Real Live Zebra!

When Avyn Wornette told me she wanted to do a photo shoot for issue 11 on her friend’s farm with a zebra named Marty, I was skeptical. While Avyn was sketching out looks with Marty lying complacently amid heeled and hair-sprayed models, I cautioned that she should plan for shots with the zebra wandering around somewhere in the background.

The reality of the shoot was somewhere in between. Marty behaved a lot like any horse I’d encountered… friendly and interested, but only on his own terms. He strutted and posed with the best of them, until he got bored and wandered off to hang out with the llamas. This was the most ambitious photo shoot we’d ever planned – the highest number of models we’d ever put in a shoot, the biggest change of looks in a spread, the farthest location (three hours away in Avyn’s hometown of St. Mary’s), the largest crew, extensive props, and, of course, a real live zebra. The day was long and exhausting, but extremely satisfying.

Model Sam using a ladder to get to a location over the electric fence.

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Book Review: Vintage Magazine

This is the very first issue of Vintage Magazine, and it is tempting to judge it by the cover. I was seduced by the huge watercolour Marie Antoinette and bold purple lettering radiating simplicity and beauty from the printed page. Since conventional wisdom dissuades us from judging books by their covers, I decided to take a closer look. Vintage is driven by editor Ivy Baer Sherman, who was inspired by the short-lived Flair Magazine that ran from 1950-51. Using different papers, inks and surprise elements in the layout, it attempts to recapture Flair’s absurdly artful presentation, which included die cuts and foldouts.

The articles are not only fashion-centric, for the publication aims to study the “impact of history on our present culture.” That said, I was more interested in the essay on Ferragamo than the one about Ferraris (about which I am not entirely surprised). The fashion-related pieces include musings on Barbie, a short history of hairstyles (with a flipbook feature) and an essay on Ferragamo’s invention of the wedge. The writing is interesting and provides some good synopses, but never takes a definitive stance. While it’s clear that Salvatore Ferragamo was forward thinking in developing the wedge (no less than a paragraph is spent namedropping his clients), the piece never seems to move beyond an inventory of material innovations.

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Crushing on Justin Tan

Artist Justin Tan contributed to issue 10 by creating a super cool reinterpretation of Don Cherry’s suit. His work combines crisp black lines with textured planes of colour; a style that can rival Cherry’s any day. WORN’s need for a fact-checker became evident when, after the copy was printed, I realized Justin’s name was misspelled – our sincerest apologies, Justin! I caught up with him to enlighten WORN readers of the work of a man who is, contrary to what may be printed in the magazine, named Justin Tan.

Do you remember your first impressions of Don Cherry’s style? Would you be interested to see more people emulate it?
The first time I saw Don Cherry was when I was a little kid watching Hockey Night in Canada. I wasn’t really interested in people’s style back then, so my impression of him was probably similar to Mr. Dress Up. Just an older gentlemen who dressed funny. I wouldn’t like it if more people dressed like Don Cherry. I really appreciate the effort he puts into his wardrobe, and that’s kinda his thing. If more people did it, then it would lose some of it’s appeal.

Tell me a bit about your illustration of Mr. Cherry.
Well, the idea behind my illustration is an ageless Don Cherry. From what I remember as a kid, Don Cherry looked the exact same when I was 10 as he does now. He doesn’t seem to get older or anything, I mean, can you picture Don Cherry wearing a track suit to go mall walking followed by bingo and 4 o’clock dinner? That picture just seems ridiculous; that would make a great illustration though. But for me, I had fun imagining Don Cherry being alive in a future where Hockey is played across the galaxy and there’s like one Earth team, and they play Saturn’s team or Mars’ team. Galactic Cup instead of World Cup. I’ve really been into space and the galaxy lately too, so this was a great way to work some of that great imagery into an illustration.

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Book Review: Fashionable Technology (The Intersection of Design, Fashion, Science, and Technology)

The day we were assigned book reviews, I had just come from a lecture on electronic textiles. I took the fact that Fashionable Technology, a book all about electronic textiles and fashion, was up for grabs as a sign and decided I was chosen by a higher power to review it. While the book and I did not necessarily have a divine connection, it’s a fascinating volume. Fashionable Technology aims to be a comprehensive reference guide for students and researchers in the field, but it’s accessible to the layman. Over the past few decades, engineers and designers have been working together to create clothing that goes beyond ideas of style or warmth. Innovations in technology have allowed for garments that react to outside stimuli or receive messages via Bluetooth. The book features myriad creations by more than fifty designers and companies, from undergraduate students to Nike. The projects profiles are supplemented by a preface on what components you need to design your own electronic textiles, as well as comprehensive lists of blogs, suppliers and institutions that might lead you toward your technological dreams.

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