Bianca and Dani of Kastor & Pollux rocked the loveliest ALDO perfume bottle clutches (only $35!) in last week’s edition of The Canadian Street Style Lookbook, and we adored their whimsical ensembles. An immediate need for an uber cute statement bag obviously arose, so we took to the internets for our weekly, err daily, online shopping session.
From Falconwright‘s bubble gum pink eye-print leather clutch ($68) to Kate Spade‘s ‘Paris and the Single Girl’ book clutch (USD$328) to the queen of whimsy Charlotte Olympia‘s ‘Dial’ telephone perspex clutch (USD$1,895), we found 15 super chic and totally adorable bags we – and you! – need in your life. Check out the gallery below – which one (or two or three!) are you coveting along with us?
Christmas is so close we can taste the turkey, but if you’re anything like us, you’ve barely made a dent in your holiday shopping. Three days is plenty of time, right? No need to panic (yet), because we’ve gone ahead and done you a solid: we’ve rounded up 35 of the very best made-in-Canada gift ideas for the fashion addicts in your life. Your mom/sister/friend/boss is guaranteed to love what you got them, and you’ll also have supported a local or national brand. It’s a win-win, really.
Take a gander at the gallery below for jewelry from the likes of Jenny Bird, Biko and Niki & Lola, handbags from WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie, ela and Mackage, accessories from Quill & Tine, Danier and ALDO, and much, much more. Good luck and happy shopping, fellow procrastinators! See you on the other side.
We here at The Backseat Stylers live for fall fashion. One of the biggest reasons? The ankle bootie. It’s by far our favourite shoe silhouette, and we were reminded of our love for them when we spied Krystin of Suburban Faux Pas (featured in last week’s edition of The Canadian Street Style Lookbook) sporting a pair of high-heeled, leopard print beauties. Now we’re digging all of ours out of the closet, but – like any good shoeaholic – are longing for a new pair to add to the fall rotation.
We searched high and low for a pair worthy of splurging on, and found ourselves head over heels in love with a whopping 20 gorgeous styles. Between the adorable, bow-adorned Christian Louboutin ‘Autonodo’, the ladylike ‘Pamla’ booties by Enzo Angiolini, and the incredibly fierce ‘Kim’ metallic lace-ups by Gucci, we’re having a rather tough time settling on just one pair…or even two. We dare you to try.
ALDO RISE and Preen are at it again. ALDO Shoes‘ fashion week designer collaboration program teamed up for a fourth time with Preen’s Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi on the footwear shown at their Fall 2013 presentation back in February. Now, the three styles to be produced and sold by ALDO have been unveiled, and they’ve shot to the top of our fall footwear wish list.
The latest PREEN x ALDO RISE collection features three straight-from-the-runway styles: an ankle-strap pump, a triple-buckled shootie, and an ankle boot. Priced from $160 to $230, the limited edition designs come in an autumn-ready colour palette of fire engine red, classic black, and powder blue, and incorporate an eye-catching mix of materials, including leather, suede and pony hair. In short, this fourth joint effort is their best to date by our measure, and we can’t wait to snag a pair or two…or three. They’re just that good.
The PREEN x ALDO RISE collection will be available this upcoming October at select ALDO stores, as well as on aldoshoes.com. Let the countdown begin.
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In last week’s edition of The Canadian Street Style Lookbook, we oohed and aahed over Lily‘s whimsical heart-shaped sunglasses, but that wasn’t the only part of her ensemble that caught our eye. Her classic YSL Tribute sandals in a bright, eye-catching yellow had us – and we’re guessing you! – a little green with envy too. But why waste time coveting someone else’s fabulous footwear when you can just snag your own?
Inspired by Lily’s standout shoes, we’ve gone ahead and rounded up 15 pairs of sunny yellow pumps, sandals, wedges and ballet flats you can add to your summer rotation right now. With 15 irresistible options like ALDO‘s ‘Earlene’ ankle cuff, peep-toe stilettos (CAD$100) and Jimmy Choo‘s to-die-for neon degrade pumps (USD$750 at Saks), we wish you the best of luck in limiting yourself to just one pair.
ALDO RISE has been busy churning out highly covetable designer runway collaborations for a few seasons now, and for Spring 2013 they’ve got a winner on their hands. They Canadian brand teamed up with PREEN’s Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi on designs for their London Fashion Week presentation that have now been produced for sale at ALDO stores.
The mini collection features two pumps, the ‘Musilova’ and ‘Pravda’, both available in two colourways. The Musilova in yellow and snake-print leather in particular is to die for, and definitely a must-have for my spring shoe rotation. All four styles are priced at $155.
Shop the collection over on aldoshoes.com.
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“How many plaid blazers does a person need?!” exclaimed Nelia when she spotted my latest Club Monaco purchase. I didn’t realize we were counting, but the answer is obviously a really, really high number, as evidenced by the count in my closet.
It appears I have a plaid jacket problem that I hadn’t quite identified until my dear friend so kindly pointed it out. My guess is that it’s closely linked to my Smythe addiction. In my defence, though, this is the only brown plaid blazer with navy sleeves that I own. I’m fairly certain.
