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The Strawberry Girls Spring Collection is a reminisce of my Berry Fast. The Berry Fast is a coming-of-age ceremony to learn the teachings, importance and responsibilities of being a woman – an important acknowledgement because sometimes I long for those days of being a kid, and sometimes I still feel like a kid.
I was thirteen when I began my fast. I was still running around in my shorts and tee’s, playing baseball and other field games. To start the fast we went to a farm just north of the city to pick berries. I vividly remember picking and freezing the strawberries, they were my favourite, they have always been my favourite, and I couldn’t even have the tiniest nibble – tragic to my young self! There was much growth during that year; navigating and being led through new territories in life, the fast taught me to have patience, to understand and acknowledge change and to respect my surroundings and myself.
After the fast I still felt like a girl but I could understand more clearly these big changes I was going through and my evolving role within the world. The yearend feast to break the fast took place in the backyard of my family’s apartment, off a side street from Queen and Spadina, with a few girlfriends, aunties (mostly adopted), my mom and elder. I wore a dress, which is custom for many ceremonies, but this time it was something I would wear as a young woman.
My memories of that time are lucid, it is an important time in a young girl’s life; the naiveté she holds of the world, the sweetness she sees in the world, the intense desire she has to grow up and everything she learns during that profound time in her life. Coming of age. That is what this collection is: remembering that open-minded time of growth in between the pleasure of youthfulness and the curiosity and desire for womanhood. A Strawberry Girl.