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Fashionably Forward

Rainy Days and Mondays: Wet Weather Wear is Hot Right Now

Ingrid Bruggestrass
Jan 10th, 2010

Umbrellas here, umbrellas there, umbrellas, umbrellas everywhere! Inside The Umbrella Shop on Granville Island

The weather is no excuse not to be fashionable. So what if Vancouver gets 1199 mm of rain a year?

Instead of having a pity party about the strains the rain puts on your wardrobe, pull on your Wellingtons and release your inner Gene Kelly in the most sophisticated and edgy ways by making a stand against the gloom.

In Vancouver there are two retailers associated with keeping the people dry.

The first is The Umbrella Shop, Vancouver’s most well-known retailer and manufacturer of umbrellas located at 1550 Anderson Street on Granville Island.

The Umbrella Shop

Overflowing with every umbrella you could ever dream about, the store is cozy and almost like stepping into an old Germanic emporium.

The staff is friendly and helpful, providing advice to customers searching for the umbrella best suited to their personalities and lifestyles.

Fat to Thin: New Year Your Body... Realistically

Ingrid Bruggestrass
Jan 7th, 2010

Don't want to be the butt of all jokes anymore? The elephant in the room?

It always seems to me that almost everybody’s New Year resolution is to lose weight like the flip of a calendar digit results in some magical boost, a new 12 months to try what you’ve tried and failed to do so many times before.

I understand, it is difficult when we live in a world where Dairy Queen will feed your entire family for under $20.00, every 5 minutes your favorite reality TV show is stopped to overfill your brain with sexy and suggestive advertisements of foods the human body is defaulted to crave and the cost involved with living a healthy lifestyle.

So I’m going to tell you how I did it, how I went from 239.8 lbs to 127.6 lbs and have kept the weight off since 2005.

Firstly where everybody always goes wrong is in the planning.

If you look at your weight and think “Oh I’ve got to lose 100 lbs” what will happen is you will feel overwhelmed at how big the task is and feel defeated before you even start.

My Big Day as a Promotional Model

Ingrid Bruggestrass
Jan 4th, 2010

Exhibit a). Me without makeup, coffee, sleep and breakfast. b). Me after being "beautified." - photos by Chuck Cho

Leading up to Tuesday, I was sent emails from Banafsheh outlining requirements, information and needs.

As this was to be a mixer show our roles as models was not only to be photographed but also to walk around and talk to customers about what was on our backs. I was instructed to “please bring black heels, stilletoes and even ankle boots if you have any” as well as my pearl drop earrings.

inside nygard

It was requested that we wear only clear or no nail polish and for security reasons told “that everyone be bag-checked on their way out at the end of the event; this is nothing personal it's just a company policy that Nygard employees have to follow.”

Then the day before there were more requests –

NYE: Five Scenarios, Five Dress Codes

Ingrid Bruggestrass
Dec 31st, 2009

Fireworks over English Bay display image by Jon Rawlinson

We love to party. We love tradition. We love alcohol. We love fresh starts. We all love NYE.

But the age old dilemma is asked again, like last year – what do I wear? Well it simply comes down to what you’re going to be doing on this night of ends and beginnings, who you’ll be spending it with, what your budget is and what will be appropriate.

So I’ve decided to give you some ideas based on likely scenarios both for ladies and gentlemen on what to consider wearing on the biggest party night of the year.

NYE shoes

Scenario 1. Young, hip night club singles NYE.

Aim of night: To party with friends and allow the night to take its course, potentially ending in someone else’s bed.

Fashion goal: To be individual, sexy, flirtatious and exert a sense of confidence and care-free freedom.

Punch Out Their Lights at the Boxing Day Madness!

Ingrid Bruggestrass
Dec 24th, 2009

What to expect on the 26th of December in retail stores everywhere. ABSOLUTE CHAOS!!!

"Children are given Christmas. Parents are given Boxing Day."

The biggest single sales day of the year acts like a full moon mutating and reshaping conservative civilized women of all ages into wild predatory animals that will do un-ladylike things to get their claws into the last remaining item.

Like moths to a flame every piece of wall space is lined with red and white banners singing “SALE!!! 75% OFF ONLY UNTIL THE 31st OF DECEMBER OR UNTIL STOCKS RUN OUT” or “Great bargains on designer underwear, never to be repeated prices” and so on until every stand, every shelf and every display cabinet has been stripped bare like the cookie jar.

A day designed to sap those Christmas dollars and expire those gift cards, Boxing Day is not for the faint hearted. So in all my wisdom I’ve come up with the 5 rules of Boxing Day Behavior to give you a fighting chance against the competition.

