“Nice jacket”: two words that literally made my week, uttered by Viktor Horsting (or was it Rolf Snoeren? It was all such a giddy blur.) to me. The jacket in question? A mustard yellow blazer with contrast black piping designed by Viktor & Rolf themselves. The Amsterdam-based duo was in town earlier this week for a very well-attended meet-and-greet with Toronto’s fashion set at The Room at The Bay.
With HBC President Bonnie Brooks and VP / Buying Director of The Room Nicholas Mellamphy as hosts and DJ Mia Moretti spinning her magic, partygoers that included the inimitable Jeanne Beker, FASHION Magazine’s EIC Bernadette Morra and socialites Stacey Kimel and Suzanne Rogers spent the evening chatting with the charming Dutch guests-of-honour, sipping on champagne and admiring the V&R wares.
Dr. Lisa Airan and PR maven Suzanne Cohon stole the sartorial show with brightly-coloured frocks, the former in an orange Carven dress with cutouts and the latter in a fuchsia Roksanda Ilincic number (last seen on Ginnifer Goodwin!). The usually cool as a cucumber blogger Anita Clarke chose a peplum Roland Mouret to meet her fashion idols, while the effortlessly chic stylist Amy Patel paired her Margiela x H&M bodysuit with denim overalls for the occasion. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention blogger Jay Strut, who showed up in a heavily embellished Balmain jacket that made our jaws drop.
Check out the gallery below for some of our favourite looks from the night.
Image Credit: George Pimentel
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Yours truly with Roksanda Ilincic
Roksanda Ilincic made a one-day jaunt to Toronto last week for a fête in her honour at The Room at The Bay. The Serbian-born, London-based womenswear designer brought with her a charming disposition and highly covetable Fall 2013 collection that both won over the city’s fashion set.
Not that she didn’t already have big fans here. Socialite Stacey Kimel, blogger Nelia Belkova and Hudson’s Bay Company’s Fashion Director Suzanne Timmins were all decked out in Ilincic’s unmistakably chic and colourful wares at the invite-only cocktail party. The statuesque designer herself chose a whimsical printed pink gown for the occasion, a design from the Fall runway collection that just debuted in London last month.
Those of us without the pleasure of Ilincic pieces in our closets (yet!) still showed up in our Thursday best: Jenna Naumovich sported the to-die-for, limited edition Giuseppe Zanotti for Kanye West ‘Cruel Summer’ heels, while Jessica Chiu donned a printed Prabal Gurung frock that made our hearts go pitter-patter. Yours truly decided on a LRD by another London-based designer, Mary Katrantzou, while T wore a patterned velvet blazer by Club Monaco.
Merely a day after The Room’s latest shindig, while we were still basking in the glow of meeting the lovely Roksanda, came news of the next: a month from now, on April 16, featuring Viktor & Rolf. Mark your calendars!
Hudson’s Bay Company’s Suzanne Timmins with Stacey Kimel
CTV’s Angie Smith and The Room’s Jenna Naumovich
Kimberly Lyn, FLARE Magazine’s Ryan M. Cheung, Nelia Belkova, me and The Genteel’s Irene Kim
Jessica Chiu and The Room’s Steven Baughan
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What a year 2012 was! It started with a Toronto Fashion Week runway walk and ended with some Tiffany & Co. hardware. In between, we attended a lot of events, made some lovely new friends, celebrated our 3-year anniversary, wrote 373 blog posts, and more than doubled our reach. Not too shabby, by our measure.
Here’s a look back at our favourite moments from the past year. Thanks to all of you lovely readers, brands, PR folks and fellow blogger friends for showing us so much love. We’re excited for what 2013 will bring, and hope you’ll stick with us to find out!
S’s runway model moment for VAWKKIN at Toronto Fashion Week
The side of S’s head was on an episode of America’s Next Top Model. It was awesome.
A stylish road trip to The Somerset Collection in Troy, MI? Yes please!
T and model Irina Lazareanu, giving their best smizes.
Celebrating Three Years of Style with Style Blog, The Souls of My Shoes and our lovely readers…happy birthday to us! (Image Credit: You Just Got Spotted)
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After epic giveaways all December long, we’ve finally reached the grand finale as we count down the days until Santa’s arrival. For our third and final contest, we’ve teamed up with none other than Canada’s oldest retailer, The Bay! From shoes to silverware, The Bay is a go-to destination for everything fashionable for our closets, kitchen and every other room in our house, for that matter.
We’re incredibly excited then to wrap up our big holiday giveaway series with a $500 shopping spree at everyone’s favourite department store, The Bay! Being two of The Bay’s most devoted customers, it would take us about 30 seconds to spend $500. Here are some of the items we’re currently coveting over on thebay.com (clockwise from top left):
1. Tahari mesh sequin dress ($210) – A combination of paillettes and mesh, this Tahari frock isn’t your average LBD. It’s a standout piece for the holiday season, as well as cocktail parties year round.
2. Michael Kors black silicone-wrapped bracelet watch ($300) – Michael Kors’ watch business is booming for good reason; his timepieces have become must-haves among the fashion-conscious. Our pick is this versatile, oversized design in black silicone-wrapped stainless steel.
3. Maison Martin Margiela ostrich feather pen ($40) – For the signing of only the most important of documents, this luxe ostrich feather pen is perfect for Margiela devotees and fashion fans in general.
4. Topshop drape longline blazer ($120) – We’d choose a white tuxedo jacket over a party dress any day of the week, and this version from everyone’s favorite high street retailer is a stylish, pocketbook-friendly option.
5. YSL Beauty La Laque nail trio holiday set ($65) – We love all of those exclusive makeup sets that pop up during the holidays, and this nail lacquer trio from YSL featuring three of the brand’s most popular reds is a favourite this season.
6. Pink Tartan merino wool birdseye crew ($191.99, reg. $275) – We’re huge fans of most everything Kimberly Newport-Mimran designs, and this chic sweater is no exception. It’s perfect for layering over a collared shirt or on its own.
7. Swarovski ‘Alicia’ pierced earrings ($150) – We wouldn’t turn down anything by Swarovski, but these gorgeous crystal drop earrings especially would make lovely additions to any jewelry box.
8. Belle Noel bars and fan necklace ($250) – As far as statement necklaces go, this offering from Kim Kardashian’s line is fairly simple in design but high impact. It’ll take any old LBD to the next level.
9. HBC Collection antique cotton sweatshirt ($77, reg. $110) – We have a soft spot for anything with the classic HBC stripes, and this cozy cotton sweatshirt in particular. We have big plans to sip hot cocoa by the fireplace in it all winter.
With The Bay’s huge selection of apparel, shoes, accessories, housewares, cosmetics and more, we have a feeling it wouldn’t take you long to burn through that $500 either. Tell us what you’d buy on that shopping spree for a chance to win. Good luck everyone!
Congrats to the winner of a The Bay $500 shopping spree…Lindsay S! 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 thebay.com. Also, ‘like’ The Backseat Stylers and The Bay’s Facebook pages here and here.
2. For a bonus entry (you must complete step #1 first), follow @backseatstylers and @TheHudsonsBayCo on Twitter and tweet the following: “HOHOHO! @backseatstylers are giving away a @TheHudsonsBayCo $500 shopping spree, and I want it! http://bit.ly/T26udP #giveaway #BSSholiday”
3. The contest closes at midnight on December 23, 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. Travel not included.
Me with designer Rachel Roy
Last Thursday, September 27, Rachel Roy flew into town for a public appearance at The Bay‘s Toronto flagship to launch the fall collection for her diffusion line, RACHEL Rachel Roy. As a fan of the New York-based designer, it was an event I wasn’t about to miss, so I donned the newly-arrived Aimee dress, grabbed T, and set off for The Bay to meet Rachel.
