Living in Print

Behind the scenes of issue 16's prettily patterned photoshoot

When we first moved into our new office in the historic George Brown House in Toronto, we liked to pretend that we had stumbled onto the set of Downton Abbey. Almost every detail of this 1876 home was lovingly captured in our issue 16 photoshoot, ”Living in Print.”

Wornette Chayonika Chandra puts the power in power clashing as she blends into and boldly contrasts the walls (and floor) of our new home.

video and text // Daniel Reis
end animation // Barry Potter
photography // Lisa Kannakko
art direction // Serah-Marie McMahon and G. Stegelmann
styling // Lydia Chan and Kaya-Marisa Meadows

Men in Dresses, Dry Cleaning Mysteries, and Packing like it’s 1889

Karen Wornette makes some fascinating discoveries on the web

Hats off (but dresses on) to our Kurdish Feminist Brothers
By Dilar Dirik
The photographs capture the Brothers-in-dresses face on, shoulders back, and confident in their stance. In a regime that punishes a man who commits an act of domestic violence by sentencing him to walk the city streets in traditional Kurdish women’s robes, the Feminist Brothers stand in solidarity with the women of their culture, saying, “This is what we look like.” Harnessing the power of social media to spread this message by posting the photos on Facebook, the Kurds ensure the clothes speak of courage to a global audience.

Orthodox Jewish Women Find New Ways to Be Fashionable in Crown Heights
By Liana Satenstein
The Torah’s modesty guidelines are no match for the stylish, independent, and innovatively entrepreneurial women in Brooklyn’s Hasidic Jewish sect Chabad-Lubavitch. Requirements to wear skirts that hit below the knee and blouses that cover the elbows and collarbones just means that the women face more of a creative challenge than others when they choose what to wear each day.

A Strip of Cloth that Makes Dry Cleaners Shudder
By Vijai Singh
One of my favourite summer jobs was working for the Textile Analysis Service at the University of Alberta, where I would perform detective work on garments that were damaged at the dry cleaners. Like a whodunit mystery, I tried to figure out who (the customer, the cleaner, or the manufacturer) ruined the garment (discolouration, tiny holes, loss of beads), and with which weapon (pretreating agent, solvent, or sunlight)—but not in which room, because, well, that doesn’t really matter in this case. I won’t tell you what strip of cloth makes these dry cleaners shudder; you’ll have to click to find out.

How to Pack like a Pioneering Journalist
By Maria Popova
Nellie Bly, the audacious journalist who, in 1889, challenged the fictional precedent set in Jules Verne’s classic novel Eighty Days Around the World by circumnavigating the globe in five fewer days, carried only a small leather gripsack with all of her personal items for the journey. This remarkable story puts to shame my packing job for my 60-day stay here in Toronto—and I had the luxury of one large suitcase and a couple of carry-ons. If you’re heading off on a summer vacation, keep Ms. Bly in mind as you repeat the mantra “less is more….”

Are Clothes Modern? Or, what we talk about when we talk about “Dress”
The Blog of A.E. Funk
I’m in awe of A.E. Funk, the veritable curator that she is, and her keen eye for evocative references to dress in all sorts of texts, from books on writing to the credits of Paris is Burning. For an assignment in a course on the history of dress, I scoured Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility for references to clothing, textiles, and accessories so that I could attempt to make an assessment of the historical accuracy of the costumes in Ang Lee’s film adaptation. I was also graded on the number of quotes I came up with, and I fell far short of the student in the class who’d earmarked the most. If Funk were in that class, I have a feeling she would have set a formidable standard.

text // Karen Fraser

Megan Wornette

Our latest editorial intern loves her some internet

I’m a recent graduate of Centennial College’s Book and Magazine Publishing program, and currently the Lifestyle and Science and Technology editor of Paper Droids, a geek culture site for and by women that I created with classmates from the program. I love TV, history, video games, and fashion, as well as the style that lurks within all of these things. I would describe my style as somewhere between Zooey Deschanel and Liz Lemon. That is, a girly tomboy. I’m a huge fan of WORN and super excited to be part of the Wornette Army!

Current Inspirations

The Hairpin
I’m a pretty active member of The Hairpin community, and while this is not just a style site, Jane Marie’s How to Be a Girl posts are amazing, and they recently started a series about the style of historical figures, complete with modern clothing picks. There may also be a (not very) secret Google Group where we all talk about and show each other our outfits, and it is probably my current greatest inspiration on what I’m wearing right now. So many stylish ‘Pinners!

