The making of Nancy Drew

“Nancy Drew is as immaculate and self-possessed as a Miss America on tour. She is as cool as Mata Hari and as sweet as Betty Crocker.” – Bobbie Ann Mason

On a steaming hot Monday in Toronto’s High Park, a bunch of Wornettes and friends got together to pay tribute to 3 notorious girls who gather clues and solve crime, all in swishy skirts and lacy gloves. Issue 9 is starting to come together and I can shamelessly say I think it’s going to be the best pages yet, not the least of which is Esme Wornette‘s brilliant adaptation of the Nancy Drew mysteries. Just a little sneak peek at how I spent my Monday…

Our make-up columnist Bella B. (who is quickly becoming our regular photoshoot make-up artist too) creates some dewy little ladies.

Events intern Chelsea got wrangled into being our George.

Esme’s darling little sister was our Bess.

Wearing comfy shoes for as long as possible!
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The Hat Attack

While recently in London, I stopped by the Victoria and Albert Museum for the recently concluded Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones. The exhibition featured a handpicked assortment of hats grouped by materials and styles (think “turbans”, “plastic”, “geometric” and “nature-inspired”) which Jones felt best illustrated the limitless sources of millinery inspiration.

Catering to the knowledgeable couture-wearer and the fashion-layman, the exhibition included hats worn by the fashion elite, such as several sported by Anna Piaggi, alongside famous cinematic caps, like Audrey Hepburn’s pink straw and silk bonnet from My Fair Lady. Some might say millinery is an oft-unappreciated art, but it was hard to believe that in a room full of people ooh-ing over beaded appliqué flowers and watching videos on top-hat construction. And as Jones – himself a legendary milliner for celebrities and designers alike – points out, when someone wears a fabulous hat, they command attention!

“A hat makes clothing identifiable, dramatic – and, most importantly, Fashion…It’s the cherry on the cake, the dot on the ‘i’, the exclamation mark, the fashion focus.” -Stephen Jones

Today hats are often sold in department stores, making the nostalgic allure of a hat shop (and those scrumptious hat boxes!) even more endearing. Milliners were originally supposed to recommend face-flattering hat styles to wealthy clientele who could swan around the showroom selecting fabrics. And fun fact: apparently Lilly Daché, a milliner in New York in the 30s even had colour coded celebrity fitting rooms: gold for blonds and silver for brunettes.

All this hat knowledge intake made me feel a bit giddy, and upon my return home, my sister and I decided to embark on a little headgear hunt of our own. Bottom-line: family is an EXCELLENT source for hats – vintage and contemporary alike…seriously, one man’s (or father’s specifically) Indian Jones fedora is another girl’s indie cap and grandmothers knew sunhats were cool even before skin cancer. As the summer heats up, I can’t wait to search out new wide brims, remembering “however, the cardinal rule of hat-buying, as French fashion editor Genevieve Dariaux noted, is to ‘take the one you fall in love with, which mysteriously ‘does something’ for you, which magically makes you feel more beautiful.’”

Amen to [t]hats!

text & photography // Esmé Hogeveen

book review: Vivienne Westwood – An Unfashionable Life

Vivienne in her famous rocking horse shoes.

This biography chronicles Vivienne’s life from childhood to her sixties, documenting the inward and outward influences that helped shape her into the King’s Road punk, outrageous innovator, and renegade style icon she is known as today. As emphasized in the book, Vivienne always sought attention (declaring at the birth of sister, Olga that she would “‘dead her and put her in the dustbin’”) and adding provocative details to her school gymslips. This originality married with a nostalgic affection for traditional English textiles would become one of Vivienne’s trademarks, as seen in her Harris Tweed and Anglomania collections.

Vivienne was famously uninterested in trends, seeking to create what appealed to her own artistic sensibilities, causing immeasurable stress for those working with her. Her use of impractical fabrics and cuts made her designs “extremely complicated to manufacture, as she [rejected] any recognizable template or pattern”. In the business world, Vivienne’s companies dealt with constant financial mismanagement, largely stemming from employees taking advantage of her trust (or oversight, as the case may be) and swindling money. Vivienne fought for recognition among her contemporaries, such as John Galliano (with whom she unsuccessfully competed to become Design Director of Dior in the mid-90s), Alexander McQueen and Jean-Paul Gaultier, many of whom restructured Vivienne’s original concepts, such as the corset and bustle, to be more commercially successful.
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