On a side note, I managed to mix black with brown and navy with black all in one outfit – potentially breaking two so-called style rules - and the world didn’t come to an end as many, including T, would fear. Ponder that one.
Club Monaco blazer / Club Monaco blouse / Joe Fresh jeans / FLARE x ALDO bag / Ralph Lauren boots / MAKE UP FOR EVER makeup
On November 14, over 600 guests attended Frocktail Party 2012 in Toronto in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Many of the city’s most fashionable flocked to the Arcadian Loft for an evening of silent auctions featuring designer dresses and accessories generously donated by celebrities like socialite Suzanne Rogers and supermodel Monika Schnarre, talented Canadian designers including Greta Constantine, ela, and Jeremy Laing, and retailers like eLUXE and The Bay.
This 4th annual event achieved a record-breaking auction this year, raising $30,000 for a total of over $55,000 for the evening. As a shopaholic who quite enjoys the thrill of a good silent auction, I quite happily contributed to that total. At the end of the night, I returned home the victor of two battles, having successfully snagged a pair of Greta Constantine x ALDO Shoes ankle booties from the Fall 2011 runway for me and a one-year men’s spa membership to John Allan’s for the Mister. All in the name of charity, of course.
I did, however, leave an absolutely to-die-for tree-print jersey dress by Alexander McQueen behind, which I’m still in mourning over. Other incredible pieces up for auction included a Proenza Schouler clutch donated by INTERMIX, a Smythe jacket courtesy of eLUXE, and runway frocks by Marchesa, Oscar de la Renta and Mary Katrantzou, straight from the closet of Suzanne Rogers. She herself donned a lovely violet-hued number for the occasion, as did a stunning Ainsley Kerr, who wore a beautiful fringed gown. Socialite Jenna Naumovich also showed her support for the JDRF’s cause, arriving in a gorgeous Peter Pilotto runway dress.
With incredible frocks on Frocktail Party’s guests and enticing pieces up for auction, it’s a miracle I didn’t come out of the silent auction shenanigans with more damage to the pocketbook than I did. Come next year, though, I’ll be more than ready for the bidding wars for the latest from Ms. Rogers’ unbelievable wardrobe.
That McQueen tree-print dress (right) I really, really wanted to win
My spoils of war
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World Mastercard Fashion Week (WMCFW) is currently in full swing and there’s no more fashionable a city in Canada right now than Toronto. Whether it’s models strutting their stuff on the catwalk, editors and VIPs sitting front row, or bloggers getting a sneak peek backstage, everywhere we turn it’s a fabulous feast for the eyes.
Being surrounded by many of the most sartorially gifted industry insiders for 5 days in a row is both inspiring and dangerous; our fall/winter wish lists have grown rapidly while we’ve people-watched over the course of the week, not so stealthily ogling the sea of chic ensembles around us. Unable to resist the urge to shop, we snuck a trip to Toronto Eaton Centre (TEC) in between runway shows. Armed with the top street style trends we’ve spotted at the fashion week tents just down the street, we scoured the 3-floor fashion mecca for pieces that would help us – and you! – get the looks.
We loved freelance fashion writer Bianca Teixeira’s cobalt blue, double-breasted pea coat, which she donned over a similarly-hued frock for a monochromatic look on opening night of WMCFW. Want a vibrant pop of colour in your fall/winter outerwear rotation too? Stop by Toronto Eaton Centre for a teal lapelless option at H&M ($129), an oxblood wool biker coat with leather sleeves at Zara ($269) or a raspberry wool blazer with contrast piping at Juicy Couture ($361). These are sure to cheer you up on a rainy fall day.
Whether it’s zebra, cheetah, or snake, the animal print trend is going nowhere fast. While it was a wonderfully loud leopard print coat that caught our eye, you can start small with a scarf like Massimo Dutti’s woollen green snakeskin foulard ($59.50) or a handbag like Banana Republic’s ‘Jamie’ box clutch ($150). For those of you who are ready to fully embrace animal print, a dress is surely the way to go. Who needs a LBD when you can rock Ann Taylor’s zebra knit jacquard sheath dress ($98) or Juicy Couture’s ponte knit green python dress ($218) instead?
We’ve spotted everything from crisp white cotton button-downs to colourfully-printed silk blouses so far this week, and one of our favourites has been the studded collar shirt we saw on Jenn Campbell, FLARE Magazine’s Senior Digital Editor. TEC has tons of collared shirts to choose from and whittling the list down to just 3 was a tough task, but J. Crew’s silk boy shirt in heart throb ($158), Club Monaco’s ‘Patricia’ silk shirt with contrast leather piping ($149.50) and Mendocino’s graphic print blouse by Clover Canyon ($312, arriving in November) are our top picks.
When it comes to statement necklaces, blogger Nelia Belkova is the queen; we’ve seen her sporting one fabulous piece after another every day this fashion week. Go big or go home, her accessories philosophy seems to be, and it’s ours too. Hang a conversation starter like H&M’s insect necklace ($14.95), BCBG Max Azria’s rocker statement necklace ($178), or the Lulu Frost for J. Crew crystal petal necklace ($220) around your neck to take your fashion week outfit to the next level with some help from TEC.
