Podcast Episodes, Uncategorized

Episode 12: How to not be a dumb doofus when shopping for clothes

This week we try and ask the big  questions about how to shop in an ethical and informed way. It’s a hugely important part of being a good consumer – something that is a hard thing to do these days. Considerations like company transparency, environmental impact, labor abuses, price, quality, availability and intellectual property are things we try and touch upon to help you – and us – become more supportive in the way we think about and consume the fashion we all love so much.


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But first! Catch up with The Hags!

Evan is a busy body in the best sense – not only is he preparing his collection for a show at the end of the month, he has taken on an extra challenge for Eco Fashion Week here in Vancouver. It’s called Chic Sheets; Eco Fashion Week has teamed up with The Fairmont Waterfront Hotel creating a chance for local designers to make a dress inspired by Balmain out of white bed sheets. We are MUCH EXCITE to see what he comes up with. Stay tuned, a winner will be decided by popular vote so we will be sure to share the link when it’s available.
UPDATE!! The link is here to go and vote for Evan’s amazing gown! Check out the other Eco Fashion Week events while you’re at it!


Daaaaaaaaaaaamn Balmain!

Abby needs a legit, professional headshot and from the looks of her Instagram, it’s slim pickins!

headshot rejects

Katie made some sweet space pants – they are out of this world! Just in time for her trip to Mexico, LUCKEEEEEEEEE!

katie floral pants


And now – to the meat of the matter! Let’s start the conversation about being an ethical and “woke” shopper.

Now, right off the bat you’ll need to check out THE TRUE COST – available on iTunes, Netflix, Amazon, DVD, Blueray. We’ve mentioned it before and we can’t stress how impactful this movie has been for us. It’s an eye opening doc about the current state of textile and garment manufacturing. NO EXCUSES! WATCH THIS SHIT ASAP!


Abby mentions this brand – VON BON – if you are looking for great, well made gifts for kids, this is the place to go.

This article outlines what Same Sky calls the “Soulful Economy”, and admittedly it sounds pretty great. But we also realize that price and availability of sustainable clothing options are a huge obstacle to overcome for many. But it’s definitely something to think about.

soulful vs utilitarian

This story from Vice shows a new, often unknown facet of the problem, the connection between sex trafficking and the garment industry. Yikes.


John Oliver had a great segment on Last Week Tonight about this story, worth your time as well. And offers some laughs on a pretty depressing subject so thanks for that, Mr. Oliver.


If the “Rana Plaza Collapse” doesn’t ring any bells, please learn about it here. It’s one of the worst disasters in the history of the garment industry but it has also been a huge catalyst for change on a global level.

Rana Plaza building in Dhaka.

Over 1000 dead, 25000 injured in Dhaka, Bangladesh in April 2013.


One of the companies making changes is Patagonia – read the article Katie references here. Be sure to check out Groundswell for more information on a variety of topics too, they do good work.

Their series on Fast Fashion brands like H&M, Zara and Forever 21 is a great read, parts 1, 2 3.

Here is an article showing how other brands are making the “Made in China” label greener – there is HOPE!

And for our American listeners, they have created a list of brands that are made in the USA – check them out!

Here is the book “French Women Don’t Get Fat” by Mireille Guiliano that Katie talks about. Damn the French and their impeccable style!

Click here for The Good Trade, a resource for finding companies that are in line with your morals and who actively try and address your concerns. Lots of options, categories and price points for you to choose from.

After all that info and seriousness watch SNL do a spoof on H&M. You’re welcome!


The CFDA is working with the National Resource Defence Council on their “Clean by Design” initiative – this little video outlines their mission.


We don’t mention this expressly but Planet Money did a great series about how their t-shirts get made from cotton plant to your doorstep – very informative.

The Corporate Knights‘ index of the Global 100 most sustainable corporations in the world is worth checking out, their list of criteria for the companies on the list is a great way to learn about how corporations operate and how they can improve.

CUTE BREAK  – baby Margot in her Monchhichi Adidas sweatshirt.

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Evan’s colleague and Eco Fashion Week creator Miriam Laroche helps people find their personal “Eco Recipe”. Here is the outline of the concept; have a look and see what matters to you and  how you can implement changes to your  life.

And remember – DON’T THROW OUT YOUR CLOTHES! This is the video Abby could remember, from Grist.org

We are by no means professionals and/or experts on this subject so we just started googling for info. You should too.

Bonus links!






Evan discovers Everlane, an online retailer dedicated to “Radical Transparency”. Not only do they have great looking stuff, their mission is a noble one.


Abby is enchanted and terrified by Lylexox and his insanely beautiful mixed media make up looks. Talk about reduce, reuse, recycle…IMG_3120

And Katie has a cute-induced mental breakdown when she sees “Pomsky” dogs. Can you blame her?!


Are you trying to be more conscious with your money? What resources and information have you found helpful – please share with the class if you can. We all need to get our asses and wardrobes in gear to avert the coming apocalypse, so every choice and $$$ counts.

You can follow us on:


Twitter @fashionhagspod

Facebook at Fashion Hags Podcast.


Follow Abby on Instagram @abbyshumka

Follow Katie on Instagram @redbirdsuite and check out her blog http://www.redbirdsuite.com

Follow Evan on Instagram @evanducharmestudio & @evndchrm, also check out his website at http://www.evanducharme.com

Remember: keep your pants on, it’s only fashion.

Podcast Episodes, Uncategorized

Episode 10: Do you like luxury?

We are here and 1/3 of us is queer. We are finally breaking into the double digits; The Fashion Hags are back at it again for Episode 10 and another week of banter, dog sightings, and semi unrelated tangents. And yes, we like luxury.



This week Katie is going through a hair version of “spring cleaning” and contemplating cutting it all off before her road trip down the West Coast. Maybe a little business in the front, party in the back? Vice versa?

Abby has been banging out a bunch of alterations and provides you all with some insider tips for shopping your wardrobe through repair, as well as the best fabric and notion suppliers in Vancouver (you’re welcome).


Abby’s favourite sewing tools

Evan has still been working (and reworking) away on his next collection; and laments the lack of space in his current studio.

Screen shot 2016-03-09 at 9.02.14 PM

The Artist’s studio. And kitchen. And living room. And bedroom.

Moving on to this weeks topic, The Fashion Hags posed themselves with the following questions: What is luxury? What makes something a luxury good? How and why does it come at such a high cost?

Watching videos like these where you see the items being made can help understand why they have the hefty prices tags. The craftsmanship, the artistry and amazing materials make for beautiful objects. And then there are other items that do not have the same pedigree…

The Making of a Hermes Kelly bag

Making of Couture

Making a classic Chanel tweed jacket


Another great read from one of our go-to blogs, The Business of Fashion: Rising Cost of Luxury Goods. Inflation, perception, economic climate… It’s only gonna get worse so you better start saving your pennies now.

Dave’s Alden x Context NST Cordovan Leather Boot in “Colour 8”. The horses have to die of natural causes before the leather can be acquired for these boots, leaving some customers on a wait list for months! But boy oh boy – they make for amazing, long lasting footwear.


Dave think he fancy in these boots. And he RIGHT.


And then there are the OTHER guys… Usually newer brands breaking out on the scene that are trying to make names for themselves with celebrities and flashy shows. But. COME ON! I mean – LOOK AT THIS INSANITY!


What. The. Actual. Fuck. $890 USD!



Fast fashion brands like H&M, Joe Fresh, Forever 21 and Zara have skewed the perception of what clothes are “worth”. The margins between rich/poor, cost of labour and materials and the availability of ever-new items can make you chose these brands. No judgement, but just know what that means. Maclean’s has a great article – read it here. Have a look at this infographic for the cost of a t-shirt from Joe Fresh these days.



Abby’s H&M Collaboration pieces – Glasses by Lanvin, shoes by Jimmy Choo and dress by Marni – modelled her by Mila Jovovich because she was too lazy to find it and do it herself.


Katie is going mad trying to come up with a logo for her super top secret endeavor. Hopefully she can find something striking and simple like the Nike Swoosh and less like this weird tree/butt/building/dick thing I found when I googled “bad logo design”.


Abby delved into vintage fashion photography with the documentary Erwin Blumenfeld: The Man Who Shot Beautiful Women. His personal photography and work for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar melded art, beauty, femininity, social issues and created “fashion photography” as we know it today. His life story is compelling – from surviving WWI, escaping the Nazis, his son marrying his mistress to his suicide on the Spanish Steps in Rome. His influence is still felt today so check out this gallery of his work and go nuts!


Evan; Grace Coddington stepping down from Vogue – read about it here on BoF). Grace has been one of the heaviest of hitters in fashion for decades, her leaving will have repercussions that will be felt through out the industry. If you haven’t already – read her book GRACE and watch THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE, we beg of you!



Here are some shots from one of our favorite of Grace’s editorials, the behind-the-scenes of it can be seen in The September Issue. FABULOUS FEROCITY PURE AND SIMPLE.


Thanks for listening! And let us know what you think – are luxury items worth the price or are they a crock?

You can follow us on:


Twitter @fashionhagspod

Facebook at Fashion Hags Podcast.


Follow Abby on Instagram @abbyshumka

Follow Katie on Instagram @redbirdsuite and check out her blog http://www.redbirdsuite.com

Follow Evan on Instagram @evanducharmestudio & @evndchrm, also check out his website at http://www.evanducharme.com

Remember: keep your pants on, it’s only fashion.




Couture Spring 2016 Top Picks

We have made selections of some of our favourite looks from this round of couture shows, some from well known brands like Dior and Armani but also from lesser known brands doing amazing work too. All images from Style.com

Do you have any picks? Let us know what you loved!
























