Thursday, March 19, 2009

New School Dandy Profile: Grant Heaps

Over the past several months we have been introduced to many amazing people through our Facebook fan page. With this post we continue a regular series of profiles of New School Dandies. This week we feature Grant Heaps.

Where did you grow up? Scarborough, a suburb of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Where do you live now? Parkdale, a neighbourhood west of Toronto Centre.

Where did you go to school? The Ellen Peterson Fashion Institute, Toronto.

What’s your occupation? Assistant Wardrobe Coordinator for the National Ballet of Canada.

When did you establish your personal style? Was there a pivotal moment? How has it changed? Music in general inspired my clothing, punk rock in particular. I remember the first time I heard Prince, The Pretenders, and The Sex Pistols. I remember thinking that if I dressed cool people at school would like me, only I did not know that punk rock was not considered cool. Once I discovered this I also realized that it was not what I wore that they did not like but it was me, so I dressed anyway I pleased and for the most part I was left alone to discover and be me. This was in 1980. Since my punk rock days I have played with clothes, tried making clothes, discovered what I truly find attractive for myself and built a look about colour and pattern that works in my mind and on my body.

How would you describe your style? Traditional, bold, clean, nerdy, colourful, contained.

What are your sources of inspiration? Great style of the past, a collection of snap shots I have amassed, music, patterns, colours.

Who is your style icon? Pee-wee Herman.

Do you have a favorite website? A Shaded View On Fashion.

What is your favorite personal item (non-clothing/accessories)? I collect so to put it down to one item is hard. I have a toy chicken coupe with chickens made in the early 20th century. It was my grandfather, George Banton's only toy as a child.

What is your favorite clothing article or accessory? The neck tie, either bow tie or straight tie. Occasionally I will venture out without one but this is a rare day and usually involves a shirt that is just not tie suitable.

Where is your favorite or dream vacation spot? I really do not have a dream vacation spot. If I am traveling with someone it would be somewhere they really want to go. If I were to go by myself it would be someplace to visit friends and explore. I have had great times in New York City, Paris, Cleveland, Greensboro, Saskatoon, Vancouver and Victoria (a city that seems to haunt me).

At which establishments would you consider yourself a regular? The Common for coffee in the morning. The Beaver for special events like Hot Huts Gandhi Roti and M&B Yummy Ethiopian Vegetarian.

What would you be doing ten years from now? I make quilts and I assume that ten years from now I will still be making them and pushing their limits. I am making a series of quilts that tell the story of a theatrical show through the eyes of an audience member using embroidered words, images, and song lyrics. Each quilt is a fragment of a large picture, like a puzzle.

What else do you want to tell us? I love getting dressed in the morning. I dream of buying a Thom Browne suit. I have furniture building fantasies. My life is driven by my quilts, my friends, my home, my clothes, my books, my music, and my pup Fancy (who is a butch little bad ass girl).

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