73 minutes | Feb 12, 2020
DCC 38 Chrysanthemum White Alder: Chaos Magnet/15th Century Pagan Nun
Hello! For episode 38 I spoke to Chrysanthemum White-Alder about her Medieval Pagan Nun style. She's an interdisciplinary artist, witch, and academic currently working on a Masters of Education at Lakehead University. She's also studied intermedia and cyberarts at Concordia U; and is an amazing visual artist. One of her passions is Reclaiming Witchcraft (think Starhawk....we talk about it in the episode but it's a tradition of witchcraft that's environmentally focussed). She's been a community organizer for over a decade and is deeply committed to environmental activism. Please click over to dresscodecracker.com for photos and show notes!
70 minutes | Jan 22, 2020
DCC 37 SARAH POTTER: COLOUR WITCH MOB BOSS
I'm back for the first new episode of 2020 with an amazing interview! Sarah Potter is a lecturer, curator, practitioner of colour magick, and a tarot card reader. She's been all over the witch-ternet (sorry) lately, featured in Architectural Digest, Dazed magazine, In Style magazine and Teen Vogue. Colour magick is an occult modality of using the energy and associations of specific colours to boost your intention and manifest desired outcomes. When we started discussing her personal style, the descriptor of mob boss combined with mob wife came up; and it's pretty much perfect to describe Sarah's style which is a wonderful, colourful blend of grooming and swagger. Please stop by www.dresscodecracker.com to see more show notes and photos of Sarah! Thank you Sarah for all your work making the world more magickal! <3
55 minutes | Nov 7, 2017
DCC 36: IVORY CONOVER
"It's the biggest reason why I do what I do: as a model, as a performer and why i;m so mouthy about the whole thing. I belong to all these intersectional communities that are constantly told to be smaller, that are already fringe and already left out. and so as someone who takes up a lot of space, personality wise, looks wise, energy wise, I constantly speak out about these things because it's so easy to tell us to shut up and be forgotten about...." --Ivory Conover Ivory is a multi disciplinary performer by trade...and by personality! She's a graduate of Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, and a former Miss Canada Plus. She's a singer, actor, dancer and model, not to mention a burlesque dancer who infuses her performances with intersectional feminist politics. She's also a co-founder of the Succulent Six--a team of curvy 'superSHEroes' who are working to promote body positivity and dismantle toxic ideas about female beauty. She's also a member of Les Femmes Fatales: Women of Colour Burlesque Troupe. She's wonderfully outspoken about her politics and activism, which she attributes to her position on multiple intersections within feminist politics: she talked to me about being a biracial woman who 'passes' as white, a queer woman who 'passes' as straight despite her bisexuality, and her commitment to dismantling toxic cultural messages about women's bodies. "Thank the gods, I'm an Aries, you know heady, and a fighter....I'm also a fire breather, ax thrower, an archer, knife thrower and horse back rider!" She talked about her relationship with makeup, and starting a new process of learning to love her natural face--- "I think makeup is an incredible tool, I think it saved my self esteem. But part of my process to continually challenge my self love and my self worth, is pushing myself past comfort zones." Please follow her adventures (and antics) on IG and twitter--and facebook. She's @pureivorydotca pretty much everywhere! Thank you Ivory for a fun photo shoot! You are a delight and an inspiration :)
59 minutes | Jun 29, 2016
DCC 35: Gigi Castorina "Everyday Vintage at Gigi's House of Frills!"
