fresh faced

A few weeks ago I attended a preview for a green beauty product pop up called Green + Good, which featured products from local beauty lines and shops. While I have been trying to buy products that contain as few chemicals as possible, I have to admit that I haven’t been as careful as I could be. This event (and a lecture on green beauty) really inspired me to slowly replace all my makeup and beauty care with better options, since it isn’t realistic for me to throw everything out and start fresh all at once. I look for products that contain as few ingredients as possible, products that don’t mislead me with use of words implying the product is natural when it’s not (which happens so often it feels shameful), products that don’t contain any of the worst chemicals. I also don’t ever want to purchase any products from companies that test on animals, because no beautiful beagle pup has to suffer so that my eyelashes temporarily look fuller. Green beauty and wellness has become an area I have become increasingly passionate about, and the event was just the kick in the pants that I needed.

Luckily, the products have come such a long way. It wasn’t too long ago that I was trying out products from the health food store that just didn’t cut it. Fresh Faced is an incredible Canadian online shop that is making this process easier. Fresh Faced has done the research for us, and offer amazing support and customer care; I told founder Sally Glover about a frustrating trip to a makeup shop that I had recently, during which I tried to scan barcodes using the the Skin Deep database app, only to find that many products are not yet listed in it. I left with nothing and felt defeated, but Sally was happy to give me advice. She also offered to send me a few of the products Fresh Faced carry to try out. I decided to start with some makeup, since this is the most challenging area for me as a recovering drugstore makeup addict. (I’ve been using Province Apothecary products on my skin since my visit with Julie, and was happy to see PA carried at Fresh Faced.)

See below for a coupon code!

I recently started watching videos by Hey Fran Hey (natural beauty/fitness/nutrition), and after watching this one, which discusses non-toxic nail polishes, I learned about “3 free” and “5 free” nail polishes. RGB Cosmetics nail polishes are 5 free, meaning they contain no Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP, Formaldehyde Resin, or Camphor. It definitely seems worth spending a little extra money to avoid those ingredients. And it happens to be great nail polish: this RGB polish in Peacock provides deep colour, great coverage, and it dries fast.

Ilia Beauty is one of the more exciting makeup lines that I have been enjoying lately. I love that they make products that are the most essential: lipsticks, mascara, and finishing powders, or all you really need to feel put-together. I have been using the lipstick in both Neon Angel and the tinted lip conditioner in Blossom Lady and they have been the only lipsticks I have needed, although I’m glad to have this perfect, vibrant red (Wild Child) to round out my selection. It goes on smoothly and stays in place for ages.

The finishing powder (which is refillable!) is such a great touch. It sets my makeup without being overly matte and makes my skin look and feel soft and smooth. It’s become an essential part of my routine!

For 10% off your purchases at Fresh Faced, use coupon code FIELDGUIDED at checkout, from now until Sunday, June 1. Enjoy!


styling ballet imperial

I was recently invited to style Ballet Imperial for The Australian Ballet’s blog, Behind Ballet. The Ballet is combining two one-act ballets, George Balanchine’s Ballet Imperial and Serge Lifar’s Suite en blanc, as the Imperial Suite. I wish I could be transported to Melbourne to see it in June!

Principal Artist Lana Jones front and centre.

From the program:

Ballet Imperial is George Balanchine’s affectionate tribute to the spirit of Russian Ballet, as well as to the theatre which trained him and where he first performed. By extension, it’s an homage to Petipa and Tchaikovsky; the former Balanchine called “the father of classical ballet”; the latter studied at the Conservatory in St Petersburg, where Balanchine himself studied piano in addition to his training in dance. 

The work was first staged for the American Ballet Caravan in 1941, and was shortly after presented on a tour of South American republics, where it was performed in every one save Paraguay and Bolivia. It was felt that a ballet should be presented demonstrating the pure classic dance. Instead of reviving an actual classic, Balanchine composed his homage, framed in the Imperial blue and white of the Winter Palace. It was revived by New York City Ballet in 1964, and in 1973 Balanchine restaged the work with all-new costumes, changing the title to Piano Concerto No. 2 and dropping the Imperial references. In The Australian Ballet’s Ballet Imperial seasons, the work is staged in its original form.

A central part of the performance are the beautiful tutus designed by Hugh Colman. That blue is such an astonishing shade that I made it the focus of my playful take (with no references to fighting in elevators, of course). Take a look here, and enjoy!

Additionally: take a look at this beautiful short film by Gabrielle Menezes about a class of beginner ballet students. If you’ve ever felt intimated by the idea of an adult ballet class, it will definitely inspire you to try!


sleepy storms & zodiac marble

Geoff & I have finally created a couple of new tote designs! To be honest it can get a little overwhelming trying to decide what to do next, because there are just so many ideas in our heads, and only so much screenprinting one person (Geoff) can do. But these two designs were ones we were excited about and decided to create.

The first, “like a sleepy golden storm,” is from the Leonard Cohen song “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye,” the prettiest break-up song ever. The second is zodiac symbols on a marble background. Available here and here, and in our Big Cartel shop as well.

We had a fun Sunday taking these casual shots with our friends Laurie and Lynlea, followed up with some ice cream sandwiches. Best day!

Photography by Effie Watt Photography; modelling by Lynlea.


the worn archive

The Worn Archive is here! If you’re not familiar with Worn Fashion Journal, it’s a smart fashion magazine with a unique misson: “WORN discusses the cultures, subcultures, histories, and personal stories of fashion. We strive to embody a place between pop culture magazine and academic journal that opens new avenues in art and fashion theory by hovering where these two ideas intersect, connecting with fashion scholars and artists” It’s published here in Toronto and they have built a reputation for throwing really amazing parties (I missed launch party for the Archive here since I was at a wedding, but there are upcoming parties in New York, Montréal, and Ottawa).

The Archive collects the first fourteen issues of the magazine in one beautiful package. Check out the trailer for it here; it very nearly made me teary.
I had the chance to conduct a brief interview with Worn’s editor, Serah-Marie McMahon.

Tell us about how and why you started Worn Journal.
This is a huge story I can answer so many ways. But suffice it to say I felt that when you look at something like music, there are a range of magazines covering the medium is so many different ways. Something like Rolling Stone will cover mainstream bands and the biggest trends and new in music, but then something like MOJO would easily have a 10 page article on a concert that happened 30 years ago. There are handmade, stapled zines covering local bands and super glossies just covering electronica. For fashion, for the most part, all our information comes from one kind of voice. Now, lots of people like to say we are anti-fashion, or that I hate Vogue, which is totally untrue. I just think that the kind of fashion never the cover is…covered. I wanted to make a magazine that was filled with all the things I was the most interested interested—history, art, identity—and how they related to clothing. I had no experience in publishing. I had never worked at a magazine or taken a course. I have no idea what made me think that I could start a magazine, but I just did. I worked at a store that had to rip the cover off magazines and return them, leaving the meat of the magazine behind. I had a 1 hour busride to get myself to work, and I would sit with these cover-less issues and read them page by page. For about a year, I read every page of every magazine. I figured out how they worked and how they should be laid out. I made a meeting flyer (and put my home address on it) and posted it up around my school and also to vintage clothing stores. Some people showed up, and that’s where we started!

How did the book come about? 
Lots of out older issues are all sold out, and we’ve gotten a lot of requests for them. And the really old issues… they were a long time ago. We’ve learned a lot since then. It’s been really fun to dig though all the old issues and re-imagine them as one big piece.

How did you decide how to lay out the book (i.e. not chronologically)? 
We went though the issues, and made sure we got enough balance— photoshoots, articles, from different issues, covering different kinds of things. Themes began to emerge, and we found articles fit in together. They each described a way that WORN talks about clothes, they way we relate to fashion. Personal, Practical, Art, Object, History, Identity, Ideas. And of course, Fun!

Do you have a personal favourite piece? 
 It’s really, really hard to pick. The column, Everything I Know About Fashion I Learned From My Mother is written my G. Stegelmann, who is our Managing Editor and a brilliant writer. Those pieces always make me cry. The zebra was pretty cool too!

The Worn Archive is available in independent bookshops and through the publisher Drawn & Quarterly.


happy may day!

Flower crowns for everyone for this day. Let the flowers finally come to us.

Bunny pic by Yolandé Marx; budgies via Diário de Lisboa; little girl via Kirsten Rickert; kitty via Allison; I can’t find sources for the donkey so if you know where it’s from please let me know!