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Fashion

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Victoria Brumwell's got your back

Posted By on Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 6:14 AM

IAN SELIG
  • IAN SELIG


Victoria Brumwell
thinks like an artist. The painter comes from a fine art background—which helps—but what really shows her creative depth is the way she sees possibility in everyday objects. Her eponymous, up-cycled line sees her transforming thrifted jackets (and more recently, bags and boots) into wearable art in the most literal sense: Bestowed with one-of-a-kind, hand-painted designs like abstract florals and tattoo-style snakes.

“To me, they’re like found canvases,” Brumwell says via phone.
It all started roughly over a year ago, when Brumwell spotted a jacket on social media with a painted back panel. “‘I could do that,’ I thought, so I experimented on this acid-wash vest, posted it online and people started asking for commissions,” she explains.
Steam gathered from there, with Brumwell building a collection of coats and vests—mostly slouchy, ’80s denim pieces—and eventually snagging a spot in Atlantic Fashion Week’s The Medium is the Message showcase earlier this month.

“I’m an avid thrifter. I’m always wearing at least two thrifted things at any one time,” Brumwell adds, explaining how she is able to score her found canvases—like a leather trench evoking ’90s Versace in screaming scarlet. That trench became her favourite piece to date, the back panel painted with a Doberman mid-howl.
Brumwell estimates each jacket takes 12 hours to complete. While she advises against machine washing or wearing in heavy rain, the pieces are built to last—and luckily for the wearer, if the paint chips it just adds to the aesthetic.

While commissioned back panels (often negotiated via Instagram) make up the bulk of her business, Brumwell’s AFW collection featured painted pants and denim dresses—hinting at her dreams of branching into design, which she confesses on the phone. For now, though, fans hungry for more of her Memphis-design-aesthetic can curb cravings with items like squiggle-covered wallets, chain-print bags, or maybe that Doberman trench.

“The value in what I do is making something one of a kind,” Brumwell says. “They’re like a tattoo you can take off.”
Find her work at Lost & Found (2383 Agricola Street) or here.

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Halifax street style: Cambridge Street

Scouring the streets for the city's most fashionable

Posted By on Wed, Oct 4, 2017 at 3:40 PM

MEGHAN TANSEY WHITTON
  • MEGHAN TANSEY WHITTON

Name:
 Josefa (left) and Paulette (right) Cameron
Age: 25 and 28
Spotted: Cambridge Street
Wearing: Josefa: blouse, Value Village; jeans, American Apparel; shoes, Value Village. Paulette: trench, Burberry; jeans, Value Village; boots and purse, Zara; turtleneck, American Apparel

How would you describe your style?
J: “It is mutable. It depends on the weather, what my plans are for the day, and what mood I am in.”


P: "I say my style is quite fluid. It ebbs and flows according to what I am feeling, what closet items I have available, and what the weather conditions are. Right now, I have been veering towards simple black turtlenecks belted with a good pair of jeans. I have a few reiterations of that."

Where do you derive inspiration from when putting together an outfit?
J: “Mid to late ’80s Jennifer Connelly, ’60s and ’70s Michelle Phillips and my mother. She is nifty at combining a ’60s darling, ’70s cool, ’80s empowerment and ’90s class – that only someone who lived through these decades could.”

P: “I follow a few Scandinavian Instagram accounts, and I always enjoy Celine’s collection as well as Mansur Gavriel's. But I think overall, I like to envision an older lady in her Sunday best, and replicate that. I imagine one lady in a cream cashmere sweater saying over her shoulder to her friend, 'Oh, don’t you look smart!' I try to recreate what that might be. I alternate between that and the casual, maybe Chantal Goya in Masculin Féminin, Jane Birkin—but everyone says that—and lately a '70s Lauren Hutton.”

How does living in Halifax affect your fashion choices?
J: “I have definitely started wearing more practical, outdoorsy outfits on the chance that my day might bring me on a hike, a long walk at Point Pleasant Park, or a bike trip.
 Halifax has a way of drawing me to nature at least once a day."

P: “The weather has probably impacted it the most. Lots of wool. More scarves, more layers, also waterproofing my life.”