Gigi is a long time vintage collector, appreciator and wearer. And an even longer time lingerie enthusiast! She is the owner/operator of Toronto's only Vintage Style Lingerie Boutique : Gigi's House of Frills. We talked about 'everyday vintage', and her dedication to fashion and details from the 1930s to '50s. I love how her store makes you aspire to a more glamourous lifestyle, where you might entertain in loungewear or do your pincurls in a nightgown from the 1930s. You can follow Gigi on her twitter: @gigisfrills Instagram: gigisfrills or gigi’s house of frills, and of course her website which features information about the store and lookbooks.... More at www.dresscodecracker.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/dresscodecrackr Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dresscodecracker/
70 minutes | May 31, 2016
DCC 34: Amazon Syren "Little House on the Orchestral Pagan Folk Metal Prairie"
Amazon Syren is a queer, poly leather femme, a sex-workers' rights activist, and a Professional Naked Girl. She's also a witchy glamazon who sings opera, writes poetry, reads tarot, grows veggies, works magic, spins her own yarn, cooks, preserves, and darns a lot of socks. The secret ingredient is always love. She lives with her wife and an assortment of metamours in 1821. DIY is very close to her heart. She has opinions! Which is what I love! We discussed the business of being tall women (she's 6'4" and I'm just under 6'2"), from slouching to people's surreptitious checks to see if we are wearing heels. We also covered her 'femme muse' Musetta from La Bohème, queer hanky codes, what a newly minted dyke wears to pride in 2008, DIY is a big deal with her, from knitting and handspinning yarn to gardening, preserving and cooking. She also weaves and sews. As an urban homesteader, the 'little house in the big woods' thing is no joke. We discussed the terminology around ethical non-monogamy, and the idea of being "solo” poly, which she points out has no meaning unless you're working from a coupled default position. She also clarified the differences between pansexual and queer poly (spoiler alert it's hetero-normativity). She recommended: Music: @solstafir And please find Amazon online via her twitter, @amazon_syren, and also her two blogs: Urban Meliad and Syrens. Thank you so much Amazon! It was a pleasure. ♥ www.dresscodecracker.com for more info and images! Thanks for listening.
37 minutes | May 4, 2016
DCC 33: Femme Space Amanda Arkansassy Harris
I encountered Amanda Harris’ work via a Gender and Media class. I love her Femme Spaceproject and was so excited to talk to her for this episode! Amanda is a queer high femme charmer from the South. She was the co-curator of Y’all Come Back: Stories of Queer Southern Migration in the 2015 National Queer Arts Festival, where she exhibited portraits in her EXODUS series. Her photographs have been published in Glitter & Grit: Queer Performance from the Heels on Wheels Galaxy, G.R.I.T.S.: An Anthology of Southern Queer Womyn’s Voices, Towards the “Other” America: Anti-Racist Resources for White People Taking Action for Black Lives Matter, as well as various online sources including Al Jazeera America. She believes in the future of the femme oligarchy and the power of portraits to tell stories. Please see images at www.dresscodecracker.com also! Amanda’s art and activism has been informed and nurtured by online femme community. We talked about femme visibility and marginazation in queer and other spaces. She also talked about taking the conversation beyond queerness to include race, class, ability, emotional labour, privilege of butch and masculine of centre people –and letting femme stand alone—femme sex, and femme on femme relationships I liked hearing her perspectives on collaborating with vs exploiting femmes from marginalized groups. On the topic of privilege, she referred me to an article online by Cyree Jarelle Johnson,here. ….also to a wonderful resource for femme articles and resources—intiated and collated by Blyth Barnow, reflecting the wisdom of large community of facebook femmes! Of course in the bonus round I asked Amanda for her book and music recommendations. She mentioned Amber Hollibaugh, whose book My Dangerous Desires is a favourite of mine too. The Persistent Desire: A Femme-Butch Reader She recommended work by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha whose most recent book isDirty River I totally recommend too! And…Amanda contributed to a recent book, Glitter & Grit: Queer Performance from the Heels on Wheels Femme Galaxy. which I’m gonna try to get my hands on soon! Her music recommendation is GAYmous which you can find on FB Amanda’s latest project Y’all Come Back Now, is here, and looks amazing. Thank you so much Amanda! You’re a charmer for sure. ♥
54 minutes | Mar 8, 2016
DCC 32: Crystal Kotow
Crystal is a fat activist who moved from fashion blogging to tackling more contested spaces in fat feminist thought: cultural hatred of fat bodies; and how fatphobia can manifest as violence in intimate partner relationships. She's in her second year of a PhD gender, feminist and women's studies. One of many nice things about Crystal is she seems to look pulled together effortlessly....which belies her thoughtful and reflexive approach to fashion, fatshion, getting dressed and fat activism, and how all these things intersect. She questions and challenges not just the status quo, but also her own belief systems. Crystal was excited about Charlotte Cooper's Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement --which is out now! Please go to www.dresscodecracker.com for more information and photos of Crystal. I can be reached at sarah [at] dresscodecracker.com --feedback, comments, and recommendations for future episodes all very welcome! Thanks for listening.
