“FIVE MINUTES WITH . . . CLYDE HENRY PRODUCTIONS’ CHRIS LAVIS & MACIEK SZCZERBOWSKI”

This ongoing series features 5 minutes with extraordinary citizens (who sometimes also happen to be our clientele) as these remarkable persons share a few pieces of wisdom for Montreal locals and for visitors alike, related to the nature of their work. We were tremendously excited to reach the dynamic duo behind Clyde Henry Productions. Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski are unrivaled in their filmic and artistic talents and good humour and overall we are bowled over by their abundance of integrity.

CLYDE HENRY PRODUCTIONS with CHRIS LAVIS & MACIEK SZCZERBOWSKI
CLYDE HENRY PRODUCTIONS with CHRIS LAVIS & MACIEK SZCZERBOWSKI

Here’s a little we think you should know about this extraordinary pair:

Lavis and Szczerbowski are the filmmakers and animators behind the Oscar-nominated short feature Madame Tutli-Putli – amongst other films which include an adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s book Higglety Pigglety Pop! and the experimental stereoscopic short Cochemare. More recently, they acted as the art director’s for Guy Maddin’s feature film Forbidden Room and, in a collaboration with Felix & Paul Studios, they co-created the Visual Reality experience “Strangers with Patrick Watson.” There is a lot on the horizon for these prolific gentlemen: in 2017, they will release two short films provisionally titled We Drink Too Much and We Eat Shit, both being produced by the Nation Film Board of Canada.

And there is no way you should you should miss their upcoming 20 year retrospective of their cumulative poster work, films and puppets that will be held at the Cinematheque, from March 11th until April 4th. Your eyes will be delighted by the likes of which you’ve never seen before. We can assure you of that! Expect the unexpected and treat yourself entry into whole new worlds.

we drink too muchwe eat shit

We asked Lavis and Szczerbowski to impart their shared discerning tastes on their top 5 cinematic features that have been made in Montreal. Clyde Henry productions came up with these truly insightful gems. Our eyes have been opened and our worlds expanded. We hope their filmic knowledge elucidates how you should be spending your indoor Winter hours. We are honoured and made proud of this “Made in Montreal” selection – such a boundless ways to see and express the different qualities of this city.

In the words of both Chris and Maciek, discover

The Clyde Henry Productions list of the top 5 movies made in Montreal

1) 2187

21-87
21-87

Directed by Arthur Lipsett, Produced by The National Film Board.

A still from Arthur Lipsett's 21-87
A still from Arthur Lipsett’s 21-87

Of all the NFB filmmakers past and present, none has been as influential on our thinking as Arthur Lipsett. The montage and sound design is still groundbreaking, and Lipsett’s “God’s Eye” view of a scraping, striving humanity still gives the chills. Pieced together with bits and bobs and leftover film scraps that Arthur saved from the dustbin at the NFB’s offices on Cote De Liesse.

https://www.onf.ca/film/21-87/

 

 

2) Un crabe dans la tête

Un crabe dans la tête
Un crabe dans la tête

Directed by André Turpin, the great Quebec cinematographer.

A still from Turpin's Un crabe dans la tête
A still from Turpin’s Un crabe dans la tête

 

 

Despite this, the film’s power is not in the visuals but in its searing and honest depiction of the artist as a perpetual man-child, unaware that being a “nice guy” who skates through life and relationships is its own form of selfish cruelty (present company excluded, of course).

[G54 side note: Clyde Henry certainly always know to bring comic elements into play at all times and it’s truly one of the many reasons we love you both!]

3) Forbidden Room.

The Forbidden Room
The Forbidden Room

Directed by Guy Maddin.

A still from Guy Maddin's The Forbidden Room
A still from Guy Maddin’s The Forbidden Room

We worked as art directors on this film, but still, we’d have loved it even if we hadn’t and also would have been hotly jealous of the folks who did. This film is an exhausting phantasmagoria; the beginning and the end of movies.

 

4) Maelström.

Maelström
Maelström

Directed by Denis Villeneuve.

A still from Villeneuve's Maelström
A still from Villeneuve’s Maelström

 Shot by André Turpin and starring Marie-Josée Croze. It was the first time we read the names of any of those three, and it remains some of their strongest work. A film every bit as luminous and mysterious as Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colour Trilogy.  When we saw this we were shocked (and inspired) that something this good could come from here!

