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    Show Off Your (H)attitude

    Being someone who loves jewellery and dreams of owning all of the Tiffany and Co. collections, I was thrilled when I got to interview jewellery designer Hattie Dunstan. Now, don’t get me wrong, wearing Tiffany and Co. feels absolutely amazing, but imagine wearing a piece of jewellery that no one else in the world owns BUT YOU? You don’t think that’s possible without spending a fortune? Well, let me introduce you to the world of Hattitude Jewellery

    Hattie Dunstan is the owner and designer of Hattitude Jewellery. She redesigns, restyles and recycles vintage brooches, earrings and other pieces from all over the world. Everything is handmade by her and reworked in her studio just north of Toronto. Hattie’s collection is all one-of-a-kind. Every single piece has a story and holds history for future generations to enjoy. Some pieces are over 100 years old.

    Hattie’s love for jewellery stems from her grandmother and mother.
    “My grandmother is a stylish woman and so is my mom. You will NEVER see my mom leave the house without wearing jewellery. Even when she goes hiking through Newfoundland you can bet she will wear her 'hiking' earrings and 'hiking' necklace. My love for accessories stems from her. My passion for fashion and clothing came from both my grandmother and my mother. It all started with using fishing line and seed beads from my brothers tackle box as a little girl at the cottage, and from there my passion grew!”

    Hattie turned her passion for fashion and jewellery into a profession, and made it her goal to create jewellery that is meant to make her customers feel and look amazing.
    “Everyone is unique and I want that uniqueness to shine through with my accessories. I think we all should be confident in what we wear, and having a one of a kind piece of jewellery makes everyone feel a little bit more confident.” 

    Hattitude Jewellery is completely eco-friendly, which I personally love. There are so many people creating massive amounts of waste, and sadly fashion is one of the leading waste contributors. I love that her jewellery collections are not only stunningly beautiful, but also long lasting and kind to our planet.

    Hattie is always full of ideas. Her passion goes beyond jewellery, and she constantly has new projects on the go. Although she went to school for marketing and is currently focusing on her jewellery career, she would love to one day help creative entrepreneurs and small business owners market their amazing products. She would also love to open up an event venue in an old church and make it a pintrest worthy venue to run weddings, wedding showers, and parties.

    Jewellery is something for everyone to enjoy. It not only makes you look and feel fabulous when you get to wear that statement necklace, but you’re also giving everyone else some eye candy to look at. If you find yourself struggling with what to wear this season, here is what Hattie thinks you should show off:
    “This season I can't get enough of statement earrings! The bigger, the bolder, the brighter the better!”

    Check out her website at www.hattitudejewels.com and don’t be afraid to show off some (h)attitude this season! Happy Sparkling!

    ~Chris Berneck

    Cheap Clothes and Expensive Problems

    During my first semester at Ryerson University I was introduced to a documentary called The True Cost. This movie was directed by Andrew Morgan and talks about the safety concerns of garment factories, the insanely low wages of the workers, as well as the tremendous environmental impact of the fast fashion industry. It’s fairly easy to make me cry, but somehow I managed to keep my composure throughout the entire lecture and most of the film. On my way home I felt incredibly sad and helpless.


    Fast fashion is a term used by fashion retailers. It refers to the quick movement of designs from catwalk to storefront. This process makes current fashion trends available at a very low price. Zara, Forever 21 and H&M are some of the most famous (and most common) fast fashion retailers. They put out massive amounts of clothing with new designs almost weekly. Now, most of us don’t even know what fast fashion means, or why it might be a bad thing. I have to admit that a very large percentage of my own closet is currently from H&M. It was convenient to shop there and (most importantly) within my budget, but having watched The True Cost has really changed my perspective on fast fashion retailers.

    I know that seeing a shirt for $6 may not seem like a horrible thing, but it actually really is. The only way a fast fashion retailer can offer a shirt for $6 is if the people making it don’t get paid the amount they deserve. Of course, nobody would ever want to spend $30 for the same shirt. But if a shirt only costs $6, it’s also very disposable. This means that fast fashion contributes to the rapidly growing amount of clothes that are thrown out every year. You may be buying items for cheaper prices, but you’re also buying a larger quantity of them. And let’s be honest, most of the time we’re not even buying the item, we’re buying the instant gratification it gives us and the feeling of excitement of having something new.

                                       Fashion Designer Carissa McCaig sewing a new garment that is meant to last. 

    Fast fashion has us convinced that we need more, and that what’s cool this summer won’t be cool again next summer. This just isn’t true. With styles and trends changing so quickly, the quality and lifespan of our clothing has also decreased. I’m not writing any of this to make you feel guilty, because I myself have fallen into the arms of fast fashion. I simply want to make you aware of the issue, and hopefully you’ll want to contribute to its change. I don’t know about you, but I’m currently wearing an outfit from 3 summers ago and feel incredibly fashionable. Don’t let fast fashion tell you what to wear. Happy Sunday!
    ~Chris Berneck

     

    The Power of Makeup

    We all know the struggle of finding the right foundation or lipstick. Whether it’s to impress on a first date, to feel and look good when going out with our girlfriends, or to just boost our own self-confidence. What’s even harder to find, is a foundation that is going to last us all day.  Everybody wants to look and feel their best, and makeup definitely has the power to transform us, but typically these moments of transformation only last a few hours. 

    Being a performing athlete for 18 years, I’m no stranger to foundations and eyeshadows. I remember my mum spending about 30 minutes applying my makeup for competitions when I was a kid. I was always mesmerized by the different colours, and couldn’t wait to put on makeup myself. What I didn’t realize at the time was how hard my mum was working to make me look great for my performances. She’d spend such a long time trying to make everything look right, to then just have most of her efforts disappear after 10 minutes because I would sweat all of my makeup off. My mum and I tried hard to find a foundation that was able to outlast my entire figure skating routine, but we were never able to find a product that fully satisfied us. I started to wonder if there was even such a thing as a perfect foundation or lipstick.

    18 years later, I’m now writing this article (and sending my mum an email at the same time) to talk about this new makeup line I discovered, because ladies and gentlemen (for those of you who love makeup as much as I do), I think our prayers have been answered. 

    Meet founder of BYDANILEA, Danielle Houston.

                 

    Danielle fell in love with makeup when she started her career as a competitive dancer, and decided to turn her passion into a career. Not too long ago she launched her first makeup line called STAGE.

    “My passion for makeup and beauty definitely stems from my dance background. Being exposed to makeup at such a young age allowed me to play with makeup while I was younger and as I got older, understand the important role it plays in the performance industry and the missing link between makeup and performers. I also was given freedom with makeup on a daily basis and was allowed to wear makeup to school at a young age.” ~ Danielle Houston

    While Danielle’s makeup line mainly focuses on providing quality makeup kits for stage performers, BYDANILEA brand is a high quality line of products that of course can be used by non-performers as well. Her stage kits include HD foundations, primers, star crystals, glitter adhesives and lashes (to name a few) that are designed to stay on all day while performers are breaking a sweat! However, Danielle also creates custom bridal kits that include lighter products, like bb creams, shadow palettes and lipsticks. They key for Danielle is to make sure that her products can last throughout the entire day of competitions, as well as ensuring that the ingredients of each product are of high quality. Thus, the entire line is hypo-allergenic, allergy tested, paraben free, fragrance free, non-comedogenic and cruelty free. The backbone of Danielle’s brand is that it is a customizable line and service based on the needs of a team. No kit looks the same and even within a team there may be multiple options based on age groups. It stands out in the beauty industry as it is a tailored makeup line specifically for performance teams. This means they offer a service that is unique and meets the needs of their clients. Along with this, they provide the tools to empower parents and performers to feel confident with their application techniques and to look and feel their best. This is achieved through their tailored makeup tutorials. They are currently the sole provider of tailored makeup solutions for performance teams in Canada. 

    Along with Danielle’s amazing makeup line STAGE, she has a vibrant lip line called LIPS. Danielle has always been obsessed with lipstick. She felt that a single swipe of colour had the power to change her mood and self confidence. 

    “My lipstick choice is, and always has been, a daily decision based on my outfit and mood. I never stick to one staple shade! One day I’ll be in a light pink and the next a popping purple or orange. With these lipstick change ups came the daily comments by friends and family wishing they could pull off that colour but unfortunately they can’t. LIPS is a line focused on empowering you to wear the lipstick shade you want to wear but think you can’t. Because guess what? You can.”~ Danielle Houston                           

    Danielle’s goal is to empower her audience to feel confident in their makeup choices and to express their beauty creativity in their most authentic form. This means encouraging #unapologeticallybold beauties to wear the shades of lipstick they desire without feeling isolated or labelled, but rather beautiful, bold and unapologetic. Danielle believes that beauty is not gendered and focuses on encouraging all people, men and women alike, to celebrate their beauty their way. Her company also strives to breakdown the ‘skin tone’ barrier. They don’t believe that skin tone is a guide to choosing the perfect lipstick. It is the BYDANILEA philosophy that lipstick looks amazingly different across skin tones, and that choosing a lipstick is based on how we feel in it, not our preconceived notion of what colour should look good. LIPS is locally made in Toronto, Canada, and all products (just as her STAGE line) are fragrance free, paraben free and cruelty free. LIPS is also made with coconut oil and antioxidant vitamin E to provide the most hydrating product possible. 

