It’s always fun to watch a debut unfold before you. Tara Rivas unveiled the Fall Winter 2015 collection from her newly minted womenswear line, TMR Collection. Tara began her career altering store bought clothing and after years of that she made the jump into creating custom clothing for herself. This collection is the logical conclusion to those efforts.
“I want to create collections that offer women maximum style with minimum effort,” said Tara Rivas, founder and designer. “My desire is to create clothing that makes women look and feel good.”
For her first collection, Tara has wisely focused on a tight edit of beautifully made foundation pieces that can easily be integrated into anyone’s wardrobe. She’s taken classic pieces and added a bit of flair which makes her collection both stylish and office appropriate. Pleather inserts and mesh detailing bring the style and sex appeal to the garments. In addition to pleather, Tara uses triacetate crepe, bamboo and rayon. The entire collection is produced in Toronto and uses locally sourced fabrics.
Lets take a look at my favourite pieces
Portland Reversible Dress. The reversible dress isn’t a new idea but it’s beautiful to see it done well. This dress looks great on all shapes and it’s perfect for travelling. Nice little bodycon number.
This is the result of the Eve Gravel Garden Party Challenge style challenge. Eve Gravel sent me a Garden Party kit that included a dress from the SS15 collection and some addition styling items to add to the shoot. I chose the dress but everything else was a surprise. With this box of goodies I was to come up with a Garden Party themed photoshoot. The Red Hat dress is amazing and has some beautiful movement to it.
At first I was like, I don’t have a garden! I thought about going to a park but it was cold and brown out there (this was a few weeks ago). I realized that this would be have to be an I want – I got style garden party and that meant my balcony would take centre stage.
In the #evegravelgardenparty party kit styling items included a super cute pineapple bracelet from Horace Jewelry, Misslyn nail polish (available at Shopper’s Drug Mart) and a pair of incredibly cool Italia Independent sunglasses (available at Pink Eye Optical). I’m obsessed with them with the sunglasses. Perfect bright colour for summer. For decoration was a paper pineapple, booze, cocktail shaker and an Eve Gravel fabric pennant banner.
My garden party guests were some plush guys from Monster Factory to add a bit of a teddy bear picnic feel for kicks. Unfortunately my cats wouldn’t sit still enough to participate. Thankfully, I just picked up a new patio set that would go perfectly. So, I set up my trusty Cannon camera and got my remote shooting app and got to work taking shots on a lovely evening as the sun set.
I’ve been completely spoiled by my custom fitted boots from Poppy Barley. It won’t be possible for me to buy another pair of tall boots off the rack again because nothing is going to fit as well. Poppy Barley is an Edmonton based shoe brand that I first heard about in the summer. They offer custom, handcrafted footwear that is Canadian designed and ethically made in Mexico. Sisters, Kendall and Justine Barber are the brains behind the brand. The idea of Poppy Barley came to Justine when she was on vacation in Bali. She came upon a local shoemaker and was disappointed when a pair of boots she wanted didn’t come in her size. The shoemaker said no problem, measured her feet, processed her address and payment. A few weeks later, her custom made shoes showed up at her door in Edmonton. While this is an affordable option for many shoe buyers in other parts of the world, it isn’t common in Canada. Justine had the idea that she wanted to bring custom made footwear to the Canadian market.
Justine recruited her sister, Kendall to join her on this business venture. They did extensive research before partnering up with Laura who is the Operations Manager and Lupita who owns the Studio where Poppy Barley’s shoes are handcrafted. Laura and Lupita are based in LeÃ³n, Mexico which has been called the Footwear capital of the world. The Poppy Barley site has extensive material on their manufacturing practices available giving the consumer a level of transparency not seen in the Canadian shoe industry.
The Poppy Barley team visited Toronto in the fall last year and hosted a series of appointments for customers to get sized, check out the collection in person and order a new pair of shoes. I was invited to a breakfast to meet the team and get a look at the collection in person. When I first discovered Poppy Barley, I thought it was a great idea. There were existing companies doing some custom footwear that are American based and I always love seeing Canadians make a go of it.
Buying boots is a horrible experience for me and for many others. It takes so much time to find a pair of boots that fit acceptably in a style I enjoy. Too many compromises are made that leave me mostly unsatisfied with my purchases. I bought my last pair of tall flat black boots over 6 years ago and they reached end of life. I was dreading the search to replace them that I pretty much avoided it. Custom footwear was a perfect option but I’m pretty old school in my purchasing. I needed to see the product in person first. A good Photographer can make any piece of shit look great and that leads to disappointment when it finally arrives at your door.
Kendall and Justine made the Poppy Barley visit even better by letting me in on the Poppy Barley experience. They generously let me select a pair of shoes and took me through the whole fitting process. The fitting process sounds like it’s complicated but anyone can do it from the comfort of their own home. (http://poppybarley.com/how/) For those of you that want an expert’s touch, Poppy Barley hosts fitting appointments Toronto at another great Canadian shoe brand, Brodawka & Friends and Edmonton. Check the website to setup an appointment or find out when the next Poppy Barley Pop Up is scheduled.
