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2016/04/22 / Shanan

THE SPRING IS SPRUNG…

… The grass is riz; I wonder where the vintage is?

It’s right here, my friends – it’s all right here.

The Symmetric comes out of hibernation to present:

A (thank god it’s <finally>) SPRING POP-UP!

Sunday, MAY 1st from 11am-3pm
at The Orchard, 7739 Nottawasaga Side Rd 36/37
(that’s in Nottawa, ON, five minutes south of Collingwood – here’s a map)

I’ve spent the winter hoarding pretty dresses, lightweight knits, and lots of other warm-weather vintage staples, including a collection of jewelry, accessories, and for the first time, shoes.  I’ll have bubbly and snacks and let’s cross our fingers for some sunshine, shall we? Can’t wait to see you.

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2014/10/20 / Shanan

A GHOST IS BORN

I’ve always been into odd, slightly spooky visual art so I’ll be embracing Halloween this year by featuring some of my favourite work.

Since 2012, Angela Deane has been collecting old photographs and painting over the figures. People and their memories are obscured, rendered completely anonymous and, to quote Deane, “become the ghosts of our everyday.”

I like that these give a little wink to both the spirit photos of the 19th century as well as the nostalgia we all feel for the physicality of old snapshots.  They’re kind of funny but many are also kind of creepy.  These are some of my favourites from the series but you can see many more ghost photographs here.

Image above:  Today’s Embrace, acrylic on found photograph, 2014.

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One Year Older, acrylic on found photograph, 2014.

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Velvet bench, acrylic on found photograph, 2013.

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Together For Soup, acrylic and gouache on found photograph, 2014.

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Reach for Me Across the Flowers, acrylic on found photograph, 2014.

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2014/09/17 / Shanan

IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY…

I’ll admit to feeling somewhat ambivalent about the whole Star Wars phenomenon (although I did see Return of the Jedi with my parents at the drive-in when I was about five, and it remains one of my more memorable movie-going experiences), yet I was instantly taken by Rodarte‘s elegant, weird, and fun Star Wars-inspired pieces from their Fall 2014 collection.  Now Paper mag has put together a photo shoot of the dresses, shot at George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch with some of the film’s characters.  And, it’s too awesome not to share…

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I may have just turned to the dark side. You can see the rest of the editorial here on Paper Mag’s website.  Photos by Todd Cole, fashion by Rodarte, courtesy of Paper mag.

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2014/04/22 / Shanan

FOXFIRE MAGAZINE

I love looking through old books and have especially always had a thing for the hippie-ish publications of my parent’s era.  Their basement is still home to Whole Earth catalogs, Ina May Gaskin books, and slim, hand-illustrated guides to building your own saunas – and thank the lord for that. Now that our family is out of the city and doing the odd quaint country thing like making maple syrup and pickling home-grown vegetables, I find that these books (many out of print) actually contain practical information relevant to aspects of our lives as they are now.  I mean we’re not constructing any saunas yet, but… give us time. So I was pleasantly surprised to discover another fantastic old magazine series that I’d never heard of before, carried at our local library.  It’s called Foxfire.

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Started in 1966 by Eliot “Wig” Wigginton and his high school students in Georgia, the class conducted interviews and wrote articles about the lifestyles, traditions, and knowledge of local citizens.  The magazines were gathered into Foxfire anthologies and now, I’m reading about making wagon wheels and moonshine from elderly Appalachian gentlemen.

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The mixture of practical skills and oral histories on beekeeping, weaving, midwifery, community gatherings, and “more affairs of plain living” feels quite far removed from the majority of my life experience… and yet it speaks to me in a way that’s so refreshing and inspiring, and utterly without airs.  I’m certainly a fan of Kinfolk and all that, but this sh*t is the real deal.

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Turns out that Foxfire has continued to thrive and lives on not only as a bi-annual publication, but as a teaching philosophy, museum, and foundation.  You can find more information here.  And if you can’t find any issues at your library, there are quite a few floating around on ebay (I’m going to start collecting them, so… please hold off on the hippie lit bidding wars).

Images in this post taken by The Symmetric in some lovely natural morning light. Just as it was meant to be, no?

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2014/04/14 / Shanan

WHICH WARDROBE ITEM HAVE YOU HAD THE LONGEST?

So spring is finally coming around and with that comes the inevitable urge to clean out and reorganize every surface, nook and cranny in your place, including your wardrobe.  Or is that just me?

Over the last 10 years or so I’ve become pretty ruthless when it comes to getting rid of clothing and accessories that I no longer want or wear.  And usually it feels great and cathartic (although occasionally I get a little overzealous and I’ll look back on photos and lament an old coat that I sent off prematurely to Goodwill, wah wah).

As a result, I tend to not have a ton of really old pieces hanging around my closet.  I don’t mean ‘old’ as in the actual age of the stuff – obviously I’m into vintage so I’ve got purses and such from the 1960s, but I haven’t actually owned or wore them since that era.

I was thinking then – what is the wardrobe item I’ve held onto the longest, that I still wear?  I can’t promise scientific accuracy here but this crazy knit cardigan (which is now literally falling apart at the seams) was in rotation when I was a teenager, and has recently been resurrected as one of my most favourite sweaters.

It used to be my mother’s, and my little sister mocked me whenever I busted it out.  Granted at the time I was probably wearing it layered with a choker, a baby tee and a skirt over jeans, so the critical validity was probably somewhat there.  Now, it provides just the right hit of texture to an outfit and feels irreplaceable.

I’ll clock the sweater in at about 19 years and counting.  Tell us — which wardrobe item have you had the longest?

ps. Just in case anyone is wondering (Bueller? …Bueller…?), there’s been no recap of the NYC trip I was set to take at the beginning of this month because it had to be postponed.  I’m stuck here in the sticks for another month or so, but the rescheduling will happen…