I was asked recently, over Twitter, to sum up 2011 in one word. I replied, “Life-changing. Does that count as one word?” It did, but let’s face it, one word or even 140 characters, just isn’t enough to describe the 365 days over which life, as we at The Backseat Stylers knew it, changed forever. So we thought we’d do better than that. A picture, as the saying goes, is worth a 1,000 words; here are 10 that represent some of the most incredible moments of our 2011.
In March, The Backseat Stylers got an invite from Paris to attend the Roger Vivier Fall/Winter 2011 presentation and meet Creative Director Bruno Frisoni and muse Inès de la Fressange. We couldn’t make it and were, of course, heartbroken. But it’s the invite that counts, and for that we were delighted.
Later that month, we signed on with Global TV to contribute to their website’s Toronto Fashion Week coverage. Not only did this largely make up for not being able to attend Paris Fashion Week, but it also really got the ball rolling here at The Backseat Stylers.
Here’s proof: a photo of me with the one and only Anna Dello Russo, Editor-at-Large for Vogue Nippon, at The Room at the Bay’s ‘When Tommy Met Anna’ shindig in April. Ask me a year ago if I thought I’d ever have the opportunity to chat with Ms. Dello Russo and I would’ve laughed at (and with) you. And yet there we are, looking all chummy.
The starstruck moments didn’t end there, thanks once again to The Room. This time, it was the boys from Proenza Schouler. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I left that particular party with more than a little crush on Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough. Talented and charming – could you blame me, really?
Unbelievably, the celebrity encounters continued. In August, on the very last day of the McQueen exhibit, T and I flew out to New York and lined up for almost 5 hours outside The Met to see Savage Beauty. At the end of our visit was an unexpected surprise even we couldn’t have dreamed up: an autograph session with Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue. She even mistook me for someone who works in fashion – the stuff of dreams, I tell you!
Speaking of dreams coming true, mere days before our encounter with Ms. Wintour, the most epic email we’ve received since we signed up for our Hotmail accounts way back when landed in our inbox. It was from Sarah Casselman, Senior Fashion News Editor at FASHION Magazine, and she wanted to write a feature on us. I wish I had a video of our reactions to this news, but suffice to say we were over the moon. And still are, really. Outfitted in VAWK in our very own one-page feature in FASHION‘s November 2011 issue? I have no words, even now.
And then? More press. This time in Flare Magazine‘s ‘Wear Canada’ round-up of 22 bloggers from across the country, sporting their most prized Canadian designs. My Smythe tartan equestrian jacket and Pink Tartan trompe l’oeil blouse pairing resulted in one of my favourite ensembles of the year. It was an honour to be included the feature.
Where, pray tell, do you go from there? To Breakfast at Tiffany, apparently. On one sunny October morning, I found myself doing precisely that: chatting about handbags with Tiffany Leather designers Richard Lambertson and John Truex over lobster scrambled eggs and coffee at Tiffany & Co.’s Toronto flagship.
Continuing on with the theme of invites I never thought would land in my lap, a few days after my date at Tiffany, I found myself in yet another rather unexpected locale: model Jessica Stam‘s hotel room. I’d been invited by IMG to live tweet the inaugural Mercedes-Benz Start Up finale during Toronto Fashion Week on their behalf. Of course, my very first task as official tweeter was to cover guest judge Stam’s preparations for the show. Tough gig, right?
Finally, just when I thought the year was winding down and all its surprises already revealed, one last one arrived in the form of a tweet: a photo of a gorgeous statement necklace by TOODLEBUNNY that was inspired by yours truly. Dubbed the ‘Lady S’ by designer Trudy Winans, the necklace came home with me when we eventually met at the One of Kind Christmas Show & Sale in November, and is now one of the most beloved pieces in my jewelry box.
From an invite to a Paris Fashion Week presentation to kick off the year to a necklace named after to me to close it out, and all the fashion shows, charity galas and industry events that happened in between, 2011 turned out to be The Backseat Stylers’ most epic to date. Heartfelt thanks go out to all the readers, designers, retailers, PR companies and plain ol’ supporters who helped make our last year everything that it was!
It’s going to be tough to top all of this in 2012, but that’s a challenge we can’t wait to take on. We look forward to another incredible year, and hope you’ll come along with us for the ride!
Andrej Pejic is on the cover of FASHION Magazine‘s upcoming February 2012 issue. That fact alone is epic enough; the androgynous (male) model looks downright fabulous in that frothy tulle dress, hence the cover making the rounds on the Internet this week. But what blew me away even more than the stunning cover image was the realization that the gorgeous design Pejic is wearing is the very one I watched come down the runway at Lucian Matis‘ recent Spring 2012 presentation.
I’m a huge fan of Matis’ work, so seeing his dress on a big name model like Andrej Pejic – on the cover of FASHION, no less – has me feeling rather proud. Congrats to the FASHION team on a beautiful cover, and kudos for spotlighting one of Canada’s finest in such a big way. More of this please!
UPDATE: Pejic’s editorial for FASHION is out, and the 11-page spread is full of looks from Canadian designers like Greta Constantine, Calla Haynes and even Joe Fresh! Fantastic work by fashion director George Antonopoulos.
Cover image via Styleite, editorial images via Design Scene
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!