This was the perfect opportunity to replace my tall flat black boots. They are a wardrobe must and I there was a massive hole in my wardrobe options. It wasn’t an easy choice and I spent a good chunk of time figuring out which ones to go for. I also flipped between flat and heeled boots because the Poppy Barley heel boots are pretty amazing too. After much bemoaning, I settled on The Foxhunt Boot in all black. It’s a classic riding boot with gold hardware. In addition to the standard foot measurements like size and width, I was able to customize the calf size and height of the boot. I have long legs so having the option to customize the height of the boot was a godsend. Ditto for the calf size as it’s always been a bitch getting boots to fit my calves. I’m an ex-athlete and always felt that the standard calf sizes were made for women with toothpick legs. So here was Poppy Barley that allowed me to order the boot I wanted without compromise. That’s massive!
So the hardest part of this whole process was anticipation. Each Poppy Barley shoe is made to order in Mexico and takes about 4 to 8 weeks depending on the shoe type. I ordered on November 15, 2014 and the boots shipped out on January 21, 2015. I was on vacation in Whistler when they arrived. It was one of the only reasons, I was happy to return to flatland. For those of you that don’t want to wait 8 weeks for shoes, Poppy Barley had a ready to wear line also in standard sizes that you can order from. I’d suggest you go for the custom though.
Unboxing was delightful. The boots were exactly like the samples I saw. I had no surprises in terms of quality. Of course, the fit was like nothing I’ve experienced before. The length and width was perfect when wearing tights or socks while the calf size was spot on. The only part of the boot that required some breaking in was the zipper side of the ankle and that only took a couple wears. I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t need to add grips to the bottom of my boots. I took the Foxhunt boots into the tundra like conditions Toronto seems to be serving up these days and I didn’t slip and slide all over the place. I can truly say they are the best pair of boots I’ve ever owned.
Also included in my boot purchase was an Organic Collonil Leather Care Kit which came with Organic Bamboo Lotion, Organic Protect and Care, Combi Brush and a polishing cloth. I had no idea there was organic leather care products out there. I immediately put the Organic Protect and Care on my boots. It was nice to be able to use the product indoors and it didn’t have the harsh chemical smell that other products have. I haven’t used the Organic Bamboo Lotion yet but have successfully used Boot Rescue wipes to get rid of salt stains.
So, I hope I’ve convinced you to give Poppy Barley a chance. This company is a godsend if you have a hard to fit feet or you just want the experience of custom footwear without going the whole bespoke route. I’m a convert and plan to get myself a pair of Promenade or Highline boots in the near future. I even have a great customer service story to pass on to you guys. I mentioned how much I love the zipper pulls. Well, I broke one and I was fucking devastated. I was put in touch with Customer Service and I sent a few photos of the broken zipper. Thankfully, it was only the pull that was broken and Poppy Barley put a couple zipper pulls in the mail and even told me that they would reimburse me for the cost of getting my Cobbler to put them on. That there is some damn good service!
My down parka boycott began last year. I was sick of wearing the damn things and longed for the days when the wool peacoat ruled. (Does anyone remember that?) I have nostalgia for the stylish look of a wool coat but I really didn’t miss the unfortunate side effect of freezing my ass off in extreme cold weather. How was I going to get the best of both worlds?
Last year, I started to wear a down vest from Danier Leather underneath my Philip Sparks pimp coat. This combo did a great job of keeping me out of my down parkas on some really horrible days. It was a good solution but not perfect. The down vest was the purple and really didn’t match the coat. Then spring came and I put all thoughts of winter coats and optimal layering solutions to bed.
During the summer, I received an email from Marissa Freed. She’s the President of Freed and Freed International, an outerwear company based in Winnipeg. The company is 95 years old and you can read about their rich heritage here. She was designing a new line of winter coats for Fall Winter 2014 and wanted to send me a sample of the line to put through its paces this winter. This email came in June and let me tell you I was in full on “LA LA LA LA, it’s not winter yetâ€ mindset. However, she already had buy in from Holt Renfrew and Pink Tartan so I thought something must be going on here and I should check it out. I was totally expecting more of the same down parkas that I can’t stand but it was like Marissa knew what I was thinking. The PDF line sheet for the Freed line was full of these wonderful tweet coats in various silhouettes. Holy Shit, I thought to myself, Marissa is the bomb.
What was Marissa’s brilliant design idea? English Tweed that is treated to be wind and water resistant paired with a removable down vest! 100% English tweet is bonded with a Dintex membrane and a thin fleece lining. Dintex is a Thermoplastic Polyurethane member which is waterproof and wind resistant. Wind and water are killers in winter and one of the major failings of your typical wool coat. The vest is 90/10 fill of down and feathers. It also has snaps which make it easy to remove and secure the vest in the coat. Luxury details like leather buttons, leather elbow patches and a removable fur lined hood round out the coat. The FREED line was everything that I was looking for in a winter coat. I felt like Indiana Jones reaching for that wooden cup, this was my holy grail. And to make things even better, everything is made in Canada. I can’t believe I’m excited for winter in June!
I decided on the Montrealer in grey. It took me a very long time to decide because all the coats are so beautiful. Thankfully, a media preview in August gave me a chance to see the coats in person and try them all on. I was pretty blown away by the photos of the collection but they didn’t do the collection justice. The fabrics were just gorgeous and all the coats looked great on. Again, here I was a staunch summer baby excited about winter in August. I was really impressed.