5) Les Invasions Barbares

Les Invasions Barbares
Les Invasions Barbares

Directed by Denys Arcand.

EL
A still from Arcand’s Les Invasion Barbares

 

To be honest, this fifth spot was a toss up between the chosen Quebecois classic and Bon Cop Bad Cop. Though the former is properly-speaking a better film, Bon Cop Bad Cop is a legit buddy cop movie and, we’d argue, as a parody of the genre, it works better then Simon’s Pegg’s Hot Fuzz. Then again, Mitsou.

 

I suppose we at General 54 and you as readers are left with our own detective work on that one – much to deduce. And so much good movie viewing ahead.

bon cop bad cop 2bon cop bad cop

Oh and:

Here is a link to Madame Tutli Putli https://www.nfb.ca/film/madame_tutli_putli_en/ and https://www.nfb.ca/film/higglety_pigglety_pop/ and find the teaser for Cochemare here http://cochemare-film.com/

Follow them on “the Instagram” under the handle @clydehenryproductions

TAKING CHANCES INCREASES YOUR CHANCES

Lissa Bowie knows how fortuitous life can be if you allow yourself to be immersed in the opportunities it gives you. She has taken chances on herself and on her jewelry line equally. On an early wintry morning in Canada, she found the time to disclose her sources of inspiration and her genuine beliefs in the energy of the every day and how she finds the alchemy and gemstones in her works can enrich the individual histories of the lives those who wear them. Residing between Taxco Mexico and these northern climes, Bowie has the rare combination of experimentation and soulfulness to create both of her signature lines in classic and bolder looks.

Lissa Bowie Jewellery
Lissa Bowie Jewellery

 

How did you get started?

I came upon my means by chance; I took that chance and I have been so fortunate to have been able to dabble in many different scenarios of the jewelry world. I started out learning the art of jewelry at George Brown College in Toronto, learning the practice from start to finish, from gemstones to design.

Viva Mexico - the second home of Lissa Bowie
Viva Mexico – the second home of Lissa Bowie

Later on, using what I learned, I went on to work at a retail jewelry store and eventually began buying and designing for the shop where I worked. During that time, I had an amazing opportunity to study design in New York. From there I went on to traveling and buying in both India and finally in Mexico, where I made my second home about 14 years ago. Here I elaborate the collection alongside a team of master metalsmiths.

Taxco, a metalsmith's dream come true
Taxco, a metalsmith’s dream come true

What are the objectives of your look?

I have developed two pretty distinct lines and I love them both so much. Wearing a piece from either can change you from the inside out! Both compliment each other and really make a statement together or apart. One of them is my Classic collection of #musthaves which has a sweet, light, feminine-flirty, clean-line kind of feel. They are my favourite layering pieces and everyday staples. The other is Bolder: consisting of one-of-a-kind pieces that assert confidence and provoke an extravagant identity. I’ve been told that the lines are very recognizable and are often a topic of conversation – which flatters me beyond belief!

 

Are there any inspirations from your childhood that remain in your current designs?

Inspiration comes when I let myself be… I tend to over-think and sometimes I really need to step back!  Inspo is in my everyday everything and when the moment is right instinct takes over and my hands work quicker than my mind.

Inspo is in everything
Inspo is in everything

 

Are there any artists, architects, designers, films, music, or literature that have influenced your jewelry aesthetic?

Well, like I said, I’m inspired by everything. I really love the technology right now especially Instagram where I more often get to see actual people wearing my pieces I think that they are my greatest Inspiration. Each piece has its own little history with me having been passed through many hands and many different moments the fact that people take this little part of me with them and make their own histories just blows me away!

Each unique piece has an individual history
Each unique piece has an individual history

 

What are you most excited about in your upcoming design work?

I’m really excited always about everything work-related!

Lissa Bowie stackable rings
Lissa Bowie stackable rings
Lissa Bowie stackable rings
Lissa Bowie stackable rings

I’ve got some great stackers on their way, pretty stones Oh! and some leather chokers…!!! Hoping to give you a great surprise!

 

My favourite piece?

Impossible to choose each one gives me exactly what I need!

“Five Minutes with ….Beckie Foon”

 

Our new series features 5 minutes with extraordinary citizens (who sometimes also happen to be our clientele) as each remarkable person shares a few pieces of wisdom for Montreal locals and for visitors alike, related to the nature of their work. First up: the one and only Beckie Foon.

Five Minutes with Beckie Foon
Five Minutes with Beckie Foon

 

Here’s a little we think you should know about this talented musician and environmentalist:

 

Rebecca Foon is a Montreal-based cellist, best known as co-founder of contemporary chamber group Esmerine and member of Thee Silver Mt. Zion, Set Fire To Flames, The Mile End Ladies String Auxiliary, and most recently Saltland. She has played with countless local ensembles in a wide range of contexts and on albums by Vic Chesnutt, Islands, British Sea Power, Carla Bozulich, Land Of Kush and Little Scream among others.  She has collaborated in concert with Patti Smith, Warren Ellis and with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Tanya Tagaq and as a support player for other Inuit musicians, scored the documentary H2Oil about Alberta’s tar sands oil extraction as well as other films.  Foon pursues all this musical activity alongside her role as a member of Sustainability Solutions Group, a sustainability cooperative. She is also a co-founder, along with Jesse Paris Smith, of Pathway to Paris, a series of concerts highlighting the importance of turning the Paris Agreement into action.

 

We asked Beckie to tell us about the 5 best environmental initiatives she sees happening in Montreal right now. And she gave us this wholly inclusive list. We hope it elucidates some new things to consider doing in your own life. After all every single bit helps. And we are big supporters of doing us much as possible!

In Foon’s own words and order:

compost-montreal-logo

  1. Compost Montreal is a homegrown compost pick up service – I love them!

    Compost Montreal
    Compost Montreal

 

Their mandate: We have always believed in the importance of thinking globally and acting locally. We work to provide the people of Montreal with real environmental solutions to such pressing issues as sustainable waste management, food security, and climate change.

http://www.compostmontreal.com/

 

lufa-farms

  1. Lufa Farms is a wonderful urban farming collective in Montreal

    Lufa Farm rooftop
    Lufa Farm rooftop

Their mandate: We grow food where people live and grow it more sustainably. In doing so, we’re demonstrating that large urban and peri-urban rooftop farms are a commercially viable ways to feed cities.

https://lufa.com/en/

 

 

santropol-roulant-logo

  1. Santropol Roulant is a beautiful mosaic of people of all ages and cultures, all brought together by food and community engagement.

    Santropol Community
    Santropol Community

Their mandate: The Roulant is a community food hub that brings people together through various programs, activities and services.

http://santropolroulant.org

depot-alimentaire-ndg

  1. Depot NDG
    Depot Alimentaire detail
    Depot Alimentaire

     

Their mandate: The NDG Food Depot has been a collaborative community leader in food security serving a large territory centred around NDG for nearly 30 years.

http://www.depotndg.org/

 

equiterre-logo

  1. Equiterre

    Equiterre bounty
    Equiterre bounty

Their mandate: Equiterre helps build a social movement by encouraging individuals, organizations and governments to make ecological and equitable choices, in a spirit of solidarity.We see the everyday choices we all make – food, transportation, housing, gardening, shopping – as an opportunity to change the world, one step at a time.

– http://www.equiterre.org/

 

Finally, we asked Beckie for her favourite designer at our General 54 boutique and were honoured to discover that her favourite is the founder herself, the inimitable Jennifer Glasgow.
Foon: I absolutely love Jennifer Glasgow, I have been buying clothes from her and following her work for over 15 years – she is amazing! She introduced me to the world of sustainable design, and I think she is a true leader in this realm, as well as an incredible designer…

Jennifer Glasgow Design Cove dress
Jennifer Glasgow Design Cove dress

GENERAL 54 DECEMBER DISPATCH

Wish List
What’s on your Wish List?
Something Tangible - Heidi Daehler
Something Tangible – Heidi Daehler

All the world began with a yes.

Clarice Lispector

 

Yes, indeed. Our own story began by saying yes to ourselves and keeping true to that word, over and over again. This month, we’re delighted to announce our 10th anniversary! –throughout which we will be celebrating the artists and designers who have been with us from our very beginnings and also the many new talents we continually welcome into the fold. Our boutique has always been centrally devoted to showcasing the fashions and works of Montreal-based artists and listening to the ever-changing desires of clientele in the community. A personal mandate has been to find meaningful places inside the larger world of this fashion industry, by working with those whose intentions align wholly with ours: making art for the purpose of self-expression.

