Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Set for Summer in Cynthia

The Cynthia Dress, our favourite look for summer is back in all new fabrics!  The organic cotton/spandex jersey bodice is comfortable with just the right amount of stretch, while the flowing skirt falls beautifully in mud dyed silk.  This fabric is created by hand in small runs, so each roll has unique variations which exude its hand made qualities.  The fabric is buried in the Earth and takes on the warm brown hue from iron in the mud.

Bri is ready to dance in her black Cynthia Dress.  Perfect for those who flit and flow across stage, this dress is eye catching but won't restrict the wearer.  Check out Bri's fashion design and styling portfolio for more on this talented young woman!

Jenn is ready for sun and fun in her purple Cynthia Dress.  Jenn is turning 30 this month, so a beach party is in order!  Sandals, sunglasses and the perfect dress are all she needs to make it happen in style.

This year also marks another milestone, the launch of her signature label, Jennifer Fukushima.  Follow her new facebook page to see what's happening behind the scenes and for tips on where to shop.

Liz is all jazzed up in red and ready for a summer soiree.  She's going to dance all night in comfort and style in her free, flowing and fiery red Cynthia.  

Catch Liz for a dance later this month when she hosts The Style Initiative's local designer shopping event downtown at Fionn MaCool's, June 18 & 19th.

The Cynthia Dress is available at select independent Canadian retailers:

Ecoexistence (Toronto, ON)
Flock Boutique (Ottawa, ON)
Fresh Collective (Toronto ON) 
The Loop (Thunder Bay, ON)
P'Lovers (Kingston, ON)
Workshop Boutique (Ottawa, ON)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Joan Top - Simply Local Fashion

Here at Paper People, we know that you'll never tire of simple, flattering basics.  We love to work with natural, sustainable fibres and we want to provide you with as many opportunities as possible to shop local.  This season we've reinvented the Joan Cowl Top in a soft, lightweight organic cotton.  The shirts were designed here in Toronto, cut in Brampton, sewn in Toronto and dyed at a local mill in Ajax.   

Bri's look is clean, simple, young and fun.  She wears her turquoise Joan Top with a floral mini skirt, knee socks, slide on loafers and an over sized vintage jean jacket.  Check out more of Bri's vintage finds on Rag Rich Vintage.

Liz is looking high energy in her rich and bold combo.  The Joan Cowl Top is the perfect piece to accompany those summer printed pants you've been eyeing.  And yes, you're not seeing things, her hair and toe nails are coordinated too!

This month, Liz and her partner Kelly of The Style Initiative will be bringing a local designer fashion shopping party to Fionn MacCool's at University & Adelaide.  Joins us June 18th & 19th to shop and support local creators!

Designer, Jenn pairs her purple Joan Top with the Vera Wrap Skirt.  This simple top really allows you to have fun with fancy, funky skirts, pants, shorts and shoes.

This year, Jenn will be turning 30 and she's taken the opportunity to reinvent herself.  She'll be launching her new, more refined label, Jennifer Fukushima this fall.  Stay in touch on facebook for all the details!

Liz is dolled up and ready to dance in her turquoise Joan Top and classy black and white pleated skirt.  A perfect example of how cotton doesn't have to be strictly casual.

The Joan Cowl Top is available at select independent Canadian retailers:

Ecoexistence (Toronto, ON)
Flock Boutique (Ottawa, ON)
Fresh Collective (Toronto ON) 
Studio Intent (Calgary, AB)
Workshop Boutique (Ottawa, ON)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Versatile Vera Wrap Skirt

Here at Paper People, versatility is always something we keep in mind when designer.  And what could be more versatile than a wrap skirt?  This simple a-line skirt fits wearers size 2-14.  Made from a strong and supple mud dyed silk, Vera Wrap Skirt comes in 3 colourways - black, red and purple.   Wrap it one way to show off florals and wrap it the opposite way when you're in the mood for funky geometrics.

