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STYLE GURU BIO: Jaime Redford

Hi, I’m Jaime! I’m currently studying English literature and visual studies at the University of Toronto in downtown Toronto.

As a Toronto native, I quickly discovered the plethora of vintage and antique shops on Queen Street West, but also learned the art of raiding the lesser known thrift stores of my local Etobicoke. My mom is a fashion designer, specializing in locally made Canadian activewear, so accompanying her to Toronto’s fashion district to hunt for unique prints and accessories was always something that excited me as a young girl. My brother and I modeled throughout our childhood, made up advertising jingles and loved helping her at trade shows throughout Canada. My love of retro prints and reinventing vintage styles pairs well with my interest in ethical consumption and sustainability. For the past three years I have designed for the Victoria College Environmental Fashion Show, where repurposed fashion has taken on themes ranging from an Alexander McQueen-inspired post-apocalyptic masquerade to the eerie ’80s sci-fi aesthetic of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. I have also co-directed the Sustainable Fashion Club at Central Technical School in downtown Toronto, where we’ve organized student clothing swaps, group thrifting trips to our favorite haunts and film photo shoots of students’ vintage finds against the urban landscape of the city. This year, I am thrilled to be one of the Design co-Directors of the Victoria Environmental Fashion Show, where this year’s show, NOIR, embodies a minimalist, monochromatic theme, set off by avant-garde accents and metallic accessories.

My love of vintage fashion is closely related to a penchant for low-fi film photography and the cinema. I am absolutely enamored with costume design in film classics and particularly find artistic inspiration from the work of David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick. I love exploring repertoire theatres in the city and catching a film at the TIFF Bell LightBox or the Bloor Hot Docs theatre whenever I can.

I want to thank College Fashionista for giving me such an amazing opportunity to share how U of T expresses its diversity through fashion. Gender equality, sex positivity and body positivity are social issues of special relevance today and are of huge personal weight to me. These issues relate directly to the status quo of fashion, an industry that largely encourages the masses to dress identically and conform to passing trends, without a deeper regard for associated ethical concerns. I believe in embracing only the current trends that represent and speak to you personally, while counteracting those that don’t with DIY fashion, thrifted finds and through supporting local artists and designers. My vision for my campus is one where students can express and experiment with their identity in an inclusive and positive environment. You can expect my posts to celebrate resourcefulness, creativity, diversity, unapologetic eccentricity and unique interpretations of pop culture and fashion from every era. I hope you’re as excited as I am!