 

We have a wonderful month ahead of celebrating just such self-expression. On December 8th we’ll be triumphing the works of painter Heidi Daehler with a vernissage from 5 to 8pm. Daehler’s solo exhibition, Something Tangible, gets to the heart of things – locating our own humanity by witnessing it in her chosen subjects.

Just say yes and come on down – enjoy snacks and drinks provided by General 54 as your aesthetic sensibilities are otherwise sated by her newest artworks.

 

What’s on your Wish List? We look forward to showing you all the most highly anticipated designs from our favourite collaborators throughout December – arrivals range from handmade dolls by Rousskine to keep your spirit playful this winter and bath & beauty products from Leaves of Trees to keep you feeling fresh-faced all season. Hinkleville ceramics, Erin Templeton leathers and Cartouche fabric jewelry: yes to all of the above.

Come discover.

 

– Jennifer Glasgow & General 54

Something Tangible – Heidi Daehler (solo exhibition)

Montreal artist Heidi Daehler works in oil paints to create representational works that situate human or animal subjects in emotional or existential contexts.
Montreal artist Heidi Daehler works in oil paints to create representational works that situate human or animal subjects in emotional or existential contexts.
from the collection of "Something Tangible" by artist Heidi Daehler
from the collection of “Something Tangible” by artist Heidi Daehler

An artist can show things that other people have no way of expressing. Louise Bourgeois

 

As Daehler expresses in her own words, [she is] particularly drawn to the physicality of paint, to its contradictory slowness in the context of our increasingly fast-paced times. Her work reveals how painting does not admit of this speed; how it extends time and forces us to slow down, to tarry and look. It can also elucidate a balancing act of control against chaos, of beauty interrupted by ugly, awkward moments.

Her solo exhibition will feature her most recent work, which is rooted in conceptions of failure, vulnerability, sublimation, obliteration, resilience, and rebirth. She redeems the characters in her images and yet simultaneously lets them tell their own stories, destroyed and reconstructed. In the end, her paintings are ready to form relationships with the viewer that are wholly independent from her own wishes or intentions.

We hope you’ll join us in uncovering all the myriad aspects of our shared humanity.

 

Thursday 8th December

5 to 8pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/1762631087335825/

Show will be held from the 8.12.2016 – 31.01.2017

What’s on your Wish List?

What's on your #Wish List?
What’s on your #Wish List?

 

I want my life to embody inherent contradictions. Kiki Smith

 

Throughout December, we’ll be revealing all sorts of our inherent contradictions – and relishing in each one! Sometimes we may want the bold and hard-lined metalworks and raw textiles of new Cartouche jewelry, while others we may need the gentility and light humour of Hinkleville ceramics. We’ll be embracing our tactile senses with Rousskine play dolls and taking account of our holistic needs with rejuvenating products from our newly launched line of bath & beauty products from Leaves of Trees.

Keep up-to-date with everything arriving at General 54 through our facebook and instagram posts. We can hardly keep up with all the new jewelry we have coming in from Lissa Bowie and ceramic gems from Hungarian designer Ilka Furtos of Deco Square. Candles from our long-time favourites Harlow will keep you warm this season – with scents like “Fire,” “Smoke” and “Bohemian.”

We’re always curious what makes it onto your #wishlist so share with us your personal favourites every time you like or tag us!
All December long

Usual store hours, with extended holiday hours:

December 19 – 23 open until 8pm

TWO HEADS ARE EVEN BETTER THAN ONE!

Emily Valentine, Designer and Founder, and Liana Marie, Designer
Emily Valentine, Designer and Founder, and Liana Marie, Designer

“To create pieces that are bold and interesting but easy to wear” has been a mandate of Emily Valentine’s jewelry line since starting her Toronto practice in 2012. But now she’s partnered up with designer (and pal) Liana Maria for an exciting new and adventurous collaboration. Valentine reflects on the dynamic duo of Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe as an early inspiration at the outset of her career. She reflects further on her lasting personal influences – ranging from the sculptural works of Henry Moore to the aesthetics of Sophie Buhai, the colours of the Grand Canyon and the angularity of Bauhaus architecture.