Liz pairs her red Vera Skirt with a crisp sleeveless blouse, funky, chunky shoes by Fluevog and a summer straw fedora.  Through her own company, Liz PR, Liz styles and promotes classical musicians.  Liz is always a treat to have on set as she's fun, at ease in front of the camera and always keeps us smiling and laughing.

Designer, Jenn pairs her purple Vera Wrap Skirt with the simple Joan Cowl Top.  With so many fun colours to pull from this skirt - purple, blue, green, orange and black -  the possibilities are endless.

The Jennifer Fukushima collection, a line of premium statement knitwear will be launching this August, so follow along to stay in the loop.

The Vera Wrap Skirt is available at select independent Canadian retailers:

13 Reasons (Port Dover, ON)
Ecoexistence (Toronto, ON)
Flock Boutique (Ottawa, ON)
Fresh Collective (Toronto ON) 
The Loop (Thunder Bay, ON)
Something Else (Port Colborne, ON)
Studio Intent (Calgary, AB)
Workshop Boutique (Ottawa, ON)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Scarlett, our best kept secret

Here at Paper People, although we've become known for our bold and funky statement pieces, we'd also like to offer some toned down, refined and versatile options.  And The Scarlett Dress was our answer to this design challenge!

Available in two options, a lightweight organic cotton poplin with subtle stripes and a soft and textural linen/cotton blend.  With its fitted bodice and flared skirt, this dress is flattering for many body types, comfortable for those hot summer days and the perfect canvas for your favourite scarves, belts and layering essentials.

Check the tag as you shop as these dresses were created in limited edition runs.  Pieces this flattering and versatile won't be on the racks for long, so get yours now!   

Designer Jenn is looking good in her favourite neutral.  She throws on a fun and summer floral scarf to personalize the look.  This Scarlett Dress in grey cotton features vintage lace appliques along the skirt and was created in a limited run of only 5 dresses.  

Liz is looking fabulous and flirty in her turquoise cotton Scarlett Dress.  She accessorizes her look with a chunky necklace in matching turquoise and tops it off with a fuchsia belt and matching toe nail polish.  Created in a limited run of just 11 dresses.

When Liz isn't strutting her stuff on camera, she keeps busy acting as a fun and fabulous spokesperson for local designers.  She and her partner Kelly have launched The Style Initiative, a vehicle for promoting and marketing local designer fashions to the Bay Street crowd.  These fine ladies will be hosting The Summer Trunk Show June 18 & 19 at Fionn McCool's at University & Adelaide in Toronto.

Bri is ready to rock in her edgy ensemble.  She chooses the Scarlett linen in grey because of its interesting, unusual texture and layers up with a leather bomber style jacket of her own design.  The Scarlett linen in grey is part of a limited edition run of only 5 dresses.

Jenn opts to mix and match textures, layering The Blanche Blazer over her cotton Scarlett Dress in magenta.  She keeps the look young and fun with a pair of floral flats from Fresh Collective.  

Follow Jenn as she launches her new collection this fall.  The Jennifer Fukushima collection takes the best of Paper People to create a line of statement knitwear for the bold and modern woman.

The Scarlett Dress is available at select independent Canadian retailers:

Ecoexistence (Toronto, ON)
Flock Boutique (Ottawa, ON)
Fresh Collective (Toronto ON) 
Still Eagle (Nelson, BC)
Workshop Boutique (Ottawa, ON)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Blanche Blazer - Soft and Stylish

Here at Paper People, Spring/Summer 2014 marks our transition to using 100% new eco fabrics.  Our goal is to provide consistency and quality without compromising the environment.  These pieces were created in limited edition runs, so check the hang tag to see just how special they are!

The first style we'd like to introduce to you is the Blanche Blazer.  Made from a beautiful, delicate linen/cotton blend, Blanche is the perfect over layer for warm spring and hot summer days.  The loose weave is airy and breathable, but still provides coverage and protection from the sun.

