the Choreography of MAIYET for spring 2015

maiyet rock quary s15

This season Maiyet staged beautiful a presentation versus a conventional runway show. The collection was composed of clean lines, soft scarf like drapes, precision tailoring and a warm colour palette, which evidently (according to was accompanied by a poetic short film in slow motion ballet, choreographed to reflected the lyricism and force of inspiration behind the collection.  

As the label continues to grow each season, they are refining their craftsmanship. Quite literally, not only with their artisans around the world in developing countries, but within the New York studio, perfecting the Maiyet women!

“Passage to Dawn” a film directed and choreographed by Benjamin Millepied for Maiyet from MAIYET on Vimeo.


Photos sourced from and collaged by me. 



I recently had the pleasure to be a guest blogger on Living Pretty Naturally, the natural beauty blogger Kate, whose wealth of knowledge is shared weekly on her site. She dives into every topic from health, beauty, food, body, organic, natural, raw, eco, sustainable… it’s all there!

My guest post was a first for her, on sustainable fashion. See below, as originally posted on here.


I am constantly thrilled to learn about new sustainable brands, companies and organizations which are setting the benchmark for inspiring design an innovation. Long gone are the old stereotypes of bland “Eco” fashion.  That mentality is slowly melting away as people become better educated and interested in sustainable design.

And with this in mind, now that summer may be approaching an end, lets take this moment to recap some of my summer fav’s from head to toe; jewelry, swim, clothing, accessories and shoes! Focusing on New York based designers. It’s best to remember though, that fashion conscious brands like the ones listed here run in smaller volumes using high-quality materials with sustainable and ethical practices, thus these are not forever 21 prices. You pay for the integrity of these brands, which I must say are fairly priced when considering the alternatives!


mara hoffmanA total babe & spiritual goddess, Mara is undoubtedly known for her kaleidoscope of tribal prints, evil eyes, dream-catchers & crystals that create a truly modern take on the boho style.  Oh and how could I almost forget, her swimwear! They are top of my list for summer purchases.Having met her a few times now, I feel a tease in her presence.  She collaborates with a number of local artists with sustainable fashion initiatives, such as Pamella Love & Osborn Shoes.Why I like her label,? Well besides the bold prints and lively colour palette, her brand radiates good karma. Although I wish there was a stronger focus on sustainable initiatives within her own styles, many of designs are made in the US, while she promotes those who do and designs with positive intention.Mara is a contemporary designer brand, you can expect prices between $200- 800 +.Mara-Hoffman-Carava#12BEF07MH 1MH 2MH. strappybandeautop_shaktiblack_swim__(1)Where to Buy: Online at


liya-kebede OF LEMLEMLemlem may very well be the coolest way to breeze through the summer heat. But first lets start with the founder, Supermodel / actress and former World Health Organization’s Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, Liya Kebede! She discovered that traditional weavers in her native country of Ethiopia were losing their jobs due to a decline in local demand for their goods and wanted to do something about it. Recognizing the beauty, quality and historic significance of their work, Liya started Lemlem in 2007 as a way to inspire economic independence in her native country and to preserve the art of weavingI have a total crush on the Rucha Split Cover-ups, as well as their scarfs. And well for those with kids, she’s got that covered too!Lemlem is a contemporary brand fairly priced btw $110-500.LEMLEMLEMLEM SCARF2LEMLEM-kebedeWhere to Buy: Online on Lemlem’s website (stock list also available), as well as Barneys, Jcrew, Scoop & Creatures of Comfort.ACE & JIGace and jigI discovered Ace & Jig in my native home, Vancouver a little over a year ago at another fav boutique, One of a Few in Gastown. I was drawn to the gauze cotton cut in minimalistic styles and bold pattern and colours. I quickly inquired about their story and learned that the label works with textile specialists in India, weaving on ancient wooden handlooms. They travel several times a year to work one-on-one with weavers to create their authentic fabrics. Their Indian partners equally share their core values and practice holistic kaizen philosophy, while providing free childcare and using reclaimed water to grow organic produce for their employees.This contemporary brand is affordable with price points between $150-500 respectively.Where to Buy:Online on their website: . New York: Barneys, Steve Allan among many others… In Vancouver Canada at: One of a Few. Check on the website for the entire global stock list.


