Retail Therapy

Shop Like A Style Blogger: Rock The Ruffle With These 15 Ladylike Pieces

Several years ago, S went through a ruffle phase in which she amassed an impressive collection of ruffled blouses, dresses, skirts, sweaters, coats – there wasn’t a ruffled item she met that she didn’t like…and buy. She’s since moved on (it was for the better), but when we spied Krystin of Suburban Faux Pas in a gorgeous, pale pink ruffled frock in last week’s Canadian Street Style Lookbook, a bit of that obsession with all things frilly came rushing back.

Time to get our ruffle on again? We think so, but this time with a tad more…restraint. From Joe Fresh blouses to Nicholas Kirkwood pumps to Givenchy jackets, we’ve rounded up 15 of the loveliest ruffled pieces to shop right now. Check out the gallery below for all our picks. Will you be rocking the ruffle this season?

Street Style

Stylin’ from the Backseat: Velvet and Neon

When I heard that shoe designers Nicholas Kirkwood and Sophia Webster were coming to town, I knew exactly which pair of shoes I’d be sporting to the shindig in their honour at Hudson’s Bay: neon yellow graphic-print platform pumps from Kirkwood’s Spring 2013 collection. Their fellow compatriot Charlotte Dellal of Charlotte Olympia has often confessed to dressing from the feet up, and I certainly did too on this occasion.

I’d say the shoes were the hero of the ensemble, but I’m currently obsessed with velvet blazers. This one from L’Agence was super soft and fit like a dream. I’d live in it this fall if I could get away with donning a velvet tuxedo jacket all day, every day. But then again, why can’t I? I’ll happily be that lady in the checkout line at a Walmart in suburbia wearing a velvet tuxedo jacket for no good reason, thank you very much.

L’Agence velvet blazer / Joe Fresh blouse / Joe Fresh jeans / Nicholas Kirkwood shoes / Chanel brooch / Saint Laurent clutch / LeiVanKash ring


The Room at Hudson’s Bay Fêtes Shoe Designers Nicholas Kirkwood and Sophia Webster

Yours truly with Nicholas Kirkwood

Canada’s swankiest shoe salon continues to host some of the biggest names in footwear. A mere two weeks ago it was Sam Edelman who stopped by Hudson’s Bay‘s Toronto flagship for a visit. This week? London-based designer and Backseat Stylers favourite Nicholas Kirkwood and his protégé and rising star Sophia Webster.

The city’s fashion set descended on The Room‘s shoe department – the setting for the invite-only affair and home to luxury brands like Christian Louboutin, Charlotte Olympia and Alaïa – for the chance to chat shoes and share a glass of bubbly with our guests-of-honour from across the pond. Both brought with them their latest, to-die-for offerings, which had us in serious danger of whipping out our credit cards at any given moment.

All that distracted us from spending the next year’s worth of footwear budgets that very night was the chic attendees in their Tuesday best. We’re still swooning over Suzanne Rogers‘ artful Thom Browne dress, Jenna Bitove Naumovich‘s fierce red tartan tailcoat, and Sophia Webster’s vibrant Kenzo get-up. Check out the gallery below for 33 snaps of partygoer style and – what else? – shoes, shoes and more shoes.

Bonnie Brooks and Sophia Webster

Vonna Bitove and Jenna Bitove Naumovich

Kimberly Lyn, Samantha Beckerman, yours truly, and Caillianne Beckerman

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Retail Therapy

Shop Like A Style Blogger: 20 Pairs of Must-Have High-Heeled Ankle Booties

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.

Red Carpet

Admiring from the Backseat: Taraji P. Henson in Mary Katrantzou

There’s something about Mary that I just can’t get enough of. London-based designer Mary Katrantzou‘s colourful printed dress designs have become an obsession of late, and I’ve been coveting her Spring 2013 collection ever since it started hitting stores. My latest wish list item? The Starsailor print jersey dress, which I’ve been cyber-vising for weeks now.

That would explain my exclamation of “She’s wearing my dress!!” to T last night, when I spotted a photo of Taraji P. Henson at the New York screening of Mud. The Benjamin Button actress paired the whimsical frock with a pair of quirky printed yellow pumps by Nicholas Kirkwood, also a favourite of mine. In short, Ms. Henson wore the spring ensemble of my dreams.