 

How did you get your start?

I was teaching creative workshops to women in the shelter where I worked at the time. We did a couple of jewelry-making workshops, and they reminded me of how much I’d loved making jewelry growing up.

Just Kids by Patti Smith
Just Kids by Patti Smith
Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith tackling fashion with fishing tackle and more
Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith tackling fashion with fishing tackle and more

I was reading ‘Just Kids’ by Patti Smith, and she wrote about Robert Mapplethorpe in his early years, making jewelry out of tackle, and things he found at junk stores in New York city. Reading about that inspired me to go out and buy some supplies of my own, (not tackle) and I spent a lot of that winter experimenting. A friend of mine, Erin Swan, owned a boutique on Queen West in Toronto called ‘Charlie’, and she wanted to carry my pieces. I was so excited to have my designs in her beautiful boutique, and was inspired  to contact more boutiques that I thought would be a fit. Emily Valentine has been growing ever since!

 

How would you describe the objectives of your look?

To create pieces that are bold and interesting, but easy to wear every day. Emily Valentine is a line of timeless jewelry made for modern women.

 

Considering your interest in designing pieces for a modern woman, how do you make something that is both “timeless” and “modern” at once?

I feel like Emily Valentine appeals to a modern woman. She’s on-the-go, and knows what she wants. She pays attention to what’s going on in the fashion world, but stays true to herself and her own taste.  I want women to feel just as great wearing their Emily Valentine pieces 10 years from now, as they did the very first time they put their new piece on. In this way I think that we can be modern and timeless at once.

 

Are there any inspirations from your childhood that remain in your current designs?

That’s such an interesting question. I think that the type of jewelry that my mom wore when I was growing up influenced my style today. I love a lot of 70’s jewelry styles, and I think that comes from her. Being a teenager in the 90’s probably influenced my taste as well. I love the minimalism of the 90’s which is starting to creep into my new designs.

 

Are there any artists, architects, designers, films, music, or literature that have influenced your jewelry aesthetic?

I love the Bauhaus period of architecture,

Bauhaus in Palestine
Bauhaus in Palestine
Bauhaus architecture sketch
Bauhaus architecture sketch

I find the shapes very inspiring.

The unprecedented shapes of Bauhaus
The unprecedented shapes of Bauhaus

I’m also feeling inspired by the sculptures of Henry Moore, and the work of Sophie Buhai. I find inspiration really comes from everywhere though – Art, films, music, little snippets from all of it.

Sophie Buhai aesthetics and sensibility
Sophie Buhai aesthetics and sensibility
Henry Moore with sculpture
Henry Moore with sculpture

Do you take any cues from external landscapes? urban places? How bout spiritual ones?

I do take cues from architecture and landscapes. I think that the shapes that I play with are often inspired by architecture, and the colour palettes come from nature.

Grand Canyon colour palette
Grand Canyon colour palette
EV Canyon necklace
EV Canyon necklace
The colours of the Grand "Canyon" necklace
The colours of the Grand “Canyon” necklace

The colours of moonstone in the ‘Canyon’ necklace reminded me of my visit to the Grand Canyon.  This really drew me to them.

 

What are you most excited about in your upcoming design work?

I’m so glad you asked! I’m super excited to share that Emily Valentine is now a partnership. I’ve officially joined forces with a very talented designer, and friend, Liana Marie. As of the new year, we’ll be going forward together with Emily Valentine as a team. We’ve designed a collection of sleek, wearable statement pieces for Spring 2017 that we’re both really excited about.

 

Your personal favourite piece to wear?

I’ve been wearing the ‘Circa Collar Lariat’ a lot lately. It’s so easy to throw on, and feel instantly polished – And you can wear it a couple of different ways which is always nice. I also love my ‘Era Earrings’  in vintage glass opal. They are feminine and unique.

Emily Valentine 'Circa Collar Lariat' and 'Era Earrings' in vintage glass opal
Emily Valentine ‘Circa Collar Lariat’

 

TRY ON YOUR BEST

Sunja Link, Designer and Founder of Sunja Link Clothing
Sunja Link, Designer and Founder of Sunja Link Clothing

Sunja Link’s clothing line embraces timelessness and durability but in ways that reinvigorate new shapes and silhouettes. She prioritizes a sense of making items that are meaningful and challenges the conventional cutthroat and unethical practices of the current state of the style business. In the responses she gave General 54, we could sense her sense of integrity. She’s wholly conscientious: aware of the perils and carbon footprint of the fashion industry, she outright refuses to play by those rules. We think her motto of doing one’s best are words to live by.

