Arts and Culture News

Spicy new thrift store in Pointe-Claire

Friperie Spice Daddy in Pointe-Claire adds a new twist to second-hand shopping.

Gian “John” Carlo Pengue, 43, has always had a passion for clothes. Having been involved in the fashion industry most of his life, he developed a keen eye for interesting items. 

In the early 2000s, he worked for his family’s lingerie business that manufactured their own clothes in the East of Montreal. His family sold their line at ‘Marché Aux Puce flea market’ in St-Eustache during the summer time. 

Constantly being surrounded by interesting and unique items, Pengue quickly gained a special eye for collectibles: “I would go explore the second-hand goods,” he said.

Once Pengue realized that he could sell these collectables and make a profit from them, an idea sparked. He started selling the items he found while working at the flea market and sold them on sites like kijiji or market place. 

He then started working at a recycling company, 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, and would collect furniture, amongst other goods. “That’s when it really changed for me,” he said. 

He collected these unique pieces and continued to sell them online. Multiple storage rooms and his parents’ garage were filled to the brim.

Around the same time, eight years ago, Pengue recalls being approached by his former business partner Marcello telling him: “Hey John, why don’t you come sell these antiques at my store in Pointe-Claire?”

They combined their mutual love for collectibles and fashion to create a thrift store; Tricky Ink. This was the first store Pengue ever opened. 

He started to lean off the antiques and collectibles and focus more on fashion and second hand clothing, since combining the two businesses. “Thank you to my ex business partner,” he says. 

Pengue sold Tricky Ink last year, but it still exists today in Pointe-Claire. Not only does he own Second Chance, his family’s antique store in Hudson, he is also now the owner of  spicedaddymtl, a thrift store opened on Dec. 1 in the heart of the Pointe-Claire village. 

You can walk around the village, grab an ice cream or some food, do a little thrifting and make a day out of it. 

Pengue’s welcoming environment makes the shopping experience worthwhile. Expect to be greeted with a “Hello friend!” or “Hello human!” as you walk in. He says his shop brings the proper amount of spice to the business.

“I like looking good. I like expressing my personality through fashion,” he added. “I love finding unique pieces. I love looking different.” 

This is apparent through his careful selection of the pieces placed on the racks. When walking around his shop, sifting through the different tops, pants and jackets, it’s impossible to not grab something interesting. 

Pengue gets a personal supply filled with unique items from the 80s, 90s and early to mid 2000s, as well as more recent pieces, which he labels on his yellow tags. Need a belt? A hat, perhaps? You can get all the items you want and a complete outfit costs around $15. Once you start, you won’t be able to stop!

He added his own touch by putting a skatepark in the basement of his place. It’s currently under construction, but will soon be available to the public. You can skate with Pengue too! “I’m going to put up a cool sign in the front so people know about it,” he says while standing at the front of his store by the window. 

Pengue describes the store as loose, comfortable and chaotic. He enjoys riding his skateboard inside the shop, making videos for his Instagram account, or making his customers participate in silly games and giving them free knick-knacks. If you know how to do a cartwheel, show him and you’ll get a free vintage Beanie Boo just because. What’s not to love? 

Pengue prioritizes letting people do their thing, all while he does his. “I don’t sell, I serve,” he said. “I want people to come here, make a good friend, get some good clothing, have a chuckle and some fun with a good human,” Pengue said. “That’s the goal at Spice Daddy.”


Trending or timeless?

My personal favourite female figures and characters to draw inspiration from.

As someone who doesn’t follow trends, it floors me how quick the shift is from lifestyle aesthetics such as “clean girl” with the ice rollers and five-minute Journals, to “mob wife” characterised by loud prints and oversized sunglasses. 

In this world of ever-changing aesthetics, people are constantly changing their fashion, dispositions, attitudes, and lifestyles to fit into a short-lived trend. By the time the average trend-follower reinvents themselves, the social media world has moved onto the next big idea, which leads to time and money getting wasted. 

It makes more sense to pick a couple key, inspirational people to use as a blueprint to stick to, rather than being a version of a trend you might not have understood in the first place. Trends tend to become a lifestyle, not just a fashion ideal—do not adapt to them when you know deep down that a particular lifestyle or fashion sense isn’t truly you. 

That being said, here are my favourite female icons to draw inspiration from. Whether through fashion, attitude, or mannerism, it has truly been a journey to cultivate my blueprint from these women. 

Starting off strong with the beautiful Audrey Hepburn. With her timeless class, style, and charismatic disposition, her looks have always been chic and elegant—and they are easily achievable. Grab some ballet flats or classic loafers, tailored black pants, a loose white button-down, and if you’re feeling mysterious, a trench coat. 

