One of my favourite labels Phi is shutting down. Their amazing Spring 2010 collection never went into production. When I’m in Holt Renfrew I look at the final few pieces of Phi and mourn a little. It seemed they were just hitting their stride. For the last few seasons, Phi had been pumping out some drool worthy collections.
Phi was one of the shows I saw in NYC at fashion week. It was my first viewing of the super popular models of Spring 2009 like Sasha P, Freja, Kinga, Irina, Hye, Suvi and Natasha. I was in awe of these people. It was then I learned that my instinct not to compare myself to these people was correct. They are freaks of nature (the a good way) and most people will never look like them.
3. Skinny Jeans – like leggings, it took me awhile to wrap my head around skinny denim. It looks great with boots and now I have a hard time liking other styles. Figures just as the skinny trend is waning (perhaps?)
I’m loving the Thieves bodysuit. The one pictured is wool, but it also comes in bamboo. It’s ridiculous but I want it. It’s very sci-fi.
Thieves is part of Shop Sustainable this holiday season
Shop Sustainable is a city-wide initiative that challenges consumers to shop ethically this holiday season. Its goal is to raise general awareness for eco friendly products, and at the same time promote many Toronto based and online retailers who carry them. The program is a collaboration of Fashion Takes Action and Evolution Green.
It might seem like eco friendly products are hard to find, but in reality there are several Toronto based retailers who make doing the right thing a lot easier for consumers. Shop Sustainable has something “ecoâ€ for everyone, including adult and children’s clothing, toys, personal care products, products for the home, coffee, chocolate, stationary, gadgets and gear and more.
The retailers participating in Shop Sustainable include: Baby on the Hip, Bullfrog Power, Caterpillar Baby, Chocosol, Daily Apple, Eco Flora, Greencricket.ca, GreenIsBlack.ca, Grassroots Store, I Recycle Computers, KaiKids.com, Kids on the Hip, Lileo, Merchants of Green Coffee, Me To We Style, Mountain Equipment Co-Op, Pistachio, PlanetForward.ca, Preloved, Sugar Moon Salon, Thieves, worldSALON, Zero Point and 889 Yonge. In addition, Sporting Life’s uptown location is participating as they carry the eco friendly, Canadian made clothing line Guats, who is a sponsor of Shop Sustainable.
In addition to feeling good about doing the right thing, Shop Sustainable is offering further incentive via an online contest opportunity. Consumers can visit http://www.shopsustainable.ca for their chance to win a gift basket valued at over $1000, full of eco friendly products from the participating retailers.
I got a sneak peak at the Holt Renfrew Pop-up Shop last night. It’s situated in the Fashion House showroom and is now open to the public.
I liked the setup. The Holt Renfrew visuals team came in and gave it a “general store” store feeling. The clothing is casual with a lot of tshirts, relaxed sweaters and plaid button up shirts. Denim was the staple pant but there were a few non denim choices too. There were a lot of non clothing options too like jewellery, candles, bath products, scarves and hats. Great options for gift giving and a smart move with the holidays coming up.
I love the Christoper Sherman ties, Philip Sparks curling sweaters, the kick ass Dandi Maestre jewellery and silvery hat.
The clothing wasn’t as androgynous as I expected but it does have that unisex feel. There’s also a range in prices. I saw a fabric necklace/scarf thing for $22 $28 and then I would see an oversized Balenciaga Motorcycle bag which is around $2000+. Don’t feel too intimidated, walk in if you are curious.
The Holt Renfrew Pop Up Shop at 560 King Street West Toronto is open:
Wednesday, December 2 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 3 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Friday, December 4 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 5 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 6 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The Fall 2009 lookbook I got in the menswear sections of Holt’s bloor street. Not as exciting as the Meatpacking District, le sigh. I like the simple layout of the lookbooks. The format hasn’t changed either, I like that.
The Fall 2009 collection is a lot more sleek and angular. I like the use of colours. I didn’t really see the connections with Balenciaga women’s as it was drapey, sparkly and full of prints.
I love the minimalistic nature of these Terence Koh for Converse 1HUND(RED) Artists Chuck Taylor All Stars. Unfortunately, these are for the guys. Not in my size. Boo. I’m a 5.5 Converse!
Enlisted as a contributor to the 1HUND(RED) project, Koh’s approach to the design of his shoe focused on subtraction. “I wanted to keep the DNA of the Chuck Taylor intact, while reducing the seams, and smoothing out the shoe’s surfaces as much as possible”. Terence replaced the usual curve of the ankle with a vertical construction to give the shoe a clean square look. A smoothed-out version of the signature Converse tread on the sole combines with a white on white All Star rubber license plate on the heel to round out the ultra-clean look and feel of the shoe. As a contributor to 1HUND(RED), a percentage of the net wholesale price of the shoe will go to help fight AIDS in Africa, giving consumers an opportunity to become agents of change and offering a way to turn design into power.
The Terence Koh for Converse 1HUND(RED) Artists Chuck Taylor All Star is available in a high-top, premium white leather version. The shoe launches globally on Saturday November 21st and will be available in the US at Opening Ceremony (www.openingceremony.com) in New York and Los Angeles and select retailers globally. Shoes will retail for $150 and will be available in sizes 7 – 13. via Sneaker Freaker Magazine
Way back in October I was asked to appear in a TDot TV spot which talked about the Model Behaviour window display at Le Chateau. The tagline is “Famous Runway Icons Immortalized as Mannequins.” The windows are a tribute to those women who broke ground in the industry and changed things like Pat Cleveland, Kate Moss, Twiggy, Tyra Banks and Erin O’Conner. Le Chateau are one of the few retailers in the city that still produce window displays. Thank god for that.
I find retail visuals fascinating. Yes, the Holt Renfrew Blogger Windows helped push that fascination to the edge but I had a genuine interest before that. I really would like to see how a project gets put together from beginning to end. It sounds like a lot of fun, looks like a hell of a lot of work and is so creative. I got to speak to senior members of the visual team at length during the shooting. I was enthralled learning about mannequins and one of my favourite photographers, James at Mannequin Display.
And here is the TDot TV spot. The picture quality is unbelievable but watch the sound, it starts a little loud.
Jewellery company Thomas Sabo had their Canadian launch recently at Ultra.
The story of our company started in the 1980s: in 1984, the jewellery enthusiast and self-made man Thomas Sabo set up his own jewellery company with its headquarters in the historical town on Lauf an der Pegnitz in Bavaria â€“ and gave this enterprise his name. A company that was to stand for high-quality silver jewellery with a special design quality from the very outset.
I always wondered if there was a real Thomas Sabo and it turns out he does exist. The Fall 2009 collection is has a heavy gothic influence and the decor of Ultra was made to match.
Thomas Sabo is famous for their charms and I’ve contemplated starting one for myself. The charms can be so cute. However, I’ve seen a some things from both the men’s and women’s collections that I like.
The first three necklaces are from the men’s collection. The first necklace opens up. The skull pendant is also produced in ring format.
I’m always sad when the really cold weather happens because I have to put away my Chucks. It was just too cold to wear them. That’s changed this season because there are now Converse Chuck Taylor Boots.
I like the plaid and leather versions. They cost $140. The one below is nylon and it’s $120.
They are available at NEON, Get Outside and Little Burgundy in Toronto. You can find the leather and nylon versions in stores now, but the Woolrich Plaid will be available after November 30, 2009.
I’ve looked at a lot of thigh high boots and I have to say these Azzedine Alaia ones are perfect. I’ve been weary of the stiletto heel with point toe style of thigh highs but they seem to dominate the choices. This Alaia boot has none of those things. It’s a practical pair of thigh highs without the crazy heel and platform.
The Holt Renfrew Bloggers Windows may live on in Google Street View but that is not the case in real life. Currently, the windows are taking on a Canadiana feel, which I very much enjoy.Â I walked out of the main doors and hear birds chirping.Â At first I thought maybe some birds were holed up somewhere in the rafters.Â Then I remembered that the only birds I see around Holts are pigeons.Â I realized it was a tape at that point and chuckled to myself.
There is a darkness and moodinessÂ in the windows attracts me.Â The I like way it’s used in the colour palette of the clothing and through the richness of the trees and greenery. They evoke the spirit of fall for me.Â I want to wear all my fall gear.Â Looks like I’ll get that chance from the way the weather it taking a downturn quickly.
Set to a soundtrack of birds and woodland sounds, the windows incorporate a mixture of two and three dimensional mediums. Natural settings are created through photographic backgrounds with layered props such as animal cutouts and live elements from moss to rees. The positioning of mannequins is such that they reference a diorama display and museums of natural history.
“We were inspired by the juxtaposition of the rugged and refined in the fashions of the fall seasonâ€ says John Gerhardt, Holt Renfrew’s Creative Director. “We were also influenced by photographer Tim Walker in terms of plays of scale and by artist Vanessa Beecroft for the mannequin positioning.â€ Gerhardt says, “Bringing all of these elements together has resulted in something unexpected and surreal.â€
I went to the Canadian launch of Peter Kent Handbags at the Hazelton Hotel this week. Peter Kent is a leather accessories line out of Buenos Aires, Argentina.Â Hector Neer founded the company in 1972 and it continues to this day as a family run business. His three children joined him in the business using their skills in different areas of the company.Â Hector still is the head designer.
Hector and his son Alejandro made their way from Argentina to Toronto for the launch. They had a hell of a trip up here; missed connection flight due to customs in Washington and lost luggage. This resulted in a 25 hour trip, much longer than normal. Despite this Hector and Alejandro were so incredibly nice and personable when I got a chance to meet and chat with them about their business. They are so passionate about the business and their enthusiasm really shows in the handbags.
Peter Kent Handbags doesn’t produce in large volumes and the result is well crafted merchandise. They use local craftsmen who still handstitch the bags. They use the most luxurious leather and suede in many colours and finishes. I’m a hardware girl and one of the first things I noticed was the high quality hardware on the bags. Great hardware is light as a feather and not heavy. I have to admit, I drooled over many of the bags that were on display. Hector gets his inspiration from traveling for his classic but modern handbag design.
I have a few favourites of the collection but the bag I drooled over the most is the pizza bag. It’s huge and holds everything, but it’s the design that makes it special. It’s literally in the shape of a pizza box that became apparent when it was laid out flat.
I also really love the long patent clutch and a bag that reminds me of sea creature for some reason.
Peter Kent Handbags are available in Ontario at many stores. Too many to list, so please visit the Peter Kent Handbags Canada site to find a shop near you.