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ISSUE 1 | VOLUME 2 | 2009


WELCOME TO SPRING

10240 - 124 Street, Edmonton | mousybrowns.com | 780.482.0060


ISSUE 1 | VOLUME 2 | 2009

ON THE COVER LADY GAGA PHOTO • Ashley Armstrong HAIR • Lauren Hughes from Mousy Brown’s MAKEUP • Ruth Bancroft STYLIST • Annaliza Toledo of venzillavintage.com Corset by Sweet Carousel graffitied by Kashvenoms www.sweetcarousel.com Jacket is Lady Gaga’s own, gloves borrowed from Elise, nails are by Kiko Nails

PARLOUR LIVING

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08 FARM think kitchen not kitschy 09 CULINARY HIGH Culina in the hood 10 PROMENADE who’s who, and what’s what

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GO!GO! GAGA

Lady Gaga goes off on our favourite topics: art, sex, and fashion

PARLOUR MUSIC 16 TOKYO POLICE CLUB we test TPC’s knowledge on Alberta

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17 LYKKE LI Swedish songbird finishes our sentences

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WHEN MARIONETTES DREAM Fashion Spread

PARLOUR STYLE 30 SPRING BEAUTY have your cake, and wear it too 33 AGED PERFECTION confessions of a vintage junkie

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PARLOUR INSPIRATION 34 MY DATE WITH SNOWBOARDING ROYALTY or so I imagined it

PARLOUR STORIES 37 SIN CITY SIDEKICKS wisdom from the backseat of a cab

PARLOUR FAVOURITES 38 PARLOUR’S PRIZED POSSESSIONS favourites to add to your collection

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01

02

03 My pet is better than your pet because... 01.

“... she watched the Departed TWICE and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth and she eats pieces of shit like your cat for breakfast.” PAWS • Eric

02. “...actually...they’re not.” FREDDIE, AND EMILY • Nicola

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03. “...she looks like a Jim Henson creation.” NEIKO •Lauren

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04. “... he looks like George Clooney and will kick your cat’s ass” BORIS • Andrea 05. “...he eat’s cats.” LIONEL • Pete 06.

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PUBLISHER / EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Shelly Solarz shelly@parlourlife.com ART DIRECTOR / DESIGNER Peter Nguyen pete@parlourlife.com MANAGING EDITOR Andrea Dorrans andrea@parlourlife.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER / MARKETING AND BUSINESS STRATEGY Michael Brechtel michael@parlourlife.com

07. “...he is like a dog.” FOOSH • Ashley

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PHOTOGRAPHERS Ashley Armstrong ashley@kineticstudios.ca Darren Wolf darren@wolfphoto.ca Eric Newby WRITERS Leah Bailly Caroline Gault Sandy Karpetz Greg Crompton

“...she’s mini, can dress up like a hot dog for Halloween, and howl “Happy Birthday” better than any jazzed up cat I know.” NALA • Caroline

INTERNS Georgia Venner MAKEUP Nicola Gavins from Cherry Blossom 780.908.6333 Ruth Bancroft HAIR Lauren Hughes from Mousy Browns

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without permission from publisher. The views expressed in Parlour Magazine are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily shared by the publisher. www.parlourlife.com subscriptions inquiry contact: subscriptions@parlourlife.com


sattva & ashtanga yoga


EDITOR’S LETTER Yes, the magazine has gone though a transformation. I too have gone though a transformation. Last week I woke up at 4am and decided to cut all of my hair off, the outside just wasn’t matching the inside. Over this year I’ve grown and found my voice; it was time to shed my old look. The fact is I have no background in publishing and every issue of this magazine has been a progression into “What is Parlour”. I see my role as giving Parlour a voice and keeping its integrity. Parlour mirrors my life – and we are taking huge leaps and coming into our own.

During this transformation I had the opportunity to fly

to Vancouver and interview Lykke Li, one of my all time girlcrushes. She was as enchanting as I had imagined she would be, and instead of an interview we had a conversation – two girls talking about finding their beauty and themselves through their voices. Lykke Li talked about how her voice has changed though the process of following her heart. And when you hear her sing it’s obvious – her voice is full of soul and beauty.

Another marvel took place one morning when I received

a message inquiring if Parlour was interested in doing an interview and photo shoot with Lady Gaga, someone who I had heard once on MuchMusic. Within weeks of receiving the message, I began to see Lady Gaga everywhere, in passing I mentioned to a friend that Parlour was asked if we wanted to do an interview, and the response was a look of “are you crazy to even be thinking about this”. With this smack to the head I turned and ran back into my office in hopes that we still had a chance for the interview. In the upcoming months everyone was talking about this outrageous performer. We were able to spend four hours with the pop princess, and in our time together my admiration grew – she has a dream and is doing it, she works hard and doesn’t care what people think. But with all this, she is still a girl with real girl problems, she commented that she’s good at a lot of things but sucks at love, all I could think of is “I’m with you on that”.

But we stay on track and those highs we experience from

following our dreams are like being on that mountain on a clear sunny day ready to take on the world with no doubt in sight. Shelly Solarz Publisher / Editor-In-Chief


TEXT • Andrea Dorrans PHOTO • Darren Wolf

(think kitchen, not kitschy)

“It’s about being present in the moment, getting back into your head in a good way, taking an hour to sit across from a girlfriend, have wine, have food, have a fight; talk about whatever you want to talk about, have a good time.” I wanted to call this article Everything is Illuminated (the title of the Safran-Foer novel I recently finished). The reason – because every edible delight placed in front of me at Janice Beaton’s new tasting kitchen, FARM, is the star of the show. Every ripe, sweet, salty, piquant, delicate, bitter, fresh, savoury bite and sip stand alone – center stage. Attached to the relatively obscure (the entrance is in the alley) 17th avenue location of Beaton’s famous Calgary cheese shop, FARM has taken the concept of gourmet dining and deconstructed it into its most basic elements. A crumble of Cabrima (a hard goat cheese from Holland), a sip of Syrah, and a bite of baguette dipped in balsamic reduction – the flavours are simple, decadent, delicious. FARM is not a restaurant; it is not a bistro, a café, or a tapas bar. FARM is a tasting kitchen – and it is all about taking your time. Stephanie Chiasson, resident “wine-geek”, explains her philosophy, “Smaller plates encourage sharing. Having lots of flavours, slowing down, and engaging in the food, I think it’s good for the soul to eat like that.” I agree. Nevertheless, the concept is largely unfamiliar (at least to us dopey Albertans.) With several small menus on the tables and a full-wall chalkboard scribbled with various specials, diners are perplexed. But the well versed, laidback staff is quick to guide guests through their experience. Chiasson is thrilled that Calgarians are open to the idea, “They’re like, ‘Just go do the pairings, choose whatever.’” When it comes to pairing, Chiasson is a rebel. “I want to change the way people think about what they’re pairing with what they’re eating – if you want to have sweet sherry, and then you want to have a glass of white, then you want beer, do it, there’s no rules here .... It’s going to take your palette one second to reset itself.” It’s refreshing to sit back and let the staff pair a B.C. Pinot Grigio with Janice’s signature mac ‘n’ cheese, or a French Chablis with a seared lamb liver drizzled in mint oil (yeah, I did). The pairing possibilities at FARM are endless, the wine list is awesome – about 50 bottles (ever changing), with over 30 available by the glass and the taste: “I want people to try as many things as possible.” And it’s not just about wine, Chiasson enlightens me, “Beer and sherry are where it’s at.” So unlearn everything you thought you knew about food and drink. Toss it out. Because as my experience at FARM taught me, everything is illuminated. 8 PARLOUR


TEXT • Andrea Dorrans PHOTO • Ashley Armstrong

“How does he do that?” “Do what?” I’m distracted by what might be the most delicious appetizer I’ve ever had: pulled-pork crepes drizzled with house-made blackberry barbeque-sauce and sour cream. “Glide around the room like he’s on wheels.” Shelly Solarz, our EditorIn-Chief, is talking about Ido Van Der Laan, the dining room manager at Culina Highlands. It’s true; Van Der Laan could be performing (the server’s waltz?). He’s relaxed, elegant, and refined; much like, well, everything about Culina. The 332 square-foot room vibrates with laughter and clinking glasses. My Chablis is rich and smooth, my companion is glowing, and for the first time in a long time, I don’t know what I should be doing. This is Culina Highlands, and if you didn’t know it opened its doors this fall, you might wonder how Edmonton could’ve existed without it. Located on a quiet street in Edmonton’s historic Highlands neighbourhood, the space that formerly housed BACON restaurant is all grown up. Many Edmontonians have lamented the loss of the eclectic and eccentric BACON restaurant, but the heart behind the venture is alive and strong in the reinvented space. The sophisticated elegance of Culina Highlands is the result of owner Cindy Lazarenko’s lifetime of experience with the culinary arts, “I’ve been cooking since I was ten years old,” she tells us, “my parents would come home from work and I’d be like “Voila, I made dinner.” Cindy’s husband, Geoff Lilge, who holds a Master’s degree in Industrial Design, spearheaded the renovations. He scoured the city for wooden chairs – classified ads, garage sales, antique stores – painted every inch of the space, retiled the ceiling, and custom-built the solid walnut-trim tables. The result is a balance of modern elegance and old-world charm. Clean white walls house prints by cutting-edge Edmonton based artist, Ian Craig, the original hardwood floors are perfectly worn, and the entire space is awash in the glow of paper-bag lanterns – it’s as if every element were destined to be exactly where it is. The menu, designed by Lazarenko siblings, Cindy and Brad, mimics the seemingly effortless beauty of the room. My main course – a roasted free-range chicken breast in a grainy mustard, garlic, and white wine cream sauce, garnished with cranberry chutney and buttermilk biscuits is a modern comfort food masterpiece. Cindy is humble about her accomplishments, “We just do our best, we’re not trying to win any awards, I have no agenda. It’s my livelihood, and I hope I can create a space that inspires people to cook and learn more about food, and that people feel comfortable coming here and have a great time here.” Shelly and I spoon-fight over our Bergamot-infused crème brulée and I reflect on Cindy’s manifesto and think, bravo, all of the above and more – now back off Solarz, the last bite is mine. •