(soon-ya link)
(soon-ya link)

Q: How did you get your start?

Sunja: My first fashion job was for Luscious clothing in Montreal. After working there for a bit I moved back to Vancouver to work and then started my line in 2002.

Q: How would you describe the objectives of your look?

I try to make easy to wear contemporary clothing for women. Clothing that’s fashionable but easy. And ‘classic’ is a personal favorite buzz word.

Q: Considering that Sunja Link designs have a mandate in being meaningful (and as a fellow artist interested in the pursuit of meaning), I’m wondering if you can express what meaning you are trying to elucidate these days? Big question, I realize, but you seem to be someone who has traversed and juggled the courses of motherhood, artistry, travel, sustainability and if you have some current ideas of how your ethics and experience impart value you on your aesthetic choices, do share.

I guess my values effect what I design because I want women to feel confident and at ease in what they wear. And my values effect how I produce clothing. I will stop doing this, if I have to make it overseas, in mass amounts. I have zero interest in being an even bigger part of the problem then I already am!

Pretty in pinks
Pretty in pinks

Clothing is the second worst thing on the environment, right behind oil.

Q: Are there any childhood inspirations – say from that seven year old’s sketchbook for example – that remain in your current designs?

No, maybe the use of pink every once in a while?

Q: Which artists, designers, films, music, or literature have influenced your art?

Too hard to say. Everything thing influences me. Anything from the clouds to reality tv can influence me. It comes from all around, sometimes from the strangest places, like an old man on a bus.

Q: What are you most excited about in your upcoming design work?

I love fall, so I love when I get to start designing fall, which is now.

Q: Your personal favourite piece to wear this season?

Fall's deep burgundy
Fall’s deep burgundy
Sunja Link clothing in ox-blood
Sunja Link clothing in ox-blood

All the ox blood colour pieces. Love that deep burgundy colour.

Q: Favourite words of wisdom you always hold in your heart?

That’s tough, there’s so many. I guess keep your head down and try your best.

FLOCKING SOUTH? THE BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA HAVE DECIDED TO STAY FOR THE WINTER!

Hayley Gibson, designer and founder of Birds of North America
Hayley Gibson, designer and founder of Birds of North America

Though the seasonal birds of North America are often seen migrating south this time of year, we always have lots in stock at General 54. Hayley Gibson’s Birds of North America line are some of our most consistently wearable (and favourite!) fashions – for every time of year. Hayley recently told us about the cues she takes from the vintage-store finds of her youth and how her interest in deconstruction remains an integral process in her work. Rather than being swayed by trends, she’s motivated by a more timeless sense of beauty. Take note of her current suggestions: bolder silhouettes and roomier cuts and inspirations from earlier eras made modern!

Birds of North America Clothing
Birds of North America Clothing

Q: How did you get your start?

Hayley: I hit a point in my mid-twenties when I realized that I wasn’t inspired by any of the traditional life-paths I had expected to feel drawn towards at that age. The only thing I had been consistently passionate about and good at since I was young was making clothing. Though I went to university to study fashion design, I actually became aware of the independent fashion scene not through school, but through a friend. The fact that you could start a line of clothing yourself, from the ground up, without needing an investor or going the ‘fashion week’ route had somehow never come up! It was everything I had been seeking – a place where I could be a designer, on my own terms, if I was willing to work hard. I started by showing a tiny collection that I sewed myself to three stores, all of them bought the line, and it grew from there.

Q: How would you describe the objectives of your look?

I ultimately design Birds clothing for myself, and my personal objectives are to flatter my shape, be comfortable, and to wear something that expresses who I am. I also value practicality in clothing – I want to be able to work and live life in a dress and be able to forget that I’m wearing it because it isn’t hindering me in any way.

Q: Are there any childhood inspirations that remain in your current designs?

When I was a teenager, I did a lot of second-hand shopping for things I could either alter or totally re-invent. A lot of the most interesting styles to be found in terms of cut and fabric were vintage. I taught myself how clothing was made by disassembling and reconstructing so many things, and the inspiration of all those vintage styles still permeates my designs.

Q: Which artists, designers, films, music, or literature have influenced your art?

I’m not so much explicitly influenced by other’s work as I am inspired by creative people who are uncompromising in their vision and who move forward, no matter what the cost, with what they believe to be beautiful and of value. I want to have the courage to do my thing, my way, regardless of what the market says, what trends dictate, and what others think about what I’m doing.

Q: What are you most excited about in your upcoming design aesthetic?

70s inspirations for a roomier pants
70s inspirations for a roomier pant
90s inspiration for longer jacket lengths
90s inspiration for longer jacket lengths

I am excited by what seems to be the fairly broad-reaching shift in silhouette and style that is happening in fashion right now. Just when I start to feel like a current look is getting a bit tired, fashion seems to sprout something new that I don’t expect. I am excited by the longer lengths I see in dresses and coats right now, as well as roomier pant and top cuts. I love the 90’s and 70’s inspirations that are mixing in strange and delightful ways, and I’m looking forward to integrating the new elements that I feel will work into Birds designs.

Q: Your personal favourite piece to wear this season?

It changes every couple of weeks, but right now I’m digging the Cormorant Dress in the graphic navy and green teardrop print.

Birds of North America Cormorant Dress in Green and Navy tear drop
Birds of North America Cormorant Dress in Green and Navy tear drop

I get a frisson of excitement every time I put that print on – it’s so uncompromisingly bold. Will I get compliments or ridicule? Who knows! It’s always exciting. All the best things live in that elusive zone between love and revulsion.

Q: What’s the best thing about Winter?

I feel freer to work long hours in the studio without the pressure of having to maximize summer fun. Summer can be such hard work!

¡VIVA MEXICO (IN MONTREAL)!

Raúl Rojo, Creative Director and Manolo Martínez (Aka MOLO) CEO of Pay`s.
Raúl Rojo, Creative Director and Manolo Martínez (Aka MOLO) CEO of Pay`s

Pay’s knitwear is one of the most exciting new design companies to be carried at General 54. Providing a tongue and cheek flare and comedy in their designs, they are a welcome relief from the often sober Fall fashion colour palette to cozy up in. The duo behind the Mexican knitwear company, Molo and Raul, are busily preparing for Art Basel in Miami this year. We recently caught them on a break from a festival in Mexico City, where they imparted good counsel on how to brave up for the coming Winter.

Pay's Knitwear
Pay’s Knitwear

 Q: How did you get your start?

Molo: We started with the idea of ​​continuing the old traditions of my family, but with a new concept, fomenting clothing with more humour.

Q: How would you describe the objectives of your look?

A vision of a future with gender equality and democracy in expression.

Pay's knitwear
Pay’s knitwear

Q: Considering that Pay’s knitwear is made in Mexico City, we’re curious if any of your influences come from D.F. itself?

Pay’s is an eclectic and multicultural brand, which definitely has Mexican and Latin influences, but we also find our inspiration from traveling and meeting people. What we do is a mix of cultures: Made in Mexico, for Mexico and the world.

Q: Are there any childhood inspirations that remain in your current designs?

A lot actually: we are inspired so much by the pieces that my parents did in their time. We wanted to reinterpret their essence with our fresh new designs.

Q: Which artists, designers, films, music, or literature have influenced your fashions?

Vivienne Westwood
Vivienne Westwood

We are highly influenced by a mixture of different cultures and artistic movements such as punk culture, pop culture, Vivian Westwood and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. We also consider that sounds are sources of inspiration for our designs.

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac
Jean-Charles de Castelbajac

Q: What are you most excited about in your upcoming design work?

We are super enthusiastic to announce that we are releasing our new home wear collection during this upcoming Miami ART BASEL.

Q: Your personal favourite piece to wear this season?

Molo: Mono Noise, I love these pants.

Raul: Mitch Sweater.

Q: As your North American neighbours to the very North, we wonder if you have any suggestions to keep warm this Winter season?

For this winter season IT’S A MUST to have a Pay’s cape!

Q:Favourite thing to eat when it’s cold outside?

Molo: sweet bread, sweet pastries with hot chocolate … I’m a fan of sugar!

