My Paved Runway - Rachel Shaw

I knew that with the arrival of this year's Junctions Arts Festival (with its art-meets-performance-meets-food-meets-street persona) that fashionable people would be out in droves. Who doesn't love barbecued corn? Art and fashion, like music and fashion, will always be intrinsically linked.


Who: Rachel Shaw, 25, Marketing/PR

Spotted: The Junction

How would you describe your style?
I'm generally a cheap person so I guess it's got to be comfortable but still got to look good. I have to feel good, because when I feel uncomfortable I don't feel good. I have to be able to throw it on and it has to be versatile. Versatility is important to me. I also do a little bit of fashion design on the side so I make my own clothes too.

What kind of clothing do you design?
Stuff that I would enjoy wearing and that my friends would enjoy wearing. A new thing that I really like doing, and it's not really new per se, is finding an old t-shirt and reworking it somehow so it's a halter top or a tube top, or it's got a weird shoulder or neckline because I really like showing the neckline. I think one of the most beautiful spots on a woman is the collar bone so I like to emphasize that. I'm trying to design stuff that caters to what the most beautiful areas are of a woman and how to accentuate it.

What are you currently wearing?
I'm wearing a dress from Winners which was $14.99! The belt is from Korea when I went a couple of months ago. The bike I got from a flee market. It was $20 and her name's Brown Betty. She was all rusted so I got an S.O.S pad and a couple of friends and they helped me clean her up. It was an amazing find. And the seat is real leather and it has the springs in the back. I guess she would be my fashion accessory!

What was your style like when you were 15?
Flannel shirts, ripped jeans and Doc Martens. I had the basic black, eight holes and then I also scored a pair that were a burgundy and they looked all worn out. I wore them until there were holes in the heels and there were stones lodged inside. Every time I walked I could hear the pebbles moving around but they were the most comfortable things in the world.

Does that style carry any influence to the way you dress now?
I think I've matured in the way I dress but I've always been into fashion and followed fashion but I might not have necessarily worn the same styles that are in the mainstream. I've always been a fan of the if it's comfortable, then I'll wear it Mantra. I'm not sure if it had any influence, but maybe my obsession with button-down shirts is related.

When a new trend comes out, is it something that you pick up automatically?
I think it's important to work into your own style. Like skinny jeans, I'm a short girl so skinny jeans don't always work. Finding a way for it to work for you by matching a belt with it or a shirt or the right pair of shoes can always change the look of it. I still do follow trends but I like to make it work for me because it doesn't always work for everybody. I think that's another thing I've grown into is making styles work for you so you're not a slave to the trends and look ridiculous. I think that's important because the way you dress is really an extension of who you are and your personality. It's the first thing that people see and you can tell a lot about a person by the way they're dressed.

Was there any influence behind your hair style?
Well actually, another thing I'm really influenced by is music. I want to do a research paper about how music influences style and style influences music. And how each genre of music has it's own style and it's carried over into mainstream. So for hair I kind of liked that 70's Farrah Fawcett kind of look. I was doing that for awhile and trying to grow my hair out but it was so damaged by hair dye and straightening irons so I just chopped it off. I'm a lazy person when it comes to hair so it's got to be easy. To take time to straighten it every day is a pain in the ass so if I can just wash it and let it air dry then that's cool.

Are there any local stores you shop at?
I like going to a lot of the stores in Kensington Market. I love dresses so it's a great spot for that. It's still affordable for me. As much as there's some awesome stores on Queen West, I can't afford it all the time. Living on my own and I don't have that much of an income but if you're creative enough you can make things work with your style and it doesn't have to be designer. Of course I always love window shopping at Holt Renfrew. That's kind of my secret I guess. I go into Holts, see what's going on there and then I go to Kensington or Value Village and see how I can create that similar look for less.


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