Good Jeans Image by: Daniel Harrison Prop styling by: Jeanie Lee/Plutino Group
Everything you need to know to buy denim for the new season ahead.
ALL IN THE DETAILS
Denim is moving beyond a typical pair of jeans. Here are some new ways to wear the hardworking fabric.
1. Raw edge
Tough meets chic in the latest take on distressed denim. Sure, blown-out knees and randomly placed rips and tears are stick kicking it, but it's the unfinished hemlines that are making major waves.
Sweater, $78, roots.com. Jeans, $278, fidelitydenim.com. Earrings, carolineneron.com. Bandana, gapcanada.ca. Watch, linksoflondon.com. Ring, jenny-bird.ca. Shoes, callitspring.com. Image by: Genevieve Caron
2. Sole mates
Denim is the hottest material for accessories this spring.
3. Mini works of art
Looking to add some flair to your jean jacket? The latest trend in accessories is enamel pins; some are grounded in pop culture, while others are original art.
Vest, $130, winners.ca. Emoji-heart pin, $12, pintrill.com. O hai all-seeing-eye pin, $9.50, heatherbuchanan.ca. LLAP hand pin, $10, robineisenberg.com. Eye pin and lipstick pin, $20 each, georgiaperry.com. Gumball-machine pin, $8, pennypaperco.com. Image by: Genevieve Caron
4. Denim skirt
The current jean-skirt styles have fresh updates with polished touches and an array of silhouettes. For a modern throwback to the '70s, try one with a middle slit and buttons down the front.
Customize your topper by ironing on some DIY patches—or opt for the quick-and-easy approach by purchasing a vest or jacket that's already decorated.
Jean jacket, $267, tommy.com. Image by: Genevieve Caron
6. Denim squared
Denim on denim has earned its right to be considered a modern-classic way of dressing. A good rule is to mix up your washes: Wear lighter denim on top, with darker on the bottom. The deeper shades helps create a slimming effect.
This spring, no one style dominates. Choose from a wide range of silhouettes and cuts.
1. Short and sweet
Flood pants—with a flare—are back. This denim cut is a throwback to Jane Birkin, but today, keep the hemlines frayed, as it's the only amount of distressing you with this style.
2. Retro revival
The '70s silhouette enhances curves and helps elongate legs. Get maximum length by keeping hemlines long and wearing a platform heel—the trick is concealing your shoes.
Vest, $100, gapcanada.ca. Sweater, $40, hm.com. Jeans, $100, winners.ca. Marc Jacobs sunglasses, thebay.com. Necklace, carolineneron.com. Bracelet, bananarepublic.ca. Belt, braveleather.com. Bag, eccocanada.com. Shoes, joefresh.com. Image by: Genevieve Caron
3. Off the cuff
Cuffing your jeans isn't a new concept, but this season, the statement is bigger and bolder than the usual fold and roll we're accustomed to. The exaggerated look brings a bit of edge to any ensemble.
Jacket, $45, oldnavy.ca. T-shirt, $15, uniqlo.ca. 7 for all Mankind jeans, $298, nordstrom.com. Marc Jacobs sunglasses, thebay.com. Earrings and bracelet, carolineneron.com. Sneakers, eccocanada.com. Image by: Genevieve Caron
4. Skinny dipping
It's hard to remember a time when skinny jeans weren't the standard in denim. The slim silhouette is still the shape du jour and can be found in just about every wash, colour, pattern and level of distress.
5. Crop it to me
Wide-legged cropped denim is a new take on the trouser jean. Hems vary, but the most flattering length is about an inch above the ankle. Always pair the look with heels—the daintier the better.
Historian Cheryl Foggo brings the stories of important African-Canadians to life with her books, films and plays
How much do Canadians know about our country’s black history? How many people would admit to knowing little about Viola Desmond before the campaign to choose a woman to appear on the new banknote? Most of us might say our knowledge stops at the Underground Railroad or Nova Scotia’s Black Loyalists. But this country is rich with stories of African-Canadian experiences on the east coast, west coast and everywhere between. While classrooms play catch-up in diversifying history curriculums, learning the names and stories of African-Canadian men and women is a conscious effort that should no longer be set aside.
Cheryl Foggo is a playwright, historian and author who’s committed to making the names and tales of African-Canadian settlers known. Based in Calgary, Foggo actively combs archives and documents recounting the lives of Alberta’s black settlers. One of her projects is a documentary film about the legendary black cowboy John Ware, who was considered a hero in Alberta’s ranching frontier.