“I feel like a hobo next to you,” I told her (rather inarticulately) when we met, and I meant it; Rachel is absolutely stunning in person. I would have felt intimidated if not for the fact that she’s also incredibly charming and warm. Our whole conversation was a blur of Rachel generously complimenting my personal style and suggesting that I share more of it on the blog, and me, well, just being rather starstruck.
I wasn’t the only one who came away from the event with a girl crush; every single person in attendance was gushing over how gorgeous and sweet Rachel Roy is. She also happens to be fantastic at what she does: design. Always a reliable source for on-trend and reasonably-priced apparel, shoes and accessories, the latest offerings from RACHEL Rachel Roy include several pieces I’d like to add to my fall rotation.
To meet the designer herself, I chose the bouclé sheath Aimee dress (as did Nelia Belkova!), but there were plenty of equally enticing options. The eggplant boat-neck Sybil dress, black sequin Lara jumpsuit (that Aliya-Jasmine Sovani sported that night) and beige fur-trimmed Lara dress were also in the running. I’ll certainly be making a return visit to The Bay for all of those…and then some!
MTV’s Aliya-Jasmine Sovani in RACHEL Rachel Roy
Bloggers Nelia Belkova, Kimberly Lyn, me and T
Rachel Roy with models in RACHEL Rachel Roy Fall 2012 collection
FASHION Magazine Online Editor / DJ Randi Bergman
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Me with Rodarte’s Laura and Kate Mulleavy
The Bay still knows how to throw a party. After several quiet months, Toronto’s social and fashion set returned to The Room at The Bay last night for a shindig in honour of Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy. With their Fall 2012 collection in tow, the sisters charmed the likes of socialites Suzanne Rogers and Stacey Kimel, editors Bernadette Morra and Mosha Lundström Halbert, as well as bloggers Anita Clarke and Kimberly Lyn.
Yours truly spent the evening photographing the city’s most sartorially endowed, sipping champagne with my fellow media types, and chatting about Kirsten Dunst’s unexpected Met Ball dress (Rodarte, of course) with the designers themselves. Clad in a Manish Arora dress (fit for a hippie wedding) and navy velvet Loeffler Randall shoes (something blue?), I sought to rectify the Rodarte-less situation happening in my closet. When I asked the design duo about any upcoming collaborations, though, the answer was a disappointing no: “Right now, we really need to focus on our next collection,” Kate said. I’ll take that as a ‘maybe’.
In the meantime, The Room at The Bay is the source for all things Rodarte. And with The Room’s spring sale just around the corner (a little birdie told me so) and my pocketbook at the ready, I may just get my hands on my very first piece of Rodarte yet.
Flare’s Ryan M. Cheung, Glam Canada’s Aya McMillan and Flare’s Fiona Green
Kate Mulleavy, The Room Creative Director Nicholas Mellamphy and The Bay Fashion Director Suzanne Timmins
I Want – I Got’s Anita Clarke and Front Row Mag’s Michelle Bilodeau and Rachelle Saevil
Me with The Souls of My Shoes’ Kimberly Lyn
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Spring has finally sprung! But is your closet ready? I’ve finally packed all my winter gear away (yes!!) and have been evaluating my warm weather wardrobe from last year. Some pieces are looking rather haggard and beyond saving, while others now seem like, well, questionable purchases in hindsight. The conclusion? I don’t need a whole new spring wardrobe (nor can I afford it!), but a few essential updates are in order, stat.
A seasonal closet refresh that won’t break the bank means only one thing: a trip to Sherway Gardens! The upscale fashion and lifestyle centre is one of the best shopping destinations in Toronto’s west end, thanks to its over 200 stores, including many of my favourite retailers. My spring wish list isn’t long, and I know exactly which budget-friendly boutiques at Sherway Gardens will have what I
1. Sweet Skirts - M for Mendocino
I’m ready to shed my black tights and show some leg – under some darling little skirts, that is, like the ones I’ve spotted at M for Mendocino at Sherway Gardens. Ever since I was introduced to Mendocino‘s trendy, more affordable sister, it’s been on my list of stores to visit for my fast fashion needs. My spring wardrobe wouldn’t be complete without the ladylike, blush-coloured skirt ($49) and whimsical turquoise polka dot skirt ($62).