The Montrealer arrived just in the nick of time. A week later we went into deep freeze and I pulled that puppy out. My first forays in the coat were without the vest. It wasn’t too cold yet and I always wear warm sweaters. The wind resistance is immediately noticeable. One day I got stuck in the rain and I marveled at the water just beading off the tweed like it was Gore-Tex. A coat gets major bonus points from me if there is an inside pocket and of course Marissa thought of that. It fits my phone perfectly.
Levi’s contacted me about participating in their Live in Levi’s campaign (#LiveinLevis). Some select bloggers/influencers use the hashtag and their social networks to share their style stories about Levi’s in their day to day lives. Levi’s also sent us one of their ICON pieces to style to go with our stories.
I came across this photo of myself in grade 9 recently. I’m wearing a well loved Levi’s 501 jean jacket. The first thing that came to my mind was “Anita, you stupid asshole, why didn’t you keep that jacket. Think about how worn in and cool it would be now.” I honestly don’t even know if I could still fit in my Grade 9 clothes. The other thing that came to me from that photo was the emotion that it conveyed to me: Happiness, confidence and a little bit of style with my funky skater/Michie Mee-ish haircut. Levi’s was the denim brand of my youth; it wasn’t like now where there is an overwhelming amount of choice in the denim market. It was Levi’s or bust. 20 years later I’ve realized that when I wear Levi’s, I feel like that 13 year old kid again.
One thing I love about my Levi’s style is simplicity. I never feel the need to dress it up. I feel complete whether it’s tossing on a jean jacket or wearing shorts and a t-shirt. With my love of Levi’s simplicity in mind, I chose the Western shirt dress to style for this story.
One thing I love about dresses is that it’s pretty much one stop dressing. Throw it on and put on some shoes and you are out the door. I’m terrible at layering and I honestly don’t like to wear that many layers so the perfect dress is always important to me. The Fall Winter 2014 Levi’s Icon Western Shirt Dress is a little different due to the polka dots fabric. I think it’s a great detail that gives denim a little modern update. I squealed a little when I got a better look at the fabric.
I love the built in leather rope belt. You can wear it without but I think it gives the waist a bit more definition when worn. Finally, the dress has pockets!!! I’m a believer that all dresses (except bodycon) should have pockets. My look is a no brainer: tights, boots and the dress. The boots I got at The Gap and I was really worried about how often I would wear them. I don’t do brown shoes very well. All my outfits are designed with black or random colour shoes in mind. I hate brown and black for the most part. Luckily, the Western Shirt Dress is perfect with them. I usually wear darker grey tights but I received these via a package of Grey goodies from Upper Canada Mall. It was like all these items came into my life independently only to discover their purpose in my wardrobe. One more benefit is that I can wear it to work.
You can check out how others #LiveinLevis by checking out the hashtag on your various social networks and by watching this video:
The Western Shirt Dress is from the Fall Winter 2014 ICON collection. Check them out online or at the Levi’s store in Yorkdale Mall.
I have a saying that I’ve repeated a lot these days, “I need another one of these like I need a hole in the head”. Lately, its been applied to coats, sweaters and shoes. I said it to myself again once I spotted the Sully Wong x Amanda Lew Kee sneaker collaboration. I don’t need another pair of sneakers because my closet is full of them but the Sully Wong x Amanda Lew Kee Swalk Hi sneaker is one incredible shoe.
Amanda has incredible style so I had big hopes for the design when I heard about the collaboration initially. She has surpassed anything I could have imagined. The shoe is perfection, I cannot lie.
“The SWALK HI collaboration personifies all aspects, both in design and philosophy, which Sully Wong and I share as a team. The design itself is sleek, smart, and constructed with the finest attention to detail and luxury materials. Together we are aiming to give the women’s market a sophisticated limited edition option, in the realm of casual athletic footwear, focusing on quality over quantity,â€ states Amanda Lew Kee.
The shoe not only looks slick as all fuck but the attention to detail on the materials are great. It uses a premium raw-cut leather upper, silver stitch-tag detailing, Japanese leather lined denim interior and black waxed rope laces. The leather footpad is removable making this a great option for those that wear orthotics too.
I’ve been a fan of the brand since the beginning of this blog. It seems like it was only yesterday when I wrote my first of many posts on the brand. It was way back in November of 2005 and I have to thank Now Magazine for turning me on to Christie’s and Andrea’s beautiful designs. Man, looking at those early posts are painful 🙂
To celebrate 10 years, Smythe is hosting a Flashtagram Right Now! Upload a photo of yourself in your favourite Smythe Jacket to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter using the hashtags #smythejackets #10X10 #flashtagram. The Smythe social media channels will be posting their favourite shots of their fans. You can follow the fun on Smythe’s Twitter and Instagram pages.
It was an absolute honour to be asked to take part in the Smythe flashtagram. So much so, that a meager selfie of the Reefer Coat wouldn’t do. I got into the studio to show off my favourite 10X10 collection piece.
The Reefer Coat is an absolute stunner. The colour is really vibrant and the gold button are perfect match. Functional pockets and button holes are important things in my life and Smythe never lets me down. Thank you so much Andrea and Christie for the jacket! I will love it and cherish it for the rest of my days.
Outfit Breakdown: Smythe Reefer Coat in Royal, Zara Dress, Manolo Blahnik Heels, Jenny Bird Earrings
So, I was browsing The Coveteur earlier this week and came across Alana Zimmer’s profile. I met Alana this year at a party and we had a really nice conversation. At the end of this conversation, she gave me a hug. I was happily stunned and I’ve been a fan girl ever since. I’m looking at photos of Alana’s great New York City apartment and her clothing. There are two photos of her in a leather skirt that automatically catch my eye. Can you guess what got me excited?
If you are a long time reader you probably guessed the full leather skirt and you’d be absolutely right. I was drooling over this thing. All the standard questions ran through my head. Who is the designer? Is it real leather? Is it still available and the dreaded how much is this going to cost? Then I remembered that The Coveteur has shopping links and the skirt was clickable.
Turns out, the skirt is from Valentino. It’s made from lambskin leather, in an A line cut and I’m in love. The only problem is the crazy price tag! 5700 Dollars!!!!! I don’t know what I was expecting; Valentino has always been very, very pricey. So the hunt is on for a vintage equivalent or something cheaper!
For those of you that can part with about 6500 bucks you can find the Valentino Long Leather Flare Skirt at Bergdorf Goodman and Nordstrom.
It’s funny that I was never really into Valentino that much when Valentino Garavani was at the helm. Sure, I respected the designer and his work but never drooled over it. However, the new designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli are releasing season after season of incredible design. Pre-Fall 2014 is incredible with stunning prints and animal motifs.
I’m not big on the Evil Eye trend in fashion from an aesthetic point of view. That being said, I’m falling for these Pre Fall 2014 Pierre Hardy Eye Sandal and Pumps. They are obviously influenced by the talisman but I like the quirky and anime like take he’s used in the design of these shoes. I love that the eyes are the most dominate feature on the shoe. The size of the eye and its placement make these shoes look so freaking cute on. In the kitten heel, there is just the perfect amount of toe point showing. It makes me want to squeal with delight.
There are a lot of variations on the shoe. You can see there are kitten heel and regular heel sandal varieties. Pierre has also switched up the materials and colour combinations. He mixed leather, pony and suede. I’m particularly taken with the pony hair sandal in dusty pink, it’s absolutely spectacular.
I haven’t seen any Canadian retailers with the shoes yet but you can find a variety of online retailers out there.
Net-a-Porter and Boutique 1 are selling the black sandal with Net a Porter winning out at $865 to Boutique 1’s $908.
eBay Canada contacted me this with a Style Challenge request. My mission, should I choose to accept, would be to style an office and nighttime look featuring the Bee Print Bustier by Jordan de Ruiter. A couple of weeks ago on twitter I mentioned how much I liked the Bee Print Bustier so I was happy to take on the challenge.
Let’s start with the office look. I pretty much did what I always do when I want to wear something inappropriate to the office, put a blazer on it. This look obviously wouldn’t fly in my financial district office place but many of you work in lest draconian dress code environments. I’m wearing my Junya Watanabe Commes des Garcons blazer (which I picked up at The Room for a steal), H&M high waisted pencil skirt and 3.1 Phillip Lim Chelsea boots. For the night look I ditched the blazer and swapped out the boots for gold sandals from Aldo Shoes. The night look is my World Pride 2014 look for Saturday’s parties!
The Bee Print Bustier is part of Boutiques on eBay which they setup to support Canadian Designers. For this exclusive collection they collaborated with Toronto based boutique Coal Miner’s Daughter. All pieces are under $90 with free shipping Canada Wide. Other designers in the collection are Jool Clothing, Jordan de Ruiter, Haller, Sara Duke, 3rd Floor Studio, and Norwegian Wood. The collection ends on June 30, 2014 so get your orders in ASAP.
I get a lot of t-shirt pitches. If you could see the face I make when I read them you can understand that I don’t pay them much attention. I’m a fashion blogger and I like clothing design. If you t-shirt is just showing off your graphic design skills on some American Apparel t-shirt I’m generally not impressed. I have a shit load of Threadless t-shirts, believe me, I’m over that phase in my life.
However, I’ve learned to never say never in life and last week a t-shirt pitch arrived in my inbox which I adore. Fairgood’s art director Shauna Luedtke came up with the Sorry t-shirt which puts a tongue in cheek look at one major Canadian stereotype, politeness.
Anyone that has lived in Canada for a long time falls into this trap. We say sorry all the damn time, even when we don’t have to. I do this regularly and I don’t even have an idea of where in my upbringing this politeness thing manifested itself.
The Sorry t-shirt was pitched to me as a Canada Day story. I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around why some of these holiday pitches exist but I’m not going to complain now because it worked in my favour.
The Sorry t-shirt is printed on a red 100% cotton American Apparel t-shirt (buwahahahaaha, sorry, just recalling the first paragraph in this post) and costs $24USD. You can purchase the t-shirt on the Fairgoods website.
Fairgoods is based out of Calgary and sell “curated selection of accessories, housewares, apparel, and decor, as well as digital goods like type. Some of our products are things we’ve created with makers, some are things we’ve made ourselves, and some of them are existing products we love. (Source)â€
I never knew I wanted a linen jumpsuit in pale pink until I saw that Horses Atelier created one for Spring Summer 2014. Now, that’s a bit of a lie, I’ve always had an interest in jumpsuits. A military flight suit is on my military “I want” list and has been for a long time. I haven’t pursued acquiring a flight suit very actively. When I do come across them they are either too weird-looking like this Soviet MIG flight suit or they are just too big and beyond the magic of alterations. Then there are the colour options which don’t really leave much room for light-hearted fun.
Combinaison by Horses Atelier provides a great fitting silhouette that looks slim fitting and roomy at the same time. The cotton linen blend will make it cool for the summer even though you’re encased in fabric. It’s got pockets which are a must. I love that it can be dressed up with some heels and a great handbag or it can be completely casual with sneakers and a baseball cap. I’m honestly having thoughts of this jumpsuit paired with my Danielle Meder Doc Martens. It’s really bringing me full circle into this 90s rehash the fashion world is obsessed with right now.
Horses Atelier also makes the Combinaison in black if you are looking for something more stain resilient. The Combinaison by Horses Atelier is made in Toronto. You can buy it via the Horse Atelier online shop for $400. Proceeds from all online sales go to the Clean Clothes Campaign which strives to improve working conditions in the global garment industry.
Holt Renfrew Bloor Street is having a Les 4 Ombres discovery event this week. Chanel specialists are available to answer all your questions about the collection. Also, the Chanel mascara vending machine is back until the end of next week. It’s super fun to play with; all you need to do is buy one of the Le Volume mascaras. Don’t worry; you won’t be disappointed as Chanel gets my mascara thumbs up.
The Smythe Spring Summer 2014 collection takes their classic tailoring and minimalism to new heights with suiting in liquid textures in Flouro and Petrol Shine. They recently expanded to trousers and this spring summer we will see skirts as the new must haves from Smythe.
As with every Smythe collection there are a lot of I want – I got approved pieces. I’m loving the Petro Shine suiting. Turn heads with the total suit or if that’s too much for you, just go with the pants. It might be a bit bright for most but I’d totally wear it to the office.
I was at an event late last year and saw the Foil Pant in person. They are so hot it’s not even funny and in the perfect silver shade.
The Flouro liquid texture suit is gorgeous too. It doesn’t have the leather vibe like the Petro Shine but it’s still gorgeous.
It’s not a Smythe collection without a military inspired jacket and Spring Watch Jacket is a great colour. The Smythe skirts are adorable. There is one that isn’t pictured because I didn’t like it that much but it’s more office friendly than the shorter ones that get the I want – I got stamp of approval.
The Harem Pants with the tassel are a must have in black and tangerine. I’m obsessed.
On my bucket list is a jacket with tails and this is the perfect cropped jacket with mini tails.
There are some great rainwear this season and I love this leopard print Lab Coat one. If you are looking for something more classic, check out the Khaki Walking coat.
I’ve notice that Bomber Jackets are going to be a big trend this spring summer. This classic black bomber has a twist, it’s quilted.
Smythe Spring Summer 2014 hits stores this month. You can find Smythe in the GTA at TNT Women, Holt Renfrew,Â Andrews Bayview Village,Â Grafic Woman and NYLA.
Letterman Jackets have been flicking in and out of my radar for the last couple of years. I’d really like one but I’m very particular. Most Letterman jackets that I love are out of out of my budget so it figures I’m absolutely in love with the Thom Browne version. I really should have bought a Letterman jacket when I was in University but I’ve never really wanted to be a walking billboard for my alma mater. I’d happily subject myself to being a Thom Browne billboard any day.
The Thom Browne Letterman Jacket is made from a cashmere boucle. I’m drooling as I’m typing this. This jacket is very traditional with the leather sleeves but steps up the style quotient with the cashmere body. The lining of the jacket is silk. The Letterman Jacket In Cashmere Boucle by Thom Browne is from the Pre Fall 2014 collection and is available for pre-order on Moda Operandi. It will cost you a whopping $4,700, a $2,350 deposit. The Thom Browne women’s collection is available at The Room, The Hudson’s Bay in Toronto.
The Toronto Design Offsite Festival (TO DO) is a not-for-profit, independent design festival happening annually at the end of January. TO DO’s aim is to provide exposure for local and national designers; to foster public understanding and knowledge of the practice of design; and to create an ongoing presence that promotes Canada’s creativity, drawing on great thinkers, practitioners, and educators to a deliver an innovative celebration of art and design.
The TO DO Festival runs from January 20 – 26, 2014. Here are some I want – I got approved options if you are looking to check it out.
A Film: Eames: The Architect and The Painter
Tue, Jan 21, 2014
Herman Miller Canada Showroom | Film
Narrated by James Franco, the film brings to light a virgin cache of archival material, visually stunning films, photographs and artifacts produced by Charles and Ray Eames with their talented staff during the hypercreative forty-year epoch of the Eames Office.
Mon, Jan 20, 2014 – Sun, Feb 16, 2014
ARTiculations | Exhibition
Out of matte white paper, Christine Kim has constructed light geometrical structures assembled together like cumulus clouds. For this installation, she explores the relationship between light and shadow through the cut, the fold, and the curve of paper.
Thu, Jan 23, 2014 – Sun, Jan 26, 2014
Gladstone Hotel Art Bar | Exhibition
The fourth annual CAPACITY is a contemporary design show featuring new, theme-specific work by Canadian women designers. This year our participants draw inspiration from the work and/or life of design pioneer Ray Eames as a starting point for their Capacity 2014 projects.
