Filed under: Style Swellness

Style Swellness: BRAVE Leather DIY belt workshop

BRAVE belt

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to a DIY belt workshop at BRAVE Leather and I made sure to add it to my schedule because it’s not every day you get a chance to make your own leather belt at the Canada’s only leather belt factory.

I made this belt!

You probably know BRAVE, the Canadian leather company that’s been in business for 24 years and in that time has produced more than two million pieces right here in Toronto. It actually started as a street stand! Now, you’ll find their gorgeous belts at the stylish shops you go to (take a peek at the labels, maybe you already own one or two BRAVE pieces in your closet).


At their factory, I chose to make their Western-inspired belt (the style name is called Daphne) in the raw washed brown leather (I had Stampede and music fests on the brain so it was calling my name). We started by figuring out my size, then choosing the style on the  computer, and I then placed the leather so as to waste as little leather as possible and then click “go” and the digital laser cutter precisely cut my belt. After that, we used a machine that shaves off some leather to make it thinner at the ends, then I went onto the next step where we added the metal pieces and I stepped on the pedal to affix the pieces tightly onto the leather. And within, say, 10 minutes or so, my belt was complete!


While there, we also previewed the BRAVE FW16 collection, and I’ll add pics of a few of my faves to this post shortly!

2 Comments June 21, 2016

Style Swellness: Simons x Douglas Coupland 3DCanada


me and my pal Doug

“Imagine you are sitting down in a chair and on a screen before you you are shown a bloody, ripping film of yourself undergoing surgery. The surgery saved your life. It was pivotal in making you you. But you don’t remember it. Or do you? Do we understand the events that make us who we are? Do we ever understand the factors that make us do the things we do?

When we sleep at night – when we walk across a field and see a tree full of sleeping birds – when we tell small lies to our friends – when we make love – what acts of surgery are happening to our souls – what damage and healing and shock are we going through that we will never be able to fathom? What films are generated that we will never be shown?”

That’s an excerpt from Douglas Coupland‘s book Shampoo Planet, which I read when I was in CEGEP, and it really, really struck such a chord with me (I’d had a very similar dream with the same theme around that time),so much so that I copied it down back then.

So having the chance to finally meet the author and artist on Friday at Simons was pretty damn exciting to me. And he was so warm and friendly (not sure why I was not expecting that?), even when I awkwardly blurted out that I’m a big fan of his work.



I was there for the media event for scanning and printing 3D busts. It’s a crowd-sourced art initiative, a collab between Simons and Coupland. Between 2015 and 2017, Coupland is traveling across the country to scan Canadians at existing and future Simons locations where we can each get scanned and take home a 3D bust of ourselves. And in 2019, Coupland will unveil 3DCanada, a sculpture made of hundreds of 3D busts, each one being 5 centimetres tall and 10 grams in weight. (I always knew I was meant to be a work of art, haha!)

On Saturday, April 30, 2016, is the 5th scanning event, and it’s taking place at the Simons in Square One Shopping Centre. (And the next scanning event set for the Rideau Centre in Ottawa in Fall 2016).

If you’re in the GTA, head to Simons in Square One tomorrow from noon until 12:30 to have your own scan and bust printed (you’ll find this happening on the second level). I’m so excited to receive my bust soon!

Leave a Comment April 30, 2016

Style Swellness: Denim days

gap swing tank dress

With a nearly two-week trip to China last month, I wanted something new to add to my travel wardrobe. I knew we’d be on the road a lot, and walking a ton (so I’d be in comfortable shoes), that it’d be spring temps, and I needed it to be something I could roll up into my suitcase and not worry too much about wrinkles in the fabric.

This GAP swing tank dress fit the bill perfectly. It’s loose fit makes it easy to throw on, it works with my Vans from J. Crew but just as easily could be worn with sandals, and it’s as casual as wearing a pair of jeans, but just a bit more pretty and feminine (especially with the cut of the neckline and armholes–that’s actually what caught my eye at first with this number).

The weather in Fujian and Jiangxi turned out to be much colder than any of us expected, so I only got to sport this dress once, but I can’t wait to frolic in it when spring finally arrives in Toronto.

at Jingdezhen


Leave a Comment April 12, 2016

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