It’s the last day of WMCFW today, and U.S. retailer EXPRESS, which is launching a new store at Toronto Eaton Centre next month, is set to close the week. We’ll be live-tweeting tonight’s 9pm show, so be sure to follow @backseatstylers and @toeatoncentre on Twitter for updates straight from the runway.
See you at the tents one final time this season – and then at Toronto Eaton Centre! After all those fashion shows this week, you’ll want to do some serious shopping at TEC’s newest boutiques: Canada’s first unisex J.Crew, North America’s first Massimo Dutti, and Canada’s first Ann Taylor. We know we will.
xx, T & S
Sponsored by Cadillac Fairview
I met Vyara Ndejuru (@vyara), ALDO Shoes Marketing Director, last year at the A is for ALDO launch event and was immediately taken by her. At first glance, she is incredibly chic – in that easy, effortless sort of way that makes the rest of us green with envy. But spend a few minutes chatting with her and her passion for her job, ALDO and the fashion industry as a whole shines through; it’s infectious and has left a lasting impression on me. Give my recent interview with Vyara a read and see for yourself.
The Backseat Stylers: What’s your earliest fashion memory?
Vyara Ndejuru: My mother did not allow me to play with dolls for awhile; she would keep on getting me LEGOs. I still remember the aha! moment when looking at a perfect rectangular shaped block, I slipped it into my knee-high red socks, right at the heel, and a perfect block-heeled-knee-high boot was born…
My mother started buying me dolls after that.
How did you get into the fashion industry?
Fashion is my longest lasting love-affair – sorry coco (my husband). I did not even reach the counter the first time I bought German Marie-Claire or Brigitte…I must have been 4 or 5 years old, and yet I knew that this was my “tribe”.
I grew up in Germany. My mother, my role model and a formidable woman, was (and remains) a staunch feminist; she shared with us ad nauseum that fashion was a superficial pursuit and had always argued that thinking women did not waste too much time with it. Enter my godmother: German, a doctor, unmarried and uncompromising; my godmother was the most elegant lady I had ever seen.
Concerned with cut, style and construction, but also literacy, the advancement of women in Germany, Europe and the World, philosophy, child welfare and a million other thoughtful pursuits, my godmother offered a staunch contrast to the portrait my mother had painted of people concerned with style. I went on to model after that, we moved to Canada, I met YSO, etc. But I am sure that Lisa, my older sister, would agree with me when I say that Waltraud Bauer, my godmother, is the reason I got into fashion.
What’s the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is to pay it forward. I come from a traditional, very academic, family and background, and I had to fight very hard to pursue my passion and this career. The best part of my job is hiring/developing young talented people who, like I did early on, have always known that this is where they wanted to be. My team humbles me every single day and it is an honour to work alongside them!
The second best part of my job is learning: about business, my craft, but also about becoming generally better – the ALDO group is second only to my “blood” family in affording me key opportunities to better myself. [Working at ALDO has] undoubtedly made me a better professional but also mostly unbeknownst to me [has] made me a more caring employee, manager and human being.
What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
I want to say that I work hard, but I have been very fortunate thus far. I built the YSO label under Siphay Southidara, in the early 2000’s; we paved the way for Denis Gagnon and Renata Morales and we were ultimately bought out by PARASUCO. Although that venture proved to be unsuccessful, I spent close to 6 years at Salvatore Parasuco’s side, (and) his mentorship allowed me to leapfrog ahead to the career I enjoy today at ALDO.
The highlight of my career is and remains mentors who want to invest in me.
Share one item on your bucket list.
Going to Harvard Business School for my MBA (only when this happens can I go in peace).
ALDO RISE x Patrick Ervell Fall/Winter 2012 pump
If you were throwing a fashionable dance party, who would your three guests of honour be?
Nan Kempner, Waltraud Bauer and Iris Apfel – Grand Dames of Style.
Tell me about a fashion faux pas you’ve committed.
Honey, this is a daily occurrence…there are simply too many to mention. Probably happening as we speak…
What’s the one item in your closet you can’t live without?
Which is your favourite pair of shoes?
Right now it is a black moulded rubber-sole ALDO RISE x Patrick Ervell pump.
Where are your favourite places to shop?
Here are my MTL spots: ALDO and Little Burgundy for shoes; Holt Renfrew for make-up and perfumes; Denis Gagnon for whatever I fit into; Reborn for the best Complex Geometries T’s; Want Apothicaire for ACNE and their Want Bag collection; Michel Brisson for when my husband’s been good to me; DUY’s studio for the best slacks and jackets in the world; and The Bay because their turnaround is truly inspiring and because Bonnie Brooks is fierce.
What’s your favourite guilty pleasure?
An afternoon reading in my bed.
Do you sing in the shower?
My children, Charles and Eza-Marie, 7 and 5, are obsessed with One Direction. My shower song is “That’s What Makes You Beautiful”. Sometimes we all jam to it together.