Mon, Jan 20, 2014 – Sun, Jan 26, 2014
Delight Chocolate | Window Installation
This two-part installation turns the margins of everyday architecture on its side, quite literally, by illuminating the essential elements of our built environment. Make your own connections by controlling the installed lighting display with the touch of a brick wall.
Come Up To My Room
Thu, Jan 23, 2014 – Sun, Jan 26, 2014
Gladstone Hotel | Exhibition
Come Up To My Room is the Gladstone Hotel’s annual alternative design event with 25 installations and 4000 visitors, all in under 4 days. The 60 artists and designers are limited only by their imaginations, making it one of the most exciting shows in Toronto.
Mon, Jan 20, 2014 – Thu, Feb 20, 2014
Cornerstone Home Interiors | Window Installation
Totem Rug Design and Lori Harrison collaborate on an installation of rugs and textiles inspired by origami. Their window installation titled â€˜Crease Patterns’ will connect the ephemeral world of paper folding with the timeless art of textile design.
Thu, Jan 23, 2014 – Sun, Jan 26, 2014
Various venues on Dundas Street West between Bathurst and Grace Streets | Exhibition
Do Design celebrates contemporary design in diverse settings of a vibrant neighbourhood. Over 20 individual works plus two exhibitions are showcased in local venues including design stores, cafes, bars, salons and boutiques along Dundas Street West (Bathurst to Grace Streets).
Wed, Jan 22, 2014
Graven Feather | Workshop | Collaboration
This workshop is a brief introduction to the use of letterpress to make simple and beautiful cards. It’s the perfect opportunity to come and experiment on the presses using old-fashion metal type and vintage designs.
Oasis Skateboard Factory Pop Up Shop
Fri, Jan 24, 2014 – Fri, Jan 31, 2014
The Baitshop | Exhibition
Oasis Skateboard Factory, the only street art and skateboard design high school in the world, presents their end-of-semester pop-up shop. The exhibit will showcase handcrafted, student built and designed skateboards.
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 – Sun, Jan 26, 2014
Graven Feather | Exhibition
Process becomes pattern in this installation by textile designers Lysanne Latulippe and Meghan Price of STRING THEORY. Here a collection of scarves is presented within walls that describe their making.
Sweetness of the Work – Spinning Jenny
Wed, Jan 15, 2014 – Sat, Mar 01, 2014
Gerhard Supply | Window Installation
A glittering, salt encrusted Singer sewing machine and handmade bobbins of salted hand spun linen paper, plus additional salted tools of the â€˜trade’ and embroidered works â€“ Sweetness of the Work pays homage to the art and history of sewing, revering the virtuosity of hand work interpreted through a modern lens.
TO DO Opening Party at SMASH
Wed, Jan 22, 2014 – Thu, Jan 23, 2014
SMASH | Design Party
Come and find out what the festival is about, meet local designers, experience amazing salvage furniture and curiosities at SMASH, and dance with the amazing community that makes the Festival happen.
TO DO Closing Party with Love Design
Sat, Jan 25, 2014 – Sun, Jan 26, 2014
Gladstone Hotel | Design Party
After an amazing Festival week, there is no better way to close it than with another party. Join us at the free Love Design Party, where we celebrate the 11th year of the Gladstone Hotel’s iconic show Come Up To My Room.
This is just a small selection of events happening during the TO DO Festival. Be sure to check out the Toronto Design Offsite Festival website for full festival details.
I have a winter skiing vacation planned in February but this bitter cold over the last few weeks has me dreaming of the spring and summer. Naturally, I’m thinking of all the new fashions that will be hitting the stores very soon. One of my favourite collections for Spring Summer 2014 is Roberto Cavalli. I can’t believe it myself.
The S/S 2014 Roberto Cavalli collection is inspired by the cinematography of the silver screen, in a projection of femininity. Unique, romantic and exuberant, the Roberto Cavalli woman is the Goddess of a sensual revolution where images shine in the gowns just like in dreams. The desire to enhance reality through the filter of an extraordinary cinematographic light which becomes real in the seductive silhouettes and sinuous outlines of the clothes. Silver dominates the scene. Subtle hues of powder pink, pearl grey, mint green and light blue contrasted with black and white. Embroideries created with satin crystal baguettes, metal suspensions and Mukesh embellishment techniques stand out on the geometric cuts of the fluid dresses. Slip dresses, flowing caftans, jacquard prints, lace and tie-dye create contrasting and faded effects embodied in dynamic and luminous shapes. Python, iguana, crocodile and denim patchwork pants and jackets redefine the iconic heritage of the Maison in a contemporary style.(source: Roberto Cavalli YouTube)
This collection hit all my 20s style buttons hard. The embroidery and embellishments are incredible and at the same time very wearable. Everything is on point with this collection from the sweeping gowns, reptile pants and gem crusted accessories. I salivated watching the video which I’ve included below. Photos don’t do this collection justice at all. This is my dream collection, something I never thought would happen with the designer Roberto Cavalli
It’s that time of year again and I want – I got is putting together massive Gift Guides of things I think would be perfect to give as gifts this season. The fifth edition of the Gift Guides is the one we’ve been waiting for Fashion, Beauty and Jewellery. This is a big one and I could go on for days with selections.
It’s really unfortunate that I don’t own anything by Comrags yet (Note to self, remedy this in 2014). I love the Quartz Border Ed Tunic by Comrags for $335. It’s available online or at their Toronto location.