Bri's style is classic, clean and contemporary.  She pairs her grey Blanche Blazer with a sleeveless silk top, knee socks, simple black slide ons and a skirt of her own design.  The grey Blanche was created in a limited edition of 33 pieces.  Bri Foster is currently a design student at Ryerson University with plans to launch her own label soon!  Check out more of Bri's work or shop her vintage page. 

Designer, Jenn has finally found the perfect over layer for her favourite vintage floral silk dress.  She's all set for a summer wedding or dinner date.  The magenta Blanche was created in a limited edition of only 5 pieces, so consider yourself special if you snag of one these!

Liz Parker of The Style Initiative is jumping for joy in her purple Blanche. The soft, loosely woven fabric has plenty of give, so you won't be feeling stiff in this blazer.  The purple Blanche was created in a limited edition of only 10 pieces.  

Liz and her partner Kelly Kan are working to bring local designer fashions to the Toronto business district.  A shopping event in June is in the works, so follow these ladies to stay up to date!

This season, Paper People began working with a local dye mill to create our own custom colours!  Because we use primarily natural fibres the results are beautiful and vibrant.  Designer, Jenn was very excited to pair up the Scarlett Dress in organic cotton with a Blanche Blazer in the same colour.  With matching colours and contrasting textures, a beautiful mix and match suit look is created.  Jenn tops off her ensemble with funky floral flats (available at Fresh Collective) to keep the look young and fun.  

The Blanche Blazer is available at select independent Canadian retailers:

Ecoexistence (Toronto, ON)
Flock Boutique (Ottawa, ON)
Fresh Collective (Toronto ON) 
The Loop (Thunder Bay, ON)
Still Eagle (Nelson, BC)
Workshop Boutique (Ottawa, ON)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Auntie Yosh

Today I'd like to share with you some personal items and artwork passed down to me by my late Great Aunt Yosh (Yoshiko Fukushima).

Great Auntie Yosh & Uncle Harry's wedding, Jan 21, 1941.
My aunt grew up in a family of all girls.  She was married to my Uncle Harry (Isami) in 1941 and went to live with him, his father and his 4 brothers at their home in Vancouver, BC.  Being the only woman of the house she was kept quite busy with household chores and taking care of the family.  

Fukushima family home in Vancouver.
Following the attack on Pearl Harbour of WWII, all Japanese Canadian families were evacuated from their homes to remote internment camps.  The government feared threats of war related sabotage and espionage.  My family was placed in Slocan, BC.  There, my father was born in 1945.  Following the war, Japanese Canadians were given the option of deportation or relocation within Canada.  Thus, my family was relocated to Fort William, Ontario (now Thunder Bay) where they still live today.  Auntie Yosh and Uncle Harry along with brothers Ross and Tosh moved eastward to Toronto where they settled and raised their families.

My Auntie Yosh worked as a seamstress at Simpson's (now The Bay) downtown Toronto.  She also made wedding gowns and formal wear for many friends and family members including her own wedding gown shown at the beginning of this post.  She volunteered for many years at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC) as a sumi-e (Japanese ink wash painting) and ikebana (Japanese art of flower arrangement) instructor.  Here are some treasures that were passed on to me.

Vintage boxes from The Room.
Pot of Gold, Birks and Simpsons
Her sewing stash came packaged in a variety of vintage boxes and bags.

Vintage satin and brocade fabrics.
Various vintage threads on wooden spools.
Japanese articles including wooden crochet hooks and one very curious personal care implement.
One of my favourite articles . . .
"Toilet Pins" 
Various vintage sewing machine needles, clippers, snaps and hook & eyes.
Notions and vintage cotton lace from bridal wear projects.
Traditional Japanese brush painting.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Looking towards the Future

To all of my long time followers and supporters, I'd like to introduce to you my new label, entitled simply, Jennifer Fukushima.  Launching August of 2014, with the new brand brings a host of new changes including new European fabrics, a new production team, high end finishing techniques and new prices.  This past season we tested the waters with many of these changes.  We had our fair share of turbulence, but we're getting the hang of things and will be ready to take off soon.

