A breeze would be nice
Yesterday I was lucky enough to get to poke around Angie Johnson’s studio. In case that name doesn’t ring a bell (and it really should, so you may as well commit it to memory) you might be familiar with a little label by the name of I Heart Norwegian Wood? I say little, but Angie’s creations have made their way around the world and back at this point. I must confess, I love her all the more for calling Montreal home (bing!) It’s not often that fashion designers from these parts are a) so darn inviting b) so unique and c) so willing to make the international leap…(an issue we ended up discussing and one that I’ve mentioned here before) To be honest, I’ve been feeverishly looking forward to meeting Angie since she extended the invite, and I was flored by the whole visit. I know I sound like I’m gushing… but, well I suppose I am!
First things first, I a shot a ton of video but you’ll have to wait a little longer for that because it was so unbelievably warm yesterday (35 degrees and counting! – that’s 100+ in farenheit fyi…and totally unheard of for May…) that neither of us thought it was a good idea to capture such a sweaty conversation on film. A re-do is in order and coming soon!
In the meantime you’ll have to make do with a little teaser:
If you’re wondering who the other hardworking peeps making appearances in the vid are, they happen to be fellow designers sharing the studio with Angie. Check out Broundoor (self-taught leather designer who uses recycled bits and pieces to create bags and even jewelry. Spotted some earings while I was there,) Simone’s Rose (she uses vintage kimono cotton to create most of her pieces) and Subayana (she sticks to recycled/eco-friendly materials for her designs, but don’t be fooled, her creations look anything but recycled) Before going into too much detail here I hope to get to visit them again and get to know their stuff a bit better.
My visit confirmed a few thoughts I’ve been having about fast fashion too. Funny that I just divulged my love of florals to you and now I’m totally over it. Well not completely. I was in awe of Angies collection of prints and patterns and went off on a rant about how I’d gone shopping with a friend last weekend and no matter the store, I just kept seeing the same prints over and over and over. There’s something to be said for fast fashion, cheap but trendy clothes and accessibility… but the same cut and style in every store? Really? From the tiny petal prints, to the actual cut, which begs the question: why pick one store over another? Why bother period? A bit much.. a bit dissapointing…
And then I realized I was ranting and promptly stopped. Nearly got embarassed before realizing she was agreeing with me. Yay! We also chatted about the chictopia vs bloggers debacle, as well as the more recent Zara vs Betty ridiculousness (really, is it that hard to just ask people if they can use their pictures??…) And then got to talking about the goods. I was happy to hear that she wanted to make her clothes more prominent. She’s very aware that she’s best known for her accessories – the fringe necklace is nearly a classic at this point, but many (myself included) have had their first encounters with her designs care of Susie Bubble. From the cage dress back in 2008 to a more recent gingham LYCRA cut out dress (that I’m getting increasingly obsessed with…) Miss Bubble has been one of her most prominent supporters.
But back to the point: the clothes! So many prints, and not all floral *wink* There are some really light fabrics so perfect for the current heat wave, lots of bright colors, wood and leather accessories, cutouts…A lot of mixing happening with so many different prints. She was just mentioned on Refinery 29 yesterday for that very reason (you can also grab a view of her newest lookbook there or on her flickr page here.) And can I also mention how wonderful it is to find someone who understands the ridiculous heat waves that Montreal experiences? Only someone who truly knows would expressly position cut outs at the armpit!..
I now have a seriously long wish list. I feel so lucky to have gotten to actually go through her spring summer 2010 collection and touch it all! I have a feeling I spent much of the time breathing “amazinggg” every time she’d show me something…ack. So much more to say about her, and a proper vid complete with a sit down chat is still to come!