Philip Sparks’s Footwear is amazing. I love every style with the tall boots being my absolute favourite. They range in price from $350 to $495 and are available at the Ossington location or online.
I finally bought my first pair of Abel Munoz shoes this year. I love Harlow Gold and Black which retails for $495 and is available online. If you are in Toronto you can book and appointment and buy the shoes in person.
I’ve purchased sweatpants twice in my life since turning 20. They are just something I don’t wear outside the house. Sometimes, I do need something cute to wear when running to the corner store and the laundry room. I’d be totally happy to receive Green Camo Skinnies from Lazypants are perfect. I love camo print, they are slim fit and they aren’t the traditional grey colour. They retail for $118 and is available online or at TNT.
It’s not an I want – I got gift guide if I’m not telling you to get some Lancome mascara. The Holiday Makeup Collection by LancÃ´me contains:
– limited edition HypnÃ´se Star Ã‰tincelle for $33
– HypnÃ´se Velours Multi-Wear Eyeliner Patches for $28
This ultra-precious kit contains 3 pairs of eyeliner patches which can be reused up to 3 times, to enhance the shape of the eye and stretch out towards the outer corner for an incredible wide-eyed look.
– Vernis in Love nail polish in Ã‰tincelle d’Agent, Ã‰tincelle de Neige and Lovered for $16 each.
I’m in love with the nail polish this holiday Ã‰tincelle de Neige has a really beautiful effect. The holiday collection is available online or at your local Lancome Counter (try The Bay, Sephora or Holt Renfrew).
No words are needed to describe the beauty that is Dean Davidson’s Spectrum Collar for $425. Available online and there is a select of merchandise available at Holt Renfew. It comes in several options for stones (Black Onyx, Lapis, White Topaz) and metal (Rose, Silver, Gold).
Eyecatching statement jewellery is always a great gift and Shay Lowe’s Shay Lowe Jewellery Fall and Holiday Collection definitely fit the bill. I’m quite partial to the Glorious Emerald Statement Necklace which retails for $395 and is available for purchase online.
Jenny Bird is such a sweet person. I purchased some earrings from her and she gifted me the Long Horn Tusk Earrings which were inspired by the beauty of elephant tusks. They are amazing and come in a Gold version too. $55USD available online.
Marni Eau de Parfum is my favourite new perfume of the year. It’s exclusive to Holt Renfrew and retails for $125
It’s that time of year again and I want – I got is putting together massive Gift Guides of things I think would be perfect to give as gifts this season. The second Gift Guide in the series deals with Books of the fashion variety. I haven’t kept up on my fashion books this year but thankfully, my savior, Nathalie Atkinson at the National Post has. I trolled her articles at the National Post to come up with this list. Some of these books like, The Coat Route is already on my list to read and now I have 7 others.
Hazlitt #1 – I tossed this one in the list because my friend and one of my favourite designers, Jeremy Laing is Art Director for the issue.
I have a soft spot for JACOB. It was the shop that helped me transition from student to IT office worker. I didn’t have much use for business casual clothing in school while taking my B.Sc in Kinesiology and Diploma in Computer Programming and Analysis. So, when it came to real world dress codes, I had a lot to catch up on. JACOB was there as an affordable place to get nice pieces for my new environment, the office. Even after my tastes got more expensive, JACOB was always there as a place I went to for basics and cute dresses. There is a lot of choice for business casual clothing out there with all the new American shops in town but I always fall back on JACOB. It’s the Canadian in me. When JACOB approached me about showcasing an I want – I got approved look from their Holiday Collection and I said yes.
I had the Holiday Collection lookbook so I made some preliminary choices in my head before stepping into the Eaton Centre. In the end, I went for a dress and cardigan combo. It’s one of my staple looks for winter office dressing. I didn’t feel like going colour crazy so the look is all black everything. Let’s break it down.
1. JACOB Bustier dress with lace $139.90 – I fell in love with this dress immediately. It’s perfect for the office with the hint of lace in an office appropriate manner. I’m also in love with knife pleats, my favourite pleats of them all.
2. JACOB Black and Crystal Necklace $39.95 – The store manager helped me out with this necklace as I was trying to figure out something to add to the dress. I couldn’t find this one online, but it’s in store!
3. JACOB Cardigan with jewel buttons $47.92 – I have to thank the Store Manager again with this choice. After I picked up the necklace, I decided that I wanted a cardigan as a topper for the dress. The manager thought this cardigan would be great because it matches the necklace. I agreed.
4. Pattern Tights – These are from my closet and I can’t remember where I bought them. I thought they worked well with the lace as they were similar in pattern
5. 3.1 Phillip Lim Chelsea Boots – I was going to wear heels with this look but I thought it would be more appropriate with the shoes I’m currently obsessed with, the Chelsea Boot.
This post was sponsored by JACOB. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely our own.
There is a damn good reason the Danny Chelsea Boot by 3.1 Phillip Lim is sold out online is sold out online. It’s the most perfect Chelsea Boot ever!
I wanted the rose gold Quinn loafers but The Room didn’t have my size. My heart was broken. I wandered the shoe racks deciding what to do. Finally, I bit the bullet and went for the Danny Chelsea Boot. I don’t regret it one bit. What makes these the perfect Chelsea Boot? Well the almond toe shape is slim but roomy. The shaft is streamline and fits under slim pants perfectly.
