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Fashion for Non-Fashionistas

Set your Style

August 26, 2014 | Thomas Krzyzanowski | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

Björk and the Swan Dress

Image of Bjork in Swan Dress By Cristiano Del Riccio
[CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Whether walking to through the mall or down the halls at school, there’s an incredible amount of pressure to adopt particular fashion trends. Stores will push particular looks, magazines will declare certain accessories ‘must haves’ for anyone who wants to look stylish, and peer pressure can push one into taking on a group’s chosen sartorial decisions.

Its easy to go with the accepted and approved – to choose a normal wardrobe and blend in with with the people around you. Which is why those who take a risk and choose to break the mould and establish their own look are so amazing and cool.

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Fashion Television

August 19, 2014 | Thomas Krzyzanowski | Comments (3) Facebook Twitter More...

Project Runway The Show that Changed FashionI’m not a huge reality TV fan. Most of the reality shows I’ve seen either seem so contrived and fake that they don’t seem that ‘real’ to begin with. There also seems to be a strong emphasis on humiliating participants that has me cringing more often than laughing.

The Project Runway series of shows are a great departure from this. Perhaps because the shows are focused on the creative endeavours of the participants rather than their love lives or ability to eat live crickets, they seem a little bit more interesting to watch, and I often find myself really rooting for a particular contestant whose designs I think are particularly beautiful or creative.

Of course, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the personalities of the contestants and judges play a big part in keeping me hooked, and the drama on the cutting room floor is pretty entertaining! But that the show ish’t JUST about that is important to me.

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Eco Threads

August 13, 2014 | Thomas Krzyzanowski | Comments (5) Facebook Twitter More...

Nicole Dextras Mobile Garden Dress
You can check out Nicole Dextras' Mobile Garden Dress as a part of the No.9 Eco Art Fest in the Don Valley This summer.

You’ve probably heard of fast food, and maybe event about Slow Food. But do you know about the Slow Fashion movement?

Lots of clothes (just like lots of fast food) are produced really quickly with cheap material, so that they can be sold to you very inexpensively. Needless to say, these garments will probably disintegrate after you wash them once, but who cares? If a shirt only costs $5, you can always go and get a new one.

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Henna Adventures at Weston

August 9, 2014 | Thomas Krzyzanowski | Comments (5) Facebook Twitter More...

Henna Hands by Robert Benner Sr
Image by Robert Benner Used under CC BY 2.0

Stop by the Weston Branch for a fun-filled Henna workshop! A henna expert will be designing and applying designs, demonstrating how to apply your own, and providing tips on how to make your henna application last!

Space is limited, so make sure you get a spot by registratering with the branch. Call 416-394-1016 or stop by the library to get on the list for this exciting afternoon!

This is a teen program, for youth aged 13 - 19.

Weston-library-01Henna Workshop
Weston Branch (2 King Street)
Monday Aug 25, 2 PM
Call 416-394-1016 to register


Henna SourcebookSecrets if the Henna Girl  Henna PaintingHenna from Head to Toe

Paper Fashion: Don't get caught in the rain!

August 5, 2014 | Thomas Krzyzanowski | Comments (10) Facebook Twitter More...

Homework Dress
Homework Dress (image from CBC)

A little while ago, I stumbled across a fun article about Kara Koskowich, a Lethbridge Alberta teen who used her old math homework to create her prom dress. While I’d heard about people using creative materials to create costumes for their graduation, this was the first time I’d heard about anyone using paper! As I started to do a little more digging, I discovered that paper clothing actually has quite a history.

According to an article called Disposable Suits and Paper Underpants on Mental Floss, at the beginning of the 20th century, several manufacturers pitched creating clothing out of paper as a cheap way to replace using more expensive fabric to sew garments. Wearers could simply don an outfit made of sturdy paper and then chuck it once they were done.

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Fashion Futures with the Textile Museum of Canada

July 29, 2014 | Thomas Krzyzanowski | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...


This post was guest written by the superbly fantastic Susan Fohr, one of the fine people who work at the Textile Museum of Canada. Meet Susan at three awesome events at library branches across the city later this summer!

