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.  

Street Style

The Canadian Street Style Lookbook – April 4, 2014 Edition

Kassandra Camponi of Kastles, Edmonton

If you get a feeling of déjà vu with this week’s edition of The Canadian Street Style Lookbook, you’re bang on. A few standout pieces that have made appearances recently are featured again, styled in a fresh new way.

Case #1: Joe Fresh‘s trompe l’oeil shirt. We first spotted it on Barbara, who knocked it out of the park with a head-to-toe black and white ensemble. This week, Lookbook newcomer Vickie paired the same shirt with a bright red perforated leather jacket for the perfect pop of colour. One shirt, worn two fantastic ways.

Case #2: Ann Taylor‘s TDF cage pencil skirt. It first showed up in the Lookbook on Christina, who got us lusting after the skirt when she expertly paired it with a black moto jacket and baby pink pumps. This week, Nelia made us want it even more with an equally fierce black, white and red getup, one of our favourite colour combos ever. Again, one skirt, worn two uber-cool ways.

Déjà vu? Why not when it looks this good.

Gracie Carroll of Gracie Carroll, Toronto

Vanessa Hong of The Haute Pursuit, Vancouver/Beijing

Nelia Belkova of Style Blog, Toronto

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Red Carpet

Admiring from the Backseat: Shailene Woodley in Zuhair Murad

Shailene Woodley is making her Backseat Stylers debut, and it’s about time. The actress, currently promoting her latest film Divergent, is a rising star in Hollywood and definitely one to watch for her red carpet style. In fact, her look at the Divergent Berlin premiere this week was far and away her best to date in our books.

Shailene donned a gorgeous white gown from Zuhair Murad‘s Pre-Fall 2014 collection for the occasion. With a sexy plunging neckline, futuristic bold shoulders and fierce gold embellishments, this might possibly be our favourite Murad design ever. And did we mention the mini train? We always love a good train.

We’re now officially on Shailene Woodley red carpet watch. Are you loving this look as much as we are?

Image Credit: Patrick Hoffmann/

Retail Therapy

Shop Like A Style Blogger: 25 Mint-y Fresh Items to Pop Your Spring Wardrobe

Toronto natives Lisa of Just Another Fashion Blog and Jay Strut both sported a pop of mint green in last week’s edition of The Canadian Street Style Lookbook, reminding us of the love affair we’d started with the colour last summer that abruptly ended with the arrival of fall. With spring officially here and temperatures starting to co-operate, we’re looking to pick up right where we left off and bring some minty freshness into our wardrobe rotation again.

Lucky for us, we aren’t the only ones with mint on the brain. From Alexander Wang satin bomber jackets ($525) to H&M circle skirts ($19.95) to Burberry Prorsum lace dresses ($3,095), we’ve gathered 25 of the chicest, mintiest clothing and accessories on the market in the gallery below. Give it a gander – will you be popping your spring outfits with some mint green too?

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Spotted from the Backseat: Forbidden PROM 2014 Edition

On March 29, the Young Patrons Circle held its annual fundraiser in support of the Royal Ontario Museum, traditionally one of the most fun events on Toronto’s social calendar. Inspired by the Forbidden City exhibition currently on at the ROM, Forbidden PROM invited guests to dress in traditional Chinese attire, munch on dim sum, and dance to DJ Rory Them Finest-spun tunes that we’re certain even the emperors would have enjoyed. In short, it was our favourite PROM to date.

As much as we love our BBQ pork, it was the fashion that made the night for us (though admittedly the BBQ pork was a close second place). Whether in traditional Chinese dress like Lisa Marie Chen‘s lovely lilac cheongsam or a more contemporary take like Lori Siddons‘ gorgeous dragon embroidered gown, partygoers donned their PROM best for the occasion and we absolutely loved it. Take a gander at the gallery below for over 30 style snaps from Forbidden PROM.

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Runways and Showrooms

25 Must-See Looks from Toronto Fashion Week Fall 2014

Confession: we missed most of Toronto Fashion Week earlier this month, and we were really, really sad about it. Being out of town for the majority of the week meant that we missed seeing the LINE Knitwear show everyone raved about, the triumphant return of Backseat Stylers favourite VAWK to the WMCFW runway, the unveiling of David Dixon‘s bridal collection for Kleinfeld’s at Hudson’s Bay, and so much more.

We had to instead settle for catching up on all the Fall 2014 collections via images, but were no less impressed than if we’d been at the shows live. In fact, there are quite a few runway pieces from the likes of Joe Fresh, MackagePink Tartan and more on our fall shopping list. Check out the gallery below for our list of the 25 most covet-worthy looks for Fall 2014 from Toronto Fashion Week. And start saving up now. We know we are.

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