Parlour issue 1 Volume 3

Page 1

ISSUE 1 | VOLUME 3 | 2010

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ON THE COVER ISSUE 1 | VOLUME 3 | 2010 Emily Haines

Photo • Clayton Didier HAIR • Blunt Hair Salon MAKE UP BY • Jenelle Forde

PARLOUR LIFE 12 Indulge a Little, Or a Lot Kirsta Frank gets greedy at Edmonton’s Duchess Bake Shop

PARLOUR MUSIC 15 Sing Along Forever The Bouncing Souls age gracefully in the punk rock realm 16 Tour Like Animals Electro-pop band Christian Hansen & The Autistics show their stripes



The Metric System

Times are a changing, especially in the Canadian music scene

PARLOUR STYLE 24 Wear Your Worth World-class stylist Carl Abad has a pretty back-up plan



Resurrection Hallelujah Fashion at the end of the rainbow

38 SPRING BEAUTY ...with a splash of individuality. Can’t lose

PARLOUR TRAVEL 40 Countdown to Freetown Leah Bailly trades shattering statistics for high spirits in Sierra Leone

PARLOUR FAVOURITES 41 PROMENADE Who’s who, and what’s what 42 PARLOUR’S PRIZED POSSESSIONS Favourites to add to your collection


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Interviewing Emily Hanes, lead singer of Metric, launched the process of constructing our seventh issue of Parlour. Over our day together, we spoke of creating something from your heart, building your vision, and taking control of your destiny. I listened to Emily talk about how Metric has taken back control of their music; they’re doing everything on their own terms, and keeping connected with their audience. I walked out of the Jubilee knowing exactly what this issue was going to be all about. Metric is not hiding anything; they are exactly what you see — it’s a vulnerable way to be, but it’s the truest way to be. The truth is that Parlour was a blank canvas — we created it one step at a time. Relying on our confidence, an inherent belief in our talents, we trusted ourselves and learnt our way around. With every cell in my body, I know what Parlour is, where it is going, and how it is going to get there.


Our kismet meeting with Emily Hanes reminds me of another Canadian songstress who graced Parlour for our second issue, Martina Sorbrara. Dragonette’s “Pick up the Phone” plays repeatedly in my head. Being an “information junkie” (one of my boyfriend’s loving labels for me), I search the internet to find the meaning behind the line “we’re going places you’ve never dreamed of.” (I wonder if it echoes my passion, or are they just being cocky because they get to fly all over the world being rockstars?) Of course, they mean the childlike feeling of holding the world in right in your hands, believing that it’s yours for the taking. Parlour, for me, is about living that dream, embracing that innocent confidence and optimism. Walking around Parlour’s expanded home - the city Calgary - a store window caught my eye, I stepped closer and found myself lost in a display of well-worn leather luggage filled with fashionable trinkets and treasures. The store was Worth, owned by a joyful stylist named Carl Abad. Our editor, Andrea Dorrans, and I met Carl for lunch on a fine Chinook day a couple weeks later. Over paninis and steaming cups of tea we fell in love with Carl’s lust for life. In the course of our collaboration with Carl for this issue, Carl had to come to the difficult decision to close Worth, and close a door on a dream. This incredible man didn’t skip a beat and already had a plan B, C, and D. I loved when Carl exclaimed that for the end of his piece he wanted to reflect that the future looks bright. So again I walked out of another synchronistic meeting knowing what happens when you take control of your destiny –– your future will be bright. I love how each issue of Parlour affirms my dreams, and always falls perfectly into place. • Shelly Solarz

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Shelly Solarz Assistant Publisher/Writer Caroline Gault Art Director Peter Nguyen Contributing Editor Andrea Dorrans Photo Editor Clayton Didier . Assistant William Dean-Stobie Videographer Logan Mackay Ad Sales Ivana Tisler Public Relations Alexis Walker Contributors Leah Bailly, Andrea Dorrans, Mary-Ann Flood, Krista Franke, Caroline Gault, David Gault, Sandy Karpetz, Jenny McConnell Photographers Nathan Burge, Clayton Didier, Brianna Hughes, Laura Margaret Ramsey, Codie McLachlan, Wilkosz & Way 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.

