80s Shopping Bags

Rejecting disposable plastic bags never looked so chic. It began with the canvas tote, next the string bag, woven baskets, Balenciaga Bazar bags, and now the plastic basket. Fashion is obsessed with the 80s reusable bag. Why?

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SOURCES: 1 – Vogue, 2 – @fhlurs, 3 – @camillecharriere, 4,5,6,7 – lamignonette.tumblr.com

Interview: Neoss London

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Georgie Charalambous and Natalie Bouloux are not just a ‘design duo’ — they are so much more. They are best friends, they are aperol spritz buddies, they are leaders in sustainable design, and they are the brilliant minds behind Neoss, their London-based fashion brand.

School friends from a young age, the idea to start a fashion brand together came after they realized a shared obsession with neoprene. From there came their first collection of bags and swimwear inspired by many things, though at the centre of it was 80’s ski outfits. While neoprene ignited their shared vision, it was only the beginning.

“After the bags, well…we had always really wanted to do womenswear. That was the idea right from the beginning. It was just really organic from that point. Nothing has been majorly discussed, like how we go to the next point of our journey. It just happens! We spend a lot of time together so it is very easy for us to stay in tune with one another,” explains Georgie.

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Their first collection of womenswear featured neoprene pieces but also expanded into other made-to-order pieces as well, such as a thick corduroy suit, loved by men and women alike.

“At our booth in Paris, we had a couple buy the corduroy jacket to share. That was the best,” shares Natalie.

For their second womenswear collection, which comes out later this year, their mutual love of fabric was once again the starting point, but this time it came while roaming around Paris.

“We happened to find a place where extra fabric had been donated from big fashion houses. So what we are actually using are off-cuts, what would have been wasted is now new,” says Georgie.

Natalie expands, “It is a very limited, very small collection. Some pieces we might only make one of. But that’s what makes them special.”

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They’ve based their upcoming collection on the constraints the female form has been put under over the centuries. The structured silhouettes seen in their first collection will still be present but they will be integrated into something that is not restricted, as they have also drawn inspiration from body movements and Italian sculptures.

This intention to build on each collection, rather than dismiss their past designs, sets them apart from the fashion design norm. Each collection, after its time, is integrated into the next.

“It’s less disposable this way. We are encouraging people to cherish and look after their clothes,” says Georgie.

In fact, a new section of their website titled Love Me Tender sweetly encourages ways to care for your garments. Sections titled If It’s Broke, Just Fix It and Be Gentle & Be Cool, offer guidance on ‘how to love and care for your clothes so that you can live happily every after and help the planet do the same.’

For Natalie and Georgie, approaching their brand from a sustainable point of view is not about just having a unique selling point.

“Everyone should be doing this. We have one planet. What we hope people understand is that there is a lot of craftsmanship behind the clothes. Sourcing the fabrics takes time, the process is longer. And that’s why it costs a bit more. So instead, save up for something beautiful and buy less,” says Georgie.

At such a young age, the thinking and creative process behind Neoss is as impressive as their skill or their designs. And above all, the connection between the Natalie and Georgie is likewise inspiring.

“Could I have done this with anyone else? I probably couldn’t have. We’re very close. So close that we can be angry at one another, we can be snappy, and the next moment it can be forgotten. And we are lucky in that respect.”

See here for more about Neoss and follow them on Instagram here.

All photos: Neoss London

Interview: Atelier Mimii

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Originally published by Novella Magazine

Paris-based fashion brand Atelier Mimii prides itself on its luxuriously handmade garments. Each unique piece “represents a presence” of its own with “an explosion of colour and movement.” The brand’s designer is of little words, choosing instead that the clothes speak for themselves through the embroidery, manipulation of fabric and bold designs. It is our pleasure to introduce you to Mimii as she introduces her latest collection, Pluralism. 

Isabel Mundigo-Moore: You say that you have ‘something’ to say about the current state of the fashion industry. What is that ‘something’?

Atelier Mimii: We want to give value to the clothes we envision, as for us, it is a second skin that we wish will live an eternity.

IMM: Why is it important that to you that people understand the ‘handmade’ aspect of your clothing?

AM: Mimii’s philosophy is focused on handmade pieces of clothing, on its uniqueness and differentiation.

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IMM: Where did the inspiration for your latest collection, Pluralism, come from and what is the significance of it being called so?

AM: As said by the dictionary Pluralism is defined as: ‘a condition or system in which two or more states, groups, principles, sources of authority, etc., coexist.’ The collection embodies a coexistence of references that have been worked on to convert thus ideas onto a second skin.  

IMM: How do you source your fabrics? 

AM: From all around the world.

IMM: Can you describe the design process for Pluralism?

AM: It all began with a square, a triangle and a circle.

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IMM:You seem to play with every aspect of clothing– colour, fabric, shape, textures–yet, still find a unique aesthetic. How do you balance them all?

AM: At Mimii everything goes.

IMM: How does Paris as a city interact with your clothing?

AM: Living in an open-minded city, the interaction occurs naturally.

IMM:Where do you seek inspiration and how do you organize it?

AM: It comes from painters.

IMM: Who wears Mimii? Who is the Mimii “woman”?

AM: A woman who wants to wear her mind on her skin.

IMM: What is style to you?

AM: A mind on the skin.

IMM: What are your favourite places in Paris?

AM: Museums, galleries, coffee bars and in any park where my dogs can run.

IMM: What is your daily routine?

AM: To work, work, work, and work.

IMM: As a brand, what are your future goals for Mimii?

AM: For people to become aware of the brand and feel special when wearing Mimii.

IMM: As an artist, what are your future goals for Mimii?

AM: As an artist, I have never thought of a future goal. I simply work and express a colourful point of view through Mimii.

Shop Shoppers Like It’s A Parsian Pharmacie

Originally published by Novella Magazine

Oh the Parisian pharmacie. The one secret that Parisiennes willingly admit about their infamously effortless beauty routines. The devotion that Parisians have to the pharmacie is generations deep, faithfully maintaining beauty secrets from parents and grandparents. Because really, an effortless beauty routine means investing in your skin and haircare regimes; simply, invest in the fundamentals. Recent Shoppers renovations (fancy ones!) have made ample shelf space for a wide range of French products. Look closely, and for these right products, and you could stock your cabinet like Jeanne Damas, Garance Doré, and Caroline de Maigret.

BIODERMA SENSIBIO H20 MICELLE SOLUTION

This make up remover is just wonderful. It does not sting the eyes, it has zero scent, and is not irritating on sensitive skin. And it does the job very well. It removes make up without excessive elbow grease, while also removing dirt and pollution from walking around the streets of Paris, erm…Toronto. I meant Toronto.

LA ROCHE-POSAY TOLERAINE RICHE MOISTURIZER

A good, daily moisturizer is the key to your skin routine, especially during the dry winter months. This is good for at night use because of the shea butter, something to repair the skin after a long day.

LANCÔME HYPNOSE MASCARA

In How To Be Parisian Wherever You AreCaroline de Maigret recommends Lancôme’s Grandiose mascara, which is great but I am going to recommend Hypnose instead. It’s brilliant because it manages to stay on all day without gather a shadow beneath the lower lash region, while easily coming off with cleanser and water (no need to tug your eyelashes off). I also find that it gives the lashes a nice lift if you apply a layer, wait 10 second for it to dry, and then apply another layer.

AVÈNE CLEANANCE GEL

The smell is great, it doesn’t dry out your skin, and it is a lovely shade of blue. I’ve used this consistently since high school and have found it has kept my skin clear since then. The best bit about it is that you only need to use a tiny amount each time, so it lasts a long time.

NUXE RÊVE DE MIEL ULTRA-NOURISHING LIP BALM

I was hesitant to buy lip balm for $17 when my go-to Vaseline Rosy Lips was in the next aisle for $3.99, but this lip balm from Nuxe is on another level. It goes on thick, so I recommend putting it on once in the morning and once at night. The first few applications will make your lips peel a bit, but then your lips are like butter. Soft, French butter.

KLORANE DRY SHAMPOO WITH OAT MILK

Now this here is your key to that hair. You know, the messy, chic hair. The hair with je ne c’est quois. Unbrush, unfussed, yet clean. This is your tool to that second day, messy hair of the Parisienne. It is especially great if you have bangs, which seem to be on a grease cycle of their own.

Remember, each Shoppers location is a touch different (renovations may change that) and may have different selections. In my opinion, the location at Bloor-Yonge has the best stocked beauty section and the best selection of these French beauty products in particular. Bonne chance!

Feature Image: Beauty et le chic

Sustainable Fashion Brands You’ll Actually Love

Originally Published by Novella Magazine

For many people, the idea of “sustainable fashion” or eco-fashion gives them the willies. They think of expensive, shapeless sacks and discard the fact that fashion and ethical standards can exist in harmony. But just like that incredible vegan chocolate chip cookie, or that natural deodorant that actually works, times have changed: ethics and aesthetics are no longer mutually exclusive.

There are endless reasons why people are finally giving sustainable fashion the attention it deserves, both environmental and social. The fast fashion habits of the past 20 years has raised our levels of clothing consumption exponentially, and the world simply cannot handle it. While brands like People Tree and Matt & Nat have been spearheading the slow fashion revolution, many other brands have emerged in the past few years that deserve our attention as well.

REFORMATION

Founded in 2009 by Yael Aflalo, Reformation is probably the most well-known sustainable fashion brand due to it being loved by it-girls of the world, including Alexa Chung and Jeanne Damas. Not only does Reformation clearly break down its sustainable fashion philosophies on its website, but it also makes the most covetable limited-edition clothing. Reformation is best known for its dresses and occasion wear (Lena Dunham wore one of their bridesmaid dresses in the past), but the basics also come with adorable details. Between the Reformation using sustainable fabrics, like tencel, making the clothes in an ethical factory in L.A., and having a very impressive recycling program, it’s a must that we all #jointhereformation.

VEJA

So sneakers made a huge comeback five years ago and have not left upper ranks of the fashion trend stratosphere. To meet the trend in a sustainable way is VEJA, a Paris-designed, Brazil-produced shoe brand. The brand aims to “offer a different vision, which combines fair trade and ecology and links together economy, social initiatives and the environment,” while its minimalist sneakers are impeccably designed. The brand doesn’t advertise at all, instead it spends their money on fair production and investing in quality materials. The white leather sneakers are everyday favourites, while the metallic and perforated, pastel options are likewise tempting.

EVERLANE

Featuring classic knits, cashmere sweaters, and elegant trousers, Everlane is the sustainable answer to basics and wardrobe staples. The brand works closely with its hand-picked factories and is completely transparent about the cost of production vs. mark up retail prices. While Everlane might not be as high on the sustainable scale as Reformation, it is still miles ahead in the right direction and makes fantastic pieces that will stay in your wardrobe forever.

BASE RANGE

Underneath your fabulously sustainable finds, you’ll need under garments. For selfish reasons alone, natural, chemical-free undergarments are especially important as they are less likely to cause irritation around your most important areas. For that, Base Range makes incredibly comfortable bras, underwear, and loungewear. Based in Denmark and France, the European brand celebrates sustainable fashion with ease and comfort at the centre of its aesthetics.

BY SIGNE

To solidify the fact that sustainable fashion is actually cool, we look to By Signe, the Danish brand that creates feminine easywear handmade in their Danish studios. Not even the biggest opponent of sustainable fashion can deny the coolness of the Danes. It carres pieces made mostly out of bamboo (yes, the soft stuff) in shades of white, beige, grey, and black.

If these options are not enough, there are incredibly chic e-commerce sites that carry sustainable brands, such as Rêve-en-Vert and The Acey. These sites do all the work for you and carry the best sustainable fashion brands available.

It must be noted that core goal of the slow fashion movement is to slow down consumption. While the ascending popularity of affordable, fair trade and sustainable clothing brands is fantastic (!!!!!!!!), we must remember to actually love everything we buy instead of relying on impulse purchasing. And just so you know,  vintage, thrift stores, and clothing swaps are fun and easy sustainable options as well.

For more information about sustainable fashion in Canada, check out Fashion Takes Action.