SMJ Magazine Fall 2013 Issue 2

Page 1

Fall 2013 Issue#2


An Introduction to

Couture & Culture 2014


Designer of a

An Exclusive Interview FOOD TIPS for a

Healthy Lifestyle



into the NEW season with


Men’sin Fashion Streetsville

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Fall 2013 Issue#2

An Introduction to

Couture & Culture 2014


Profile Designer of a


An Exclusive Interview

Healthy Lifestyle


into the NEW season with


Men’s Fashion in



Streetsville Printed By

89 Graphics & Printing About that ‘DOT” on SJ Magazine...

Many of you readers will notice something different about our second issue. SJ Magazine has acquired a dot with an “M” in it. Our magazine is growing very fast, so we made the change to enhance our branding while hardly changing the logo. And yes, the “M” is the third initial of our Founder and Publisher!

All rights reserved, no part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without the written permission from the publisher. We make conscious efforts to ensure complete and accuracy in all editorial content. However, we accept no liability for any inaccurate information. We do not necessary support any products or services advertised herein.

SMJ Magazine | Fall 2013

SMJ is a division of Seventh House Publishing Arts. © 2013

Fall 2013 Issue No. 2 Founder & Publisher Shelley Jarrett Editor-in-Chief Andrew Terry Pasieka Art Director Sharean Edwards Fairman Staff Reporter Andrea E. Levy Entertainment Reporter Caroline Dinnall Contributing Writers Shelley Jarrett Andrew Terry Pasieka Andrea E. Levy Beverley Miller Wendy Sammut Mark Steele

Photographer Lubin Tasevski


LIM Media Group Inc.®


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From the Desk of Shelley


Fall in the new season with DENIM by Shelley Jarrett


Jockey Person to Person Designer on Denims by Andrew Terry Pasieka



Food Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle by J. Beverly Edwards-Miller BASc, RD


My Journey by Wendy Sammut


The Full Spectrum of Health by Mark Steele


BUSINESS 8 Profile of a Designer: A Life of Full Circles (Exclusive Interview) by Andrew Terry Pasieka 14 Couture and Culture comes to the GTA in January (2014) by Andrew Terry Pasieka 15 Meeting Couture and Culture’s Headline Designer by Andrew Terry Pasieka 17 Taking Dominion of a Dream by Andrea E. Levy



Distinctive Men’s Fashion in Streetsville by Andrew Terry Pasieka

11 Everything you wanted to know about Men’s Fashion by Andrew Terry Pasieka

About our Contributing Writers Andrea E. Levy

J. Beverley Edwards-Miller BASc, RD

Wendy Sammut

An Honors Having As a Broadcast spent over Registered Journalism 20 years graduate Dietitian, I journaling, and is the love sharing studying recipient with peoeastern of the Best ple about philosophy, Student Documenhealthy teaching and tary Award exploring living and at the yogic enjoy doing Speak Up practices, she presents her so on teleFilm Festival, 2007. Andrea is vision, radio, in magazines, at experiences and ponderings a Playwright and the author of many works such as: The businesses, churches, schools, to the reader through articles, poetry and short stories. She Interview, Judge Judah and Mi health fairs, and more! has taught traditional hatha yoga Left Eye a Jump. and meditation since 1996 which She serves on the Board of Directors and is the Communicaincluded specialized work for the tions Director for the non-profit Mississauga M.S. Society and organization, Embrace WomCMHA (Halton Region). SMJ Magazine | Fall 2013 en’s Services.

Mark Steele Is the founder of Steele Force Training and an independent personal trainer. With over 4 years of practice in the field of health and wellness, Mark has trained, coached, and taught a wide range of clients in the 5 aspects of overall health. Steele Force Training operates under an inspiring philosophy: “Progress is determined by direction, not speed. Slow down if you need to, but never stop moving forward.” 3

Summer of Achievements


SMJ Magazine | Fall 2013

From the Desk of



all is my favourite season. Why? It is the season of change (the trees, flowers, some of our food choices, clothes and colors). Oh, what a great summer it was! Carefree days, having fun with family and friends, BBQ’s, picnics, festivals, red carpet events, drives out to the cottage. It all seemed to be gone in the wink of an eye.

As the days begin to shorten, and the mornings and evenings get cooler, we should remind ourselves why change is a good thing. Change is not always comfortable, but it is necessary and it is consistent. We evolve each and every day. Each day should bring us experiences that cause us to reach beyond where we are currently. In my last issue I talked about “Discovering my Purpose in Life”. I said it took me almost a lifetime to discover who I really was and how to embrace it with love and acceptance. Coming into your own is not as easy as one would like it to be. It calls for a lot of soul searching and forgiveness. Many of you reading this should realize you are not alone. All our stories are similar; they just are filled with different experiences. My hope is that you are inspired to “keep on keepin’on”. My goal is to pass on a legacy of leadership to the next generation of leaders.