Forever an “It girl,” Lady Diana Spencer’s style became especially sought after in her 1996 post-divorce era. Between her revenge dress, that cute little red sweater with the sheep she wore to a polo match after her engagement, and iconic gym outfits, she was truly a sight to behold. Both she and Audrey kept it quite simple, with basics and a few statement pieces. 

Moving along with the classy and well-put-together style, Natasha Richardson’s portrayal of Elizabeth James in the 1998 classic The Parent Trap is an inspiration, and not just as a mother-figure. Though the character opted for more muted neutrals, the way she was styled gave her a certain level of sophistication. 

Those few shots of Louise Grant from Gilmore Girls when she isn’t in a Chilton uniform are a goldmine. With the simple graphic tees, go-to Levi’s jeans and miniskirts, the ‘90s style has become perennial—especially looking at Monica and Rachel from Friends. There is something so timeless about a culmination of late ‘90s mixed with the sophisticated classiness of elegantly polished looks. The clothes are always in style and can be matched any which way, which is why they are my personal fashion blueprints.
Especially if you’ve heard of these characters or people, you’ll see that there are valuable attributes in each of them. With each trend, it is easy to become obsessed with the aesthetic that comes with it, but it’s important to keep in mind to not blindly follow it because everyone else is – you are under no obligation to do something because everyone else is! Participate in the trends that feel right for you. I can’t stress enough that your lifestyle, clothing, and aesthetic choices don’t have to be the same as everyone else’s; your own are what make you a unique and interesting individual. Create an idea of who you want to be, and start there—it’ll up your confidence and save you from over-consumption.


Investing in sustainable fashion is worth it, and here’s why

Sustainable fashion has a lower environmental impact and their clothes are more durable.

Sustainable fashion is becoming more popular over the years. The fast fashion industry is known for contributing to the climate crisis and throwaway culture. Clothes are produced rapidly and are often not expensive. Brands rely on countries with low labour costs to manufacture their clothes, and the working conditions have been concerning. People are now conscious of these impacts and do not want to partake in fast fashion.

Sustainable fashion aims to minimize its impact on the environment. How eco-friendly brands choose their raw material and manufacturing is well considered. These brands use organic cotton, linen, hemp, or recycled fabrics, rather than polyester and nylon. The labour practices are acceptable since workers get paid well and work in safe conditions. 

Sustainable fashion often incorporates recycled material into new products. What is fascinating about sustainable fashion is that they tend to create timeless designs, which is the opposite of what we usually see in trendy fast fashion. Moreover, considering the quality of material used in sustainable clothing,  it’s expected to last longer than conventional clothing. Investing in good quality products is a great way to save money in the long run.

Another point to consider is that by buying from fast fashion brands, we might be unintentionally partaking in animal cruelty. The high demand for leather and fur items  is leading to more animals getting killed. Animals are also affected by the chemicals used during production—a consequence of animal testing. Fortunately, sustainable clothing brands are cruelty-free and strive to keep animals and the planet safe.  

Although sustainable fashion is all about having a lower environmental footprint and damping the consequences of the fashion industry, it is often expensive, which discourages consumers.“It is disappointing that many of these sustainable brands are out of the price range of the average consumer and are unfortunately not size-inclusive, making it difficult or impossible for people of non-standard sizes to shop sustainably at an affordable price,” said India-Lynn Upshaw Ruffner, a Concordia student minoring in sustainability.

That said, all the work that goes behind sustainable production is quite adequate to justify its low affordability. I encourage everyone to start making conscious choices when shopping because it’s high time that we make a difference in an industry that is dominated by fast fashion. Here are some sustainable clothing brands that are affordable and accessible online: YesAnd by Marci Zaroff, Pact, Happy Earth Apparel, Outerknown, and MATE the Label.


Keeping it dirt cheap: how a student attempts to revive thrifting culture on campus

A pop-up shop stacked with clothes appeared in front of the Hall building before reading week.

Days before reading week, students shuffled across campus to finish their classes, preparing for a well-deserved break. One student, however, had a different plan in mind.

Chris Aguiar, a Concordia student in economics, set up shop in front of the hall building with a pair of clothing racks chock-full of his personal garments. His goal: to bring back a moment from the thrifting culture he thought was lost.

“I think there’s a lot of people trying to exploit [thrifting] for personal gain,” Aguiar said. “It just takes away from the spirit of a thrift find. I’m gonna keep it dirt cheap just because I got it for dirt cheap.” 