Local shopping hotspot?
J: “Since moving here, I basically have only shopped at Value Village and Frenchy’s for clothing, they are meccas for unparalleled gems.”

P: “I am constantly seeking the perfect vintage high-waisted jeans, and have a small collection going, so I peruse places like Sally Ann’s and Value Village often. Also Lost and Found is great and features some great local designers.”





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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Halifax street style: Creighton Street

Scouring the streets for the city's most fashionable

Posted By on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 4:00 AM

MEGHAN TANSEY WHITTON
  • Meghan Tansey Whitton

Name: Sophie Drapeau
and Tobias
Age: 27
Spotted: Creighton Street
Wearing: Sweater, Zara; jeans, Levi’s; shoes, Vans from Little Burgundy, Halifax Shopping Centre

How would you describe your style?
Simple, comfortable and sometimes sophisticated. I like to purchase items that are timeless and could be combined in multiple outfits.

Who/where do you derive inspiration from when putting together an outfit?
I like to browse Instagram for style/fashion inspo.

How does living in Halifax affect your fashion choices?
The weather is my number-one factor in terms of what outfit I will wear that day. You never want to be too cold or without some sort of rain gear.

Name a current trend that you just can’t get on board with?
I can’t get on board with a lot of trends but I still find it cool when other people can pull it off.

Local hotspot for gems?
Pro Skates, Alexa Pope and Elsie’s

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Anti Fashion opens on Agricola and West

Andre Merlo is upping the Anti

Posted By on Wed, Jul 12, 2017 at 6:02 PM

Best dressed folks at the fair, ever. - ANDRE MERLOT
  • Best dressed folks at the fair, ever.
  • Andre Merlot

Andre Merlo knows a good look when he sees it. He’s worked in fashion, photography and styling and even had his own line in Milan, but now he’s zeroing in on affordable, quality second-hand clothing.

“I’m from Italy originally, but I’ve been coming to Halifax for 10 years on and off,” he says. “I was 17 when I came here for the first time, and fell in love with the lifestyle, the people and the culture.”

Merlo’s hoping his Anti Fashion can add to that culture. He’s been growing the brand over the last few months, building on the Anti collection and popping up at the Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market as well as at special events like Full Circle Festival, Folly Fest and this weekend’s Evolve Festival. This month, he debuted a bricks-and mortar boutique on the corner of West and Agricola (upstairs at 5687 West Street), offering shoppers a hand-picked second-hand selection and a personal shopping experience.

“I have a really funky taste. I like originality, I like things that are unique, hard to find and I like quality,” Merlo says. “Not everyone loves a Value Village experience. I tell you how it is, I’m always very honest. I want people to walk out with something that looks good and makes sense for them.”

On top of its distinctive selection, Anti Fashion will offer both monthly ($10) and yearly ($55) memberships to its shoppers, which will yield discounts and special deals, and Merlo says he’s dedicated to keeping prices low and calibre high.

“Why do we keep buying new and pouring money into fast fashion? Everybody loves to switch up their look, and if you can do it with little money it’s a win for everyone.”

Follow Anti Fashion for updates to hours, and what's in store.

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Maggie Jayne spring/summer 2017 collection launches tonight

Sort your summer look tonight at Lion & Bright

Posted By on Wed, Jun 7, 2017 at 3:44 PM

VIA MAGGIEJAYNE.CA
  • via maggiejayne.ca


The 2017 spring/summer collection from Halifax-based designer Maggie Jayne launches tonight at Lion and Bright. The Maggie Jayne clothing line is a collaboration between locations: Halifax and fair trade garment manufacturers in Pushkar, India. The one-woman operation is run by Maggie MacCormick, who travels between Halifax and India to oversee production.

The new collection features naturally derived fabrics such as linen and Khadi cloth, handwoven by artisans in Bugar. The new pieces play with inspiration from uniforms, incorporating block stripes and tropical pastels with loosely flowing shapes and a minimalist feel.

