It’s officially December, and we know you’re impatiently counting down the days until Santa shimmies down your chimney with the shoes of your dreams in his sack. Until then, though, you’re going to have to make do with us, your trusty, neighbourhood, fashion-conscious elves. Lucky for you, we take our jobs very seriously. In fact, we’re teaming up with some of our favourite e-retailers this month to bring you the biggest giveaways we’ve hosted to date – our way of saying ‘merci beaucoup!’ for your support this past year.
First up: eLUXE! We professed our love for this Canadian site when we posted our interview of CEO Joanna Track recently and a quick window-shopping jaunt over there will have you feeling the same way, if you don’t already. Just a few minutes into our e-visit and the wish list was already a mile long. That’s certain to happen to you too, so we’re going to give one lucky reader of The Backseat Stylers the opportunity to win their wish list items. Tell us what you’re coveting from eLUXE for a chance to win a $500 shopping spree!
Excited? So are we. Here are 8 reasons why (clockwise from top left):
1. Velvet ‘Vonnie’ Sequin Top ($165) – With holiday parties taking over our calendars this month, there’s no better time to add some sparkle to your wardrobe, though we tend to sport our sequins all year round.
2. Milly Leather Collar Sweater ($359) – This sweater combines two of our most favourite things right now: cobalt blue and leather. Even better, the leather collar and cuffs are removable, making this one very versatile piece.
3. Greta Constantine Primer ‘Maha’ Dress ($265) – We pretty much adore everything Canadian designers Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong of Greta Constantine design, and at Primer (their diffusion line) prices their party dresses are completely irresistible.
4. Tiger of Sweden ‘Acadie’ Moto Jacket ($599) – Not all motorcycle jackets are created the same, and this one is perfection. The leather peplum makes it very of-the-moment, but the jacket will be a closet staple for years to come.
5. Rebekah Price ‘Serpentine’ Drop Earrings ($187.25) – We’ve been hearing this Toronto-based jewelry designer’s name for a while, and now we know why: to-die-for Swarovski crystal statement pieces that need to be in our jewelry box, stat.
6. Gee Beauty ‘The Red Carpet Look’ Set ($134) – S underwent a red carpet transformation courtesy of the lovely ladies at Gee Beauty during this year’s TIFF, and the results were ultra glam. Everything you need for your very own red carpet makeover is in this set.
7. Elizabeth and James ‘E-Sash’ Heel ($360) – The oxblood red and cap-toe trends combine for one rather gorgeous pump from the contemporary line of the Olsen twins. It’s a double-duty shoe that will go seamlessly from the office to cocktails.
8. Rebecca Minkoff Mini M.A.C. Clutch ($225) – This bag’s been on our radar for years now, and it’s about time we – and you! – finally made the leap. It’s available in two sizes and a range of colours and leathers, but one can never go wrong with purple patent.
There are so many covet-worthy items on eLUXE right now – go forth and explore! Then report back for a chance to win that $500 shopping spree. Contest rules are below. Good luck everyone!
Congrats to the winner of the $500 eLUXE shopping spree…Erica K! Please email us to claim your prize. Thanks to everyone who entered!
xx, T & S
Contest Rules [CLOSED]:
1. To enter, leave us a comment telling us how you would spend the $500 shopping spree, including links to the specific items on eLUXE.ca. Also, ‘like’ The Backseat Stylers and eLUXE’s Facebook pages here and here.
2. For a bonus entry (you must complete step #1 first), follow @backseatstylers and @shopeluxe on Twitter and tweet the following: “HO HO HO! The @backseatstylers are giving away a @shopeluxe $500 shopping spree, and I want it! http://bit.ly/TAWA4R #giveaway #BSSholiday”
3. The contest closes at midnight on December 9, 2012. The winner will be selected randomly and will be notified by e-mail.
4. Contest open to readers in Canada only.
5. There are no prize substitutions and no cash value.
I’m an online shopper. For several years now, the bulk of my wardrobe additions have come by way of the Internet, though in the early goings shopping online from Canada was incredibly frustrating. Between ridiculous international shipping costs, hefty duties and U.S. sites that wouldn’t accept Canadian credit cards, there was a lot to battle in order to get access to the wider selections and more reasonable pricing found on e-commerce sites outside of Canada.
I used to daydream about starting my own e-boutique, one that would be based in Canada and thus avoid all the above problems. I never did act on that idea, but Joanna Track did. Over the last year and a half, the founder and CEO of eLUXE has been building the e-retail site of my dreams, right here in Toronto. Obviously, I had to meet her.