Want the whole outfit from head to toe? The dress retails for $1,045 and the shoes for $695, both at Net-a-porter.

xx, S

Image via Just Jared

Street Style

Stylin’ from the Backseat: Mellow Yellow

My closet has been undergoing a colour evolution over the past year, and this Viktor & Rolf sale find from The Room at The Bay was the most surprising addition to date. Me in mustard yellow? Never would I have imagined! It’s never had a place in my wardrobe until this very blazer, and now I’m wondering where it’s been all my life. In fact, I’m so enamoured by the jacket that I wore it for a recent shoot for eBay.

I’m currently featured in the eBay Style Stories series. In the interview, I’m asked to divulge my favourite eBay find ever (too many to name, really!), what’s next on my must-buy list (hint: a piece from a Toronto-based jewelry designer), and my eBay saved search terms (top secret info!). Find out all of that and more about yours truly in the story here.

xx, S

Viktor & Rolf blazer / Zara blouse / Joe Fresh jeans / Nicholas Kirkwood shoes / YSL ring / MAKE UP FOR EVER makeup

Image courtesy of eBay

Retail Therapy

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: 18 Covet-Worthy Gift Ideas for the Fashion Set

As I ran around a largely deserted mall on December 24th last year, I vowed to myself – for at least the fifth year in a row – that I would never leave the task of gift buying to the very last minute ever again. Next year, I promised myself, I’ll be one of those extremely prepared folks who get to brag about having finished their holiday shopping weeks – months even – in advance.

Well, it seems the moment of truth has come, and while I have exactly zero presents purchased to date, I do have a stellar gift guide prepared with a whopping 18 incredible items for only the most fashionable females on your list. Now, all you and I have to do is print out this blog post, get to the nearest computer or mall, and get shopping like the proactive, stylish elves we are. Good luck!

1. Nicholas Kirkwood Floral-Embroidered Sandals ($1,695), Holt Renfrew

Kirkwood’s metallic floral-embroidered mesh sandals are nothing short of perfection. Sealed with a bow, this exquisite shoe is perfect for soirées this holiday season and year round.

2. Banana Republic ‘Breanna’ Bow Flat ($120),

We all need a break from heels now and then. Banana Republic’s bow-embellished, pointy-toe flats are so chic that even the most devoted of stiletto fans won’t be able to resist them.

3. Christian Louboutin ‘Decollette’ 554 Pumps (US$625),

A surefire way to a shoe addict’s heart? Christian Louboutin, obviously. Whether it’ll be her very first pair or her 50th, these black patent leather stiletto pumps with those signature contrast red soles will become footwear rotation regulars.

4. Jason Wu Lace-Trimmed Cape ($3,305), The Room at The Bay

As far as outerwear is concerned, it doesn’t get much more luxurious than Look 21 from Jason Wu’s Fall 2012 ready-to-wear runway show. With its lace overlay and of-the-moment oxblood shade, it’s the perfect cape for the superwoman in your life.

5. LINE Knitwear ‘Uptown’ Knit & Leather Jacket ($550), Holt Renfrew

Wrap the edgy LINE Knitwear ‘Uptown’ in a box and put some fierceness under the Christmas tree. This black leather jacket with knitted panels will keep its new owner toasty warm and looking über-chic.

6. 3.1 Phillip Lim ‘Pashli’ Satchel (US$895),

Every woman needs a chic everyday carry-all, and Phillip Lim has created a fabulous option in his ‘Pashli’ satchel. Marrying fashion and function, the street style favourite is available in a range of sumptuous colours to complement any wardrobe

7. Tiffany & Co. Coin Purse ($85),

The mere sight of that unmistakable shade of Tiffany blue will put a smile on any girl’s face. Slip a Tiffany & Co. bauble into this lovely patent leather coin purse for an extra special gift.

8. ela Editor Pouch ($188),

Whether she’s a fashion editor or merely one in her daydreams for now, she can look the part with ela’s edgy Editor Pouch. The studded clutch is available in several colours, but silver mirror is our favourite by far.

9. MAKE UP FOR EVER Backstage Collector Bag ($359),

Featuring 28 of MAKE UP FOR EVER’s most popular products, this exclusive is both the perfect face paint introduction for a neophyte and a makeup lover’s dream come true.

10. Karl Lagerfeld for Shu Uemura Eye & Cheek Palette ($85), Holt Renfrew

Lagerfeld fans will love his latest collaboration with Shu Uemura, which includes lipsticks, fun faux eyelashes, a mini brush set and more. Our pick is the eye & cheek palette in smoky velvet or prestigious bordeaux, featuring the Kaiser’s whimsical muse for the collection, Mon Shu Girl, on the compact.