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TEXT • Kirsta Franke PHOTO • Clayton Didier

Indulge a Little, or a lot HAIR • Montage Salon & Spa Make up • Adrianne Thomson Dress • from Bamboo Ballroom Shoes • from Gravity Pope

The Edmonton cold is unlike any other. On a brisk afternoon a warm espresso and French baked goodies seem the perfect remedy to cure my city blues. I am on route to Duchess Bakeshop, my mouth watering at the thought of a perfect croissant. The door opens and my world transforms into a perfect Parisian paradise. Soft sounds of French music sprinkle the background; the smells of sweet and savoury treats fill my nostrils. Only five tables line the wall of the bakeshop. It is bare and calm, an ideal place to sit and watch the hustle of Edmonton’s eclectic 124 Street. Duchess Bakeshop resonates simplicity and elegance. The creamy white walls and golden accents create a royal ambience. The most exquisite items sit behind glass in a gallery space for delicate pastries. As I approach the cases filled with little foreign wonders I become overwhelmed by the kaleidoscopic colours and naming conventions. I feel like a foreigner in my own city, and as I prepare to pronounce my order, I realise that no croissants sit behind the glass. They are sitting in someone else’s stomach, outside of this dream world. Garner Beggs, co-owner of Duchess, greets me and suggests a pain au chocolate. While I pick at the flaky pastry he tells me the origin of this quaint Parisian dream. After a lengthy

honeymoon in France, Garner and his wife Giselle decided to settle in Tokyo for four months. This is where Giselle discovered her passion for French baking. Ten years later, Voilà! The two hope to expand but are focused on the growth of their current outfit, just a Duchess and her Duke. After devouring my pain au chocolate I find the aroma is unbearable. My weak nature for buttery desserts doesn’t help, so I make a pig of myself and have a couple more. I continue

to fill my face (in a polite manner of course) with one fluffy brioche, one grand-mère Florentine, one chocolate éclair and my favourite, a lavender Madeline. My taste buds dance; they crave more, I want to eat it all, but I decide this is enough for one trip. Even though I did not get to indulge in that perfect croissant, I feel confident I can use this as an excuse to come back. After a prolonged digestion period I walk out of Duchess bakeshop full and humble, with a lemon tart in hand. •

TEXT • David Gault PHOTO • Nathan Burge

Sing Along Forever Following an awful four-hour train ride from Leicester, England, to Newport, Wales, in which I’m vilely hungover, I down three cold pints during the most exciting punk show I’ve ever seen, and find myself in a conversation with two members of the Bouncing Souls—New Jersey’s finest punk rockers. I approached the Souls to tell them how much I enjoyed their show, but they’re so down-toearth they actually asked me to sit down. For anyone else, this would simply be a bizarre set of circumstances, but for a huge Bouncing Souls fan such as myself, it was unreal. Little did I know that this encounter would not be our last, and that I’d be chatting with front man Greg Attonito on the Souls’ tour bus prior to their performance at the Starlite Room in Edmonton a few months later. Hailing from New Brunswick, New Jersey, the Bouncing Souls have spent the last two decades playing fast and catchy punk rock anthems to adoring audiences worldwide. Having released a new album in January, they’ve done the punk rock impossible, which is coming of age, in terms of musical style and lyrical content, without betraying their roots or succumbing to the cancerous desire that so many bands give into – changing their music for mainstream commercial success. When I ask how the Bouncing Souls pushed through the countless obstacles that cause most bands to break up, Greg claims that it’s the fact that their reasoning for making music hasn’t changed. “I think the basic core of who we were in high school and why we were doing what we were doing—which was making music that made us feel good—that simple feeling [has] never [fallen] apart,” he tells me a few hours

