Wednesday, January 31, 2007
One of my favorite fashion/style sites, Refinery 29, has a little write up on Old Montreal. Complex Geometries, one of our favorite designers here at HQ also sells his wares at Reborn on St. Paul street, and was kindly mentioned by Refinery 29 in the store review. I believe congrats are in order for both Clayton of Complex Geometries, as well as HQ friend Marianne of Hastings + Main who was also mentioned (altough she is out of the country right now).
Check out the article here.
HQ has a full range of superbly draped tops, tunics and dresses by Complex Geometries, as well as a great selection of tights, perfect for layering up on these freezing winter days!
Yes, the fine folks at Indyish are at it again! For those of you not familiar with Indysish, it is a great group of people, with a website, who like to help you sell your handmade stuff/music/zines/etc. and who also organize great fun events, and are super smart when it comes to computer stuff. You can get more detailed info of course by checking out their site: www.indyish.com/events
Their most recent project is called THE ASSEMBLY (love it!)
Here's what they have to say about it:
The idea is this: The Assembly starts February 10th when a song is given to writers to create short film scripts. These scripts are handed off to teams of filmmakers to shoot and edit. The finished films then go to musicians to create the soundtracks. Finally, the films are screened at Friendship Cove on March 10th with the musicians playing their soundtrack parts live.
The whole thing will take a month from start to finish and each stage is one week long. The timeline looks like this:
February 10-16: Scriptwriting
February 17-23: Filmmaking
February 24-March 2: Musicmaking
March 10: Screening at Friendship Cove
We're looking for people to do one stage of the project alone or in teams of any size. At the start of your team's section you'll receive the work of the step before you and at the end you'll pass your work off to the next team in line. Sort of like an assembly line (hence the name) or a relay race (hence the flyer).
It's gonna be really fun and has lots of potential for interesting collaborations and transformations. Who knows what someone will do with your script? How many different ways can you adapt someone's song?
Email Tessa if you'd like to take part and she'll set you up with all the right info. Also feel free to pass this along to friends who might be up for it.
Ok, thanks for reading!
Contact: Assembly Manager: Tessa Smith
Design*Sponge had a great little article about how to re-inspire yourself and get out of a rut when running your own small business. I thought this might be a much needed pick-me-up to all of the wonderful designers we work with at HQ. For all of you not chest deep in the fashion industry, this time of year is pretty hectic, getting all of the sales samples ready and sent to the sales reps in time for the trade shows, and for our even smaller designers, often selling their lines themselves. It's a tough time and pretty stressful, so if you have a friend/family member in this industry, do them a favour and pick them up something to eat, they're probably undernourished and over-exerted right now!
And to all you designers out there, keep up the great work everyone, don't be discouraged, you are not alone!
Click here for the article, and click on the "Design*Sponge" link above if you want to check out the amazing blog on design by New Yorker Grace Bonney.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Hey everyone! Dont forget, this Saturday is the "Light Show". A group exhibition featuring different lamps or light sources! Check out new works by Aya Kakeda, Jen Storey, James Kerr, Marc Simard, T & A, Melissa Del Pinto, Dan Emery, Judy and Mike and a crapload more.
Saturday, Feb 3rd, '07
1649 rue Amherst (beri/UQAM metro)
“IN FASHION, BUT OUT OF BUSINESS”
Thursday, January 25, 2007
© The Gazette, Montreal
Denis Gagnon made magazine covers, but can't pay the bills
Yesterday, Gagnon announced he was closing his boutique on St. Laurent Blvd. in the creatively burgeoning Mile End district. He could not stay in business without public or private financial support, he said.
"Mile End is getting there, but the product was perhaps too expensive for the area,'' Gagnon said.
Gagnon, 45, is known for his avant-garde creations, often in leather, with intricate hand-sewn details like pleats and puckers. A T-shirt might cost $100; a leather coat perhaps $1,000 to $1,500.
Fellow designers, editors and stylists were dismayed by the news of Gagnon's closing. They pointed to the difficulty of staying in business without financial backing and to Canadians' lack of support for homegrown designers.
Gagnon is certainly not the first talented designer to go out of business, here or abroad. Last year, Quebecer Philippe Dubuc declared bankruptcy before restarting his business on a smaller scale. Years earlier, Siphay Southidara, now working for Parasuco, abandoned his acclaimed Yso label.
"What a loss,'' Dubuc said.
"We struggle, we struggle, we struggle. We hang in, we get a lot of attention, we get press and positive reviews."
Constant coverage in the pages of magazines like Elle and Flare - most recently with a cover shot in Flare featuring five red dresses from five Canadian designers - did nothing to boost sales, Gagnon said.
Designers need to market themselves more effectively, said Lisa Tant, editor in chief of Flare.
"Know your business side of the fashion industry, as well,'' Tant said. Market yourself, make sure your fit is right and price appropriate, she advised.
She acknowledged, however, that many Canadians don't shop Canadian.
"We have to support our own artists,'' she said.
Gagnon, one of our biggest talents, reminded her of Rick Owens, an American designer in Paris "who is willing to put himself out on a limb and make fashion artistic,'' she said.
"It's hard in this country to build a business on that."
There aren't enough stores carrying Canadian product, she said. And shoppers prefer to go to the mall to buy from cheaper multinational retailers or from luxe international brands, she observed.
Designers Mike Mitto and Payam Tavan are neighbours of Gagnon on the same strip of St. Laurent Blvd. The pair are among a handful of designers who opened there in the summer of 2005.
Business is picking up, they said. "We diversify a lot,'' said Tavan.
The pair do private label for manufacturers, custom design and sell their Tavan & Mitto line to Simons and The Bay.
Tavan said the block is lined with luxurious home decor shops, so price is not the problem. "We do have the Westmount lady, believe it or not,'' Mitto added.
"We're going to be losing one of our biggest talents,'' Tavan said.
Added Mitto: "Remember, fashion is a business and not an art. It's an applied art."
Azamit, a stylist, model and muse to many designers in Montreal, agrees that local shoppers do not support homegrown talent. She herself has closets full of local fashion, and can be counted on to make an entrance at fashion shows and parties in original Canadian styles.
"They go for the big brands,'' said Azamit, who does not use her last name professionally. "The money is here, but nobody seems to be investing in the right places.''
For his part, Dubuc said consumers have always supported him. "That's why I'm still here.''
But where is the industry in terms of supporting creative talent, Dubuc asked.
"Copying,'' he answered, suggesting that the major players in the apparel industry prefer making knockoffs to creating new fashion.
"Why doesn't the fashion industry turn around, look at the designers and say: 'Let's blend commercial products and creativity and make something of it?' ''
In fact, Simons, the Quebec department store, came to Dubuc's aid after his bankruptcy, commissioning a mid-price collection for men that will be available in July. "That's an example of good support,'' Dubuc said.
Meanwhile, Gagnon plans to reflect on how to "restructure his career,'' perhaps take private commissions or contracts or work in theatre design, which he did before moving into fashion in 2001.
He decided to close down to avoid having to declare bankruptcy, he said. He also lost his business partner, Anne Van den Bossche, who is working in Paris with designer Rick Owens.
"It is a dream of mine to reopen downtown, but for now, I have to pay down my debt,'' Gagnon said.
Whatever happens, Gagnon vows he will continue to work creatively. "My name is out there."
The Denis Gagnon boutique, at 5392A St. Laurent Blvd., will close Feb. 17. The designer is liquidating all stock until then.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
Cutest librarian, ever!
Pale turquoise polo shirt by Kirsten Farrell (Kansas), slouchy sweater vest by Majolie(Montreal), black crochet chain necklace by BLUEprint (Montreal), crystal/silver/beads necklace by Nea (Montreal), handpainted vintage purse by F.S.U. (Montreal) and black/white houndstooth pencil skirt by Valerie Dumaine (Montreal).
Not-So-Punk Black and Red
Black babydoll top with lace inserts by Valerie Dumaine (Montreal), Owl resin necklace by Charcoal Designs (USA), gold "OK" necklace by Powerhaus (Montreal) , vintage snakeskin purse with gold chain strap, red stretch twill skinny pants by MX Jeans and vintage black patent leather peep toe pumps.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Both the long sleeved V-neck and cropped 3/4 sleeve cardigan have this gorgeous beading/crochet detail up the back, tiny matte silver beads nestled amongst crocheted goodness. They kind of have a vintagey feel without the boxy vintagey fit.
Availabe in cream and black, get them while they last, the previous batch flew away pretty quick!
I'm truly excited to present to you Tilly D'Oro, a line of handmade earrings and accessories created by local Montreal designer Nogah Rostein.
