Fall in love...

Writing about Fall is writhe with cliche... the inescapable talk of 'all-things-burgundy'; 'jodphurs',  and a general excitement about digging out one's boots.  The sure way around all this inevitable chit-chat is, well, to get a new puppy.  For realz!!

He's an English Cream retriever, with super white fluffy fur and a jet black nose.  He's already 11 weeks old, maddeningly cute, and sleeps through the night.... 

If Fall's the time to fall in love, I've done it, and named him Romeo xoxox

Custom Clasps: from Paris with Love


Last year, when I was buying leather in Paris, I had just enough time to squeeze in a visit to a hardware supply store that I had found online.  All I knew about this place was that it was one of the oldest metal hardware foundries in Paris and that is was en route to CDG from where we were staying (a deal-breaker otherwise).  It took a long time to find this tiny, dusted-over shop, tucked away in the 11th arrondissement.  The ancient address barely visible, the dingy street barely noticeable, this was a far cry indeed from the shiny boutiques of the Marais.  

My heart beat faster.  This is the most exciting part of my design process: the thrill of the chase, the feeling of finding treasure on the path less traveled by.  

I entered the shop to the clear, tinkly sound of a bell attached to the door.  A man in his "troisieme age" or "3rd age" as they say in France, rose from behind the counter and greeted me warmly.  He was the 5th generation to run this business, a brass factory that had outfitted the cavalry and armies of France for almost 2 centuries.  Everything from decorative floral embellishments for the tall hats of les Générales; animal crests -running, sitting, pointing-  signifying power and honour; a catalogue of every possible monogram in several flourished fonts. Every size and shape of rivet, loop, button closure... I had hit the jackpot.  I wished immediately, deeply, desperately, that I had more time to spend, hours more, I wanted to see everything, hear every story, just stand in the dust and dream for a while. 

Désolée!  The taxi and my now impatient husband still waiting outside, I contented myself with a few choice pieces that I had never seen anywhere and have never found since.  One of the key pieces is a U-shaped loop which can be screwed in from both ends.  I have drilled holes into the eagle, beaver and bear plate pieces so that this U-bolt may be screwed into it from behind, making a wonderful, easy and secure clasp for my new line of bags.  

Check them out in the shop:  the Canvas Tote is rocking it right now!

I can't wait to get back to that shop with more time and more direction.  So hard to focus when inspiration is all around me.  

These days, it's simply and matter of time until the giant factories in China start making these things.  Until then, I will cherish these genuine, hand-crafted bits and pieces.  I will not compromise!  They are part of what makes Lover Fighter special.




Bring back the Individual

I've been thinking a lot about names in songs.  Is it just me or do no song writers use names anymore?  What happened to the unabashed wailing of Jolene?  Maybe it's a commitment thing.  To commit to one name, does the writer perhaps feel that they are being selfish, exclusive?  I don't buy it.  I think it's actually a bit cowardly.  You'd think that with all the damn sharing that goes on in the world, that sharing a name in the songs lyrics would be even more common.  

A name in a song gives the story a focal point, something for the listener to sink some teeth into.  It's the meat in the sandwich, which otherwise tells loosely about love or loss or a furnace duct problem… whatever.  But it's also exposing something personal about the singer, about the subject, in a permanent way.  Geez who says that Sherona was actually a real name!  Maybe her real name was Sharon- ooh crazy!  Maybe she was really Sue, and Sherona was just a silly one-time nick-name that came out of her drunk, lusting, loser would-be boyfriend's mouth, mocking her after she'd denied his advances.  OH don't you want the whole story, now that you've sang the name "Sherona!!" 7,000 times over the years…  

Next time, I want to KNOW that furnace repair man's name, man.  Please, dear songwriters, don't refer to the repair man as 'guy' or 'dude'….  I want to picture the name tag: 'Dwayne'  And just like that, Dwayne becomes the symbol of forced air heat to any and all who hears the song, forever more.

 Now THAT's powerful stuff.

The Year of the Horse

Chinese New Year in Vancouver is always fun, colourful, loud and delicious.  This year we braved the cold and stood at the corner of Gore and Keefer to watch the parade.  All the bright, wonderfully-clashing costumes of animals and warriors, white gun smoke of the bangers, music, gongs, lunging dragons and lions... all against the backdrop of clean hard lines of downtown high-rise living.  A fantastic medley of visual and cultural contradictions.  Lover! FIghter!  

Making our way through the thick throng of spectators, we found our dim sum rendezvous and began ordering in earnest.  Chicken feet were loved/loathed.  Har Gow devoured.  Dish after dish of pork, mushrooms, rice, shrimp, sprouts, curd, lotus root, but alas! They were all out of snake soup.  All at once, the doors banged open and shouts erupted.  As per tradition, the mighty dragon had come to claim his standard offering of a head of lettuce left hanging in the threshold, and for a rascally tour of the kitchen, pots clanging, tail wagging, children peering and cheering....   Gung Hay Fat Choy! 

Good Morning, Sunshine

After all the glitter and gluttony of December,  it really feels good to be slapped wide awake by a good old-fashioned January.  Well to be truthful, no one likes to be slapped, but we do appreciate a tasty old-fashioned Old-Fashioned these days, so there you go.  

Post-December mayhem has allowed us for some time to dig into our new digs, and we are so excited to be in our new studio/retail space in Lower Mount Pleasant!   295 W.8th.  The building is really cool- it's a charcoal-coloured, low-slung bunker who's design was inspired by Darth Vader.  Remember: Lord Vader was a lover waaay before he was a fighter...sigh.  Don't we all start that way?  

Call anytime for an appointment.

604 671 1707

Hours have not been set in stone quite yet but hopefully regular hours will find us by the end of the month.

xo Joanna