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alice kass

all images courtesy of Alice Kass

I had stumbled upon Alice Kass through the magic of Instagram, discovering their feed of edgy looking women with even hotter lingerie.  The freshly launched online multibrand shop kept beckoning me with lacy, sheer and mostly black pieces.  Scrolling through Instagram one morning in bed I saw a post stating: Kayleigh Peddie's Frances bra will be discontinued.  That yanked me out of bed and I ordered the super comfy bra right away.  Ok, so I had ordered the wrong size! But an exchange was brokered with ease and speed by founder Sabrina Cassis, a former womenswear buyer at luxury retailer SSENSE.  I had a chance to chat with Sabrina about sexy lingerie and how to dress down your satin and lace bodysuit with denim shorts (#casual).

What place or gap in the market were you looking to fill?

There really is no curated lingerie website for cool, fashion girls at the moment. They're either buying their soft bras from designer labels like Alex Wang or Helmut Lang or they are substituting quality for style and opting for bras from the big name lingerie shops or chain stores. Personally, I don't identify with the women on the Victoria's Secret catwalk who wear brightly coloured push-up bras, and neither do any of the women that I know. So I wanted to create something that reflected our lifestyle and need to express ourselves via clothing right down to our underwear.

What kind of product do you seek out?

I'm not a girly-girl when it comes to clothes, so I want my underwear to have an edge. I'm not into the frilly stuff but I'm not going to go into extreme bondage wear either. After doing a lot of research, I discovered all these amazing independent labels online and wanted to give them a place to come together where they could be featured in awesome editorials as opposed to just a boudoir setting. My goal is to offer my customer the best, most fashion-forward pieces that are still affordable and wearable on a daily basis, not just for special occasions. 

So what's the best piece of lingerie you own and why?

Best piece of lingerie? I'm obsessed with the Kayleigh Peddie high-waisted Rina thong. It's just such an obvious shape yet I haven't seen this cut anywhere else! Perfect for high-waisted jeans and under tight dresses. Also, I'm super into bodysuits these days. The L'Agent Marisela is super versatile and can be dressed up under a blazer or dressed down with denim shorts.

Thanks Sabrina! I'll be back for more...



On a lovely fall evening hundreds of art goers packed themselves into the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal for the opening of the Biennale de Montréal.  In the rotunda, under the colourful works of Étienne Tremblay-Tardif (above), patrons enjoyed the opening remarks by the curators and some wine and snacks before heading upstairs to the galleries which housed a large majority of the Biennale's works.

While it was A LOT to take in, and the crowds did not help my ability to concentrate or sit and watch video, there were many works that stood out for me throughout the evening.  A repeat visit is on the menu...

Taxidermied creatures, such as the fox and the bird seen above, were laid to rest in several corners around the gallery.  The work of Abbas Akhavan chose not to represent these dead animals in their traditional and vivid trophy stance, but as they are: stripped of their life and "doubly-dead."

The Steubenville, Ohio, High School rape case that made my blood boil.  The 2012 case that converged many skin crawling tropes of modernity: victim blaming, slut shaming, social media trolling, rape culture, bias in the media, and on and on... Andrea Bowers' work (above) featured the exchanged text messages between the (Anonymous dubbed) "Rape Crew", providing a sobering moment in the exhibit. 

Other highlights:
Details from Nicolas Grenier's Promised Land Template (2014)

the painstaking economics of Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens

Eternity, the photo-op inducing work of Nicolas Baier

Finally, Suzanne Treister's insane mind-boggling work Hexen 2.0 (2009-2011) composed of multiple works throughout the gallery, but what did it for me was Treister's re-working of the 78 cards of a Tarot deck.  I will quote the gallery text here:

"Since at least the second half of the twentieth century, the West has witnessed power and agency slip away from tangible, accountable structures of governance towards intangible, quasi-mystical forces whose goals and interests reply on programmatic techno-utilitarianism."

I had the pleasure of babbling like a child to try to convey to Treister why her work resonated so much with me.  She listened politely as I gesticulated while saying: "meticulous! Medium! Message!" 
It was all too much! 
Art overload!

But there's so much more:
-an artist talk with Shirin Neshat
-an artist talk with Ibghy and Lemmens
-and mysterious workshops!


Les HTMlles: Mareikura

Hinenuitepo (2008), Lisa Reihana

I am super stoked to be a contributing blogger for the 11th edition of Les HTMlles, a feminist festival of media arts and digital culture, produced by artist-run centre Studio xx.  The festival runs from November 7-15th and will be chock-full of discussions, performance, video, sound and more.

Some pre-fest events got underway and I checked out Mareikura, a retrospective of works by Maori artist Lisa Reihana. Check out my thoughts on the opening here, and then go see show before it leaves articule's walls on November 13!


pumpkin soup

It's rainy and cold outside so I'm starting my winter hibernation with a hearty and filling pumpkin soup.  I never used to make soups, but then with all the squashes coming in from our veggie baskets, it was time to put them to work.  Then I discovered that making soups was pretty much a no-brainer.  Roast some veg, make or buy a good stock, season how you like, blend that shit up and voila.  Meals for days.

