Boots & Pine


Cyana Madsen in St. Clair West

Where did you grow up?

I moved 11 times in the first 18 years of my life, but I would say that Comox, BC on Vancouver Island is my hometown.

What brought you here?

My childhood dream of being a MuchMusic VJ (ha!), by way of Ryerson University for Television Broadcasting.

What do you do for a living?

I am a costume designer, who also does production design, set decorating, props, wardrobe, production coordinating, band management admin, etc. I also write and direct my own stuff, but of course nobody pays me for that.

How did you get started?

I have been drawing ladies in elaborate dresses since I was a little girl, and have done costume design on my own and on friends’ projects for a few years now. But it is only in the last year that I decided to quit my broadcasting office job and turn costuming into my full-time career.

What’s your favourite thing about your neighbourhood?

My neighbourhood isn’t really “cool”, yet. That said, all of my neighbours have big beautiful trees in their front yards, we all hang out on our porches on summer nights, drinking homemade wine and saying hello to each other, and there is both a wig store AND a library minutes from my house. That is pretty heavenly, do admit.

What’s the last treasure you found?

A robin, alive but dazed, on the road. I held him until he had calmed down enough to fly away. Even in a massive city, nature finds its way to us.

If you were going to eat your last meal in Toronto, where and what would you eat?

Oh man!! If it is summertime, I would head to the island with friends, wine, burrata, truffle oil, fresh bread, blackberries- and a jar of the fermented dill beans from my husband’s shop (Thomas Lavers Cannery & Delicatessen). And if it is winter, definitely a bowl of Woodlot’s vegetarian French onion soup, followed by a whiskey nightcap at Ronnie’s.

If you could have a sleepover with anyone who has ever existed, who would it be?

Zelda Fitzgerald, Nancy Mitford, Jane Goodall, Isabella Blow, Madame de Maintenon, Sofia Coppola, and Lizzie Siddal. We’d drink champagne, wear monogrammed silk jammies, and exchange witticisms. It’d be like the cozier Algonquin round table.

If your life was a TV show, what would be the theme song?

Big Time Sensuality – Björk

What does Toronto need that it doesn’t have now?

Less apathy. Find a cause you really care about, and don’t be afraid to champion it on a local, personal level. Some of those for me are: advocating for safer biking conditions to my MPP, working to end the rampant street harassment of women in our city by calling out harassers, and helping to care for and control our massive feral cat population by feeding strays in our hood, and donating to Toronto cat rescues.

Caring IS cool, friends!

Visit Cyana’s Tumblr and see her work on Vimeo.


© 2012 Arden Wray