As you read the stories in this issue of SMJ Magazine, my wish is that you are encouraged to see where there is room for positive change within your own lives. Whether you are starting a business, taking yourself to the next level by improving your image, or making adjustments to your health, it all involves change. Remember change is a constant occurrence if we want to be successful. Embrace it and evolve into your best self. As you know, there is no such thing as perfect time to begin, so start where you are at and make changes along the way. Last but not least, remember your potential is unlimited. Your talent will take you in the direction you should go. Step into your purpose, become an expert in your passion, and stay faithful. Above all, be authentic in whatever you do. You will prevail in life. l

S.M.Jarrett Publisher

SMJ Magazine | Fall 2013





By Shelley Jarrett


t is safe to say that denim is my favorite staple casual wear item. I am excited to see that denim is in full force for this season! There is nothing more comforting than putting on a favorite pair of jeans, unless it is putting on a new favorite! Nowadays jeans are made to fit and flatter every body type. When looking at your wardrobe, staples do not have to be standard and safe. This newest fad may be the perfect time to amp your denim and go glam. With so many styles to choose from, why not consider being bold with your jeans and making the accessories more conservative (i.e., blouses, pullover sweaters, sunglasses and ankle boots). Don’t be shy about accentuating those great curves of yours. Girls, that’s the one big advantage our denims will have over guys and their jeans!! If you have been fitted properly you will look good. If you look good you will feel good. From that will come charisma and style sense, and the development of your


own clothing personality. All these attitude confidence boosters help to accentuate the best features of your personal body type, which in turn define your image. And if you have done it well, you are branded! l WAIST SIZE 34 35 ½ 37 ½ 39 ½ 41 ½ 43 ½ 45 ½ 47 ½

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YOUR SIZE 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26




styles of 5 pocket denims 1. Boot cut 2. Straight cut 3. Skinny/ankle cut 4. Flared cut 5. Jeggings (A type of jeans leggings)


SMJ Magazine | Fall 2013

JOCKEY PERSON TO PERSON DESIGNER ON DENIMS By Andrew Terry Pasieka MJ Magazine was fortunate to catch up with Sunil Ramchandani, Senior Fashioner Designer for Jockey Person To Person®, when he was in Mississauga recently to unveil the company’s fall line. We first asked Sunil what makes denims an essential part of a women’s wardrobe. And why have denims remained so popular over generations? Sunil responded by talking about changes in designer attitudes over time. “Jeans were first something that was just worn on weekends, and only in certain settings. Then they became part of a women’s overall casual wear. Now with high end designer jeans, it is not unusual to see denims on the red carpet. There is a more relaxed attitude not seen twenty years ago.” Because of the five distinct body types that women have, we then wanted to find out if there are certain rules that apply to the types of denims you should wear. Sunil was adamant in emphasizing that the rise and leg style of each type of jean has to be balanced with the uniqueness of each body shape. With that in mind, it was time to cross reference the five body shapes with the five denim styles. It comes as no


surprise that the hourglass shape can wear all five styles (straight cut, boot cut, ankle cut, flared cut, and jeggings-a type of jean legging). Because of Sunil Ramchandani Senior Fashioner Designer the dominant Jockey Person To Person® bust of the strawberry shape, a flared cut would best balance them out. Boot cuts would work best for apple and pear shapes, because it would make the legs appear longer in the former, and balance out the hips in the latter. Pencil shapes would look best in ankle cuts because it would take away any excess length in the legs. Pencils could also wear straight cuts or jeggings, if the narrowness of the jean if offset by something bold and big above the waist (i.e., frills to accentuate femininity). In the final analysis, what makes a great denim fit? “They have to feel comfortable and compliment your body shape, to the extent of being flattering.” It is because there is such a strong social attachment to what denims should look like on a woman that you have to go the extra mile. Ramchandani left us with a couple of tips in the care of jeans. It is one thing to throw those faded beach cut offs or those clubbing jeans with the ripped knees in the wash, but your designer denims need extra special care. To keep that dark indigo color, Sunil recommends dry cleaning. However, if the jeans are neither soiled nor stained, just “not fresh,” a trick that no one would think of is to turn the jeans inside out, place them in an oversize zip lock bag, and place them in a freezer. “It kills the bacteria without changing the color.” Whatever you do, “watch the wash.” “The worst mistake people make with jeans is to wash them far too often.” l Jockey Person To Person is a trademark of Jockey International, Inc. Visit or

“Our publisher looking fab in flared denims!”