9 PARLOUR


FRIDGET

BY BRIDGET SMATLAN www.fridget.ca

Available at: Bamboo Ballroom Persistently bursting with mischief and flair; Fridget Apparel never fails to produce your seasonal favorite. Whether its a seductive skirt or an over flattering blouse Bridget Smatlan’s designs appear to be dangerously suited for that saucy librarian. Find Fridget Apparel locally at Bamboo Ballroom (8206 104 St). Also check fridget.ca for news on sales at local markets! Photo: nathanburge.com

MEESE CLOTHING

31 D Perron St. Saint Albert, AB www.meeseclothing.com

Whether your summer is full of picnic dates, dance parties, long bike rides, patio barbeques, afternoon weddings, grasshoppers, sunsets and sunrises, or even long hours at work Meese has got you covered... literally. With over 40 Canadian Labels including: Brave Beltworks, Preloved, Sessa , Revolve, Allison Wonderland, Suka, Kitchen Orange, Cinder + Smoke, Magdilene, and Second Denim Jeans Photo: Centree Photography

SUKA DESIGN

BY ALI SHICK

This year suka design is inspired by her secret persona the “ Prowling Cobra “ smart and sleek; she’s not willing to give up her day job. Ruthless and fierce; she’s not ready to stop having a little fun while she’s at it.. With clothes that will take her through a life of versatility offering comfort with no sacrifice to style and edgy details influenced by some of the most memorable sub cultures and icons of our time. Sleek style with a little sting..! Explore your inner cobra by checking out suka designs at Bamboo Ballroom On Whyte ave and Meese clothing.

10 PARLOUR


ELEGANT EXPRESSIONS

628 RIVERBEND SQUARE

Located in Riverbend, this charming space entices you by carrying many hand crafted items from all over the world. Elegant, unusual home assessories along with award winning jewelry make this location ideal for finding the perfect gift.

AMOR

BY AMOR CARANDANG Keeping it unique and original‌ Amor jewelry is handmade, designed in Edmonton and uses fresh water pearls, metals, & charms; gold, silver, and copper chains, all mixed together to create a unique blend of elegance and funk. Designed for the FUN in you! Visit and support your locals. Sold at Foosh, Bamboo Ballroom, Meese, & Social Script.


TEXT • Caroline Gault PHOTO • Ashley Armstrong HAIR • Laruen Hughes from Mousy Brown’s MAKEUP • Ruth Bancroft STYLIST • Annaliza Toledo of venzillavintage.com Corset by Sweet Carousel graffitied by Kashvenoms www.sweetcarousel.com Jacket is Lady Gaga’s own, gloves borrowed from Elise, nails are by Kiko Nails

I ’ m more th an nerv o us when Lady G a g a e n t e r s t h e d re ss i n g room at R exall Place, and h e r c a lm, h u s k y v o i c e greets us with genuine exciteme n t . S h e d o e s n ’t co ns id er h ers el f an intimidating person , bu t t h e po p s t ar’s s el f-as s u rance is terrif y ing as he ll. I n s kin-tight leggings and dark sung l a s s e s , t h e 2 2 year-ol d New Yo rk nativ e throws her f e e t , a do r n e d in t hre e -i n ch b l ack ankle bo o ts, onto a cou n t e r t o p. W h ile p at ien tl y w ai ti n g f o r the taming of he r wh it e - blo n de Rap u n zel l ocks , helmet-cut bang s, a n d ma k e u p s h e c a l l s “glam,” Lady Gaga chats freely wi t h P a r l o u r a b o u t h e r f a b u l ou s w orld o f art, sex, and f as h io n .

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I snap out of my star-struck stupor and discover that for Gaga, art comes in many forms. Be it her debut pop album. The Fame, her fashion, stage performance, or Transmission-Gaga-Vision webisodes, she’s speaking to us on a level we haven’t heard since the androgynous era of David Bowie and the avant-garde days of Andy Warhol. She looks through Warholesque round specs to prove her manifesto: “[Andy Warhol] would say ‘this is what’s great,’ and if he said it enough, people started to listen.”

