Entries Tagged as 'Inspiration'

Tony Chestnut

Dec 12, 2014

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CONFETTI

 

Jill Sawatsky is one of those completely magnetic people. Spritelike with contagious enthusiasm, she projects happy vibes. She lives in Winnipeg where she designs *and makes* a collection of clothing which is sold under the moniker Tony Chestnut.

 

Tony Chestnut was born in Vancouver with its’ first incarnation being a “mini collection” of items presented as a part of Jill’s graduation project from Fashion School. After moving back to Winnipeg in 2006 the collection has grown into season after season of pretty / pretty perfect pieces.

 

Winnipeg girls are the luckiest (for many reasons) the most of which is that we have first dibs on Tony Chestnut wears (for those who don’t have proximity on their side, Tony Chestnut is online). Many of us take full advantage – Jill has a very loyal following of girls and women that buy out her pieces as fast as she can make them. The best part about Tony Chestnut is that every item just works – works for every shape, every age and every style.

 

TUNIC

 

Do you consciously try to present collections of items that can easily fold into any woman’s wardrobe? Or is it an almost meta result of the effortlessness of your aesthetic?

i definitely try to put clothes together that can be folded into an existing wardrobe! it’s no secret that i like layers, and so when i put together the styling for a new collection, i’m always thinking of different ways to wear an item… which jeans to wear underneath, which mens shirt’s collar to have popping out, etc. I think that i always design garments around piling them up with peoples’ classics that they can’t live without. i don’t want to change the way people dress, i think i just want to enhance it and give it some attitude and a silhouette.

 

Where do you draw your biggest influence?

my biggest influences are drawn from watching people go through life. i love to watch (women, primarily) taking on challenges, orchestrating their priorities, learning, failing, kicking ass, and just expressing themselves. that makes me do what i do. i feel like i want to kind of help women feel a sense of capability in their day-to-day lives, and giving them great clothes to wear is a tangible and exciting way for me to do that.

 

Sheer Frock

Sheer Frock

 

Are there any fashion designers that you’re currently enamoured with? What about from the past? Anyone who has really influenced your work?

hmmm, fashion designers. here’s my favourites:

-marni for quirky textures/patterns
-anne demeulemeester for interesting shapes and silhouettes
-chloe for modest femininity
-alexander wang for classic androgynous sexy
-stella mccartney for being so damn smart

 

individual looks that i feel inspired by are the smart cosmopolitan women from the 70s that don’t wear makeup… the women in annie hall, manhattan (i guess most woody allen movies), but also my great aunts from that time. smart women.

 

i’m also incredibly inspired by old mennonite men and women. the uber modest colours and shapes mixed with the necessity for functionality just GETS me. i feel as though i’m always striving for ways to integrate those looks and the feeling of those people into something more high fashion and evolved. theres a humour in it for me, and i like a good dose of humour and irony in with my beauty :)

 

I have always been interested in fashion, because I truly believe that clothing has transformative properties. Do you feel this way or do you have a less weighty relationship to garments?

i definitely agree with your opinion of clothing having transformative properties. that is a well-put statement! i also think that i see the notion of fashion as a means of art inside a vehicle of necessity. it’s clothing! you have to wear it anyway, so treating it as a means of expression is just pragmatic. not many other mediums of art are also a basic necessity.

 

I love that the shapes you work with, for the most part, leave space between the garment and the body – what draws you to this silhouette?

i feel like there are lots of reasons why i make clothing with generous shape/volume. paramount, being that i just like how it looks. as i mentioned before, i love layers, and the look of textile falling off of a frame, creating movement, whether it’s rigid or fluid, equals beauty to me.

 

i also love the idea of a woman being able to wear a garment in a way that is only her own. it’s thrilling to me to see a garment really WORK on a size 0 woman, and then take on a different shape on a plus sized woman. fabric and volume allow this to happen. i like the idea of malleable clothing, and making a garment work in order to suit your body.

 

i have also come to terms with the fact that, although it seems brazenly cliche to say so, that i just like being able to prove that a woman can be dead sexy when she is covered up. women’s bodies have the most beautiful shape, and playing with the notion of showing parts of that shape, while hiding other parts underneath something beautiful– well, it goes back to what i said earlier about liking beauty with some irony.

 

SWEATSHIRTDRESS

 

I must make it known that you have some of the cutest kids around. How has being a mother affected your work? Has it? Has your personal style evolved as you’ve grown up, had kids? Has Tony Chestnut evolved alongside?

my kids have changed everything about me! and that definitely includes my work and my personal style. as every mom will admit, when it comes to dressing yourself for a day with kids, functionality is key. pockets, easy fabrics, simple (forgiving) shapes, and easy care. really, these were all things that mattered to me before having children as well, but children have a way of amplifying EVERYTHING, including your daily dressing needs :)

 

so, as i design clothing, i have that in mind. whether your challenge that you’re considering in dressing for your day is children, or a rigorous commute, or a long and taxing day of work… whatever it is, i want to make clothing for these women. not just moms. women that work their asses off. and that definitely includes moms.