This particular deliciousness above was a combination of a pumpkin and what looked like a pumpkin on the outside but its innards looked like spaghetti squash.  Whatevs, all squash leads to the same road of goodness.  Here's the "recipe" (aka, throw whatever you have in your fridge), it yields A LOT of soup, watch out!

-roasted pumpkin and squash, probably equivalent to 3-4lbs worth
-two big leeks
-lots of garlic
-a can of black beans
-3-4 big tomatoes
-4 cups or so of veg stock
-2 cups of water
-a bunch of coriander
-a teaspoon of smoked paprika (maybe more?)
-season at will
-blend it real good

I cozied up to my soup with Hijacking the Runway by the very smart and funny Teri Agins, a writer at the Wall Street Journal.  Agins' "beat" is fashion, but not the trends or who is wearing what, but the stories behind the business, a beat she was onto before Business of Fashion gave a wider audience the bigger picture.  The book is proving to be a fun read with some surprising info, read this great interview with Agins for more tidbits.


fall '14 cultural preview

The October issue of ELLE Québec featured a fall cultural preview of the local scene.  I was invited to style the men in this project, who were three easy-going dudes who didn't mind wearing sweaters and jackets in July.  At the top: thespian Benoît McGinnis opened the portfolio wearing pieces from Diesel and John Varvatos (from Holt Renfrew).  Next we had musician Pierre Kwenders, looking regal in a smattering of patterns.  I layered him in pieces from Diesel, MatiniqueG-Star Raw, DJAB from Simons, Breed Knitting, kicks from Aldo and specs from Céline.   Finally, the very charming screen actor Victor Andrés Trelles-Turgeon closed the portfolio layered in Diesel, Steven Alan and Michael Kors.

The photography was achieved with the wizardry of Marc Montplaisir and was definitely #nofilter.  Montplaisir has been perfecting his ambrotype photography for more than a decade, finding the balance between the exposure (controlled by the removal of a lens cap) and the chemicals at work in the darkroom.  Above, the exposed glass plates of Trelles-Turgeon and McGinnis sit in a rack to dry and reveal the ghostly images.  This was not a shoot of hundreds of clicks a day from a DSLR, more accurately, each photograph took about three to five plates, and we patiently waited while Montplaisir went to the darkroom to develop the image.

Our three subjects behind the camera


Stations, People, Eat, Drink

Speaking of closing art shows... (I'm clearing out the blog backlog!)
A shot from the vernissage of Parisian Laundry's Stations, People, Eat, Drink, with my small friend being mesmerized by the red and green moving lights on the tropical print wall.


Current @ the Arsenal

Mega contemporary art space Arsenal, will be holding its closing event of Current, a street art exhibit curated by Alejandro Figueroa.  The weeklong show invited local and international street artists to create their works in a gallery setting, allowing visitors to view the works in progress.
I stopped by earlier in the week to scope out some of the pieces.

Iron getting the signage under way

Crates full of blue chip art served as a set. Kevin Ledo's gold leaf star seen in the background

Art crating and moving has always fascinated me.  Herein lies a Franz West.

Getting up close to Ledo's gold detritus

Ledo working it out

This is the second out of three large format portraits that Ledo is mounting

Labrona working on his signature faces

Labrona set up a series of barrels in the loading ramp, coming to life with his imagery

Alexis Diaz is back! A crosshatched heart is starting to come through.

For those who don't want to splurge on some art at the moment, stamps representative of each artist were created so you can take home a freebie.

The dirty business of art. Ledo and Zoltan illustrate.

For a full list of the artists involved check out here, or go see it in person!


Festival Nouveau Cinema 2014

The best film festival in town just got underway yesterday and I just took a look at the program.  Holy moly there's lots of good stuff here. A couple of projects I did the costume design for are going to partake in the fun, so check it out!

First up, Turn Off Before Living, directed by Annick Blanc, a dark and steamy film set in Havana, Cuba about a cast of characters living personal lies.

Step Well Pilgrim is a dance film that I had the pleasure of making "butt turbans" for four of the performers.  Director Duncan McDowall was inspired by principal performers Katia Lesvesque and Jonathan Fortin's performance from Cabaret Carmagnole and transformed it to a screen adaptation.

I was super stoked to assist the insane talent of costume designer Patricia McNeil for one day on the set of Félix et Meira.  Directed by Maxime Giroux, the film explores the unlikely crossing of paths of a young mother and wife in the Hassidic Jewish community and an eccentric francophone québecois. 
My one awesome day consisted of transforming about twenty bearded men, from young hip dudes to elderly santa claus-like gentlemen into Hassidic Jews.  With the treasures of eBay Israel and a bunch of resourcefulness, McNeil orchestrated epic movie magic.