Aguiar has been thrifting for years, seeing its development from an alternative in affordable clothing into a mode of fashion. Over time, he’s built up an appreciation for the culture surrounding thrifting. Amassing a sizable collection, he hoped to clean some of it out to free up his closet and turn a profit. 

After spotting a similar pop-up shop near Jeanne Mance park, he felt that setting up his racks in front of the hall building was obvious. Aguiar would be reaching his core target: university students in the middle of changing seasons. 

“Obviously, [students] want to get something nice. But more importantly, they want to thrift something,” Aguiar said. “They want a good deal.”

According to Aguiar, regular avenues selling used clothing have become a hassle. As thrifting culture has grown in popularity, he’s noticed a large uptick in prices at thrifting stores. Moreover, online thrift stores like Depop take a percentage of the sales earned by the vendor.

A Concordia-graduated designer, Hannah Silver King, works with deconstructed garments, meaning her designs are often inspired or made from used material. This process is known as upcycling and it often has her using material from thrifted items. She admired Aguiar’s efforts in selling clothes at fair prices, as she herself had noticed the recent rise in thrifted items’ prices. 

“There’s definitely a big market for it now, especially online,” King said. “If we can create this circularity [reselling thrifted clothes], I mean why not? Instead of throwing things away.”

King believes that most people wouldn’t have the resources to do as Aguiar had done—most people looking to sell their clothes would have to follow the beaten path, ultimately opting in to local thrift stores that might mark-up prices. 

As thrifting continued its journey into mainstream culture, trends naturally emerged. Some, a contributing factor into the rising costs of recycled clothing. “A lot of stores decide to curate thrifted clothing. These vendors are going to the bins and they’re picking what’s cool and selling them for triple the price,” said Quinn Kuperhause, director of business relations for the Concordia Fashion Business Association. “It’s absolutely ridiculous.”

With the rise of so-called “vintage” clothing stores, Kuperhause explained how thrift stores would have to compete for the market, which is another reason for rising prices. She sympathized with Aguilar and thought his pop-up shop was a breath of fresh air in what she believes is a heavily saturated market.

Outside of thrifting, Aguiar hoped to incorporate his passion for fashion into selling denim jeans which he produces himself. As for his pop-up shop, he claimed its week-long stay at the Hall building would be cut short as the cold weather sets in.

“I think it’s good that people want to recycle and reuse clothes more often. Everyone deserves to have drip,” Aguiar said.

Arts and Culture Community Culture

Art and agency: the misuse of inclusion

The Indigenous Futures Resource Centre has created an online space to nuance the conversation on cultural appropriation.

In recent discussions surrounding reconciliation, inclusion itself has emerged as a contentious notion. The term inherently implies an imbalance of power between those at the centre who hold the authority to make decisions and those on the periphery who are left at their mercy. Inclusion can easily be mishandled—even organizations with the best of intentions can end up unwittingly tokenizing and exploiting their Indigenous employees. True reconciliation is the democratisation of decision-making, where inclusion efforts are no longer necessary, because everyone is already seated at the table. 

In her article “Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto,” Indigenous artist and fashion designer Sage Paul discusses the urgency of addressing cultural appropriation in the fashion industry in all of its subtleties. It is increasingly important to have a discerning eye. As overt, public incidents become less common, the problem continues to fester behind the scenes. For example, Indigenous artists are being included in projects only to find that their presence is nothing more than the company’s effort to reach a diversity quota. Their names become stamps of authenticity on designs in which they were granted little, if any, creative control over. 

Paul’s article can be found among a growing collection of Indigenous scholarship surrounding this issue on the Promoting and Protecting Indigenous Arts (PPIA) website, which was recently launched as an expansion of the original 2021 print publication. To celebrate the launch on Sept. 26, Concordia’s 4th Space held a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Heather Igloliorte, along with Paul, visual artist Nico Williams and fashion designer Julie Grenier as guests to discuss the impacts of cultural appropriation on Indigenous fashion. The panel noted the long history of Indigenous communities’ participation in the global fashion world as fur traders, and the importance of remembering this history. They also tackled some of the unseen issues facing Indigenous artists and designers, such as crossing the country borders without having their materials confiscated or their customers’ fear of openly wearing their designs. The panellists recalled instances where their non-indigenous customers would admit to only wearing their jewellery or clothing in private, worried that wearing the designs in public would attract negative attention. 