This vintage-focused blog was one of the first style blogs that I followed regularly, and is a pretty good representation of the clothes I like to wear. I even took a picture of Erin’s pixie cut from a few years in to the hairdresser when I cut my hair short a little while ago. Which is not creepy at all, right? >.>

Japanese Streets
Asia, but especially Japan, has some of the coolest street fashion in the world, and Japanese Streets is hands down the best English language Japanese street style site on the web.

Console to Closet
I am a huge gamer, so of course I’m in love with this Tumblr that is full of outfits inspired by my favourite video game characters.

Old Rags
I can, and have, spent entire afternoons looking through this Tumblr of the clothing collections of museums around the world. The elaborate Russian gowns are probably my favourite. And the flapper dresses. And anything from the Renaissance. Okay, so everything is my favourite.

photography // Chayonika Chandra

Culinary Couture

10 ways food has been used to make clothing

I love eating. Food provides me with many fulfilling joys and enlightens my soul. I also love fashion. It takes me, along with other fashion fanatics, to a whole new, vibrant world. You can only imagine my elation when I found out that Lady Gaga was not the first or only wacky fashion icon to use food as a clothing material. There is a whole world out there of designers and artists who are bringing the kitchen into the atelier. Here are ten of my favourites.

1 // Vanitas: Flesh Dress for an Albino Anorectic
Before Lady Gaga came along, Canadian artist Jana Sterbak’s original meat dress created national controversy as it portrayed a contrast between bodily decomposition and narcissism. Her piece consisted of $300 worth of raw steak sewn together. This legendary dress has attracted a massive amount of publicity throughout the years and paved a path for modern artists.

2 // Rock The Meat
It wasn’t unusual for a gritty punk rock band from the late 70’s to have a very bizarre album cover. The Undertones’ featured a woman wearing pieces of meat as a dress, held together with saran wrap around her body, and completed with a sausage necklace for their compilation album, All Wrapped Up. Can’t get any more rock ‘n’ roll than that.

3 // Surreal Fantasy
The most famous surrealist of all time, Salvador Dali, created an extraordinary pavilion called Dream of Venus at the 1939 New York World’s Fair which featured remarkable underwater fantasy sculptures and semi-nude women parading around in themed outfits. One of the most prominent pieces involved a blindfolded model with a giant lobster belt and necklace.

4 // WTF, a Wine Dress?
Trying to explain the process of how to make a dress out of wine when I have a word limit can be very hard. So here is a link to satisfy your scientific curiosities. This dress uses biological fermentation to mold itself into a garment; no sewing, stitching, stapling, or glue guns involved.

5 // Lettuce Take a Moment
Project Runway is a favourite pastime that never fails to disappoint. Season 4 finalist, Chris March, created this outrageous yet elegant dress made out of $50 worth of lettuce. Wish-Bone used this dress to promote its salad dressings. Easy on the pocket and easier on the eyes, here is another tribute to the low-calorie leafy greens.

6 // Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Jeremy Scott’s fall 2006 collection definitely turned heads and sparked drooling mouths with this spaghetti dress and meatball accessories.

7 // It’s Gonna Be a Sweet Wedding
Personally, I’ve always wanted a guy who could cook me delicious meals. Imagine my jealously when this baker from Ukraine surprises his lucky bride-to-be by making her a wedding dress out of cream puffs. Made out of eggs, sugar, flour, and caramel, this gown contained a whooping 1,500 cream puffs. I think I hear my stomach grumbling.

8 // Coco Jerky
What does one think of when they hear the word Chanel? Is it the iconic French designer? Or is it a quilted bag made of beef jerky? Nancy Wu has accomplished the impossible. Hand-sewn sheets of dried meat never looked more chic. Made from 100% pure beef jerky, this Chanel-inspired bag is the perfect accessory to nibble on while out for a night on the town. Anyone know where I can get one?

9 // Elegant Veggies
With the vision of promoting vegetarianism in mind, PETA enlisted the help of Cloris Leachman, amongst many others, who sported a long gown made completely of leafy lettuce and red cabbage.

10 // Wearable Foods Extraordinaire
Sung Yeon Ju is a Korean artist who recently created a series called Wearable Foods made out of, well, wearable foods—mostly fruits and vegetables, but also bubble gum and even chicken feathers. The idea behind the collection is to highlight the interchange between actual and perceived reality. The result is absolutely stunning.