Stevie Crowne Grows Up



When you’re booked with Stevie Crowne, you show up.

The artist, designer, and wildchild about town has had the year he always dreamed of. After about five years of all-nighters and a fully-booked schedule, 2016 saw Crowne drop his final day job. The 22-year-old from Saskatoon is now a full time designer, crafting custom jackets, denim, leather, and accessories for clients across Toronto.

“I make it sound easy but it’s not,” Crowne said. “It took me everything I had.”

Crowne is one of the most inspiring and artistic young voices we’ve come across in Canadian fashion. His work ethic — he will “stitch your lips shut” if you distract him while he’s sewing — and unique vision make his line unlike anything we’ve seen before. And now, he’s opening up his designs for all to shop at his flash sale THIS SATURDAY Dec. 3 at 580 King Street in Toronto, from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m.

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Us witches first met Crowne at Vancouver Fashion Week in the spring of 2015. It’s not easy to stand out at fashion week, but Crowne certainly did. We photographed him from a distance and went on our way. This year, a twist of fate brought our two worlds back together. Crowne had picked up everything to move to Toronto, we learned when we ran into him at an eco fashion event for Value Village.

“I turned into who I always wanted to be,” Crowne said.

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Witchslapped with Stevie Crowne, right, and Eco Fashion Week’s founder Myriam Laroche in Toronto summer 2016.

Crowne first started creating bold, eye-popping designs out of old denim and leather when he was about 14-years-old. He knew he wanted to grab people’s attention, so one of his early trademarks was sewing large, upside down crosses onto toques, jackets, and t-shirts. That didn’t please some of the practicing Christians in his family.

But one open mind inspired Crowne to keep creating. His aging grandfather told him, “Stevie, your designs make me question everything I’ve ever believed in,” he said. “Keep doing it.”

So Crowne continued, eventually moving to Vancouver to spend a semester at one of the city’s most famous fashion schools, the Blanche Macdonald Centre.

Crowne truly “started from the bottom,” in Vancouver, he said, and then fell back there again when he moved to Toronto. “Despite going to fashion school, I had to learn 95 per cent of it myself.”

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Designer Stevie Crowne is shown in his Toronto studio. Photo courtesy of Alejandro at Onelooseboot.com.

His personal struggle has seen him through cities, bad relationships, precarious work situations — but his passion for design has never waned.

“There are no regrets in life,” Crowne said. This year, it was actually losing his job that sparked him to work full-time on his own line.

“I knew I had to be entrepreneurial somehow, make a game plan.” He messaged everyone he’d worked with in the past to ask if they wanted a new custom jacket. “It doesn’t hurt to ask,” he said casually. It worked. The effort he’d put in for years finally paid off. His success snowballed, and he took on more and more projects.

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Crowne’s apartment/fashion studio now overflows with leather and denim, and his hand painted patches line every wall and surface. He hopes to empty those racks at the pop-up this weekend, to make some empty space that his mind can once again fill. To browse through Crowne’s clothing is to go inside his head: youthful with a tinge of hopelessness; fun but at the same time, dark. Crowne’s clothes are a beautiful, intense reflection of what it is to be young in 2016.

Despite his long and sometimes tragic struggle, Crowne has learned to stay completely true to who he is. This year he attended Toronto’s Pride Parade, the first time he’s ever done so as an “all-out fag,” he said. Sadly, the event coincided with a horrific hate attack in Orlando that saw 49 people killed for the crime of dancing at a gay club.

Crowne’s reaction? He made a custom patch for himself that read “FAG” and wore it to Pride.

He thought, “I’m gonna dress like the biggest fag I know. If you have a gun, shoot me.”

That fearlessness and unwavering pride in who he is best encapsulates Crowne and his work.

“I’m taking the words that were used to destroy me and instead use them to empower me,” he said. “I’m gonna do what I do regardless of what anyone says or the events in the world, because I believe that it’s right.”

 

Follow Stevie on Instagram and shop his online store.

Visit the Stevie Crowne Flash Sale THIS SATURDAY, Dec. 3, in Toronto at 580 King Street from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m.

New Year Who Dis



Hello dear friends, and Happy Samhain!

With the onset of fall and all it entails – crisp days, less sunlight and a tendency to hibernate – it’s a perfect time to reflect on the past year and consider the endeavours you’d like to focus your energy on in the upcoming twelve months. Saying goodbye to long summer days and evenings spent outdoors isn’t necessarily all terrible. Shorter days and longer evenings means more time to snuggle indoors with loved ones and more time to be with yourself.