11. Nixon ‘Kensington’ Leather Watch ($150),

Timepieces are always great holiday gift ideas — what better way to count down the clock on New Year’s Eve? — and this classic leather watch by Nixon is no exception. The no frills design makes it a handsome, versatile option that will go with any outfit.

12. FALLON for eBay Stud Charm Bracelet (USD$88),

FALLON designer Dana Lorenz churns out to-die-for statement jewelry like nobody’s business. Her holiday capsule collection for eBay is the perfect opportunity to add some edge to any arm party.

13. Lauren Elan ‘Abagail’ Choker Necklace ($195),

Toronto accessories designer Lauren Elan mixes Swarovski pearls, chains, crystals and rhinestones to create a stunning statement necklace that serves up a whole lot of bling for your buck.

14. Tibi Penguin-Intarsia Sweater (US$375),

Who says a holiday knit has to be tacky? Tibi’s exclusive penguin sweater for Net-a-porter is anything but. Whether she wears it casually or edges it up, this is one adorable piece the lucky recipient will be wearing non-stop this winter.

15. MOON Apparel Lace Dress ($89),

The MOON Apparel crochet lace dress is a go-to for me, and this season the Canadian brand has recreated the popular piece in eye-catching turquoise. It’s a very ladylike and versatile design that is sure to become a closet favourite.

16. Smythe Herringbone Equestrian Jacket ($595),

No one designs jackets quite like Smythe’s Andrea Lenczner and Christie Smythe (just ask Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge!). Their classic equestrian blazer is a wardrobe essential that will be worn for years to come.

17. “The Little Black Jacket: Chanel’s Classic Revisited” by Karl Lagerfeld & Carine Roitfeld ($102.50),

This beautiful coffee table book is a fantastic present for any fashion lover. Pair it with a classic black tweed jacket by the design house and that Chanel devotee on your list will be over the moon.

18. Neiman Marcus x Target x CFDA Holiday Collection Ornaments by Jason Wu (US$49.99 for 3),

For the gal pal with the most stylish of Christmas trees, these limited edition ball ornaments and their lace-print trim are both festive and fashionable. Available starting December 1.

xx, S

Runways and Showrooms

A Closer Look at Nicholas Kirkwood’s Designs for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2012-2013

As if the 60+ shots we posted yesterday of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2012-2013 edition weren’t titillating enough, here’s a little something for those of you who are more interested in footwear than in heavily-embellished bras and panties: Nicholas Kirkwood custom-designed each pair of shoes in the runway show. The London-based shoe designer’s signature platforms and sculpted heels adorned the feet of the likes of VS Angels Alessandra Ambrosia, Miranda Kerr and Adriana Lima when the show taped earlier this week.

Take a peek at the gallery below for a closer look at Kirkwood’s designs. Dying for a pair? All you needed was a pair of Angel wings to get your hands on one.

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Retail Therapy

Nicholas Kirkwood for Erdem Spring 2012

I want in on this floral trend. Since I’m unlikely to succumb to printed denim though, I’m turning to closet favourites Nicholas Kirkwood and Erdem for some floral in my life. The designers’ Spring 2012 runway shoe collaboration more than does the trick. Coming in a variety of florals and a range of heel heights, I’ll be wearing these lovely ankle strap pumps long after the trend is deemed over by the powers-that-be.

Available at The Room at the Bay and Holt Renfrew in Canada, and at Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom in the US and online.

xx, S

Images via tooklookbook

Retail Therapy

Coveting from the Backseat: Nicholas Kirkwood Spring 2012 Tropical Flora Print Pump

Nicholas Kirkwood is already occupying much of my Fall wish list (thanks to this shoe and that shoe), and now he’s already begun his assault on my Spring accessories budget too. This vibrant printed pump from the London-based footwear designer’s Spring 2012 collection has stolen my heart. Inspired by his recent Bali vacation, the shoe features a stunning tropical flora print in a joyful colour palette of orange, lime green and sky blue.

“Bali was my first holiday since starting the business seven years ago,” Kirkwood said. “And I came back wanting to do something more colorful and a little softer than before.” If all he needs is a bit of downtime in order to design such stunning shoes, then I’m happy to contribute to his vacation fund with a purchase here or there. Me, a shoe addict? Oh no, I’m just doing my part to keep the creative juices flowing in the industry. Yup.

xx, S

Image Credit: Mimi Ritzen Crawford (via

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