Nokomis, We’ll Miss You

When I heard the news that Edmonton’s Nokomis Clothing would be closing at the end of January, I was more than a little sad. The store has long been one of my favourite places in the city to find both clothing and inspiration. Owner Jessica Kennedy states that economics are the reason for Nokomis’ closure, the recession making it no longer feasible to keep the store open and running. Nokomis is known for stocking exclusively Canadian made and designed clothing — including its own house line up until Fall 2009 — and in its eight years of existence, it has become a fixture in the Canadian independent fashion scene. The store has provided an artistic, friendly place for independent Canadian designers (and publications like WORN) to reach the Edmonton market.

Nokomis, you will be missed. Thank you for being so great at doing what you did.

- Hailey Siracky

How to be Well Groomed

While I often talk about my desire to live in another generation, this 1949 video produced by Coronet Instructional Films gave me some insight into how it might actually feel to live in a different decade – and it was a little alarming. Called “How to be Well Groomed,” the film details the grooming habits of siblings Don and Sue and emphasizes the importance of physical appearance, stating, “Your success depends a great deal on how you look.”

Don and Sue’s lives seem more or less consumed by taking care of their appearances – and while the film is unsettling in itself (to me, a child of the 90’s), what’s more interesting still is that it’s part of a larger series of instructional films on subjects like how to be popular, how to act your age, and what you should and shouldn’t do on a date. Don and Sue’s fashion rules are just part of a much broader set of prescriptions for appearance and behaviour – and I feel like, had I been a teenager in 1949, this bombardment of rules would have made me crazy.

I’m all for neatness and health and good posture, but I’m also all for wearing nail polish in every colour of the rainbow, and occasionally rolling out of bed ten minutes before I have to leave for class. While I still love the fashion of decades past, I also love the freedom I have in 2010 – and now, my desire to be part of another generation is coloured by gratitude for being able to choose which parts of those generations to keep, and which to leave behind.

- Hailey Siracky

The not-so-Blues

A few weeks ago, I dyed my hair blue – not my whole head, but a fairly substantial bottom layer. The impulse to dye came not from a Clementine-esque desire to mark any major life change (although I’ll admit after reading the post, I pondered hair dye pretty seriously), but from feeling like I wanted to challenge myself – both aesthetically and, you know, in life. I wanted to get into the habit of doing things I didn’t think I could do. Hair seemed like a good place to start.

In the time since, I have learned not only that I should never underestimate the power of hair dye (and the Worn blog), but a few other things, too.

(And I do feel braver.)

10 THINGS I’VE LEARNED ABOUT HAVING BLUE HAIR

1. It looks nice with blue hats.

2. It stains my towels.

3. And sometimes also the tiles in the shower.

4. And my neck, at the beginning. And the collars of my shirts.

5. It’s a good way to make friends. (I continue to be shocked by the number of strangers who talk to me about it. I have met more people in my classes this year thanks to my hair than in the last 3 years of my degree combined.)

6. It looks really cool in braids.

7. It has dramatically increased the number of conversations I have about Smurfs.

8. It has also dramatically increased the number of times people serenade me with songs that have “blue” in the lyrics.

9. It has given me a (very tiny bit of a) reputation as a rebel.

10. It makes me feel tough. In some ways, I feel like it gives me permission to be tough.

What have you learned from your hair-dye experiences?

- Hailey Siracky

Rag and Roll

I have a serious case of born-in-the-wrong-generation. While I know that life in 2010 has its perks, there is a part of me that has always longed for things like handwritten letters, dances on weekends, and long drives in cars without seatbelts. This longing is never more evident than during the visits I have with my grandmother. Although I don’t see her as frequently now that I spend most of the year away at school, I try to visit as often as I can. My favourite conversations are the ones about what her life was like when she was my age.

One particular evening, we were talking about hair – specifically, the things we do to curl it.

“We used to stick a six-inch nail right in the fire!” she said, holding her hands up to show me how long the nail was. Later, she told me about how her mother used to make rollers for my grandma and her sisters out of paper: “If you twist and twist and twist,” she said, making the motions with her fingers, “the paper gets stiff, and you can wrap your hair around it.”
Continue reading