VERONDRÉ | REFLECTIONS Summer 2017 Issue No. 7

Page 1


Editors’ Note


Wardrobe Raid: Yazmin Harris


Good Vibes, High Tides


Double Tappin in to the Insta #Fitness World


True Faces


Sofia’s Inamorata


Summer Playlist











2017 © by VERONDRÉ. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


editors’ NOTE W

e have this running joke between our group of friends that when things go south in the current month, the next month will be the start of a new year. We started using this joke back in January as a way to make sure we took the next month more serious and actually rebranded our lives. Just as a disclaimer, we don’t recommend this logic; it’s basically a set-up for failure, because you end up starting the new year every month. Making this editorial was kind of like that. We really wanted to make an editorial but kept on delaying the process. We realized you can only truly do something if you put your mind to it, prioritize and plan. Or just really look at yourself. That’s why we decided on the theme of Reflections.


It’s like the theory of the looking glass self developed by Charles Horton Cooley. According to Cooley, the theory “describes the development of one’s self and of one’s identity through one’s interpersonal interactions within the context of society”. #shoutouttosociologyclass What we wear, our hobbies, and our jobs are a reflection of who we are. We wanted this issue to reflect the direction we’re going in terms of our craft. This also means we’ve decided to opt-out of monthly editorials and just do seasonal editorials. However, we promise you that our seasonals will be packed with a lot of content. This issue we introduced similar stories of rebranding and contentment through our features. We tapped into the Insta-fitness world with Brittany Rosen. We raided Yazmin Harris’ minimalist wardrobe and we entered the world of dance theatre through our cover star Sofia Gudiño. This is our end-of-summer editorial and we hope you can take some away from the stories told. Enjoy the editorial and don’t forget to follow us on all our socials!

verondre Prescylla & Melissa


summer essentials

Smashbox primer spray [SEPHORA] $20, Sunglasses [URBAN OUTFITTERS] $20, Phone case [EVERNEW] $24.99, I’M NOT BLUE ANYMORE [] $15, Passport case [INDIGO] $18, Swimsuit [TOPSHOP] $40, Shoes [CALVIN KLEIN] $N/A

wardrobe raid


f there was ever a time when new words for defining people were as fluid and continuously evolving as they are unique, it’s now. As more people stray away from archaic, rigid and restrictive stereotypical expectations, contemporary society is slowly adapting by expanding the vocabulary used to describe an array of extraordinary individuals. The revolution of non-binary terminology is pretty much spreading all over the world and it’s not stopping anytime soon. Take for example, in 2015, about 15 new non-binary words were added to the online Oxford dictionary. Having to fit in to conventional societal norms is a thing of the past. You can be labelled whatever you want. Others can shirk the rules of denomination and choose to not be defined by anything, and Yazmin Harris is that prime example.

The 21-year-old aspiring yogi uses her style as a tool to express her individuality and exude confidence. She let us in her world by unveiling her minimalist wardrobe.

DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE Totally dependent on how I feel that day. In terms of how I identify gender wise, how depressed I am, how my anxiety is that day. If I were to try and group it in certain genres of fashion, I would say it’s definitely very goth inspired. Very gamine-like, so tomboy-ish. A cross between the two of those. And then I still try to look presentable at the same. So I don’t want to look like a slob. I think that both of those styles get kind of put into a negative light a lot of the time because it doesn’t look very professional. So my goal is to seem like I could be professional while still expressing myself, with those two styles as the most dominant.