64 minutes | Jan 12, 2016
DCC 31: Jenna Danchuk "New Age Vamp"
Jenna Danchuk is a writer, researcher, and occasional maker of things. Jenna Danchuk is an Assistant Editor for Spiral Nature, a magazine style website dedicated to alternative spiritualities, practical magick, and exploring occulture. She is also a PhD student in the Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies program at York University where she studies the role of cultural production in feminist witchcraft and magical communities. Jenna is a former Associate Editor of WORN Fashion Journal and her writing has also appeared in Shameless Magazine, FUSE, and on Bitch Media’s blog. A training ceremonial magician, but a feminist witch at heart, she has an interest in reconciling the two. We talked about fashion and chaos magick, shopping guilt (this comes in so many varieties!), imagining an aesthetic bridging goth and new age, kung fu, academia, spirituality, astrology, and women of the esoteric western spiritual traditions. Thanks for listening! Images and info at: www.dresscodecracker.com
59 minutes | Oct 22, 2015
DCC 30: Vivek Shraya "What I'm doing is not about a performance"
Vivek Shraya is a multimedia artist living in Toronto with strong ties to prairie malls. She's produced 10 albums, written 3 books (with 2 more set for release next year) and created 4 short films, all to great acclaim. She talked to me about the production of art, how performance grounds her, Her debut novel, She of the Mountains, was named one of The Globe and Mail’s Best Books of 2014. A three-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, Vivek has read and performed at shows, festivals and post-secondary institutions internationally, sharing the stage with Tegan & Sara and Dragonette, and has appeared at NXNE, Word on the Street, and Yale University. Vivek is a three-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, the 2014 recipient of the Steinert & Ferreiro Award for leadership in Toronto’s LGBTQ community, recipient of Anokhi Media’s inaugural Most Promising LGBTQ Community Crusader Award in 2015, a 2015 Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award finalist, and a 2015 recipient of the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Dayne Ogilvie Prize Honour of Distinction. Both Vivek’s debut collection of poetry, even this page is white, and first children’s picture book, The Boy & the Bindi, will be published by Arsenal Pulp Press in 2016. Her POC fashion project (co-edited with Karen Campos Castillo) is at http://heart-beats.ca/HDB/ We talked about Rihanna, Beyonce (duh), gender expression, performance vs 'real life', and style as class privilege. She also educated me in the nicest way possible about being so judgemental about other people's style. Thanks Vivek! You're amazing!
64 minutes | Sep 27, 2015
DCC 29: Andrea Zanin "More butch...and more femme"
I'm baaaaack this week with Andrea Zanin, a butch/femme academic and leatherwoman who writes prolifically and teaches about BDSM/Leather/kink, power dynamics, non-monogamy and queer sexuality. She's also pursuing a PhD in Gender Feminist and Women's studies (I didn't realize when I booked her that we're in the same program!) --and her thesis is about Canadian leatherdyke history. Andrea's erotic short stories and essays have been published in numerous anthologies. Her online home is here. Andrea co-organizes the annual Canadian leatherdyke weekend An Unholy Harvest and runs a pervy book club called The Leather Bindings Society. FInd Andrea on twitter too: @sexgeekAZ Thanks for listening!
56 minutes | Jul 29, 2015
DCC 28: Mimi Thi Nguyen "New Wave Party Girl....or Monster HIgh Doll"
Mimi Thi Nguyen is an associate professor of Gender and Women's Studies and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois. Her research interests are war, empire and...zines! I first encountered her work via her amazing blog (a collaboration with Minh Ha T Pham) called Threadbared. Her zine work includes Slander, Race Riot (that link is to a pdf made possible by the POC zine project!), and a couple years ago Guillotine Press put out a chapbook called PUNK, a conversation beween Golnar Nikpour and Mimi. Her first book is called "The Gift of Freedom: War, Debt and other Refugee Passages" (Duke 2012). Her website is here. She describes her looks a "New wave party girl who is forced to teach", although her 9 yo friend thinks she looks like a Monster High Doll. She also made some awesome book and music recommendations. Please see www.dresscodecracker.com for images and more show notes! twitter: @dresscodecrackr or @sarahinnis and Mimi tweets at @Inzombia ! Thank you Mimi!
58 minutes | Jul 8, 2015
DCC 27: Zoe Dodd "You're cool, stay weird, don't change"
Another park interview! Zoe's an aspiring orthinologist and all the birds came out to see her. She's a harm reduction and hep C worker very dedicated to anti-poverty and social justice activism. Anarcho-feminism FTW! She's a long term participant and contributor to Toronto's hardcore punk scene which informs her look. She also DJs sometimes and guests on the CIUT show Equalizing Distort. We discussed her DIY punk style, although she acknowledged a hippie side and her admiration of her grandmother who had a 'high femme homesteader' look. She's a devotee of dresses, jewelry and accessories who loves Value Village but only really gets excited about shopping for books and records. Photos at www.dresscodecracker.com Thanks Zoe!
56 minutes | Jun 17, 2015
DCC 26: Sam Conover "Lady Drag"
Sam Conover dresses in deliberately modest and traditionally 'feminine' style which borrows from 1940s to early 1960s styles....she calls it "lady drag". She also clarifies that she's going for a modest 'mumsy' look that is more 1950s housewife than pin up girl. She's a bra fitter, lingerie enthusiast, artist, blogger and conservatist specializing in plastics. We talked about feminism, body positivity (what else is new), plus 'normcore', catcaling, and dressing to make people happy...or is it to be admired and feared? She made some awesome book recommendations (nothing from the past 50 years), and gave the scoop on who makes the best lingerie (she knows). She's on instagram @mandytori Please check out dresscodecracker.com for images of Sam and of course all her influences and recommendations (hair tutorials!), and tweet at me here and here....and like the show on FB! and listen/rate/review on itunes! https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/dress-code-cracker-podcast/id839701014?mt=2&ls=1 sarah [at]dresscodecracker.com
60 minutes | May 31, 2015
DCC 25: Imbyr "Power....and Control"
I got to do my first park interview of 2015 with Imbyr, who describes their style as 'transmasculine harshfemme' and is obsessed with wrestling, dogs, and reading (mostly sci-fi). They are a health sciences student and the vocalist for Antibody, a gay doom sludge band based in Toronto. We talked about misandry, camp/kitsch and John Waters, short shorts and crop tops, and (how could i forget) WRESTLING. ‘Find power in your clothing, and if people think that’s ugly, fuck them. Yeah, just like, Power. And Control.' Follow Antibody on FB, listen via their bandcamp. Imbyr tweets at Picked Imbyr and thanks so much for listening! Dress Code Cracker is on FB, tumblr, twitter (here and here) and at dresscodecracker.com. Subscribe, rate and review via iTunes.
64 minutes | May 6, 2015
DCC 24: Dre Ngozi & Jade Lee Hoy (aka Hilary and Denise) "Find your tribe and be comfortable with who you are"
It was fun and inspiring to talk to Dre Ngozi and Jade Lee Hoy of Toronto's clothing project Hilary & Denise. Hilary and Denise celebrates and pays tribute to women of colour using pre-loved clothing to cultivate self expression that incorporates culture. Dre and Jade named the project for 90s sitcom queens HIlary Banks (Fresh Prince of Bel Air which ran from 1990-1996), and Denise Huxtable (The Cosby Show 1984-1992). Both Jade and Dre remember seeing Hilary and Denise's characters as unique among young women of colour on TV--wearing bright colours in interesting combinations in a way that was totally unique and expressive. We talked about finding your tribe, getting grounded, natural hair, Afropunk...and of course FK Twigs and mom jeans. Follow Dre and Jade via @HilaryandDenise on all social media: FB, Instagram, twitter and tumblr! and don't forget to go to Dress Code Cracker for show notes and photos. Please follow the show @dresscodecrackr or @sarahinnis, and like on FB too! Subscribe, rate and review on itunes! Til next time~
46 minutes | Apr 20, 2015
DCC 23 Merritt Kopas "Patti Smith Cyber Waif"
Merritt Kopas is a multimedia artist, video game designer and writer whose focus of interest is digital play as an access for exploring care relationships. Her first book came out in April 2015, Videogames for Humans, published by Instar Books. She also contributed to another recent book, the State of Play. She curates the online project Forest Ambassador where her focus is on free and accessible and innovative games. She also kills it on twitter @m_kopas and you can find her work online at mkopas.net. We talked about her Patti Smith cyber waif meets Amy Winehouse/goth jock style influences. Everything she learned about fashion came from tumblr, and her best makeup advice is "Everything looks good! Just do whatever you want!" Thanks for listening. please check out www.dresscodecracker.com for references images and more about Merritt! @sarahinnis @dresscodecrackr www.facebook.com/dresscodecracker and iTunes: til next time! ~
