The Stories We Tell

Five Wornettes revisit the fictional characters that inspired their closets growing up

Moon Prism Power!
When I was about 10 years old (pushing the limits of an appropriate age for a cartoon obsession), I loved Sailor Moon. She was my moon goddess of style. Though my love may have shifted from Sailor Scout to Sailor Scout, it was the idea of a sassy uniform only put on through an intense and magical costume change that I found most appealing.

The fantasy driven schoolgirl fashions had me acting like a fool as I begged my parents for the whole kit and kaboodle of consumer products marketed to my tween self. I remember the tense Christmas morning phone call between a friend and I as we discussed who had gotten what under the tree that morning. It was as if we thought it made us better people to have added to our growing collection of imported plastic accessories that made us “feel” like we really were “Super Sailor Scouts”—stylish schoolgirls with badass super powers.

As I got a bit older, my obsession stuck in the back of my mind. I couldn’t bear to part with the dolls, t-shirts, and plastic wands that hung around collecting dust in my closet. The cool punk girls I met in high school shared my secret love. We regularly discussed how awesome our animated hero and her friends were.

How did this totally fanciful, junk-food TV show fit in with my new found, anti-consumerist, teenage feminist rants? I began to reposition my fascination, turning my old Sailor Moon nightgown into a hot butch muscle tee and mixing the cutesy Sailor Moon-inspired pigtails of my youth into a riot grrrl-inspired statement. Perhaps the rumours of a lesbian love affair between Sailor Neptune and Uranus had even had an influence on my queerness. Even though I’ve more or less retired this obsession, I still get giddy every time I see a Japanese school uniform, excited at the thought of the magic that the girls who sport these get-ups possess. // Jenna Danchuk

Ten Points for Slytherin
I was obsessed with Harry Potter as a kid to the point that I managed to convince myself that a) I was his sister and b) Voldemort was stalking me. Okay, I’ll admit—I’m still obsessed. I couldn’t watch the last part of the last movie because I couldn’t deal with the fact that the series was ending. Before, when I identified as Gryffindor, I was partial to their house colours of red and gold. I was really big on wearing men’s ties as accessories (eat your heart out, Avril Lavigne). I used to carry a wand around until I was, like, 12. My mom claimed it was just a stick and told me to grow up. (Muggles, am I right?) Unfortunately, I haven’t. I still have the wand (yew, dragon heartstring core, inflexible), lying around somewhere.

When I was 10, I got glasses for the first time, and I didn’t feel like a Horrible Nerd Dorkasaurus as I might have had I got them at an earlier stage. I felt like this further confirmed my assumption that Harry Potter and I were related and I was actually a witch. The reason I wasn’t accepted to Hogwarts, I told myself on my 11th birthday, was because it is in England, and I lived in Canada, and Hogwarts Express doesn’t cross the ocean. Obviously. Anyway, Harry Potter made me feel cool about my glasses. I was in good company.

As I got older, I started to get into Harry Potter from a different perpective. I realized that I was cleary a Slytherin, and that green and silver were the way to go. I still like red and don’t hate Gryffindors, but I avoid gold clothing if I can help it and wear silver instead. // Sofie Mikhaylova

Here. Swear. Swear on Chanel.
I can’t remember being obsessed with anything other than dalmatians as a child, but in Grade 10 I fell under the spell of Carrie Bradshaw. The obsession spilled over to Sarah Jessica Parker (does anybody really differentiate between the two?) and I can remember going to school wearing my Great Grandmother’s broaches as fasteners on an asymmetrical grey cardigan, an homage to her Gap campaign.

My all-time favourite outfit during this phase was based on a dress from the final episode of the series. It was a sea-foam green tulle skirt which I made myself and layered over a structured black halter dress, meant to emulate the dress Carrie runs across Paris in, eventually reuniting with Big (gush). I wore it to our high school’s drama and dance awards.

I think the only problem my obsession with Carrie’s fashion might have caused was that it was so different from what everyone else was wearing in my high school, and so I sort of stuck out like a sore satin-gloved thumb. While everyone was showing up for class in jeans or sweatpants, I was wearing chiffon floral skirts and oversized fake flowers pinned to my cardigan. // Casie Brown

“Whoever said orange is the new pink was seriously disturbed.”
Growing up, I always got the idea that my peers didn’t think I was very smart. No matter how high my grades, my optimistic attitude combined with my affinity to wear pink matching outfits and my blonde streaked hair made me an easy target for dumb blonde jokes. I felt destined to be intellectually downtrodden until the day I saw Legally Blonde. Elle Woods was just like me: fun, girly, and smarter than she looked. I faked an eye exam and got cute glasses, paired knee socks with heels, and began telling everyone I would go to McGill, to which one boy said, “Alyssa, you’ll never be smart enough to go to McGill.” But, like Elle, I studied hard and tried to be best friends with everyone regardless of their judgment. The climax of my Elle Woods phase involved a head to toe hot pink Betsey Johnson corduroy outfit, complete with hot pink knee boots my mother acquired in Las Vegas, accessorized with a pink basket full of pink cookies which I spent my high school day handing out to students. After that I started dating a drama guy and went from Pretty in Pink to Checkerboard Ska. It was a rocky transition.

I never did get to McGill, but only because they didn’t offer a program as well known and successful as the Ryerson School of Journalism, where I am currently finishing my degree. I do, however, still wear pink with pride, and sometimes when I get to class and take out my floral notebook and rainbow pen set, I smile to myself and silently thank Elle for helping me find my smart self. // Alyssa Garisson

All I want is a dress with puffy sleeves.
Anne of Green Gables was a really important book for me as a child. I just liked how she was so herself, even though that self was a little weird and loud and prone to unfortunate accidents. I’ve never dyed my hair green (by accident, that is), I’ve never gotten my best friend drunk (by accident, that is), and I’ve never floated away in a lake and been rescued by a mischievous, handsome boy from school (not yet, that is). I might not have had flaming red hair, but I did have big, bushy, brown curls—I stuck out in the sea of sleek blonde hair that was the style for all the pretty girls in elementary school.

When I first read Anne of Green Gables, I didn’t fully understand what “puffed sleeves” were—I remember looking in a mirror and holding my sleeves up off my shoulder in an attempt to visualize what Anne was talking about—but I definitely sympathized with Anne’s yearning for trendy clothes that her adopted guardians couldn’t afford. As a child, all my clothes came from the sale section of a local discount outlet store. I always wanted what I couldn’t have: designer purses, t-shirts with logos printed on them, $30 lipgloss from department stores. My mother had a very Marilla Cuthbert attitude towards the whole thing. They’re both very practical women who work hard to balance a small budget and are seemingly impervious to trends or impractical wants. I’m the complete opposite—as soon as I was old enough to work, I worked in the trendiest boutiques and department stores, spending my minimum wage earnings on the latest styles.

Once, when I was working at a law firm and had lots of disposable income, I came across a cardigan that had legitimately puffed sleeves. It was a black button-down sweater with ruched stitching on the shoulders, giving them a raised, “puffed,” look. I don’t know if the designers had Anne of Green Gables in mind when they designed it, but I bought it immediately. I never wore it. It’s not really my style. I didn’t relate to the actual puffed sleeves—I related to Anne’s wanting. I understood desiring what you can’t really have. Besides, buying those items for yourself rarely fills a void. When Anne finally gets her puffed sleeves, it’s because Matthew, her guardian and best friend, knows that puffed sleeves will make Anne happy and sets out to get them for her. I’ll always remember how I felt reading about Anne unwrapping the paper on her beautiful brown dress that Matthew got Mrs. Lynde to make. Anne had someone who really understood her and who would have done anything to make her happy. I like to imagine that Anne never gave away or threw out that dress because it reminded her of how much she and Matthew loved each other. She outgrew the puffed sleeves, but she never outgrew their relationship. BRB, crying forever. // Haley Mlotek

photography// brianne burnell

Fashion Pop Returns

Start getting excited for one of our favourite annual Montreal events

Fashion POP, a component of the POP Montreal Festival, was created in 2008 as a means to bring attention to the emerging crowd of young designers surfacing in Montreal.

Six of Montreal’s most excellent and experimental designers will present their work to the fashion community, competing to win a fantastic prize package: a $1000 cash prize courtesy of Le Chateau, a pop-up show at Espace Pop, and of course, a four-page editorial spread in WORN. Most exciting of all? The event is totally free.

Pop on over to Église POP Salle Little Burgundy this Sunday, September 23, at 7 p.m. to see the event in action for the fourth year in a row. WORN will also have a table at Puces Pop on Saturday, September 22, and Sunday, September 23, at Église St. Michel, so come and say hi.

Vicky Dubois
Dubois’ self-titled clothing line makes use of volume, contrast, and simplistic shapes to create beautiful garments out of high quality natural materials. Her experience at Marie-Victorin College studying Fashion Design, as well as her time spent working with designer Clayton Evans of complexgeometries has allowed her to develop her sensible aesthetic.

Marie Darsigny
Inspired by dreamy teenage pop and kitsch, Marie Darsigny’s designs are fused with ’90s style, which she sells on her etsy shop, marie magie. Darsigny has completed degrees in Fashion Design and Communications, and fuses these loves together by writing for sites like xoJane and LezSpreadTheWord.com.

Christine Charlebois
Christine Charlebois is an award-winning designer whose minimalistic design creates maximal results. Developing her expertise in women’s conceptual clothing, Charlebois has worked with JEANPAULKNOTT in Brussels, and is currently the research assistant to Joanna Berzowska, an expert in the field of electronic textiles and responsive garments.

Danica Olders
Canadian fashion artist Dancia Olders is a recent graduate of NSCAD where she majored in Textiles and minored in Fashion. Her limited edition silk-screened clothing and jewellery line, The Lost City, is reflective, intricate and striking. Her body of work explores the concepts of time, money and the machine—elements that rule our lives in both inspiring and destructive ways.

Camille Forcherio
After working with swimwear for many years, as well as a gig doing made-to-measure tailoring, Forcherio broke out on her own to create her line MimiHammer. After three collections and her own line of swimwear, Forcherio’s feminine and romantic design continues to progress.

Duc C. Nguyen
Nguyen is currently completing his degree in Fashion Design at the École supérieure de mode at Université de Québec à Montréal, but his background in Architecture and Industrial Design make him no stranger to the world creative fabrication. Alongside his hands on work, he is also the Fashion and Trend Editor for MontrealStateOfMind.com.

images // courtesy of POP Montreal

“I Should Say, Latex is a Lady.”

Dressing for Pleasure is a 1977 film by the late Scottish documentary filmmaker John Samson. It is beautifully shot, with rich colours and textures, slow pans, and a soft look created by analog technology. It’s an objective take on the leather and latex culture which greatly influenced Britain’s punk scene. Footage from the film was used in numerous documentaries about the Sex Pistols, such as The Filth and the Fury, and a 1995 production by the BBC. While Samson’s work has often gone unappreciated, from both a film and fashion perspective, we can understand why he is finally starting to be recognized for his hard work and talent. Dressing for Pleasure captures through honest eyes a sensitive and important part of both fashion culture and sexual identity.




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Très Click: Karl “Leather Daddy” Lagerfeld and Pussies Protesting Putin

Free Pussy Riot: The Only Band That Matters in 2012
If you haven’t heard of Pussy Riot yet, you need to take action now! Tobi Vail (yes, of Bikini Kill) had much to say about members of the anonymous collective (who were jailed for protesting the conservative Russian government) as well as their outfits: “Their uniform not only disguises their identities, it congeals their individuality into a unified set of symbols. Their neon balaclavas clash with the individual pieces of clothing worn by each girl, but also express a visual unity. Bright purple, pink, green, red, yellow and blue; one girl’s tights clash with her dress, but match another girl’s balaclava, which match a third girl’s tights, whose balaclava matches the first girl’s dress, and so on. The result is an image that is striking and memorable.”

Thinking Kink: The Politics of BDSM Fashion
Catherine Scott at Bitch Magazine recently wrote this short piece about the place of clothing in BDSM culture. These kinds of interesting discussions happen on fetish community discussion boards all the time, so seeing it moved into a venue like Bitch is exciting.

Tom of Sinland (NSFW)
While we’re on the topic of S&M, we must bring your attention to these totally ridiculous (and awesome) drawings by Bendix Bauer for Horst Magazine. Playing off the works of legendary gay illustrator Tom of Finland, Bauer replaces the beefcake hunks of yesterday, with the gay fashion icons of today.

SSION’s “Earthquake” Video
SSION is so FSHION. One can spend hours going through their video stream (I have). The best band, and the best dressed. Maybe I should be in the next SSION music video?

text by Jenna Danchuk
image by Denis Sinyakov/Reuters