The Backseat Stylers: What’s your earliest fashion memory?
Joanna Track: When I was in 6th grade, OshKosh overalls were a really big thing. It was the trend, but I couldn’t afford it, [so] I went and found them at KMart. They weren’t OshKosh, but they looked exactly the same. I still remember [realizing], “OK, you don’t always have to spend a certain amount. You can do things on a budget.” I was so proud of myself that I had [gotten] the look that I wanted at a price that I could afford.
What inspired you to start eLUXE?
As a consumer myself, I’m an avid online shopper. When I had my son, I went to Florida for the winter and I ordered everything online. It just became my lifestyle; I never had to go to a store. Then I came back to Toronto, and I couldn’t do that. I had been shopping on Shopbop and Net-a-porter, and then I came home [to Toronto] to duties and shipping, and God forbid I had to return something. I thought, there’s a huge opportunity to bring Canadian women the same amazing online shopping experience that all our friends from the U.S. and Europe get to enjoy.
What’s the best part of your job?
Besides seeing all the clothes and being so close to it every day, the people. [The eLUXE team is] such a creative, fun group of people. I always say [that] we’re not saving lives and we’re not necessarily changing the world in a bigger, broader way, but because there are so many problems in the world, we’re giving women a slice of something fun, [an opportunity] to take a mental break.
How has your style evolved since starting eLUXE?
Especially during my Sweetspot [a now-defunct daily e-newsletter] days, I became pretty much a woman of uniform; I would wear skinny jeans, a Smythe blazer, a t-shirt and flats. Starting [eLUXE] and seeing all the stuff in front of me, getting close with Susie Sheffman and being around all these fashion people has inspired me to branch out and try new things.
Tell me about a fashion faux pas you’ve committed.
Well, I’m sure there are many. I don’t know if you would call it a faux pas, but I know that when I wear something that I’m innately not comfortable in, it doesn’t look right.
What’s the one item in your closet you can’t live without?
I have a collection of Smythe blazers. I say this, and then I always break it, [but] I’m trying to go on a moratorium of not having anymore right now. I mean, people will come in and see my closet and say, “Seriously, you need to take a break.” Currently for fall, there are some from last season and a few from this season – there’s probably 8. That’s a lot from one brand and one item of clothing. So that’s pretty much a staple for me. You’ll never see me without a Smythe jacket.
Where’s your favourite place to shop, other than eLUXE?
I love J.Crew, but I shop online. I’m not a mall person; I will go once a year if I’m in an emergency. And I love, love, love Joe Fresh. Pretty much my closet is eLUXE, Joe Fresh and J.Crew. And Lululemon.
If you were throwing a fashionable dance party, who would your three guests of honour be?
[eLUXE Fashion Director] Susie Sheffman, Diane von Furstenberg and Joe Mimran [of Joe Fresh].
Share one item on your bucket list.
I want to learn another language, and I want to learn a musical instrument.
What’s your favourite guilty pleasure?
I do love reading celebrity magazines, but I did make a New Year’s resolution 2 years ago that I wouldn’t purchase them. I’m allowed to read only at the hairdresser or the nail salon…I’m not allowed to purchase them!
Image courtesy of eLUXE
Shopping parties are the best when raided with an equally fashion-minded sister (at The Bazaar by RAC Boutique). (Image Credit: Richard Fabregui)
And just like that, Fashion’s Night Out Toronto has come and gone, but while it was here on September 6, we sure took full advantage. It was a jam-packed evening of shopping party after shopping party, the very best kind by our measure.
We kicked off our night at Toronto Eaton Centre (check out our recap), and the FNO fun was only just beginning. Next stop? Holt Renfrew, of course, where we joined a very magenta street party complete with pink confetti, limited edition pink Diet Coke bottles and a pop-up shop selling exclusive Holt Renfrew 175th anniversary paraphernalia. There may have been some confetti throwing and dancing in the street on our part (and photographic evidence).
From there we made the short trek to Hazelton Lanes to pay The Shopping Soirée, hosted by Toronto Fashion Incubator, TNT and Fashion Cares, and the MasterCard Stylicity Lounge a visit. There we chatted with a Mary Katrantzou-clad Suzanne Rogers, ogled the Kara Ross jewels on Gail McInnes and Kelly Claman, and caught up with some of our favourite fellow fashion bloggers, including Style Blog‘s Nelia Belkova, who also chose Clover Canyon for the occasion (take a gander at our FNO outfit post). There were also tables and tables of stylish goods to covet.
Our next destination was equally full of temptation for the pocketbook. A chauffeured BMW (by the way, how sweet is that?) took us to The Bazaar by RAC Boutique. More of the city’s independent boutiques than we can name had assembled together at the Burroughes Building to offer a carefully curated selection of chic offerings. The whimsical necklaces from Foe and Dear and statement jewelery from Love of Mine, in particular, were very hard to resist.
With closing time for Fashion’s Night Out just around the corner, we made one final stop at eLUXE‘s FNO bash. There was just enough time to admire the exclusive Smythe x eLUXE tuxedo jacket and make use of the photo booth with Toronto Is Fashion‘s Richard Fabregui. Fashion’s Night Out wouldn’t have been complete without the obligatory jumping session in the photo booth – am I right or am I right?
And with that, the clock struck 11pm, FNO was done for the year, and yours truly returned to our hotel room and ordered everything off the room service menu to cap off one hell of a Fashion’s Night Out. Till next year!
Me and Nelia Belkova – Clover Canyon loving twins! (Image Credit: Richard Fabregui)
Pink lemonade at Massimo Dutti at Toronto Eaton Centre – yes please!
Live-tweeting Toronto Eaton Centre’s fabulous FNO fashion show with PR all-star Jenna Stothers.
I really, really like confetti. Especially the pink kind at Holt Renfrew’s Hot@175 street party.
Well hello there, Gail McInnes, Glenn Dixon and Suzanne Rogers (in Mary Katrantzou!), at The Shopping Soirée at Hazelton Lanes of course.
Fabulous Kara Ross statement necklaces for all! Except me…I need to work on that.
Bloggers Richard Fabregui, Nelia Belkova, Marc Piercey, Anita Clarke and me at The Shopping Soirée at Hazelton Lanes. (Image Credit: Nelia Belkova)
Jeanne Beker at the MasterCard Stylicity Lounge. (Image Credit: Justin Charles)
Chauffeured BMW pour moi et mes fellow media types. No big deal.
Being silly with Richard at The Bazaar by RAC Boutique.
Actor Adrian Grenier and his entourage (see how we did that?) at The Bazaar by RAC Boutique. (Image Credit: Ashlea Wessel)
Working on my photo booth jumping game with T and Richard at eLUXE’s FNO event.
Fashion’s Night Out has finally arrived! And with so many exciting events on the official FNO Toronto calendar and only 5 hours to fit it all in, we thought we’d give you a hand by narrowing it down to our top picks for the evening.
We’ll be kicking off our Fashion’s Night Out at Toronto Eaton Centre and you should definitely join us for the fashion show and FNO merchandise giveaways between 7-8pm. After that, we can shop till we drop (or until 11pm) at TEC, or hit up some (or all, if you’re a speedy shopper) of the following:
- Aime by Monica Mei (198A Davenport Road, Upper Level)
Preview the latest collection and receive a gift with purchase where a portion of proceeds will benefit Fashion Cares (Elton John Foundation & Aids Committee of Toronto). Tunezy will be spinning tunes on the back patio and hors d’oeuvres will be served.
- eLUXE (355 Adelaide Street West, Ground Level)
Debuting its exclusive Smythe for eLUXE blazer, eLUXE will host guests with a trunk show from Rebekah Price, branded sweets from Megan Wappel designs and six giveaways. Photostar will be onsite snapping all guests.
- Holt Renfrew (50 Bloor Street West)
Holt Renfrew presents “Hot in the City” street party on Bloor Street West. The store will be open until 11:00 p.m.
- INTERMIX (130 Bloor Street West)
Fall in love with must-know designers, exclusive product and covetable pieces. ILIA beauty will treat you to a natural pop of colour while the DJ spins of-the-moment music. Champagne and sweets will be served. 6:00pm to 8:00pm.
- MasterCard’s Stylicity Lounge (Shops at Hazelton Lanes, 87 Avenue Road)
Visit the Stylicity Lounge to enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, complimentary styling and make-up applications from Maybelline and Redken, mingle with fashion stylists and enter for a chance to win a MasterCard gift card. Shop The Peacock Parade’s Fashion’s Night Out sale onsite for special offers.