Indigenous fashion panel held at 4th space. Photo by Emma Bell/The Concordian

The PPIA website is a living resource. It provides a space for new scholarship to be placed in dialogue with existing conversations to build a cohesive body of knowledge that is readily accessible to all. “This project unites the wisdom and experiences of Indigenous artists, scholars, cultural stakeholders and knowledge keepers who demonstrate a profound commitment to educating the public,” said Igloliorte. Visit the website at to learn more.
The full panel discussion and Q&A session is also available to watch online on the 4th Space’s YouTube channel here.

Arts and Culture

PARADE: Embodying authenticity

Inspired by Dior’s intimate fashion shows of the 1950’s, Centre PHI hosts a celebration of inhibition.

A runway, but no models. A public that doesn’t know what to expect. A funny yet moving performance. Dancers in wedding gowns, rubber rings and underwear. A drag queen singing a cappella. Wigs, hats, high heels and bare chests. These were some of the ingredients to the recipe of PARADE.

Configuration of the space, Centre PHI, PARADE. Photo by Maya Ruel / The Concordian

PARADE, advertised as a playful and experimental performance by its creators, was hosted at Centre PHI on the night of Sept. 21. The public had been promised something unusual—a mash-up of dancing, singing, drag, fashion and much more. Yet nothing could have prepared the audience for the level of artistic freedom displayed on the runway.

“It’s a celebration,” explained Frederick Lalonde, producer of PARADE. “It’s about identity: without any shame or inhibition—who is your true self? We tried to answer that question through the artists’ performance.”

The idea of PARADE first came to creative initiator Carole Prieur during the pandemic. The project had been in the works for at least three years on the night of the performance. The inspiration for it came in part from Dior’s fashion shows in Paris in the 1950s, which often took place in apartments, and from the urge the pandemic created to reinvent oneself. It started out as a small project, likely to be presented in the privacy of an apartment, among friends only, but as it grew and brought more and more artists together, Prieur and Lalonde decided to take a different approach and made the show open to the public.

The public was driven to feel a whole range of emotions during the show: guest artist Klo Pelgag’s rendition of Voyage, Voyage had some people pulling out their handkerchiefs, while other segments made the public laugh out loud by their sheer provocation and absurdity. At times, the sexual tension on stage was so palpable that everyone seemed to be holding their breath. All masks fell—there was only authenticity in the showroom, on the part of performers and audience alike. For an hour, in this Old Montreal venue, anything was possible.

Chi Long performing at PARADE. Photo by Maya Ruel / The Concordian

The artists’ performances were vulnerable, open and fluid. The performers offered themselves wholeheartedly to the audience, inviting viewers  to abandon themselves in return. Since the show took place on a runway, the performers moved through the crowd, transforming the experience into something very personal through eye contact and physical proximity. Sometimes, a gown or a wig would even brush against a spectator’s leg.

The idea of a “celebration” evoked by the producer took on its full meaning when, at the end of the show, the dancers invited everyone in the room to come and dance with them on the runway. People of all ages, sexes, genders and ethnicities stood and crowded onto the dancefloor, swaying to the beat of the music, glued together, smiling, their heads full of art and freedom. It may well have been the most authentic and touching performance of the evening.


Concordia-based young designers attend fashion show for the first time

Concordia Fashion Business Association hosts fashion show

The world of fashion is constantly evolving, and young designers are at the forefront of innovation. In late March, four young designers from Concordia University showcased their talent at a fashion show hosted by the Concordia Fashion Business Association (CFBA). The event provided them with a platform to express their creativity and gain exposure in the industry. 

The CFBA is a club founded by Concordia students that aims to introduce students to Montreal, but as co-president Sydnee Grill put it, they introduced Montreal to Concordia. Preppy punk was the theme of the show and designers interpreted it to their liking. 

First to show was Oliver Suri-Cernacek, who showcased a collection that combined traditional fabrics and modern silhouettes. Some designs were influenced by his Indian heritage while other pieces challenged the idea of sexiness in the workplace. 

One of his pieces, for example, was a skirt that focused on the Hindu concept of Āśrama, a system that seeks to explain the stages of human life. Suri-Cernacek’s collection was a standout at the fashion show, and his use of bold colors received a lot of attention from the audience.

Next up was Hannah Silver King, who presented a collection that was inspired by her fabrics. Her handmade designs were a fusion of different recycled fabrics, all cut and sewn together. 

King’s collection was both sustainable and fashion-forward, and her innovative approach to design was praised by the spectators. She dreams of being able to work alongside other talented Montreal artisans to create collections of upcycled garments. 

Third on the list was Mariana Tropea, who showcased a collection that was entirely made up of crocheted items. Her designs were feminine and punk, and she used soft fabrics such as yarn to create tops, hats, shoulder sleeves and more.

“Seeing my friends wear my own clothes, it’s like a dream I had when I was a kid,” said Tropea. She sold many pieces at the marketplace held after the show. 

Last but not least were Ethan Irwin and Adam Garcia, who presented a collection that was inspired by streetwear and Montreal culture. Their designs were grungy and minimalistic, and they collaborated with other Montreal artists to create their pieces. 

Their collection was a mix of cut and sewn handmade pieces, made with all kinds of fabrics such as denim. It was the first time they showed their pieces on models. “It used to be made in my basement, so it’s definitely nice being on our first small runway,” said Irwin. 

Overall, the fashion show was a great success, and the young designers received a lot of praise for their talent and creativity. 

“The show was actually pretty good. I really like the designs,” said audience member Jeremie Omeomga. “The pieces actually spoke for themselves […] Concordia students can be very proud of themselves.”


CFBA: The student source for all things fashion business

The CSU organization is the on-campus remedy for all your vogue cravings

The Concordia Fashion Business Association (CFBA) was founded in 2017 in order to connect student fashion enthusiasts to the industry by providing events, cocktails, talks, and mentorship involving experienced professionals in the field.  

The CFBA isn’t “just about networking with professionals, but other students as well because there aren’t any means provided by the school to do that,” mentioned CFBA co-president Sydnee Grill. 

Last year featured the first appearance of the Cocktails & Connections event held at Apt. 200, where the turnout of business-professional guests and student attendees alike surpassed expectations. The guest speaker for the night was Zach Macklovitch, co-founder of Saintwoods. 

“This year we want to do it bigger and better because we won’t have to worry about the vaxicode,” said Grill, “and we have a much higher cap on the amount of people who can attend the venue.”

Before 2021, the CFBA only held one or two of these events per year. Fashion Conversations was the recurring activity, which won an award for Best Virtual Event 2020-21 from the CSU. The fashion conference includes different events involving several speakers, workshops and a session after a cocktail event for recruiters to talk to students.

The club will also participate in Fashion Spectrum, a Quebec-wide case competition for all universities. The deadline to enter is Nov. 14 for students who want to get involved and enhance their skills in fashion and business. The competition is from Jan. 13 through 16, and the team will meet weekly with fashion mentors in order to prepare. 

As for the weekly timings, the CFBA meets once a week on Sundays for a general meeting. Closer to an event, many more meetings and a lot more work and time is put in.  

“At that point the events team is planning, the business relations team is reaching out to sponsors and speakers inviting guests and the social media team is pumping out all the content for that event,” said Grill.

“In the past, websites have been the main source to find business information. Now, Instagram is the top platform to keep consumers up to date, whether it’s student-run or professionally run,” added the co-president.

This year, the club’s new content creator Lucie Sarrazin created and posted a video on “what Concordia students are wearing” that garnered almost 50,000 views on Instagram. From that video, the club gained around 300 new followers in a matter of two weeks — more than what they gained throughout all of last year. 

“If you don’t go out and seek us out, the only other place you’re going to find us apart from going straight to our website is finding us on the CSU clubs website page. Every time someone new finds us, they’re amazed at how they’ve never heard of us,” Grill said.

Stay tuned for late April activities involving Concordia-based businesses and possible thrifting. 

This Nov. 10 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., students who attend the event at Apt. 200 will be able to network with each other and business-professional guests over food and drinks. The event will also feature a main guest speaker who will speak for 30 to 45 minutes.

Trend Anxiety: The interconnectedness of fashion and the world

Slow-fashion, fast-fashion, sustainable fashion, timeless fashion, upcycle, resell, in-season, out-of-season — an endless supply of words to give meaning to the clothes we choose to wear.

At first glance, they seem to be buzzwords, ultimately deeming some clothes “good,” and some clothes “bad.” But more than buzzwords, these terms provide a direct correlation between our clothes and the world around us.

Most of us have now experienced our first large trend cycle, with the return of Y2K fashion. But we are also experiencing trend cycles on a ridiculously smaller scale, one with a timespan of two months, instead of 20 years. Trends cycle so fast it actually induces my anxiety.

I went into H&M on Saint-Catherine St. for the first time in years last week, and felt completely overwhelmed. The fluorescent lights highlighting this season’s neon psychedelic trends, the seemingly infinite amount of clothes, the intensity of shoppers searching for something that will undoubtedly be out of style before they even return home. Not to mention the EDM blaring over the sound systems making me feel even more off-kilter, which only aggravated the situation. I couldn’t help but question, when we buy clothes, what are we buying?

As consumers, we must acknowledge the relation between clothes and the world around us — they don’t just represent your stature. We must understand the direct effect of the fashion industry and fast-fashion on the environment, on its involvement of child labour, and on the society in which we participate.