SMJ Magazine | Fall 2013




An Exclusive Interview By Andrew Terry Paseika


alene Grotrian’s life has been punctuated by a daring prophecy as a child, followed by an uncanny series of related occurrences and opportunities and some bold business strategies. This has catapulted Malene into the frenzy of fashion’s forerunners, and into the spotlight of Vancouver society’s elite. How appropriate that she is spearheading an event as we are going to press which is called Full Circle. (Ed. Note: She is obviously someone who understand the dynamics of the Hippocrates’ quote from our inaugural issue “life is short and art is long.” Fame and fortune can come with leaving legacies, but it does not necessarily work the other way around.) Full Circle Fashion Event is taking place on September 24th, in support of OVCARE, a research team operating out of the University of British Columbia and working towards a cure for ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is the most seri-


ous of all gynecological cancers, with a 75% mortality rate. Members of the OVCARE team will be present for the evening along with a number of West Coast VIPs. Also included is a cocktail reception, silent auction & raffles, and a couture runway with celebrity models launching the Malene Grotrian Design fall & winter 2013 “Collage collection.” For Malene, her involvement with Ovarian Cancer Canada and specifically with OVCARE is one of her boldest of business strategies. She is banking on the efforts of Malene Grotrian Design to generate the funds necessary to the success of the event, with the proceeds from Full Circle going to OVCARE, and then residual benefits such as new clientele coming “full circle” to the Grotrian store from the attendees of the event. Part of the company’s mission “is to advance OVCARE’S research and make a difference in the lives of women and their families.” The networking which will take place is what Malene has termed “value caring.” She is giving back to the community by planting a seed which has reaped harvest in a couple of key ways. For example, the local celebrity models who have volunteered in past events have become clients of MGD. Her first major event was as the featured entertainment in a celebrity fashion show for Ovarian Cancer Canada in 2011 called Gala Glam Give, which raised $120,000 for OVCARE. “A lot of money was raised for the charity, but I met a woman that night who was an ovarian cancer survivor and who today is my brand ambassador.” Grotrian explains her ground-breaking strategy. “My involvement with charity is absolutely a key component of my business, I realized that if I get involved with the community one person CAN make a difference & also support charity as a form of doing business.” Quite a coup for this 33-year old who grew up in Denmark as the only daughter in a household with two brothers. She was just eight years old, sitting in a classroom in her homeland, when she had her prophetic moment. She remembers raising her hand and saying she wanted to be a fashion designer and run her own business. “I thought it was normal that people just knew what they wanted to be. That is how certain I was.” What role did family play in your career decision? “I cannot say enough about them,” Malene enthuses. “I grew up in a very supportive environment. My father owned his own business, so I guess I got the entrepreneurial bug from him.”

SMJ Magazine | Fall 2013

A graduate in fashion design of Teko Design Center in Denmark in 2004, she furthered her skills in Italy. She moved to Canada with her Danish boyfriend to spend two years in fashion school and interning for a Canadian award winning designer. Eight years later they are still here; Malene is firmly entrenched in the Vancouver fashion scene with a boutique in trendy Gastown. She worked with leading Canadian designers for four years after she graduated, developing an interest in professional and evening women’s wear that flattered the female form. Her first breakthrough came when she created her signature bustier, which became so heavily sought after that she realized it was time to branch out on her own. It was in that first year of business that another set of circumstances produced a “full circle”experience. She was working with a jewelry designer and put out a collaborative campaign catalogue, which got them invited to Vancouver Fashion Week. There her work caught the eye of Chicago fashion designer Joseph Damingo, who had connections to the Big Apple. Malene takes it from here. “Out of the blue I get a call from a producer of New York Fashion Week who says my work has caught the attention of a number of influential people, and they would like me to bring my line to New York. Well, I must have been really out of it because I said that I was in the middle of something and could I get back to him. I don’t know what I was thinking, it was just another guy I had to call back. It wasn’t until later when I told my publicist about it and she started screaming that I realized it might be a big deal.” To say New York Fashion Week was a big deal is putting it mildly. “That week was a complete turn key in my business. I would not be where I am today without that week.” An innovative idea that Malene came up with which has added another dimension to Malene Grotrian Design are private “in-boutique” fashion shows for six to ten women. We asked her if this is unique in the industry. “Absolutely. It ties in with our philanthropic events because a lot of the women who show interest do so because they have come to our high end charity shows and are attracted to the exclusivity of what we are offering on a much smaller scale. Private invitations are sent out, and the women are