before the show. “We were a party band and just played in people’s basements because it was fun. That feeling is still there... it prevailed.” While the Bouncing Souls have been able to maintain their teenage ambitions for making music, their music itself has matured with the band throughout the years. Their early albums are comprised of three-chord, fast, and lighthearted punk songs that parallel the excitement and sound of their live performance. “We didn’t know what the hell we were doing [back then]” he says, “which is kinda good. That’s why there’s this energy, spontaneity, and a rawness to [our old] music.” However, with each following release, the Souls have developed music that their fans can directly relate to, often writing about adolescent problems while offering positive alternatives. Their 2001 effort includes the stand out “True Believers”, a song that has become the definitive Bouncing Souls anthem. Perhaps unintentionally, “True Believers” speaks of the fear that haunts so many bands, of “selling out,” saying the only way to “sell out” is by being untrue to yourself, and therefore afraid to grow musically. “If we weren’t relating to people our age there would [be something wrong],” he explains. “We’d be stuck in a 25-year old punk zone, and I don’t want to be that person. I want to age gracefully as a punk rocker... I don’t want to burn out.”

The ultimate proof of their maturity comes in the form of their 2003 masterpiece Anchors Aweigh. This album signifies a band that’s moved on from the simplicity of short punk songs, and reveals the influence of fellow New Jersey rocker Bruce Springsteen. In songs such as “Kids and Heroes,” “Born Free,” and “Sing Along Forever,” the Bouncing Souls paint an inspiring view of the world and discuss the importance of living a simple life where personal relationships are more important than any material possession. Following our Parlour interview and their packed out show in Edmonton I realize that

I want to age gracefully as a punk rocker...

I don’t want to burn out.

it doesn’t matter where or when they play, the Bouncing Souls inspire audiences like no band I’ve ever seen. Their ability to relate to, and maintain their fan-base while developing musically has placed them in the realms of punk rock royalty. It’s their live energy, the familiar way they interact with the crowd—as if they’re friends you haven’t seen in a while, and ultimately, it’s their music. As though they knew the authenticity of the words when they wrote them, the Bouncing Souls have created a generation of people that truly will “Sing Along Forever.” •


LIKE I arrive at Teddy’s Restaurant, in Edmonton, Alberta, on a quiet Sunday to find Christian Hansen & The Autistics fully transformed into wild animals. This is no ordinary photo shoot. In fact, Christian Hansen & the Autistics is no ordinary band. From getting in touch with their wild sides, to performing sweat dripping sets, Christian Hansen & The Autistics are wholly sensual beings; their shows are dance inspiring and their lyrics are thought provoking. Parlour caught up with the band, as they are about to release a follow up EP and tour like, well, animals.


TEXT • Mary-Ann Flood PHOTO • Clayton Didier HAIR • Morgan Willard and Katharine Petersen MAKEUP • Jane Holowchuk Clothing from Nokomis, Gravity Pope, and Gravity Pope Tailor Goods

“ We stan cra as c

e’re encouraging a ndard‌ we will be this azy, which means you can be crazy as us.�

Draped over a round table, Christian, Scott, Molly, and Ava channel their inner creatures and have no problem snarling at the camera. Surrounded by velvet chairs and book-lined walls, this dark and gritty venue is the perfect place for Christian Hansen & the Autistics to unleash. Not that they don’t unleash on audiences already. All four band members are graduates of The University of Alberta and their Fine Arts Degrees have made them no strangers to the stage. Their sound is clean, smart, and forward with an assault of funny, singing about masturbation, drugs, abuse, pop culture, facebook, and love.  â€œWhen there are people who have never seen us before and we play, we usually get a reaction. As soon as we start playing, people stop and look at us and get a weird look on their face.â€? Ava continues Christian’s thought, “I think that when people see us for the first time, they’re not expecting eye contact and they’re not expecting us to start at 110 per cent.â€? Someone once told me to never look a wild animal in the eye, but outfitted in his lion regalia Christian looks directly at me and explains, “eye contact is necessary to engage with the audience.â€?  Bassist Scott elaborates, “We’re encouraging a standard‌ we will be this crazy which means you can be as crazy as us.â€? I can attest. Seeing the band headline sold out shows at the Artery and the Pawnshop in Edmonton as well as the Marquee Room in Calgary, their growing base of fans are keen and attentive, laughing along with Christian’s viciously truthful lyrics and lining up after the show for autographs and photo ops. I’ve even seen them incorporate props, human pyramids or sparklers, but rarely the same way twice. â€œWe all agree that it’s a privilege to be on stage. From the moment we engage the audience we make sure that we’re using all of our energy and all of our skills to their maximum capacity. Because it’s about the relationship‌ it’s a rare opportunity to connect with such a big group of people, you don’t want to waste that.â€?  Our conversation shifts focus when I suggest that the word “autisticâ€? is a precarious term to use in a band name. Christian explains, “I work with a family who has a 21-year old autistic son and I help him get through the challenges of everyday. The band name is inspired by the people I work with due to the fact that Autistic people approach the world in a completely different way than a lot of [regular] people do. They think outside the box, they colour outside the lines and that’s kind of what we do as a band.â€?

