Secret Creature Prints

Karen Wornette discovers there are hidden cats on her tie

What inspired this outfit?
It’s all quite practical, really. I’d been trying to stretch the wardrobe that I brought to Toronto, so I took my single white shirt and paired it with the tie from another. I tried to remember how to tie a tie properly, but couldn’t (when I’ve worn one before, my dad has been there to help me along, his hands working the strip of fabric into the familiar half-Windsor knot), so I pretended and ended up with the shorter strip hanging in front.

Tell me about one of the items you are wearing.
If you look very closely at the tie, you’ll notice it has a cat pattern. It’s one of those things that tricks the eye—for the first few months that I wore the shirt, I didn’t notice the felines. After my discovery, I started seeing patterns all over the place. I had New Year’s dinner with a family friend in Vancouver one year, and, to my delight, she wore a button-down printed with birds. We said “cheers” over new beginnings and creature print clothing.

What is the best book to read in this outfit?
I’ve been staying at Jenna Wornette’s apartment, and she’s got a killer book collection in her room. Every time I glance up, I find a new title that I want to flip through. At the moment, I’ve been reading Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion, Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, and Angry Women, a collection of essays written by 16 pioneering female performance artists.

What style icon would wear this outfit?
Greta Garbo, with her classic ’30s sportswear.

outfit credits // Blouse by Diane von Furstenberg, shorts by CiCi, from Two of Hearts Boutique in Vancouver, tie from the Junque Cellar in Edmonton, shoes by Zeha Berlin, sunglasses from Alex Wornette, and earrings from my mom.

photography // Stephanie Chunoo and Alex Chronopoulos

Eva Wornette

Our new editorial intern wornette reminisces about clothing items past, and balancing the bold with the basic

Growing up in the suburbs of Ottawa, I used to ride my bike to the Quickie Mart and the video store to buy Bop and Teen Beat and rent Clueless. I loved Cher’s plaid mini-skirts and knee-high socks but felt most at home in the baggy jeans and flannel shirts of my ’90s generation. I’ve felt torn between contrasting styles ever since. From preppy to bohemian, punk, and vintage, I’ve experimented with many looks but rarely felt confident enough to pull them off. Instead, I’ve settled on a wardrobe of neutral basics in which I always feel at ease.

Reconciling my casual personal style with the more adventurous fashion items I admire is where my love of fashion media comes in. Magazines, blogs, memoirs, and friends allow me to explore my love of bolder pieces vicariously. As someone who works out the world through writing, telling stories about fashion has given me an outlet for working through my bold vs. basic conflict. Every once in a while, it has even pushed me out of my comfort zone and into the beautifully tailored studded-shoulder romper that sits in my closet far too many days of the year. I can’t think of anywhere better than WORN to (ever-so-gently) push me even further.

Current Inspirations

Menswear Dog
Usually I don’t condone exploiting your pet for the sake of entertainment, but this website combines two of my favourite things (dogs and fashion) impeccably. Funny as it may sound, the outfits are a great starting point for a menswear-inspired look, and Bodhi’s re-creation of outfits from Ryan Gosling’s leading movie rolls are eerily on point.

Anthology Magazine
This quarterly home décor and entertaining magazine embraces the fact that people still appreciate a physical print publication and, like WORN, its beautifully decorated and photographed editorials are timeless. As someone whose love of design goes far beyond fashion, I find Anthology’s coverage of creativity in all facets of living inspiring, and reading it has encouraged me to take more pleasure out of everyday activities like cooking dinner and organizing my work space.

NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts
Over the past year I’ve found myself drawn more and more to public broadcasters and the unique stories they bring to us. I also love intimate concert sessions à la Black Cab Sessions and La Blogotheque, and this set from NPR is just as addictive. All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen’s desk is the perfect venue to showcase the voices of musicians like First Aid Kit, and the shows are the perfect soundtrack for a lazy summer afternoon.

National Geographic Found Tumblr
Pulling from 125 years of archived National Geographic photographs, this Tumblr includes everything from portraits to travel photography and key moments in history. In doing so, it manages to document fashion from all around the world over the past century without even trying.