And plus, it’s literally witch’s new year! There’s something hopeful about celebrating the new year in fall. Over the winter you cocoon yourself, turn inwards and prepare a new stage to give life to in spring.

On that note, we have been thinking a lot about Witchslapped and what we would like it to be.

We’ve been hoping for years that this is building up to something, but we’ve never really found it. We’ve always hoped it would eventually become bigger than us, a creative outlet for tons of women from all walks of life. But we also feel strongly that outside contributors should be paid for their work and this just hasn’t been possible. After two whole years, our Google ads total is at $17. So we tried selling clothes, and (this we’re pretty sad and embarrassed about) barely sold anything at all. We certainly didn’t cover our costs.

So Witchslapped is taking a happy little breather. Maybe it’ll morph into something new, or maybe we’ll be taken in other directions. We will still post occasionally when inspiration strikes us. We’re not sure what it’ll become — more witch, less slapped? More writing, less fashion? Wdk.

In the meantime we’re going to chill, and spend our energy pursuing other creative passions.

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Happy Halloween!!! Will Witchslapped rise from the dead?

 

If you have any feedback about what you liked or disliked about Witchslapped in the past, we would absolutely love to hear from you. Email us at getwitchslapped@gmail.com.

And we sincerely hope anyone who does read this enjoys the season. Sip some wine and slurp some soup with your best buds. Take yourself on an afternoon stroll through the dried up autumnal leaves and decide what creative hankering you’re going to focus your attention on in the coming months.

Lots of love,

Meg & Emma

Introducing: Shop Witchslapped



The day you’ve dreamed of is finally here. Shop your favourite Witchslapped looks of days gone by, and peruse some fresh selections for fall… we’ve launched our online store!

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It’s no secret that we prefer second-hand clothes. Fashion is the SECOND most polluting industry on this precious planet after oil and gas. Too often, big fashion companies use cheap and toxic materials while underpaying and overworking their employees.

While there are lots of sustainable brands out there doing great work, we simply think buying second-hand is easier. You cut the manufacturing process out completely, and save materials from piling up in landfills.

Why give this man your money when you can buy all this?

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Be the first to see new arrivals: like us on Facebook, or follow on Instagram.

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Read more about sustainable fashion:

Dilly Dally



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Crop top, mini skirt and Doc Martens; all from Value Village!

 

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Take a look at our Instagram

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Mercury Retrograde 2016: Permission to Unplug



Happy Mercury Retrograde, and put your helmets on! The most misunderstood phase in astrology begins today and will last until Sept. 22. But it’s not all bad  far from it, in fact.

Mercury Retrograde gets its rep from causing miscommunication, misunderstandings, and delays in travel. It’s known as a bad time to sign contracts or move, for example. But it’s also a great time to reflect and invest in self-care. People and life lessons from the past may circle back to you.

Now more than ever, it’s a good time to block out the noise and focus on yourself. Give yourself permission to unplug! Here are our tried-and-true ways to decrease distraction and amplify your inner voice.

 

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Turn off notifications

Do you really need to know someone liked your picture on Instagram or added you on Facebook the moment it happens? No. Deleting as many apps as you can and turning off notifications for the rest is a great way to decrease anxiety. If you’re feeling particularly sensitive, it may be a good idea to go on a full-on social media break. Your FOMO will still be there when you get back, we promise lol.

Clean up

Not to sound like your mom, but a clean space really can create a clean mind. Do the dishes and sweep the floor as soon as you notice mess. Waking up to a clean room and kitchen sets you up for a productive day.

Set the mood

Eliminate harsh lighting in your home by using candles or investing in some soft light bulbs. Pink or orange light bulbs can work wonders to change the vibe of a room. Even in a small or cluttered space, soft lights wash over the mess and bring calm.

Empty your mind

There’s a reason everyone from neurologists to psychics love meditation: it works! Taking 10 minutes or more to empty your brain and centre yourself in the morning can completely change your day.

Try this: Take a few deep breaths and focus on the inhale and exhale. Imagine an opening in the crown of your head, pulling in a gold light. The light washes over your brain, erasing your thoughts; over your eyes, erasing what you’ve seen; over your ears to erase what you’ve heard, and over your throat to erase what you’ve said. Let the light fill your entire body while you focus on your breath.

Find more great meditations on SoundCloud from one of our favourite Twitter witches, thatgirlhas.

FFS get some sleep

If you need earplugs or an eye mask, go get them now! Nothing changes your mind and your life more than sleeping well. Use an alarm clock to wake up to soft music rather than your phone, or put your phone on airplane mode before you go to bed.

 

Read more: witch shit

 

And get more info from our faves: