“You always make me overdress!”, T complained, midway through Fashion’s Night Out last week. That may be true, but when you’re choosing a getup for a FNO gig at Toronto Eaton Centre, the bar is set high.
For my FNO outfit needs I headed to TEC a few days before, and it wasn’t long before I found a gorgeous Clover Canyon neoprene frock at Mendocino; it was lust at first sight. Everything about the dress – the bold print, form-hugging fabric and new-to-me colour palette – was completely out of the box for me. But what better day to push my sartorial boundaries than on Fashion’s Night Out?
While I hit up TEC, T raided my wardrobe. She pulled my favourite Equipment blouse and oft-worn Club Monaco faux leather shorts and paired them with to-die-for Stuart Weitzman booties. I’ve never worn these three pieces this way, and I love how she borrowed them from my closet and made them completely her own, with fierce accessories and hairdo to match.
Were we perhaps overdressed for the occasion? Perpetually. And that’s the way I like it.
S: Clover Canyon dress / Biko necklace / OBJECT for Danier bag / Alexander McQueen booties / MAKE UP FOR EVER makeup + NARS lipstick
T: Equipment blouse / Club Monaco shorts / Stuart Weitzman booties / Alexander Wang clutch / Forever 21 tank top
I prepare holiday gift guides in the same manner that I do my holiday shopping: last-minute. With only a week left to find the perfect presents for the fashion-minded folks in your life, and perhaps buy yourself a treat or two, we’ve rounded up our all-Canadian picks for this holiday season. Because we have a feeling we’re not the only procrastinators who’ll be scrambling for gifts this week!
Clockwise from left to right:
1. Ela Handbags M.I.L.C.K. clutch ($280) – With just enough room to fit the essentials (money, ID, lipstick, cell phone, keys), this clutch is the perfect pop of colour to your outfit. Comes in a range of colours, including purple suede (our favourite!) and black fur.
2. Biko Jewellery Adoria spike necklace ($175) – I’ve been wearing this Biko classic non-stop since I bought it (see here, here and here). It’s an incredibly versatile piece that adds just the right amount of edge to any outfit.
3. Smythe tweed riding jacket ($650) – I’m obsessed with Smythe’s smart-looking blazers and equestrian jackets. I think every woman should have at least one in her closet. They don’t come cheap, but they’re investment pieces she’ll be wearing for years to come.
4. Flare Magazine and FASHION Magazine subscriptions – What could be an easier stocking stuffer than renewals to a gal’s favourite Canadian fashion magazines? Both are must-reads.
5. Philip Sparks mountain sheep muff ($350) – It doesn’t get much more luxurious than this (in my world, anyway) when it comes to cold weather accessories. This muff was at the top of my wish list after I attended Sparks’ Fall 2011 presentation earlier this year.
6. Lauren Elan ‘Aaron’ bracelet ($35) – The arm party is still going strong! Add to it with this lovely, rather affordable piece from one of our favourite Canadian jewelry designers.
7. Nella Bella Miami weekender bag ($150) – I’ve been daydreaming about this bag ever since the Toronto-based brand’s Fall 2011 preview. It’s from the men’s line, but it can be a great travel piece for women too.
8. Hudson’s Bay Company Collection striped sweater ($300) – What’s merrier than classic HBC knitwear? The fact that it’ll keep her warm through the winter is an added bonus.
9. Brave Leather Roshana bow belt ($140) – A chic statement belt for the lady in your life who loves bows, ruffles and all things frilly.
10. Pink Tartan gold tulle skirt ($395) – This is perfect for New Year’s Eve festivities, as well as parties throughout the year. Who doesn’t need a gold tutu? I know I do.
11. ‘A is for ALDO’ fragrance ($45) – ALDO’s new range of fragrances has a scent for every personality type. Is she a Blue, Yellow or Red?
12. Maryam Keyhani necklace – This piece is at the top of my holiday wish list. I wrote to Santa about it; here’s hoping I find one under my tree on Christmas Day!
Happy holiday shopping everyone!
Enchanted Designs, Booth W-24
Every year for the past few years, I’ve kicked off my Christmas shopping adventures the same way: at The One of a Kind Christmas Show & Sale. Well, as of Nov 24, the show is officially back in town, Toronto, and here until Dec 4 to help make sure that you and I get our holiday shopping done on time (and maybe even early!) for once. I vow not to be running around town looking for last-minute stocking stuffers again this year on Christmas Eve, so I was excited to stop by the Show on opening day for the media breakfast and visits to some of my favourite booths.
Speaking of favourite booths, these 5 are mine.
Biko Jewellery (Booth N-08) – It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of all that Corrine Anestopoulos does. Biko’s booth has traditionally been the most dangerous for me at the OOAK Shows; I’ve never come away from one without having been parted with a good chunk of change. I’ve been wearing my last purchase, the Adoria necklace, non-stop, and I’m just about ready for my next Biko piece. I have a feeling the Astra necklace will be in my possession before the Show ends.
C comme ça (Booth V-47) – Cindy Cantin’s wares never fail to impress. Her booth is always full of briefcases, backpacks and other accessories made of recycled leather and felt, her material of choice. Her eye-catching designs are a great alternative to the usual array of office-ready bags on the market. I currently have my eye on the Macbook wool felt sleeve for my newly-acquired laptop, and a matching briefcase for the Mister. Fashionable and functional.
Dear Betty Designs (Booth X-03) – I thoroughly enjoy the cheeky t-shirts and door hangers at this booth. A few OOAK Shows ago I picked up a “G for Grumpy” t-shirt for the Mister on one of his grumpiest days; it instantly put a smile on his face. So far this week I’ve already bought a “D for Digger” t-shirt for Baby BSS (he’s obsessed with trucks), and am planning to go back for an “S for Swagger” t-shirt for myself. Because I’m hoping the t-shirt will give me some.
Enchanted Designs (Booth W-24) – That lovely recycled fur capelet Chantel is clutching in the above photo was discovered in this booth, which happened to be filled with much more of the same, namely fabulous, eco-friendly pieces. Based in Vancouver, owners Joanne and Bob Hodgson are in the business of refashioned vintage furs and leathers, and they’re clearly very good at what they do.
TOODLEBUNNY (Booth L-09) – I discovered Trudy Wynans’ jewelry line exactly one year ago at the last OOAK Christmas Show, and I’ve been a devotee ever since. Featuring both one-of-a-kind designs from her ECOuture collection and easier-on-the-wallet pieces from the Toodles collection, the TOODLEBUNNY booth is a tempting one to say the least. One stunning statement necklace in particular has already come home with me this week…it was named after me, after all.
I’ll definitely be making a return visit to the Show before it closes on Dec 4. See you there? Tickets are $12 each online here.
TOODLEBUNNY Designs, Booth L-09
C comme CA, Booth V-47
Biko Jewellery, Booth N-08
Dear Betty Designs, Booth X-03
George Antonopoulos and me
You know that feeling of loving a new purchase so much that you want to wear it right away? I didn’t get that with my leather dress from the OBJECT for Danier line by George Antonopoulos. In fact, I adored it so much that I wanted to save its first outing for a special occasion of sorts, rather than just any ol’ day.
After sitting patiently in my closet for a month and a half, my new leather frock finally got its inaugural call to duty for none other than the opening night of this season’s LG Fashion Week. With the Spring 2012 collection from Arthur Mendonça, for whom Antonopoulos serves as Fashion Director, on the agenda, I thought it the perfect opportunity to take the dress out for a spin.
The Alexander McQueen winged booties I paired my OBJECT dress with were also a piece that had a delayed debut after I purchased them last winter. Do you save particularly beloved new purchases for special occasions too?
OBJECT for Danier leather dress / Biko Jewellery necklace / Alexander McQueen boots / Balenciaga bag
Photo Credit: Jessica Chiu
I’ve been posting shots of my outfits at events only lately, but I promise I’ve been wearing clothes in between functions, too. I’d like to pretend that I’ve been wearing ultra-creative blogger off-duty ensembles, but that’d be an outright lie. When the cameras (read: Mr. Backseat Styler’s lone, reluctant camera) are off, I’m wearing the same damn things over and over again – partially out of laziness, but mostly because I just can’t get enough out of some of my recent purchases.
My FLARE x ALDO wedges fall into this category. I’ve been wearing them every opportunity I get and raking in the compliments at every turn. I tweeted recently that I’ve never owned a pair of shoes that garnered more love from friends and strangers alike, and that’s the truth. The neon orange and python wedges are incredibly eye-catching and surprisingly versatile. Best $135 I’ve ever spent.
My Biko Adoria necklace is another piece I’ve been wearing non-stop. You wouldn’t think chains and spikes would be my thing, given the overabundance of bows and ruffles in my closet, but the Adoria has been the perfect accessory to bring some edge to my otherwise girly outfits of late. I haven’t been able to take my latest Biko purchase off since I bought it.