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On a side note, Christian recently received the Support Worker of the Year Award from the Edmonton Autism Society for his work with people with developmental disabilities.  Although the colourful makeup and costumes disguise the band well, underneath they are down to earth. At a time when our culture is consumed with celebrity gossip and mass culture, Christian Hansen & The Autistics bring dense content to the dance party. Listen to their debut album Power Leopard to get what I mean. There is no stopping these instinctive Canadian performers. â€˘

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TEXT • Mary-Ann Flood PHOTO • Clayton Didier

Stylist • Alana Kakia Hair • Blunt Salon

Makeup • Jenelle Forde


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Times are a changing, especially in the Canadian music scene. 21 PARLOUR

When Parlour sat down with Emily Haines, the

to get yourself started…and traditionally record

lead singer of Metric, the 5’1” blonde told us

companies capitalize on that.”

that Metric’s voice will only get louder despite

It seems unusual for such an established

changes in the music industry. Metric recently

band to want to shed their safety nets, yet

got the rights back to their music and Haines

when Parlour sits down with Haines, she takes

says this move has “given us the opportunity to

pride in this irregularity. In fact, she blatantly

embrace the changes that are happening with

tells us, “I like to experiment and do unusual

music.” In our current climate of file sharing,

things.” Emily’s honesty is almost intimidating,

Metric realizes that “this is the way it’s going

yet while she gets her makeup and hair done

and we need to embrace it and not fight it.”

before performing in front of a sold out show

Metric is currently the hottest Indie band to

her bare face reflects her readiness to expose

come out of Canada; the Toronto-based band is

all. She is gracious and intelligent, honest and

kicking it on the international stage, playing sold


out shows and changing people’s perceptions

It seems fitting that Metric met with Parlour

of what it means to be an Indie band. When we

on Halloween night, unmasked, putting forward

think of Indie bands, we often picture smaller,

their true selves. As Haines puts it, “Sometimes

up and coming bands that play shows in empty

there’s the sense from rock stars that they’re

bars. Most Indie bands are waiting to sign with a

trying to make you feel like your life isn’t as

major label. Most Indie bands hope to someday

good as theirs.” Metric doesn’t aim to make

fill an auditorium with hundreds of people.

their fans feel like their lives are inadequate, al-

Most Indie bands are unknown on the Interna-

ternatively Haines relates to her audience when

tional stage. Metric, however, is not like most

she states, “I don’t feel that different from our

Indie bands. In the past year alone, they have

fans…we’re music fans too, we go to rock n’

appeared on Carson Daly and David Letterman,

roll shows.” This makes me think—maybe we

and their album Fantasies was short listed for

are more alike than we are different.

the 2009 Polaris Music Prize for Canadian

Haines declares, “I think the days of rock n’

Album of the Year. Already in 2010, Metric has

roll attitude and artifice, pretending that you

been nominated for Favourite Album, Favourite

aren’t human and pretending that you don’t

Single, and Favourite Live Performance for the

ever struggle with anything is kind of boring

Independent Music Awards.

and dishonest. What is more interesting, at

Fantasies couldn’t be a more fitting name

least to me, is people who are straightforward

for their new album since Metric is living out

about what they’re going through and then still

their fantasies and realizing their dreams.

manage to create that incredible spectacle.

The esoteric sounding album blends synth

Then, you can feel that there’s a real human

and electro beats with disco undertones and

being inside, behind that mask. It’s not like a

powerful lyrics. Fantasies will undoubtedly

mask behind a mask.”

send you into a dream world.

