FASHION | The Future As I See It

Technology has a way of evolving beyond what we can imagine. Think back to the first cellphone – costly, bulky, and couldn’t hold a charge. These days, we expect a cellphone to act as a phone, camera, music player, and personal computer, all at an affordable cost. Is it really so crazy to imagine that 3D printing could become so mass market, that instead of buying a pre-made article of clothing, we will buy the design online and print it?

Fast fashion is meant to take current popular styles, and make them available immediately to the consumer. What better way to do this than print the fashion in a 3D form the minute it starts to gain popularity. In-home printing may be my long term vision, but it can’t happen overnight. Instead, the market will gradually adapt, as both consumers and retailers become more familiar with this new technology and its benefits.

Initially, consumers will be able to print in-store. Whether the size you’re looking for isn’t carried in-store, or the style is sold out, consumers will be able to request the item of their choice to be printed on demand. Fast fashion stores, known for having a plethora of the same size of the same style, will now only carry limited sizes in each style knowing that instead of taking home the item from the sales floor, consumers will simply receive a freshly printed item instead. Large store rooms will be converted in to printing centres to accommodate these requests on-site.

Within five years, consumers will have 3D printers at home and they will be able to download designs from a store’s website. They will be able to customize options such as fit, pattern, size, style, and material. In-home printers are already affordable, but the average consumer lacks the technical skills to design 3D sketches in a computer program. Consumers will not begin by downloading the design for their wedding dress. To start, 3D printing will be used to print replacements to things such as lost buttons, and then other items such as accessories. As it becomes more mass-market people will see the logic in using it to print clothing as well.

Shapeways already helps the public buy, sell, and create 3D printed products, and Iris Van Herpen, a Dutch designer, presented her first 3D print in 2010. As a designer, she understands the need to embrace technology and incorporate it, rather than shy away from it as something unknown.

Do you think I’m crazy? Are you shaking your head? Think of the consumer appeal. The main driver behind this change will be the consumer’s desire to be different. We know that fashion trends are cyclical, but consumer trends are as well. Prior to the 1850’s, consumers instructed tailors on what to make for them. Recently, it has been designers dictating trends. However, as Millennials grow into a major consumer role, so will the consumer trend of individuality and bespoke pieces.

Retailers will benefit due to reducing the costs of manufacturing, shipping and logistics, unsold merchandise, and real estate for larger retail spaces. The environment will benefit because the materials used will be recyclable. Instead of throwing out old clothes, you can use the materials to make new ones.

The future of 3D printing is both exciting and unnerving. Technology can change quickly. While today it seems a far reach to claim that we will be printing our wardrobe in 5 years, history has shown us that it is entirely possible.

The technology is there, and now as consumers and industry insiders, we need to explore the opportunities that it can provide. In 5 years, we could be watching styles come down a runway, and then buying the 3D designs online the next day from a fast fashion retailer.

What are you thoughts? Have I convinced you this is possible? I would love to hear your opinions below!


FASHION | Accessorize Yourself in Berlin

One of the coolest shops I have ever seen while shopping was an independent jeweller in Berlin. My friend had heard of them and finding the store was on our must-do list while we were there.

What made it such a must-do? They make blown glass pendants with dried dandelions inside. Super. Cool.

It was a bit difficult to find, which I’m sure was only due to our lack of familiarity with Berlin, and zero knowledge of German, but we found the store and thus began the hour long process of deciding which piece of jewellery to purchase.

I opted for a wrap watch with a compass charm, and a globe charm, very fitting of my vagabonda lifestyle. My friend opted for a necklace with a dandelion charm (the main reason we were in search of this store in the first place).

Sadly, in our haste to pack up our lives in the wee hours of the morning in Berlin and not wake our bunkmates, my friend left her necklace somewhere in our hostel room. Not to fear, Villa Sorgenfrei also sells online so she could (and did) replace her necklace. My watch was a big part of my life until one day, after constantly carrying my bag around on my elbow and likely catching my watch on it every time, I realized that the compass charm had fallen off. The watch lost its charm (no pun intended!) for me so I’ve stopped wearing it. I wanted to replace it with a visit in person, but that’s likely another couple of years away!

I strongly recommend that you go, and also have a peek in their studio next door to watch the magic happen!

If you don’t have a trip planned at the moment, then go check out their Instagram in the meantime for some eye candy. This is one of those boring non-photo posts, because I simply didn’t take a picture of my beloved watch.

FASHION | Where It All Began…

Fashion is the reason that I packed up my life in Vancouver, and moved to Italy in 2012. Was it a crazy decision? Somewhat. Do I regret it? Never.

When I look back at my childhood, I realize how important fashion was to me. I can clearly remember certain outfits that I was obsessed with, and some entertaining stories that go with them. Both outfits are pictured below, but please hold your judgement thankyouverymuch.

Outfit 1: The Pyjamas. In Grade 1, I received a new outfit at Christmas, and as any logical child would do, I couldn’t wait to wear it to school. Not only was it a whole outfit, but there was a stuffed bear that fit in the front pocket of the shirt! An outfit with a stuffed animal. I was going to win the Best Dressed award. Well, word on the street is that I returned home from school that day, very upset that I had worn what was clearly a pyjama set to school!

Outfit 2: The Petticoat. Clearly, clothing fascinated me at a young age, and I thought my new skirt was the cat’s pyjamas. No, I do not have an obsession with pyjamas. Whether I wanted my new ballerina-esque outfit to be documented with a photo, or whether I was made to take a photo to send to the kind soul that gifted me with this beautiful skirt, it’s clear from the look on my face that I was tickled pink at my new outfit option. Little did I know, I was supposed to wear a dress on top of it. Good news: I don’t recall being allowed to wear this one in public.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


For those of you who started to follow me back in the days of LaCanadese, welcome back! For those of you who are new, I hope you enjoy my writing.

I started my LaCanadese blog in 2012, when I moved to Italy to pursue a dream. I enjoyed writing about my adventures overseas, especially because it was an easy way to let people know what I was up to. Fast-forward to 2016, and I am back in Canada with seemingly little to blog about. I kept being asked about my blog, and I started to feel like LaCanadese should have a FAQ section!

Q: Olivia! I miss your posts! When will you write something new?

A: Would you consider paying for me to travel around the world for one year? I think I could continue blogging for a bit on that.

Q: Olivia! We were talking about your blog the other day, and remembering what a great writer you were. Will you continue writing?

A: Should I get royalties for my blog posts that people keep talking about? Can I just keep riding on the limited number of posts I made? Am I the Fawlty Towers of blogging?

Q: Olivia, are you alive?

A: Yes, just because I have reduced my online presence, I promise you that I am still alive and well.

Q: Okay, Olivia, this is getting ridiculous. You had better blog immediately, or you’re out of the family.

A: But, how can I write for a blog that translates to “The Canadian in Milan” when I am clearly no longer living in Milan?

It took a while, but I have finally come up with a direction for my new blog. To start with, many posts will be a re-write of what you may have already read on LaCanadese, but these new posts will focus strictly on travel, style, and food. If you know me, you know that I am passionate about all of these!

My hope is that this blog can become a go-to for anyone looking for travel or dining recommendations around the world, and anyone who enjoys fashion and reading my musings on it.

PS – If you have ideas for a topic you’d like me to discuss, please let me know in the comments!