Saturday, June 27, 2009

Walking the High Line

Apparently for New Yorkers, there is nothing more exciting than waiting in line for ten minutes to visit a new park in Chelsea, called Highline Park. This was the big attraction today. People walked around the district in two circles just to find the one entrance they were allowed to get into the park from (or maybe it was just Angelique and I, since we are considerably directionless). Perhaps it's my Edmonton background, but parks just seem so ordinary to me because they have been so easily available to me all my life. Nevertheless, when Frank Gehry designs an elevated apartment complex stemming from the old bridge and train track, I had to see what the hype was about.

My friend Angelique (FIT graduate, Richard Chai intern, and a certified New York pro in all things cool and hip) and her boyfriend Steve moved to New York a year ago. They are one of the most envious couples because they always look like they're straight from The Sartorialist. Anyways, today I had a chance to steal my beautiful friend away from her boyfriend, and she agreed to take me to Highline Park...even in 25 degrees celcius plus weather! What a gem. She had such an easy, relaxed outfit, too --- little harem-style sweat pants and vintage shoes from the Lower East Side picked out by her mom --- perfect for living the high life and walking around the man-made nature that is Manhattan's Highline park.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Goodbye Edmonton, Hello New York!

I'm never good at sleeping well the night before I have to leave on any trip. I stayed up watching Gossip Girl before I went to Japan, read three magazines before I went to the Beijing Olympics, and last night I suddenly felt an entirely new portfolio was in order for my first day of work. Of course, that meant I spent my first day in New York half-conscious, missing all the people watching at night on the streets as we were being driven to our hotel. I did smell the humid polluted air, which meant even though I couldn't keep my eyes open, I knew I had arrived!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

How iconoclastic.

I can honestly say I have tried to convince hundreds of male customers to throw in the towel when it comes to rules: mix small stripes with large stripes, gingham with polka-dots, paisely with plaid. If the Japanese have been conquering this technique since the days of the kimono, it's a wonder why a lot of us have become so reserved and shy in our pairing choices.

My friend Jessica loves to mix. She loves collages, she loves moodboards, she loves styling photoshoots, she loves entering Stylist contests and winning second runner-up at Edmonton Fashion Week (although I would have vouched for her to take home the big prize). She loves mixing clothes, stirring up the old and new. She loves London for its cultural fusion. The fact that she's a mix herself --- half Native, half Chinese --- explains her part cool, part gregarious personality, and her obvious ability to pull off splashy combinations of patterns fearlessly. No rules on her turf.

picture taken from J. Yee

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Reality Check

My girlfriends and I visited the trendy Halo lounge on Jasper Avenue for the first time. The red interiors and forest wallpaper make for a Greenwich Village-style environment where hipsters in Edmonton can congregate and dance to New Wave house music and indie tunes. I have never seen so many girls wear cotton tank tops tucked into short pencil skirts all at once --- it was like walking into an Urban Outfitters commercial shoot. Of course, the terms "trendy" and "hipster" are always ironic concepts of individuality. If the ladies, gentlemen, and queens all want to stand out, how do they do so in a lounge full of the same types of people who all want to stand out? It seems these thoughts never run through Laura's head, of course. She's too busy having a wonderful time:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

[by me.] I want to do what he's doing.

If you've seen my other artwork, you'll know that I love painting people. People that are, for lack of a better description, extensions of myself. I turned a monochromatic photograph from a 1980s National Geographic magazine into an oil painting with a dusky palette. This man embodies everything I am and want to be at the moment.

preliminary stage

Saturday, June 13, 2009

miigwech, nokomis!

I've spent the last six weeks doing my practicum at Nokomis, an independent clothing store that sells exclusively Canadian clothing on trendy Whyte Avenue in Edmonton. The Nokomis girls taught me how to do everything in their business --- post office runs, screenprinting, steaming, sewing, cutting --- in a style that's feminine, elegant, undeniably young, and trendy but never chichi (I'm sure judging by the pictures you can see their spirit anyways). Jessica and Elizabeth both own Nokomis (far left and far right). Elizabeth and Genevieve (center) are the designers, and Genevieve also has her own jewelry line, Myrtle and Pearls, which she sells in-store. I've received rave compliments on my fluttery feather earrings e.v.e.r.y.t.i.m.e I've worn them. Anyways, I've been dying to get the girls' picture because they have such awesome style, but I didn't think they would appreciate me asking them every single morning as I sit on the doorstep of the studio.

Of course, we can't forget about gentle Tara, muse and model to Nokomis, who has also agreed to let me take a picture of her wearing her Hastings and Main zipper tank:

Last night I ran into a high school classmate at a bar and we started talking about fashion and such. She flipped out when I told her that I did my practicum at Nokomis, and kept chatting about a particular leather fanny pack she's been dying to get once she's stopped spending all her money on music festivals. I distinctly remember her saying that if she could, she would want to own every single item in the store. And this girl won against me in the vote for "Best Dressed Female" in high school. How lucky was I to have been able to do my practicum here? xo!


Here's the update on Randall Stout's Edmonton large-scale masterpiece --- the Art Gallery. For those of you that don't know, Edmonton has showed its pride for the Arts by housing some of the greatest works in history inside a cement square building. That's right. It's extremely embarrassing... like wearing a $300 silk dress with a pair of broken Birkenstocks. The facelift Randall Stout is giving the new Edmonton Art Gallery is much more brag-worthy...apparently one of my favorite architects Zaha Hadid submitted a concept for the building but she never made the cut, which means Edmonton has been fighting to put some more stellar, tourist-friendly architecture back on the map. People have been comparing it to ribbon, but to me it looks like a huge tidal wave since the building appears tipped over. Getting increasingly phenomenal by the week.

For preliminary photos, see blog post "wwwhooooooaaa!"

Sunday, June 7, 2009

easy breezy lemon squeezy

One of the ironic things about fashion and style is that one always looks the best when one has tried the least hardest.

We used to tease my friend Yoni for denying his metrosexuality and joy of shopping, but what we really meant was that, in actuality, we couldn't deny his confidence and style --- which usually consists of high contrasting black-and-white prints, urban coats, bboy kicks, and signature afro. When you know what works, it only takes a few minutes to throw your signature uniform together.

My sister also picked one of my favorite weekend outfits that's a mish-mash of grunge and hippie. Her pieces here are from all over the world, most of them vintage, and she looks so relaxed, hip and cool all in one.