    While makeup can (and should) be exciting, it can also be the total opposite. Sometimes we find ourselves struggling with makeup, and other times we find ourselves rocking a certain look. But whatever your current makeup situation may be, remember that we are all unique and beautiful no matter what. Be beautiful. Be Bold. Be unapologetic. 

    Happy Sunday, and as Danielle would say- With a Splash of Colour, 
    ~Chris Berneck 

     

    Agent of Change

     'Copious Fashions' fashion designer Carissa McCaig's clothing is meant to last.


    With Canada celebrating its 149th birthday, and the Pride Parade being in full swing, I found myself thinking about major milestones that have contributed to a big change in the fashion industry. Now, I’m not talking about a change in Louis Vuitton’s new collection, but rather about a change that has contributed to making the fashion industry a better place. 

    During my first year at Ryerson University, my Professor Ben Barry spoke a lot about ethical fashion, eco-friendly fashion, sustainable fashion and all other kinds of fashion… So much that my head would start to spin because I didn’t know what it all meant, nor what the difference was. But hearing Ben Barry talk about the impact of fashion on our environment really made me think about clothes in a whole new way.  

    I never really thought a lot about where my clothes came from or who made them. When I bought a new pair of jeans or a new sweater all I really cared about was: “Does it fit? Do I look good wearing it? Does it feel good?” Even that last question is a bit of a stretch because I also remember buying a pair of jeans that I only wore twice simply because I thought they made me look really skinny. But in reality they were so tight and uncomfortable that I could hardly breathe in them. Don’t get me wrong, all these questions are still totally valid and important because fashion is supposed to make you look and feel good, but maybe not so much in the big picture. 

    With the current trend of fast-fashion and mass production, most of us don’t think about the number of clothes we buy. We see a 50% off sign and jump at the chance of finding an item we love for half price, not thinking about if we actually need it, where it came from and what it’s made of, but more about the fact that we just got an amazing deal. But did you know that today we buy 400% more clothes than we did 20 years ago? Clothes are not made to last anymore. We buy dresses for $15, and if we can get 4 months of wear out of them then we consider it a pretty good deal. Out with the old and in with the new. But our resources aren’t endless! When we buy fashion, we need to take our environment into consideration because without it, there will be no fashion. Fashion should always be designed and manufactured to maximize benefits to people and communities while minimizing the impact on the environment. However, our current system of overconsumption has made it nearly impossible for designers to think about the environment.

    There are designers and companies who make it their job to not only create clothing that will last, but clothing that is also ethical.

    “The meaning of ethical goes beyond doing no harm, representing an approach which strives to take an active role in poverty reduction, sustainable livelihood creation, minimizing and counteracting environmental concerns.” ~ The Ethical Fashion Forum 

    So, while it might take a little bit more time to find clothes that are ethical, think about the contribution you’re making to the lives of others. You can be an agent of change. Trust me, it feels that much more amazing to wear clothes that aren't harmful to the environment and others than to get a 3rd pair of shoes for half price that you didn’t need to begin with. 
    Happy “Contribute to Change” Weekend! 

    ~Chris Berneck

    Age of Flowers

    There is nothing better than the first few days of summer in Toronto. The weather is amazing, the flowers are in full bloom, and one no longer needs a puffer jacket to stay warm. The citizens of Toronto finally dare to come out of hiding and begin to roam the streets again. I was one of those people that came out of hibernation this past week, and decided to take a stroll through Toronto’s High Park. If you haven’t gone, then you should definitely plan a visit. It was a beautiful day for a walk, and I was in awe of all the different flowers that were in bloom.

    As most of you probably know, the fashion industry is fast-paced and ever evolving. What’s trendy and in fashion one season could be out of style by the next. However, there are always certain pieces of clothing that manage to survive throughout the ages. With flowers, it is much the same. What gives the impression of a summery aesthetic in July and August may look out of place in November. However, there are always a few exceptions to every rule.

                      

    Being a lover of flowers, Carissa always enjoys working with floral prints. The warm and colourful patterns are elegant, timeless, yet playful and fun. The splash of colour adds a lot of excitement to your wardrobe and many people love it, but it can also feel overpowering at times. So, if you happen to love florals but prefer more traditional colours — such as black and white — or you simply want to switch up your colourful wardrobe, you will adore Carissa’s ‘ANNA DRESS’. The ‘ANNA DRESS’ is a floral black and white fit and flare dress that features a v-neckline, cap sleeves, pockets, a bubble hem, pleats and printed faux leather. This dress will pop in spring and summer, but can also be worn during the cooler, duller days of the year, making it the perfect year-round dress. 

     

    There are many options to choose from when it comes to incorporating flowers into your outfits, so at the end of the day it comes down to taste. We all like different things, but most of us also have one specific thing we absolutely love, so why not incorporate it when we get the chance. Happy Sunday everyone!

    -Chris Berneck