- THE BAZAAR by RAC Boutique (The Burroughes Building, 639 Queen St West)
The Bazaar will bring together a wide array of Toronto retailers including: Lab Consignment, Drake General Store, Rescue Vintage, Robber, Philistine, Chloe Comme Parris, Foe & Dear, Love of Mine, Fashionably Yours and more. Goods will include everything from jewellery to shoes to a wide array of clothing. The Bazaar will feature music, snacks, beer and cocktails. Attendees will have a chance to win a pair of plane tickets from Porter Airlines to anywhere Porter flies.
Visit the The Peacock Parade to buy official Fashion’s Night Out tees and totes, on sale now. On Thursday, September 6th, at 11am est, The Peacock Parade will launch its special Fashion’s Night Out sale, featuring exquisite jewelry from Kara Ross, and luxurious cashmere from White & Warren. Free shipping on all items in the FNO special sale!
- The Shopping Soirée (Shops at Hazelton Lanes, 87 Avenue Road)
The Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI), TNT and Fashion Cares invite you to shop men’s and women’s accessories and apparel. Spend $200+ and get a special Fashion Cares 25th anniversary retrospective book. Spend $500+ and be eligible to win two VIP Gala tickets to Fashion Cares on Sept 9th featuring Elton John (a value of $3000), PLUS two VVIP passes to the after party and two all-access event passes! 10% of event sales will benefit the Elton John Aids Foundation and the AIDS Committee of Toronto. FLARE Magazine editors will be on duty helping guests style some of the industry’s finest fall pieces from TFI ‘s design stars and the racks of TNT’s international brands.
- Toronto Eaton Centre (220 Yonge Street)
For one night only, Toronto Eaton Centre will extend mall hours, remaining open until 11:00 p.m. In addition, the mall will host a public fashion show at 7:30 p.m. in Centre Court, featuring signature looks from retailers Stuart Weitzman, Juicy Couture and GAP. Throughout the night, Toronto Eaton Centre will give away official FNO collection items via Twitter (www.twitter.com/toeatoncentre).
Don’t forget to follow @FNO_Toronto, @toeatoncentre and @backseatstylers on Twitter, and tweet us with the #FNO_Toronto hashtag to win some official FNO swag.
Happy Fashion’s Night Out everyone!
xx, T & S
On Tuesday, August 7, we celebrated Three Years of Style at the Thompson Toronto Rooftop Lounge, co-hosted by Nelia Belkova of Style Blog, Kimberly Lyn of The Souls of My Shoes and yours truly in honour of our joint 3-year anniversaries. You came out for the festivities in full force and knocked our Louboutin stilettos off with your overwhelming support…and incredibly stylish get-ups!
We were honoured to celebrate our blog birthday with so many of our favourite fashion industry folks, including designers John Muscat and Jennifer Wells of LINE Knitwear and Monica Mei of Aime, many of the city’s fashion writers and PR superstars, a blogger contingent that included Anita Clarke of I Want – I Got, Jay Strut of the eponymous blog, and Richard Fabregui and Marc Piercey of Toronto is Fashion, and more. It was also a huge pleasure to chat with you lovely readers and Twitter friends, many of whom we were meeting in person for the very first time.
With all the love you showed us, we couldn’t let you go home empty-handed. The first 50 guests to arrive each snagged a rather epic (in our humble opinion) swag bag featuring Ardell eyelashes, an eLUXE discount card, essence cosmetics make-up, a copy of FLARE Magazine‘s August 2012 issue, Goody Double Wear elastics, John Frieda hair products, a Nella Bella handbag hook, a Roots iTunes playlist redemption code, Tweezerman tweezers, and a bottle of vitaminwater Zero.
We also awarded our most stylish attendees with $650 worth of prizes. Our grand prize winner, Aya McMillan, took home a $250 eLUXE gift card and a Nella Bella handbag, while Jessica Chiu, Liane Fong and Diego R. each won $100 gift cards from Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Danier Leather and Roots. And as if that wasn’t already enough, we also drew Wendy Leung‘s name in our draw for a fabulous $550 LINE Knitwear leather jacket. Colour us jealous!
After an evening of such fabulous fun, we’d like to offer our heartfelt thanks to all our readers and friends who celebrated with us atop the Thompson rooftop – it meant the world to us! Thank you too to all the brands who supported Three Years of Style, Sheila Hui for all her hard work, and You Just Got Spotted for the fantastic photos to remember it all by. Not to mention lots of love to our co-hosts, Nelia and Kimberly, the very best blogging BFFs we could ever ask for. An honourable mention to Mother Nature as well for providing a stunning sunset and perfect weather for a rooftop party.
The countdown to our 4th anniversary bash next year officially begins…now!
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