So there you have it. I don’t have an endless closet – the shock! – and I rewear pieces all the time – the horror! Fess up – what do you have on heavy rotation so far this summer?
Zara top / Biko necklace / Sandro shorts / FLARE x ALDO shoes / Chanel bag / YSL ring / MAKE UP FOR EVER make-up
Photo Credit: Nelia Belkova
Me, flanked by two tanned goddesses in giant feather headdresses and not a lot of clothes
When I accepted an invitation to Andrew Richard Designs‘ annual industry event earlier this week, I did so without really quite knowing what I was getting myself into, but on the basis that an invite that references Moët is not one to be turned down. Mr. Backseat Styler and I arrived at ARD’s beautiful loft and atrium space on the evening of June 22nd to find a Buenos Aires themed party, titled “Secreto de Verano” (Summer Secret), in full swing. With incredible food catered by Origin and a slew of other top Toronto restaurants being offered up at every turn and lively performances by Argentinian dancers throughout the night, we found ourselves right in the thick of one very happening soirée.
I spent the evening munching on E11even‘s lobster rolls, sipping Vitamin water (seriously, I’m addicted to that stuff) and chatting up blogger friends, new and old. The crowd was a mix of design folks, the usual fashion faces, as well as some of the most well-known characters in the city’s Twitter community. I did do some street style snapping too, but ended up with more food photos than anything else. I had more than my fair share of Colborne Lane‘s liquid nitrogen ice cream that night, but I’m still longing for more. I’ve been dreaming up plans for my very own little shindig at the ARD space too; now all I need is an occasion.
Writer Septembre Anderson
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The younger Backseat Styler and I went to the One of a Kind Show over the Easter holiday with S, M and A. The semi-annual show is one of my most favourite Toronto events; it’s always a full afternoon of fun without costing very much. That is, if you manage to resist temptation and not walk out of the show with armfuls of bags. I was determined to be good this time around, and for the most part I stuck to my guns.
The first love-at-first-sight moment of the show was when I laid eyes on this rabbit fur and lambskin trapper hat. It was a perfect fit, but it seemed silly to be buying a trapper hat at the end of winter, so I passed on it…until the next show!
One of my favourite vendors at the One of a Kind Show is Ophelie Hats, a milliner based in Montreal. They always carry the cutest hats and headbands. The only thing stopping me from buying this peacock feather headband was the whimsical red flower headband I bought 2 shows ago and have never worn. In fact, I have no idea where it is. No more headbands for me until I figure out how to wear them!
Toronto-based Biko Designs is my other favourite Show vendor. Designer Corrine Anestopoulos’ pieces all have a vintage feel that adds character to any ol’ outfit. I’ve been eyeing this gold bow chain necklace for a while now and finally took the plunge. It certainly helped that it went perfectly with my outfit that day!
While I was busy trying on accessories, T was admiring the truly one of a kind crafts at the Show. T seems to be drawn to all things mini.
Time flew by at the show and next thing we knew it was time to go…but not before picking up a new friend for Mr. and Baby Backseat Styler. Say hello to Victor everyone!
This past Saturday afternoon I found my new favourite place in Toronto and I have SG, PK and AY to thank! As soon as I stepped foot into the One of a Kind Show I knew I was in shopping heaven; the challenge, of course, was not allowing my pocketbook to go to hell. These show standouts threatened to leave me without house or husband:
‘District’ clutch by klutch
Gorgeous texture with stunning peacock feather detail makes this clutch absolutely TDF.
Three-tiered filigree heart necklace by biko designs
Oh, the drama of it all. Truly a stunning piece for day to night.
Bouquet necklace by Foxy Originals
Surprisingly my first Foxy piece and definitely won’t be the last.
Feather trim headband by Ophelie Hats
It was next to impossible to choose just one favourite from Ophelie. I want – nix that, need – to get my hands on their Fall 2009 collection asap!
Autumn necklace with genuine leaves, bark and stones from Lubie Studios’ Nature collection
A jewelry collection for every season, each as stunning as the last.
Numerous booths and countless squeals of delight later, SG and I had outlasted even many of the exhibitors and our wallets were still intact…but only due to restraint I did not know I had. Armed with my spoils of war – the Vierti top in navy and yellow from Nakele (unintentionally perfect for my pregnant belly), a silver anchor necklace from biko designs and the Bouquet necklace from Foxy Originals - I left the show vowing to be first in line for the One of a Kind Christmas Show.
Annex: I love the bouquet necklace from Foxy Originals! Its prettiness makes me googly-eyed.