When the performance begins, Metric walks

Since their humble beginning in 1998,

onto the stage with authority and fills the Jubilee



Auditorium with passionate lyrics. As I listen

Scott-Key, bassist Josh Winstead, and lead

to the opening verses of “Gimme Sympathy”,

singer Emily Haines have released five albums,

there is no denying that Metric finds comfort

and traveled the continent playing sold out

in their experiences; the verse “I’ll remember

shows everywhere. Despite their massive

someday, all the chances we took” articulates

success Haines describes the industry as

this constant search for adventure and inde-

“tricky,” she continues, “you can get trapped…


it happens to a lot of musicians where they get

Walking home from the concert, I piece

caught in that cycle and I definitely felt that

together the insights Emily Haines has just

before this record.”

shared. Metric’s lyrics to “Help, I’m Alive”

“People in the business aren’t used to what

from their new album Fantasies resonate: “If

we are.” After reclaiming their independence,

I stumble, they’re gonna eat me alive,” but

Metric no longer feels like “an employee of a

Haines didn’t eat me alive, instead, she inspired

massive corporation.” Haines is triumphant.

independence, spontaneity, and truth in 2010.

“All you really need is an initial sum of money…

We at Parlour can relate.•





TEXT • Andrea Dorrans PHOTO • Wilkosz + Way

STYLIST • Carl Abad

Wear your Worth Carl Abad’s goal is to make Calgary prettier. Sporting various patterns and plaids in an inspired medley of wool, silk, and denim, Carl could hold his own in any major fashion city. “It’s about the presentation of your worth, [in a sense] it is superficial, it’s not who we are, but we can present ourselves in our clothing, [because] everyone doesn’t have a half an hour for you to tell them about yourself.” While the average fashionista rarely thinks beyond the confines of their closet, this tour-deforce designer and stylist is passionate about sharing his talent. “It’s all about the reaction, to see someone stand taller and have more confidence in themselves is so rewarding ... the difference they see when their clothing matches their personality and fits properly. I have had so many clients beaming with smiles ear to ear with stories of how people reacted to their new refined image. Their worries of how they look disappear and they are able to focus on positive goals in their life.” Fashion is not the first thing people relate with Calgary, and indeed there was a time when MEC was considered the height of style. But Carl is determined to change that. “Dressing properly is not a girly gay thing ... the captain of your hockey team (Jarome Iginla) is my number one client, these are men and they’re fine to wear plaid and bright coloured socks.” With nearly 20 years experience, Carl has dressed some of Calgary’s finest. His elaborate client list includes City TV, Calgary Herald, Avenue Magazine, Fast Forward, Marks, Aids Calgary, Bankers Hall, and The Core. Styled by Carl Abad, and shot by Wilkosz + Way, the following vignettes glimpse into Carl’s colourful history. “I’m one of those people—when an opportunity is presented I go for it. You just never know where it will lead...”


Fresh out of high school, a young Abad studied metal-smithing and jewellery design at the Alberta College of Art. “I always had an interest in jewellery and making stuff, so I started playing around with tools in my dad’s garage. My sister, who is a huge influence in my life growing up, loved what I was doing so I went full force.” ACAD was a turning point in Carl’s life; it was there that he discovered an outlet for his creative energy. “Going to ACAD taught me so much about life, the programs pushed me to explore different mediums and understand the connection of conceptual idea Skirt by House of Nonie

to design.” An English course and an Art Theory

Top from Holt Renfrew

course shy of his degree, Carl moved on. “I wasn’t

Jewellery by abad design

interested in the scholastic side of studying design,

Shoes from Gravity Pope

I’d learned the skills, that was enough for me.”

Underwhelmed by the drudgery of college academia and overwhelmed by a desire to explore his interest in fashion styling, Carl Abad travelled to London. “The whole experience was a triumph. I highly recommend every young creative person in love with fashion to go to London.” It was in this fashion-forward city where Abad found his strut. He worked as a freelance stylist with some of UK’s top fashion figures and worked at Diesel as a visual stylist and merchandiser. “Even coming five feet from these people was a thrill. It inspired me to follow my passion and know that there are no rules when it comes to your dreams.” Never-

Jacket by Songkla,

theless, living in one of the most

Dress from Cat’s Eye Vintage

expensive cities in the world

Watches from Cat’s Eye Vintage

proved exhaustive.

Bag from Holt Renfrew Shoes from Gravity Pope

So Carl took London international. “[I was] throwing these London-based parties called London Calling in other countries. We started with one in Vancouver then Australia and finally South Africa.” Johannesburg, a city of over seven million, known as the crime capital of Africa, is not for the faint of heart, but Carl was characteristically bold. “I’m walking around by myself at 4am handing out flyers ... it was all about learning something, my whole life has been a learning curve, I’d get bored if it wasn’t.” And that little party he threw—it ended up on CNN World Report.

Dress by House of Nonie Jewellery from Rubaiyat Sunglasses from Brass Monocle Shoes from Gravity Pope Leggings from Holt Renfrew

In 2005 Carl returned to Calgary and opened a store called Worth, a virtual display case for his love of fashion. “People think that Calgary has no culture, but we do, what we need is more of a showcase for it, a little more unity.” Worth, described by Carl as a “well-edited collection of exclusive labels for men and women who desire to express their style,” was a favourite destination for Calgary’s fashionistas. But independent business is a tricky boat to float. “Half of 17th [avenue] is gone, more stores are about to shut down, it’s because people go to malls.” After four years, Worth has succumbed to “this stupid recession.” But all is not lost; Carl has more than a few things on the go, and besides, not all aspects of running a boutique suited




example]—I’m not going to benefit from accounting because I can’t make accounting pretty.” Wallpaper “dress” from Rollout Earrings from Primitive Culture Necklaces, bracelet, belt from Cat’s Eye Vintage Shoes from Gravity Pope

Freed from the lackluster world of pushing papers and adding (and subtracting) digits, Carl is ready to resurrect. “I know that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.” Represented by AW Management, he’s relaunching his styling company and getting back to his roots with a new jewellery line (abad design). And although his adventurous spirit may lead him to the ends of the earth, rest assured Calgary, Carl will bring the beauty back home, “I love this city.”

Dress and belt from Cat’s Eye Vintage Top from Holt Renfrew Necklaces and earrings from Primitive Culture Ring from Rubaiyat Leggings from Leo Boutique Shoes from Gravity Pope

hallelujah RESURRECTION P H O T O G R A P H Y: L a u r a M a r g a re t R a m s e y A S S I S TA N T: D u s t y M i l l e r STYLING: Miranda Watson MAKEUP: Olga Onulov HAIR: Serah Rose-Pure Form Salon & Studio MODE MODELS: Veronica Ostermann & April Kargard


Brunette Top: Bamboo Ballroom, Edmonton Ostrich Feather Skirt: Coco & Violet, Calgary Tights: Stylists Own Blonde Dress (under): Bamboo Ballroom, Edmonton Vintage Sequinned Skirt (over dress): Chosen Boutique, Calgary ( Belt: Coco & Violet, Calgary Tights: Stylist Own Jewellery: Stylist Own

Crown: Photographers own

Fur Vest: Coco & Violet, Calgary

Blonde Dress: Bamboo Ballroom, Edmonton Belt: Coco & Violet, Calgary Necklace: Millicent Designs Brunette Dress: Betsy Johnson, Calgary Vintage Bracelet: Chosen Boutique, Calgary ( Daisy Chain headpiece: Millicent Designs

Sequinned Vest: Coco & Violet, Calgary Necklace: Millicent Designs

leather vest: Coco & Violet, Calgary Silk top: Coco & Violet, Calgary

PHOTO • Clayton Didier MODEL • Mariel Bagdan


HAIR • Pam Poch from Venus Hair Artisans MAKEUP • Amber Victoria Prepchuk



Pam Poch from Venus Hair Artisans This season, when it comes to your skin, it’s about a fresh awakening with gloss and light reflecting finishes. Use a highlighting cream under a hydrating foundation and even go the extra mile with a gloss texture pressed into the high planes of the face and the centre of your lid. The look is attainable, and the attitude is unconcerned. Use natural nudes as your prime look, and integrate washes of colour to the lip, cheek, or eye. No harsh lines, no over-perfection, just beauty in its natural, sensual state. So this spring, don’t be afraid to get wet!