Once we understand the factors that go into our clothes, it’s important to buy and wear them in a way that is responsible and adheres to our beliefs and morals about the world.

As someone who has loved clothes and fashion from a young age, I have always considered my clothes as a representation of myself. My style fluctuates, which presents to the world my personal growth and changing environments. Moving to Montreal from Halifax influenced my style the most in recent years, with my wardrobe becoming more of a collection built from various trips to the thrift store and less from stops at my local Lululemon. It reflected the culture of Montreal youth and my personal endeavors, mainly that of caring for the environment.

That’s the thing with clothes. They tell others something about you which often remains unsaid. It is a signifier to the world; this is who I am because this is what I wear. But if what we are buying is an extension of ourselves, what do trends have to do with it?

In this case, maybe trends are a signifier to the world simply that we know what is trending. For lack of better terms, wearing a trend makes us cool. It’s not an inherently bad thing. Trends have been around as long as fashion itself has, and it’s not wrong to want to participate in them.

But many of us fall into the trend trap, in which we buy something only to wear it once or twice and never reach for it again. We all remember those early pandemic era trends of 2020 — namely cow and zebra print on literally everything, whether it be pants, tops, hats, shoes or furry bags. I couldn’t scroll through Pinterest without seeing some rendition of the alternative animal print trend, and now you’d be hard-pressed to find them anywhere.

Trend anxiety doesn’t just manifest itself in the chaos of fast-fashion shopping, as it also implores us to keep buying new clothes in order to retain the perception of being “trendy.” In today’s social media-driven world, trends have made fashion more about others than about ourselves.

Maybe you feel really comfortable in a certain trend, and you know you can source it in a sustainable way. You’ve already done the hard part by acknowledging how your clothes make you feel regardless of the perception of others. From here, we can wear trends in a way that respects the interconnectedness of fashion to self and the world around us.

When you’re shopping, choose pieces — regardless of their trend status — that you believe will last a long time. This means assessing the quality and durability of the garment, and questioning whether the piece will stand the test of time in your wardrobe, even when it may no longer be trending. This eradicates the disposability of clothes.

I used to go to the thrift store and purchase every trendy item I found because I thought I’d get the chance to wear them all. Realistically, so many of those pieces went unworn because they’re too hard to incorporate into my daily wardrobe. It’s helped to really consider before buying each item, how will I style this in numerous ways to really get wear out of it? If my style changes, will I no longer care for this item? Is it comfortable enough?

We should all try to buy clothes mainly out of necessity. If you actually need a new pair of jeans, think twice before buying a new skirt or dress. Realistically, clothing is an investment. Buying clothes you know you’ll wear helps the environment, and saves you money in the future.


Visuals by James Fay

eBay: the *hardest* resale platform in town

Depop, Poshmark… been there, done that! Time for a challenge

It’s not a secret that I love to thrift. I will make it a point to tell everyone I come across that my “entire fit is thrifted.” In March 2020, when the pandemic hit and thrift stores closed (hold for dramatic pause), I, like everyone else, went online and tried to fill the void in my heart with second-hand clothes.

First was thredUp — I spent the first lockdown scrolling through endless pages of some housewife’s old clothes. Then, like everyone, I turned to Depop. Hot take: I hate Depop. It is, in my opinion, a platform that seems filled with posers and people who overcharge every time a certain item becomes a “hot trend.”

Now that thrift stores are open, shopping online seems like an expensive alternative to my neighbourhood thrift. But the pandemic also exacerbated the amount of people looking for vintage, thifted, unique pieces which will fit their aesthetic. Sometimes, that means thrifting in stores is a little harder, since you can’t “filter” like online, or maybe don’t have five hours to go through all the racks of your local Value Village.

Well I have a solution for you — if you’re brave enough to try! As a commerce platform, eBay has always overwhelmed me. The bidding, making offers, receiving offers, not to mention the expensive shipping costs. However, the advantage with eBay is the abundance of vintage stock, which will often end up cheaper than if you bought it in a consignment store.

So here are my tips for navigating eBay. They may seem standard to some, but I’m going to assume everyone is as intimidated by the outdated website as I was when I first ventured into that dusty corner of the internet.

Know what you want

This isn’t the place to browse for clothes — there needs to be a specific brand or item you are looking for. I recommend looking through Pinterest and finding vintage brands you like, or even looking in your closet to see what brands you gravitate to when thrifting. I asked my mom where she shopped in the ‘90s to help narrow down some options.

You can look through the standard eBay categories for jewelry or home decor, but clothes need to be found manually.