WHY DO YOU FEEL THE NEED TO BE PROFESSIONAL? Because I want to be respected. As a mixed-race female with no hair, I feel that I have to demand respect a lot. If somebody isn’t given the opportunity to converse with me, which I don’t think I’d have to do much convincing based on just first appearances. I feel like yeah, I do kind of have to make it known that I am forced to be reckoned with. And that is, I do want to be perceived that way. It’s important to me. I don’t want anyone to look at me in my six inch platforms and think “oh yeah she’s trash”. Or look at me dressed head to toe as a boy with heels on and think, “oh she’s trash”


WARDROBE RAID FEATURING YAZMIN HARRIS | SUMMER 2017 ISSUE NO. 7 But that’s the way our society works. It’s important for me to maintain my style and feel like I’m not totally succumbing to societal standards but still find a place within that I can co-exist with the rest of the world.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE FOR YOU TO DEVELOP YOUR STYLE I think I really came into it in first year (university). In high school I was still very much obsessed with being popular. Obsessed with having people like me. It was a very specific type of girl in my highschool that was popular and respected, and that was the very perfect little blonde girl. And I actually found a way to fit in with them. Was it authentic? Probably not, no. But then the second I graduated and realized I didn’t have to stay friends with them anymore, was when I realized I could be my own friend, and just kind of do what I wanted to do. Probably first year was when I started experimenting a lot more and just being comfortable with what I was putting together.

WAS IT HARD DEVELOPING YOUR STYLE Yeah I was so confused. So confused. There were times when all I wanted to be was a little goth girl. Then it felt uncomfortable. Then I tried the preppy thing. Sporty Fila. Toronto girl. Hype bae. That didn’t work. So what happens if I just throw it all together and recognize that nobody else is doing the same thing, and that’s okay. don’t really care if people are like looking to me as necessarily style 14

inspiration. I want to be attitude inspiration. I don’t care if you love how I style my pants with my shoes. I really couldn’t give less of a shit. I just want you to see how much I don’t give a shit and think that’s cool, and then want to wear that instead.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVE STORES TO SHOP AT Almost 90 per cent of what I buy is second hand. My favourite place is Common Sort. That’s where I trade a lot of my clothes. I’ve been really obsessed with trading. The second I look in my closet, because Jackie [girlfriend] and I share a whole wardrobe. My goal is within a couple of years to only have wardrobe consisting of 40 items or less in total. Right now I think we probably have like 70, and if we want to buy something, we have to get rid of something. That’s why we trade a lot of our clothing so it stays even. I go thrifting in Kensington a lot which is fun. I’ll buy accessories every once in awhile. I bought a really cute pair of earrings from JCrew the other day, that were on sale. Clothes, I find it really hard to justify spending a lot of money on.

Denim vest [COMMON SORT], Denim jeans [COMMON SORT], Handcuff chain belt [COMMON SORT], Combat boots [DEMONIA], Rings [OCTOBER 12, FREE PEOPLE, ANTHROPOLOGIE], Hoop earrings [URBAN OUTFITTERS]

“It’s important for me to maintain my style and feel like I’m not totally succumbing to societal standards but still find a place within that I can co-exist with the rest of the world”

Denim dress [TOMMY HILFIGER], Mesh top [COMMON SORT], Round glasses [VALUE VILLAGE], Platform heels [ZARA], Silk scarf [GIFT]

“I don’t care if you love how I style my pants with my shoes. I really couldn’t give less of a shit. I just want you to see how much I don’t give a shit and think that’s cool, and then want to wear that instead.”



Right now I’m in a very economically different situation that I’m used to because I’ve taken a big wage cut trying something new. I went from being server to now working at a gym, so that I could become a yoga instructor. That’s the goal. It’s a lot less money and I’ve kind of had to change everything. The way that I spend money, the way that I look at money, the way that I look at things. And not only did I realize I didn’t need as much money as I was making, I realized I don’t need to be shopping all that time, the way that I thought I did.

HOW DO YOU MINIMIZE YOUR CLOSET Wouldn’t it be amazing if everyday the only things that were in our closet were only pieces that we absolutely loved and things that had a story. Just very few things. That sounds amazing to me. That’s how we’ve been getting rid of it. It’s just a thing anyway. It’s only about how it makes you feel. ∞


@biancavenerayan A really good friend of mine her name is Bianca Venerayan. I love the way she dresses. I like the clothes that this girl wears.