wined, dined, and pampered while receiving one-on-one mentoring on their wardrobe.” Malene holds one or two of these nights every month, and estimates she has already staged upwards of seventy of these evenings. Before closing, we at SMJ Magazine wanted to highlight Malene Grotrian the professional. She has a nonpareil approach to her craft that are epitomized by how she relates custom fit to custom design, and then design to creation. To Malene, custom design is a step above custom fit, because the client is getting all of the designer’s talents in shaping the final outfit. However, she would like to think of herself of more of a fashion creator than designer. “I don’t know if fashion designer is the proper term for what I do. I like to think that I am more of a creator. To me, creation is being open to the entire scope of things. My medium of creative design is a blank canvass. I do not go into the design process with a lot of preconceived notions. My real partner in creating a piece is the material I am working with. As a rule I do not look at fashion magazines. I do not follow what other designers are doing. That is why when someone asks me to comment on the latest trends, I tell them I don’t know.” Her goals have remained constant throughout her career: to inspire women to feel beautiful and feel more confident about their beauty. By staying true to herself in this belief, she stays true to her brand. And, we might conclude, she stays open to opportunities to come “full circle!” l

Tel: 604.568.0666 Website:

SMJ Magazine | Fall 2013



MEN’S FASHION in Streetsville: 54 YEARS OF LADNER’S CLOTHIERS By Andrew Terry Paseika


he president of the Streetsville B.I.A. is the head of a family business. While that may not be surprising for Mississauga’s quaint “Village-in-the-City,” what is surprising is that Todd Ladner is the President of Ladner’s Clothiers, a men’s apparel store. That today in the era of big box, big corporation, and franchise chain clothing establishments, Ladner’s celebrating fifty-four years of making men look good is no small feat.

three doors north.

maintained its presence on Queen Street for all of its fiftyfour years. The current location is only

Todd Ladner did his share of grunt work for his father growing up, but joined the business in earnest after graduating from university in Ottawa in 1982. He wound up managing their satellite store which was operating at that time out of Meadowvale Town Center. With the end of the eighties came the end of the satellite store. The parent store moved three doors north in 1989-90 to a much larger space, amalgamating inventory with the Ladner’s has come by their success closing satellite store. by being consistent in a number of key areas. First, founder Eric With that closure in mind, I asked Ladner (Todd’s father) had a good Todd Ladner to look at some of the grounding in the field. He arrived other trials Ladner’s has had to face in the Mississauga area in 1959 over the last half century. “We have from Prince Edward Island with had to deal with tremendous swings several years’ experience managing in economies and environments men’s wear stores there. Second, he over time, as well as fashion trends identified a need. He met Todd’s for men. In 1959, Streetsville was a mother Mary who was a Streetsville self-contained village. Mississauga girl, and noticed that the village had wasn’t built up much past Eglinton. no store featuring men’s clothing. There were no malls, no fax machines, no internet, and no social Third and fourth, Eric Ladner media. Men’s fashion was much started small and developed a more limiting than even women’s. consistent visible presence. Ladner’s Everyone in business wore a suit had its humble beginnings at 226 daily.” Queen Street, less than half the size of the current location. And it has We are showing our age at SMJ, 10 SMJ Magazine | Fall 2013

but can verify that last statement. If you were anybody in Toronto in the late fifties and early sixties, you had a seat at Maple Leaf Gardens in the Golds, Reds or Greens , and you watched your beloved Leafs win four Stanley Cups in the 1960s while wearing a white shirt and tie. The family business has not only survived but thrived. According to Ladner, their success has been built on four cornerstones: fashion, quality, value, and service. “We provide clothing not found anywhere else in Mississauga. As far as I know, we are the only men’s clothing store to have five separate Canadian suppliers. We pay attention to detail. We have no long agreements with suppliers, to minimize any disadvantageous cost situation which has to be passed down to the customer. We have a full time tailor shop.” We couldn’t leave without asking Ladner about an American supplier that Ladner’s is renowned for: Robert Graham. Todd Ladner enthuses, “Robert Graham is a California designer that ship exclusively to us in Ontario.” It is their shirts that they are the best known for, both formal dress and evening semi-casual. The high quality comes from the detail in the shirts. And finally, what about Ladner’s fifty-fourth fall fashion season? What is exciting about this time of year? (Actually, the editor-in-

chief wanted to ask this particular question to show the other members of the SMJ Team that if they can be fashionstas, then he can be a fashionister!) The first trend that Todd Ladner sees is like the fall season itself—a change of colors. “Blacks and charcoals from last year are being supplanted by deep browns and burgandys.” The Ladner team are buying for spring 2014 at the same time they are receiving the fall line, so they are better able to

predict trends. There is a swing to lightweight wools that stretch and breathe, and also to forms of silk. The closely fit or tapered suit is firmly entrenching itself as a continuing trend into 2014.

boutique-on-the-street?!? More importantly, Todd Ladner wants to stay one step ahead of the big box, big corporate, and franchise chains and the pressure of downward pricing they create which comes with huge inventories and wide style variations. “In the final analysis, there is no substitute for quality in both sales and service.”

