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.

I want - I got's Holiday Gift Guide - Cabaret Vintage Flapper Dress
I want – I got’s Holiday Gift Guide – Cabaret Vintage Flapper Dress

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.

I want - I got's Holiday Gift Guide - Comrags Quartz Border Ed Tunic
I want – I got’s Holiday Gift Guide – Comrags Quartz Border Ed Tunic

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.

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

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 want - I got's Holiday Gift Guide - Christopher Kane Sweatershirt
I want – I got’s Holiday Gift Guide – Christopher Kane Sweatershirt

The ultimate sweatshirt is the Christopher Kane Resort 2014 Printed cotton-jersey sweatshirt which retails for $465 at Net-A-Porter. The Room at The Bay also carries Christopher Kane but I’m not sure if this sweater is available there.

I want - I got's Holiday Gift Guide - Abel Munoz
I want – I got’s Holiday Gift Guide – Abel Munoz

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.

SkinnI want - I got's Holiday Gift Guide - Lazypants
SkinnI want – I got’s Holiday Gift Guide – Lazypants

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.

SkinnI want - I got's Holiday Gift Guide - Ela
SkinnI want – I got’s Holiday Gift Guide – Ela

I own an Ela Editor’s Pouch in rose gold but it doesn’t have stars. You can get the Ela Large Editor’s Pouch online at eLuxe.ca for $338 or visit a Holt Renfrew location.

SkinnI want - I got's Holiday Gift Guide - Lancome
SkinnI want – I got’s Holiday Gift Guide – Lancome

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 Lancôme contains:
– limited edition Hypnôse Star Étincelle for $33
РHypn̫se 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 Étincelle d’Agent, Étincelle de Neige and Lovered for $16 each.
I’m in love with the nail polish this holiday Étincelle 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).

I want - I got's Holiday Gift Guide - Dean Davidson
I want – I got’s Holiday Gift Guide – Dean Davidson

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).

I want - I got's Holiday Gift Guide - Lancome Show False Lashes
I want – I got’s Holiday Gift Guide – Lancome Show False Lashes

There are still Hypnôse Show Lashes from Lancôme. Get you hands on these false lashes designed by Alber Elbaz for $35. Available online.

I want - I got's Holiday Gift Guide - Shay Lowe Jewellry Glorious Emerald Statement Necklace
I want – I got’s Holiday Gift Guide – Shay Lowe Jewellry Glorious Emerald Statement Necklace

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.

I want - I got's Holiday Gift Guide - Jenny Bird
I want – I got’s Holiday Gift Guide – Jenny Bird

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.

I want - I got's Holiday Gift Guide - Marni
I want – I got’s Holiday Gift Guide – Marni

Marni Eau de Parfum is my favourite new perfume of the year. It’s exclusive to Holt Renfrew and retails for $125

I want - I got's Holiday Gift Guide - Dermalogica
I want – I got’s Holiday Gift Guide – Dermalogica

Dermalogica – Stock up on their favourite products or introduce them to new ones with the Holiday Skin Sets. Sets start at $32 and can be purchased online or at a licensed retailer like Concepts.

I want - I got's Holiday Gift Guide - Pink Tartan
I want – I got’s Holiday Gift Guide – Pink Tartan

Pink Tartan makes a killer full skirt. I just love the Chrysanthemum Midi Skirt in Black for $325. You can order the skirt online or at the Pink Tartan shop in Yorkville.

The Tale of Two Barbies

So, I was asked to style a Barbie doll for LG Fashion Week. I thought it would be fun so I accepted the challenge. It turned out that Barbie was an albatross.

I had a bunch of ideas for Barbie swirling in my head: Give her a haircut, make her a mini me, fur, etc. It was really hard to boil it down. With the deadline soon approaching I came up with something and I thought it was pretty fucking clever. Dare to Wear Love Barbie. Here is my quote for her

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“I guess this is the Dare to Wear Love Barbie. I really loved the small samples of fabric that were left on front row seats at the Dare to Wear Love show last season. I collected them all. Barbie’s proportions allowed me to create the wrap dress I could never wear given the amount of material.”

I made the dress (check that architectural shoulder), the necklace and bracelets. I also dyed the shoes and handbag to match.   She also got a little haircut. My mom thought she was excellent, I was confident. I was all proud of myself and the great tie in to last LG Fashion week. I packed up Barbie and dropped her off to the GCI Group Toronto office.

When Two Barbies Goto WarWhen Two Barbies Goto War

It was the next day I got the call. Apparently there was a theme and it was LBD. Dare to Wear Love Barbie didn’t fit that theme. Now, I read the brief that was given to me and I was under the impression that there were no rules. I received tweets from staff at GCI Group that said there were no rules either. You can imagine I wasn’t the slightest bit impressed with this development. Here’s a PR Pro Tip for you, make your communication ambiguous free! I’m a Software Tester so ambiguity and me aren’t friends at all and to be burned by it really galled me.

So here I was with a new Barbie, my old Barbie (I was allowed to keep her) and no ideas. I was really beginning to detest Barbie once more. She was the damn albatross around my neck (If you aren’t getting my albatross references will you please go out and read The Rime of the Ancient Mariner already!). I really had no idea what I was going to do; the hoochie mama dress had to stay. I was quickly losing motivation.

When Two Barbies Goto War

Thank god for Dean Davidson. I was at his place on Saturday borrowing jewellery for Prom V: Noir. I managed to convince him to create jewellery for my Barbie. The only thing you need to dress up a LBD is some fabulous Dean Davidson pieces. Barbie was slowly turning into a tribute to Dean. So Dean and I designed a statement necklace, earrings and bracelets. The earrings and bracelets had Dean’s signature brushed metal finish. They are pretty damn cute.  I added a Dean Davidson book and silver ribbon for a belt.

When Two Barbies Goto War When Two Barbies Goto War When Two Barbies Goto War

So, I dropped Barbie off on Sunday before the Izma show. The other Barbies look amazing and once I get better photos I will post them all. That is my story about the two Barbies and the frustrating ride its been. I know which one I like better, what do you guys think?

Fashion House From Runway to Hallway Designer Videos

I wrote about the Fashion House From Runway to Hallway preview in the summer of 2009. I’ve discovered some videos of the designers talking about the project.

Celebrate the best in Canadian fashion in the heart of Toronto’s Fashion District. Eleven of Canada’s premier fashion designers have added their personal touches to the floors of Fashion House and will be on hand to toast Toronto’s first, award-winning fashion / condo project. This is your chance to mix, mingle and immerse yourself in all that is made-to-measure and ready to dwell. Fashion House – impeccable style from the inside, out.

Andy The Anh

Jeremy Laing

Smythe

Bustle

Beckerman

Michael Kale

Jenny Bird

Greta Constantine

Joeffer Caoc

Dean Davidson

I want – I got Studio Tours – Dean Davidson

This is the beginning of a new feature I’d like to introduce to I want – I got, the Studio Tour. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the studio space a few local designers. I’m fan poking around creative types working spaces. I find all their tools fascinating. The mood and inspiration boards give me insight into their brains. I figured other people would be interested too, so why not blog about it. The Studio Tours isn’t really a formal interview; more a conversation. It’s a way to get a look into a creative mind in their workspace. First up, Dean Davidson.

I want - I got Studio Tours - Dean Davidson

“You worked in agriculture before you became a jewellery designer”, I replied to Dean. My jaw hit the ground before the words got out. It wasn’t the beginning I expected to hear from Canadian jewellery designer Dean Davidson. For 8 years Dean would travel to different farms and evaluate them in order to explain to the farmer what was needed in order to create the yield they were looking for.  Dean was all impressed that I understood the concept of yield and stuff, that made me happy.

I want - I got Studio Tours - Dean Davidson
Dean's first piece for Paul Hardy

The rest of the story is pretty well know, Dean, influenced by the jewellery he saw in South Africa returned home and started making bracelets eventually expanded to include other pieces. During this time Dean when to school for graphic design and took silversmithing courses at ACAD. Eventually Paul Hardy and Dean worked together on the Paul’s jewellery line.  It was sold at Holt Renfrew Calgary and Toronto. Four years later Paul and Dean went their separate ways and Dean Davidson Designs was born.