@itsarifritz My #1 style & attitude inspo is this really androgynous non binary chick named @itsarifitz. For probably the first 6 months of following her I had no idea she was a boy or girl. And that’s the whole point. It didn’t matter.

@slickwoods I love Slick Woods. She’s badass.

@uglyworldwide She’s just a shaved head. Shaved eyebrows. She’s all about feeling beautiful. Although she doing things that are conventionally ugly and strange.

This is a silk scarf with little ballerinas on it that my godmother gave me. She died a few years ago. She had Alzheimer’s which is really sad but she was my best friend in the entire world. She started taking me to see professional ballet from the age of 10. It [the scarf] makes me feel very feminine and very delicate, which is something I don’t usually embrace. I find it really hard to feel strong and capable when I’m feeling dainty and pretty because I feel like I’m going to be taken advantage of. This is a nice little feminine touch that doesn’t compromise my entire being.


VINTAGE DENIM couldn’t stop thinking about DRESS Ihow it would look good on her [Jackie]. I love it, it’s sexy but it’s not revealing. Which I really appreciate. I like being able to feel sexy without giving into typical conventions of what sexy means. And that’s something that has been hard for me to come to terms with because I don’t have a feminine silhouette at all. I have a very boyish figure. I have to come up with other ways to feel beautiful because I can’t wear the skin tight bodycon dress.

PLATFORM BOOTS These are my favourite shoes ever. Nothing makes me feel more confident than a pair of giant platform boots. If I’m having a bad day you know I’m going to be wearing these.

Photography by alyssa andallo styling melissa edre prescylla veronique featuring janice chan

DRESS [NORDSTROM] $98, Earrings [XXI] $8.90



Bralette [TOPSHOP] $38, Striped trousers [TOPSHOP] $38, Belt [VINTAGE DANIER] Thrifted $3.99, Beret [THRIFTED] $1.99, Sunglasses [URBAN OUTFITTERS] $20

Dress [TOPSHOP] $96, Earrings [XXI] $8.90



Striped bralette [URBAN OUTFITTERS] $49, Overalls [URBAN OUTFITTERS] $72, Fishnet Socks [EBAY] $1.99, Red bandana [MENDOCINO] $10, Black platform heels [PRIMARK] $30




nstagram has arguably become the breeding ground for inspo on almost every topic. The social media app slowly aids innovative thinking on beauty standards with every hashtag.Take, for example, the fitness world. Not too long ago the beauty standard for women was pretty much to be skinny, skinny and skinny. Now you have women aspiring to get physically fit and tone their bodies rather than carefully counting every calorie in the hopes of resembling a stick figure. Instagram has enabled the world of fitness to become integrated into pop culture and provided a career boost for renowned fitness models like Tammy Hembrow (6.9 million followers) and Jen Selter (11.4 million followers). The fact that the hashtag #fitness has over 200 million posts is just one example of the tremendously influential role Instagram has played in reinforcing good health as a priority. Fellow fitness enthusiast Brittany Rosen, a 21-year-old journalism student, is one of many people who, with the help of Instagram, was driven to improve her diet and start taking care of her body. We sat down with Brittany and she gave us all the details on the journey to her ultimate #bodygoals. WHY DID YOU START WORKING OUT? BRITTANY: Basically, I used to play soccer for most of my life. I started when I was four and I went all the way until grade 12. My whole life I didn’t really have to work out because I played soccer. My endurance was really good. I didn’t have to go to the gym.But I still liked to be active and workout. I took workout classes. I don’t know, first year [of university] I started losing a lot of muscle because I wasn’t playing soccer anymore and I wasn’t really happy with my body anymore. I would see photos of myself and be like, “Woah I used to have a butt! Now I don’t have a butt anymore!” I could see myself in the mirror where I was getting skinny. But I didn’t think I looked that skinny to the point where I had no curves. First year [of university] I started going to the gym. My best

Picture from Instagram via @tammyhebrow. The 23-year-old Australian fitness Instagrammer shows off her toned physique to millions of her followers.

friend Julia kind of motivated me. She didn’t really know my body insecurities. That would be our way to hang out. For the first year, I did not know what I was doing at the gym but I liked going because it was a stress reliever and it was really good for me. As soon as I started knowing [what] I was doing, I was getting results and that really motivate me to keep going harder and harder and look more into fitness and what I can do. Eventually I was so surprised. Most people I know start off big and try to lose weight but it was the opposite for me. I had to gain weight and gain all my muscle back. DID YOU HAVE TO CHANGE YOUR DIET TOO? BRITTANY: I used to be too strict with what I was eating. I had to relax more and not be as



DO YOU FEEL LIKE WORKING OUT IS A PART OF YOUR IDENTITY? BRITTANY: I wouldn’t want it to be the first thing that people say about me. I would want [it] to be like, “She’s a really hard [worker]; she goes for what she wants.” I feel your identity is who you are. Working out doesn’t define you. I feel like it’s something I needed to do in my life to achieve the body goals that I’ve wanted. I’m not even at my goals. It’s a big part of my life for sure.

“The biggest thing was not caring. You can like something but don’t get obsessive over it because when you do, it doesn’t become fun anymore and takes over your mind.”

strict-- eat not whatever I wanted. I had to be somewhat healthy. In terms of portion sizes, I had to eat a lot more and eat what was comfortable. Don’t stop at like one little serving, you know? I feel so happy. Food is not a stress in my life. In grade 9, I was almost anorexic, basically. It’s hard to believe. My mom would say that I look fat and stuff. I don’t know, I had this pressure. In high school, the curvy body wasn’t in; at least at my high school. It was all about being skinny and stuff. I would count my calories. I remember one time I went home for lunch and my mom gave me rice and I started freaking out like, “OMG! I can’t eat carbs”. I think the breaking point for me was when we went on vacation to Mexico and I ate something unhealthy and I literally started doing laps around the pool. [I said] “OMG, I need to burn this off!” right in front of my whole family.

HOW DID YOU LEARN HOW TO WORK OUT? BRITTANY: think mainly [through] Instagram. I follow so many fitness people on Instagram and I saw what they were doing and looked further and did my research. There were a lot of things I tried that did not work. Then I just found out what works for me and I went with it. The biggest thing was not caring. You can like something but don’t get obsessive over it because when you do, it doesn’t become fun anymore and takes over your mind. You see all these people with beautiful bodies on Instagram. It’s like you can’t let them deceive you because a lot of bodies aren’t natural. A lot of them depend on your genes. Some people are just born like that. They can work out and they can get these results. For me, my body personally, I’m partly immune to weight training. I can lift heavy weights and I won’t get dramatic results. I have an average reaction to lifting weight. Some people they lift up the lightest weights and they’ll get the best results from it. You just gotta be comfortable with yourself, you just gotta love yourself. Just be confident with who you are.


Clear raincoat [TOPSHOP], Sports bra [NIKE], Shorts [NIKE], Striped socks [ARDENE], Gold platform heels [STEVE MADDEN]

Cropped Top [IVY PARK], Tulle pleated skirt [TOPSHOP], Sunglasses [TOPSHOP], Shoes [Nike Air Max Theas], Fishnet socks [EBAY]



WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE? BRITTANY: I definitely want to be in the field of journalism in broadcast. I have been exploring my options lately. I’ve been looking at weather as an option. The thing with me is, I think pragmatically and realistically about life. You know anything can happen but you gotta look at all your options. I think my dream is anchoring for sure. But you can’t get to anchoring without reporting for a while. I’m such a creature of habit and I like to have things planned out to the T. It really scares me that I dont know whats gonna happen. ∞


true faces photography by Alyssa Andallo featuring ruth ryan



Blazer [ZARA] $69.90, Trousers [ZARA] $45.90, Blouse [VERO MODA] $45.90, Oxford Slides [VINCE CAMUTO] $111






wave of hispanic music burst through the doors of Nickel 9 Distillery as people pop in and out. Right outside is a small group of smokers huddled like penguins, determined to brave the chilly, early May, night. It’s about seven degrees celsius. It’s a desperate dance between getting a much needed fix, and trying to stay warm as they alternate between deep drags and keeping shoulders raised against the bitter temperature. It’s hard to resist the heat from inside the distillery as it promises an escape from the bipolar Toronto weather. A brunette receptionist grants access into the revelry just beyond the front desk. She bestows an “X” mark on the hands of those invited to the fiesta. The party itself pulses with vivacity as the DJ hypnotizes the crowd with energetic salsa music and people heat up the dancefloor moving to the Latin rhythms. The salsa dip and tortilla chips at the far left corner of the room, are a source of sustenance for the partiers, while the overflow of drinks from the cash bar, closer to the entrance, keeps all thirsts quenched. Warm light floods the room, beaming from the equipment of Mexican news reporters as they film what is, no doubt, a zestful Cinco de Mayo celebration. Spirits are just as high as they probably were on that fateful May 5th when the Mexican Army conquered the French forces in 1862. My companion, Melissa Edré and I are standing when we’re approached by a young, dark-haired man, who looks like he

just rushed over to the party from work and ditched his blazer. His dilated pupils briefly lock eyes with mine and in a slightly slurred tone he asks, “Do you want to dance?” I hear him, but my response is delayed because my attention is captured by 22-year-old Sofia Gudino spinning into the arms of one of her guests, her long, lustrous brown tresses whipping with her movements as her curls spiral along to the music. The jubilance on her face is accredited to her excitement over the success of her dance theatre company and her upcoming production at the Fringe Festival. Dance theatre is a form of performance art that allows various artistic contributions from singing, music, poetry and dance. “It’s like a meeting ground for artists,” says Gudino. Gudino founded the Inamorata Dance Collective in 2014. Her goal was to create art that combined her love for flamenco dancing and



“There’s blood th sponds to sing and t

Wrap-around blouse [ZARA] $49.90, Chandelier Earrings [TOPSHOP] $32


something in my hat immediately reo the way the singers the rhythm patterns” and contemporary dancing. Originating from Spain, the flamenco is an expressive dance that involves hand clapping and percussive footwork. Alternately, contemporary dance is similarly expressive but incorporates different dance genres like ballet, jazz and modern. Contemporary is more about connecting the mind to the body with fluid moves. It can be executed in groups, pairs or solos. “I’m a very expressive person and flamenco is a very expressive dance but it didn’t have the something that dance theatre has”, says Gudino. According to Gudino, finding a dance theatre company that was specializing in flamenco as well as contemporary dance wasn’t common. Driven to combine the two art forms, Gudino birthed the Inamorata Dance Collective. * * *


peeks through the windows of Gudino’s spacious living room on a Sunday afternoon in the Bloor West Village of Toronto. Pouring the water she just offered me into a glass, she places the cup closer to me and a slight tilt of her head reveals some dark peach fuzz on the left side of her head. The remaining unshaven long, brown, curly hair that was once bouncing and swaying along to salsa music is now tied up in high messy bun with little ringlets escaping the hold. Gudino started dancing at the Academy of Spanish Dance in Toronto when she was just five years old.


“My aunt is a flamenco dancer and I grew up watching her perform. It resonated with me a level that nothing ever did,” says Gudino. Growing up in a Mexican-Canadian family, Gudino was somewhat to the hispanic culture in her own home. “My dad’s dad lived with us and I would fall asleep to hear him playing mariachi music,” says Gudino. Although the Mexican influence was ever-present in her home, Gudino father wasn’t always so keen on making that a priority in her upbringing. “My dad very decidedly said we were a Canadian family, ‘I don’t want to speak Spanish in the household.’I had to study Spanish to be able to speak to my grandfather,” says Gudino. This compelled her, even more to study her culture and build a stronger connection to dancing. “Growing up in Toronto they left a lot of the culture behind. Immigrants experience different things. Some choose to preserve”, says Gudino. She was intrigued by the Spanish language and desired to learn it,