Stop by the event tonight between 7:30-9:30pm to view, touch and try on pieces. Guest performance by DJ Alfalfa Brown of Staying Underground and summer drink specials to boot.
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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Fashion, forward at the Fabric of our DNA

The culture-rich fashion show raises money for MSVU’s Africentric scholarship and showcases young design talent

Posted By on Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 5:29 PM

A look from Toria Aidoo’s Kwestomar Kreations at last year’s show. - CLICK PRODUCTIONS
  • A look from Toria Aidoo’s Kwestomar Kreations at last year’s show.
  • CLICK PRODUCTIONS

There's no shortage of talent in the realm of local African-based designers, and this Friday that's being celebrated through fashion, music and artistry in a must-see show. 

Toria Aidoo, founder of Kwestomar Kreations, is one of four designers coming together and breathing life into the local fashion scene at Mount Saint Vincent University's second annual Fabric of our DNA.

The show is organized by MSVU's Africentric Support Group and Soli-productions to celebrate African Heritage Month, as well as raise money for the university's Africentric scholarship fund.

"It's good because it gets students realizing they need to appreciate their culture and that identity will allow them to propel forward," says Aidoo, who came to Canada from Ghana at the age of 18 to further her education. 

"I realized the rich culture I left behind in Ghana, but being involved in student activities propelled me to work harder to reach my potential. We need to help them become leaders for tomorrow and keep that cultural side alive," she says.

Though Aidoo is one of Halifax's most seasoned designers her designs are ever-changing, embodying tradition and North American appeal. Even after spending decades living in Canada, Aidoo has been using her talents in educating and designing to help her Ghanaian people. She works with 15 designers in Ghana, and uses materials manufactured there.

"My goal is to help them to export their work and to help people in this part of the world appreciate a piece of Ghana," says Aidoo, who will be donating proceeds from Kwestomar Kreations towards reopening her mother's school.

There are a lot of charitable efforts at the core of Fabric of our DNA as it has already helped a lot of students, says Randy Headley, the Africentric Support coordinator at MSVU. "It brought a community of students together. It has united current students along with alumni to generate momentum," he says. The show has also been a great way to expose new and upcoming design students. "I look to DaVinci College for students to give them an opportunity to showcase their work on our level," says Headley.

As they prepare for the show Friday, Solitha Wallace, the director of the runway show and founder of Soli-productions, is happy to be a part of such an inclusive event.

"There needs to be more diversity on the scene and I hope I can bring that to the market that's here," she says. 

Wallace, who is originally from St. Vincent and The Grenadines, also works for designer Eyal Zimmerman and will be featuring his 2016-2017 collection in the Fabric of our DNA. Zimmerman's line features evening gowns that are mostly streamline couture and ready-to-wear pieces she describes as "very glamourous."

Other designs on showcase are Selassie Tagboto's collection Identity and  Wafa Ouzri's fascinating collection from Morocco. 

Fabric of our DNA
Friday February 17, 6-9pm
Rosaria Student Centre, Multi-purpose Room
Mount Saint Vincent University, 166 Bedford Highway
$20/35


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Thursday, December 8, 2016

BZLY aims for big things

The Dartmouth clothing company offers A Guide To The Revolution

Posted By on Thu, Dec 8, 2016 at 9:52 AM

REDE MEDIA
  • RedE Media

Entrepreneur and artist Peter Hemsworth plans to affirm the fashion industry in Halifax with his debut line of paintings turned casual wear. It’s called A Guide to the Revolution, and Hemsworth says the loose-fitting eco-friendly tees, layerable Grime hoodies and sleek bomber jackets are all about personal empowerment.

“It’s built around the archetype of the revolutionary. It seeks to capture the strength and confidence of a person who believes in something, and despite adversity, pushes forward and elicits positive change.” While Hemsworth cites the recent launch of his clothing company, BZLY, as his personal revolution, he’s known that he wanted to be an entrepreneur as early as age 11. “This was a few years after coping with the news I would never be a Power Ranger or the next Michael Jordan. I knew whatever I ended up doing had to be my own. I started BZLY to do just that, give myself an uncensored avenue to create.”