 

i have always had a very androgynous sense of style, and overall look, and actually think that I’ve veered even more that way since having kids. my body changed to become more feminine, and with that i almost fought harder to hold onto a boyish look.

 

Although I am sure you love it all, what is one piece from your most recent collection that you love to wear the most?

my favourite garment from the collection is definitely the sheer frock. i just think it’s the perfect marriage of quirky and impractical (a sheer, midi length, shift shaped romper? what?) and gloriously effortless. **EQ3 note – I too have this dress and wear it religiously – it’s fair to say every girl should own one**

 

the garment i’ve worn the most from this collection, however, would have to be the sweatsuit dress. the name says it all.

 

Do you prefer dinner, or dessert?

what is dinner without dessert?? you cannot have one without the other! just as i like my beauty with humour, i like my red meat with a healthy side of dark chocolate. xo.

 

For those living in Winnipeg make sure to check out Jill’s sale tomorrow!
Saturday, dec 13.
10am-5pm
In the luckygirl studio at 70 Albert st (above hoopers).

EQ3 Holiday Gift Guide

Nov 30, 2014

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Feeling stumped on what to get that last person on your list? Here’s our creative teams top picks for this holiday season!

 

Allison: Coast Marble Cheese Board

My pick is the Coast Marble Cheese Board. It’s a classic design that fits any décor and at $19.99, it comes with an affordable price tag. It’s also super functional for holiday party season. The natural marble keeps cheese cool.

coast_cheese_board_marble_overhead

Heather: Gusto Tea Light Holder

It’s the perfect accessory to cozy-up a small space on a chilly December evening.

Gusto Tea Light Holder

Ben: Sagaform Luva Shot Glasses

These playful red shot glasses on wooden bases are a bold combination of materials, and add a festive touch to holiday cheers.

Sagaform Luva Shot Glasses

Nina: Spot Wall Knobs

The Spot Wall Knobs are a super fun way to add both colour and function to a space. The brand new Spot Wall Knob in white marble offers a more sophisticated look but still pairs well with the bright colours.

Spot Wall Knob

Alex: Marimekko Hauki Oven Mitten

I may not be able to pronounce the name but I love this oven mitt. The illustration reminds me of the late/great Charley Harper’s wildlife illustrations.

Marimekko Hauki Oven Mitten

Paul: Kaleb Task Lamp

If you know anybody who has ever worked at a desk, then this is the gift for them.

Kaleb Task Lamp

Thom: Alessi Todo Cheese Grater

The Todo Giant Grater by Richard Sapper is a clever take on a typically dull kitchen utensil. The atypical height of the cheese grater was inspired by Sapper’s experience at home – grating cheese for his family’s dishes – measuring the length of one stroke along a grater, to satisfy one proper serving. I’ve never thought twice about a cheese grater until coming across this one. The Todo is an ideal holiday gift for those who admire thoughtful, functional goods for their kitchen.

Alessi Todo Cheese Grater

Madi: Klere End Table

Although I did design this piece, I have an altruistic appreciation for its functionality and “cool girl” aesthetic. I would love to wrap her up under the tree so that all my friends and family would have the perfect place to stash their books + magazines this holiday season.

Klere End Table

Enri: Alessi Juicy Salif Citrus Squeezer

Three reasons: it works; it is easy to clean unlike most lemon juicers, and it is a beautiful object in your kitchen.

Alessi Juicy Salif Citrus Squeezer

Still can’t decide? Choose an EQ3 gift card now available online here!

Klere

Nov 7, 2014

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Designing a collection of furniture is a challenging task to embark upon. Not specifically in relation to the sheer scope of work required (which is daunting) but more so the requirements of the project, constantly simmering in the back of your mind, that threaten to quash your ideas.

 

To make a real life comparison, designing such a group, comes down to balancing your metaphorical wardrobe in such a way that it includes those Céline shoes as well as a winter coat. You want the shoes but you need the coat.

 

The Klere collection was a lesson in said balance.

 

klere_bedroom

 

The project brief requested a white collection that spanned from bedroom to occasional and would appeal to a teenager and her grandma – no unnecessary adornment, something beautiful yet affordable.

 

We wanted each piece in the collection to have a distinct point of view, while needing to produce a multi-sku collection that would embody that quintessential white group that can work for anyone in any space, anywhere. We wanted this group to sit easily alongside existing EQ3 pieces while needing it to look amazing together.

 

morten_sectional

 

 

Thanks in part to my love of  contradictions, I kept coming back to the idea of pairing stark white pieces with some of our heavy wood items. I loved the dramatic contrast between the two materials.

 

 

 

It was the latter want that became the starting point for the concept which grew into finding subtle ways to integrate introduce that dramatic quality into the pieces themselves. Opposing feelings, materials and forms create dynamic connections and we challenged ourselves to create such connections while working with the constraints of one color and two materials. Focusing in on creating interest through contrasting elements allowed us to achieve the elements we wanted while fulfilling our requirements.

 

We looked outside of furniture for images that captivated the feelings we hoped to exude.

 

Can we create a tactile dialogue without adding soft materials?

 

 

 

Custom drawer pulls with soft closing slides create a play between physical and mechanical interaction.

 

 

 

Can a smooth white surface be layered to simulate texture?

 

 

Layers of MDF and metal play with one another through relief detailing and set-backs creating shadowing and alluding to the textural component we desired.

 

 

 

 

 

Can something stark seem inviting?

 

 

 

 

How can we make something both serious and playful?

 

 

Off-kilter cuts and functional storage lend a dual personality to some of the otherwise serious elements of the collection.

 

 

 

Ginger Apple Cocktail

Nov 5, 2014

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AppleGingerCocktail-3_working2

 

 

AppleGingerCocktail-3_working3Crisp Champagne Glass – Buy it here

 

Here’s a simple autumn inspired cocktail using fresh apples, pear vodka, and ginger ale! You will need to make a simple honey syrup by combining two parts honey to one part boiling water. Stir to dissolve and allow to it cool slightly.

 

In a cocktail shaker add:
– 1 oz pear flavoured vodka
– .75 oz lime juice
– .75 oz honey syrup
– 3 slices of fresh apple

 

Use a muddler to break up the apple slightly, and to combine the ingredients. Add a hand full of ice and shake to combine. Pour into a glass on top of fresh ice and top it up with ginger ale. Add a thin apple slice to the rim as garnish and Enjoy!

 

Krisjanis Kaktins-Gorsline

Oct 25, 2014

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Krisjanis Kaktins-Gorsline is an artist living and working in Winnipeg MB.  He paints wonderfully layered, complex paintings.  His work is the kind that gives a lot.

 

He studied fine arts at the University of MB and went on to do his MFA at Columbia (graduating in 2008).  He has painted for most of his life. Since his first solo show in 2006 he has shown works across North America – most recently at Actual Gallery in Winnipeg MB.

 

This most recent show, aptly titled Fruit on Black, was an overwhelming representation of his work.  The show featured a pseudo-sculptural component, walls stenciled on site and an interactive QR code that led to a beautiful image of Martha, the world’s last passenger pigeon that was hidden in the basement of the gallery.  This decisive randomness was grounded by solid, beautiful paintings.

 

fruit on black 2

 

Fruit on Black confirmed my preconceived notion that Kaktins-Gorsline’s paintings are amoung some of the best AND most interesting being created today.

 

wall 1

 

In addition to the sparkly resume and insane talent, Kaktins-Gorsline is also a really nice and funny guy who is one of the best people to talk to at a party.   Examples of said funny-ness can be seen below as responses to questions I recently asked…

 

Madi – Where did you grow up?
Krisjanis – I was born in Winnipeg but moved to Brandon when I was about 6 or 7. We lived in the North End of Winnipeg but our particular area was on the decline.  I think my mom wanted to live in a safer place while we were growing up so we moved to Brandon.  With the exception of one year spent in Halifax, I lived there until I came back to Winnipeg for University in 2001.

 

M – Where is home // how do you define home –physical space or a feeling?
K – I’m not sure that I’ve ever really tried to define home per se. I think it ends up being a bit of both.  It seems like the two kind of map onto each other. If you spend a certain amount of time someplace you are bound to have feelings for it.  At this point I’ve lived in Winnipeg so long that it just feels like its in my bones.

 

M – Describe your work
K – Sweet sweet paintings.

 

fruit-script(joy_production) 1

 

M – Over the years that you’ve been focused on creating, what have been your biggest influences?
K – Oh there are so many at this point.  And they are always changing. I’ve never had an “art hero” really.  I just end up stealing little bits and bobs from all over the place and then somehow they synthesize into what I make.  Honestly the only constant thing I could really point to would be nature, but that just seems like a given.  You’d have to be a real jerk not to be inspired by nature.

 

M – How do you envision people will interact with your work? Perceive it?  // or do you want to control their perceptions?  Has the desire to control/shape perceptions changed over time or stayed consistent?
K – I’m not really interested in controlling people’s perceptions per se.  I just think about my own perception and trust that there will be people who might share that perception.  But often other people’s takes on the work are just as interesting as anything I might have intended.  I think that the real art of artworks sort of hovers somewhere between the work and the person looking at it.  The objects are really just there as a prompts for thought, so the viewer is the one who completes the work really.  Its more of a co-production.

 

M – I know you live in Winnipeg now – how does this place affect your work? Or does it?
K – … I often think about this, but have never come up with a great answer.  I’m not sure that my work really has that kind of direct relationship to the city right now.  Some of the earlier work was directly about the history of the city but most of the recent work would just have a more ambient relationship.  I’m sure that so many years of winters here must have left some kind of traumatic trace on my work.

 

Martha - re-sized

 

M – I wonder if it has become taboo to think of Winnipeg as just a place to live, we’re always encouraged to point out the idiosyncrasies of this place as some sort of a justification for being here.  Do you feel that way? And/or do you feel that there is something truly special about the city?
K – A lot of cities deal with this sort of thing. There is always a tension between the local and the global. Local idiosyncrasies are what makes a place interesting and unique but that can also slip into a kind of myopic provincialism. But there is a flip side to that where a lot of what is imported is a kind of generic globalism, so people feel like Winnipeg is cosmopolitan because we have an H&M at the mall or whatever. I think real cosmopolitanism has something to do with being able to see the unique differences in a specific place but also being able to think about them in relation to a larger global sphere.  I think the environmental movement really nails it when they say “act locally, think globally”.  There is tons of amazing culture in Winnipeg, but often Winnipeg is the last to recognize it.

 

M – How does teaching affect your work? 
K – I really like teaching.  Teaching makes me have to constantly reconsider what art is and how its made.  I try to approach teaching in a more symmetrical way, so that the students are defining the direction of their work as much as I am. For me, the ideal classroom is a space of experimentation and investigation where everyone, including me, is exploring the possibilities of what art is, rather than just reproducing the conventions of art.  I think this is the real potential of education.  Otherwise it just becomes a space of indoctrination rather than innovation.  The students are so smart and talented that my job is really more about facilitating the space for them to take responsibility for their work and develop their practices.  The up shot of this is that often I am learning as much as the students are.

 

fruit-script(network_libido)_4

 

M – I find process-based questions to be super hard to answer because often times when I am designing something everything happens really fast and my “process” changes.  That being said, please humour me, and describe your process if you can…
K – I’ve never really thought of myself as having a signature process. Actually I would say that my work ends up largely being about designing a certain process for making a body of work just to undermine it with the next body of work. Often I think I’m trying to torture myself.  It’s just that I’m more interested in creativity than style really.  I’m not that interested in locking down what I do as much as I am figuring out what I could do.  So often it becomes a weird game of getting in my own way and undermining my own habits to keep things interesting.

 

M – Do you need specific working conditions, or are you flexible?  How much energy do you pull from the environment or people around you?
K – I do like to work alone a lot, and that can be really productive, but its also great to have people around.  I think the studios I’m in now are perfect because I can work alone when I want but if I’m bored I can walk down the hall and bug someone. More and more lately I’ve been interested in working on collaborative projects with other people just to mix things up.  It starts to feel pretty anti-social being alone in a studio all the time.  Often you can end up feeling like a shady vampire type. Working on this new show I was able to hire friends to work with me in the studio so it was actually quite lively.  I had a friend do a couple of DJ sets while we worked.  That was pretty great! Any working condition is improved by judicious cuts of Todd Terje and Floating Points.

 

fruit_script(jaune_brillant) 3

 

M – Your show at Actual gallery (which was AMAZING) just came down.  How did it feel showing in Winnipeg (where you currently live)?  Did you feel differently than you do when your work is shown in other cities? 
K – This show was actually the first solo show I’ve ever had in Winnipeg. Showing in Winnipeg was quite different.  More nerve racking. Usually I just go to another city for a week, stay in a hotel and then leave soon after the opening happens.  Its often a whirlwind of meeting new people, setting up, going out, etc, and then I split. Showing in Winnipeg actually felt a lot more like having a show for my family or something.  I mean, my family literally went, but I also basically know most people in the art scene here so it’s really just a bunch of friends at the show. But somehow that actually made me more nervous.

 

M – What is your typical email send off?
K – I think for the last while I’ve been in a bit of an email send off crisis. It’s good to have a go to email send off, but it can seem a little insincere. Unless your send off is “Sincerely…”, I guess.  Best! All the best! Cheers! Adios! Toot-a-loo! xoxo! Whatever.

 

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