PAMELA LOVEHer name itself sparks interest. Even if you’ve never heard of her before now, you’re probably thinking you have, the name is just to familiar and has that star like quality. That’s not far off, as her gemstones have the luster and sparkle like the night skies. Pamella’s carefully crafted collection is committed to sustainability and local production. As stated on her website, “all gemstones and semiprecious stones are ethically sourced and almost all metal used is recycled. The entire jewelry-making process, from design to sampling to full-scale production, is completed domestically with the majority of it done in-house at Pamela Love’s Manhattan studio.”Too boot, Pamela Love’s creations are rooted with spiritual and intuitive influence from astronomy, astrology, alchemy, botany, the American Southwest and the architecture of her home, New York City. Quite often she incorporates traditional tribal artisan patterns from North Africa, Mexican folk art, and medieval European iconography into her designs. The result is signature pieces, easily identifiable with the Pamella aesthetic.Pamella’s collaborated with a number of designers, which include some of my favorites as well: Suno, Mara Hoffman, as well as, Zadig & Voltaire, Zac Posen, JCrew,, and Opening Ceremony.Her price point varies depending on the metals and gems used ($200-1000+) but you are guaranteed to have a timeless piece in your jewelry collection.Now that’s beautiful!PL. S4N53O_HALO_NECKLACE_BRASS_ONYX_largePL. PLOR1B_AjnaRing_18KYELLOW_WHITEDIAMONDS_WEB_cropped_largePL. Bullet_Talon_Cuff_Front_WEB_largeWhere to Buy: Online at (full stock list of stores available).


Last year I posted this photos on Instagram:OSBORN SHOES, MY PICA true summer favourite of mine. In fact when I love something I usually buy them in twos! This was no exception. I bought the ones above and these little lace slip-ons as well. Truth be told, I had to break them in and the first few wears were a little painful. However once they were broken in, they were a total dream to wear from morning to night, pounding the pavement!I discovered them at the New York, Brooklyn Flea Market in Williamsburg. After eyeing them on a few visits, I finally made the move to buy them. By that time I was a regular visitor to the co-owner who ran the market location. It was during these visits I learned and fell in love with their story behind the brand.Vertically integrated, these shoes are made ethically in Guatemala using traditional techniques sustainably to craft hand spun, woven & dyed textiles, using local leather for the soles and upper. They are among the few who carefully offer small-batch, direct to consumer footwear using eco-materials, which ultimately create one of kind creations.  In fact, I am wearing one of them now as I write this!There shoes are actually very reasonably priced, and the quality is fantastic. You’ll have them for years to come!OSBORN SHOESWhere to Buy: Online at (stock list available)photos sourced from each designers websites/ instragram account.



Back in February I had the wonderful pleasure to meet with Cindy and Cristian Vargas of Candamill, in their Brooklyn studios! If you are a regular reader, you may recall Part 1 + Part 2 of my interview with them here.

Cindy, a colleague of mine from back in the days at DVF, has since started her own company with her (also, may I add) very artistic brother. Together they’ve created a brand, designer label and a studio space to develop all their ideas. You cannot just simply categorize them under just one thing, they beautifully focus in all aspects of Design: Fashion (clothing, handbags + accessories), Jewellery, Art (painting, installation, + sculpture) and Interior design. However, rather then being the ‘jack of all trades and the master of none’, they carefully focus on specific pieces, crafting their art in that object and working with usually uncommon materials. It is a truly inspiring space and concept to which they have developed.

Here is their story and my interview with them,

ME: Tell me about how you started your label and what inspired you to begin working together?

CRISTIAN: Well we’ve wanted to work together for a long time and tried to figure out a way.  We began once Cindy graduated from university.

CINDY: I went to FIT and interned every semester, trying to take it a step further to build relationships with the factories. Even though I was an intern, I would go in and act like my role was important. I definitely learned a lot and realized what I wanted was not available in these positions. There was not a lot of creative freedom to be had in these internships. It felt like I had been interning for so long that when I graduated and began working it felt like another internship all over again. So together we decided we were ready to do this on our own and begin with a women’s collection.

ME:  And where did you go to school Christian?

CRISTIAN: Self taught actually, originally an artist painter, doing installations and conceptual & interior design work for clients around the country. Right out of school I started my own company doing murals, children’s rooms, whatever jobs I could get. From there I gained a lot of experience, failed a lot, which was my own form of education. Spending a lot of money trying to get a business going, some of which went well… I always wanted to do something in fashion. When Cindy graduated I had enough experience on how to start a business, so together we began with pop-up shops and throwing large parties in Soho selling art. Once we had a following we took the next steps in fashion. In hindsight I am not sure it was the smartest thing to do but it was our path.

ME: What is the concept behind your company and brand?

CRISTIAN: Its more of a process, we come up with new ideas every day and we are ambitious enough to say let’s do that!  Currently we represent 10 artists and manage their careers by hooking them up with galleries or sell their work through our buyers.. When people come to the studio they realize we sell art, “we’re art dealers” but we keep this separate to be fair to the artists. We also do interior design projects, such as restaurants. Recently we did the interior for a shoe store!

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CINDY: We are inspired by everything. Christian has always been the artist in the family, I’ve been in fashion, we are inspired by each other and learning how to merge the two passions. We never want to let go of the art side, even just the space here; it wouldn’t be the same without the artwork in it. We are always taking on projects not just to take them on, because they flow in and make sense. They are always connected.

CRISTIAN: Like photography, just because we needed to shoot our own stuff,  I think we have an obsessive nature, once we grab onto something we can’t let go, we have to know what it is and how it works.  Now we get some pretty nice things coming out of the studio through the photography side.

ME: So it is really about nurturing design in all aspects, not just in fashion or painting but in all these different facets?

CRISTIAN: Yes, this is what the studio is all about. It’s a creative space more than anything else. Right now the creativity is through fashion, photography, art. For example I paint as well. Anything could happen here!

ME: Would you describe your studio a little bit as a fashion + art incubator to other artists?

CINDY- Yes! Right now we have an artist Jani Benjamins, he’s been here the last 3 months, getting ready for a show in Chelsea. So this is an example of what is going on while we are working on the collection. We’ll mentor him when he’s here, look at his work, talk about it and provide feedback, which is well received by him. He also works for another very well respected artist as an assistant, so for him to trust our opinion and us, means a lot!

ME: What is the level of experience of your in-house artists?

CRISTIAN: We have a range.  I think the age of our company and who we are as a gallery, we continue to grow as we get bigger and bigger artists and thus have more to offer.  Similar to a music label, the bigger you are the more artists you can attract. We’ve been lucky to start with young artists and now some of them are traveling and doing shows. Anthony Vasquez is one of our oldest artists and he pretty much started out in Soho selling street art and now he’s doing projects for the Barclays, the NBA. We recently did a shoot for Michael Jordans 50th birthday, commissioned by ESPN and filmed with a time  lapse camera.  Now Anthony has sold out shows in Germany. his success is due in part to our mentoring and helping him present his work in the right way.  

ME: Ah ok! And tell me, how do you build your portfolio of artists?

CRISTIAN: Recommendation mostly, however we are selective, its more like do we get along with you, do we like your art, are we going to give you keys to our place. It’s worked out very well. All the artists’ get along, so it’s like this big family.

ME: Do you include a space for fashion designers as well?

CR  + CV: No, no just for artists.

ME: Do you source a lot of inspiration for the RTW collection from the artists or collaborate with them?

CRISTIAN: Yah definitely, inspiration may come from our artists, recently Liza Lacroix a talented young artist inspired  the colours we used for our fall collection. As well as, the colours for our Spring collection were inspired from Jani’s colour palette. However it is not something we show together. This is largely because the ideas are always changing and just like [our collection] their art will end up being something completely different in the end too. They may show up with their canvas one day and we’ll love it and the next time we see it its totally different. Neither good nor bad, but different than what first caught our eye and inspired us for our own collection.

ME: Wow! So a lot of different sources of inspiration to choose from.

CR  + CV: Yes, constantly!

ME: It seems like your differentiator is that you are not singularly focused on just one aspect of design, rather design as a whole (fashion, art, photography, interior design, jewelry, accessories etc…) and within that you simply focus on key elements of each?

CRISTIAN: Yes. For us it’s about not being afraid to work with other people. We work with fabricator designers for furniture and sculpture for fine artists. We work with them to create our handbags, hardware and bronze jewelry. We draw inspiration from these different industries and work with them to produce something uniquely different.

ME: I noticed these qualities with the handbag, it has a very industrial feel. Tell me about the creative design process!? It is very sophisticated for such a young label!

CRISTIAN: Thank you! The way it happened is well, me not going to school and Cindy being more technical in her approach. I think my naivety offering uncommon materials and finding unusual components and solutions helped. You know, I look in junkyards, finding materials and think how can we use this and make it new.  I’ll figure out how to apply it to the structure or hardware of the bag. Cindy will either say yah we can use this or no “you’re crazy”.

CINDY: Then we will fight and we’ll end up making what he suggested from the beginning (they both laugh)!

ME: I think that is great borrowing ideas from outside areas like furniture. Ok, so tell me about your signature handbag, the TRUSS TOTE:


CINDY: The name “TRUSS” came from the truss of a bridge or building, as in pillars… carrying the weight! We always name our items off of what the collection is inspired by. In this case the fall collection was inspirited by bridge patterns.  Everything has a purpose. A lot of women who try this bag on really love it because of the dip in the middle; it makes it very comfortable under your arm. When we designed it, we wanted to make accessories that resembled sculpture, that were worthy of being seen as that, essentially as art!

CRISTIAN: We love sculpture! We wanted something you could put down on a table or shelf and it would demand attention… Where you can place it at the end of the bar table and it stands on its own.

ME: I love it! It’s of its own caliber. Can you share more about the design features?

CRISTIAN: We are pretty fond of the silhouette. We wanted to make something really strong and structural without any hardware. Still something light but with hard edges and with this leather we were able to achieve this. It’s very clean in that sense. The piping came about when Cindy took me to the garment district and was like we can pick from this selection” and I was like “well this is why all handbags looks the same, everyone’s going to the same vendors/ suppliers and area for trims and materials”. I was like give me some time and let me see what I can come up with to get inspired. We don’t design with the intention that this is a one season handbag, we design with [integrity] for it to be timeless, forever, a classic…

ME: Can we expect any new handbag styles to come?

CINDY: We are working on three new styles. Two of them we have created our own hardware. The Truss is the largest and the others are smaller handbags and clutches.

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Me: And tell me about what inspired your Fall 2014 ready-to-wear collection?

CINDY: Frank Stella’s protractor series. We played with the idea of curved detailing. A lot of our work has been so hard lately that we wanted to design something that was structured but soft.

CRISTIAN: We also have this futuristic, art deco & minimal aesthetic to us right now. It just seems pleasuring to us.

ME: And everything is made in New York?

CINDY: Correct,  the RTW collection and accessories are all manufactured in New York City’s garment district, we also work with a lot of local fabric suppliers. It’s exciting to see consumers responding to the importance of supporting designer products, made in the USA.

ME: Where are you currently selling?

CINDY: Online on our website, as well as with “The” and OAK. They were our first store that picked up our first collection.

ME: Lastly, as you know one of my focuses is conscious design. What initiatives do you apply to your business practice or design process? Is this something you are interested in?

CINDY: Yes definitely! We design with intention of quality so it’s timeless, something you have forever or a very long time, using natural materials such as leather. We source our leather from upstate NY in Albany. They are really great because the entire hides are very well kept, so nothing goes to waste. We can use the entire hides and any scraps are used for trims on our clothing for example. 

CRISTIAN: Most important to us is to be fair. We are not wasteful nor are we at a place that we waste enough to be impact-full. However we constantly stay in check with one another. For example we switched from oil to acrylic spray paint, which was huge change in terms of toxic safety for our working space and from an environmental aspect.

CINDY: Also, there are still really bad working conditions here in NY and since we also work with local factories, it is very important for me to go into the factories and build a relationship with the pattern makers and sample sewers to make sure the conditions are safe and fair.


And with that said, I cant wait to watch as Candamill continues to grow. Keep an eye out in the city- Those bags are sure to be the next big thing! On my wish list to say the least!!

a HUGE special thanks to Cindy & Cristian Vargas for letting me into your studio and sharing your story!


all photos provided by the talented Jessica Earnshaw


MIA, not the band… Me! And with good reason! I have a number of exciting projects underway. Never the less it’s left little time to post here and in my absence there has been so much I’ve wanted to share. My blog-to-do list is lonnnng…!!!

Fashion month may be over, however I think it’s the perfect time to reflect back at the month that was and review next seasons traceable trends…

Let’s start with the most luxurious ethical, sustainable conscientious designer collections this season on the runway.


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It wasnt too long ago I discovered OSEI DURO while shopping at One of A Few in Vancouver. I instantly knew there was something special about this brand from the distinct look of the dress hanging on the wall. Nor was I surprised to discover the brand was backed with integrity. The line is ethically made in collaboration with local artisans in Ghana, Africa. I followed my visit at One of a Few by researching Osei Duro’s website and then took it one step further by contacting the brand itself with my interest to feature them here.

I was pleasantly surprised, as it was not long before I received a very thoughtful response to my inquiry.

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