In terms of items, sometimes you can start broad — “vintage womens pants” is a good start. If I find a pair of pants I like, but they are too expensive or not the right size, I add a specific keyword from that description, and add it to my search bar.

In time, you will have 14 tabs open with different searches — in sizing, colour, style, fit, or even decade. After all, there’s no one way to categorize a listing on eBay, so it’s important to adapt with the platform. It’s not an exact science; there’s no one keyword or brand that unlocks all the great treasures.

The watchlist

Unlike other online retailers, eBay adopts a “watchlist” versus the overdone “wishlist.” Here, you can watch items that interest you, but the best part about the tool is that sellers can offer you discounts based on the items in your watchlist. Typically, you’ll get 48 hours to respond to an offer.

For example, I had my eye on a vintage white ‘90s crewneck cute baby lions sweater that was way out of my price range — by which I mean the shipping was way too expensive (which is probably the platform’s only downfall). Out of nowhere, a notification appeared up at the top right corner of my screen — suddenly, the sweater was affordable!

You bet your booty I’ve been wearing it every day since it arrived.

It’s important to check your emails or the notifications on your eBay account to keep track of offers, but this is easy once you get addicted to going down the eBay rabbit hole.

Now you have the tools to navigate the treacherous eBay landscape… let the bidding battles begin!


Feature graphic by James Fay and Catherine Reynolds

Where to get the goods

A look into Concordia students’ passion for fashion

Over the past few years, trend cycles have accelerated exponentially. A combination of fast fashion, social media and capitalism has created a whirlwind of trends for us to stay on top of, adapt to, and incorporate into our own personal styles.

This week I thought it would be fun to take an adventure and see what people were wearing around Concordia’s downtown campus. Keep in mind there are nearly 50,000 students at our little university, so this is what I saw while I was at the downtown campus, sitting in the Hall Building for a couple of hours.

If you saw me standing awkwardly staring at people’s outfits, no you didn’t.

Many people are leaning into an academic vibe for the return to school: think lots of trousers, loafers, white tube socks and funky button-ups.

If you are in the market for some trousers, I think the best place to find them is a thrift store, such as Renaissance (Montreal’s Goodwill) or Value Village, though it is a little pricier. Additionally, you can always go walking on Saint Laurent Blvd. in between Sherbrooke St. and Mont-Royal Ave., where many independent thrift stores can be found.

Loafers are a staple in any fashion forward wardrobe, and have taken the place of the Doc Marten Jadons as the ruling shoes this fall. Recently, Geox Spherica loafers went viral on TikTok and generally sold out, apart from a few select sizes. Other good places to find loafers are at the aforementioned Doc Martens, as well as Vagabond, or even better, thrifted! I’ve found three pairs of platform and non-platform loafers at thrift stores around Montreal just this past month!!

Good button-ups can be found everywhere, but especially in thrift stores! This may seem redundant, but the patterns that you are looking for from House of Sunny, Jacquemus and higher-end fashion all take inspiration from vintage designs. I suggest taking your time in the women’s blouse section, and playing around with sizing. If you’re looking for a “shimmy shake top,” definitely go for a more oversized piece. If you’re going for a fitted, cinched vibe, then more true to size will work.

If you’re more into the early 2000s era, you’re probably very familiar with thrifting already. You’re looking for low-waisted, straight or wide-leg jeans with embroidery, top stitching and a funky graphic design. You’re looking for halter tops with beaded details, matching tracksuits and platform shoes. I highly recommend checking out La Vegan Baddie’s website (coming soon), a Y2K reseller located in Montreal, with a world of hidden gems . You can always take the time and thrift these finds yourself, but I do not recommend giving into the fast fashion replicas of this era. It gives me… unauthentic and middle school vibes — but you do you.

Fashion is always changing and growing, and so does your personal style. So let’s all keep in mind to grow our styles instead of replicating the entirety of an aesthetic you saw once on TikTok and sorta liked. Learn to isolate the elements that bring you joy, and that “make the outfit.” From there, incorporate that aesthetic into one that’s all your own.


Feature graphic by James Fay

When fashion and music meet queerbaiting

Why I’m critical of Harry Styles’ fashion

At 27-years-old, British singer Harry Styles is already a universally recognized fashion icon. In his post-One Direction career, he adopted a more flamboyant and fashion-forward dress, wearing pink suits, pearls, sheer tops, dangly earrings, nail polish, and high heel boots. He’s earned significant praise for breaking away from the strict (and boring) confines of traditionally masculine clothing. The culmination of Styles’ rejection of toxic masculinity through fashion was in December 2020 when he became the first man to grace the cover of Vogue solo — wearing a Gucci gown.

