Crushing on the Girls of Diepo

On this round of WORN crushes we are focusing on locals girls Justine Diener and Kristin Poon, who design and produce a clothing line under the name Diepo. The clothes are beautifully made, with attention to small details, fit, and an overall view to flattering the female shape. I am particularly enamoured with the black and cream feather printed textiles used in their current collection (which you can pick up at both Robber and Rac Boutique). Justine took some time out of her hectic schedule to chat with WORN about fashion in Toronto, the process of collaboration and the origins of that feather fabric I like so much.

How did Diepo come to exist?
We started while still studying fashion design at Ryerson. Our original concept was to create a line inspired by vintage lingerie, with both daywear and shapewear pieces that could be worn on their own or styled together.

Besides designing your own line of clothing, what else do you do?
Kristin has recently relocated to New York, and enjoys baking and making ice cream in her new spacious kitchen. Justine has traditional Amish interests such as middle-parted long hair, canning fruit and vegetables, and has recently taken up weaving.

How does the collaboration between you and your design partner work? What are the advantages and disadvantages?
We usually start by creating a mood board. We use films, shapes, textures, colors, songs, places, memories. That forms am anchor or reference point to keep the collection cohesive. Then we both sketch for a few weeks, go over them and keep the things we both like, then build on them. The advantages are having constant feedback and support. There really aren’t that many disadvantages… Being in a partnership forces compromise, which can be frustrating at times but usually pays off.

How important is the role of social media for Diepo? Are you an avid blog/Tumblr/Twitter follower?
More and more, all the time. It’s a great way to reach people and let them know what’s going on, and to get feedback. But it has been a bit of a challenge for us. We’re both pretty private people and we find it hard sometimes to tweet as much as we should. We recently started a Tumblr page which is a great way to share our daily inspirations with people.

If you could design an outfit for anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Parker Posey! She is such an effortless babe, not to mention hilarious.

How did you dress in high school?
Justine was a ’90s hippie, army pants, tie dye and Doc Martens. Kristin went to an all-girls Catholic school and wore a kilt and knee socks with penny loafers.

Are there certain people in your life that have influenced your style? Who and how?
Justine’s boyfriend, printmaker Ben Szoller helped to develop our FW11 feather print, so that season was strongly influenced by his aesthetic.

What are you favorite places to shop in Toronto?
Robber on Queen Street West, Rac in Yorkville, Tabula Rasa on Broadview, and Value Village.

Diepo’s Top Five Favorite Toronto designers:
Jessica Mary Clayton
Jeremy Laing
Muttonhead Collective
Sunny Fong – Vawk

Diepo is having a three days trunk sale at Robber which they are kicking off with a party on December 1st from 6pm until 10pm. You can find great deals on holiday gifts and clothing from Diepo as well as other brands, and all while sipping on a drink and eating holiday sweets.

photography by Katie Bateman
interview by Natasha Bigioni

Black Cat Ball Raffle

I know you are all excited to dance your buns off and pick up issue 13 at the Black Cat Ball this Saturday, but did you also know that we’ve got some awesome prizes to raffle off? Start getting excited. The raffle will include items from some of our favourite independent businesses, and we want to thank them a million times over for being so generous with their donations. No matter what makes you purr, this raffle has something for every cat on the block.

Love shopping local?
Win gift certificates or special items from Robber, Fieldguided, Common Sort, Scarffaces, Nathalie-Roze and Co. and Mrs. Huizenga’s.

Read books like they’re going out of style?
We’ve got amazing ones, including Amphetamine Heart from local punk historian and poet Liz Worth, Our Liner Notes by Toronto based design team Squab, a graphic novel gift pack from The Beguiling, or a copy of superstar Amy Sedaris’ Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People, courtesy of Good Egg.

Into magazines? (Like we even need to ask).
We have gift packs and goodies from Shameless Magazine, Broken Pencil, and of course, WORN. We also have other great prizes including a gift pack from Sam James Coffee Bar, fancy sewing scissors from K-W Sewing Machines, and a surprise prize from Miracle Thieves.

As you know, we will have some cat themed accessories to spiff up your black and white ensembles, but you will also have a chance to win this cute as pie kitten ear headband, lovingly hand-made by Lara Vincent.

Tickets are only $1 each, or $3 for TEN TICKETS and winners get to pick their own prizes. You can find all the details of the party here, so bring those loonies and keep your fingers crossed!

text by Natasha Bigioni

Want to be a WORN model?

It’s that time of year again! We are starting to plan for next season’s photo shoots, and we’re looking for fresh faces to grace the pages of WORN.

Have you ever wondered about modeling for WORN? We are always looking for ladies and gentlemen to use in our photo shoots, especially people who support our mandate: to show a wide range of beauty, one that includes diversity of culture, subculture, gender identification, sexuality, size, race, and age. We are particularly looking for people who are not defined by traditional ideas of ‘model’, and remember, we are not looking for people trying to launch their modeling career – we certainly won’t be able to help with that.What we need from you:
Send an e-mail to with two pictures of yourself (one close up of your face and one full body shot). We do not expect them to be professional photos, but please do not send us very low quality or very small images. We also need you to include the following information in your e-mail:

Contact (e-mail and/or phone number):
Dress Size:
Shoe Size:
City of Residence:

Once we have all your photos and info, we will add you to our internal database (don’t worry, your photos will stay private) and send you an e-mail to confirm that you are officially on our model roster. Then comes the fun part! When a project comes up that you are just perfect for, we will contact you and see if you are interested and available to work on it.

Don’t be shy! Send us your pictures, and tell your friends to do the same!

What I Wore to WORN: Pattern vs. Pattern Edition

What inspired this outfit?
Natasha Wornette: Honestly, I hardly ever wear polka dots and don’t own anything else in that print so I think that my laundry situation probably inspired this outfit, but it’s a nice change from what I usually wear!
Casie Wornette: I felt like showing my tattoo (on my back) and what you don’t see in this photo is that this dress has the most adorable back cut-out that ties in a big bow.

Tell me about one of the items you’re wearing?
Natasha Wornette: These were my very favorite sandals, which I thrifted in Barrie for only three bucks, and sadly I broke them in half biking a few days after this photo. Total bummer.
Casie Wornette: I bought this dress on my way to work last summer, because I didn’t like what I had originally put on. Many a frivolous dress purchases later, I have learnt to make double sure I like what I’m wearing before leaving the house.

What’s the best book to read in this outfit?
Natasha Wornette: Vampires Don’t Wear Polka Dots. (Please say someone remembers those from their pre-teen years; Werewolves Don’t Go To Summer Camp… Anyone?)
Casie Wornette: The pattern on this dress really reminds me of a country picnic, so probably an author from the American South. Something by Flannery O’Connor maybe?

What style icon would wear this outfit?
Natasha Wornette: Mini Mouse.
Casie Wornette: When it comes to plaid dresses, the one that first comes to mind is Charlotte York attending the Highland Fling on Sex and the City.

outfit credits
Natasha Wornette: Dress from H&M and sandals thrifted.
Casie Wornette: Dress from Winners, and shoes from Philistine.