We spoke with Foggo about her latest projects, Alberta’s lesser-known African-Canadians and why celebrating Canada’s black history is important not just in February, but year-round.
When did you first become interested in Canada’s black history?
From a young age I was interested in the stories I heard my mother’s family tell when we visited my grandparent’s home in Winnipeg. Although I wouldn’t have defined it as history at that time—it was just my Mom and her siblings and their parents talking about their lives—I found these stories interesting. As I got older, I gradually became aware of a disconnect between the history I was learning in school and what I was hearing from my family. I began to wonder why our stories were absent from the historical record.
Why do you think Canadians don’t know much about our country’s black history?
I think it’s up to Canadians to ask ourselves this question. Even what Canadians do know about the Black Loyalists and the Underground Railroad is limited to a “happy ending” narrative and skewed away from the realities of the struggles black Canadians faced historically.
Western Canada’s black history isn’t widely known or taught. Share the story of one lesser-known African-Canadian and her contribution?
It’s tough to choose, but I’ll pick a woman from Alberta. Violet King, the first black female lawyer in Canada. She was a trailblazer throughout her life and an accomplished classical pianist. She was also the only woman in her graduating class from the faculty of law at the University of Alberta in 1953, the same class as former Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed.
King went on to work for Citizenship and Immigration Canada before becoming the first woman named to a senior management position with the American National YMCA. She also happened to be among the best friends of my mother, Pauline, and her twin sister, Pearl, and a bridesmaid for both.
In your opinion why is knowing more about Canada’s diverse history so important?
A history that is incomplete is damaging. A history that is purposely incomplete is sinister. How can Canadians move into a sustainable future if we can’t acknowledge our past? And how can we acknowledge and reckon with our past if our canonical history is missing pages?
What are you currently working on?
I’m working on a documentary film about the legendary black cowboy John Ware and a collection of articles and essays that will anthologize my writings about Alberta’s black history.
Can you recommend some resources for Canadians who want to learn more about Canada’s black history?
There are many ways to gain more knowledge about this subject. Here are a few places to start:
> The Black Lives Canada Syllabus
Drop that takeout menu, and walk away from the fast food. These tips will make you an ace at Monday-to-Friday dinner prep.
Set for success
Shop once, eat all week
If it's Sunday and you haven't thought ahead to what you'll have for dinner on Thursday, you're missing out on the world's simplest time-saving tool: meal planning! Write out a list of what you'll need to prep your family's meals for the entire week, and get it all in a single supermarket trip before your busy weekday cycle begins. There's no need to worry about wilted veggies when you have a Bosch refrigerator that is equipped with the special VitaFresh system. It maintains just the right level of humidity and helps keep produce fresh longer.
Call in the troops!
You don't have to handle meal prep alone: enlist your family's help. Even young kids can gather ingredients from the fridge, and Bosch's large-capacity drawers and shelves mean it's highly unlikely the broccoli will have been flattened by a jar of pickles. (Everything in its place!) Plus, the efficient LED lighting system keeps items in clear view without hogging a lot of electricity. Once your ingredients are on the counter, kids can shift to sous-chef mode. Safe tasks for little ones include tearing lettuce, crumbling cheese and whisking dressing. Older kids can peel veggies and stir sauces or brown meat on the stove.
Love your leftovers
Plan to make a double batch of your favourite casserole, soup or stew, allowing you to easily transform leftovers into lunches or use them as a base for tomorrow's dinner. Consider cooking more than one recipe at a time: Bosch stoves have five burners and three oven racks, so you'll have space for it all. Don't your weeknights feel less stressed already?
Label and date all freezer foods so you can know at a glance what you have on hand at all times. This minimizes waste, as you're less likely to buy items you already have, and makes it easier to put dinner on the table efficiently by using up leftovers.
Thaw frozen dishes in the fridge, as opposed to on your kitchen countertop, to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. To avoid freezer burn and keep food at its best, use airtight storage containers or large bags that are designed for the freezer.
To maximize storage space in your freezer, package items like soups and sauces in resealable freezer bags so you can flatten and stack them on top of one another.
Freezer staples—like peas, edamame, corn, bread, ravioli and puff pastry—make weeknight cooking easier. Have these on hand at all times and make a note when one of those items is running low so you never run out.
For more on how Bosch appliances can make prep, cooking and cleanup easier, visit bosch-home.ca.