Others have already pointed out that he isn’t exactly a pioneer; his fashion is inspired by musicians David Bowie and Prince, who were also known for “gender bending” fashion before he was even born. This trio’s fashion isn’t exactly unique or revolutionary either, however. These three are just those who have been uplifted by the industry, and our culture, because they have been deemed more palatable.

Bowie was white, and although Prince was a Black man, for part of his career he was presented as multiracial due to his lighter skin tone, and his role as a biracial musician in Purple Rain. Bowie and Prince flirted with rumours about their sexuality, with Bowie even stating that he was gay and bisexual in the 70s, but both were ultimately presumably straight, as Bowie later said he was “always a closet heterosexual,” while Prince became quite conservative.

Despite this, Prince and David Bowie are widely considered to be gay icons. In contrast, Little Richard, a rock ‘n’ roll pioneer remembered for his “fervent shrieks, flamboyant garb, and joyful, gender-bending persona” who inspired Prince and Bowie musically and stylistically, has not been afforded the same status even though he referred to himself as gay and omnisexual throughout his life. Sylvester, an androgynous and openly gay singer best known for his 1978 disco hit (and LGBTQ+ pride anthem) “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” has also been largely forgotten in this discourse.

Styles has kept his sexuality ambiguous. And while I respect his desire to keep certain details private, there is a long history of bisexuality being used by musicians to seem more interesting and transgressive which has ultimately contributed to stigma that continues to surround bisexuality. He’s denied “sprinkling in nuggets of sexual ambiguity to try and be more interesting,” but I’m admittedly a little weary. Even if Styles is queer, right now, his sexual orientation is ambiguous and he’s only ever publicly dated women. This allows him to benefit from queer aesthetics and allows queer people to identify with him, without Styles having to deal with nearly as much homophobia as other entertainers like Lil Nas X or Billy Porter, who also sport very feminine and androgynous fashion on red carpets and are both openly gay men.

Styles’ rise as both a fashion and queer icon shows how, despite more representation and diversity in our media, we haven’t made much progress since the heydays of Bowie and Prince.

Actor and singer Jaden Smith was featured in a womenswear campaign for Louis Vuitton at age 17, wearing a skirt. This made him the first man to model women’s wear for the fashion house. Smith has been wearing outfits similar to Styles for years, once wearing a skirt to his prom and even launching a gender neutral clothing line. But as one Twitter user pointed out in response to someone commenting on Styles’ impact on the fashion industry, “its the way jaden smith has been wearing the outfits harry styles has, but yall called him weird and made fun of him.”

Fashion similar to Styles’ is common among male K-pop idols, who are frequently criticized for “looking like girls” in the West. G-Dragon, a 32-year-old South Korean rapper and the leader of hip hop group Big Bang, has been called “a chameleon who often makes peak-era Lady Gaga seem staid.” Though, for much of his career, G-Dragon has dressed quite traditionally masculine (albeit much more fun and fashionable then the average male celebrity), he’s also been unafraid to wear makeup, heels, skirts, and drop earrings, or sport long hair and look beautiful. He’s gone way beyond anything Styles has ever done in terms of gender-fluid fashion, but in his more toned down moments he’s dressed very similarly to Styles.

Despite this, male K-Pop idols like G-Dragon are not considered queer or fashion icons, and neither is Jaden Smith. While there are other factors besides race or xenophobia at play, it would be irresponsible to totally ignore that.

When it comes to male celebrities — whether we’re talking about Styles, Prince, or Smith — feminine, androgynous, flamboyant fashion is usually exotica. Rarely do they actually dress that way off stage or off the red carpet or magazines. When they dress outside traditional gender roles they do deal with criticism, but they also get attention and praise while regular queer people who dress like that are at risk of violence when they walk down the street. So when our culture puts men like Styles on pedestals, it feels like a way for society to pat itself on the back as super progressive while ignoring the struggles of the LGBTQ+ community, particularly queer POC.

I think Styles is helping to make fashion less binary and showing a different type of masculinity, and I’m happy he’s dressing however he likes. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be critical and have an intersectional perspective that helps us realize why his fashion is so hyped up. There is a long history of queer and Black culture being appropriated by privileged white cishet people who are celebrated for these aesthetics. And queer people are often so desperate for representation that they will idolize the crumbs they’re given even when it’s obvious queerbaiting.

So the solution seems simple: you can love and appreciate Styles’ fashion, but make sure you’re uplifting the true pioneers.


Photo collage by Kit Mergaert

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