Amber Victoria Prepchuk “Every choice of a look or a way of life is right if it originates from a courageous soul and if it asserts the individuality of a person” – Maria Vittoria Mangiarotti Hairstyles used to be dictated by trends, a few key looks each season. But for spring 2010, your individuality is being called upon. Curly or straight, teased or slicked, shiny or matte – feel encouraged to wear them all. With the latest resin technology, Davines Artistic Tools for Wizards will help you craft any look. We don’t wear the same clothes everyday, why should we wear the same hairstyle? Remember, your hair is a powerful accessory. If your locks are feeling frayed after the dry winter, try Davines Melu Shampoo and Conditioner for Long or Damaged hair to restore and protect. With so many options and very little shock value left in the world, it’s time to experiment and be bold!

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TEXT & PHOTO • Leah Bailly


Fact: Freetown is a city of a million people, two thirds of whom live in slums. 3:37 am— I’m supposed to be sleeping. My boyfriend has zonked out completely, drool-face down into a Best Western Queen-Size in central Seattle. Tonight, over mussels and merlot, we toasted our trip abroad: “To the chimps!” “To eating goat!” “To peace in Sierra Leone!” Now, I’m scouring the guidebook for clues, sipping cheap American bubbly and trying to get sleepy, trying to ignore my fear and dread and general mania. Tomorrow morning we are flying from Seattle to Paris to Dakar to Banjul. Our plan, despite our better judgment, is to land in West Africa’s war-ravaged darling, Freetown. Fact: Sierra Leone sees only 4000 tourists each year. 11:04 am— “You are going to my home!” the clerk at the Air France desk is a grinning Abdul from Burkina Faso; he’s thrilled we are heading to West Africa. After a quick look through our liquids, he points to our large bottles of sunscreen, beaming. “But you cannot take such sizes with you!” We make the mistake of trying to give the stuff to him, he shakes his head emphatically. “No!” Abdul bellows, and my boyfriend makes a joke about not needing sunscreen in rainy Seattle. “No! Look!” He shoves his flawless dark arm in front of us, and we blush. “I am black!” We can hear Abdul giggling all the way to the gate. Fact: The average life expectancy of a Sierra Leonean is 41.8 years. 9:18 pm— We are only halfway done the first flight, and after eating the beef bourguignon and the chocolate pudding, even having sipped the complimentary cognac, I still can’t sleep. I’ve watched the romantic comedy, the fashion documentary, we’ll be on board for 10 hours. Paris is a mere 8044-kilometre flight from Seattle, and I won’t sleep a minute. Our trip to Sierra Leone will be short, I remind myself— two months will flash by. I down my second cognac in one gulp, but it won’t bring sleep, only that instant airplane hangover. Fact: The average yearly salary for a worker in Sierra Leone is $209 US a year. 10:07 am— After a snowy metro ride into downtown Paris, we are excited and hungry. Paris in the morning! When we emerge at the Notre Dame and snap photos and shiver as snow pelts our light jackets, everything feels fun again. In the street-side café, we order onion soup and Croq Monsieurs and two café au laits each and by the time we’ve jumped back on the metro, we’ve spent a Sierra Leonean fortune. Back in the airport, we count on our fingers how stupid we’ve been. We’ve blown a year’s salary in Freetown on training into Paris for lunch. Fact: Sierra Leone is third to last on the UN Quality of Life Index. 6:45 pm— I doze for five unsettled minutes, my mouth open, and as I snooze the plane turns