In closing, we asked the namesake of Ladner’s if he had any worlds left to conquer, any dreams yet unfulfilled. Todd Ladner responded by saying that he wants to expand on the uniqueness of his And, we might add, there is no establishment within the Village- substitute for Ladner’s Clothiers. l in-the-City. Perhaps a male



hile we had Todd Ladner captive at his “office” at the back of his store, we thought we might pick his brain so that us men might be able to at least compete with their women on a minor scale. So we asked some pointed questions to achieve that. Here are his answers. • Finish this sentence. Every women’s closet should have a little black dress. Every men’s closet should have…a slim fitting, silhouette dark suit (black/ charcoal/deep navy) • How do you pick a dress shirt? You should buy as a co-ordinate with a suit, or boldly patterned if being worn with dress slacks only. • Are white shirts still staple items for men? No, they are more formal and special occasion wear. • Finish this sentence. You buy a tie to match…the suit, not the shirt. If you are following the trend of no jacket and only dress slacks, then the tie can be bold to define your personality. • Cuff links yes or no? Yes, but usually for formal and special occasions. If every day, cuff links should be identity based. (For example, little bears or bulls if you work at the Stock Exchange) • Rules on wearing sweaters? The market is very soft; only soft knits that take the place of sport jackets are in. Pullovers are out. Turtlenecks are out. • Rules on socks and shoes? The style on socks have completely changed; bold and strong patterns are in. Dress boots (like the “Beatlemania” style from the mid-sixties) are in; shoes in general are heading towards tapered toe and two-tiered. Different color laces are in.

Magazine | Fall And I am sure if we ask nicely, ToddSMJ Ladner will help us men2013 out again next spring! -- ATP


Around The Town


SMJ Magazine | Fall 2013

Food Tips for a

Healthy Lifestyle

By J. Beverley Edwards-Miller (BASc, Registered Dietician)

e’ve been hearing in the news of excess. We now have too much, W lately that this will be the and it’s killing us! In particular, the first generation where children die food we eat has the power to either younger than their parents. Wow! You’d think that with all the health information available to us today, with all the medical advances, with all the technological wonders at our fingertips, this would be the first generation where everyone lived to be over 100 years old! Is it possible that the health information we have is wrong, or that medical science is really not advancing, or that technology really isn’t our friend?

harm us or heal us. But, with all the conflicting information that we’re bombarded with every day about what we should and shouldn’t eat, how are we supposed figure out what’s best?

Interestingly, research shows that the foods that will enhance our longevity are plant foods! Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. But, is it really possible to get positive effect. all the nutrition we need just from When we look closely at what’s these foods? Absolutely!! This week when you are groceryhappening, we realize that people shopping, be sure to stock up on are no longer dying from poverty The more I study this subject, the autumn’s bounty, fresh from the and infectious diseases like they did a more sense it makes to me that one of harvest. Revitalize your body century ago but, rather, from diseases the most powerful ways we can start with nature’s goodness as you to promote our own good health delight in all the delectable plant is to eat more raw plant foods available. I’m talking about foods every day. Eating dark, leafy greens, juicy, succulent them fresh – with all the fruits, and delicious, life-enhancing nutrients intact – is vastly vegetables. Here’s one of my juicing better for our bodies than recipes I hope you’ll try: eating all cooked foods – where much of the nutrient 4 large carrots, 2 stalks celery, 1 value is diminished from cucumber (peeled), 1 medium-sized the cooking process. beet, and 1 apple Allow me to share with you what I’ve been doing lately. After learning how powerfully revitalizing raw plant foods are for us, I’ve been drinking vegetable juices (real vegetables, not V-8!) every day. I started noticing subtle improvements in my eyesight several weeks after starting on the vegetable juices, and you know what? At my annual eye appointment, lo and behold, my optometrist advised me that she needed to decrease my lens prescription! I knew it!!! I was right that the vegetable juices were having a wonderfully