“Inamorata means someone’s girlfriend. I love the idea of the company being my girlfriend. I love the idea of having a relationship with this entity. And I also loved the audience having this affair with us�

SOFIA’S INAMORATA | SUMMER 2017 ISSUE NO. 7 since she heard it so much in her flamenco classes and in the community. “There’s something in my blood that immediately responds to the way the singers sing and the rhythm patterns” says Gudino as she sits crossed legged on her sofa. “When I was 16 I decided that I wanted to start dancing professionally”. Eventually she found herself searching for ads hiring Toronto dancers. “I had to search through a bunch of, like, stripper wanted ads. I came across this add looking for contemporary dancers and it said all levels welcome. I’d never taken a contemporary dance class in my life,” says Gudino. Gudino ended up auditioning for the Ismailova Theatre of Dance. After auditioning and miraculously getting accepting into the company, Gudino made it her priority to learn contemporary dance. As time passed, Gudino found it hard to balance keeping up with both of her dance loves. “In that process I’ve sacrificed being a master of one thing. All the time I’ve spent taking contemporary classes, I’ve spent not taking flamenco classes and vice versa”, says Gudino. After performing her own choreographed contemporary piece with Flamenco influence at an art gallery show, Gudino finally decided it was time to birth Inamorata. “Nobody was doing the type of work I wanted to do. I created an opportunity for myself,” says Gudino. She recruited five of her friends and began creating her dance theatre company, Inamorata. “That first team that we had was really special to me. It became a form of art therapy”, says Gudino. According to Gudino, Inamorata is not just for dancers. It’s an artistic hub where people from all walks of creative art forms can come together, collaborate and put on a show.

“We live in this system that says you are either a painter a photographer or a dancer or whatever as a pose to this holistic view of I am an artist and I am creative and I am a creator”, says Gudino. She chose the name Inamorata to describe her experience with performing. The art she was producing was centered around her identity as a romantic person. “Inamorata means someone’s girlfriend. I love the idea of the company being my girlfriend. I love the idea of having a relationship with this entity. And I also loved the audience having this affair with us”, says Gudino. *



Just right outside of Koreatown in Toronto, there lies

“Nobody was doing the type of work I wanted to do. I created an opportunity for myself”


the Randolph Theatre. Home to the 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival. Inside groups of people are filling the seats to watch the 5:15 show. Suddenly, the lights turn off. The stage lights up and the show begins. The show is made up of eight different scenes. Bodies swayed in a smooth, rhythmic choreography around a blood red-lit stage. The intense synchronized footwork has the ground vibrating. Two contradicting elements: soft fabric and sharp movements intertwine and ironically create a harmonious display.





UMMER 2017 ISSUE NO. 7 The mix of flamenco and contemporary dance is evident. They’re performing Picaza. The show is about a woman’s journey towards self awareness and true identity. “[Picaza] means magpie in Spanish, one of the few mammals that can recognize themselves in the mirror,” says Gudino. The festival is essentially a showcase for indie artists to perform theatre. It gives an opportunity to for these artists to have a platform to show their art to public in ways that they probably couldn’t before. “We have to support each other in this industry”, said Gudino. Fringe was an opportunity for Gudino to premiere her first full length show. The performance was the climax of her journey with Inamorata, because it allowed her to showcase her goal. “It’s a real mosaic of my journey as an artist. Dance is the largest part of my identity and I’ve known that since I was two years old”, says Gudino. As the performance comes to an end the eight dancers on stage, including Gudino, take a bow, as the ripple applause gets faster and louder.


i’m too lit to dim down tonight

White collared shirt [ENGLISH FACTORY], Sequined dress [MENDOCINO], Shoes [STEVE MADDEN], Star earrings [URBAN OUTFITTERS], Lipstick #3 [YSL], Bag [YSL]


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