Photography by Donna Griffith Image by: Photography by Donna Griffith
People didn't really have backyards in the olden days. They had a front porch, an outhouse and a lot of cough medicine that was, in fact, morphine. With no one else around for miles, you could do anything out front—even your laundry—because no one cared if you stood on your lawn, completely naked, hanging your wool bloomers on the clothesline. And if you happened to be treating that cough, chances are you didn't care, either.
Now, of course, if you have a house, it usually comes with a backyard; that's where you destress, relax and entertain. Your front yard is for showing off aspects of your personality that you want the world to see. The backyard, however, is where the real you lets loose. The modern home is the residential version of the mullet: business in the front, party in the back.
The façade of my 1840s cottage looks a lot like it would have in the 19th century: a white painted porch, some rambling roses and a little vegetable garden. Up until recently, my backyard was similar; it matched the house but didn't necessarily match me. Making it over was a chance to express another part of my personality; to show that, even though I love the past, I wasn't stuck living in it. So, to provide balance, I paired my period-appropriate front porch with a decidedly contemporary urban backyard, one where I may or may not hang my bloomers out to dry…while nursing a cough.
How to grow your own privacy
Being in the backyard is great, but sometimes you want to grab your morning coffee, curl up on the front porch and watch the world go by—without the world watching you. A dense leafy perennial vine is a great way to create a green privacy wall. Certain ivies will grow quickly, while others, like this climbing hydrangea, will take several years before they provide enough cover for you to feel comfortable in your ratty pajamas.
Porch swing, amazon.ca.
Timothy Oulton Canadian-flag cushion, upcountry.com.
Galvanized planter pails, terragreenhouses.com.
Instead of buying new cushion covers for your outdoor seating, wrap sun bleached fabric in burlap.
Tip: Give small planter pots a boost by displaying them on various rungs of a vintage ladder.
Outdoor chairs and table, walmart.ca.
Toss cushions, homesense.ca.
Floor & Patio paint in Deck Grey 122-71 (porch flooring), benjaminmoore.ca.
How to put a perpetually unproductive planter to work
My potting shed is packed with planters of every size that will never be filled with flora. (Mainly, they're filled with just spiders.) That's why I dragged a few planters out of storage, dusted them off and repurposed them as outdoor tables. Topped with a round sheet of glass, my black drum-shaped planter is the perfect complement to a pair of armchairs. And by setting an old pine plank on top of two smaller box planters, I created a custom outdoor coffee table without setting foot in a shop.
How to get a lawn in an instant
For most people, a lawn is nothing but trouble. In an effort to cajole their grass back to life every summer, homeowners arm themselves with lawn seed, fertilizer and a big bag of swear words. Save yourself the effort and fake it. Artificial grass is now sold edged and in rolls—just like indoor rugs—and it looks way better than it did years ago. You'll get beautiful colour and soft cushioning under your feet with minimal effort—simply roll it up at the end of the season.
Grass rugs, rona.ca.
Drum planter and lumbar cushions, homesense.ca.
Outdoor armchairs, costco.ca.
Wire lantern, rona.ca.
Square-cut flagstone, ferrellbrick.net.
How to create powerhouse planters
If you want a container garden that makes an impact, forget typical generic nursery plants—I'm looking at you, geraniums—and embrace the plants of the disco era. Tropical greens that were popular houseplants in the 1970s not only look great in planters but also tolerate dry conditions. Mix tall, spiky spider plants and wandering Jew with cascading creeping Jenny and sweet potato plants (Ipomoea batatas) for dynamic pots that command attention—especially if you're doing the hustle around them.
Planter pots, discountemporium.ca.
How to hang a window box without a window
It wasn't just for esthetics that I installed my backyard fence planks horizontally; it was also for function. The boards allowed me to hang window box planters with nothing more than a few large S-hooks. Positioning planters at different heights lends a contemporary feel, while mounting them evenly enters more traditional territory.
Tip: Add draping spiller plants to window-box arrangements. They'll trail down fences and walls as the season progresses, creating a living-wall effect.
Dollar stores often sell artificial grass in square tiles that clip together so you can design your own custom “carpet.” Linked in a long, narrow strip, they make a chic runner for an outdoor dining table.
Window-box planters, hollandpark.com.
Outdoor dining set, ikea.ca.
Drink dispenser, indigo.ca.
Check out designer Karl Lohnes' terrific terrace makeover.
|This story was originally part of "Now & Then" in the June 2015 issue.
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