SMJ Magazine | Fall 2013

You will need a good juicer to ENJOY nature’s goodness. This recipe will yield around 4 cups. Try to drink it all in one day. To see some wonderful changes in your energy level and overall health, try juicing daily for a week. Alas, if you are diabetic, the natural sugars in this juice will not be the best for you. We’ll talk about diabetes another time. Cheers to great health, everyone! Website: http://www. theveggieliciousdietitian.blogspot. com Facebook: https://www.facebook. com/beverley.edwardsmiller


Couture & Culture


By Andrew Terry Pasieka


t a press announcement held in Don Mills on August 25th, a new initiative in fashion will be hitting the runway in the Greater Toronto Area next January 18th. Called Couture and Culture, the event will celebrative the multicultural aspect of the industry. The announcement was made by Claris Manglicmot, Executive Producer of the event. On hand to announce the new venture were the other organizers, Ron Batas, Boots and Beth Del Rosario, and Christeta Tabliago. The organizers come to Couture And Culture from varied backgrounds. Claris Manglicmot’s experience has been in the fields of hospitality, sales and marketing. Recently, she added show and film production to her repertoire. Ron Batas has been involved in public accounting and supports the team in communications and financial matters. Boots and Beth Del Rosario have brought to the team their support in wardrobe management. Christeta Tabliago is a registered nurse, but she has been very active in various fundraising events involving the Filipino community. Claris Manglicmot, also introduced the headlining designer for the event, John Ablaza, who is marking his twenty-fifth year in the fashion industry. Manglicmot was generous in her praise of the amazing women’s fashions Ablaza has been able to create using natural organic materials.

when he was featured at Roy Thompson Hall in Canada Philippine Fashion Week, which coincided with the 115th Philippine In dependence Day celebrations Guests at the announcement were treated to a light buffet and examples of Ablaza’s work. Manglicmot wanted to emphasize that an important aim of Couture And Culture was the opportunity to give back to the community. There is to be a platform for relatively unknown multicultural designers (for example, African, Asian, Canadian, Middle Eastern) to illustrate their work and have their fashions worn by professional models. “No matter how boldly creative they are, many designers have no avenue to showcase their skills. We want to share this night with them.” l

Ablaza said he would use this great opportunity to showcase what can be done with organic materials and the latest trends in fashion from his homeland of the Philippines. Ablaza then mentioned a very interesting fact, and one that lays claim to the amazing nature of his work. He directed the attendees attention to the main display, and stated that the dress in question has had over 2000 hours h t t p : / / w w w . e m of work on it, to bring it to its current finished state. c o u t u r e a n d c u l t u r e . 14 SMJ Magazine com/ | Fall 2013 Ablaza was recently seen in Toronto this past June,



MJ Magazine was fortunate to spend some time with John Ablaza, the designer who will be headlining Couture And Culture on January 18th, 2014. We wanted to know more about his first Canadian experience last June at Canada Philippine Fashion Week. Ablaza said the whole week was a hectic swirl of activity. Even though he was in a rush fulfilling all his duties, Ablaza still “had a chance to have a peak” at what Toronto had to offer, and is looking forward to his return. Ablaza said he felt priviledged to be part of an event that raised both awareness and funds for the Kol Hope Foundation for Children. This is an organization formed in Canada and the Philippines that assists disabled children, especially those suffering from trisomy-related disorders. With a quarter century of experience in the design business, Ablaza is qualified to be able to recognize real beauty, and has done just that in authoring a book entitled “Ramp Diva Filipina.” It pays tribute to all the Filipina models from the late 1970s to 2000 who brought honor and prestige to the Philippine modelling industry and the international runway. The book was showcased at the press announcement along with a number of Ablaza’s unique designs. Where will Couture And Culture take John Ablaza? For Ablaza, to be honored in this way in the midst of celebrating twenty-five years in the fashion industry is something he is particularly proud of. “To be the main clothing designer for an event as large as Couture And Culture promises to be will be more than a culmination of my life’s work.” Perhaps an opening into the North American market? “Of course. Designers are always looking for new inspirations. The possibilities of expanding into a huge (multicultural…sic) market like Toronto is exciting.” And Couture And Culture promises to be just as exciting, because of John Ablaza. l

SMJ Magazine | Fall 2013


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SMJ Magazine | Fall 2013

By Andrea E. Levy


n August 2012 in front of millions of people Usain Bolt fulfilled one of his dreams at London Olympic Games by being the first man to win both the 100m and 200m titles in consecutive Olympics (2008 -2012), thus creating history. On a different continent, almost 6000 kilometres away in the pews of a local church in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, one woman’s dream was conceived. Sherries Grossett worked for a local courier company for over twenty-five years in virtually every capacity of the company. Due to restructure and cut backs within the company, forty people were relieved of their duties and Sherries was among the casualties. But little did she know that the death of that job would give life to a new venture in a completely different field. Many people close to Sherries did not know that she lost her job. Refusing to cave to the doom and gloom situation of being jobless, she kept her faith and continued in her upbeat and free spirited persona. It was one Sunday afternoon in August of 2012, sitting in her regular second row seat at her local church; Sherries would receive the message that would turn out to be the fuel to the fire that would set ablaze the course of her life over the next few months. “Some people need to get fired from their jobs in order for them to launch out on their own and fulfill their true potential.” Those were the words from Bishop Lennox