Cupcakes and Cashmere
This blog has been around for ages but it never stops putting a smile on my face. Emily is like the cool older sister I never had, and starting my day off with her newest post just feels right. Her style is casual and accessible and her posts about food, fashion, and her home inspire me to appreciate the everyday.

text // Eva Voinigescu
photography // Paige Sabourin

Karen Wornette

She travelled across the country to finish her practicum here with us

I’ve spent the past four years of my life immersed in the Human Ecology degree program at the University of Alberta. As a Clothing, Textiles, and Material Culture major, I’ve taken courses that consider the cultural, economic, social, and personal contexts that impact the ways in which we adorn our bodies and present ourselves to the world. When I discovered that WORN publishes creative, intelligent content about fashion’s many facets, I decided to move to Toronto for a couple months to complete my practicum… and become a wornette!

My relationship with clothing tends toward the historical, yet remains grounded in what’s practical. When I do have time to sew (I wish I could find more), I get on my mom’s sewing machine from the ’80s and stitch together vintage-inspired projects. Mostly, though, I mend the garments that I’ve worn through. My mom’s cousin gave me a floral dress that she wore to parties in the ’70s, and that I would wear on my first day of grade 12. I tore the armhole seams as I kept the dress in heavy rotation, and I ended up sewing and re-sewing the same curved lines. The thread unraveled and the fabric tore away, but that’s what happens to clothing when it’s worn—it’s not so terrible.

Working at WORN will bring me closer to the personal histories of dress that I so dearly enjoy. Through reading (WORN has a stunning collection of books on dress and culture/subculture), interviewing a few local artists and designers, and writing about “clothes” encounters, I’ll be able to further explore our dressed selves in context. To get my daily inspiration of personal interpretations on fashion, I’ll need to look no further than the decidedly individual wornettes.

Current Inspirations

Are Clothes Modern? Or, What We Talk About When We Talk About “Dress”
Swedish costume historian A. E. Funk documents what she’s been reading in books and around the net in a Tumblr-like format, only she appears to find her captions first and then adds the eye-catching images.

Brain Pickings
If you don’t have time to read all those books on your list, click over here for a well-curated selection of quotes from interesting authors and cultural icons on writing, reading, and the creative life, among other things.

Obakki’s Treana Peake speaks at Vancouver’s Creative Mornings
A designer with a conscience, Peake is refreshingly open about her internal struggle over her work in an industry that requires human hands to create the garments, but rarely pays attention to documenting their stories.

I recently re-discovered this Toronto-based master of the quirky interview. After watching him on MuchMusic growing up, I’ve enjoyed keeping up with him as he researches like mad and then surprises musical artists of all genres with his obscure questions and gifts.

Vogue Archive
An absolute must when doing fashion photographic research, this collection of Vogue from 1892 to the present has some real gems, including Anjelica Huston shot by Richard Avedon for a 1969 issue.

photography // Stephanie Chunoo and Tabitha Poeze

The Wornlings Are Coming!

Stephanie3, Tabitha, and Alex Wornette form the newest WORN tri-pod

Howdy, Gütentag, and Aloha to you all! We are Stephanie, Tabitha, and Alex. We are the new Wornettes on the block, and this makes us very excited. Since the three of us are the new co-op interns—or “Wornlings” as we’ve been dubbed—we are writing a collective introductory post so as to maintain simplicity.

First up, Stephanie (or Stephanie3 as she has been newly christened):
Though I may initially come across as nit-picky, assertive, and (in layman’s terms) a bitch, deep down I’m not really a Grinch-like person, and my heart is indeed three sizes larger than most think. I’m a romantic at heart, and I’m happiest when listening to the sounds of Pat Benatar and The Police whilst flipping through the works of Helmut Newton and Lee Miller. I find beauty in couples who have been married for more than 40 years and can still be seen strolling about hand in hand. I love thunderstorms, Humans of New York, and wish my life could mirror Julia Roberts’ in Eat, Pray, Love. I hope to pursue photography in the future and travel the world, ideally working for National Geographic.

