As you probably have seen from my Facebook page updates, I have officially started my internship with Dress for Success! I will be blogging about EVERY SINGLE DAY of my internship, for three reasons.

First, I want to document my journey, learning process, and experiences during this summer to be able to reflect upon afterward. Second, I want to provide myself with this constant reminder to make everyday of the internship count. Often times, we settle into things, and overtime things become routines, and routines become have-tos, not want-tos. I want to remind myself that each day will be a new, special day to learn and to contribute to the organization. And third, Dress for Success is obviously doing amazing work for women and of course I want to share it!!

First days! They are always the most interesting. I step into the elevator and press “M” for Mezzanine. After the flurry of meeting all the wonderful staff members – and the beginning of a long day for my feet in these pumps – I began my first task: shadowing Christine, a volunteer for Dress for Success for a few years now, in dressing women for employment and interviews. All appointments are scheduled and displayed on an organized chart daily, so we knew who to expect, what the woman’s size will be, and what her needs are for today. While we waited for our client, we scanned the racks for potential candidates in her size. At this time, I also met Marg, another long-time volunteer, who also has an impeccable fashion sense and attention to detail (one of the things I learned from Marg later on is that, if your pencil skirt awkwardly juts out in the back, simply hem in a centimetre down the skirt seams on both sides – that should make the back taper straight down!).

Our first client of the day arrives! She recently finished a program in dinning hall services, and needed a black and white outfit for her interview to become a dinning hall server. Christine opened up the environment to her and suggested several pieces; asking if she is open to black skirts or pants, or had a specific preference.

While I shadowed Christine, found black shoes from the back-back-room, and searched for a simple, black, handbag, Marg and Caroline helped another client. This client walked in with a simple t-shirt, shorts, and hardcore boots, and was needing an outfit to go in her interview. A classic, printed wrap dress was decided after many changes – and wow! It looked absolutely amazing on her!! She looked so professional, and the wrap dress fitted like it was made for her. With her naturally curled, blonde shoulder-length hair, her entire look spell “executive” – and “confidence”. Her smile – laugh – as she turned at the mirror to look at all angles of the dress on her was so bright and satisfied; she was so empowered and happy, and her expression spoke a million appreciations for the support she received. It made me so happy too – here I was, on my first day, and witnessing such amazing results from the dressing services.

But as the self-deprecating girls/women that we are, we then take another look at ourselves and at our complete satisfaction with the way we look, and then slowly unleash our most unreasonable self-critics: “It’s…fla…forgiving, I think! It looks forgiving of my curves”, she exclaimed. “Forgiving”?! No, it looks completely flattering on you. She looked so beautiful and confident in that dress, and I really hope she knows that.

This was also true with our second client, who looked so professional and ecstatically happy in her new clothes – which she will wear to her new employment as a law firm receptionist – but only said “I don’t mind that skirt on me at all. I like it.” But she looked AMAZING.

I’m writing about this because I can relate to these women, and I know that the girls/women in my life do too. And I think that support – even if it’s just a genuine reminder of how beautiful another person is, inside and out, can go a long way. It can change the way someone perceives themselves and how clothes look on them – it makes the huge difference between “flattering” and merely “forgiving”.

Saying goodbye to the staff at the end of the day, I felt already at home. I am super, super looking forward to the rest of this month. I will end this blog post now with the acidic, coffee-brewing smell of a Starbucks store – I have SO much more to say, but this thing is getting a bit too long! So glad I have the rest of the month to capture more of these moments!!

And I hope everyone is enjoying the SUNSHINE we’re getting this year! (And I promise to upload more photos throughout the month!)

With lots of happiness,

Shirley L

Miss Teenage Vancouver

www.facebook.com/missteenagevancouver2015

Written by: Shirley
Leave a comment
Posted On:

After my internship yesterday, I shot with Sabrina Photography and Vicky Lo Makeup in preparation for Miss Teenage Canada competition! This shoot was organized in such an impressively short time, and I’m so glad we all pulled together. We shot both in Sabrina’s studio and on location in Yaletown. Had a great time working with these two!

IMG_9578 Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 2.54.51 PM

Book them for makeup/photography:

www.facebook.com/vickylomua
www.vickylomakeup.com
www.facebook.com/SabrinaPhotography.Vancouver

See you next time,

Shirley L

Miss Teenage Vancouver 2015

www.facebook.com/missteenagevancouver2015

Written by: Shirley
Leave a comment
Posted On:

I had the pleasure of attending the Vanstyle III Anniversary Fashion Show on Thursday night. Vanstyle is an SFU based fashion community; their sold-out show featured local designers such as Nina Tan and Karmn. I love attending local events such as these, witnessing the amazing talent and hard work and meeting new people. Thank you Tiana for your kind invite! Thank you Norm Lee and Wilson Rausan for taking the photos again!

1519874_10153960014738154_4976486922486608244_o

The MCs!

10999093_981765625178990_2293830368617991736_o

Shayna, Miss Asian Vancouver modelling Karmn

11222330_10153960020668154_9067693853416475609_o

Tothe9s: Cassie and Ricci. They are Youtube fashion content creators, based in Vancouver.

IMG_4104

Members of the Vanstyle team!

10344245_970162779671174_5693525340237776833_o

Attended with one of my closest friends, Mandana, whom I don’t get to see often anymore after she moved to the States!

10380011_970165009670951_250667250819070287_o

We sat next to Vancity Business Babes!

