Retail Therapy

Shop Like A Style Blogger: 10 Fierce New Ways to Rock Animal Print

We featured Edmontonian Alyssa of Ordinary People in last week’s edition of The Canadian Street Style Lookbook sporting a cow print jumpsuit that immediately made us wonder why we don’t own such a fun garment. After all, with animal print now officially a neutral in our books, it’s time we infused more of it into our wardrobe rotation.

A search for fierce new ways to rock animal print ensued, resulting in the discovery of 10 must-haves. Click through the gallery below for Zara‘s zebra print bucket bag ($89.90), McQ Alexander McQueen‘s neon animal print scarf ($330), Sophia Webster‘s leopard print d’orsay pumps ($675) and more. Will you be spotted in animal print this spring?


Spotted from the Backseat: POGO Gala 2014 Edition

Glenn Dixon and Suzanne Rogers

On April 12, the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario hosted its 13th annual fundraising gala, Odyssey, a soirée held in support of the non-profit organization’s efforts to deliver the right care at the right time and in the right place for children with cancer and their families. Decked out in their black tie best, the city’s social set arrived at the Liberty Grand in Toronto to support the very worthy cause at what is always one of the most glamourous events of the year.

POGO Gala 2014 featured a cocktail reception (duck confit quesadillas for the win!), silent auction (lunch with an astronaut, anyone?), gala dinner, live auction (drums and lessons from Johnny Fay of the Tragically Hip were up for grabs – how cool is that?), and even an official after-party. Check out the gallery below for 20 style snaps from POGO Gala 2014, including a pretty-in-pink Suzanne Rogers on the arm of a dapper Glenn Dixon, the lovely Jane Hanrahan in a gorgeous black gown, and the ultra chic duo of Lori Siddons and Brittney Kuczynski.

P.S. Find out more about POGO and how you can support the cause at

Lori Siddons and Brittney Kuczynski

Jane Hanrahan (left)

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Fashion News

Roland Mouret and Banana Republic To Team Up on Capsule Collection

Roland Mouret with Doutzen Kroes at Met Gala 2012

Another day, another freak out worthy designer collaboration announcement. This time? Roland Mouret for Banana Republic.

The French designer and celebrity red carpet favourite has created a 25-piece collection of separates and, of course, dresses that will launch this upcoming August. The dresses – the bread and butter of Mouret’s eponymous line – will retail from $165, a much more pocketbook-friendly price point than his wares usually sell for.

“It’s not a copy of my clothes in a less expensive [version],” says Mouret, “but the experience of a fitted dress for the Banana Republic customer.” As big fans of both Roland Mouret and Banana Republic, we’ll take it.

And so Banana Republic continues its streak of very buzzworthy and covetable designer capsule collections. We can’t wait to see the Roland Mouret offering.

Image Credit: Getty

Red Carpet

Admiring from the Backseat: MTV Movie Awards 2014 Edition

Lupita Nyong’o in Chanel Fall 2014

We usually tune into the MTV Movie Awards for the trailers, the musical performances (Eminem and Rihanna!), and the Best Shirtless Performance award reveals (because, you know). Fashion? Not so much.

But then we heard that the likes of Lupita Nyong’o and Shailene Woodley were going to be walking the red carpet, and we had a feeling we were in for the most noteworthy MTV Movie Awards red carpet to date. And with Chanel, Balmain, Emanuel Ungaro and even some Ulyana Sergeenko Couture served up last night, we’d say we were right.

Our main takeaways from the show? Lupita never fails us, Shailene continues to kill it, and we desperately need an Edie Parker clutch like Rita Ora‘s in our lives, stat. Check out our 5 best dressed from the 2014 MTV Movie Awards – do you agree with our picks?

Shailene Woodley in Balmain Pre-Fall 2014

Chrissy Teigen in Ulyana Sergeenko Spring 2014 Couture

Zendaya Coleman in Emanuel Ungaro Fall 2014

Rita Ora in Barbara Casasola Fall 2014

Image Credits: Getty

Fashion News

OH EM GEE: Alexander Wang x H&M to Launch This Fall

H&M announced yesterday a doozy of a designer collaboration at Coachella. Following last fall’s highly successful capsule collection with Isabel Marant, the next in line to team up with the fast fashion retailer is none other than Alexander Wang, the very first American designer to do so. And we are downright freaking out over the news.

“Alexander Wang is one of the most important voices in fashion today,” said Margareta van den Bosch, H&M’s creative advisor, in a press release. “He understands exactly what people want to wear and does it with an energy and passion that’s infectious. It feels incredible to be collaborating with him this year.”

The lineup will feature both men’s and women’s apparel and accessories. With a high profile name like Wang, who serves as creative director of both his eponymous line and the house of Balenciaga, this latest designer collaboration promises to be the most highly anticipated to date.

Alexander Wang said, “I am honoured to be a part of H&M’s designer collaborations. The work with their team is an exciting, fun process. They are very open to push boundaries and to set a platform for creativity. This will be a great way for a wider audience to experience elements of the Alexander Wang brand and lifestyle.”

Mark your calendars, ladies and gents: Alexander Wang x H&M will launch in 250 H&M stores worldwide and online on November 6, 2014. We’re already counting down the days.

Image courtesy of H&M

Street Style

The Canadian Street Style Lookbook – April 11, 2014 Edition

Lily Nguyen of Bleed For Fashion, Vancouver

With the sun shining and the snow having melted away, spring fashion is finally emerging on the fashion blogs this week (sans goosebumps). Parkas were traded in for denim jackets, open-toe shoes started to be favoured over boots, and bare legs began to see the light of day.

Samantha rocked a pair of funky shades, Anik bared her shoulders, and Lily took her classic YSL Tribute sandals out for a spin. Are you diving head first into spring fashion too?

Samantha Beckerman of Beckerman Bite Plate, Toronto

Krystin Lee of Suburban Faux Pas, Toronto

Lisa Dengler of Just Another Fashion Blog, Toronto/New York

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Retail Therapy

Shop Like A Style Blogger: 10 Coloured Leather Biker Jackets to Brighten Your Spring Outerwear Rotation

Vickie of Adventures In Fashion made her very first appearance in last week’s edition of The Canadian Street Style Lookbook in a bright red perforated leather biker jacket that made us realize that we have a gaping hole in our spring wardrobe.

We’ve got both biker jackets and leather jackets covered, but we’re in desperate need of some coloured leather moto jacket action. You too? From poppy red to chartreuse to moss green, check out the gallery below for 10 leather biker jackets that will add a vibrant pop of colour to your spring outerwear rotation.

Retail Therapy

Kate Moss for Topshop – The Complete Lookbook!

Remember way back in October when it was announced that Kate Moss and Topshop were teaming up once again and the whole world cheered? The lookbook has now been unveiled in all its glory and the rejoicing can now continue in full force, because this latest capsule collection contains some very covetable pieces indeed.

The lineup was created around four themes – balearic dressing, pyjama dressing, cocktail hour and tailoring noir – and we’re wanting it all. Cute bow-tie romper, gold sequin jacket, a metallic evening gown even. They’re all inspired by pieces in the effortlessly cool model’s own closet, after all, so it’s no surprise that the collection is looking this good.

Mark your calendars – Kate Moss for Topshop launches on April 30. Priced from about $70 to $1,200, the capsule will be available online and in stores at Topshop, Nordstrom, and, as well as at 25 Hudson’s Bay locations across Canada and on

Check out the complete lookbook in the gallery below. Which pieces are on your wish list?

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Spotted from the Backseat: Holt Renfrew’s Uncrate India Party

Waris Ahluwalia and Alexandra Weston

On April 3, Holt Renfrew threw an Indian-themed bash in honour of the launch of Uncrate India, a collection of products specially hand-selected by Alexandra Weston, Holt Renfrew’s Director of Brand Strategy, and designer Waris Ahluwalia, founder of House of Waris, on a journey to India together. The luxury retailer’s Bloor Street flagship in Toronto was completely transformed, instantly transporting guests straight to the markets of India, with even Bollywood dancers and mehndi artists on hand.

“The idea behind the ‘uncrate’ concept is to showcase the incredible products of different cultures and support the continuation of these crafts around the world. We began with India and sought to explore the artisanal depth and discover the extraordinary products of the country and tell their extraordinary stories within our H Project shops,” said Weston.

The Uncrate India collection features pieces from over 16 designers, including batik silk scarves, precious gemstones, hand-woven rugs, and more that will be available at Holt Renfrew’s Bloor Street, Yorkdale, Calgary and Vancouver locations until May 31.

“We went on a mission of discovery. Seeking out great talents, incredible objects, fresh interpretations of ancient ideas and products that transcend borders,” said Ahluwalia. “H Project allows us to continue to support traditional techniques and share our passion for craftsmanship with the world.”

Check out the gallery below for 28 style snaps of Uncrate India partygoers, many of them adorned in stunning saris or Indian-inspired getups, including Alexandra Weston herself, H Project designer Jenny Bird, stylist Nadia Pizzimenti, and designer Monica Chiu.

H Project designer Jenny Bird

Aya McMillan, Christopher Turner and Kimberly Lyn

Moira Wright, Amer Sandhu, Jeevin Sandhu and Brittany Barkwell

Jessica Chiu and Monica Chiu

Nadia Pizzimenti and Odessa Paloma Parker

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You Ask, We Answer

Ask The Backseat Stylers: Fashionable and Functional Work Bags for a $1,000 Budget

Our lovely reader Amy K. tweeted us a while back asking for recommendations for a work bag for a $1,000 budget, and we promised her an entire blog post of answers. Though it took us a little while to get our act together (sorry for the delay, Amy!), we think she’ll forgive us, because not only did we search high and low for our own best recommendation, we also consulted 5 fashion industry insiders for their picks as well. The most fashionable and functional work bags from an editor, a PR maven, a fashion blogger, a lawyer, an on-air television style expert, oh and little old us? It doesn’t get much better than that. Read on for to-die-for handbags from Louis Vuitton, Jil Sander, Mackage and more.

P.S. Consider this the launch of a brand new blog series. Got a style dilemma? Email or tweet us with your question, and we and a fresh new band of industry insiders, a.k.a. honourary Backseat Stylers, will tackle it in a blog post just for you!

AYA MCMILLAN, Fashion Writer, Editor & Digital Media Consultant

Her pick: Sophie Hulme’s signature leather tote, $1,050 at SSENSE

Why she’s loving this bag: ”I fell for Sophie Hulme’s designs when I saw them in London a few years ago. They’re beautifully crafted and offer just the right amount of gold hardware. It’s ideal for work because it’s essentially a feminine take on the briefcase – it’s roomy enough to carry all your office essentials (i.e.files, a laptop, ipad and a pochette), it holds its structure, is surprisingly lightweight, and comes with a strap in case you want to go handsfree. All in all it’s the perfect balance of brains and beauty.”

Follow Aya on Twitter: @AyaMcMillan

AMY BURSTYN-FRITZ, Managing Partner, Knot PR

Her pick: Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM Damier (Ebene), $1,060 at

Why she’s loving this bag: “I’m almost always on the go and need to have a bag that can accommodate my nomadic lifestyle. This Louis is so versatile, a great neutral for pairing, and, true to name, it really is like the Mary Poppins bag. If you dared to dig inside (mine), you would find a wide variety of items; from flats to heels, Aveda makeup and Dannijo costume jewellery to transition from the office straight to client events; my laptop and/or iPad for working anytime, anywhere; my workout gear and a Nola Bar to keep me energized!”

Follow Amy on Twitter: @AmyBurstynFritz

ANITA CLARKE, Software QA Lead and Fashion Blogger

Her pick: m0851 City Tote, $400 at

Why she’s loving this bag: “I’ve been a huge fan of Montreal based m0851 for a very long time. Their bags are made in Montreal and are very affordable. The City Tote has everything I’m looking for in a good functional and fashionable bag. It has to be a cross body body style as they are the easiest to manage. The City Tote comes in neutral colours but they aren’t too boring. The Heath Grey is my favourite option. Size is important too, this bag is big enough to carry a laptop and the essentials. Finally the price is great for the value. You get a great Made in Canada handbag using luxury leather.”

Follow Anita on Twitter: @geekigirl


Her pick: Jil Sander Navy drawstring duffle shopper, USD$901 at Feathers Fashion

Why she’s loving this bag: ”If you thought the lawyer was going to suggest a rolling suitcase, think again. Neither structured nor staid, this tote pleasantly defies convention as a work bag. The unique drawstring closure gives you the option of fully or partially cinching the opening, depending on the weather and what you are carrying, and also hints that you know your way around a boutique as well as a boardroom.”

Follow Anjli on Twitter: @bluechipfashion

AFIYA FRANCISCO, Style Expert – Global, CBC and Creative Director, The Style House

Her pick: Coach Classic Duffle in British Tan, USD$398

Why she’s loving this bag: ”I adore the simplicity of this duffle – no logos, no embellishment – just understated chic. A zippered top is handy when travelling about and, while British Tan is my fave, you can’t go wrong with any of the classic shades. An iconic design, this piece only gets better with age. For under $400, as a functional work bag, I don’t think that you can do better.”

Follow Afiya on Twitter: @TheStyleHouse

Our pick: Mackage ‘Raffie’ tote, $450 at

Why we’re loving this bag: When we first heard word that one of our favourite outerwear brands was venturing into handbags, we were stoked. We knew only highly covetable and very well made bags could come of it, and we were right. The Raffie tote is the perfect size for everyday, and can be held, worn on the shoulder or across the body. It doesn’t miss a beat on the style front either; we love the unique silhouette and buckle details. It also comes in 3 equally desirable colours, black, white and sand.

Image Credits: Amy Burstyn-Fritz by Jenna Marie Wakani; Anita Clarke by Brittany Lucas.  

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