And now Tabitha:
My parents named me after the witch and I must admit I can’t imagine living with any other name. I’m opinionated, ambitious, and if you don’t fall in love with me immediately after we meet I’ll be sure to use my magical witch charms until you do. On a regular weekend you’ll definitely find me out and about; whether it’s record hunting for my collection, dealing with the strange customers at my retail job, or trekking across the city just for a good bite to eat, I don’t think a day is complete without some sort of adventure. Recently I have developed quite the obsession with flavoured lattés and Kanye West. I’m still very young and still very much trying to figure out what I’d like to do with my life. All I really know is that I never want to give up my artistic lifestyle, and hey, maybe my time here at WORN will help me figure out the rest.

Last but not least, Alex:
I truly am an old lady at heart, not because I have hoards of cats and teeth that have a tendency to move a little every time I sneeze, but because I truly believe chivalry isn’t dead and no day is complete without some lipstick and a couple dabs of perfume behind my ears. I probably watch way too much Star Trek and Criminal Minds, to the point where I am convinced my neighbours are psychopathic serial killers descended from another planet. On a normal note, I also enjoy springtime walks with my father, scouring thrift shops for jewelry, and making ravioli with my Nonna. I absolutely love to write, so much so that I tend to ramble, and hope to pursue journalism in the future.

Current Inspirations

Humans of New York
This Big Apple-based photo blog started by photographer Brandon Stanton in 2010 aims to capture the everyday people on the streets of NYC through an exhaustive collection of photographs. What makes each photo memorable for me are the diverse set of captions. Accompanying each image, they range from a personal commentary on the weather to hard-hitting life advice. Overall, Humans of New York is a moving and inspiring tribute to the eccentric and compelling city of New York.

A`bout Design Corporation
This Toronto-based fashion design company is led by the visionary Dean Hutchinson. His approach to fashion is unique in that he makes his clothes with the intention that the wearer will form their own identity and story whilst wearing the garment, as opposed to many other retailers who hope clients will simply buy their merchandise for the name. Interning at Dean`s studio opened my eyes to the personalities and stories a garment can have.

The Locals
After a trip to Denmark two years ago, I completely fell in love with the phenomenal sense of style that practically everyone had there. Coming across The Locals shortly after was like a dream. The blog originally started out with a focus on Copenhagen street style and has completely evolved and expanded to include street style from cities all over the world. I can’t think of a better display of how fashion and style are so universal, yet at the same time completely different from place to place. I love being able to grab inspiration for my style from such a diverse array of cities and people.

Thought Catalog
It could probably be defined as a blog but I think of it more as a collection of refreshing and nicely written articles. New content is posted every day relating to anything and everything from personal stories, music, fashion and pop culture, to poetry and, well, just life in general. Similar to the articles, the writers are also very diverse. They all seem to have intriguing (yet varying) backgrounds, style, experience, and locations around the globe. I find it so incredibly fascinating that all these different people can write such different pieces, and still have them come together like clockwork. There really is something for everyone on Thought Catalog and I’ve never left the website without a new idea, perspective, or thought.

The Original James Bond Movies
The 1960s, exotic locales, crazy villains, shoddy special effects, and a tanned and toned Sean Connery. Need I say more? In all seriousness though, it’s fascinating to compare the original 1960s Bond to the modern-day version. While his class, charm, and overall debonair disposition have stayed the same, the fashion and general social graces most certainly have evolved with the times. The impeccably tailored suits, sophisticated millinery, and of course the badass-ness that is The Bond Girl—or the original Femme Fatale—is nothing short of inspirational.

Maureen Lee & Jill Barber
Two very different people with two very different jobs, these ladies never fail to inspire me and put a huge, goofy grin on my face. The former is an author and a Liverpudlian as they call themselves, who centers all of her novels around strong-spirited female protagonists pre- and during WWII. The latter is a Canadian jazz singer who has recently risen to fame with her vintage, war-era sound and disposition, covering such artists as The Andrews Sisters (another personal favourite). As I am completely obsessed with the war years, these two remarkable ladies continually inspire me with their witticisms, class, and of course their obsession with lipstick.

photography // Zoe Vos