This creativity is made intrinsic to every BZLY garment by Hemsworth first locking himself in a room, most often in the company of an XL pizza and an Al Green record. There, he puts acrylics and spraypaint to canvas, crafting abstract paintings that will embody the feeling of his designer line. The best of the batch get converted into digital blueprints, and with the help of seasoned designer James Awmack, the themes and colourways of the art imbue a fresh fashion series with a unique creative touch. “Nova Scotia is an amazing creative environment for a project like this,” says Hemsworth. “Art galleries are speckled through the city almost as frequently as Tim Hortons’. It just seems like our export here is our creativity.”

For BZLY, the future holds an appearance at the Last Minute Holiday Pop-Up (Friday, December 9, 3-8pm) put on by Bodega Boutique (104 Portland Street), a line of Offseason Classics to tide you over post-January, and when spring arrives it’s time for Series II: Legacy Systems.

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Till kingdom come: meet local designer, Unique Jones

Fashion Kingz seeks to inspire and empower.

Posted By on Thu, Nov 10, 2016 at 4:00 AM

“It’s just about when you stand out and look good, you feel powerful,” says Unique Jones. - LINDSAY MCMULLEN
  • “It’s just about when you stand out and look good, you feel powerful,” says Unique Jones.
  • Lindsay McMullen

“Everyone deserves to feel powerful in their own way,” says Unique Jones. “That’s what I want my clothing line to express.”

Jones, a 20-year-old designer, crafts a custom collection in Fashion Kingz, encouraging everyone and anyone to adorn themselves in comfy, feel-good garments. An arbiter of street style, Jones says the inspiration to start his own clothing line sparked nearly three years ago, but he never thought this dream would come to fruition.

The idea happened on a whim.

“I’ve always liked to look good,” he says. “I thought one day, ‘Hey, it may be cool to share my style with other people,’ but I didn’t take it seriously at first because I didn’t think it was something I could actually do.”

Jones credits the growth of his business to the OPtions: Youth Program—a program partnering with Service Canada and the Sobey School Business Development Centre aiding in evolving its participants’ soft skills to help them succeed in their futures. During Jones’ six-month enrollment, he began to lay the foundation for what eventually became Fashion Kingz. After experiencing challenges in his mandatory work placement during this time, he was paired up to work with Alex MacLean, creator and owner of East Coast Lifestyle. The moment that happened, Jones says, is when everything changed.

“The choice to stick with what I was doing was because of Alex,” says Jones. “He showed me the ropes about business and taught me the positives and negatives this industry has.” Jones says the creative connection was instant. In October of last year, he was working alongside MacLean at the East Coast Lifestyle warehouse when Jones decided show MacLean his designs.

“He’s been there for me every step of the way, he guides me through it,” says Jones, “and that’s what motivates me to keep going, knowing he’s on my side.”

After drawing inspiration from how other clothing lines communicated their messages, Jones decided to design a crown as a representation of power and MacLean inspired him to include “fashion” in the brand’s name. Both stuck. It was then and there Jones says he solidified his collections motivation and aesthetic.

“Initially the clothing was targeted for men, but after getting feedback from women in the community, I decided to branch out and make stuff for women too,” he says. “To me now, a fashion king can mean more. It’s just about when you stand out and look good, you feel powerful.”

Jones reiterates how the “look good, feel good” mentality is important to him and how he hopes to continue making waves with that mantra in the industry.

Though he’s been selling shirts, sweaters and jerseys for only about a year now, Jones has decided to expand his collection for the winter season. Fashion Kingz boasts bombers, toques, sweatpants, scarves—anything that will keep you warm—within the next couple months. He’s also working on pillows, blankets and patches.

“Being from the north end of Halifax, a lot of people have dreams but take different routes,” he says. “I never thought a normal kid like me who’s experienced a lot of challenges in school, the community and just a general lack of motivation could be where I am right now.”

Jones says he knows every business has to take a loss at some point, and while he’s faced his fair share of challenges branding and promoting his collection, he has no plans to slow down.

“I started paying attention and motivating myself,” he says, “and it got me on the right path that I’m still on today and I’m excited to see where this all goes.”

