The Art Project Does Jamaica: Sweet n’ Sassy Minerals

13312687_10153808894994247_8545999858758385630_n13335536_10153808894989247_4218072909048577770_n13339536_10153808895069247_679473991671436278_n
13310497_10153808900774247_3636385715239577022_n

As most of you know, I am NOT a makeup girl.  I wear makeup about once a week, and even then it is mostly just mascara.  However Sweet and Sassy Minerals was kind enough to hook me up with some swag for my trip down south, and I must say, I really liked it.  The eye shadow was so subtle that there was no way I could have messed it up!  (Although I still made my friend Sara put it on for me. lol)  And the mineral powder was so light I could barely tell that I was wearing any (even in the hot Jamaican heat).

Also, can we just talk about the truffle bombs?!  Coconut lime is the PERFECT down south scent, and I am so happy they picked this one for me.  I truly believe that there are few things better than taking a hot bath and reading your favourite book either while you are away, or taking a “staycation”.

To purchase any of Sweet n’ Sassy’s products, visit Whimsey on Main Street Fredericton.

“Just wing it.  Life, eyeliner, everything.”

D.W.

Feature Friday: Anna Mathis

 

posterFelting-5
IMG_3471

Felting-25 copy
Photo credit: Denise Rowe

Anna Mathis is an international award winner for her textile designs, a graduate of the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, and has recently completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Adult Education at the University of New Brunswick. Mathis is the founder of Ploome Fiber Arts and enjoys being involved in the entrepreneurial community. Her work has been shown in galleries and shops across the Atlantic provinces, and her self-starter attitude has opened up opportunities to take her and her ideas from her hometown of Fredericton to Boston and India and back again. Mathis is passionate about sharing her craft through teaching workshops and selling fiber arts kits and supplies. Mathis has recently been exploring wearable fiber art and she has created unique felted necklaces, one-of-a-kind skirts and sculptural dresses, and a variety of woven wraps and naturally dyed scarves.

Feature Friday: Nora Swimwear

DSC_0988DSC_0214DSC_0223DSC_0827DSC_0234

1.) Where are you from originally and where are you located now?
I was born in Bermuda but most of my memories were made in Fredericton where I went to FHS, and then did my undergrad at UNB. I moved to London, England in January of this year!

2.) Why did you chose the name “Nora Swimwear” for your brand? (Was it named after someone?)
The name Nora actually wasn’t always the intended name of the brand. Over christmas break, I was sketching some designs and I was naming each of them. I named the marble bikini ‘nora’ originally and fell in love with it. I decided to look into what nora meant and it turns out it means ‘light’ and ‘honour’ which ended up being pretty central to the theme of the swimwear’s brand. Nora is all about making girls feel like that ‘woman of honour’ in which they can empower other women- while looking awesome!

3.) Where do you see Nora Swim going next? 
Things are pretty hectic right now. Its a learning process, but as of right now the website is being worked on, and the look- book shoot is planned to happen in MTL with my good friend Nat Carson as the photographer. Everything is a go for the big launch, which is happening May 21st online and pop- up at Shop Tilleul in Fredericton which I am SO excited for! Fredericton is very close to my heart, so it was easy for me to decide that is where I wanted to launch at my good friend Katie Boyce’s new store. Plus it goes live online the same day too!

4.) Where do you pull inspiration from?
I’ve always been a huge fan of swimwear. My friends always thought I was a bit crazy when I’d spend $120 on a bikini, but to me it was always worth it. Being born in Bermuda, I was naturally programmed to like warm weather. Throughout my undergrad, I saved all my (pennies) to make sure I could get down south with every chance I had. I pull inspiration from a lot of trends in textiles, fashion, and places like California, Bali, and the Mediterranean.

Inspiration is also taken from the movement where people are increasingly taking care of their health and their bodies. I think its great that people want to show off a little, and be proud of what they’ve accomplished. I also am constantly pulling inspiration from bloggers like Barefoot Blonde, WeWoreWhat, Cara Loren, and Emily Luciano. So many of the styles they post about can be transformed into swimwear.

5.) Describe your brand below in a few short sentences.
Nora Swimwear is all about making women feel and look good. Taking inspiration from beach culture and the beaches of Bali, California and the Mediterranean, Nora Swimwear is comfortable and can serve as statement pieces. Ultimately, Nora Swimwear’s aim is to connect women around the world in positivity and empowerment.

6.) What makes your swimwear brand different from others?
I think Nora Swimwear is different from other swimwear brands because it pulls many trends into one. The designs are fitted, comfortable, and are suitable for a wide range of body types. A portion of the profits will also be going to an organisation that provides micro loans to women in under- developed countries, which ties in with the meaning behind nora swimwear to empower other women.

Ashley Lemmon

Linkedin
Instagram 

Feature Friday: Zafira Apparel

IMG_1768

Tie Jumpsuit - Sheana Canthan
Photographer: Sheana Canthan
Wrap - Sheana Canthan
Photographer: Sheana Canthan
gardengown
Photographer: Brent McCombs

How long have you been in the fashion industry?
I guess it depends what you would consider to be working in the fashion industry! I have been making and selling clothes for the past 8 years on and off, but really started my clothing line 4 years ago. And for the past year, I have been working for other companies in Toronto as well as growing my own brand.

What is your favorite garment to make? (romper, dress, skirt, crop
top?)
I love creating anything! I still make most of my own samples, so the entire process is fun to me for any new garment I design. If we are talking the actual sewing aspect than the simpler the garment the better! Sewing is so time consuming, but in the sample phase it’s enjoyable.

What is your favorite fabric to work with and why?
I love working with natural fibers, especially cotton because it’s so easy to work with. I have been a lot more experimental with knits though as of recent which has opened up a lot more options with designs.

