Montgolfiere Weekly

An exploration of culture in its many forms



A conversation with Astri Prugger

Please would you tell us a bit about yourself and your business?

My name is Astri Prugger and I’m from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. My mother is from Norway and my father from Austria. Having that background has always been important to me. The cultures of these two countries have influenced much of my life. I always liked to draw and used to draw pictures of girls with different kinds of clothes for my friends. I suppose that I have been doing custom drawing since I was ten. I hadn’t intended to be a fashion designer. I had wanted to be a ballet dancer and my teachers wanted me to audition for the National Ballet, but my parents didn’t want me to move so far away. Continue reading “A conversation with Astri Prugger”

Lessons learned: A clothes-free year, part 4

By Barbara Sibbald

In just a few weeks, my year will be up and I will be free to buy clothes. Free, but not inspired. I won’t be reverting to my old habits. A year of self-imposed doing without has made me a reformed and better-informed consumer. If you too want to save money and time, while still dressing well, then my lessons learned might be of interest. Continue reading “Lessons learned: A clothes-free year, part 4”

Temptations: A clothes-free year, part 3

By Barbara Sibbald

Summer sales beckoned. I spotted the “50% off” sign in my favourite women’s clothing shop. It couldn’t hurt to just look. But do I need the temptation? What about my clothes-free resolution? Casting aside the lure of saving some dough, I tried to recall previous end-of-season bargain purchases. The three that immediately sprang to mind had subsequently been given away: those French dress pants that fit perfectly but were an appalling shade of beige that showed every mark; that brightly hued sleeveless tank that was impossibly garish in the sunlight; that asymmetrical, slightly snug skirt that seemed so au courant, but turned out to be a tummy-enhancing reminder of my failure of will power. They all went out to St. Vincent de Paul where I’m sure they found a good home. When I thought about it, I realized that nearly all the clothes I’d recently given away were bought on sale. Continue reading “Temptations: A clothes-free year, part 3”

My closet is bare: A clothes-free year, part 2

By Barbara Sibbald

I’ve got nothing to wear. It’s a common-enough complaint that women (primarily) utter, especially at the end of a long season (i.e., winter). Of course, it’s hyperbolic. There are lots of things I could wear, just nothing I want to wear. The usual solution is a shopping trip and a big VISA bill. But that’s against my New Year’s resolution to go without buying clothes for a year. So instead of turning outward to the shops, I turn inward and take a closer look at the contents of my cupboard. And not just my bedroom clothes closet, but also the overflow in the spare room. Continue reading “My closet is bare: A clothes-free year, part 2”

A clothes-free year

by Barbara Sibbald

No, I won’t be leaving a wake of 911 calls when I walk down the street. Clothes free doesn’t mean au naturel, it means free from the burden of buying clothes. Burden. I choose the word carefully now, a quarter of the way into the year. It is the right word.

It began in mid-December when I was overcome by post-shopping remorse after dropping nearly $500 at a pre-Boxing Day sale on a new (albeit very warm) winter coat and various irresistible accoutrements, including a circle scarf and a light-weight “high performance” (what dat?) down vest. I justified my purchases climatically: I live in Ottawa, I need to keep warm and the frigid winds were flowing through my old coat. But still: $500? Continue reading “A clothes-free year”

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