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Friday, May 29, 2015

Anna Gilkerson presents, Älskling

Makenew's Anna Gilkerson launches her new line this weekend

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2015 at 10:52 AM

PHOTO BY LINDSAY DUNCAN, VIA @MAKENEW
  • photo by Lindsay Duncan, via @makenew

After a few years of running her curated thrift shop Makenew (2468 Agricola Street), local designer Anna Gilkerson knows what the people want. And not just when it comes to design and the fabric, but the price too. Her second line, Älskling (which means Swedish for "darling"), combines all three of those considerations in a collection of women’s clothing that boasts strong neutral colours, clean lines and summery lightweight fabrics in the form of cotton eyelet shirt-dresses, embroidered trousers, jersey t-shirts, as well as some of Gilkerson’s altered denim designs.

Älskling, her first foray into clothing design in three years, launches online and in store this Saturday, May 30. Peep the prettiness here.

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ready to RockaLillie

From online to Cunard Street, RockaLillie is temporarily yours

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2015 at 10:26 AM

One of RockaLillie's many finds
  • One of RockaLillie's many finds

Lily Dijkland has a serious love for pre-loved clothing. The Holland native has always wanted to open her own boutique, she spent years working in a vintage shop in in Europe before moving to Canada in 14 years ago, since then she’s been selling her collection of collected second-hand pieces online. That is until Formerly Yours (6029 Cunard Street) closed and the opportunity to bring her RockaLillie alive offline presented itself.

“It’s a perfect chance for me to see how it will be to run a store in Canada and what people are looking for,” says Dijkland, who sells women’s clothing, footwear and accessories that she’s collected from estate sales, bargain hunting and her travels in Europe in sizes 2-24 (and a small men’s collection). RockaLille will keep selling from Cunard Street temporarily, Dijkland says when the space is leased out she’ll make her next move. Unless, of course, you can convince her to stay?

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Halifax street style: Gottingen Street

Scouring the streets for the city's most fashionable.

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2015 at 8:52 PM

PHOTO BY MEGHAN TANSEY WHITTON
  • photo by Meghan Tansey Whitton

Name: Mitch Fraser
Age: 23
Occupation: designer/seamstress
Spotted: Gottingen Street
Wearing: jacket, H&M; shirt, Urban Outfitters; overalls, American Apparel; sneakers, Fresh Goods; hat, Dollarama

How would you describe your style?
I would say my style is very pop, a little hip-hop, a little sporty and definitely Korean-influenced.

What types of things influence your style on a daily basis?
I definitely take inspiration from various elements of pop culture in my wardrobe, but what I actually find most inspiring is automotive and graphic design. I love the visual harmony and futuristic design outlook of the automotive industry in particular. I’m always trying to push this sort of a feeling with the clothes I wear.

If your clothes could talk, what would they say about you?
Hopefully good things! Honestly, I think they would beg me to add some colour to my wardrobe. I wear a lot of white and black. Black is an easy go-to for a lot of people, but I’ve been really into head-to-toe white lately.

Are there any pieces you would like to add to your wardrobe heading into summer?
I’m feeling the beret right now honestly, those are cool. I’m going to start collecting a lot of patches too, I’ve got a black jacket I want to cover in patches until I look like I’m apart of a NASCAR pit crew.

Local spots you like to shop?
Fresh Goods on South Park Street is hands-down my favourite local place to shop.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Custom-fit fashion at 180 Moda

A chance to star in your own version of Avatar

Posted By on Tue, Apr 21, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Smile! Custom formalwear is a scan away.
  • Smile! Custom formalwear is a scan away.

As anyone with a slightly different-than-average body knows, shopping for clothes can blow. Oh, do you have a longer torso than most? Here’s a romper that will almost certainly give you a perma-camel toe! Enjoy! So, sometimes the only way to get properly-fitting clothes is to go custom. But for the less genetically blessed among us, tailor-made clothes are lofty dream fit for the one percent.

