Today I’m so excited to share that I’m featured in the Who What Wear section of the Hamilton Spectator! Many thanks go to Sheryl Nadler for a great interview and amazing photos! It was a pretty chilly day at Dundurn Castle, but we had fun and she wrote a great article!

To celebrate, you can get 20% off your next purchase at flyingfoxstudio.com with the code SPECSTYLE!

Excerpt is below the photos! 

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Michelle Prosek walks around with a mini black light in her handmade bag. The unusual device that resembles a small flashlight comes in handy, she says, when she’s scouting for treasures to incorporate into her handmade jewelry pieces at gem and mineral shows. Plus, these days the local aerialist, glass maker and clothing designer uses it to assess how certain fabrics and paints will react to a black light she plans to use in an upcoming project.

When it comes to art and self-expression, Prosek’s creativity oozes onto everything she touches. Whether she is twisting her body around lengths of silk with the Hamilton Aerial Group, crafting sculptural glass jewelry or tiles (some were used in the Boston Children’s Hospital) or designing whimsically-themed leggings under the brand Flying Fox Studio, Prosek is always pushing herself, moving forward, upwards. Sometimes literally.

“I’ve never been really good with repetitive exercise, like all the treadmills and bikes and stuff,” Prosek, a former competitive swimmer, says of how she fell into the aerial arts, six years ago. “You get hot, you get sweaty and it’s just repetitive — it doesn’t work for me. I really love that (aerial arts are) something you’re really thinking about while you’re doing it to the point where it’s so interesting, you don’t really think about the fact that it’s a workout.”

So how did an aerialist and glass artist become a fashion designer? Out of necessity, Prosek says. At five-foot-eleven, she had a hard time finding leggings and tops that covered her skin. Silk ropes can burn if your skin isn’t covered. And, anyway, why should little kids get all the good patterns and designs? So she teamed up with a clothing manufacturer in Montreal and designed a line of clothing she can — and wants to — wear, both in the air and on the ground.

The high-waisted burnt orange Colour Block Fox Yoga Leggings she wears here are not only an example of the creativity she brings to some of her designs, but also speaks to Prosek’s preferred colour palette of rich, earthy jewel tones like eggplant purple, olive green, deep magenta.

“I usually don’t wear a lot of patterns, but I will co-ordinate different textures,” she says of her wardrobe, which she describes as “artistic but practical.”

She does spend a lot of time in comfortable training gear, but will design co-ordinated sets that help aerial artists, and mere mortals who walk on the ground, look pulled together.

Here Prosek layers a tie-dye T-shirt and long black tank over her fox leggings and Blundstones. The dusty rose trench coat with ruffle details was a find from Winners and perfectly matches the agate stone necklace with dusty rose tassel she made herself. She accessorizes with zoisite earrings with a ruby inclusion, another pair of gold and diamond earrings and a third pair of gold and glass earrings. Her wooden resin ring has a mini flower inclusion, as well.

Most eye catching piece

This coat … it’s just one of those nice, kind of big, colourful pieces that I really enjoy wearing … and it was a one-off find (from Winners). It was the only one and I was so happy it was in my size. I tend to shop all over the place. It’s more about interesting or unusual pieces of clothing for me … I buy pieces that go with my colours, and just what feels right.

Quirkiest wardrobe item

I have this denim jumper skirt … it’s got little suspenders, a zipper … and pockets. Pockets are so important and I kind of refuse to buy clothing without pockets, especially skirts and pants. And I love it. It’s so great over my leggings. After a workout I can just throw it on and it’s kind of fun and unusual and I don’t often wear just blue denim, but it’s one of those pieces I saw and love it.

Wardrobe must have

Scarves. I have scarves in (eggplant purple, olive green, magenta, navy blue, black and brown) and I wear them all year. I don’t leave the house without (one) and it’s just like a long rectangle, which I find kind of the most useful because I can wear it as a shawl, you can tie it a whole bunch of different ways and it’s just warm enough. So I always wear these.

Best purchase

My Blundstones. I wear them until it’s too hot to wear them, so almost the whole year. They’re so comfortable. I’ve got sensitive feet or something, so I’ve always had trouble finding shoes that were comfortable and that didn’t wear my feet and didn’t rub them the wrong way. And these, I put them on and was like, do I even have shoes on? They’re so good. And they’re not too warm. I can always wear warmer socks in them. I wear them all the time.

Regrets buying

(High) heels. I really just don’t wear heels anymore unless it’s for very specific function. Even then, I try to have other nice shoes. It’s really hard to find really fancy, attractive shoes that don’t have a heel because the whole focus I find is always on these high heels and they’re just so uncomfortable. I just can’t do it. So I haven’t bought heels in a long time.

And any other piece of clothing … I try to make it fit with what I’ve got. But if it doesn’t, then I’m really good at upcycling. So kind of no regrets. If it doesn’t quite work then I’ll sew it differently or I’ll re-dye or I’ll do something with it.

Loves to shop at

Everywhere. I do like to shop when I travel, too, just because sometimes there are different little boutique stores that have their own thing going on. It’s really the hunt for something unusual or different that really catches my eye.

Ridding her closet of

I try to do a closet cleanout every year. So, anything that I haven’t worn in more than a year, I generally try to kind of move that along. There’s always the occasional piece that even if I don’t wear it as much, I really like it so I’ll hold on to it. So, basically, anything that I haven’t worn for more than a year. I have a lot of older tank tops that I’ve kind of held on to because, well, what if I need a tank top in this colour? Every year I kind of just reassess the fit and style that I’m going with.

Splurges on

Stones. A lot of my jewelry is natural stones. If I find a really interesting, nice piece then I’ll be willing to pay extra for that just because to me it’s cool and it means something.

Beauty product she can’t live without

I have a Carina organics leave-in conditioner that I use every day. So, it’s just like a little spray bottle and fixes my bedhead in the morning. And for my hair — I will recolour it every three or four months — it’s just been perfect.

sheryl@sherylnadler.com

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