All posts filed under: Canadian Designers

TMR Collection Fall/Winter 2015

TMR Collection Fall/Winter 2015

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 …

I want - I got x Eve Gravel Garden Party Challenge

I want – I got x Eve Gravel Garden Party Challenge

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 …

I want - I got Loves Poppy Barley

I want – I got Loves Poppy Barley

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 …

Montrealer by FREED

My Winter Coat Holy Grail – The Montrealer by FREED

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 …

Sully Wong x Amanda Lew Kee Swalk Hi Sneaker

i want: Sully Wong x Amanda Lew Kee Swalk Hi Sneaker

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 …

My favourites from the Smythe 10x10 capsule collection

Smythe Jackets 10X10 Flashtagram

It’s the 10 Anniversary for Toronto’s own Smythe Jackets. To celebrate this amazing milestone, Christie Smythe and Andrea Lenczner created a capsule collection consisting of their 10 most beloved silhouette reinterpreted for 2014. 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 …

Boutiques on eBay x Coal Miner's Daughter Style Challenge.

Boutiques on eBay x Coal Miner’s Daughter Style Challenge

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 …

Sorry T-shirt by Fairgoods

i want: Sorry T-shirt by Fairgoods

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 …

Combinaison by Horses Atelier

i want: Combinaison Jumpsuit by Horses Atelier

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 …

Smythe Spring Summer 2014

Smythe Spring Summer 2014

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 …

I want - I got's Holiday Gift Guide - Philip Sparks Shoes

I want – I got’s Holiday Gift Guide – Fashion, Beauty and Jewellery

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. Who doesn’t love the 20s? It’s my favourite style era and I love these Vintage Style Flapper Dresses by Cabaret Vintage. They range in price from $195 to 350 and are available online or at the Queen Street location. 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. The ultimate …

I want - I got's JACOB Holiday Collection Look

I want – I got’s JACOB Holiday Collection Look

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 …

KAELEN X Sam Roberts Band Operanation Tee

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. …

i want: New York Blazer by Bano eeMee

i want: New York Blazer by Bano eeMee

Canadian online shopping is developing rapidly and I’m getting notified of new shops all the time. One of those shops is Pont Neuf Boutique. I was browsing the site and discovered this great leather blazer by Bano eeMee. The New York Blazer has a fitted, sever cut. I also love anything that can be worn a number of different ways. Calgary based Bano eeMee was launched in 2011 by Creative Director Aleem Arif. Aleem works closely with artisans in his native Pakistan to produce the brand’s leather jackets. Canada isn’t totally left out and some pieces are produced in Calgary. The New York Blazer by Bano eeMee is $348 at Pont Neuf Boutique. images:

I want - I got's Top Picks for Nuit Blanche 2013: Philip Sparks Bespoke Bow Tie Shop

I want – I got’s Top Picks for Nuit Blanche 2013: Philip Sparks Bespoke Bow Tie Shop

To celebrate Nuit Blanche, the Philip Sparks shop will be converted into a bespoke bow tie workshop on Saturday, October 5. Between 7 pm and midnight, Sparks and his studio team will be taking custom neckwear orders from shoppers and cutting, stitching and pressing them up on the spot. “Our focus this season has been on highlighting that our menswear and womenswear is proudly made in Toronto,” says Sparks. “This event is an opportunity for customers to see local manufacturing in action and order a one-of-a-kind piece made just for them.” The installation will also mark the launch of a new, premium bespoke service available through the store. Unlike many other made-to-order offerings, Philip Sparks tailors collaborate with customers to develop coats, suits and shirting from scratch with personalized design and material sourcing and multiple fitting appointments. Philip Sparks Bespoke Bow Tie Shop Saturday, October 5, 7 pm to midnight 162 Ossington Avenue (side entrance off Foxley Street)

VAWK x Shangri-La Hotel Toronto

VAWK x Shangri-La Hotel Toronto

The Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto is celebrating it’s first anniversary. Together with Sunny Fong of VAWK they unveiled new Lobby Lounge attire for the female staff that he designed. “I wanted the design to truly reflect a hybrid of my brand and what I feel Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto represents. I was inspired by the art work in the lobby, the Ming vase tea library and the ornithological theme that is prevalent in the hotel and the Zhang Huan ‘Rising’ sculpture,” said Fong of his inspiration. “When I met with Richard Cooke, we wanted something that seemed almost theatrical, so naturally I knew the silhouette had to be both sophisticated and sexy. I felt my desire to custom create a bold graphic print inspired by the Ming vase would absolutely make a dramatic statement.”(source:Press Release) The design is inspired by architecture and design of Asia. The dress is a take on the tradition gipao. The print reminds me of blue and white porcelain that began development in 14th century China. I really like the design of …

i want: Octopus Necklaces by Lost Apostle

A few weeks ago, I went to an event for Etsy Canada. We were introduced to some of Etsy’s biggest Canadian partners and talked about their Affiliate program. I received a personalized gift bag at the end of it. It was curated with me in mind and featured some designers the Etsy folks we up my alley. That’s how I discovered Lost Apostle. Lost Apostle is based in Montreal and creates bronze and silver jewellery for the person who doesn’t want something dainty and feminine. We are talking animal skulls, anatomical hearts, flying picks, syringes, feathers and hand grenades. I received the Human Skull necklace in bronze from the Etsy Canada gift bag but I’m kinda obsessed with Lost Apostle’s Octopus pendants. They come in Silver and Bronze and there is also a choice of leather straps instead of gunmetal. Too adorable. If that isn’t enough, there are Lost Apostle Octopus earrings to match. I’m dying. Lost Apostle is pretty affordable also with prices starting around $30 and going up to $300. The Octopus necklaces …

Vawk for eBay – August 12 – September 15, 2013

Sunny Fong of VAWK has teamed up with eBay Canada to launch a seven piece limited edition collection called Vawk for eBay on August 12, 2013. Everything will be priced under $120 and will be available at Buy It Now pricing until September 15, 2013. I got the scoop on inventory and it’s really limited, if you have some favourites you need to purchase on August 12th. An added bonus is that eBay is providing free shipping. The Manta shift dress at $119 is a steal and my favourite piece of the collection. There is something for the guys too with the Duo leather skinny tie at $69. images: courtesy of eBay Canada

i want: Body Jewellery by Dolorous

Toronto has a number of great jewellery designers and Dolorous is one of them. Danielle Singer, designer, uses brass chains and various vintage components to create her beautiful, minimalist designs. I’m really into her body jewellery right now. Menat Broad Collar Body Chain is my favourite piece by Dolorous right now. It would make a great statement piece on a long gown for formal occasions. It also would be great more causally too. It’s $278.64 at here Etsy shop. The Menat Broad Collar Body Chain, inspired by medieval accessories, is a modern style of body jewelry meant to be worn across the shoulders. This beautiful and flattering statement piece is made with two draping strands down the front and three across the back, connected at the shoulders with a section of ornate vintage copper chain from which several strands of brass chain are draped, creating a cap sleeve style look that allows the piece to balance comfortably across your shoulders.(source: Dolorous Etsy Page) Crystal Lattice Body Necklace is another great piece that would make a …

Bluenotes x National Denim Day 2013

It’s National Denim Day on May 14, 2013 and Canadian denim giant, Bluenotes is continuing it’s participation in the event. Bluenotes will donate $1 for every denim purchase across the country during the week of May 14, 2013 Leading Canadian denim philanthropists Bluenotes will donate a portion of proceeds from each denim purchase nationwide from May 13 to May 19, 2013 in partnership with National Denim Day to the fight against breast cancer. Benefitting the CURE Foundation, the fundraiser advocates education and awareness through wearing and purchasing jeans. “Bluenotes’ goal is to bring attention to today’s youth about social and charitable issues through fashion,” says Royal Nasager, Director of Marketing at Bluenotes. “We want to foster tomorrow’s concerned, caring and informed citizens. Our work with National Denim Day is a natural fit.” Royal Nasager from Bluenotes invited me to the Eaton Centre store to talk about Denim Day and reintroduce me to the brand. I haven’t purchased anything from Bluenotes in probably 15 years and I can’t remember that last time I even walked through …

i want: Aldo Rise x Preen Buito High Heel Sandal

I’m a big fan of the Aldo Rise collections and I’m a huge fan of Preen. So when these two get together, I get a little giddy. For Spring Summer 2013 Preen and Aldo released three styles of shoes with two different colourways per style. I’ve already picked up the Musilova style which has a pointy toe, asymmetrical vamp and ankle strap. It’s in a bone colour and the leather has some texture to it. I’m also a big fan of the Preen x Aldo Rise Buito Sandal. It wasn’t available when I purchased the Musilova thankfully because I would have walked out the door with both. All the styles from the Aldo Rise x Preen collection are $155 and can be found online at or in select Aldo Stores like Eaton Centre. images:

I want – I got Editorials – Nomad Spring Summer 2013

So, this is the second post in my I want – I got Editorials group. I was blogging for the award-winning MasterCard Stylicity project this season and I organized three editorial shoots for the stores Philip Sparks, Nomad and Spectacle. The shots turned out really well so I’ve decided to showcase some of them here too. This is Nomad. I really wanted to do the modelling for Nomad myself. However, I felt there were a couple of problems with that. One would be sizing. The other problem was audience. Nomad is a menswear shop and I need to speak to their main customers who are men. So my photographer Dave Yan and I convinced my tall and lean brother to model. He was great! Nomad is an amazing shop and their sales associates are some of the incredibly helpful and down to earth. I even saw a couple of things that would fit me in the store. I’m going to have to go shopping. Curtis makes everything look amazing. Thanks dear brother for your hard …