Episode 5: Shopping Habits

This week on The Fashion Hags we discuss shopping habits and how much work goes on under the surface to get you to part with your hard earned cash.


RRS FEED: http://fashionhags.libsyn.com/rss


But first, what have we been up to?

We share our plans for Halloween costumes (w/ the results below):

evan halloween.jpg

Evan w/ friends Mel & David as The Addams Family


Katie as Slash


Abby’s daughter Margot as the cutest lil’ nerd you’ve ever seen!



Abby finally got her shit together and watched the wonder and majesty that is Iris, a documentary on fashion icon Iris Apfel (Available on Netflix!)


A “Fashion Hags” film noir interpretation of Katie’s terrifying encounter with a spider.


Evan and his train w/ Vee and her cleavage @ the Proenza Schouler event at The Room. A very exclusive, very posh, very fashion-y affair which Evan recounts in detail.


One half of Proenza Schouler, Designer Lazaro Hernandez, Evan (ever with the RBF, and the fabulous Vee.


A look from Proenza Schouler’s SS16 collection featured in W Magazine on Actress Jessica Chastain.

Then we get into the topic at hand; shopping habits.

90% of retail sales are attributed to the visual appeal of the store.


Wouldn’t you rather shop here?……


…Than here?!?!

Window displays entice customers into stores and create a sense of fantasy or excitement around the product


Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Window


Holt Renfrew Holiday Window


The virtues of online shopping (including automated delivery of diapers to Abby’s front porch)

And finally our last ( also Abby’s favourite) segment of the podcast: Current Obsessions!

Katie can’t get over how many options there are over at Shoes of Prey:

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 1.04.33 AM.png


Evan gives us the 411 on Hey Jude:

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 1.04.09 AM.png


And Abby professes her undying love for Les Beehive ❤



Follow Us on Instagram @fashionhagspod and on Facebook at Fashion Hags Podcast.


Follow Abby on Instagram @abbyshumka

Follow Katie on Instagram @redbirdsuite and check out her blog http://www.redbirdsuite.com

Follow Evan on Instagram @evanducharmestudio & @evndchrm, also check out his website at http://www.evanducharme.com

BIG thanks to Dave (who is also his own person) for his editing savvy, Mitch for our theme song, and Kris for our artwork, and to all of you for listening. This is our last episode of 2015 and can’t wait to share more with you in the New Year! We’ll be sure to raise our glasses to you, ’cause you know fashion girls love to drink!

Ta-ta for now, kiss kiss.

❤ The Fashion Hags.

Podcast Episodes, Uncategorized

Episode 2: Who Runs the Fashion World? Ladies and Gays!

In Episode 2, the Hags chat about how inclusive the Fashion Industry is towards women and gay men but at the end of the day, rich white dudes still hold all the power. Curses!

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Here’s what came up:

Maiwa on Granville Island in Vancouver hosting shibori indigo workshops in which Abby made this piece that ended up a scarf:

IMG_6725 copy.JPG


Getting our gay on at the Odyssey for Evan’s birthday with our darling friend Madison and more lasers than you could even imagine.


the odyssey.jpg

Hooooooooooh lordy.


Episode Topic: Ladies and Gays
Getting into the realities of inclusivity in the fashion industry: lots of ladies and gay men present but it’s all basically still owned and operated by obscenely rich white men. Cool!

For example, Luxury conglomerate LVMH


which is run by rich white dude Bernard Arnault


Proenza Schouler in Vogue


A very short list of Female Creative Directors/designers:

Donna Karan (at Donna Karan)


and Carol Lim (at Kenzo)


and Phoebe Philo (at Céline)



Current Obsessions
Evan: The True Cost documentary on Netflix

true cost.jpg


BUT! Check out these brands that are creating and manufacturing amazing garments with social ethics and the environment at the forefront of their business model:

PEOPLE TREE out of the UK –


THE REFORMATION out of Los Angeles –

ref logo.png


Sorry Salt Spring Island market 😦 You are not fabulous.

hippie shit.jpg


Katie: Sabah Shoes in Biarritz Blue



Abby: R-A-W Shoes Blog

raw shoes blog.png


Casadei Resort 2016


Burberry Sneakers that blew Abby’s mind


The iconic Alexander McQueen Armadillo Boots



Unbearably Important Tidbits and Links

This weird/amazing dog Abby saw that looks like angry dryer lint:



The Business of Fashion online magazine – one of the most outstanding resources available online for the fashion obsessed.


Gina Gershon in Hollywood Blockbuster  Lifetime Movie House of Versace



Thanks for listening! Feel free to comment (nicely) and don’t forget to subscribe in iTunes! And while you are there, please take a moment and give us an iTunes review if you could, we will love you for it.

Remember: keep your pants on, it’s only fashion.