My Winter Coat Holy Grail – The Montrealer by FREED

Montrealer by FREED
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?

Montrealer by FREED
Montrealer by FREED

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.

Montrealer by FREED
Montrealer by FREED

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 yet” 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.

Montrealer by FREED
Montrealer by FREED

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!

Montrealer by FREED
Montrealer by FREED

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.

Montrealer by FREED
Montrealer by FREED
Montrealer by FREED
Montrealer by FREED

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.

Montrealer by FREED
Montrealer by FREED

The Montrealer is so great, I needed to do a proper photoshoot so I enlisted my friend Andrew Hesp (who shot my Smythe coat earlier) to help out. We were going to do shots outside but it stopped snowing 🙁

Montrealer by FREED
Montrealer by FREED

FREED outerwear can be found at Holt Renfrew, Pink Tartan, Gotstyle and Andrew’s in Toronto. An online store is in the works.

What I’m wearing:
Coat: Montrealer by FREED
Pants: Gap
Sweater: Aritzia
Boots: Cougar Boots

Images: Andrew Hesp Photography

Live in Levi’s Campaign

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.

Live in Levi's - Me in Grade 9
Live in Levi’s – Me in Grade 9

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.

Live in Levi's - Western Shirt Dress
Live in Levi’s – Western Shirt Dress

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.

Live in Levi's - Western Shirt Dress
Live in Levi’s – Western Shirt Dress

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 want: Sully Wong x Amanda Lew Kee Swalk Hi Sneaker

Sully Wong x Amanda Lew Kee Swalk Hi Sneaker
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 on quality over quantity,” 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.

This limited edition shoe is available at GotStyle boutiques and online at SullyWong.com for $225.

images: Courtesy of Sully Wong

Smythe Jackets 10X10 Flashtagram

My favourites from the Smythe Jackets 10x10 capsule collection
My favourites from the Smythe Jackets 10×10 capsule collection

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.

Smythe Jackets 10X10 Reefer Coat

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 🙂

Smythe Jackets 10X10 Reefer Coat

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.

Smythe Jackets 10X10 Reefer Coat

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.

Smythe Jackets 10X10 Reefer Coat

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.

Smythe Jackets 10X10 Reefer Coat
Outfit Breakdown: Smythe Reefer Coat in Royal, Zara Dress, Manolo Blahnik Heels, Jenny Bird Earrings

Smythe Jackets 10X10 Reefer Coat
Smythe Jackets 10X10 Reefer Coat

Thanks to Andrew Hesp Photography for the shots.

i want – Long Leather Skirt by Valentino

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?

Alana Zimmer wearing Long Leather Skirt by Valentino - The Coveteur
Alana Zimmer wearing Long Leather Skirt by Valentino – The Coveteur

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.

Long Leather Skirt by Valentino
Long Leather Skirt by Valentino

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.

images: thecoveteur.com, neimanmarcus.com

I want – I got’s Fall Winter 2014 – 2015 Fashion Trend Forecasting Reference – Updated August 7, 2013

I want – I got's Fall Winter 2014 - 2015 Fashion Trend Forecasting Reference
I want – I got’s Fall Winter 2014 – 2015 Fashion Trend Forecasting Reference – MM Trends

I want – I got’s Fall Winter 2014 – 2015 Fashion Trend Forecasting Reference

This is a listing of links to fashion trend forecasting reports for the upcoming Fall Winter 2014 – 2015 collections. (yup, it’s that time!) They are posted for reference and easy access for your fashion trend researching needs. This page will be updated as more fashion trend forecasting reports become available.

Updated August 7, 2013 – RESORT 2014 KEY COLORS. TREND COUNCIL

Updated August 7, 2013 – WOMEN’S EARTH & AIR TEXTILES F/W 2014-15. TRENDSTOP.COM

Updated August 7, 2013 – WOMEN’S TOP HANDBAG TRENDS F/W 2014-15. FASHION SNOOPS

Updated August 7, 2013 – DIY REINVENTION WOMEN’S MATERIALS F/W 2014-15. TRENDSTOP.COM

Updated August 7, 2013 – WOMEN’S WINTER COLOR F/W 2014-15. TRENDSTOP.COM

Updated August 7, 2013 – WOMEN’S KEY TEXTILES F/W 2014-15. TREND COUNCIL

Updated August 7, 2013 – MENS TOP FOOTWEAR TRENDS F/W 2014-15. FASHION SNOOPS

Updated August 7, 2013 – WOMEN’S COLOR WINTER BLUES F/W 2014-15. TRENDSTOP.COM

Updated August 7, 2013 – WOMEN’S TOP FOOTWEAR TRENDS. F/W 2014-15. FASHION SNOOPS

Updated August 7, 2013 – Fall/Winter 2014/2015 Runway Color Trends

Interfiliere Trends Autumn Winter 2014/2015

Spring Summer 2014 Trends by FNA

Autumn Winter 2014/2015: Lenzing Fashion & Color Trends

KEY DENIM TRENDS F/W 2014-15. TREND COUNCIL

WOMEN’S TOP 10 COLORS F/W 2014-15 TRENDS. FASHION SNOOPS

WOMEN'S KEY COLOR S/S 2014 POMEGRANATE. TRENDSTOP.COM

WOMEN'S INTIMATES COLOR TRENDS F/W 2014-15. CSI

JUNIORS WOMEN'S TREND THEMES F/W 2014-15. TREND COUNCIL

MENS TOP 5 COLORS F/W 2014-15 TRENDS. FASHION SNOOPS

WOMEN'S MENS TEXTILE & COLOR TRENDS F/W 2014-15. LENZING

WOMEN'S TREND THEMES F/W 2014-15. TREND COUNCIL

Winter 14-15 Colors

Fall Winter 14/15 Trends and Inspiration

MM trends – fashion colours autumn winter 2015

images: mmtrends.com