Sunday, April 25, 2010

Life in MTL: Tams Tams and the Jean Talon market

MTL: a city so rich in culture and diversity. I was happy to be able to hit up my two favourite spots today; tam tams drum circle on the mountain, and the jean talon market. Here are some photos i grabbed on my phone, no the best quality, but you get the idea.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Those of you who know me well will not be surprised by the fact that this post is about a surf culture brand from Montanita, Ecuador (one of my favourite places). Montanita is the most wonderful little surf town located on the Ecudorian coast. The vibes there are so positive, and it almost feels like a parallel universe, kind of dream world. The style thats going on there is ecclectic, and there are tons of little surf brands that no one (other than the locals) really knows about. I like this one in particular; Mind. I like it because its so local, with a unique appeal to it. I found some photos from their add campaign for summer 2010 on facebook, in their group (check it out!/group.php?gid=49796205490). The add campaign is called "Psychedelic Summer 2010". Its simple, and cool, I really like it. Mind sponsors a bunch of local, really talented surfers. The guy in the pictures i posted is named Mario, and hes the second or third best surfer in Ecuador. We hung out a bit while i was chillin' in Montanita, and hes a really down to earth, borderline shy guy (not to mention a total babe). I think the ad campaign looks amazing considering the fact that they definitely do not have the most extensive budget. I thought i'd post it because it inspires me and i wanted to give them props from all the way over here in Canada! (not long before im back in that paradise of a place tho!!....)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Capoeria: another reason why Brazil is the Sh*t

Capoeria is an Afro-Brazilian art form which is a combination of dance, music and martial arts. 3 of my favourite forms of exercise! I tried it here in Ecuador for the first time last night and it was really challenging and really fun! Although it is Brazilian it is still pretty popular in other parts of South America, which is why I managed to find it. The intructor was definetely Brazilian, he had a prominent Portuguese accent when he was speaking Spanish which sounded really nice. During the class I learned the basic steps, and watched the more advanced people do crazy cartwheels and hand stands combined with kicks and ducking all in a sort of dance routine. It was so cool to watch, one of the coolest things i´ve seen in a while. So on top of beautiful women, fashion, and beaches, Brazil also has Capoeira as a claim to fame, its not fair. Capoeira was created in Brazil by slaves from Africa, some time after the 16th century, so this isn´t a new trend people! In capoeira, music sets the rhythym and the style of play. Because it´s routes are African, the music has an awesome afro-latino vibe to it. It combines many of the things in life that i consider beautiful, and you get a work out at the same time, i´ll definetely be keeping this up while im still here.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Let me just start off by saying how challenging it has been to find wireless that works on my computer. AND even when there is wireless something always goes wrong while im trying to make these posts and thats why they have been few and far between. Nonetheless Ive been looking forward to posting this one for a while and its taken me a few tries at a few different places. These photos are from a parade that I had the priveledge to attend in Bolivia. It was a national parade that happens once a year to commemorate traditional Bolivian culture. Its a huge deal and there were thousands upon thousands of people in attendance as the parade ran throughout the entire city of La Paz. All of the seats were packed! it was hard for us to find a place to watch but when theres a will theres a way, and we eventually did manage to get our way in. The parade was an authentic cultural experience, and the costumes were absolutely stunning! so intricate and detailed! i could tell how much labour had gone into making them, and how proud the people in the parade were to be wearing them. The indigenous people in attendance at the parade were wearing clothes that they only wear once for that specific occasion, and put a lot of time and money into them. The ultimate purpose of the parade is as a competition. The parade consists of seperate groups of people, who design their costumes and coordinate their own music and dancing in order to impress the president of the country, in attendace at the parade, who ultimately chooses the winner. This is why when they go past him they dance the hardest and sing the loudest! All in all it really was unbelievable, i've never seen such a rich cultural parade so full of gorgeous costumes.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bolivian Cholas

Because Bolivia is a country with extreme traditional indigenous influence, the style that stands out is obviously just that traditional ingigenous. So heres more alternate fashion for you guys. The indigenous women have a very distinct look. To me, it seemed, as if the majority of the women i saw were dressed traditionally. These women are proud of their outfits, which cost them a lot of money! Usually about one month of pay for a complete outfit. The fancy versions are especially expensive, which they usually wear only once, for a special occasion, and then never again. Apprently these outfits can cost up to a few thousand dollars American. There are three signature items to their outfits: the bowler hat, the skirt, and their "manta", a.k.a shawl. You will also often see them using a traditional hand made blanket over their back to carry children or other goods, such as food, wood, etc. Under their skirt, they wear many other skirts to make them look wider and emphazie their child-bearing hips. They almost look as wide as they are tall, and this is what their community considers beautiful! Its an extremely interesting look. There are many Bolivan parades and festivals where they flaunt these women flaunt fancier more colorful versions of these outfits adorned with gold and silver and sequins and tassles! I went to a parade, and it was stunning to see all the elaborate variations! Being there got definetely got me into liking shawls. They look really nice and are really conformtable, not to mention that in Bolivia they are georgous and hand made. I think they are a wonderful accesory for every culture. Another part of their style that isn´t is obvious is the alpaca wool leg warmers that they wear under their skirts. These are the coolest leg warmers i have ever seen! so i bought four pairs! By the way the picutres i posted arent mine, becuase im not using my laptop right now. I just posted them to give you an idea, i might post mine later.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Poncho Obsessed...Written Component

sorry guys...again blogger was giving me problems with uploading pictures and writting in the same post so heres the written part to the pictures below:

Indigenous style is the best style! in my opnion at least! bolivia has such a strong indigenous culture that I am absolutely in love with. To me, their style is the ultimate in what we (north americans) can consider alternate fashion, which is also my favourite kind of fashion. go eff yourself haute couture. just kidding, i love couture too. But this stuff really pushes fashion boundaries because its so traditional yet unique and different to us at the same time. There are many tribes here in bolivia, and they all have their own variations on traditional indigenous style. the three main tribes in bolivia are the aymara, the quetchua, and the guarani. some other tribes include the tarabuco and the jalq'a, famous across Bolivia for their textiles. one trend that transcends pretty much all tribes is the poncho, also my new favourite item. Although ponchos are the focus of this article, don’t think that they are the only thing worth writing about indigenous style, there is much more that i am going to write about in due time. (the internet is extremely slow here, and so are the computers) up to this point, ive bought three ponchos. actually one is more like a shawl. traditionally, the indigenous women wear shawls called "mantas" and the men wear ponchos. the reason these items of clothing are so amazing is because they are made out of the most stunning, hand made textiles. mine are made out of alpaca and llama wool (i am vegetarian so i obviously investigated the fact they don't kill the animals to get their wool, its merely giving them a haircut, which happens once a year), however traditional textiles are also made out of other materials, and are died with natural dies from insects, plants and flowers. My dad also caught the poncho bug, and bought two for himself. His however, are the ultimate in authenticity, and were much more expensive. we met an indigenous man, who sold us one that his mother made by hand! he also let me try on his whole outfit! Hence the second photo from the top. the other poncho that my dad bought is one that i picked out for him in Sucre, which you can see in the first picture. I think that ponchos can work just as well in our advanced culture as they work here in traditional culture. For example, I would wear one of my mine as an alternative to a fall jacket or maybe one of the lighter ones as a sweater over a t-shirt or tank top. Actually the beauty of ponchos is that they can practically be worn over anything. To me, they are the silver lining on the grey cloud that is cold canadian weather!

Poncho Obsessed in Bolivia