Monday, July 30, 2007

How to Use the Power of Guilt

Tyson and I just returned from a lovely little mini vacation to Ottawa. I know what some of you may be thinking "Why Ottawa, you live in Montreal, the most awesome city in the world". We know, we know. But I'll sum it up in 2 words: clean city.

Man, Ottawa is one clean city. It's our countries capitol of course, so really we should expect nothing less. Plus it's a really nice drive if you take some of the smaller roads. Passing by all these nice old barns and old farmhouses got us thinking a lot about living in the country (I grew up in the country, Tyson practically did, right on the edge of Winnipeg). Now we're not about to pack all our stuff into a pickup and say adios to city life, but it got us thinking a bit about how to simplify and make our lives a little more green. Now making our lives more green is a whole other post, but lets talk about cleaning this damn city up for a moment. As mentioned in my Earth Day post a while back, St. Henri (our hood) ain't the tidiest place in town, and a lot of other areas don't have much to be proud of either. Needless to say it was a bit hard to come back to after a weekend away in a fairly litter free zone.

So what can we do to make our city of Montreal a bit happier, a bit greener, a bit more clean? Well, I definitely don't have the big answer. But a small thing that I just realized is that guilt can do wonders.

Yes, guilt.

I think in general that people know that they shouldn't throw their shit on the ground. Sometimes they just need a little reminder. So I like to really put it in their face. So if you see someone drop some litter on the ground, maybe just pick it up and say "oh excuse me, you dropped this...". And then wait for the look of shock and hopefully embarassment on their face.

Or if there's a bunch of junk sitting on the bench on the metro, go pick it up and throw it away. Looking at it and going "oh people are such jerks" is not going to clean the mess up. So pick it up, and hopefully everyone around you will think "oh I'm such a jerk, I just walked by that, and I totally could have thrown it away too".

Anybody else have any tips for cleaning our city up a bit?

Friday, July 27, 2007

Stranger Danger, the final days...

Just a quick reminder, the Parnell Collective show is only up for 1 more week! That's right, this is a shorter than usual exhibit, so if you're looking to pick up one of their prints, this week is the time to do it.

What to do on Friday July 27th? Something Secret!

Something Secret Art Collective is
Matthew Feyld, Errol Richardson, Michael Rytz and Ben Schumacher

Something Secret is
a bunch of people who make things all day and all night.

Something Secret is
about making friends and perpetuating creative endeavors.

So basically, something secret is an international group of artists that have, up to this point, been pretty much exclusively based around the production of zines and records. The internet has allowed for the collaboration of disparate artists, which would otherwise be an extremely difficult feat to accomplish. It is a beautiful thing.This is their first show as a group. The evening will be scored live by Slow Hand Motëm, who will be costumed specifically for the event.
- Errol Richardson

My Hero Gallery
3655 St-Laurent Blvd, Suite 206
Vernissage Friday July 27th 8:00pm
Performance by Slow Hand Motem
Showing July 27th until August 10th

The folks down at My Hero Gallery hope to see you there, for appointments please e-mail to: info (at)
Errol Richardson:
Michael Rytz:
Ben Schumacher:

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Quick Sale Recap

OK, this is a quick one, I've got lots of stuff to do, and I'm working on a secret blogging project, which I will inform you about shortly. But let's do a quick recap of the special deals we've got going right now:

Valerie Dumaine - 20% off
My top 2 picks - Her drapy tank dress and top. A wonderful basic with a twist. We have the dress in black, and the top in white

- Her waterproof coated raincoat, would be great to wear into the fall. We have both red and black at the shop.

Anastasia Lomonova - varying discounts depending on the style
My top 2 picks - ANYTHING pleated, they're just so lovely (we have the halter dress as shown, the tank dress in purple/fuschia combo, the tube mini dress in black/dark grey combo, and the tube top in white)

- The button down jersey dress, also 'cause it will work for fall (we have it in black and the colour shown below)

Soi Disant - 30% off
My top 2 picks - Open back tie neck top in Olive. Just a nice top.

- Tank with crochet yoke, 'cause it's so damn cute, and look at that cross stitch detail!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Make some room in your closet for Valerie Dumaine

All the spring stock from Valerie Dumaine is now on sale, 20% off! Stop by and pick up one of her wonderful cotton dresses, jersey tops or stunning red or black waterproof trench coats. I think those little cotton dresses are great for summer, but I know you girls could rock them into fall with some nice chunky grey tights. I'm having a vision.... I think some chunky platform shoes like THIS are in order.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Oh Yeah She Di-id!!

Yay! Yana of Supayana did it, she's the latest winner of the Fred Flare "Next Big Thing" competition! She wants to thank all of you who voted, and as you can see from the pic, is super happy, some would even say, SUPA happy...

Here's the little interview Fred Flare did with her upon her victory:

Congratulations on winning NBT!!!! How does it feel?

We’ve heard you’re donating a portion of your winnings to charity. Can you tell us more about that?
I have a real soft spot for soft furry things… July in Montreal is what they call “moving month”, when a large percentage of the city population moves apartments. This results in an influx of abandoned animals and the SPCA is filled to the brim this time of year. I want to give them some money and I want to pay for my friend Jen to take a stray cat that she’s been feeding to the vet for a check-up.

So you’re in Montreal now, right? When this year’s NBT launched we listed you as residing in Brooklyn. What gives?
Ch-ch-ch-changes! I just go with the flow of things. I fell in love with this city (and a boy) last year and I decided that I wanted to try it out. It’s such a beautiful city and the artistic community here is great. Also, you can live in a mansion for the price of a crappy one bedroom apt in Brooklyn. I’m going to be taking French classes in the fall, so I’m just going to study for a while, and then we’ll see what happens. I’m so excited to learn French!

Tell us about how your business started and how it’s grown. Would you say it’s gotten easier or harder?
I first started selling reconstructed shirts on eBay, and then I ventured into selling things I made from scratch. Eventually, I opened up, and then started selling to various boutiques across the US and Canada. I would say it’s gotten easier because I was a full time Speech-Pathology student when I started doing my line. After I graduated, I could focus solely on my clothing and it felt like a breath of fresh air. It’s much easier to stay creative when you don’t have other things to stress out about.

The entire purpose of NEXT BIG THING is to support up-and-coming talent. What advice can you give to younger people who want to share their designs with the world?
Work hard and don’t give up. Things may be rough in the beginning, but don’t let that discourage you. It’s normal and you’re not the only one who is broke. Always follow your intuition and be good to other people who you come in contact with. Make as many friends as possible… Never underestimate the power of networking.

Your fans seem wildly enthusiastic about the clothes you make for them. Can you share some outstanding email, letter, photo, gift, etc that made an impression on you?
One of my favorite gifts was from this girl Emily, who I’ve gotten to know pretty well through the internet in the last several years. She sent me a big box of beautiful vintage fabric from her mom’s collection. I think it was from the 60’s… I mean this is stuff you can’t find anywhere anymore. Also, my internet friend Maria sent me something she got in Mongolia… and I thought that was really special. Oh, and someone sent me a rape whistle.

Who or what is inspiring you right now?
I’ve been going to a lot of art shows here, so I’ve been really inspired by different artwork and what people are wearing there.

What was your dream job when you were little?
I was really interested in the paranormal. I thought it would be so awesome to research ghosts and measure auras. Then I realized I was really bad at math and that there probably aren’t many open jobs for parapsychologists. I think my dream job now would be a professional garbage picker. I always find the best stuff in the trash!

We have to ask… What’s YOUR fave entry from NBT 07?
Seriously???? I can’t choose! They are all so awesome and I am in awe of how creative everyone is. Can I give you my top 5? In no particular order….The Baker’s Edge brownie pan (I’m addicted to chocolate), the scented house necklace by Plastic Bat, the Mini Golf Windmill Tote by Mika Yamamura, and the grey striped jersey dress by Nice Face and Little Racoon’s panda hats… Ahhhh! I think I’m having a cuteness seizure!!!

Yay, thx! Here’s a quick final SPEED ROUND…
FAVE MOVIE: I like sappy love ones that make me cry!
FAVE DESIGNERS: My friends Laurel Wells, Rebecca Turbow and Angie Johnson (she designs for Yarncraft)
FAVE BOOK: I’m really into “The Secret Life of Plants”. I also just found “Anna Karenina” in the trash and my mom is convinced I’m going to love it cuz she did when she was my age. Getting down with my Russian roots!
69 Love Songs by The Magnetic Fields. I can listen to that album all day.
FAVE CANDY: Dark chocolate! The cocoa content has to be 70% or higher, though. Milk chocolate is for wusses.


A little note, I did NOT pay Yana to say I am one of her fave designers, she did that all on her own, bless her heart!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Meet Some of the Shoes of HQ

Since I love shoes so very very much, I thought it was due time for some of our vintage shoes to be featured in a post all their own. May I present to you, some of my current favorites:

Check out the little zig zag white trim, adorable

The ribbon bow on the back of the strap is such a nice detail.
Guaranteed to make your ankles look narrow

Simple, classic, and the low stacked leather heel is a luxe touch

Perfect heel height, nice button detailing on the strap

Comfortable yet stylish all in one. Love these with slim dark denim

SOOOO into Royal blue still! The suede leather combo, perfect heel height and bow make these one of my favorites. Too bad they're too big for me.

I've just discovered that these soft leather straps make for the comfiest
shoes in the world, and the soft yellow colour seems
to go with almost anything.

OK I know, they're lavender, but how gorgeous would they be
with dark denim shorts and a retro printed cotton summer top?

All of these lovelies can currently be found at HQ, with prices ranging from $15-$20. We clean and repair all our shoes before they hit the shelves, so you don't have to go to all that extra work. We also pick only the best of the best, nothing with big scratches or scuffs and straps that aren't all stretched out. Nothing beats a great pair of vintage shoes, they give a great big dash of personality to your outfits.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Stranger Danger: Parnell Collective

So last weekend was the Stranger Danger exhibition by the Parnell Collective. The group did a great job and were painting on the walls until early into the morning the day before the show, what troopers! Stop by and check it out soon, this is a shorter show than usual (it's up 'till August 2nd), time's a wastin' people! There are 12 prints in total, 4 colours available in each design. Unframed prints go for $40, framed $75 and you get the pleasure of taking the framed print off the wall and exposing a bit more of the mural underneath. Sooooo satisfying!

The ladies of HQ. Jill, Amanda & Jen. Look for the calendar coming out in 2008

HQ chum Jill Kasian took some time out from smashing displays to enjoy a drinky-poo
Just kidding Jill! That cake stand was totally worthless, in fact we HATED it,
and are glad it's gone...whew, what a relief!

Pony of Prey colaborater's Fred & James

Krista & Shauna can't decide what they like best about Tyson

Parnell artist Krista Bursey shows off her new ink

Parnell prints galore!

Broundoor's Marc Simard & Artist Aaron McConomy

Furni Creations Mike Giles and lady-pal, Judy Lawrence

Some of our favorite Halifaxers!

Artist and HQ chum, Dessa Harhay


Yana Gorbulsky & Jen Storey


Monday, July 16, 2007

Outfits of the Week: Double Feature!

Who doesn't love a good double feature? I've been slacking on posting the outfits of the week, so today it's a double whammy, a two for one, a double trouble... you get it I'm sure.

Pink stretch poplin dress by Bodybag by Jude (Montreal), handpainted vintage purse by F.S.U. (Montreal) and anchor necklace by BLUEprint (Montreal).

Black gauze dress with rib hem by Complex Geometries (Montreal), floral tights by Complex Geometries (Montreal), chain pendant with giant crystal by Aria (Montreal), vintage applique purse and vintage teal suede pumps with tiny black bows on heel.

Cabbage print dress by Homebaked Fashions (Montreal), wood bead/chain necklace by Aria (Montreal), vintage patchwork purse and vintage brown suede sandals.

Floral jersey dress with braided straps by Supayana (Montreal), porcelain paisley necklace by Lusterbunny (USA), gold ruffle belt by HQ, and lavender vintage platform shoes.