1534805_981763025179250_7374678480164916989_oUntil next time,

Shirley L

Miss Teenage Vancouver 2015

www.facebook.com/missteenagevancouver2015

Written by: Shirley
Leave a comment
Posted On:

The Prostate Centre provides support for men with prostate cancer or health issues. It also promotes early awareness through educating the public.

So, on Father’s Day, I volunteered for the Prostate Centre’s Annual Walk/Run with 111 Pegasus Squadron’s fellow Level 4s. It’s basically a tradition for our squadron’s Level 4s to support the run yearly: the officer who introduced this initiative has been volunteering at this event for 12 years now, as his mother told me when we were setting up the food station. 

Our team’s fingers became grubby from tying a hundred helium balloons. We accidentally let a few fly up to sky because we were jamming to the live country music at the same time. We cut donuts and apples, halved bananas and muffins, and put out juices, water, and granola bars, while we chatted in the booth and wondering why anyone would enjoy donuts, with all their glaze, sugar, and jams right after a 5k run in the blazing sun.

Ok, fine. Probably this overly detailed account is a bore, but what we actually did wasn’t that glamorous or exciting. But you know what was exciting? The most memorable part of the day was when a Survivor came up to the group of us and thanked us for volunteering. For him to walk up to us and say that, meant so much. Even though we were only volunteering to pump balloons, set up, and hand out food, his simple indication of appreciation made me feel that our small contribution made an impact to raise awareness and to make the overall running of the event smoother. It made me want to do more to support the Prostate Centre, to support people like him who have been touched by prostate cancer.

It touches the lives of many around us. Get involved to support the Prostate Centre: http://www.theprostatecentre.org/get-involved/. Give a hand at next year’s Father’s Day Walk/Run: http://www.theprostatecentre.org/category/news/.

With love and happiness,

Shirley L

Miss Teenage Vancouver

www.facebook.com/missteenagevancouver2015

Written by: Shirley
Leave a comment
Posted On:

“ALEX S. YU is made with dream and love. I create garments that explore the fine line between reality and fantasy. Rollicking the happy emotions of childhood, nostalgia and wanderlust; and pondering the very definition of femininity in a modern, quirky way through garments.”

10981309_440043199504536_5022547101984509185_o

Since first seeing Alex S Yu’s designs last year at VFW, I’ve been blown away by the amount that the brand has grown and the consistency in Alex’s designs. Immediately recognizable, the frolic pinks and metallics and prints pull together the entire look. It was a pleasure to be in his get up for the Aldo A-List event – astounding, how something as simple as clothes can completely lift your mood and the way you perceive everything throughout night. I love it not for the feeling of being a kid again (please, no thanks), but for the playfulness the clothes embody. I was basically wearing a thick plastic bubble, for heaven’s sake. And a metallic fabric thing, held up with an elastic, that slightly fans out – so that I can feel like a ballerina, probably. And a spandex-y material. And (faux) fur. And my crown. And fuchsia Aldo pumps that just about killed my feet. But the exuberant feeling! The outfit, for the night, gave me a release of the pressure that’s constantly pushing onward, speeding the heck out of youth-hood before getting the chance to stop and smell the flowers, or just to hang out with friends. I guess you can call it momentum, but still – thank goodness for summer.

As you can probably tell, seeing and wearing Alex’s designs was the highlight of my night. Many came out for Connally Mcdougall Design’s showcase of her latest collection as well!

Lastly, I would like to thank Jamie and Skye of Myskyeberrypie for inviting me out – they were so kind, and their energy filled the room!

About Alex S. Yu’s collection: THE SWEET SIXTEEN marks the second consecutive time ALEX S. YU is showing at Vancouver Fashion Week. This collection finds inspiration in the often capricious teenage angst and the cult movie ‘Mean Girls.’ The overly mature and sexy appeal of pop culture and its pin-ups and media darlings intrigues and inspires Alex to design in a reverse way. This season he designs for a woman who is longing to be young again, to live naively, freely and worry-free and to remember that it’s okay to break some rules, have some fun and eat that extra scoop of double chocolate ice cream.

Cheerfully,

Shirley L

Miss Teenage Vancouver 2015

www.facebook.com/missteenagevancouver2015

Written by: Shirley
Leave a comment
Posted On:

*Sidenote: As the entire network of Miss Teenage Canada sites were down, I haven’t been able to post these blogs! Super excited that it’s back up again!

On May 31st, I went to support ChildRun, the annual fundraiser for BC Children’s Hospital to support the fight against childhood cancer. BC Children’s Hospital is BC’s only full service hospital; more than 85,000 children were treated here last year. The BC Children’s Hospital Foundation works with the public to fundraise to support BC Children’s Hospital and the Sunny Hill Foundation for Children.

Joined by my pageant sisters, Miss Teenage Coquitlam, Miss Teenage Okanagan, and Miss Teenage Southern British Columbia, and other ChildRun volunteers, I had a blast cheering on the crowd and doing the 5k walk. The Run is definitely a great way to raise awareness and to get the public not only donating, but also involved and pumped about supporting the hospital.

Very happy that I got the chance to see and bond and laugh with my pageant sisters again as well, by supporting this community event – with everyone living all over BC, this was quite a rare opportunity!

Check out the BC Children’s Hospital website for more information: http://www.bcchf.ca

Warmly,

Shirley L

Miss Teenage Vancouver

www.facebook.com/missteenagevancouver2015

Written by: Shirley
Leave a comment
Posted On: