5 Things to Read Instead of Paying Attention in Class

Alexander McQueen, fashion advice for kids, and 11 really weird beauty tips

Words for Kids who Love Fashion on Final Fashion
While much of this amazing advice is targeted at children, it’s never too late to take note. Danielle Meder offers atypical suggestions like ‘develop cultural literacy,’ when the most prevalent advice being given to kids who want to start a career in fashion is to start a blog.

How to Be Handsome: 11 Really Terrible 19th Century Beauty Tips
Prime yourself for history class with some of the head-scratchingly bizarre beauty routines of our ancestors. If you thought heated eyelash curlers were weird, you’ve only just hit the tip of the iceberg.

FATshion on XOJane.com
I am just finishing up my personal summer reading list with Two Whole Cakes by Lesley Kinzel, who also happens to write FATshion, the most on-point and hilarious fashion commentary to be found anywhere on the web.

Ryerson appoints first Designer-in Residence
Fashion and academia are relatively recent bedfellows, and Ryerson University in Toronto is blazing the trail by appointing the first ever Designer-in-Residence. What else could you expect from the only University in Canada that offers a Fashion Communications program?

The Nature of Alexander McQueen: the aesthetics of fashion design as a site of environmental change

If the title sounds really wordy and academic, that’s probably because it is. I wrote my undergraduate thesis last Spring about the significance of art to the environmental movement, and explored the significance of Alexander McQueen’s designs as examples of art. This link ties the two together into a smart and useful package: get your furrowed brow ready.

illustration // Andrea Manica

The Drake salonnière women

In 17th century Paris, Hôtel de Rambouillet was the enlightened place to be. Catherine de Vivonne, a society figure/major French literary figure, would invite all the poor writers over to socialize, and over time, these writers would develop their artful letters via the enlightened conversations that were had in many of the small rooms that Mme de Ramboullet had set aside.

Salons were ruled by women: they determined the scope of the salon, broke down class and gender barriers and even got their own informal university education (which wasn’t exactly available to them at the time). And you can rest assure that the soft pleats of their court dress got a little rumpled with all that lounging.

So us WORN women are quite excited about the opportunity we have to reclaim the blue stockings tradition later today at Toronto’s Drake Hotel. We have to been asked to host a stylish salon, with our very own G. Stegelmann and recent Worn Crush/fashion illustrator gadabout Danielle Meder leading the charge. Do we have full skirts to wear? It’s cold, no. But we — the Wornettes, Editor-in-pants, assorted editrixes — will bring good conversation (although we hope you suggest topics in the comments below, please).

DRAKESALON PRESENTS Inspiring Style
Tuesday, March 3rd, 6pm
the Drake Hotel in the Lounge Room, (1150 Queen Street West) FREE.

Make the beautiful people chartreuse with envy, by strutting your unique look and joining in a cultured conversation on the inspiration of great style. Join the editors of Worn Fashion Journal in conversation with style blogger Danielle Meder for an independent look at the evolution of personal style. An essential event in the lead up to Toronto Fashion Week

Crushing on Danielle

Interview by Laura Hensley
Photography by Ashley Satchell

Danielle Meder is a Toronto-based freelance fashion illustrator with a degree in fashion design from Ryerson University. She has since used her illustration talents to help communicate fashion ideas for designers, fashion magazines, and newspapers. Danielle recently won the Doc Martens boot competition with her original design Colour Puddle Jump. She has an honest and totally unpretentious fashion blog Final Fashion and the satirical ‘haute on the hog’ Rags and Mags, a collaboration with TFI blogger Carolyn Rohaly.

Coming from a small town, your exposure to fashion must have been far different than it would have been had you grown up in a city. What interested you in fashion as a child and how did you discover your talent for design?
My family had zero interest in fashion at all; in our small town there was one clothing store. I grew up in hand-me-downs. I was homeschooled as a kid so mostly it didn’t matter. My initial interest in fashion was discovering books on costume history in the library – as a kid I would take out as many as I could carry, take them home and study them carefully, and draw paper dolls inspired by all the various eras. When I was a preteen I learned how to use my mom’s treadle Singer sewing machine and I would make cloth dolls with wardrobes inspired by fantasy novels like The Lord of the Rings. As a teenager, I went to small town high school and developed a strong feeling that I wasn’t wearing the right clothes, and I think that sense of discomfort pushed me towards fashion even though I had terrible anxiety that I would never fit in.

Did Ryerson’s fashion program meet your expectations?
I can honestly say that it exceeded my expectations. I worked my way through the library’s fashion section, developed a style of technical and figure illustration that I still use, learned how to sew properly, and spent four years with an amazing group of girls. Growing into your own style over four years as you are surrounded by a group of people doing the same thing is a powerful experience. Not all of my classmates would agree. It is easy to be disenchanted if you expect university to form you into a complete adult and give you a dream job. I think if you take responsibility for your own education regardless of the institution, you can enjoy the privilege of immersing yourself in the subject of your choice without regret.

In an industry that can be harsh, what are the most important lessons you have learned?
Fashion isn’t really as harsh as I thought it would be at all. It is populated by outsiders and eccentrics of every description and allows a lot of individuality and self-expression. Fashion people are very open minded even as they make the inevitable aesthetic judgements.
The most important lessons I have learned… so far? Trust your gut. Invest in quality. Be curious, be kind. Ask for what you want. Stuff like that.
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