D. Walker, taken from his sermon, “Taking Dominion”. Of course the Bishop did not know Sherries situation at the time, but she felt that he was speaking directly to her heart. One of Sherries’ great loves and passion is shoes. A size 11 herself, she had great difficulty finding shoes in Canada; at least ones that were classy and sexy. The lack of quality shoes in Canada for women of larger sizes prompted Sherries to venture into her own online shoe store business. The store will feature high end shoes and accessories for both men and women at affordable prices. Although the store will specialize in big size shoes, women will be able to purchase shoes from size 7 upwards. Sherries says one of her greatest joys is to see the smile on a woman’s face when she puts on a beautiful pair of shoes. She plans to one day mold her own exclusive brand name shoes and supply countries all over the world, with a dedicated focus on the Caribbean. For now, she is doing tradeshows, private parties and conventions. On September 7th, 2013, Sherries officially launched Sherries Shoes & Accessories at the Praise Cathedral Worship Centre in Mississauga. The venue was sophisticatedly decked out in black and leopard decor, saucy shoes and even saucier accessories. The ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by many local dignitaries. Brad Butt, MP MississaugaStreetsville; Ron Starr, Councillor Ward 6; Bishop Lennox D. Walker, Pastor; Vern Vautaur, Business Coach and Karen Cunningham, Business Lawyer were among the elites. Sherries was presented with an honorary plaque for Entrepreneurs in Ontario by MP Brad Butt, who along with the rest of elite attendees, assisted her in cutting the ribbon. It was only fitting that the very place where the dream was first conceived would just over one year later be the same place the dream was realized. Visit Sherries Shoes and Accessories at www.sherriesshoes. com

SMJ Magazine | Fall 2013


My Journey By Wendy Sammut

n the inaugural issue of S(M)J Magazine Idescribing I wrote about Yoga: Then and Now, the roots of a practice that dates

back 5000 years and briefly delving into its history and the basis of current yoga practices. Health care practitioners praise its virtues exemplifying ancient wisdom for modern times. What is it that has allowed yoga to not only survive but thrive? Could it be that we are seeing tangible benefits to our physical, emotional and mental health? Is yoga a possible answer to finding greater meaning in this journey called life?

a part in someone else’s play. I was empty inside. I felt as if I was going mad. Something truly had to change.

I eventually took myself to the Doctor and poured my heart and soul out. She responded with, “I think the best thing for you would be to get yourself out to a fitness class, and here’s a prescription for pain killers and muscle relaxants.” That was it. I felt dismissed and unheard. I left her office, got to my car and broke I believe there is a time in everyone’s life that is mo- down, feeling even more lost and alone than when I mentous. A moment where all that we claimed as our arrived. I couldn’t imagine adding one more thing to reality fades away and we are forever changed. Upon my plate, let alone a fitness class. reflection, my life transformed over a period of time. It began with discontent, shifted to frustration, evolved I must have cried in my car for almost an hour. It was into anger and finally culminated with the proverbial at that moment I knew I had to make a choice. My straw that broke the camel’s back. two young children needed me, my parents would be devastated if something happened to me. I considered Many years ago I was at a time in my life where life that the easy way out would be to die, because life in held no joy. I was a mother of two young children its present form was not, in my mind, worth living. in a marriage that wasn’t working, attempting to be Yet I chose to live. To me, living meant taking responthe perfect mom, wife, housekeeper, cook, volunteer sibility for myself and my health, physically, mentally and employee. I felt alone in a world surrounded by and emotionally. people, feeling inadequate despite compliments and praise, feeling unloved and uncared for, feeling as if I I began by finding a nutritional consultant to help heal carried the weight of the world on my shoulders and my body. As a wholistic healthcare provider she had feeling lost within myself. I would start each day with me work with dietary changes, alternative therapies a pot of coffee, Tylenol for chronic headache and neck and positive thought processes to begin to calm my pain and a sense of overwhelming belief that I could emotions and change my negative thinking patterns. not possible accomplish all that needed to be done that She also suggested yoga classes. day. I was often on the verge of tears. I stopped answering the telephone. I would ignore the doorbell. This period of my life was almost 25 years ago when yoga was not all that popular. I knew nothing of yoga, In short, I did not want to deal with anything. but I thought I would check it out. I came across an Yet when I was in the company of other people I would advertisement at a health food store offering yoga pretend all was well, laughing and talking, being sur- classes, so I visited the studio and found the instrucprised and perhaps disappointed that no one seemed tor to be compassionate and understanding. It seemed to notice my heart wasn’t in it. I felt as if I was playing safe so I registered.