The fit is perfect, they didn’t require breaking in at all. I’ve been wearing the boots nonstop since I got them and they are so incredibly comfortable. My heels are very, very, very lonely at this point. I don’t think they’ll see the light of day until the snow starts and I have to start wearing winter boots.
Operanation might be over for the year but you can still support the Canadian Opera Company with a limited edition KAELEN X Sam Roberts Band Operanation Tee. The T-shirt incorporates elements of this years Operanation theme, Temptation. We may not have gotten the Kaelen x Amy Burstyn-Fritz treatment but the t-shirt is a more accessible way to get into Kaelen.
As a friend of Operanation, I was gifted a KAELEN X Sam Roberts Band Operanation Tee to wear. The first thing that struck me was the fit. It might just be me but when I put on a t-shirt with the perfect fit everything feels right in the world.
The next thing that hit me was the perfect branding. I hate logo shirts so it was really refreshing to have a t-shirt that managed to namedrop without it being overpowering to the design.
The third thing that stood out was the design itself (and that it extends to the back of the shirt). This is a t-shirt that looks like it wasn’t designed by committee. Many times fundraiser t-shirts are barren of creativity and people end up wearing them to bed or they go to Goodwill. This KAELEN X Sam Roberts Band Operanation tshirt is one that I wear outside the house with pride as my selfies attest.
There are only 50 of the KAELEN X Sam Roberts Band Operanation Tee available. They cost $100 and all proceeds go to COC Ensemble Studio. The tshirts can be found online at the COC’s Opera Shop and in-person at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts at 145 Queen St. W.
When I received the collection from Revlon, l wasn’t even Sure I wanted to use them. They were too damn pretty. l got over myself though and picked my least favourite pair to test out. I’m still not sure that I’m going to use the other wraps yet. My main problems with nail wraps is that it takes me longer to apply than traditional polish. I have polish application down to a science now and nail wraps throw me off. My second issue is the finish on the nail edge. It’s always puckering and my design OCD goes freaking haywire. the Marchesa nail wraps don’t produce the puckered nail edge.
After the first nail l knew these would be a game changer. Application still took longer than regular polish but the finished edge made me very hopeful about the whole process. With other brands l’d stop application mid hand because I couldn’t stand the finish. Not with these babies. The only complaint I have about the wraps is that there should be more larger sizes in the package. I removed the wraps well before the expected 10 days they claim to last. IÂ guess if you aren’t hard on your hands they could last that long but my experience would put these at a week of wear before getting ugly.
There are two styls, Vivien and Rita. I like the combination of transparent material and wisps of colour that penetrate throughout.
“VIVIENâ€ & “RITAâ€ are a statement, the two oversized butterfly-style frames are flamboyant, eccentric and larger than life. They are awash with colours that were infused into the transparent material employed: a frozen melange of rust-red, green, aubergine and blue colour clouds.
This two new sunglasses models are available in three colour combinations: Cloudy Blue (transparent with dashes of ink blue), Cloudy Brown (transparent with rust-brown hues) and Cloudy Purple (transparent with rust red, green, aubergine-coloured and blue colour clouds).
Both frames are fitted with tinted lenses from pioneering optical solutions specialist Zeiss and will go on sale in spring 2014 at all MYKITA Shops and the Damir Doma flagship store in Paris.(source)
Holt Renfrew continues with it’s designer charity collaboration with Paul Smith and a cause close to my heart, Movember. I think this is the cutest collaboration yet, limited edition mittens in Paul Smith’s iconic stripes. Holt Renfrew is looking to reach it’s goal of providing $100,000 to Movember through the sale of the mittens this season. I think they’d make a great gift.
Holt Renfrew has collaborated with renowned British designer Sir Paul Smith on an exclusive collection of mittens for Movember. Paul Smith created the limited edition mittens uniquely for this partnership, which are available only in Canada and only at Holt Renfrew. Every pair of limited edition Paul Smith mittens purchased will help support the men’s health programs run by Movember. In Canada, Movember supports prostate cancer and male mental health initiatives in the area of education, awareness, research and survivorship.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to collaborate with Paul Smith and Movember on this special edition mitten collection,â€ said Alexandra Weston, Holt Renfrew’s Director of Brand Strategy. “We partnered with Paul Smith to create a product that was playful and practical, and that promotes awareness for men’s health. It makes an excellent gift for those supporting the Movember cause, and also a wonderful holiday gift!â€
“I’m famous for my stripes and so, it seemed like the perfect route to go down in terms of the design for these great mittens. We hope that you find them fun and cheerful and help to raise awareness and money for Movember, a very worthy cause,â€ said Sir Paul Smith.
“Things can get a little chilly during Movember in Canada and these mitts are another great way to raise awareness,â€ commented Pete Bombaci, National Director, Movember Canada. “With $100,000 going back to men’s health programs in Canada, the funds raised as a result of this awesome collaboration with Paul Smith and Holt Renfrew will help to make a tangible difference to Movember’s men’s health initiatives across the country.â€
The Paul Smith x Movember mittens come in three styles and two sizes. They will be available in Holt Renfrew and hr2 stores on October 15, 2013 for $50. You can pre-order your pair for in store pickup on holtrenfrew.com now.
images: holtrenfrew.com and Courtesy of Holt Renfrew