“That’s what The Fame is. My album and my music and the attitude

that I sing about, is all about being somebody that wears their passion on their sleeve. And, you know, I’ve been tricking people for a long time into thinking that I’m someone that I’m not because of the way I dress – because I make my own clothes . . . It’s that walking art piece idea.”

Gaga’s outrageous fashion is shocking, delightful, and “all about the

shape.” This is abundantly clear at her Edmonton performance, where she dances in fluid-robotic movements, wearing a “cocaine inspired dress that’s all about the rock crystal.” Her trademark pairing of fishnets, hoods, and shoulder pads is inspired by the ambiguous and theatrical, the graphic and the dimensional, the glam-superhero and the infamous discotheque at Studio 54. Although she won’t deny her love for Karl Lagerfeld and Maison Martin Margiela (“That’s just me being a fashion snob,” she says), she revels in the unveiling of underground designers.

“I find that my strengths are in discovering new talent . . . I want

to work with creative [designers and] magazines – like you guys; creative, innovative, and forward thinking. It’s not just about being sponsored by a huge name.”

But there was a time when the reception to Lady Gaga’s uncon-

ventional style was largely negative: “I mean now my outfits are considered cool. Now every time I’ve got an outfit on someone says, ‘You have amazing fashion!’ But there was a time where I was hanging out on Rivington Street and people were like, ‘You’re a fucking freak!’”

I suggest that such hostile reactions are because North American

paparazzi-magazine fashion is just a little too safe, and Gaga reacts tenaciously: “It’s not just safe – it’s lack of vision. It’s totally uninspired. When I go to London, I want to lick the street, and try to understand. . . because in London people are in full high fashion walking to work. I mean, people look twice at me in London, but not as much . . . It’s the same way that I can wear [an] outfit in Germany and I’m on the Best Dressed list in a fashion magazine, and then I wear the same outfit in America and I’m on the Worst Dressed list.”

Despite the impression that Gaga was born looking like a rock star,

she assures us she wouldn’t be able to materialize her artistic cravings without the help of her creative team, The Haus of Gaga. This talented group of people, who help to choreograph her performances, design her stage-wear, and search for new technology (without making her look like “Inspector Gaga Gadget,” she says), have channeled her Warhol influences with little encouragement.

“It’s really funny, because I always sort of imagined how I’d love

my creative team to be, and it’s kind of like that 70’s Factory feel, [where]

“But I’m not really dressed in the same kind of sexual way that you see other female pop stars. There’s like an androgyny, and a theatre, and a concept to it.” everyone’s fucking … and I always wanted that. And then I didn’t even have to try. It was like, ‘Oh look – people are pregnant, we’re wearing amazing fashion, there’s debauchery, fights, black eyes, it’s torrid, and it’s fabulous.’ I’m very happy.”

When I ask Gaga about the kind of sexual message she’s sending

out, she says, “Well, I think that the disco stick is a pretty obvious metaphor. But it’s really just like sexual freedom and a woman being able to exist as a man in that kind of thought and intellectual space. But at the same time it’s difficult to talk about in a way like we are right now, because I also have such strong views about safe sex and STDs . . . But in the music? Yes. I sing about sex. And yes, it’s very over-the-top and kind of raunchy – even lewd. But I’m not really dressed in the same kind of sexual way that you see other female pop stars. There’s like an androgyny and a theatre and a concept to it.”

Up to this point in our interview, I’ve successfully controlled my

jittery behavior, but when an important phone call interrupts, I shamelessly eavesdrop and share in Gaga’s ecstatic revelation to the Parlour gang that she’s just booked the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

“Oh my God! I can’t even breathe!” She says. Neither can I, I think,

which is overly enthusiastic, misplaced excitement, because I have nothing to do with her world-wide success. Nevertheless, the experience of meeting someone who touches their desires and maintains confidence in their presentation – with a total disregard for the possibility of provoking mass criticism – is inexplicably unique and rewarding.

Moreover, Lady Gaga’s vision for the future proves we haven’t got

just another ditsy, over-marketed tabloid-celeb on our hands, we’ve got a generational icon: “When I talk about the future, I don’t mean outer-space. So much of what I’m doing is about pollution, it’s advanced technology, it’s industrial and it’s factory life. It’s not like Mars.”

Over an hour later, after pampering has completed the Gaga

transformation, she silences us at the photo shoot with an extravagant, colourful bodysuit, a gold-studded Haus of Gaga jacket, and a bow of hair on top of her head. Lady Gaga poses with spunk, extremity, and variety, allowing little room for direction because, well, we’re watching avant-garde art at its best.