180 Moda (5571 Cunard Street) hopes to change that and, after five years of doing private consultation and military contracts, is opening up their first public showroom later this week right here in Halifax. The local company uses body scanners which plots 400,000 data points (there’s no hiding that extra winter layer here) in a grand total of 30 seconds to create an your unique avatar. The 180 Moda design team then drafts digital patterns custom to your exact measurements, before the pieces are sewn to your style preferences and tastes. Despite all this technology and amount of work involved, owner Taura Lee, insists their pieces are very affordable.

“A shirt can range from $89 to $169 depending on the fabric, but then you’ve got something that fits you perfectly and will last. We can do custom wedding dresses for less than $1,000 and if you want silks, satins and crystals those cost about $4,000 to $5,000. Other places that would be $12,000.”

180 Moda works with designers in the body scanning community around the world in such places like Spain, Brazil and USA, in order to create stylish designs that fit and flatter the different body types. “We do a lot of consultation work too, with mostly men, giving advice on what looks best on them and what to wear for different scenarios.” But if you’re not in the market for new clothes, they also do fitness consultations—they layer before and after scans to track progress and plot gains and losses. Useful post-summer training, scary post-Easter binges.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Halifax street style: Queen Street

Scouring the streets for the city's most fashionable

Posted By on Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 4:00 AM

Elsie's owner, Maureen Court - MEGHAN TANSEY WHITTON
  • Elsie's owner, Maureen Court
  • Meghan Tansey Whitton

Name: Maureen Court
Age: 53
Spotted: Queen Street
Wearing: (all second-hand) coat, vintage Issey Miyake; cashmere scarf; vest, 70s vintage suede; floral dress, Free People; boots, Blundstones

How would you describe your style?
Eclectic layering of as many natural fibres as I can wear.

How do you maintain your sense of style in the winter?
I actually prefer my style in winter, layers are perfect for this. Summer is when I struggle with my style.

Who/where do you derive inspiration from when putting together an outfit?
The day, the weather, my mood all inspire me to choose certain pieces. My favourite things can be put together in many different combinations. This winter cashmere has inspired me!

Name a current trend that you just can't get on board with?
I've always enjoyed seeing the trends come and go over and over. My clients can make everything look great! Anything made of cheap synthetic fabrics has always been a pet peeve.

Local hotspot for gems?
How can I not say Elsie's?

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Halifax street style: Quinpool Road

Scouring the streets for the city's most fashionable

Posted By on Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Carole Rankin, featuring dream hair
  • Carole Rankin, featuring dream hair

Name Carole Rankin
Age 28
Spotted on Quinpool Road
Wearing shirt, second-hand; scarf, Joe Fresh; leggings, Costco; backpack, Harper Ave; boots, Nine West

If your clothes could talk, what would they say about you?
They would say they barely know me and only see me twice a year.

What are you reading/watching/listening to right now?
I'm watching the third season of Lost, I'm reading The Importance of Being Earnest and I'm listening to First Aid Kit.

Name a current trend that you just can't get on board with? I can get on board with anything really. I'll wear anything once.

Local hotspot for hidden gems?
Elsie’s.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Halifax street style: Grafton Street

Scouring the streets for the city's most fashionable

Posted By on Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 1:47 PM

PHOTO BY MEGHAN TANSEY WHITTON
  • Photo by Meghan Tansey Whitton

Name: Sam Hatfield
Age:26
Spotted: Grafton Street
Wearing: Sunglasses, Ray Ban; Lipstick, Heroine by M.A.C.; Top, Free People; Shorts, American Apparel

If your clothes could talk, what would they say about you?
She's not afraid to take risks and doesn't care what people think about her.

What are you reading/watching/listening to right now?
Right now I'm reading Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, watching Master Chef and listening to STRFKR.

Name a current trend that you just can't get on board with?
Probably the whole running sneakers craze. I understand the mass appeal and I do like them on some people—but if I want to be walking in comfort, I'll stick with my Chucks.

Local hotspot for hidden gems?
I do the majority of my shopping at Biscuit. If I'm looking for something vintage, you'll probably find me at Lost and Found. I've gotten some real keepers there.

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In Print This Week

Vol 25, No 29
December 14, 2017

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