It’s that time of year when stores start pushing fall fashion on us, as if I want to look at cardigans while I’m sitting here generating a ton of boob sweat and eating popsicles. Alas, I browse anyway, sweaters are inevitable and boots are my jam. Maybe I’m actually into it. Okay I am.
The fashion world is driven by trend forecasters and at some point a few companies decided that this season was going to be all about the 70s. Skinny jeans are out and high-waisted flares are in, despite years of magazines telling fat girls they shouldn’t wear them. I have always been inspired by the style of this time, and especially by Stevie Nicks. Her witchy vibes never wavered, through disco, punk, grunge, or whatever was hot at the time.
There is so much that could be said about Stevie’s incredible life. She’s written some of the most beloved songs and inspired so many woman to be whoever they want to be but also be tough. Frankly, she’s a living goddess.
We all know her music so I wanted to share a gorgeous series of Polaroid photos that Stevie has posted on her website. Hazy and ethereal, they’re some legit inspo for getting into the fall mood.
For the last two days, my social media feeds have been blowing up with the story of Kiran Gandhi running the London Marathon this past April. For those who aren’t familiar, this babe ran a full marathon freely bleeding after getting her period on the big day. Unwilling to throw away a year of training but also not wanting to suffer the discomfort of wearing a pad or tampon while running, Kiran wore nothing and in doing so, started a discussion about menstruation and body shaming.
My first reaction when I heard this story was, WHO IS THIS FANTASTIC PERSON? And looking into Kiran’s life a bit further only brought up more evidence that she is a fucking bad ass. After being accepted into the MBA program at Harvard, Kiran was offered a gig playing drums on tour with M.I.A. Unable to decide between these two options, she went with what felt right, what would make her the happiest – she did both. She discovered that following universal cues, going with the flow, and listening to her gut was the key to becoming her best self.
In 2013 Kiran did a TEDx talk about her theory on decision-making. She calls it Atomic Living, and it focuses on being in tune with your surroundings and developing the ability to deviate from plans and change your expectations on the fly. I’m sure this was one of the driving forces behind her choice to bleed through her first marathon and it’s an interesting talk to process.
Big ups to Kiran for jump starting a necessary conversation about menstruation and the accessibility of menstruation products and being an inspiration to folks all over the place. You can watch her TEDx talk here. This is her Instagram account.
We’ve been told for too long that in order to be your best self you’ve got to do a bunch of these things:
- Win strangers over with effortless charm!
- Aim for the top!
- Put your head down and get to work!
- Say stuff like: I’ll sleep when I’m dead!
- Work hard, play harder!
- Impressing people is important!
- Probably something about being good with money!
Montreal-based illustrator Olivia Mew knows where it’s at, and it’s not this. She’s quickly become the go-to retailer for homebodies and chill folks everywhere. Maybe Club President is a better title, since she’s been killing it with Stay Home Club, a clothing and accessory line described as a lifestyle brand for people who have no life. Her stuff has a perfectly distinct vibe, encouraging like-minded people to proudly display their feels with shirts and totes that say things like “boring is best” and “sad sack.”
When I’m not writing this column I spend most of my time working on plus size fashion stuff. Before I did this, I went to school for fashion design and that’s when I discovered Ashley Nell Tipton.
My program, like most in fashion, was not geared towards making clothes for anyone above a size 10, and many of our lessons in pattern drafting, illustration, and clothing construction were based around the notion of dressing to achieve an ideal body shape. Lessons included words like flattering, slimming, and problem areas. When I made my final collection of plus size lounge wear, I learned I was the first to do so in my school, and they couldn’t give me a dress form to work off of because they didn’t have one.
It was comforting to find Ashley because even though she was in San Diego, I could relate to her experiences. She also was the first person in her school to design a collection for plus women. Since she graduated, Ashley has received a ton of incredible opportunities like debuting at Full Figured Fashion Week in New York City. This babe’s rising star isn’t quitting and she’s going to be on the next season of Project Runway! It’s awesome to see the show cast a plus size fashion designer, and I’m really happy that it’s her.
Ashley is consistently a source of happy, positive energy and her passion for making clothing is so inspiring. Her clothes are a perfect reflection of who she is: bright, colourful, fun, and stylish. You won’t find a minimal black dress in her store. Best of luck, Ashley! I can’t wait to watch you kick ass on Project Runway, hopefully repping fatshion all the way to the finale.
Annissa Mawinda is a self-proclaimed globetrotter. Originally from Jakarta, Indonesia, she is currently living in London, England - but it looks like she’s on the move again.
The wanderlust vibe wasn’t the first thing I noticed about Annissa. She has an amazing eye for style and her outfits are always on point. Always. Her look used to be super vibrant, mixing up bright prints, neons, and hair colour. Lately though, she’s been rocking some next level monochrome looks that, paired with her confidence to wear whatever she wants, consistently knocks my socks off.
Lana Wachowski is part of the sibling director team, “The Wachowskis.” Their work includes tiny indie films like The Matrix series, V for Vendetta, Cloud Atlas, and most recently the newest sci-fi Netflix series, Sense8.
For the longest time, The Wachowskis were notorious for not doing any press. Many speculated this was because of Lana’s transition, but really they just always valued their privacy. That changed a few years ago when Lana came out, publicly discussing her sacrifice of privacy for visibility – in the hopes that she could help LGBTQ youths.
The latest project from Lana and her brother Andy is in my opinion, their best to date. Sense8 is an incredible look at human connection and there’s a distinct difference between this show and pretty much everything that’s come out of the mainstream sci-fi tv scene. This show is full of queer voices that are unapologetic and strong. There’s is also a lot of love.
I had no idea until I started writing about this that Sense8 was receiving rave reviews from audiences while being panned by critics. Lots of people are saying that it’s too diverse, too radical for many of the sci-fi fans (a wet, rainbow strap-on is featured in the pilot episode). I have no idea if this is true but I’m not happy that there’s talk of this show not being renewed for a second season. This kind of television is important and necessary and if y’all feel like marathoning some Netflix in the near future, I recommend giving Sense8 a whirl. Here’s a trailer.
It being Canada Day and all, I want to give a shout out to a Canadian babe. Toronto-based performance artist Jess Dobkin has put some incredible work out into the world. Often incorporating her body in her art, pieces like The Lactation Station have received a lot of media attention. For that performance, people were welcomed to taste a selection of pasteurized breast milk from six new mothers, including Jess herself.
Other pieces she’s done include Bleeding at the Ball, where she wore a white dress with blatant menstrual blood stains to a fancy gala and Fee for Service, when she invited people in the audience to pay a small fee to sharpen a pencil using her vagina dentata. You can check out her work here.The latest project that Jess has taken on is a little different. She’s taken over Chester Station’s long unused newsstand, hanging a shiny disco ball from the ceiling and filling the racks with indie zines, prints, and artisan baked goods, as well as some more typical subway station fare. Rotating exhibitions and performance art (like a recent statement about manspreading on public transit) mean there's always something new to check out. Commuters can purchase and chat about art on their way to work, they’re open 1-7pm daily. Follow The Artists Newstand on Facebook for all the details!
Today is the first day of Toronto’s annual music festival North By Northeast (NXNE) and every year I go and smush my fat body into crowds and try to power through my anxiety for these kinds of things – in the name of good tunes. This year, two of my fave all-girl bands are playing the same night at different venues (the stressssss) and I’m going to try to see them both. So let’s celebrate babes in bands, shall we?
First up we’ve got Warpaint who are pictured above. They’ve been together for over a decade and they make witchy, jammy, gorgeous music. They all sing. They look effortlessly cool all the time.
Warpaint put out their second self-titled LP last year to critical acclaim and have been touring like crazy since. In a recent interview the babes talked about potentially not releasing any more full-length albums, they’re just going to put out tracks as they’re created. The single No Way Out was released this year, it’s brilliant and more tunes are on their way.
You can listen to No Way Out here, it’s been on rotation for my solo living room dance parties for months!
Warpaint is playing Adelaide Hall on Friday June 19th @midnight.
My other must-see is Seattle-based feminist babes Chastity Belt. I discovered them only recently but the song Cool Slut off their latest album Time to Go Home is my pre-summer sunny day anthem. With lyrics I want to hear like “To all the girls in the world trying to take off their shirt, ladies it’s okay to be slutty”, it’s no surprise that they’re a hit with Rookie and Bust Magazine. You can check out their cute-as-heck video for Cool Slut right here.
Chastity Belt are playing a couple of sets this Friday, you can catch the details on the NXNE site here.
If you know any all-female bands that you think I should check out, let me know in the comments!
Stina and I shooting the Kickstarter video!Just a quick note to thank everyone who has shared the video or contributed to the BUSH Magazine campaign so far. Stina and I can't get Issue One out without your help and your good vibes mean everything to us!There are only FIVE days left and we're really really close, please check out our video and support if it's something you're feeling. This is an all-or-nothing campaign, every little bit helps!xoxo Amarina
So excited to see the Untitled & Co "As If" top that we shot for Ursa Major+ on Buzzfeed today! Check out the whole list, including some of my fave babes from Flaws of Couture, Ready to Stare, and Re/Dress.If you haven't seen the mini collection yet, check it out here!xo Amarina