I reflect on a statement she made earlier: “You know, God didn’t

make me good at everything. I suck at love, I’m not great at math – I’m like pretty good at math, but I’m not great.” And I think, Okay, so you’re not good at love and math. But you’re taking risks, blurring the concept of gender and changing the face of pop culture! I think I speak for the rest of the Parlour crew when I say we’ll take Gaga just the way she is. •

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CONNECT • www.tokyopoliceclub.com

LISTEN • “Your English is Good”, “Juno”

Within four years Tokyo Police Club has put out “the most well received 16 minutes of music in recent history”, promptly followed up with their muchanticipated full length album “Elephant Shell”, garnered rave reviews, and managed to fit in a few national tours. We caught up with Newmarket, Ontario’s indie rockers while on the road to quiz, draw, and speak good English.

Tour Bus Necessities

16 PARLOUR

How well do you know Alberta?

What exactly is an Elephant Shell?


CONNECT • www.lykkeli.com

LISTEN • “Tonight”, “Until We Bleed”, “T ime Flies”

LYKKE L I I’m a little bit in love with Sweden’s Lykke Li. She’s pretty much perfect, earlier this year, at 22 years-young, she released her debut album, Youth Novels, on her own record label, LL Recordings. I can’t stop listening to the sugar-sweet, edgy-beat tracks, and the fact that her videos are sexy, adorable, and fun only adds to my infatuation. Oh, and she grew up in a fairytale: summering in her native Sweden and wintering in India with her fabulous hippie parents.

The voices in my head tell me...

The playlist of my life...

My dreams are...

First thing in the morning I...

I am...

If I could I would...

The sweetest thing is...

17 PARLOUR


8206 104st | bambooballroom.com

Photo by Hanson Ng

seven for all mankind j brand citizens of humanity hudson paige premium denim joe's jeans free people covet sessun numph soia & kyo ben sherman kersh house of spy valerie dumaine suka fridget obey ringspun religion left of houston matt & nat erica weiner mimi & marge


Photos by Ashley Armstrong | Hair by Mousy Brown’s Makeup Nicola Gavins | Models provided by Mode Models Stylists Colleen Mcginn, and Shelly Solarz Shot on location at Design Pics

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Jessica Esposito | Paul Smith scarf, tank, pants from Gravity Pope Tailored Goods | Shoes from Gravity Pope


Riley Braden | Dress from Gravity Pope Tailored Goods | Shoes from Gravity Pope | Rings from Elegant Expressions | Necklace from Nokomis


Ines Mitchell | Bodybag dress from Nokomis | Shoes from Gravity Pope


Natahna Bargen | T shirt and shorts from Gravity Pope Tailoed Goods Shoes from Gravity Pope


Court Baker | Shirt and skirt from Fridget by Bridget Smatlan Bracelet from Elegant Expressions


Dawn Hiron | Dress from Gravity Pope Tailor Goods | Bracelet from Elegant Expressions | Shoes from Gravity Pope


Megan Martin Dress from Gravity Pope Tailored Goods Bracelet from Elegant Expressions Nicola’s bird


Sam Ypma Paper dress and gloves designed by Suka designs by Alisha


PHOTO • Ashley Armstrong TEXT MAKEUP • Nicola Gavins TEXT HAIR • Lauren Hughes MODEL • Dara Main from Mode Models

MAKEUP

Delight in this spring’s sweet treats. Be inspired by a visit to your local patisserie; frost your lids with shades of petit-four pinks, mint greens, sugared violets, and butter creams. Skin is glowing and hydrated, dusted with iridescent silver, pearl, and champagne highlights. Treat your cheeks to decadent shades of pink and peach, using blush creams and cheek stains to achieve a natural flush. Glaze your lips with barely there shades of fleshy pink, lilac, and peach. These guilt free indulgences will compliment this season’s feminine, flirty fashions while satisfying your sweet tooth.

HAIR

Volume, Volume, Volume, and more Volume. This season put some spring into your do. Let your hair gush with sexiness mingled with softness. Pull your hair up and expose your neck. Ballerina buns, messy buns, and perfect ponytails are a great and easy way to get into style. Wearing your hair down and long? Pin curl set it. Grab large sections, and use a strong hold setting lotion – I recommend Styling Creme by bumble and bumble. To make a pin curl you can take a 2 x 2 section wrap it around your finger and pin it into place. Make sure your hair is only lightly damp. You should have about nine pin curls all over your head. Dry the pin curls and voila, you have wicked wave.