We stumbled upon Nogahs designs at the Puces POP, during POP Montreal (where we also had a table) and I fell in love with the vintagy yet modernized look that she creates with her work. Each piece is a unique combination of old and new materials, and her colour combinations are unexpected yet somehow perfect. The busy designer has told me she loves scouting flea markets and estate sales for special finds; vintage beads, stones, silly charms, anything colorful, fun and infused with history.
With these hidden treasures she creates one-of a kind gems, and I really do mean one of a kind, you can just feel the thoughtfulness that went into each piece, like your best friend made it as a present just for you!
Although so far HQ has had strictly earrings from this line, Nogah has added amazing brooches to the mix, made of layers of recycled sweaters decorated with tiny mirors shaped like unicorns and disco dancers. Perfect for adding some brightness to these dreary winter blues. Sometimes you need a little something to jazz up your grey winter coat, oh and also you can secretly reflect light into peoples eyes when you're riding the bus. Fun!
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Isn't that little girl cute?
OK here's another blast from the past, somewhat of a tie-in to the suspender post from awhile back. The obvious next step up from suspenders (pun intended of course) Jumpsuits!
Be inspired by these wonderful images, if you're handy with a sewing machine go dig around at the thrift store and find something to update, or pick up something new at HQ. We have jumpsuit style skirt/dresses from Angel Perez, and capri length jumpsuits from Musa & Dutchie, with lots more to come this spring from Valerie Dumaine, BLUEprint, MX Jeans and many more.
And of course, don't forget about our good friend the suspender. Still hot as ever! Don't they look nice with her dark slim jeans? We've got a dandy vintage selection for you to choose from, $10-$15 and the Penelope slim jean from MX in black denim, indigo denim and red/white stretch twill.
This is the last week you have to come down and check out the James Kerr and Neil Doshi show in the HQ gallery, so hop to it!
Here are some pics from the vernissage, "Tough Times Tough Changes", that we had a few weeks ago. Thanks to Simon Law for these pics.
Check out more of Neil and James' work at www.theypf.com
Friday, January 19, 2007
OK, a little fun before the weekend. This video has absolutely nothing to do with the store, other than Tyson is acting in it, and I did the "costumes".
We made this video with a group of our friens for a 48 hour film blitz about 2 years ago. Some of the actors recently involved with HQ are:
Main magician guy: James Kerr, one of the artists from our current exhibition
Thumbler: That's Tyson, believe it or not
Coinler: That's Fred Casia, one half of Pony of Prey, the guys that did all our business card, shop window, etc.
Scarvler: Um, that's Kev Simard ... his brother makes wrist cuffs and books for HQ.
Special effects: Mark Unterberger, he had a solo show at our gallery a few months back
Oh. My. God.
How could someone invent this sock/boot thingy? There were so many gorgeous boots in the 60's and 70's, why on earth would someone design a sock that pretends to be a boot. It kind of looks like some sort of elongated hoof on a hairless deer. Sheesh.
Speaking of vintage boots, have we got a surprise for you! A bunch of primo vintage boots to put out in the store tonight. We've got some blacks, some beiges, somes greys, and even some larger sizes (8, 9) and of course a few 6 1/2s, 7s and 7 1/2s. Damn you people with small feet!!
Take a break from cleaning your apartment on Saturday and come down to check them out. Our boots go for $30-$35, a little more than your average thrift store, a little less than Aldo/Urban Outfitters. And of course we've cleaned/repaired them all and have searched high and low to find them, so you won't have to deal with that super slow lady paying with pennies at the thrift store.
I can hear you now "Thank God! I hate that lady!"
So do I my friends, so do I.
Worn Fashion Journal is on the lookout for illustrators to do some pro-bono work for their wonderfully written stories. They're looking for people who can create images that are not only beautiful to look at, but also reflect the true construction of a garment. The illustration need not be "outfit on girl" such as the above image, many different concepts could work. Not an easy feat to mix reality with creativity, but I know there are some amazing illustrators out there who are up to the challenge. Of course you would get full credit in the journal for your work, so it's a nice way to get your work out there. Recognize!!!
There are basically 2 types of illustrations the journal needs:
1) Accompanyment to articles: This will be the major use of illustrations. Pretty self explanitory: these illustrators do drawings to go with articles. These illustrators usually get a copy of the article and go from there. What they are most in need of is illustrators interesting in doing reserch, so that clothing illustrations are historically accurate.
2)Fashion spreads: Where an entire fashion story is illustrated. Not as common, but go ahead, send them something that will blow them away!
For more info contact: