PopWorn

In my capacity as WORN’s Official Musician, I was invited by a reporter to compile the imaginary “WORN Fashion Journal Original Soundtrack Album.” Although excerpts of it may have appeared in Humber College’s newspaper, I thought that my full list might be of some interest to our blog readers.

The WORN soundtrack is a combination of songs that are popular at our events, popular in the office, or featured in the magazine. Ideally, dialogue from WORN appears between tracks (a la Pulp Fiction, and other 90s soundtracks).

Track Listing below!
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Nokomis: A Dreamy Little Corner of Edmonton

Walking into Nokomis is always a bit like stepping into a storybook for grown-ups – if you’re the kind of grown-up who lives for tea parties, fairy tales, quiet corners, and playing dress-up.

Tucked into the century-old Griffith Block in Edmonton’s Old Strathcona, the store is full of artfully arranged rows and stacks of dresses, skirts, blouses, pants, shoes, jewelry, scarves, belts, bags and oh so many things in between. (Nokomis carries WORN, too!)

The last time I visited, on a windy weekday afternoon, co-owner Jessica Kennedy greeted me warmly and encouraged me to roam around and take pictures. The soundtrack to the movie Amélie was playing on the stereo, and with a creaky wood floor underfoot and surrounded by well-crafted, Canadian-made clothing, I was convinced I had entered my own personal, dress-filled dream world. I wondered what they would say if I decided just to never, ever leave.

When I go to Nokomis, it is always with a mission. Its seductive powers are such that, without a definite goal in mind, I am at risk of leaving having purchased the whole entire store – which would be happy for my closet but sad for my wallet. The deal I have worked out with myself is this: If I need something especially wonderful – to wear to a wedding, a party, a fancy dinner – Nokomis will be one of my first stops.

Of course, sometimes I break my own rules. (Often enough that, really, they’re not actually rules so much as nice ideas.) But every decision that ends in me carrying out one of their hand-sewn, raven-printed bags is never a decision I regret.

Nokomis is the Ojibwa word for grandmother – and as a tribute to its name, the west wall of the store is covered in photos of customers’ grandmothers, each in a simple wooden frame. If you come bring in a picture of your grandmother for the wall, you get ten percent off your purchase – and if you bring in pictures of both of your grandmothers, you get twenty.

Not only is Nokomis the name of the store itself, but it is also the name of the clothing line designed by Elizabeth Hudson (who runs the studio while Jessica runs the store). Their website defines the Nokomis line as, “pretty frocks for girls who read books.” Some of my favourite dresses have been from here – when I wear them, I always feel elegant, feminine and ready for a tea party.

Recently, on the Nokomis blog, Jessica and Elizabeth have announced that they are closing production on the house line, and that Fall 2009 will be its final season. The store will remain open, and will still carry all of its other usual, independent Canadian clothing lines – readers of the WORN blog might recognize complexgeometries, Supayana, and Norwegian Wood, among others – but after this fall, their house line will cease to be. The announcement saddened me, because I’ve become a big fan of the Nokomis label and all its lovely dresses. But, then, this is definitely an occasion special enough to warrant another mission of the seek-and-dress-up variety.

- Hailey Siracky

Crushing on Queen Michelle


Fashion royalty Queen Michelle will make even the most sartorially shy among us want to rock a pair of black lamé leggings. She showcases her dark, experimental style over at her blog, Kingdom of Style.

What is your favourite item in your wardrobe?
At the moment it’s a dress Angie from Norwegian Wood and I collaborated on to design.

Do you ever try to evoke certain characters when you get dressed?
Sort of. Sometimes I might say to myself, “I’m feeling a bit gothic today,” so I would wear layers of black and other days I might feel a bit hippie. Music influences me a great deal, more so than characters.

How did you dress when you were in high school?
I was a total heavy metal kid at high school in the 80s, so lots of black, studs, tight black jeans, and band t-shirts. Luckily my school wasn’t strict about wearing the school uniform!

What is your day job, and does what do you do for a living affect what you wear?
I’m a graphic designer, which means I can wear whatever I want to work. It’s a creative environment so self-expression is usually encouraged.

What was the inspiration behind the t-shirt you did for Borders and Frontiers?
I was thinking about how youth subcultures are good examples of people who use style to express themselves. So I used a photo of my uncle Billy who was a Teddy Boy in the 50s. I thought the image was amazing, and the fact that he has “True” tattooed across his fingers was perfect – he was always true to himself and his look, which is what real style is about.

You blog with a partner (Queen Marie) – what are some of the advantages and disadvantages of blogging in a pair? Do you find that the two of you tend to influence each other’s style?
The main advantage is I get a break from writing on the weekends, which is when Marie writes. Having someone else write for the blog means it brings another voice and style to the table so, in theory, we should have something for everyone. There aren’t really any huge disadvantages other than the fact that a lot of people still don’t even realize that there are two authors! We don’t influence each other’s style at all. Style-wise we have pretty much nothing in common – total polar opposites!

What do you think the relationship is between fashion and art?
Fashion is art since art is a mode of self-expression. Britannica Online explains art as “the use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others.” Fashion ticks all those boxes. Of course it will never attain the high-brow, chin-stroking status as painting or sculpture for example, but for those who have experienced or appreciate higher forms of fashion, such as couture, there is little doubt it is an artform.

Queen Michelle’s Top Ten Up-and-Coming Designers
Holly Fulton
Gemma Slack
Mark Fast
Iris Van Herpen
David Koma
Onhe Titel
Louise Goldin
Jakub Polanka
LF Markey
Claire Tough

-Anna Fitz

Pop! Goes Fashion

When that little angel of a Wornette, Carmen, e-mailed me about attending the Fashion Pop Montreal event as a WORN correspondent, my level of giddiness was too high to even try to contain. I gave up all hope of pretending to be accustomed to the idea of having my name on a seat at the front row of a fashion show and gave into the dorky side of me who never leaves the house. I really couldn’t believe I was being offered the chance to write for the WORN blog again.

Showing up at the event was totally intimidating at first. Being someone who has lived in Montreal my entire life and still doesn’t know anyone makes events like these sort of scary, but once I got to my seat and snuck – really, I was so sneaky about it – a bad picture of my reserved seat, I sat down ready to take in all the glorious designs.

Normally when I see collections I sort of end up skipping over the pieces that I couldn’t see myself wearing. Anything that feels modern or less feminine than I prefer often gets overlooked while I ooh and aah over the pieces with bows, gingham, or peter pan collars. But this time I wasn’t looking for pieces I would wear – though that isn’t to say I didn’t see several I wanted to run home with – I was looking in awe at the talent all of these girls have! I’ve been so obsessed lately with the idea of creative lifestyles, and the fact that all six of these local designers are making a living doing what they love to do made this show all the more inspiring to me.

The winner of the evening was Angie Johnson of Norwegian Wood, a designer I fully admit to internet-stalking all the time. I was all over her tweets about how stressed she was to have to finish her dresses in time for the show last week, and I’ve had my eye on her designs ever since my first visit to her Etsy shop a while back. It seems like everywhere I look there’s some buzz going on about her, and I’ll be the first to say that the hype is more than well deserved.
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