30 PARLOUR


TEXT • Sandy Karpetz

PHOTO • Eric Newby

AGED TO PERFECTION AGED TO PERFECTION, THAT IS HOW I LIKE MY CLOTHES. It should come as no surprise that I have an addiction and it’s called vintage. There is a certain sense of satisfaction one gets when finding a treasure amongst racks of abandoned clothing…a high none can achieve when shopping retail – with multiple sizes in every style. I have had the pleasure of thrifting all over this wonderful world and I still believe that the best finds happen locally. Canada has a wealth of vintage clothing, you just have to know how to find it and what to do with it when you do. A few helpful pointers:

1. Try it on – you never know what it’s going to look like. Sometimes garments that are ugly on hangers look gorgeous on people; 2. If it doesn’t fit perfectly, belt it; 3. If the pattern is phenomenal, but the dress is shapeless, hem it; 4. Never ignore the children’s section. Items are often misplaced (or tight in all the right places.); and 5. Haunt the vintage shops to increase your odds.

Green is the new Black Join Parlour staff and stylists Saturday, April 4th, 10am to 8pm at The University of Alberta Butterdome to discover the then of now. But don’t come alone; bring your gently used clothing! Donate some of your old clothes to make someone’s wardrobe new, and karmically, another’s once-had will become your next must have. All you have to do is let go … Edmonton’s first environmental expo will be the home of a myriad of fresh ideas. From big name companies like Greenpeace to local retailers and style visionaries like Parlour. Learn how to go green in style. Free clothes + expert advice = a clean closet, conscience and a fresh new you. All at Parlour’s Vintage Boutique at the Go Green Eco Expo. www.gogreenecoexpo.com Colleen Yukes 33 PARLOUR


TEXT • Greg Crompton

My Date with Snowboarding Royalty

Leanne Pelosi glares out the window into the fog of Vancouver’s Hastings Street. She is annoyed—with me. Well, that’s what I imagine as I slalom my bike through the homeless and drugaddicted streets of the Downtown Eastside. I am late for my date with snowboarding royalty.

I launch myself through the doors of a Mexican restaurant, expecting

Leanne, however, doesn’t just cruise through life in a haze of hangovers and

a coffee cup to the head and a ‘Do you know who I am?’ but all the 28

fresh powder days. When not posing for International photoshoots, Leanne

year-old Calgary native offers as I stumble up to the table is a juicy smile.

spends much of her time co-ordinating More Good Times (MGT), an inter-

Leanne is about the hippest female snowboarder on the mountains. Since

national snowboard camp she started with a friend to help young female

voted 2005 Female Rider of the Year by her peers, Pelosi has racked up

snowboarders make it in the industry. In its seventh year, MGT will provide

more awards and grabbed more face-time in major snowboard mags

roughly 250 young women with pointers on their spins and rail grinds.

than any other female snowboarder on the planet.

I grab a one-o’clock beer and ask Leanne about the pink box at her

careers. It’s kind of like the gateway into pro-snowboarding.” MGT’s

feet. She is on her way to return some grey suede boots she snared on

success rate is good—two of the three finalists for TransWorld Snow-

an impulse buy.

boarding’s 2008 Rookie of the Year are alumni of the camp.

“When I got home it hit me that they were $600,” she laughs. “My

We help them develop into athletes who can go out and have

Then there is Runway Films: a film production company that Leanne

boyfriend thinks it’s insane.” Leanne admits that she spoils herself with

co-founded and whose debut release titled See What I See follows an

shoes. It helps that the 2006 winner of TransWorld Snowboarding’s

all-female cast through the rails, mountains, streets, and parks of Russia,

Readers’ Choice Award for women is sponsored by, among others, Etnies

Europe, South and North America.

Shoes. “Yeah, they hook me up,” she says, chuckling at her good fortune.

Leanne is gorgeous. Although her Italian/Welsh blend, ebullient grin, and

rippers launching off stadium railings, tapping onto ominous powder

snowboard talent is obviously attractive to sponsors, it is her intelligence

puffs, and flying over frightening gaps. As the title of the film suggests,

that has solidified her career in the industry.

each rider was given a Super 8-film camera and let loose to capture the

snowboarding experience from a personal vantage point.

“You have to make the right connections. You can go and win a

See What I See is a mélange of expertly filmed shots of female

million contests but still sponsors might not think you’re cool enough to

get paid by them.” How does one network in this industry? Well, you get

the concept is magnetic. The final product undoubtedly gets your pulse

Although very little of the rider-shot footage made the final cut,

pissed. You connect over highballs; you get a paycheque by getting sloppy.

going, but more importantly, the flick showcases the place women have

“All the reps and riders are at the industry parties. And it’s a lot more fun

carved out in a once male-dominated industry. The film, one of the first of

making contacts over drinks than over email.”

its kind, has enabled women to venture into backcountry areas and exotic

35 PARLOUR


locales where sponsor dollars would previously have only taken men. Leanne can’t help but glow about her impact on the industry.

“It’s pretty cool when people come up to us at premieres to tell

us how many times a week they watch the movie and how much it inspires them. That’s what makes me feel the best, when younger girls can look up to us and strive to be where we are right now.”

And to think she could have been designing bridges instead of

busting open a path for the next generation of female snowboarders to follow. Leanne already had one degree under her belt—BSc. in Biomechanics—and was half way through her second—Mechanical Engineering—when the snowboarding gods came calling. “It was awful, like banging my head against a brick wall. I didn’t fit in with engineering at all. Everyone was like [Leanne busts into a hilarious computer geek/robot impersonation] uh, look at this computer game I made yesterday…”

So in 2003 she fled to Whistler to snowboard for a year. At the

end of her first season she tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Dejected, she went home to Calgary and enrolled in summer engineering courses. Then a letter arrived: “It was a contract from K2 for a few boards and a few thousand in travel expenses. I was like, yes! And the door kind of kicked open for me.”

But her future as a pro-rider was far from secure. Leanne was

recuperating from her ACL surgery, unsure how her tender knee would stand up at the season’s debut competition in Colorado. K2 also had no idea about her injury. “I thought my knee was going to blow on the first landing. [My first jump] would define if I was going to have a snowboard career or not.”

Her knee held out and she became a fixture in the snowboard-

ing world. She has had few missteps since then, and she gladly tells me about her most recent blunder. In Vancouver, See What I See premiered with a few other films to a packed house of eight hundred. To hype MGT, Leanne hosted a pudding-eating contest.

“It was a little ill-thought out. It was after four premieres,

everyone was pretty wasted. Girls ended up licking chocolate off each other and showing their goods. That wasn’t part of the plan.” She laughs, “I wanted to keep it PG.” If that is one of her bigger mistakes then things are looking good.

Leanne’s 2008/2009 season will be a frenzy of snowboard

camps, competitions, schmoozing with highballs in hand, and of course joyfully carving through days, weeks, and months of snow. Sigh.

We high-five outside the restaurant, I get on my rickety bike

and head back to the poorest area code in Canada while Leanne strolls to Holt Renfrew, exchanges her boots for a pair of $4000 Imelda Marcos stilettos, and drinks Cosmopolitans with the salespeople (who end up investing in her all-female heli-boarding movie shot on a newly-active Peruvian volcano.) At least that’s what I imagine. •


TEXT & PHOTO • Leah Bailly

Prophetic Words from Las Vegas Cab Drivers “A dead body used to last two days out on the desert.” The cab driver glances at me in his rearview, all watery eyes and wrecked voice. “Now, with all the preservatives in your guts, your body can last weeks out there.” This is my first taxi ride across Las Vegas, City of Sin, of showgirls, gangsters, and murderous desert. From the air, the landscape looked uninhabitable. From the ground, the people are bloated, the earth, paved and smothered with stucco. “Y’all staying in Vegas for the weekend?” My hands clutching my fresh immigration documents, I am sweating, afraid. “I’m moving here,” I mutter, as if convincing myself of an impossible fact. “Ah, yeah? Yer gonna love it! Praise Jesus!” The cab driver beams at me and turns all the way around in his seat; I can make out decades worth of tobacco stains on his teeth and fingers. My second taxi ride across Sin City, I am wasted. We both are, having guzzled 17 dollar-fifty rocktails at the Stage Door before a wobbly dance party at the Paris Resort and Casino. Last year, my boyfriend and I lived in a tiny chalet in the French Alps, surrounded by glaciers and real French people. This year, we have “Paris,” with its fake cerulean skies, Le Village buffet, and slot machines jingling Frère Jacques with every winner. This cab driver won’t look at us as we holler out the windows, idling in traffic on Las Vegas Boulevard. He casually suggests we consider a strip club or nightclub, any destination that bribes cabbies with a $50 drop-off fee. But now, we are locals. We want burritos, and we scream it into the neon night, at the hordes of tourists waddling the length of the Strip. “Burrito burrito!!!” The cabbie presses his lips together, the closest thing to a grin he can muster. My third cab ride in Vegas, I am weeping. The driver, a Columbian mother of three is consoling me, but I sob into my seat, gutted. My boyfriend is in Canada, my car has been towed, and the largest-legged security woman in the world claims she has video footage of me parking illegally. I am forsaken. Outside the taxi window empty lots flash by, stitched by chain-link, desecrated by trash. This is North Las Vegas, where unclaimed cars corrode over decades – where my Freshman English students have survived drive-bys and evictions from cinderblock apartments hung with laundry, swarmed with children. “¿Es como Mexico, verdad?” And I nod, it is like Mexico – the plastic chairs and outdoor cantinas, Western Union signs on every corner. I suddenly feel better, and ask the driver if she’d like a taco-break, my treat, from one of the dusky taquerías that line the road. “No m’hita,” (she calls me her daughter,) “I’ve got mouths to feed.” We move in next-door to Muhammad, the Moroccan cab driver, in a compound full of immigrants, all of which have lived in America longer than us. Across the parking lot is Traien, the Romanian pimp; next door Ernesto, the Salvadorian plumber. We are America’s “aliens,” an accidental gathering in a gated complex half-empty from foreclosures. Some warm fall evenings, we sip weak beer and trade stories. Muhammad starts driving at 4 a.m., performing loop after loop from McCarran International to the Strip, in 12-hour shifts. Traien loves the yearlong sun. Ernesto just can’t get caught. In the parking stall next to my window, Muhammad’s taxi glimmers with a fresh wash-job, across the body, an advertisement featuring a stripper and the words “What Happens in Vegas…” But this could not be more false. Like stumbling over a rotting corpse in the desert, Vegas happens to you, hard. Vegas is impossible to ignore. What happens in Las Vegas will follow me, everywhere.