African, somehow. Footprints appear on the toilet seat. The little televisions are full of Lucky Dube. One row up, a dubious looking man has started stashing blankets and muffins into his carry-on. We hit turbulence and the young mother passes her shrieking baby along the line of cooing grandmothers. The pilferer starts to pray loudly in French joined by several others onboard; the stewardess is visibly annoyed. We have 4223 kilometres to go. I can’t stop reciting the facts, each more harrowing than the last. Fact: One in six mothers in Sierra Leone die during childbirth, one in four children die before four years old. 9:56 pm— The passengers sprint ahead for the immigration line-up, leaving us dawdling across the tarmac, sweating in the humid night. Our arrival in Dakar is a mess of customs and baggage claims, the taxi-man insisting on double fare, our chosen hotel is “plus chère” than advertised. Nevertheless, the generous bar girls offer us midnight beers with a wink. We promise ourselves we’ll swim tomorrow before our flight to Freetown, but the night is full of ravaging mosquitoes. The grim statistics swarm around me in my sleep; we wake late, our faces covered in worrisome welts. Fact: Only 18% of women over 18 in Sierra Leone can read. 11:04 am— We aren’t even sure that Arik Air, “The Wings of Nigeria” really exists, but when we arrive at the airport, the decorous attendant proves otherwise. Again with the liquids, the clerk smiles sadly and says, “You wouldn’t want to miss your trip to Freetown.” I don’t mention that the trip was a year in the making, the tickets had taken weeks to purchase, the visas and inoculations alone were five times the clerk’s monthly salary; we would have happily tossed those liquids before missing this flight. Onboard, there is Nescafé and a cracker, each. I read the facts out loud, and the other passengers lean in to listen. We are the only Westerners past Banjul. Fact: After nearly 10 years of civil war, Sierra Leone has celebrated peace since 2002. 4:30 pm— Four customs agents, two visa checkers, one official policeman and one army official later, we are through the Lungi Airport, on Sierra Leonean soil. Friends of friends lead us, nearly by the hand, through the throngs of hawkers and touts, outside to the red dirt roads, past the UN bunkers, past the stalls selling chips and soap and not much else, to the line of motorcycles they have waiting. We are whisked away, helmetless, along a dusty track, full of holes. The heat is thick and wet around us and we can’t help but grin. They are driving too fast, the kids lining the roads shout at us, waving, the smell of burning garbage and my driver’s hair oil wafting at us. Three days and 14 000 kilometres later, the list of harrowing facts seems to melt away. The newly-painted sign in Lungi cheerfully Welcomes You to Sweet Salone. Tonight, despite myself, I’ll fall into a deep, grateful sleep. •


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01 She & Him, Volume 2 She can act, she can sing, she has flirty, feminine style that makes us smile. Our girl Zooey Deschanel collaborates again with Matt Ward to bring you Volume Two of She & Him, music for an “eternal springtime,” out March 23rd. Run. 02 If you wanna know what’s going on and where the best shops are in Calgary, is just a finger tip away. 03 David Hart’s new ties Made from Thomas Mason shirting materials. Really digging the blue cotton oxford cloth one. 04 Plum Tipsy These little charms are made from one-of-a-kind antique pieces and recycled jewellery found at antique and second-hand stores. Not only will you be wearing a completely original piece, but something that was made with love. 05 Maccha Cappuccino You slowly fall in love with Maccha Green Tea, first taste was interesting but you add soy milk and you’re hooked. I’m convinced it has magical powers and can be found at Credo Cafe. 06 Broken Bells Imagine indie rock king James Mercer of the Shins and new-age hip hop producer Danger Mouse, mastermind of Gnarls Barkley and the Grey Album, in the same room making sweet sweet music. A hipster’s wet dream. 07 Tocca As if Tocca’s whimsical packaging wasn’t enough to entice a fragrance switch among female masses, they also offer a perfect portable companion for all the busy bees out there, a solid perfume in an array of scents. Charming and dainty, these sweet smelling solids make a lovely little gift or a special (and necessary!) personal indulgence for any girl on the go. 08 Boyfriend Handbook If you have a boyfriend, you need this book, trust me. 09 Soda Press Pocket Purse Mirrors These precious pocket purse mirrors are made from vintage fabric, wallpaper and wrapping paper – perfect for sneaky touch-ups and discreet spying alike. 10 Wooden Textiles Elisa Strozyk has found a way to make the idea of a wooden carpet make sense. 11 Beach House, Teen Dream I have been way too obsessed with this album over the past month. Teen Dream is the third album from Beach House and quite possibly the bands best delivery yet. Let Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally chime you to sleep with this haunting yet dreamy pop opus. 12 Zig Zag tights These zig zag tights by Look From London are sure to take a cocktail dress from drab to fab quick. 13 Calla Haynes Paris based canadian darling Calla Haynes is changing the way we see prints. bold and abstract, but feminine and sexy…

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