Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Golden Bicycle Handles

Found this in the window at Broadway cycle, on Bloor near Dufferin. I nearly dropped my coffee I was so excited... it's a little pricey and I don't really need a new bike, but it's good to know that there's some one out there who's on top of making golden bicycle handles...

Update: The bike is on sale now for $1049~!!!

Organically grown on a nylon tree?


Here's a little creative brilliance to tie you guys over, until the infamous Nuit Blanche this weekend!!

These two artists came together to show off thier minatures at York University...

Making the big small....

Aldo Parise grew up loving and living rollercoasters. He spends his summers at Wonderland dressed up as Patrick Star, a side-kick of Sponge-bob, soaking in the surrounding mechanical monsters. Parise is articulate about his passion and gave this show an interactive high point that fed my fetish for speed and danger! On location, Parise will be building his final piece throughout the week which will have the crowd coming back for more!

Jennie Suddick, a recent OCAD graduate is currently working on her MFA at York University. Suddick is an artist who creates with purpose, then uses photos as her medium of expression. Check out her work at jenniesuddick.com! In this exhibit, sets were built using the smallest characters imaginable and explored crowds and open spaces. They seemed diligently constructed and when put into photograph form, were very visually appealing.

I kinda wanted to eat it, it was so small...

Monday, September 29, 2008

DNS tips on doing Nuit Blanche...

Nuit Blanche is next weekend and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. I mean, I love staying out all night, biking around with friends, breaking stuff, and generally causing shit... but I always miss about a thousand things that I'm just dying to see. This year, I'm making a plan and sticking to it.
First, I have to get set up at Wrongbar. My friend Anika and I are sewing some stuff for The Art of Fashion competition and we need to be there early in the day to set up.

These are some of the outfits we're sewing this week:

I have to be there for the first part of the night, but after that I want to see as much as I can. I think the secret is to find areas with alot going on so you can see alot all at once. Ryerson seems pretty involved this year, with an amazing fashion show happening at Lake Devo every hour, (which Pattie Milkshake's mindblowing thesis collection is going to be part of) And I'm happy to say there are alot of fashion-meets-art projects happening this year... as well as some spectacularly intriguing possibilities... like the fortune telling mermaid, glow worms, and of course the Gladstone is always a good bet too... Can we make the sunday after Nuit Blanche some kind of citywide holiday???

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Systematic abuse of Power

Last night Pattie Milkshake, Kelley, Aubrey, Heidi and I did Critical Mass. It was not so fun this time.

The police broke up the group, forcing people to stop at lights, and giving tickets if you didn't. That's not Critical Mass. It broke up the group and caused severe agitation. One person got arrested, and I am disturbed because no charges or reasons were giving. This is illegal under Canadian law.

From my understanding, they are here to serve and protect it's citizens. Critical Mass at large is a peaceful protest of civil disobedience. (Although some bikers with bad attitudes and false egos are disobedient and not civil...) Why is our opinion and cry for help not valid? Is it that citizens that own cars are more important? Is this their view? They say we need to be baby-sat or 'protected' so that we won't hurt ourselves. Know what would help? Give us bike lanes. Give us laws. Provide the city with infrastructure. These are the ways to ensuring that bikers and cars get along.

And why are the police breaking the law? How can they justify their actions without following the law that they are sworn to uphold?

Funny enough, yesterday I had also watched and amazing Video on the TED channel.
Philip Zimbardo, an expert witness on the Abu Ghraib trials, gave a lecture on: Why ordinary people do evil ... or do good.

He talks about group power in one part and how it can be abused. Some parts are really graphic, so view at your own discretion. However, Philip turns his experiences into a very positive program for kids, and his presentation ends on a high note. Way to enforce awesome...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New Vintage Clothing Blog!!!

Some of you might already know that I'm working at 69 Vintage Buy the Pound. It's totally awesome. There's incredible old clothes by the truckload, amazing customers and the best part is that everything is recycled. The other day Pattie Milkshake came in and hung out for a bit... it was nice to see her but I got so excited when she put this on that I almost tore off a nail reaching for my camera. Now it hurts to type and I can't wash my own dishes, but whatever - this photo was totally worth it!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Nightshades love...

Graphic agitation...

(Someone please buy me that book!)

Fierce Bambi and I snapped a shot of this using my laptop outside the Danger Layer.

Monday, September 22, 2008

DNS at Manifesto

deadly lampshades

there is a new buy-the-pound ($2 a pound) in the basement of thrift town at 1473 Queen st west. but i might give it another week or so until they are more organized, i did see a lot of fireplace forks and lampshades though.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


i have recently moved into an apartment on queen west about a month ago. moving further west from queen and spadina i felt a lot safer locking my bike outside because bikes werent exchanged for crack as frequently. though i already did spend quite a bit of time chanelling the minds of cracked out bike thiefs with my telepathic abilities when decorating it. i used left over paint from my kitchen table to disporportionally smear over any sign of a brand name to make it appear less sellable.

anyways, a couple of weeks ago i went to meet my mom for coffee downstairs from me, only to find construction workers to have dug a hole AROUND the post my bike was locked to, creating an island. i didn't mind and thought it was sort of funny, until the man in the hole started cat calling me, infront of my mom. have you ever been harassed by a man in a hole? when his head is below your feet? its become clear to me now that i should have used his head as a step to get to the other side, maybe next time.

a couple of days ago on my way to work, i went to retrieve my bike downstairs, and the one post it was locked to had been dug out, and it as well as my bike were just leaning against some store. but again, i thought it was funny, and harmless seeing as how it would have been impossible to steal it. so last night i made sure to lock my bike a block further from my apartment to avoid any more of these situations. already late for work tonight i went to find my bike but it was missing. a couple blocks later i found it, with another bike, completely unlocked and leaning against some building right on queen. they (the construction workers) broke our locks and left them there all day. i am so surprised nobody stole them, especially the one next to mine that was much more valuable. anyways, so i had to carry my bike into work and leave it beside me, then carry it up the stories of my apartment building. tomorow morning i hope to be reimbursed the money for what was a brand new bike lock. i'm really aggravated because they are treating my bike as though it is a burden to the city, expecting me to pick up after the mess they've left, and dismissing the fact that i am a resident here and it's parked directly outside of my home. i am grateful that i still have my bike, and i was planning on buying one from a friend in the next couple of days anyways. but i feel like after being tramatized from the man in the hole, they would have given me a break.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The best part about fashion...

is accessories- hands down. Accessories make the outfit. If anyone tells you different- they are minimalists- so tell them to go back to the mid-nineties and stay there. That is why Fall is soooo awesome. You get to layer scarf over long sleeve top, over vest over hat over mitts over anther scarf over belt over neat new tights!!!....

Need more proof? Her is an old school photo of Big Red and Namtron wearing every accessory backstage at the Toronto Wildlife Show... Accessory gluttony was the term coined... so combining bikes with accessories is amazing squared in my world.

So yesterday I gots paid!!! Money means accessories in my poor world. I went to my favourite local bike place Urbane to see my friends Chris and Mike and any hot bicycle boys that may be around... (FYI: Urbane is GREAT for hot-bike-boy watching.) I needed to get a back light for this month's Critical Mass. You see, Big Red and I had to get off our bikes and walk last time because at 7:30ish the cops stopped us C.M Bicyclists and said they would be ticketing anyone who didn't have lights as of this point. I am not sure if this douche-bag behaviour is in keeping with Toronto's new "Toronto Bikes, why don't you?" campaign that has been going on... but to be honest it is the law.

So I need a light- and did Urbane have the COOLEST new line of bike lights! KNOG is a young-hip company out of Oz. Their philosophy? "KNOG loves bikes and bike gear for the city streets- simple" Swoon... however they don't talk at all about eco-ness or sustainability which is a huge demerit point. Not knowing of any other sustainable bike light company, and loving the LED lights, I got a light-seafoam coloured frog. The light is stored in a soft rubber shell that wraps around your seat post. It's very bright and easy to come on and off. Most importantlyy it is NEAT AS HELL.

Second awesome accessory were reflective leg-band thingies. Now, I usually don't care for that look... but seeing the hand-made in Germany Fahrer bands made me change my mind! They are made out of boat-covers, truck tarpaulins, etc. One of a kind, well made, sustainable, prevents you from being killed... What more can a girl ask for?

God I love bike accessories. Whoever invented them should be given a Nobel prize.

Monday, September 15, 2008

New York City, Day 1 (Part 3 - Gen Art Afterparty)

Nightshades love Gen Aaaaaart!!!

ps. this is the part where we steal the vodka

Hop on the Spiral Bitch!!!

So... As previously mentioned, i met a great chic in Brooklyn while gallivanting with the crew...

Miss Dixie Rose, who rides a low-rider, wears zebra pants and writes for an online fashion mag. (spiralmag.com)
Sound like anyone else you know? I think we should be friends... and start a DNS New York chapter!?

New York City, Day 1 (Part 2 - Gen Art)

Gen Art has become a great launching pad for new designers in the past few years, most notably by discovering Zac Posen, Philip Lim and Rodarte. With pimpin' alumni and judges like Betsey J and DVF, they're kind of like a slick, American version of the TFI New Labels competition. Any young designer would be totes stoked to have their stuff in the Gen Art Fresh Faces show! So we were waaaay too excited when we found out that Phil Sparks would be showing in New York for Spring 2009!!!

The show opened with some cute, wearable pieces by lialia but the most innovative womenswear was definitely by ideen. They had great colour blocking, interesting silhouettes, a nice colour palette.

After waiting for what seemed like ages, Phils stuff finally came out. Check out the whole show here. It was great. Phil has got to be the only designer who makes clothes that I consistently want to buy for my boyfriend.

New York City, Day 1 (Part 1- Chelsea)

To fashion people, taking a trip to see New York Fashion Week is basically like taking a trip to Mecca for muslim people and a big must for any fashion worshipper. Extra "go to heaven" bonus points if you touch Anna Wintour. (Actually, I’m thinking I might start my own religion where we actually worship Diane Pernet...) The Deadly Nightshades made the holy pilgrimage this year, and it was the most hilarious escapade the DNS have ever ventured out on. We snuck into fashion shows, stole copious amounts of vodka from fancy nightclubs, (these might actually be the first of our ten commandments...) met fashion bloggers from all over and even bumped into Uma Thurman!!!

I'll spare you the details of actually getting to New York, since I don't particularly want to relive the eight hours I spend in the back seat stuck to Pattie Milkshake... OR the part of the trip where I realized I’d forgotten to pack socks... But I will tell you about our amazing first day in New York...

First, we hit up Chelsea - which, if you haven't been - is the most mutherfucking awesome gallery district on the planet. On Thursdays it's as busy as a nightclub only everyone is there to see art instead of dancing to bad techno AND there is pretty much unlimited free booze in every single gallery. There was a really fantastic show by Allison Schulnik at Mike Weiss where she had a claymation video of her hobo clown paintings coming to life that would probably give you nightmares for life if you watched it on shrooms. For the record, Mike Weiss is the only gallery in Chelsea where artists can submit work instead of being invited to do a show. After that, we booked it over to The Hammerstein to catch Phil Sparks at the Fresh Faces show, which is organized by Gen Art, an organization that promotes up and coming designers, film makers and artists.

In case you didn’t know, the Deadly Nightshades LOVE Phil and not just for his perennially smoking hot male models... Phil is Toronto-based, and still manufactures much of his clothing in Canada. His clothes are the definition of “So Fresh and So Clean", and he just might be the next big “It” designer out of Toronto (think Paul Smith meets CK for men).

We were all supposed to be on the guest list at his show, but the so-called “VIP” line up was a mile long - and we didn’t have time to wait and find out if we were actually on it! So up we walked to the media entrance. I told them I worked for the Times and we were in a big hurry... Amazingly, it actually worked and we walked right past the security! YES! Commandment one, check!

Deadly Nightshades = 1 New York = 0

GO Shaeffer!

An amazing woman and good friend of the Deadly Nightshades, Sheaffer has her t-shirts in line with a fellow artist, Lauren Asia on display at Life cafe in Brooklyn, NY.

The humour is impeccable!!

They are at the forefront of a new fabulous line, SPRING LOADED!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Growing attention to teenage stupidity

And yet again the Deadly Nightshades have demonstrated their extreme cultural awareness! Thats right, there is a new movement called "teen-hate", which is mostly composed of people who are recently out of their teens, and now reflect in horror at their own stupidity then project that self-hate onto the young people of today. But who brought this to you first? Of course, the trend-setting Deadly Nightshades.

If you are wondering if there is anything fashion or biking related to this posting, well, no there isn't. But I did just discover an amazing blog called SORRY I MISSED YOUR PARTY, which is another organization bringing teen-hate to the masses. Good work. Now go look at it.

Speaking of awesome and public space...

I went to a party put on by Spacing Magazine, which is one of Toronto's best publications. It was to launch their 'People' Issue. Dave Meslin, one of the founders of Dandyhorse was also a founder of this rad mag. So apparently I need to hang out with him more, he creates joy. Chris Carlsson, founder of Critical Mass was there! And no! I didn't meet him! I suck!

Here is a picture of Chris (red-shirt) talking to Dave!

I had a lot of fun. Congrats guys! Keep enforcing awesome!
Photo by Rannie Turingan

Armchair Activism.... Hallelujah!

Anyone who knows me, knows that one of my favorite things is armchair activism. Yes, we're all busy, but it's a pretty big privilege in my opinion to be able to change things by hitting 'send'. And we all know what Spiderman feels about that.

My fellow Nightshades' adventure in NYC has led me to want to share this one group. Reverend Billy and The Church of Stop Shopping may be the coolest live performance/activism/evangelical group that I know off. They are all about spreading awareness about rampant consumerism through the awesomeness of live performance, and you know how us Nightshades feel about that.

So, sign their petition to save NYfuckingC public space! Public space is your right! Even if you're just a group of tourist trouble-making bike gang bloggers...

We, the undersigned, believe the historic Pavilion at Union Square must be kept public space for use by the people of New York City. The Pavilion's priceless legacy as a platform for children and families, musicians, and progressive political activists must not be subverted by a backroom deal to turn it into a restaurant. The Union Square neighborhood is saturated with restaurants, yet New York City is starving for public space.

The First Amendment, invoked in public space, is a community's greatest weapon against repression and exploitation. Emma Goldman and Paul Robeson and countless activists have demonstrated this at Union Square, winning the 40 hour work week and other freedoms we now take for granted. A high-end restaurant on the site of the Pavilion will have a chilling effect on the essential demonstrations and organizing that take place on the north side of the Square to this day, and will swindle the families and people of New York City out of yet another commercial-free space for community use.

We call on the City and Union Square Partnership to preserve and invest in the Pavilion as a public space for the public good, and terminate their plan to convert it into a restaurant.

The Undersigned

Saturday, September 13, 2008

How did I not know about the fabulousness?

After waiting in lines to wait in lines at the tents to see TiBi, I was pleasantly surprised to be handed a Cuervo Gold concoction at the Hessnature and Miguel Androver exhibit in the west village. I was also pleased to see art and fashion together again.

It's been said that Hessnatur has been trying to escape it's 'enviro-J.Crew' status and push the design envelope. Who better to collaborate with then the award winning, avant-guard designer, Miguel Androver.

As the World evolves into deeper chaos, pushing the green movement can get quite tiresome. Towering carved wood, draped in felted, braided, woven and embroidered organics reminds us that the same art is applicable and that life isn't total destruction.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Alright, so lets start at the beginning...

A little work and mostly play is how this Fashion Extravaganza went down. We were all there a couple of days early to support and help out fellow Torontonian, Philip Sparks at his NY debut show, as a part of Gen Art's Fresh Faces show. Back stage was so well organized that most of the time was spent waiting around... a new experience for me... Ah, that takes me back to the g'old kNOwdresscode days....

Drunken and unprofessional models are a pain in my ASS!!... Ahem, Liam- get over yourself!

Other then that it went beautifully! CONGRATS PHILIP!