71 minutes | Apr 6, 2015
DCC 22: Amy Medvick of Os Tropies "Tropicalia, Cleopatra and Carmen Miranda"
Amy Medvick is the vocalist and flautist with Os Tropies, and an ethnomusicology grad student studying the Brazilian diaspora and its musical legacy. Her interests in culture, food and dress lie in Brazilian psychedelic rock (Tropicalia!), and she also referenced exotica, both as a musical and a fashion inspiration: saturated colours and patterns, floral prints and tropical influences. I loved how she talked about fashion and style using the metaphor (and literal practice) of cooking--studying spices to analyze composite and complex tastes. We discussed politics, her ambivalence around shopping, and her love of the music and style of Brazilian superstar Ney Matogrosso, plus Liz Taylor in Cleopatra (1963), and of course Carmen Miranda and the Wilson sisters in Heart. Please check out Os Tropies on their website, plus bandcamp, FB and twitter. www.dresscodecracker.com for reference images and more! tweet @dresscodecrackr + @sarahinnis Until next time Muito Obrigada Amy! ~
49 minutes | Mar 24, 2015
DCC Episode 21: Shannon Shaw (Shannon and the Clams) "Eccentric Homemaker meets '80s Bad Kid"
Shannon Shaw almost catfished me, but I finally got to talk to her between recording the new Clams album and touring! She told me about the books that keep her worrying about serial killers, her love of illustration, metal smithing and girl bands including the Ronettes! She is a black eyeliner afficianado and likes a good beehive but isn't going 'full banana' on any one look. Her influences include girl groups, John Waters' heroines, Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck, and her own basic aversion to looking too perfect. Please check out the band at www.shannonandtheclams.com and the podcast home at www.dresscodecracker.com Thanks Shannon and thanks everyone for listening!~
58 minutes | Mar 9, 2015
Dress Code Cracker Episode 20: Laina Dawes "Conservative with an Edge"
Laina Dawes is the author of What Are You Doing Here? A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal (Bazillion Points, 2012).What Are You Doing Here? is Laina’s first non-fiction book and the first non-fiction, general interest book to specifically focus on race, gender and identity in metal, hardcore and punk music cultures. Laina is also a freelance music and cultural critic whose writing can be found in print and online magazines, and she is currently a 2nd year graduate student at The New School for Social Research in New York City. We talked about New York vs Toronto fashion (guess which city someone look at your outfit and say "B*tch have you lost your mind?!").... She talked a lot about how to integrate her love of metal with her appearance; also how navigate respectability politics her aversion to bright colours and her enduring love for Mary J. Blige. Please refer to www.dresscodecracker.com for images of Laina, plus links to her writing and music recommendations! Dress Code Cracker's intro and outro music is by Nameless Dread.
70 minutes | Feb 17, 2015
DCC Episode 19: Virgie Tovar "Miss PIggy meets RuPaul" #losehatenotweight
I was introduced to the work of VIrgie Tovar by way of reading about body politics a few years back. I picked up her book "Hot and Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on LIfe, Love and Fashion" and I loved how she and the essayists in the book connected fat fashion to political activism. She's one of North America's leading voices on fat discriminsation and body image, and has been featured in New York Times, MTV, Al Jazeera, the San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Huffington Post, Bust Magazine, Jezebel, xoJane, and SF Weekly as well as on Women’s Entertainment Television and The Ricki Lake Show. She has an MA in Human Sexuality and speaks at colleges and universities also: University of Washington, Earlham College, Hollins University, University of California at Berkeley, University of California at Davis, California College of the Arts, Sonoma State University, and Humboldt State University. She is wonderfully quotable! She describes her style as: Gaudy, over the top, high femme....Miss Piggy meets RuPaul. Please check the website for more www.dresscodecracker.com, and please also visit Virgie at virgietovar.com! thanks for listening!