Friday, June 27, 2008


That's right we are looking for a shiny, new, impressionable, young lady to join THE DEADLY NIGHTSHADES.

Why you ask? Well currently we are only 6. A lovely number for riding roller coasters, or tandem bikes, but not so good for democracy. Every time we take votes on important issues such as whether we are for or against C-Neeon's fall line, or Stephan Dion's proposed carbon tax, we come to a stalemate!! (this is just an example, actually both of those issues we are obviously for: c-neeon and Dion's carbon tax)

So what we need is 7, a nice odd number. This way we can continue to let you know what the OFFICIAL NIGHTSHADES position on things is.

If you think you have what it takes, prove it! (by buying us presents or beer)

We'll keep you posted on our recruiting process.


(photo by Rachel at Torontostreetfashion.com then messed with by yours truly...)


Members Big Red and Fierce Bambi alongside photographer John Lee, were found at BIG ON BLOOR on Saturday and featured in eye weekly.

We took the day to kick it with amazing people and soaked in the friendly vibes in Bloor West. Saporro in hand, we set out to find the Guilded Pather's layer and help sell some ethical products! Then we lugged them just down the street to Freedom Clothing, 939 Bloor Street West, where you can now find them on sale! ( cause you know you want'em!) Chilling out in the store with collective member, Daphne Mohajer, made me realize how supportive Toronto can be to new artists and designers. Street festivals like this one really help support the neighborhoods and give a sense of community. Lets make more streets without cars!! Now, after that touching thought of the day, i would like to add we then enjoyed a bottle of Spumante Bambino to celebrate (good job Mzungu!), which spiraled the rest of the night into most appropriate Nightshade mischief and wrapped up The Bike Film Fest with a smash, literally! ( but we will save that story for another time)

Thursday, June 26, 2008


We watched alot of movies during the BFF. There isn't space to review them all here, but this one was %10, 000 awesome. Our friend Frank said that he liked it so much that he was gripping his girlfriend Pattie's hand really hard the whole time we were watching it. It's a detailed video about a "fully weaponized waffle making bicycle". The bike was originally part of an art exhibit in NY at Sperone Westwater Gallery by an artist named Tom Sachs. Sachs is apparently a favorite with crowds evidenced by the fact that the waffle bike sold for a cool half million, and the video was obviously a hit with the crowd in TO as well.
The deadpan narrator lists the bike components in excruciating detail - components which include a sawed off shotgun, a cage for a chicken to lay fresh eggs in, a functioning mini-fridge and a shelf housing cooking ingredients like whipped cream and a jar of lingonberry jam. It would be really nice to be able to bike and cook waffles at the same time, and Tom Sachs is the man who made it happen. Thank you, Tom Sachs!!!
Oh yeah, his other work is great too - he's responsible for the Prada Death Camp
and the Chanel Guillotine. Copyright violations aside, Sachs obviously likes to stir the pot and I respect that.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Looking back, looking back, looking back...

I often look back fondly on the show that brought me together with the lovely ladies from kNodresscode... it was the Toronto Wildlife Show at Ryerson University.

The most interesting thing about events is most often not the actual show, but the connections, ideas, and possibilities that spin-off from it. When you collaborate with different people, different ideas, experiences, ideologies, perspectives and energies crash together to create magic. That's why your group of friends is so key to who you as a person.

We just look cooler doin' it now cause we have matching jackets.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Deadly Nightshade Profile #1:Fierce Bambi

So the Nightshades are going to be posting individual profiles for the next week or two, and I decided for mine I would fill out 'The Proust Quiz' from Danielle at www.finalfashion.ca. I added a few questions at the beginning as well to make it more 'Bike' related.

Gang Name: Fierce Bambi

Bike Name: Lady in Red

Type of Bike: Cherry Red folding Norco that belonged to my boyfriends mom in the eighties.

Best thing about biking?
Feeling like you're in a bubble, floating through the city.

Best bike route?
Down Portland to the lake, then along the lakeshore to High Park, then into High Park for a few beers.

What is your chief characteristic?
Enthusiasm for everything. Fashion, books, music, art, politics, everything. I absorb everything, and then I digest it and turn it into something new.

What is your main fault?

What are your favourite qualities in a man?
Compassion, insight, good manners, ambition.

And in a woman?
Compassion, insight, good manners, ambition, style.

Who is your favourite historical figure?
George Washington and Anais Nin. They seem very different but in reality they were both interested in resisting oppression. He was just interested in freedom on a bigger scale, and she was interested in freedom on an individual level. It's important to understand and to have both.

Who are your favourite heroes in real life?
Ron Paul, Karl Lagerfeld.

If not yourself, who would you be?
Who cares?

What is your idea of happiness?
A bottle of OE, my bike, a ghetto blaster and some friends. Mucking around on the back fourty. Bonfires. Making art. Making other people happy.

What is your idea of misery?

Where would you like to live?
Treehouse, Earthship, Giant Mushroom or House Boat.

What talent do you wish you were gifted in?

For what fault have you the most tolerance?

Who is your favourite painter?
J.W. Turner, John Singer Sargent, Thrush Holmes, Robert Rauchenberg.

And composer?
Ray Charles

What is your favourite colour?
Black. It never gets dirty.

What do you hate most?

Do you have a motto?
Step one - matching jackets. Step three - take over the world.

What would you like to do right now?
Scrape out my bike.


Photos by Patrica Youn aka Pattie Milkshake


The bike film fest is finally over in Toronto. We all made it out to various screenings, and saw some fabulous films from all over the world.

I cant speak for the other girls, but I think my two favourites were "Jim's Lines" directed by Patrick Trefz for it’s cinematography, as well as stating that a bike ride isn’t about the end result, but the process. While the other one was “Goodbye Tomorrow” by Benny Zenga & Brian Vernor. I’ve known of Ben through some mutual friends for a long time now. I remember being amazed (and jealous) in early high school, learning that he and his brothers had built an entire skate/bike park in their family’s barn. Since then he has continued to develop a great DIY bike/lifestyle/other-ridiculous-things community called The Winking Circle. Who are really worth checking out, if you’re not already familiar with them.

"Goodbye Tomorrow" showed the journey from Cairo to Cape Town on a bicycle, across the continent of Africa. Essentially, I think this film was beautiful, and I look forward to one day seeing more of this trek. I believe that they successfully captured the subtleties of the diverse cultures and people along the way.

I lived in Rwanda, and travelled through much of East Africa last year. And this film reminded me of the many reasons why I miss it there, as well as the continent’s deeply ingrained bike culture. The number of bicycles in Kigali and their variety of function is pretty astounding. From carting about people, to furniture (I once saw a couch precariously strapped on one) to enormous amounts of produce (we are talking like 30 pineapples here).

There is also a really great organization called Project Rwanda. They start microfinance projects involving bicycles in rural areas, and hold a big bike race in the country every year to raise awareness and funds, as well as rebuild community. Admittedly, my favorite thing regarding bikes there, is the fact that doubling is not only legal but encouraged. Bicycle taxi drivers, boys no older than myself, standing twenty or so deep on the red earth across from our market. Bikes woven with fake flowers, tassled cushions and mud flaps sporting che guevara, bob marley, the jamacian flag, religious slogans in broken english, or all of the above carfeully painted by hand.

(kicukiro bike taxis - oct. 2007)

My only bike excursion in Africa were on the back of these bicycle taxis. I constantly wished I had my own bike there, but I somehow knew a one speed cruiser would not have held up very well on all those mountains. So I was left to be content balancing on the back of someone else’s bike jostling along through banana groves.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


hey everyone! Just thought i'd let you know that my clothing company Gilded Panther (http://www.gildedpanther.com/), is participating in the BIG on BLOOR festival this coming Saturday, June 21st, at Bloor & Ossington. Our new summer line will be available, consisting of silkscreened t-shirts, hoodies & jersey scarves. All of our stuff is sweatshop free, hand-screened and limited run.... so come say hi and check us out!

Also, there is a large possibility i will be bored and getting sunburnt, so any distraction is good distraction!



Monday, June 16, 2008


During the Spring, one lovely George Browne took it upon himself to make a short film documentary about the four Nightshades finishing up another year and their final collections in Ryerson University's Fashion Design Program; Niamh McManus, Irene Stickney, Cat Essiambre & Meaghan Orlinski. The documentary discusses the need for sustainability in the fashion industry and the post secondary school system, as well as the joys of being in a bike gang. Of which there are plenty. Clearly.

An abridged version of Browne's film "A Night Out With The Deadly Nightshades" is being screened during Toronto's Bike Film Festival. The film plays at the Royal Theatre (608 College St. West) this coming Friday June 20th. The Nightshades Film Fest After Party and full screening of the doc will be held at Charlie's Gallery later that night, beginning at 10:30. Be there. It will make up this happy...

And since it's Bike Fest in Toronto, and we plan on taking the city by storm. So keep your eyes peeled for those matching seafoam jackets.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


This past Thursday, the Nightshades hosted a fabulous opening night for the RED EYE art exhibit. The show features the work of our friends Jim William, Zoe Jaremus, Jesi the Elder and John Lee, along with fellow Nightshade, Laura Mensinga. RED EYE runs until June 20th, at Charlie's Gallery, 112 Harbord St, Toronto. So if you didn't come last week, go ride your bike to look at some art!

All in all, we had a pretty rad time.
A big thanks to everyone who made it out!!

Friday, June 13, 2008


Because, it's been more than a year since the humble beginnings of our lovely bike crew, we decided that a blog was long overdue. And what better a time to start, then after getting published in a national newspaper. Thanks Globe & Mail!