Raul: Mexican esquites (off-cob grilled corn savoury street food)

Hot chocolate.....Mmmmm
Hot chocolate…..Mmmmm!

Jennifer Glasgow FW16

JENNIFER GLASGOW DESIGN is a fashion house merging the traditional functions of a design studio with two innovative features: a sophisticated clothing line that uses materials produced under a socially conscious practice and an artistic palette that elucidates meaning drawn from the natural world. In equal measure, designer Jen Glasgow has taken inspiration from the vistas and panoramas, valleys and peaks of the grasslands and mountainous landscapes of her rural upbringing – whilst keeping this world a sustainable place through producing locally-made collections which limit a carbon footprint and by sourcing organic fabrics from abroad with this same sensibility.

 

In her work, Jen believes in the lyricism of the image, caught and created to compliment the human form. The raw landscapes and colour blocking palettes of artists like Emily Carr and Mark Rothko find homage in her designs; but Russian Constructivists Vavara Stepanova and Alexander Rodchenko also find footing. It is their deconstruction of the human body put back together and recombined for theater wear that inspire the linking of the angular with the fluidity in Jennifer Glasgow Design.

JGD was founded in 2003, although Jen’s personal career in fashion began much prior to that in the video and performance arts milieus of her roaring twenties. Without the conventional training in fashion and design schooling, Jen’s wholly eclectic and myriad experiences in the fashion world lead her to develop a more hands-on approach with her savvy clientele. Alongside two friends, she opened the boutique Local 23, in the burgeoning artistic district of Mile End in Montreal. Her devotion to showcasing the fashions of Montreal-based designers, as well as her own collections, cemented her name in the community.  Within a few years the demand for a second boutique yielded General 54 in 2006. It is this inestimable experience with the boutiques that has allowed Jen to keep her eyes and ears open to the needs of the women buying her wares and to keep abreast of the ever-changing desires of those in vogue.

From women in their twenties to those in their seventies, something timeless and universal has emerged across the ages: fashions that feature room for self-expression with ease is an essentialism that JGD honours. The collections are refined in their minimalism, femininity and artistic appeal for all.

03_shasta 06_rainier 08_cove_side_1 13_annapurna_closeup

 

 

Kelsey Wilson

ForestHunt

Kelsey Wilson is an artist from Orleans, Ontario.  She is now based out of Montreal where she recently completed a Bachelor of Fibres at Concordia University.  She works mainly in sculpture and illustration, getting inspiration from plants, old medical photos, reflections on city buildings, people’s hands, animals and her dreams.

Last week, she collaborated with Jennifer Glasgow to make the window display for General 54, using concrete.  Go check it out!

Kelsey:  For my sculptures, I like to work with different yarns and fabrics with crazy textures.   Anything with glitter or funky bobbles usually comes home with me.  I am drawn to material contrasts; so I tend to incorporate some steel or wood or anything rough or gloopy to offset the fuzzy craft-like element found in my sculptures.  For my illustrations, I don’t stray too far from my microns, copic markers, and watercolours. […]  

I am always very open to working with new mediums because it forces my work to transform into something unexpected.  I have always been curious about how things are made so learning to quilt and knit led to my interest in textiles.  I was pretty broke and bored during university so I started doing some experimental knitting with elastic bands, plants, and other random fibrous things around me….Curiosity is beautiful and definitely one of the most important aspects of art and life.

Compulsion no. 1

Hanging 
Assorted hand-knit yarns, twine, chain, elastic bands
54″ x 84″
2014

When I asked Kelsey what’s up next, she told me she wants to get back in to sculpture again.  She’s been doing a lot of drawing and misses the ‘slow, tactile process of building’.

IMG_3972

Greta 
Assorted hand-knit yarns, tinsel, raffia, glitter fabrics, teddy bear parts, steel frame
2.5; x 3.5′
2013

Kelsey has also started to use photoshop, and we look forward to seeing what she does with that!

You can see some of her work here:

www.sortofkinda.tumblr.com/artwork

-on instagram: @sumwut

-Kelsey did the costume and set design for this short dance film by Rock Bottom Movement: https://vimeo.com/119110984

She is also working on getting a website and Etsy page up over the holidays.

BigGuy

 Untitled

Micron pens and markers on paper

8″x 11″