I want - I got Studio Tours - Dean Davidson

Dean’s studio is very organized. I think because of the metal work I was expecting something different. I had visions of metal shavings on the ground and a smelting pit; perhaps Dean shirtless with a hammer. Yes, my imagination does get away from me sometimes.  It wasn’t like that at all of course.

I want - I got Studio Tours - Dean Davidson

Paul immediately started snapping away and Dean began showing me around. His inspiration board is small and packed full of images. Dean and Camille (his assistant) populate the board with magazine clippings and art. I think I gasped when Dean opened up a drawer after drawer of full of jewellery. Dean’s work is primarily in silver, gems and a dash of gold. He’s considered a bridge line in jewellery which sits right in the middle between Costume and Fine.

I want - I got Studio Tours - Dean Davidson

Bridge lines use semiprecious stones and metals at a price point that is more affordable than fine jewellery.  They usually have a signature trait like Alexis Bittar’s lucite or David Yurman’s twisted cable. Dean’s signature is the brushed metal finish. Starting in the fall, Dean is moving the last of his production to Canada and everything made will be local.

I want - I got Studio Tours - Dean Davidson

I asked Dean about his signature. He was in Paris for a trade show and was inspired by a single brushed metal bead on another jewellery designer’s necklace.  It was the first time he had ever seen the technique and the rest is history. The look and texture of the brushed silver has varied over the years. Customers tend to like the lighter brushed texture as opposed to the heavier and more pronounced texture.

I want - I got Studio Tours - Dean Davidson

A flexible shaft machine creates the brush effect. Dean demonstrates the technique to us. He talks about the first time he sat down to create a piece and how it took hours to finish. “My designs were a more intricate back then,” he says as he waves the brush quickly over the silver. In seconds we have the signature Davidson brushed silver. I asked about quality control since all the pieces are handmade.  He acknowledges the difficulties in the process.  Local production makes it easier to perform quality control.  For his Indian supplier he created the perfect sample as a reference.  The production pieces should adhere to this sample, if they do not Dean has the right to return the product.

I want - I got Studio Tours - Dean Davidson

Dean’s favourite jewellery designer is Alexis Bittar. He also doesn’t care much for fine jewellery as bridge lines are more interesting to him.  We talked about the state of men’s jewellery. I’m told that the European and UK markets are better for men’s jewellery as they are more open to wearing it.  North America isn’t as receptive (this seems to be the pattern in everything fashion).  When designing men’s jewellery you have to create something masculine but appeal to women, especially in the North American market. Guess who’s buying, it ain’t the men.

I want - I got Studio Tours - Dean Davidson

Dean said he loves designer collaborations. He created the jewellery for Pink Tartan’s Spring 2010 show.  Designing for retail and the runway are two different beasts. The runway pieces are larger and more noticeable, wearablity isn’t a priority. These collaborations allows him to push himself in his designs. The finished pieces are also great for magazine editorial. A beautiful silver cuff was featured in a Meisel editorial for Vogue Italia January issue.  My girl Rose Cordero is sporting it.

I want - I got Studio Tours - Dean Davidson

During the last hour or so of the visit was dedicated to creating a one of a kind Dean Davidson necklace for yours truly. Dean’s early jewellery career saw him working with beads and he has quite the selection to choose from. We started with a silver chain and went from there. Dean did most of the work, I just said yes or no a lot. I’m so in love with the final product that I haven’t taken it off much.

I want - I got Studio Tours - Dean Davidson

Paul and I had so much fun visiting Dean at the Studio.  Dean was such a gracious host and plied us with wine and answered all our probing questions.  There are lots more photos in the slideshow of Dean’s studio. There are some pretty hot ones of Dean too if you need a little incentive 😉

All photos Taken by Paul Baik for I want – I got – www.paulbaikphoto.com

Fashion House From Runway to Hallway

Fashion House From Runway to Hallway
Fashion House From Runway to Hallway

Fashion House is a condo building that is located around Brand and King Street West. It has housed a couple fashion parties in the past. They asked 11 Canadian designers to create interiors for the floors of the building.

Celebrate the best in Canadian fashion in the heart of Toronto’s Fashion District. Eleven of Canada’s premier fashion designers have added their personal touches to the floors of Fashion House and will be on hand to toast Toronto’s first, award-winning fashion / condo project. This is your chance to mix, mingle and immerse yourself in all that is made-to-measure and ready to dwell. Fashion House – impeccable style from the inside, out.

The party was a mix of designers, media, Holt Renfrew staff, unit owners and developer friends. The Holt Renfrew connection is through the Unit Holder contest. If you buy a unit you have a chance to win a $100,000 shopping spree at Holt Renfrew. That’s some serious coin to go through.

Beckerman Fashion House
Beckerman
Bustle - Fashion House
Bustle
Joeffer Caoc Fashion House
Joeffer Caoc
Jenny Bird - Fashion House
Jenny Bird
Greta Constantine - Fashion House
Greta
Andy Thê-Anh - Fashion House
Andy Thê-Anh

I loved Andy Thê-Anh board. The dress is made from wood. It’s beautiful.

Jay Godfrey - Fashion House
Jay Godfrey
Jeremy Laing Fashion House
Jeremy Laing

I’m very intrigued by Jeremy’s print choice.

Smythe - Fashion House
Smythe
Dean Davidson - Fashion House
Dean Davidson
Mikhael Kale Fashion House From Runway to Hallway
Mikhael Kale

I also have a couple people snaps

Beckmans and Jay Godfrey
The Beckermans and Jay Godfrey

Fashion House From Runway to Hallway
Natalie and Me

I felt that Dean Davidson, Jay Godfrey, Jenny Bird and Greta Constantine boards were the most clear. Many of the others were very conceptual and I couldn’t get my head around how it would translate. I felt all the boards needed some labeling. It was hard to figure out whose was who and it was only after talking to some of the designers I figured it out.

The best part of the night was when Yasmine Warsame introduced herself and her son to me. I was in total shock! She’s amazing.

Check out the slideshow, I have some more photos of the designer boards.

L’Oreal Fashion Week Spring 2009 – Holt Renfrew celebrates Canadian Fashion


After a season off the Holt Renfrew celebrates Canadian Fashion event was back on the LFW schedule. This is one of my favourite events of fashion week. It gives you the ability to see the clothing up close and meet the designers.

This season it was hosted by Adrian Mainella of Fashion File instead of the free for all type atmosphere that was present in previous ventures. A clothing designer was paired up with a jewelry designer to showcase the work. There was a little Q&A session with each designer pair conducted by Adrian.

First to show was partners in crime, Greta Constantine and Dandi Maestre. I’m a big fan of the designers work. They really complemented each other in the presentation, which was different from the runway show where I thought Danni’s accessories overpowered the clothing. Get rid of the handbags and what do you know, balance is once again restored. I had a bit of bias at the show too because I was lucky enough to get a preview of the Greta collection at their studio. Maybe I wouldn’t have noticed so much if everything was new to me.


Next up was Dean Davidson and Jeremy Laing. I’m also a fan of both designers. Regular readers of my blog know that I love Jeremy big time. Dean’s signature brushed metal finish makes his jewelry a winner in my books too. It was great to see the green and yellow dress in person. It was my favourite of the spring 2009 collection.


The final pairing was Mikhael Kale and Jaleh Farhadpour. Jaleh is all about the diamonds and precious stones. The black diamond bracelet (pictured above) is quite beautiful. Mikhael showed three dresses which I found a little surprising. There wasn’t any of his rock and roll tough girl pieces. I loved the black dress pictured above. They actually appeared on the runway at the LG Fashion Fusion party.

I liked the new format as it gave the audience a chance to hear the designers talk about their inspiration and process. The audience, in typical Canadian style, was very shy and no one asked the designers any questions.

Slideshow after the jump

Style femmes at Holt Renfrew

I attended the Dean Davidson Spring 2008 preview at Holt Renfrew yesterday. Here are some style shots of the attendees. Look for my feature on the preview on blogTO.com complete with better product shots. Mine suck.

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Love, love, love the blue tights.

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This DVP dress is fantastic, it comes in silver also. Perfect draping without making the dress hippy.

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Mary from Holt’s is my fashion hero. She has such an amazing sense of style. She also has the most kick ass jewelry I’ve seen.