Whether we’re conscious of it or not, the decisions we make about what to wear are never random. We choose what we wear according to the weather, what we’ll be doing, who we’ll be with, what’s available to us, and how we’re feeling. While we will continue to ask these questions as we make decisions about what to wear each day, fashion is always in flux, providing as with new opportunities to express ourselves through our clothing and new styles and technologies.

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Sewing, Patterns, & Cosplay

July 23, 2014 | Ames | Comments (5) Facebook Twitter More...

Ballgown cosplayers
These must have been a lot of work! Does anyone know what show or game they're from?

Despite my many years of sewing costumes, I still prefer to work from a pattern whenever possible. As I joke to my friends, “if it has armpits or crotches, I need a pattern.” It’s vital to construct these areas well for fitting, flattering, and  -- most importantly! – allowing the wearer to actually move.  If you’re going to a convention or a party, you will be very grateful for that mobility.

Of course, some costumes from RPGs, anime, or other sources are so ridiculous and cumbersome that the wearers can’t move that well, no matter how well-fitted the crotch or armpits are!

Where can you buy patterns?

I used to be a big fan of Simplicity patterns, because, as the name implies, they’re pretty simple and straightforward to use. Unfortunately, Fabricland no longer stocks Simplicity/New Look, as of August last year, due to a price increase. BlogTO has a list of some of the best independent fabric stores in Toronto, however, so you can always check them out!

Patterns can also be purchased online, even through Amazon, but make sure you are buying a new, unused pattern. There would be nothing worse than buying a pattern and finding it isn’t your size! 

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Fashion on Film Part 2: The Accessories Edition

July 22, 2014 | Thomas Krzyzanowski | Comments (4) Facebook Twitter More...

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post on fashion in film and how well the two media suited each other. Some comments on the post reminded me of the significance that certain costume items or fashion accessories can have in defining either an actor or a character (thanks Jane & Dewmi!). So I've picked five memorable fashion accessories that I think defined the characters that sported them. Have a look!

1. Indiana Jones' Fedora


Indiana Jones' beloved battered fedora is such an integral part of his character that its hard to imagine Harrison Ford's famous character without it. (He's also loathe to leave it behind and would face imminent death to avoid being parted from it).


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Fashionably Musical

July 21, 2014 | Thomas Krzyzanowski | Comments (4) Facebook Twitter More...

Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga, Glitter and Grease tour, 2010

When it comes to establishing fashion trends, few professions have the same impact as musicians. While a band or an artist may gain popularity for their particular sound, a musician’s public image and sartorial selections play a huge role in cementing their celebrity status. They can also be important trendsetters, igniting controversy and establishing what’s on the bleeding edge of cool in the fashion world. Current artists like Lady Gaga or Pharrell are all almost as famous for their wardrobes as for their music; they’re only the latest in a long line of popular musicians who have successfully melded their style with their sound to establish a memorable personality.

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Fantastic Fashion Futures Workshops at the Library

July 19, 2014 | Thomas Krzyzanowski | Comments (4) Facebook Twitter More...


Crystallization by Iris van Herpen
Image of a garment created as a part of Iris van Herpen's Crystallization collection


WORD OUT has paired with the Textile Museum of Canada to offer a trio of amazing Fashion Futures workshops at branches around the city.

If you're interested in fashion, design, technology or just in finding out about new cool stuff, these are events not to be missed!










3D Printing -  Fantasy to Fabrication
Fairview -  Sat Aug 02, 2014, 2:00 - 4:00 PM
Call 416-395-5750 to register

Watch our 3D printer in action while you design your own original, printable 3D model that is functional both in digital and real space.


Malvern-library-01Glowing Textiles - Light up your fashion
Malvern - Mon Aug 18, 2014, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Call 416-396-8969 to register

Using conductive thread and LED lights, learn how to create a circuit and consider the ways in which blinking lights attached to clothing can communicate information about the wearer.


Eatonville-library-01Logo Design - Express Yourself!
Eatonville - Wed Aug 20, 4:00 - 6:00 PM
Call 416-394-5270 to register

Create a logo to represent your own personal brand by identifying patterns and symbols that define the most distinguishing features of your identity. Print your design, and add it to clothing, or exchange it with friends.


Textile Museum of Canada Logo