I know that this may surprise some of you and it may mean that the brand is no longer accessible to you or your clientele.  This truly makes me sad, however, we needed to move forward and this was the only way I could do so with the integrity that is so vital to the core of our mission.  Our focus moving forward will be on quality over quantity.

We were concerned about a number of things - first and foremost worker rights, but also quality, as well as streamlining our process.  

After researching and working with new manufacturers, it become blatantly obvious that one of the companies we've been using for a number of years did not pay their workers fairly and thus we had to look elsewhere.  Our new contractors come with an added cost, but also added quality and the assurance that these skilled workers are safe and fairly paid.  

Over our 12 year span of working with reclaimed vintage, it has become clear to us that we will never be able to offer the quality and consistency that customers expect.  It is difficult to predict the performance of materials of unknown origin throughout the process of sewing, washing and wearing.  Thus we've opted for all new materials (eco whenever possible).  We searched far and wide but were unable to source these specialty fabrics domestically, so we've gone with some reputable Italian suppliers.  Again, this change comes with an added price tag.  In addition, we've improved the quality of our finishings.  All items are pressed by an experienced professional so that seams lie flat and there are no strange bulges or puckers.  We've also taken measures to create beautiful, clean seam work both inside and out.

Lastly, streamlining our process has been a large factor in this change for us.  After 12 years in the business, I'm excited to be turning 30 this year.  I just can't see myself continuing to stress my body and mind by working day and night, sorting through dumpster sized bins of used clothing and hauling them from place to place in order to fulfill my vision.  I, like many of you hope to have a family someday and there just won't be time for all of this.

So as August nears, we'll be phasing out Paper People in order to introduce Jennifer Fukushima to the world.  I'd like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of those who have worked with and supported me over the years to make my dreams come true and to bring my designs to the hands and closets of women far and wide.  Follow my new brand on facebook to see our progress over the spring and summer months.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Theresa Cowl: Warm & Glamorous

Happy New Year to all!  We're back from our hiatus with more fun styling options to inspire your wardrobe.  This week we're featuring ways to look warm and glamorous in the Theresa Cowl.  A lightweight, versatile infinity scarf made from a delicate recycled cotton blend, you'll be happy to nestle in on those cold winter days we've been experiencing of late.

Available in burgundy, charcoal, green and purple, this scarf is made from a special recycled fabric.  Scraps from the cutting room floor are reprocessed into a brand new fabric, maximizing material usage and keeping fabric out of the landfills.

Meaghan has convinced designer, Jenn to pose with her glasses off.  A rare feat indeed.  Jenn chooses the Theresa Cowl in her favourite hue, burgundy.  She's got enough hair to keep her warm and then some, so she scrunches it up like a cozy scarf.  She applies a generous helping of eyeshadow in charcoal to accent the shape of her eyes.  Tip: After applying eyeliner she uses a little bit of eye shadow to seal the liner and keep it put.

Liz is styling like a vintage movie star with her green Theresa Cowl and shades.  She chooses a rich, rusty shade of burgundy for her lips along with a brown eye shadow to create a harmonious fall colour palette.

Jessie chooses the Theresa Cowl in charcoal grey.  Her hot pink streak and matching lipstick really pop against this dark neutral canvas.  Tip: Jessie likes to layer brightly coloured lip gloss over her lipstick to give the hue extra dept and shine.

Meaghan uses her green Theresa Cowl to accessorize her outfit.  Since the cowl is made from breathable cotton, it won't overheat you indoors.  She chooses to highlight her eyes, her best feature, using a warm rusty coral.

The Theresa Cowl is available at select independent Canadian retailers:
Hemp & Company (Victoria, BC) 
Boutique Lily Ka (Montreal, QC)
The Loop (Thunder Bay, ON)
Natureal Junction (Toronto, ON)