o-IMPRESSIONS-570A photographer has captured the marks left on a woman’s skin after she takes off her clothes, in a bid to ask the fashion industry to take greater consideration of its customer’s comfort.

The itch of a jean seam that’s digging into your hip, the ache of a nagging bra strap or the smart of a shoe strap that chafes with every step, these discomforts are all too familiar and yet they are not enough to stop us returning time and again to clothes that irritate our skin.

Why do we accept feeling uncomfortable in our clothes? That’s the question that inspired San Diego based photographer Justin Bartels to create the photo series called “Impressions.”

o-IMPRESSIONS-570 (2)“Through my dating experiences I started becoming aware of fashion trends that women would often verbally complain about,” Bartel told HuffPost UK Style.

“After seeing these articles come off and the physical and visual proof of how uncomfortable these garments were, I was very perplexed as to why a women would put themselves through such torture.

“I would pose the question as to why they wore uncomfortable apparel and shoes when there were other more comfortable options out there.

“The responses I received typically came in the form of, ‘I want to look this way’, or ‘this is how women dress’, to ‘I feel good when I look good’.


Bartels’ Impressions photo series came about in 2010 after he graduated from the Art Center College of Design in California.  At the time he was dating a model, who he says liked to “wear tight fitting clothing to ‘accentuate’ her features, as well as, high heels to make herself taller then just about any other woman there.”  Bartels asked his partner if she’d be interested in posing for a series of photos that showed the marks left on her skin by her clothes and she agreed it would be a fascinating project.  The impressions on her skin were all made by articles of clothing from her own wardrobe.


Bartels says the response his images have provoked has been mixed.  “I have seen a variety of responses ranging from extremely positive that I created this series to make women more aware of the physical damage, to very negative, with women saying that I was forcing them to wear different types of clothes,” he says.

“I want these photos to be a talking point, to get women who were silent about certain fashion styles to speak out.  The fashion industry won’t change its products unless the consumer demands it.  I truly feel that this series will help spread the message to the fashion industry to do more research and development, and to hopefully listen to their consumer’s needs a little bit more.  I feel that the industry is headed in that direction, with some great comfortable and stylish options that are starting to come out.   Women shouldn’t wear clothes because of what society dictates, they should wear clothes that make them feel good physically and emotionally.”

“I certainly hope that society will perceive these photos as a voice of the consumer asking the fashion industry to change it’s ways.”

Source: The Huffington Post UK | By Ellen Wallwork

Serpent Skin

SerpentInstaThere’s a snake in my boot!  Looking for some awesome heels?  Check out these pristine, patent leather puppies!  Not only will they seamlessly transition from work to dinner or other activities but the chunky, low heel will will keep you comfortable.  You’re welcome fancy feet!

Local Mother’s Day

Show your Momma some love by shopping local this Mother’s Day.  By shifting just a portion of your spending, you can help create more jobs, a stronger economy and build a better community here in Toronto.  So take a short peruse through these charming Mother’s Day gifts from our favorite Toronto Etsy Shops.


Cat’s Cradle Ceramic Dish – $45.00 CAD

Local Father-Daughter Team, Una and Aleks, from Whistle And Work created this amazing hand-painted, ceramic dish.  The illustration is an intricate game of Cat’s Cradle, which my Momma taught me how to play at a very young age.  We certainly did spend a lot of time futzing with the Cat’s Cradle string.  This ceramic dish is perfect for any nostalgic Mother-Daughter pair.  The dish is very versatile and can be used to store soaps, jewelry or candies.  I can picture my Mom eating a big piece of chocolate cake off it.  Whatever Mom will use it for, it will always remind her of her babies.

Leather Statement Necklace - $65.77 CAD

Leather Statement Necklace – $65.77 CAD

Kostimusha is such an amazing Etsy shop – it’s impossible to pick a favorite piece.  Kostimusha’s pieces are often asymmetrical, rough and purposely imperfect. They celebrate individuality, uniqueness and creative freedom. All items in the shop are handmade with an emotion and with great attention paid on detail.  I love the idea of a leather statement necklace as a gift for Mom as these types of necklaces are rare and instantly upgrade a look to edgy chic.  My Momma is a motorcycle biker and a school teacher.  This statement necklace is edgy, feminine and unique – just like Mom.  It would also compliment her everyday clothing like jeans, leather or even a little black dress.

Mother's Day Card - $7.88 CAD

Mother’s Day Card – $7.88 CAD

Mom makes life more beautiful.  Why not reciprocate her pretty ways and send her a little bouquet of beauty?  I’ll be sending Mom a card this Mother’s Day and I am especially loving this sweet and savvy greeting created by Rovena at Handmade By Rovena.  The handmade card features a gently raised bouquet of pink cherry blossoms and sweet white flowers. The bouquet is wrapped up with baker’s twine for a nice finishing touch – perfect for Mom.  Be sure to check out Handmade By Rovena for all of your stationary needs. Rovena has a heap of quirky cards that reflect her life as a mother, a scientist and a creative paper artist.

Setting Free the Bears - Silkscreened Cotton Tote Bag - $22.00 CAD

Silk-screened Cotton Tote Bag – $22.00 CAD

My Mom is a total sucker for tote bags.  She uses them to carry school work, as a plastic bag alternative and to haul around her usual stack of library books.  This grizzly bear tote bag is designed and screen printed by Heart’s Haven.  The tote is called “Setting Free the Bears!” which is named after the famous John Irving novel.  We know book-loving Momma would adore this tote.  And who in their right mind could resist the grizzly bear?!  This strong cotton tote bag is also perfect for Mom as it can probably carry 100 times more than she can carry.  Go check out Heart’s Haven shop you for more awesome handmade accessories.

Vegan Seaweed Salt Scrub - $11.88 CAD

Vegan Seaweed Salt Scrub – $11.88 CAD

Does your Momma love bubble baths and beauty products?  It’s certainly the case with my Mom and I.  As a fellow bath and beauty lover, I feel like I have the authority to tell you not to miss out on this local ‘n’ lovely organic beauty shop called The Basic Elements.  The best part about The Basic Elements is that their products are 100% safe for Moms skin!  Their products are free of chemicals, detergents, dyes, synthetics and preservatives.  This restorative seaweed scrub is perfect for pampering Momma.  The scrub will detoxify, polish and massage her skin.  But wait, there’s more!  The seaweed scrub contains nourishing grapeseed and essential oils that condition and soften the skin.  Check The Basic Elements Etsy Shop frequently as they are often rolling out new products every few weeks.

Vintage Potato Masher - $8.00 CAD

Potato Masher – $8.00 CAD

Because our Momma makes the best mashed potatoes!  I love, love, love the Coco And Bear Etsy Shop.  Coco And Bear is full of unique vintage finds for your home, office or business.  It’s really well merchandised and we love their style of photography.  This farmhouse style potato masher is simply amazing.  I remember a similar masher in my Mothers kitchen.  Just looking at this photograph, I can picture Mom rattling those pots and pans during a long holiday weekend.  Often she would pass the wirey potato masher to me over a pot of steaming potatoes and say, “Have at it!”  If your Mom loves that shabby chic style, this would be a great lil’ addition to her home.

So there you go Toronto.  Local homegrown goodness for the coolest lady in your life.  Be sure to check out Etsy for even more local Mother’ Day gifts.  Nothing could make your Momma more proud than buying products absolutely unique to your area.  Happy shopping locally!