paula toledo

Where Discovery Meets Gratitude

Ode to Wonder is an experiential community, a creative space built to exercise mental well-being and positive states of mind by engaging in curiosity, discovery and gratitude.

It is a celebration of the simple things in life, accessible through the beauty of humanity, art, travel, and sports/nature. The four pillars fit together perfectly as an acronym, 'H.A.T.S. Off' to describe a mental wellness regime based on self-care and self-compassion. 

While crossing paths with innovative and inspiring people, Ode to Wonder will share their stories of adversity, but mainly offer insight into their individual strength and the resources they used to  help them work through life's challenges.

May Ode to Wonder be a contagious remedy for some, offering enlightenment. May it be a dare to dream bigger, believe in oneself that much more. A dare to climb up those stairs, open the door to the rooftop of the world and wonder.

For we are one. Let us all be part of each other's wonders. 

Ode to 1001 Fesses Project & Real Women

Ode to 1001 Fesses Project & Real Women


Unedited Beauty - 1001 Fesses Project 

1001 Fesses Project Vernissage at Atelier B

1001 Fesses Project Vernissage at Atelier B

by Paula M. Toledo

For years now, I have been on a bit of a quest to find the best cafés in Montreal (but more on that later). In my opinion, good coffee always leads to good things. After doing some café research on The Main, I fell upon Atelier B, the brain child of two best friends Catherine Métivier et Anne-Marie Laflamme (who also happen to look like twins). I was struck by their simplistic designs; structured, minimalist, clean lines with well thought out details. Their garments are built to stand the test of time. To be stylish without overthinking or putting to much effort is the new vogue.

It seems that 2017 has spawned a backlash against the likes of the over-exposed Kardashians and the social media photo-edited, body-face-beauty-edited injection and surgery seeking culture that has followed.

The quest for “perfection” however the media or pop culture has defined it, has created a contagion, that like a virus, has morphed itself into new circus side-show strains.

But as always, there are trends and there are innovators, early adopters, even in the beauty and fashion industry. I'm happy to say that Catherine and Anne-Marie are part of the latter group, associating themselves with other like-minded artists that believe in the au naturel movement.

This movement is quietly making its way into the mainstream with 1001fessesproject leading the way. The thing that I was struck by when I walked into Atelier B was that the lack of high fashion glossy images decorating the store. 1001 Fesses Project's vernisage and photographs lined the store. Rows of women's behinds were clothes pinned to the wall, hanging above the clothing for sale.

Maybe it's my age, my mom-hood, maybe it's the over-saturation of the porn-like photography of women that proliferates every billboard, internet site, magazine, instagram...I have had enough. So there I was standing in Atelier B, looking at the beautiful photographs of women's bums. There was something so refreshing about seeing women for who they are, completely unedited, au naturel. No plumping, no toning, wrinkles, cellulite and all.

Emilie Mercier (artist and professional photographer), and Frederique Marseille(entrepreneur and artistic director) are the brainchilds behind 1001 Fesses Project.

According to their website, since November 2014, the two have been "collecting the beauty of the female form in an attempt to address a widespread obsession: women who hate their backsides".

"We are trying to create a visual poem by taking pictures of all kind of women…and bums ! These pictures are always taken in daylight with a Mamya 645 film camera and we never show faces or identify images. By photographing anonymous bodies, we try to picture the beauty in every shape, the beauty in female identity. With over 600 volunteer models and a very successful social media following, we now want to transcend frontiers and photograph feminine beauty elsewhere." (source) 1001 Fesses Project.

And while I can't say I hate my backside, I feel inclined to be part of such a cool movement to show that beauty can come in every shape and colour.

Should you have the former or the latter relationship with your bum, and want to be part of this worthwhile social cause in the name of true unedited beauty, then you can sign up on their Facebook page and put your name down as a volunteer. 

1001FessesProject @ Atelier B

1001FessesProject @ Atelier B

Atelier B

Location: 5758 St Laurent Blvd, Montreal, QC H2T 1S8. T: (514) 769-6094

Hours: Monday CLOSED, Tuesday 12-6 pm, Wednesday 12-6pm, Thursday 12-8pm, Friday 12-8pm, Saturday 12-5pm, Sunday 12-5 pm 


10001 Fesses Project

Facebook: 1001 FESSES modèles

by Paula Toledo

Ode to Barcelona - Family Travel  (Part I) 'tournKeys': Magic Fountains

Ode to Barcelona - Family Travel (Part I) 'tournKeys': Magic Fountains

Ode to 'What Do You Do With An Idea' book

Ode to 'What Do You Do With An Idea' book