A few months back, while S was vacationing in Mexico, a rather epic email landed in The Backseat Stylers’ inbox. It was from the lovely Sarah Casselman, Senior Editor, Fashion News at FASHION Magazine, and she wanted to know if we were interested in being profiled in the publication’s November issue. Needless to say, S immediately jumped up from the computer and ran around her hotel room screaming at the top of her lungs, while T was having a similar reaction back home in Toronto. We obviously played it cool in our reply (we limited the number of exclamation marks to 2!), but, in truth, we were freaking out. There’s just something so magical about print.
Shortly thereafter, we found ourselves searching for articulate yet witty answers to interview questions Sarah presented to us, like: “What’s on your fall must-have list?”; “What do you two fight about?” (nothing!); and “Who is your style icon?” But the most critical question running through our heads was, “What are we going to wear?” For the portrait that would accompany the article, that is. We are, after all, fashion bloggers. So we set off to style one outfit each that would sum up each of our sartorial existences. Dramatic characterization, yes, but it was a daunting task indeed.
Naturally, T immediately hit the mall, with friends D and E in tow. In one whirlwind shopping trip, she pulled together the key pieces for her ensemble. At the new J.Crew store, she picked up a fuchsia rose print skirt that she paired with a silk blouse with decorative metal collar tips and a smart tuxedo jacket, both from Zara. S took a different route, calling up one of her favourite designers, Sunny Fong. During one very fun studio visit, we worked with Sunny to pull together a fabulous look from VAWK’s Fall 2011 collection. S felt like a superhero in the wine-coloured, fur-trimmed trench and leather shirt-and-tie combo we picked out; thank you, Sunny! Topping off our respective ensembles with fierce boots by Acne and Alexander McQueen, we were ready for our photo shoot.
Enter Emma McIntyre, the Toronto-based photographer extraordinaire who patiently snapped away as we (awkwardly) posed, strutted and “smeyes”-ed up and down Queen Street West. “You look terrified,” Paul later observed of the chosen shot, and then added (upon noting S’s look of dismay), “but in a modelly sort of way.” Nice save. Despite our obvious shortcomings as models, Emma managed to expertly capture a FASHION-worthy shot (tellingly the very last frame of the day!), and for that we are indebted to her (thank you!).
FASHION’s November issue hits newsstands next week. Gwen Stefani is on the cover, as are promises to share with you (a) what to wear now, (b) how to find your dream job on Twitter and (c) how to identify male gold diggers who are after your money. If that’s not enough to entice you to buy the issue (unlikely, we know), our feature is also on page 192. Thank you to Sarah, Nicole Stafford, Caitlin Agnew and the rest of the FASHION team for putting us there! And to Editor-in-Chief Bernadette Morra, too, for allowing our mugs to grace her fabulous magazine.
Continue reading →
(BCBG lace top, J Brand pencil jeans, Chanel classic pearls, Chanel 2.55 bag, Gucci python pumps)
Last week I was too lazy to post, but hinted here and there that I’d attended the FASHION/the Bay contemporary event, where I fell in love with a Hanii Y leather jacket, fondled a Balmain military jacket, and generally had a grand ol’ time with my partner-in-crime for the evening, S (I stupidly forgot to snap a photo of us). All thanks to the lovely Jeanie (pictured with me), who so graciously invited me! (Don’t ask me why I’m smiling like a knob).
The focus of the evening was the Bay Queen Street’s The White Space, the new contemporary department where I’ve already managed to do damage. With Fall/Winter under its belt, the Bay has continued to expand its lineup of contemporary designers for Spring 2010. Of all the new lines that have happily popped up, I was most excited to see LaROK, under.ligne by DOO.RI and Opening Ceremony. This is going to be a very dangerous place for me; visitation should be supervised and limited.
I’ve already confessed to ogling two jackets that night in previous posts, so why not a third? This ADAM by Adam Lippes cropped cotton blazer fit me like a glove and it took all my willpower and S talking me down for me not to take it home. I happened to spot it in this month’s FLARE though the other day…a sign perhaps? S and I both think so!
Outside of The White Space, we also checked out the rest of the 3rd Floor. I was delighted to see RACHEL Rachel Roy and Halston Heritage, though disappointingly none of the current offerings seemed to suit my tastes.
The fashion was enough to keep us occupied, but there was also booze, candy, and models dancing on platforms to top it all off…what more could we ask for?
By the end of the night, my feet were killing me…but it was so worth it. (*Cue obligatory toe cleavage shot*)
The February 2010 issue of FASHION Magazine
arrived in my mailbox today (or maybe earlier…I haven’t been very diligent about checking the mail) and I was delighted with the editorials. The first is of Jessica Stam in a number of come-hither boudoir looks, including the most amazing pair of Louboutins I’ve ever seen. I’m scanner-less, so hopefully another Stam fan will scan the editorial so I can share with you all. The second editorial I was able to locate scans of and I’m so glad, because I was so excited about it! I’m loving how Hbc’s gear for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics is styled on Liisa Winkler. Who knew a sweatshirt could be so sexy? I have a hoodie and gloves from the collection already, but am thinking I need more, more, more. I’m dying for that scarf! Though I’d wear it just a tad differently.
Get your own Team Canada gear at The Bay and Zellers stores across Canada as well as online