1. Go alone.

A Model Life - Part Two (An Education in Nygård)

Ingrid Bruggestrass
Dec 20th, 2009

Inside Welcome image of Peter Nygard in the Nygard Fashion Forcast Fall / Holiday 2009 and CD cover of 1100 Belair Place by Julio Iglesias.

As I said “goodbye” I was handed the brochure from Banafshesh of the latest ‘looks’ from Canada’s numero uno sportswear manufacturer, and pointed out the similarities between Peter Nygård and Julio Iglesias (mainly due to the hair, an image of the singer deep-seeded in memory of my mother’s taste in music and off-key vocals).

Conscious of the graphic design of the printed material, like much of I’ve seen since arriving here - different to the standard I'm used to and transient of the 1990s, I walked home, making a stop at the library to check out some mags.

Then I arrived back home to click on the web.

I browsed over the e-commerce website, greeted by catalogue models and immediately opened the corporate profile.

Peter Nygård is one serious business man and self made. He works up to 16 hours a day and has annual sales in ready-to-wear women’s apparel “approaching the $1 billion mark.”

Nygard Fashion Forecast catalogue

Love Local for Your Lady's and Little Girl's Christmas Jewelry

Ingrid Bruggestrass
Dec 18th, 2009

Made of hand-tied vintage turquoise, reclaimed sterling silver and carrying a peacock pendant, the Le Paon Necklace ($350) from Parts by Heather will make her squeal with delight on Christmas morning.

So the countdown begins. You know what I’m talking about, the stout old man in the ruby and white mink, a dozen tanned reindeer on the wing, dancing across the night sky and all of that zealous shredding of glossy holly printed paper is (shock) next Friday. Yes, 7 days.

Panic begins ... right ... about ... NOW!

Sh*t, you’ve left the stocking filling to the last minute and have zip creativity on what the hell to do and what the heck to buy. 

Well take a deep breath and keep reading, because Santa’s little helper from the South in here to save you with last minute completely “Oh wow, thank you this is goooorrrgeous and sooo different, I love it!” gift ideas.

So let’s today start with the ladies opening of small boxes. Boys, take note.

Women + jewelry = happy cliché.

True, but woman + handcrafted beautiful individual jewelry = fashionista and individuality.

Don’t be bland and predictable with a diamond from that franchise jewelry store which clearly screams “Gulp! I just grabbed something,” instead go local, go handcrafted, go love!

Modline 2010 Spring / Summer Show Features Flora and Fauna, Red Jade, Nicole Bridger, Hawks Ave, Hardihood, Dope.Girl.Fresh and Killa

Ingrid Bruggestrass
Dec 16th, 2009

Hawks Ave 2010 hooded mini dress in electic turqouise blue.

Wednesday Night 9th of December, in the icy cold I trundled down to Chinatown for the Modline Spring 2010 Fashion Show at the Fortune Sound Club.

I was meeting a photographer at 7.30pm and as his bus was slack ended up back at Tinseltown Starbucks mediating over an Eggnog Latte and absorbing the irony of the mall’s name during the festive season and the neon lights adding to the impression.

Then making my way back up the deadly silent street, I passed the minutes lightly chatting with the security guard until Mark arrived. He was an Aussie like myself and it was nice to compare notes on Melbourne and the variance between Canada and Australia.

Your traditional artistically bent photographer Mark was slim with auburn hair to his shoulders, light blue eyes and that down to Earth surfer type personality.

We went upstairs where the show was being held to notice that we were obviously early. The crowd was eclectic, young and trendy.

LaSalle La Show

Ingrid Bruggestrass
Dec 9th, 2009

Promotional postcard from La Show on the 4th of December 2009

On Friday the 4th of December, I attended La Show down in Yaletown at the Lilli’Q Café exhibiting pieces by students attending the LaSalle International College. The event ran from 7pm to 11pm and showcased original designs from the newest Fashion, Jewelery, Graphic & Interior Design students.

Mode Préface

Ingrid Bruggestrass
Dec 2nd, 2009

image © james hazelton photography

Heads up, cameras at the ready, everyone in line and order? Fabulous, because here we go Vancouver I’m about to show the world just what an unrealized fashion gem of a city you have.

Every week from today I will be writing about the local scene, covering all bases from trends, styles and faux pas to the people, who live, breathe and die for fashion. You’ll be provided with tips on shopping, dress-sense and advice with a full guide to all that is Vancouver’s fashion industry. If there’s some fashion help you need, you don’t know what to wear then ask.

I’m here for the fashionistas of Vancouver and those that want to be but aren’t quite sure how. I’ll be writing features on inspirational people, getting beneath the chiffon and layers to find the naked truth of what makes Vancouver’s fashion houses and retailers tick. I will be honest and straight forward and tell it as I see it. You may not always agree and I would encourage you to question and tell me your opinions, my aim is to learn as well as inform and guide.

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