Alyssa Lau shares her top picks for Earth Day

You don’t have to sacrifice style for sustainability. You don’t have to sacrifice ethics for aesthetics. Such is the mantra for Edmonton-based style blogger Alyssa Lau. Preach! We can all use a little reminding of that fact. There are so many amazing fashion designers making sustainability, ethical practices, fair trade and earth-friendly materials top of their game. Even the smallest steps in these realms have a huge impact on our lovely planet. Alyssa’s blog, Ordinary People (ordinarypeople.ca), has grown with that in mind and she’s also at the helm of an online store focused on sustainability, New Classics Studios. So being that it’s Earth Day today we figured it was the perfect time to get her thoughts on how ethical and sustainable fashion has evolved, why she’s into it and how we can get in on the change. Plus, she shares her Earth Day shopping picks.

 

New Classics Studios founder Alyssa Lau on all her favorite things

When we first met Alyssa Lau she was splitting her time between a biochemistry lab and an addictive style blog called Ordinary People. Today, the Edmonton-based creative director continues to rule the web and is now at the helm of a fast-growing online boutique dedicated to sustainable style, stocking sought-after labels like Kowtow, Shaina Mote, Samuji and more. Earlier this year we chatted about what it means to #wearthechange (make sure you read that here), so, in preparation for Fall, this time we’re talking Netflix binges, winning outfits and playlists.

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Men’s style made easy with Sean Santiago

Sean Santiago lives the kind of creative life in Brooklyn where Tumblr dreams are made. The Senior Home Editor at Refinery29 has a beautiful style blog, a new magazine called Cakeboy, a perfectly curated Instagram feed, and the kind of effortless style even a girl can envy. Whether high fashion or emerging trends, normcore or dandy, Sean dabbles with a little bit of everything. With the men’s shows in London, Milan and Paris in full force and the first annual Men’s Fashion Week in New York City kicking off next month, we’re turning our focus to men’s wear. If there ever was a time for guys to get serious about fashion, the industry is offering way more tools than ever to help. So we asked Sean for his top tips to help men step up their style game.

How to get cropped pants just right

If there’s one thing fashion agrees on this season, it’s that the ankle is the new it zone. The Spring/Summer 2015 runways showed a ton of variations of pants – from swingy culottes to high waisted flares – all with a crop that hits above the ankle bone. Now before you get flashbacks of capris from the early 2000’s, this new crop is a key part of the new silhouette of pants and is a trend with serious legs. To find out how to get cropped pants just right, we got in touch with the beauty behind the cool UK-based fashion blog Style & Well Being, Brittany Bathgate. She’s a master of the crop so we quizzed her on why she loves them, how to wear them and her DIY tips.

Fashion blogger Sophia Molen on minimalism and tao

In Taoism, the object of spiritual practice is to become one with the Tao, or to be able to get one’s flow harmonious with nature. Obviously, we’re over simplifying things here, but you get the point. It’s a good thing. Sophia Molen realized that this kind of inner peace was just not happening while she was working in science, so in 2012 she jumped ship to her true calling: fashion and entrepreneurship. She’s now the ringleader of an awesome, Amsterdam-based blog collective, Blog and the City, writes about her personal style at Tao of Sophia and a ton of creative stuff that feeds her soul. Of course Sophia’s rad minimal aesthetic does not reflect the true craziness of her day to day. The busy bee recently took a minute to chat with us about her non-stop schedule.

YOU USED TO BE A SCIENTIST! TELL US ABOUT MAKING THE LEAP INTO FASHION. I started studying bio-medical science because of my interest in biology and the medical world. At that time, I didn’t realize what I liked to the most: being creative and an entrepreneur. Things that weren’t a part of my education. I guess high school and university made me forget my needs, and were limiting my vision. Now, I remember the things I liked to do the most as a child: making magazines and gaining subscribers for them, creating jewelry and selling it door-to-door, and constantly changing my website’s design. I was so disappointed when my friends wanted to quit these kinds of projects. I was always more motivated and enthusiastic. I don’t see it like I jumped into fashion, rather, I jumped into online entrepreneuring. I just saw my chances in fashion, and it’s such a great industry to be creative in.

TELL US ABOUT BLOG AND THE CITY. WHAT MADE YOU START SOMETHING LIKE THAT? I started Blog and the City when I quit science and had nothing to do. I dreamt about running a successful website. I didn’t know exactly what it would be like, but the dream felt so incredibly good and realistic. I managed to set up the entire site on my own in just one month with my little knowledge about HTML. I was kind strict with myself because I felt I needed to prove to my surroundings that I really wanted to do this. I saw my chances in fashion blogging. There are so many great bloggers, and I wanted to have them all in one place and organize them. I love cities, so the link between bloggers and cities was quickly made.

HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHICH BLOGGERS TO INCLUDE? I invite bloggers to join us who are good at photography; the part I like the most of fashion blogging. Of course, I want them to have built a following already, and a good connection with them is meaningful for me too.

IT SEEMS LIKE YOU FULFILL EVERY ROLE: PHOTOGRAPHER, DEVELOPING AN ONLINE BUSINESS, STYLING, AND MARKETING. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART? Actually, it feels like I’m doing a lot more, and I’m only doing more and more… haha. Recently, I started to develop and design websites and blogs for other people, something I really like to do. Currently, I’m finding a comfortable way to write about my philosophies. I would love to become a professional photographer. So actually, I keep on discovering new things I like to do.

HOW DO YOU MANAGE IT ALL? I was kind of lazy with Blog and the City the first few years; I recognize that now. I thought I was doing so much already, but these are things I do quickly in between my other work now. I have become more efficient, and I’m eager to become even more efficient. But at the same time, I allow myself to still be lazy sometimes. I believe that it is really important to stay efficient and motivated over a longer period.

CAN YOU SHARE SOME STYLE TIPS YOU LIVE BY? I don’t think we should limit ourselves with one strict style. We must be open to try out different things as well. I know it’s important to define your style to get recognized in the fashion industry, but I believe it’s a good thing to be variable in it, to be ‘open minded’. Why would you limit yourself? One who knows my style, knows I’m quite minimalistic. Though, I don’t like extreme minimalism. It seems a bit compulsive to be, and I don’t like obsessions like that. But I can understand how this might be freedom for someone else.

taoofsophia.com

Meet Canadian style blogger Ania Boniecka

Once you’re on the runway for Missoni at Milan Fashion Week, it’s safe to say fashion will never leave you. Ania Boniecka traveled the world for years as a teenager before deciding on a career as an accountant and settling down in Calgary. But one day in 2010, the Poland-born beauty’s mind wandered. “I was looking for a creative outlet to share my artwork and photos on,” she explains. “I was bored at work one day and set up a blogger account, then a friend encouraged me to just keep posting until it felt natural. I haven’t stopped since.” And so it goes with those talented blogger fairytales come true, her fashion blog aniab.net quickly gained a following and it has since become her day job. We’ve been loving her since day one and recently recognized a familiar face over at Suasion right here on Garmentory (shop them HERE): Ania is pals with the owners of the Victoria boutique and models for them from time to time. So obviously we had to find out more.

WHAT HAVE BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN STARTING A FASHION BLOG? THE BIGGEST REWARDS? The biggest challenges are having people understand that it is now my full time job and it is something that puts food on the table (and clothes in the closet of course). I get a lot of funny looks when I talk about Instagram in a serious manner [70,000 followers is no joke], like there is a science behind the internet. There are people out there who have still not entirely caught on yet.

The biggest rewards come in a variety of shapes and forms. I love when my readers approach me and talk to me about the blog, it’s a great feeling knowing that the content you put out there is appreciated and hopefully inspiring. I love finishing a post and seeing it published online. I work hard to make every image as perfect as it can. I will not post something if I am not happy with the end result. It can create bottlenecks in my workflow for sure, but the end result is always worth it.

WHAT KIND OF POSTS DO YOU LOVE THE MOST? Outfit posts are my favorite. I love playing dress up. Having the challenge of creating a story around a piece of clothing that you want to feature is very exciting to me. Sometimes I will receive items that I would never normally pick up at a store, but I love making them work in my own unique way.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS? Five years from RIGHT NOW I will still be blogging and creating, photos, videos, hopefully working on some amazing projects. I would love to get better at video for sure so I can help my husband Tyler who is the second half and takes care of the backend of the site. I take care of the photo editing but I still have trouble with video. Things evolve so quickly with the internet right now, it’s really hard to predict if those things will still be relevant but I like to think that I can adapt quickly to the way people consume online content and be there when it shifts.

WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO OUTFIT? Black jeans and an oversized sweater. I’m really into turtlenecks right now. I like the whole Funny Girl head to toe black look. It makes me feel like the character from the movie.

WHAT’S ON YOUR WISH LIST FOR THE HOLIDAYS? I am actually really bad at making wish lists because I am really impatient. I will go out and buy the things I covet before anyone can gift them. The most recent things I crossed off were a Saint Laurent mini sac de jour and a pair of Louis Vuitton earrings… it’s the holidays, I thought I deserved a little something special. 😛

aniab.net

Style blogger Natasha Janelle on menswear and normcore

This week we’re feeling the simplicity and tailoring of menswear and all we had to do was look over at the desk next to us for inspiration. Natasha Janelle, Garmentory’s Product and Social Media Assistant, has the look down to a tee. So in this installment of WE LOVE, we’re doing a little navel gazing and giving a shout out to one of our own. She’s been blogging since she was a teenager and she studied musical theatre. Everyone, meet Natasha.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT MENSWEAR-INSPIRED STYLE? I appreciate classic, simple pieces that aren’t going to go out of style within a few months. I’ve been getting back into more vintage pieces as well. I like an oversized men’s tee or boyfriend denim… mom jeans… daringly long coats. There are definitely different styles that men acquire and I value pieces that I can wear over and over again and not grow tired of (so quickly).

WE LOVE HOW YOU CAN ROCK A SIMPLE TEE WITH JEANS AND SNEAKERS. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE WHOLE NORMCORE THING? Hah! I’ve actually only heard that word thrown around a few times. I Would agree to say that my style leans towards normcore. I try to stay away from trendy, extravagant pieces. Ever since I began appreciating fashion and style at a young age, I made sure to be cautious of dressing like all the “other girls”. That bugged me.

WHAT’S YOUR GO TO LOOK? Anything paired with a black pair of bottoms. My collection of black pants is outta control. As for shoes, because of my bad feet, I tend to resort to sneakers. Comfortable style is the best style. Add a half top knot bun on my head and I’m good to go.

WHAT THREE THINGS ARE ON YOUR WISHLIST FROM GARMENTORY RIGHT NOW? Ooh! Easy. The 69 Jumper and the Persephoni Cone Watch from One of a Few, and the Ilana Kohn Darryl Blue Net Dress from Room 2046.

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