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

3 Big Photoshoots!

This tree is so dreamy!
With 3 big photoshoots coming up I'm just scrambling to get my last few dresses sewn, gather accessories and props, beg and borrow vintage bikes, rent lighting equipment and the list goes on.  Basically, I should not be taking time out to write this blog post!  But we all know procrastination makes for the best blog posts.

My first shoot is coming up tomorrow.  It's the Fresh Collective Fall lookbook shoot.  Here at the studio we're almost finished all our super warm and toasty sweaters so I plenty to choose from to bring the shoot.  But plenty of choices makes for plenty of decisions.  I get 4 looks for this shoot so I decided to go with an earth tone theme.  I have my new sweater dress style, a cardigan vest, a hat & mitt combo and my personal fav, the slouchy, funky "Audrey" sweater!  Tomorrow is my shift at the Queen store so after I open shop I'll have to rush over to Emma-Lee's conveniently located Queen St. studio to bring in my pieces and oversee the shooting!

 Then comes the one I'm really anxious about.  My lifestyle shoot with Angela Lewis.  My regular photographer Carmen Cheung is having a very busy July moving into downtown apartment with her bf and going on a trip to Europe (pretty exciting things to be busy with if you ask me) so we weren't able to shoot together this time.  So that's where Angela came in.  I know Angela through friends.  I can't remember when we first met but I kept her in the back of my mind knowing that we might work together someday.  Angela has shot for Dagg & Stacey one of my favourite Toronto labels so I know she can deliver the look I'm going for.  To the left are some shots from the location scout we did.  My friend Darcie's sister

China cabinet full of treasures!

 Jess and her husband Ken were kind enough to let us invade their home for the day.  Darcie, Jess & Ken come from a very artistic family so their house is full of all sorts of treasures and art.  We'll be shooting in their home as well as outside and around the neighbourhood.  For this shoot I've also begged and borrowed the favours of a makeup artist friend Andrea Brown of Friskey Brown.  Andrea is another friend of a friend.  She can do everything from pinup to character to special effects.  I'm hoping for a nice sun washed look so and Andrea says she can give the girls natural looking freckles.  So exciting!

The lifestyle shoot will incorporate models wearing the clothes in every day scenes - picnicing, riding bikes.  Basically all that lovely leisurely stuff we wish we had more time for!  I'm going to be shooting some Fall/Winter pieces to accompany the lookbook styles model shots I've done with Carmen and then some Spring/Summer 2012 looks as well!

beautiful antique rocking chair

The last shot will be the Spring/Summer 2012 product shots.  This time instead of using models we're going to shoot the clothes on my rustic looking judy.  I'm enlisting the help of my new assistant Sivan Levy and my former intern Sarah Portwell.  Sarah's father is a professional photographer whom she's assisted many times.  And Sarah is actually going to be teaching a photography course at Ryerson University next year.  I'm so proud and so excited for her!  I imagine it must be difficult getting your foot in the door to teach at a university level.

So that about sums it up.  I must get back to my sewing machine now!

I'll be releasing my Fall/Winter 2011/12 collection in early August along with my brand new website so stay tuned for details!!

bendy road with lovely foliage!