SMJ Magazine | Fall 2013

I came back the next week for my first class. I remember walking into the room, the lights were dim, and there were people lying on the floor under blankets. It just simply felt weird. My heart started to race and I could feel myself beginning to panic. It was all I could do to not hightail it out of there. Instead I sat in the change room for what seemed like an eternity convincing myself to stay. The class was a beginner level yet I found it to be challenging; I was not very flexible, I could barely stand on one foot and my brain wouldn’t stop analyzing every move. I was not relaxed while trying to do the poses and the breathing confused me, yet despite all that, by the end of a 1 ½ hour class of gentle stretching and relaxation, I felt better than I had felt in years. I felt like the person I remembered being. I was relaxed, calm, and it seemed as if I had accomplished something even though I could not do most of the poses. I had felt safe and there was no feeling of competitiveness or judgement. I was simply encouraged to just do what was comfortable and try to breathe. For me, it worked.

I managed to find the strength inside to go to marriage counselling, understanding that whether it worked or not I would be okay and I would survive. I went to yoga classes because it felt good. In a quiet, gentle way yoga changed my life. I found my personal sense of self. Twenty-five years later I still hang out on my yoga mat and believe that yoga was the life-line that saved me. I admit that there are still times when I recluse from the world and struggle with depression, but yoga has given me the tools to continually bring me through. Wishing you well on your journey – breathe deeply and smile! l

Life continued to be a struggle but I was committed to my weekly yoga class. Over time I became less angry.

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SMJ Magazine | Fall 2013


The Full Spectrum of Health By Mark Steele

er taking a class in something you’ve never tried before, maybe ballroom dancing, or creative writing. Try learning very day we are bombarded with messages encour- a new skill, like carpentry. Through these new experiences, aging us to “improve our health.” Are we guaranteed your mind will remain alert, and you may even find a new a good life simply because we improve our diet? Are we career for yourself! promised prosperity because we workout for one hour three to five times each week? Not necessarily, although Emotional Health both those practices are a great start. What the media often Emotional health is the ability to control your seem to neglect is encouragement toward improving all asemotions so that you feel comfortable expressing them, pects of our health. Right about now you may be thinking and can express them appropriately. We’ve all been in “well, what other ‘aspects of health’ could there be?” Many situations where our emotions seemed to be out of our of us don’t realize that there are actually five aspects to our control. Maybe you’ve lost your temper and screamed at individual health spectrum. Besides physical health, there someone; or maybe you cried uncontrollably while being is social health, mental health, emotional health, and spiri- scolded. One of the best methods of controlling emotions is tual health. Just like exercising every day, and maintaining simply breathing. Try to get into a habit of noticing when a balanced diet, improving each aspect of your health takes your emotions are flaring up, and at that moment, take consistent effort, but the rewards are worth it! Take a look three slow, deep breaths. This should create a feeling of reat the four less talked-about health aspects below, and how laxation and calmness. Before you yell, before you cry, just you can improve them within yourself: breathe.


Social Health

Spiritual Health

Social health is the ability to interact well with people, and to cultivate satisfying personal relationships. This aspect of your health, like physical, can be improved by practice and repetition. To develop your social health, try these three simple things: Accept invitations to social events, or create your own events. Say “Hi” to three people you’ve never met before. And never forget to interact with your family; game nights are a favorite of mine.

Spiritual health, in its most general form, is a belief in a unifying force. It is more than just expressing your faith in God. Engage yourself in a church or a faith-based organization where you can foster relationships with men and women where you can assist one another in reinforcing your beliefs.

Mental Health

Follow along with these tips every day and you will be on your way toward overall good health! And remember, if you ever need help with any aspect of your health, my phone is always on!

Mental Health is the ability to learn and grow intellectually. You can enhance your mental health through Here’s to your good health. l formal structures, such as school, or through more personal and less formal training. To keep your mind sharp, consid-


SMJ Magazine | Fall 2013

Credits: On the Cover: Shelley Jarrett Wardrobe: Jockey Person to Person速 (Jeans) Hair: Clore Beauty Supply Make up: Wright Artistry Photo: Lubin Tasevski


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