Where are you located now?
I am currently located living and working in downtown Toronto.

Who is your target market/Zafira girl?
The “Zafira Woman” is a city dwelling 22-35yr old seeking consciously made garments made in exclusive runs. Although I say 22-35, my customers are of all ages! Anyone looking for a unique, comfortable, practical and easy to wear piece. My favorite thing is to create wearable pieces that are versatile.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I have no idea! I used to be scared to not have a bit of a plan in place, but I think i’m in a great place right now and I am excited to see what is to come. Besides Zafira, I am currently a full time designer at Nuvango (www.nuvango.com<http://www.nuvango.com>). They are a vertically integrated fashion and tech company located in Toronto. Their concept is working directly with artists from around the world and putting artwork on fashion and accessories. I am fortunate enough to have a hand in creating the garments and choosing the artwork that we use. I have no idea where this road will take me and I’m not scared about it! Everyday is exciting, it is totally a dream job. With Zafira I can still explore designs, be creative on my own and be my own boss and with Nuvango I get to work with an incredible team on a project that I never saw on my path, but here I am!

What is your most favorite garment that you ever made?
It would be a toss up between my Tie Jumpsuit (which is my best seller) and the Garden Gown from SS’14. My jumpsuit is comfortable, sexy and versatile and the Garden Gown is printed, dramatic and fun.

As a fashion designer, what is your greatest strength and weakness?
My greatest weakness would probably be procrastination and my greatest strength would probably be my perseverance to carry on even when I am faced with many challenges as a fashionpreneur and as a fashion designer in a highly competitive industry.

What is your favorite colour/print to work with when you are
sewing/designing?
I love working with bold colours but also neutrals and black. Black is so versatile so it’s usually my go to. I am obsessed with prints, so I feel very lucky working as a designer at Nuvango where I get to play with artwork on clothing all day!

Follow & Connect with me!
instagram: @shopzafira @connizafiris
twitter: @zafiraapparel
facebook: ZafiraApparel

DEFINE

Copy of dark-largeDEFINE is a collaboration between a photographer (Lance Kenneth Blakney), a clothing company (Wear Your Label), and a surface designer (Dee Wilkie – The Art Project) who all have one thing in common – They want to end the stigma and start the conversation around mental health by showing a raw and personal side to the struggles of real people.

Role Models were cast from across Eastern Canada; from Toronto to Fredericton to Halifax. From over 200 submissions we narrowed it down to one brave person to represent each of the nine categories.

What was the Art Projects’ role in DEFINE?  WYL has something called the bracelet project which unites fighters, survivors, and supporters.  Each colour symbolizes a different mental health challenge, and 10% of profits help fund their giving initiatives. Dee hand dyed silk in coordinating colours, and then helped style the silk in ways that demonstrate the feelings surrounding different mental health struggles.

After months of planning, interviewing, and shooting, here is the final result.  http://www.define-project.com/

D.W.

Dee Wilkie – The Art Project Does Jamaica: Heart Strings

13151814_10153748791819247_1547059309543882510_n
13087724_10153748791704247_3259992957441921102_n13076715_10153748791759247_365288264703652504_n

I am so in love with heartSTRINGS Jewelry!!  Each piece is so unique and is made out of both new and used guitar strings.  I wore this off and on during my entire trip in Jamaica and it was one of my favorite pieces.  I was worried that the wire which held the beads on it might get caught on my clothing, or scratch my skin.  It didn’t at all, and actually, I tried looking at my bracelet to see where the wire began and ended and I couldn’t find it.  The craftsman ship of Melanie Browns’ work is excellent!

“Once a year, go some place you’ve never gone before.” – Dali Lama

D.W.

Designing My Silk For Red Dress

13082596_10153746315794247_8313130370290596295_n
Our beautiful model: Marilyn Luscombe

 

13087837_10153746315789247_6848491884100093968_n
Fashion Designer Adrienne Goodine with our model!

 

13124703_10153746315809247_1271570251185477085_n
Detail shot!!  (Adrienne LOVES bows and cute details.)


Sometime in March.

I don’t know about you, but  when I have an important project to do, or something that will take a lot of work, I procrastinate.  WHY do I do this!?

This year Adrienne Goodine asked me to design and dye silk for her red dress for the annual Red Dress Fashion Show which is a fundraiser for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.  I knew that tie dyed silk would not stand out amongst the rest of the other gorgeous hand made dresses.  So I decided to hand paint three meters of yardage with my signature roses.  WHY DID I THINK THIS WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA!?  It’s not.  Setting up the frame to stretch out my silk takes forever!!  Not to mention I have to find a space to do this first. UGH!  Now that I am writing this I have answered my own question as to why I am procrastinating dying this fabric…

March. 21st
Update!  I cleared a spot in my living room and finally started dying my silk (hooray!) now for the bad news…the news that always seems to follow when you’re me and you’re a surface designer.  There is always an obstacle to over come, always a barrier to break down, always a problem to fix.  My “scarlet red” dye is looking more pink than red.  WHHHHYYYY!?  I have painted one and a half meters of silk THREE TIMES now, and it finally looks somewhat red.  I am worried about what it is going to look like once I rinse and wash it out.  Oh well, another problem for another day really. lol

March. 25th
Silk is painted, steamed, rinsed and washed!!!  It turned out red (hooray!)

April. 3rd
As well as the red roses, I have to dye a piece of silk that is solid red.  Guess what…I ran out of dye!

Sometime in April
Thankfully I finally finished dyeing all of the silk and it turned out RED, thank gosh!  I will post more pictures soon on my instagram or facebook account, but I would love to know what everyone thinks about how the dress turned out!

“My head says, “who cares?” but then my heart whispers, “You do, stupid…””

D.W.