37 PARLOUR


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01 MCSWEENEY’S 28 “An egg-boy is born. He betrays his sister pretty much right away.” There’s nothing better than eight illustrated micro books with enough obscure morals to confuse even the brightest child. 02 SALGADO FENWICK CLOTHING Salgado Fenwick Clothing is an Edmonton-based collaboration featuring bold and fancy-free original t-shirt designs. www.salgadofenwick.com 03 CITYOFSOUND.COM From book reviews of books you were too lazy to pick up, to short essays on design practice in the modern world, designer Dan Hill blogs with insight. 04 EDMONTON FASHION WEEK APRIL 2-9 We got talent. 05 CARDBOARD DUVET 100% cotton designer duvet made to look like cardboard boxes. Call it derelict fashion or what you will, a portion of the sales goes to housing projects for the homeless. 06 BUBBLE CALENDAR ‘Cause everyone likes to pop bubble wrap, let’s make it a year ‘round thing.

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PAPIRMASSE

PAPIRMASSE IS A MAGAZINE AND SOCIAL EXPERIMENT ALL ROLLED INTO ONE. Every month PAPIRMASSE features a new and exciting work of art paired with thought-provoking text. Subscriptions to PAPIRMASSE follow one full calendar year, so no matter when you sign up you will receive 12 signed and editioned prints (from January - December 2009). There are, however, only 1,000 subscriptions available. The goal of this project is to provide art that is accessible and affordable. WWW.HELLOKIRSTEN.COM/PAPIRMASSE.HTML 08 WEFEELFINE.ORG If only we could find a way to collect all the feelings in the world and arrange them in dynamic visual database. Oh wait, we did. Do you feel fine? 09 THOMAS DOYLE ART Think snow globes, but without the fake plastic flecks of snow, and snowmen, and replace them with compelling scenes based on intricate human memories, hand sculpted and painted at a 1:43 scale. 10 HP VIVIENNE TAM SPECIAL EDITION MINI The world’s first digital clutch. 11 LADY ZZ TOP Julie and Clarice are often asked, “Do you always rock out this hard?” they say, “Effin’ right we do!” Check out Lady ZZ Top every Monday from 11AM to 1PM on CJSR FM 88.5 or try ladyzztop.ca 12

WANT ESSENTIALS Found at Gravity Pope Tempting like a dirty little leather secret, WANT luxury leather goods are like the lovechild of an understated French Canadian beauty and a muscular Italian leather tanner. Twin designers Byron and Dexter Peart may have created the hottest ipod case ever. (the Arlanda)

13 ST8 UP GYPSIES Ride boho-style in Edmonton’s gypsy taxi -st8 up 14 KIDNAPPER FILMS Canadian comedy that’s funny, Montreal’s kidnapperfilms.com 15

MAN ON A WIRE I almost didn’t watch this movie. After one hour, my heart beat matched the erratic soundtrack interwoven into this documentary about Phillipe Petit’s 1974 high wire stunt performed between the two towers of the former World Trade Center in New York. You will laugh and gawk in disbelief.

16 THE YEAH YEAH YEAH’S - IT’S BLITZ An iPod staple. 17 THEMODERNLEISURE.COM Take a little jaunt through the modern.

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THE ARDENT SPARROW BY REBECCA WAGLER

Rebecca Wagler designs charming and electric handmade jewelry and accessories inspired by nature and created using vintage materials and antiqued metals. Her unique rings, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces are earth friendly, inspiring, and stunning wearable pieces of art that will take any outfit the next level. Rebecca is an elementary school teacher on leave with her first child, a daughter, Brennah. She lives with Brennah, her husband Jason, and her shi-poo puppy Ruby in Brampton, Ontario. Rebecca has been designing jewelry since June 2008 and the business has grown quickly, much to her surprise and joy. FOUND AT BAMBOO BALLROOM 39 PARLOUR


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