Tag Archives: Paris

Hanging with Jim Morrison on a rainy Sunday morning 

I’ve been to Paris so many times and visiting Jim Morrison’s gravesite has always been on the list.  However, the timing never seemed quite right, I wanted some “alone time” with Jim, away from the daily tourist hoards that literally stop by his tomb for a quick moment, ticking the box.

  
I knew from previous visits to Paris that Parisians are quite relaxed on a Sunday, with many businesses closed and a general quiet atmosphere. Perfect. I set out for the famous Père Lachaise graveyard, which I must say even beats La Recoleta in Argentina for the most majestic graveyard I’ve ever been in. I hoped for a quiet morning alone with Jim.

  
With The Doors in my headphones, and armed with a $3.49 Père Lachaise app that would take me right to Jim’s grave I entered Père Lachaise Cemetary. Rainy and wet, I couldn’t see many people around which was perfect, glad I came early!

  
I follow the app map straight to where it says Jim is buried. I see nothing. Surely it wouldn’t be one of these plain gravesites, it would have a flower or two on it??!? Then I hear a truck behind me. I turn around.  

In between the rows of gravestones I spot a flash of colour. There it is!! Wet feet in the sopping mud I cut through a few gravestones (sorry!) only to come to a gated off area.   

 I see the graveyard attendant from the truck hop out of the truck, open the gate and enter Jim’s tomb area. He picks up many empty glass bottles of Jack Daniels, dead flowers, and other random rubbish. I’m assuming Saturday night parties at Jim’s grave is a common thing…  

  
“Can I come sit with Jim for a bit?” I ask the graveyard attendant. I’m really embarrassed at my lack of trying to speak French and obviously this dude spoke not a lick of English. 

  
“No.” he says nicely and carries on cleaning and saying some other sentences I can’t comprehend. 

A couple of minutes later I see him about to leave, he opens gate for me and says something to the effect “Quickly, because the guard is watching!” 

Omg!! Thank you!!!! 

  
I sit down with Jim, still listening to The Doors, asking him a few questions I had about life, music, etc. You can just feel the energy of the area, all the sadness of people who just wish it wasn’t so….all the people who came to pay tribute to one of the world’s greatest frontmen…telling him his rock and roll legacy still lives on. 

 

   

  
I finish up at the site and the guard locks the gate again. Thank you guard dude, how divine was that timing!?! I smile to myself cause I know it’s true. I wished to be alone with Jim and I got my wish. Soon after I leave I see the tourists coming…just in time.

   
On a closing note and keeping with the theme of “musical greats”, I pass Frederic Chopin’s tomb and say hello. I still remember the day my grade 6 music teacher Mr. Roman Churko told us his life story. Always have loved and been intrigued by his music. He still motivates me to play piano even to this day!

Now, off for a bit of petit dèjeuner, man the French know how to do food!

  
By Cynthia Gregoire

Perfect Autumn Skirt choices ON SKY 203’S “THE CHRISSY B SHOW”

This week on Sky 203’s “The Chrissy B Show” I talk about  Autumn/Winter skirts perfect for every type of figure.  Focus is on asymmetrical, tartan, miniskirts and pencil skirts.

Chrissy, Maegan and myself are all wearing pieces from Vivienne Westwood‘s newest Autumn/Winter 2014 collection.

Click the video below to view the segment:

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For an in-depth look at the styling for this week, click here:

Make up: Maegan’s Makeup

Stylist: Cynthia Gregoire

Wardrobe:  Question-Air Boutique

Aired live on Sky 203 November 3, 2014, London, England.

Capes, Gilets & Ponchos ON SKY 203’S “THE CHRISSY B SHOW”

This week on Sky 203’s “The Chrissy B Show” I talk about  gilets, capes & ponchos.  These are versatile  pieces of outerwear perfect for  transitional seasons such as Autumn.

I’ve also styled host Chrissy and myself in Vivienne Westwood‘s newest Autumn/Winter 2014 collection.

Make up: Maegan’s Makeup

Stylist: Cynthia Gregoire

Wardrobe:  Question-Air Boutique

Aired live on Sky 203 October 20, 2014, London, England.

Exclusive: Interview with Pat Salter, Design Director for Pretty Green

Pat Salter has been design director at Pretty Green for the last three years, after a chance meeting with the label’s founder Liam Gallagher. I sat down with Pat to talk collections, the brand’s fifth year anniversary and what it’s like working with Liam.

Cynthia: The Autumn/Winter 2014 Streets of Manchester campaign uses locations that are important to Liam. How does a campaign like that contribute to the clothing?
Pat: We wanted to celebrate the label’s fifth birthday so we asked Liam what he wanted to do. The decision was made to return to Manchester, to the beginning, to where it all started. Liam and I went through all the locations that meant something to him personally such as Burnage where he grew up, Mr. Sifters the music store, Castlefield and Maine Road. The campaign adds authenticity to our Green Label collection. It adds integrity and meaning into what Pretty Green does.

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Cynthia: You sit down and talk clothing with Liam Gallagher season after season. What’s that like?
Pat: The process has evolved to a collaborative effort. In the beginning, we’d go to him with our plans and he would put in his two cents and it would grow organically from there. Now, Liam’s a lot more integral to what we do.  We sit down at least once a month and go through colour palettes as well as Liam’s old and new clothes for inspiration and come up with a narrative for the upcoming season. See those leopard ponyskin swatch samples? The ones with dots on the back are the ones Liam liked best.

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Cynthia:  What’s the most exciting thing about working with Liam?

Pat: His creativity! While I’m trained in clothing and understand what you can and can’t do within design and manufacture, Liam comes in with a completely opposite agenda and just wants to make things look cool. If I say: ‘we can’t do that, Liam,’ he says right back: ‘find a way to make it work.’

Cynthia: What role do trends have in the process?
Pat: Pretty Green keeps its eye on trends, but we don’t necessarily follow them. Our collections are based on narratives, which are in turn based on the history of music and fashion. Pretty Green looks at what those guys in history were ‘doing then’ and makes them relevant and stylish.  If we happen to follow trends, it’s by coincidence. For example, military is trending now but it’s actually a core staple of Pretty Green. The M51 and M65 jackets were first developed for the military for function and later became their first casual pieces. Then the Mods started to integrate military clothes into their wardrobes to keep their clothes clean on scooters. So it’s not about the trends, it’s about history.

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Cynthia: The details are wonderful – John Lennon’s guitar strap pattern worked into the inside of jackets, for example. Tell me about the White Dove Collection released recently?
Pat: It’s a capsule themed collection, like the past season’s ‘I am The Walrus’ collection. It all started with the Autumn Winter Black Label collection which, of course, was built on the story of The Beatles’ last gig on the roof of 3 Saville Row, the Apple Corps store.  The Black Label is with the premium side of things. The White Dove Collection draws inspiration from the house hippie in the book, The Longest Cocktail Party by Richard DiLello.

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Cynthia:  I’ve read that book – An Insider’s Diary of the Beatles ….
Pat: We presented a few variations of the narrative to Liam but he wasn’t having any of them. The collection was supposed to be uplifting; Autumn/Winter can be a dark, damp, depressing season. He said: ‘Right, have a look at the psychedelic prints of The Beatles by Richard Avedon and check out Ringo’s dove.’ And there it was. While I was in the middle of it all, Liam comes in with a totally different way of thinking … and there’s the dove.

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Cynthia: A whole collection could come out of those prints …
Pat: It was also Liam’s idea to switch the 60’s slogan ‘Make Love’ to ‘Love Make’, which is the lettering featured in the inside of the jackets.

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Cynthia: When did you decide to become a designer?
Pat: Since I was about 8. With a bit of luck and timing, here I am. I did my B-tech in fashion and clothing and shortly after, started working in a factory in Peckham as an in-house pattern cutter and designer. One day, I was a pattern cutter or trimming loose threads off labels on the back of t-shirts, the next day sewing, the next day pattern cutting again. I really learned the trade. I learnt how to pattern cut a garment, toile it, fit it to the client and amend to fit client’s needs. When the fit was good, that was when it went into production. After four years, I got a job as a garment technologist at Ted Baker.  The brand director just looked at me and I know he was thinking ‘Who’s this?’ because he expected a 50 year old woman, not a 22 year old! I then moved into design and trained in denim. Denim was the route into Pretty Green.  A mutual friend needed some help with Pretty Green’s first season of jeans and there it was … I’m in.

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Cynthia:  What is it that fascinates you about designing clothes? What inspires you?
Pat: There’s something so cool about turning a one-dimensional roll of fabric into a three-dimensional garment. As for getting into the zone, it’s about the music for me.  There’s this magic formula when you put on your favourite record. You can’t explain it but something about it makes you feel good about yourself and the world around you and the next thing you know you put on your favourite t-shirt and good pair of sneakers, bang on a jacket and, with that tune in your ears, there’s just something that makes you feel so good…

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Cynthia:  I think you are describing creativity?
Pat: Yeah, definitely!  And I love making people feel good. When you walk down the street and see people wearing Pretty Green, you know you’re part of something that makes other people feel good.

Cynthia: Do you have a particular textile you enjoy working with?
Pat:  My first love is denim. You can do so many things with denim. It’s all about the chemical reactions and the dye and bleach processes. There are new washes all the time, a whole new world of possibilities … But every textile can present a challenge, whether it’s getting the leather to the right thickness, working with ponyskin. Take herringbone which is 100% cotton and a particular weave. When you dye the garment, it completely changes the structure; it’s now heavier due to the yarn’s constriction. My job is so varied so I’m always working with many textiles at once: tailoring one day, jersey the next, knitwear the day after…

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Cynthia:  It’s nice to see that menswear is using so many different textiles. What do you think is significant in menswear today that wasn’t around 5 years ago?

Pat: Well, Pretty Green of course! No, really, I think guys have changed their attitudes towards style. Perhaps it goes back to the Oasis days where we have two regular guys, dressed like us, in the pub – but they were rock and roll stars. They cared about their appearance but they were mega stars. Then you have David Beckham. He brought men into grooming, style, a different haircut every week. Basically, guys have gotten more sophisticated in the way they dress.  Also, we have London Collections Men twice a year and guys are a bit more in tune to what’s going on.

Cynthia: There’s more of an awareness to being stylish; guys don’t seem to feel the need to ‘tame the inner peacock’ as in previous years. And Liam is a style icon …
Pat:  Exactly!  Walk down Oxford Street and check out men’s style: you’ll see every look, every fashion, every jean fit, chino, haircut. To be in men’s fashion right now is an amazing place to be, and will only get stronger.

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Cynthia: What’s the best thing about working for Pretty Green?

Pat:  It’s creative, free, and fun. We have a great team who are striving to build a global brand and want to make Pretty Green above everything else. It’s small and relatively young and everybody’s pushing in the right direction. People are in early and everybody works hard and are excited about what we are doing. Remember, we have a ‘gold dust’ in our DNA that we work with – Liam. What else do I love? The gigs, the travel, the fact I get to be part of a legacy that will keep going and getting better and stronger as new ideas unfold. It’s an amazing place to be with such a young, small brand, and I’m excited to be part of this early stage because you feel like you built it with your own blood, sweat and tears. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.

by Cynthia Gregoire

John Galliano Returns to Fashion: Past Sell-Date or radical revolution?

A holding company of some of the most iconic fashion brands in the world such as Diesel, Marni, and Viktor & Rolf have announced that John Galliano will assume responsibility of Creative Director for the conceptual fashion house Maison Martin Margiela.

JG by Patrick Demarchelier

Given Galliano’s visionary and innovative approach to design, this indeed marks an important milestone in Margiela’s fashion history.

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Photo: Dior Spring Summer 2007 Couture by Galliano

“Margiela is ready for a new charismatic creative soul. John Galliano is one of the greatest, undisputed talents of all time. A unique, exceptional couturier for a Maison that always challenged and innovated the world of fashion. I look forward to his return to create that Fashion Dream that only he can create, and wish him to here find his new home” President of OTB Renzo Rosso states.

While the general reception on social media channels and fashion magazines seems to be favourable to Galliano’s return, a well-respected short course lecturer at top fashion educational institution Central Saint Martins is not so easily convinced. “It could be great…it could be awful. I hope he turns it around and does a great first collection that’s a move on from his previous stuff. He needs to do something radical…”

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Galliano has also worked as Creative Director for Haute Couture fashion label Christian Dior from 1996 – 2011.

by Cynthia Gregoire

17 year old fashion designer & painter inspired by Alexander McQueen to design

Jontay Kahm is a 17 year old self taught fashion designer who has been designing and making his own clothing since he was 14.

Jontay Kahm lives in North Battleford, Canada.  He was only 14 when he started making clothing by hand.
Jontay Kahm lives in North Battleford, Canada. He was only 14 when he started making clothing by hand.

With only a shirt pattern in the back of an old fashion book, Jontay began to create his own collections using different textiles that he could get his hands on including safety pins, feathers, pearls, beads and even curtains.

Alexander McQueen is my main inspiration and is the reason I want to enter the fashion industry as a designer.  Other designers that inspire me are John Galliano, Iris van Herpen, and Gareth Pugh…just to name a few! You can see their inspiration in all of my collections.

Jontay Kahm's A/W 14 collection incorporates inspiration from Iris van Herpen, Prada, Gareth Pugh, and Alexander McQueen.
Jontay Kahm’s A/W 14 collection incorporates inspiration from Iris van Herpen, Prada, Gareth Pugh, and Alexander McQueen.

“I watch all the fashion shows from years gone by and keep current with industry happenings at all times.  This isn’t the easiest thing to do where I live, however the Internet has allowed me to do so.  I then draw and sketch the ideas that come to me”

Initial sketching before a new collection is made.
Initial sketching before a new collection is made.

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I then start to construct garments out of whatever textiles are available.  Sometimes I take apart old clothing, sometimes I use non-clothing items such as curtains, they have great fabric!

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AW14 Feather Flower Dress.
AW14 Feather Flower Dress.

Jontay is also an artist who spends a great deal of time painting.  He graduates from high school this year and will be studying short courses at Central Saint Martins and apprenticing at various fashion design studios this summer in London.

 

Painting by Jontay.
Painting by Jontay.
3D paintings by Jontay.
3D paintings by Jontay.

Jontay’s AW14 collection was recently featured on Sky TV’s ‘The Chrissy B Show’:

Make-up Artist Maegan Gregoire wearing Jontay’s AW14 Iris van Herpen inspired dress.

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Fashion Stylist Cynthia Gregoire and Make-up Artist Maegan Gregoire wearing Jontay’s AW14 collection for Sky TV’s ‘The Chrissy B Show

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Fashion Stylist Cynthia Gregoire and Make-up Artist Maegan Gregoire wearing Jontay’s AW13 collection for The Glass Magazine‘s Christmas Party.

Safety pin dress and waterfall dress by Jontay. AW13 collection.
Safety pin dress and waterfall dress by Jontay. AW13 collection.

To see a photo gallery of Alexander McQueen‘s work, click here.

Jontay can be found on Twitter @jontaykahm

by Cynthia Gregoire