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    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.

                    floral spring dresses, handmade in Toronto, monochromatic floral, pink floral print monochromatic floral faux leather, pink floral pattern

    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. 

    black and white floral print, fit and flare dress, handmade in Toronto

    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

    Everything Old Can Be New Again

    When we treat ourselves to new clothing, we tend to get rid of some of our older items; the ones that no longer fit properly, or those that might be out of fashion. The easiest solution for most people is to just throw the old clothes away, but is that really what’s best?
    No, definitely not. According to a recent study, the average Canadian disposes of 14kg of textile waste a year. That’s A LOT of clothes. 
    Clothing, fabrics and even shoes that are still in good condition can be exchanged, donated or sold to someone else who can use them again. You may also consider altering a garment to create a new look. But did you know that you are also able to recycle your old textiles for re-use? 

    Textile recyclers turn an old item (shoes, clothes or fabrics) into a brand new product. You wonder how? Here’s how fashion designer Carissa McCaig turned some used jeans into a fashionable, new jean dress. 


    When asked to take part in a contest to sew a couture garment out of used jeans, Carissa was skeptical at first because she hadn’t seen a jean dress yet that she actually liked. But always looking for a new challenge, Carissa agreed and made it her mission to create a jean dress she and her customers would love. She picked up the used jeans that were provided by the company Montpellier, who also sponsored the event. After spending 10 hours cutting out all the individual jeans and resewing them into a huge sheet of jean fabric, Carissa looked for inspiration in the Rococo period. She was drawn to the corseted gowns women used to wear, as well as the floral prints that were often seen in garments and paintings. Combining her love for old and new, Carissa sewed a garment that features princess seams in the front and the back of the corseted bodice, as well as an asymmetrical pleated skirt with two hidden side seam pockets. She then spent approximately 30 hours painting the dress with a white floral print pattern, and voila… out came a beautiful, one-of-a-kind jean dress any woman would love to wear.

    upcycled dress, made with jeans, hand painted floral detail

    While most of us don’t have the time (or the talent) to create a dress like this couture jean dress, WE DO have the opportunity to think about how we dispose of our clothes. So perhaps next time you find yourself wanting to throw out that old blouse, take a moment and think about some of the other options you have. For all you know you could be walking around in a brand new dress by next week.
    -Chris Berneck


    Out with the old, in with the RETRO

    custom made wedding gown, handmade in Ottawa
    After going through countless bridal magazines, trying on thousands of gowns and probably spending more money on one item of clothing than you ever will again, you finally found the perfect dress. Your mother cried, your husband smiled and your friends couldn't stop telling you how beautiful you looked. Your dress is so stunning that you wish you could wear it every single day! Unfortunately, you can't. Well, you totally could, but you might get a weird glance here or there. So now what?

    If the majority of women have one big complaint about shopping for that perfect wedding dress, it’s that it seems very unreasonable and impractical to spend a lot of money on a gown that is only going to be worn once. What if there was a wedding dress that would not only make you look gorgeous, but one that you could easily wear (and one that you’d absolutely want to wear) again after your big day?

    Being Carissa’s best selling dress, The KAJA dress is a fun, flirty, feel-good dress that can be worn to many different events. Whether you’re having drinks with your girlfriends on Saturday night, strolling the streets of downtown Toronto, or wanting to impress your fellow employees at a work party, this dress seems to have it all. Almost. This autumn, Carissa decided to take the concept of the KAJA dress even further and created a one of a kind wedding dress. This dress can not only make you feel and look amazing on your special day, but also — and this is the best part —  can be turned into that fun night-out-of-town dress you’ll want to wear again and again.

    pink floral bridesmaid gowns, handmade in Ottawa
    ‘When asked to create a RETRO dress, I wanted something traditional with a touch of fun. I wanted to cater to a bride who wanted her matured and developed style to be infused in her dress for the big day. With this dress I loved the idea of it being easily shortened after the wedding, so that it’s something the bride can get wear out of.’ ~ Carissa McCaig

    What makes this dress so special is that it combines the traditional and classical white in the front with a new and more modern splash of colour on the back. And who doesn’t love to show off a nice back?

    white wedding gown, hot pink floral detailing, handmade in Ottawa

    You may cry on your big day or you may not, and you may choose a dress you can breathe in or you may not (but hopefully you’ll decide that breathing is necessary). Everyone is different, as will be every dress shopping experience you may have. I believe that this wedding dress has the potential to make your perfect day even more perfect, but in the end, remember it’s not about the label you’re wearing. It’s about the love. Happy dress hunting, ladies!

    -Chris Berneck

    alternative wedding gown options, custom made in Ottawa

    Photographs by Jack Loves Mary Photography 

    Styled Shoot by Brittany West of Gloss Events and Decor


    I’m experimenting within the world of fashion, and life is just a constant wardrobe change

    I’m experimenting within the world of fashion, and life is just a constant wardrobe change

    Photo credits: Diem Franke Photography 

    My name is Chris Berneck and I’m a 2nd year Fashion Communication Student at Ryerson University. I was born and raised in a small town in southern Germany, and moved to Canada six years ago. I’m a competitive figure skater and have had the chance to compete at many international competitions. If you’re already wondering if I can do those ‘jumpy spinny’ things, then the answer is yes. Last year I decided to join the varsity figure skating team at Ryerson University and ended up winning the OUA Championships. When I’m not on the ice spinning and jumping around I like spending my time on Pintrest while watching re-runs of Sex and the City. 

    With the school year having ended and summer fast approaching, it was not only time to rethink my wardrobe, but also to look for new and exciting opportunities within the fashion industry. While searching for internships I was lucky enough to be able to reach out to and meet Fashion Designer Carissa McCaig. I’m super excited to be working as her new Marketing/Social Media Intern and will be writing many blog posts in the next upcoming weeks to keep all of you up to date with the latest hustle and bustle. This means that you should definitely follow all of our social channels— Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (if you don’t already)— to keep yourself in the loop. I hope that all of you enjoy reading this fashion blog as much as I enjoy writing it. 
    - Chris Berneck

    Instagram: Copiousfashions
    Twitter: @copiousfashions


    Halloween movies are officially playing on TV so that means time to plan your costume and enter the #copiouscostumecontest to get a chance to wear this hauntingly elegant gown! This gorgeous jersey dress embellished with faux leather birds was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Birds,' this dress has never been worn before, you could be the first to strut your stuff in this limited edition gown!

    I want to see how you would style 'The Birds' dress, post a collage of shoes, jewelry, accessories maybe a mask? How would you do your makeup, hair, nails? Would you have a different inspiration other then Hitchcock, show me in your collage and then post it, you have until Monday October 26th at midnight. Make sure to hashtag #copiouscostumecontest to be entered! I will announce the winner on Tuesday.

    To help you get inspired watch our opening video for the runway show and just a couple rules... 

    1. Make sure to use the hashtag #copiouscostumecontest to be entered

    2. You can repost your collage up to 3 times this week to be entered more times

    3. Ends Oct. 26th at midnight and I will announce the winner Tuesday!