2. Lightweight Knits – The Bay
With my thick winter knitwear packed away for the season, my sweater drawer is looking rather sad and empty. What it’s sorely lacking is a few lightweight knits like RACHEL Rachel Roy‘s Country Lace Pullover ($109) and Open Tie Back Pullover ($89), which have been on my wish list ever since I spotted them at the brand’s spring preview. Both styles are available at The Bay at Sherway Gardens, where generous sales may mean snagging these sweaters for up to 40% off.
3. Spring Jacket – Club Monaco
The arrival of spring calls for a new spring jacket! From light parkas to jean jackets, the possibilities are endless. The price tags on my two picks from Club Monaco, the Christy motorcycle jacket ($239) and Emma short trench ($279) aren’t cheap, but they are classic, investment pieces that can be worn for many seasons to come. Club Monaco’s Sherway Gardens location has many more styles where those came from, too.
4. Coloured Denim – Gap
Resistance is futile: coloured denim is where it’s at, so it’s time for me – and you! – to get on that bandwagon. Gap at Sherway Gardens offers jeans in different cuts and all the hues of the rainbow, starting at $69.95. I plan on taking the coloured denim leap in a pair of emerald green jeans this spring. I might even get my courage up for a pair of bright yellow skinnies by the time summer rolls around. What colour will you be rocking?
5. Wedge Sandals – ALDO
Surely there’s no better excuse for new shoes than a new season! This spring, I’m on the hunt for a new pair of wedges. ALDO Shoes at Sherway Gardens has plenty of open and closed toe styles to choose from and in a range of colours. A neutral-toned pair to wear with my new coloured jeans, like the Kanosh ($120) or Botwin ($90), is definitely a must. But which pair to choose? Perhaps there’s room in the budget for both after all.
So there’s my five-stop trip to Sherway Gardens all planned out, though I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll be making unscheduled visits to many of my other favourite retailers along the way. Holt Renfrew, Stuart Weitzman, Sephora…here I come!
Inspired to plan a shopping excursion too? Tell us what’s on your wish list for a chance to win a $100 Cadillac Fairview shop! card® gift card that will kick-start your very own spring shopping spree at Sherway Gardens! Contest rules are below – good luck! And be sure to check out Sherway Gardens’ brand new blog The Endless Closet and online store directory and follow the centre on Facebook and Twitter to help you plan your upcoming trip.
Contest Rules [CLOSED]:
1. To enter, leave us a comment on this blog post telling us what’s on your spring wish list and ‘like’ Sherway Gardens’ and The Backseat Stylers’ Facebook pages here and here.
2. For a bonus entry (you must complete step #1 first), follow both @sherway_gardens and @backseatstylers on Twitter, and tweet the following: “Step into spring with the @sherway_gardens x @backseatstylers $100 Cadillac Fairview gift card #giveaway! http://bit.ly/KbVTqZ #contest”
3. The contest closes at midnight on June 17, 2012. The winner will be selected randomly and announced on June 18, 2012. The winner will be notified by e-mail.
4. This giveaway is open to our readers located in the Greater Toronto Area only.
5. There are no prize substitutions. Prize does not include travel and cannot be redeemed for cash.
Thanks to everyone who entered the contest. Congratulations to Beth on winning a $100 Cadillac Fairview gift card for Sherway Gardens!
SPONSORED BY SHERWAY GARDENS
Image Credits: Sherway Gardens, M for Mendocino, RACHEL Rachel Roy, Club Monaco, Gap, ALDO Shoes
Earlier this week, The Globe and Mail reported that Hudson’s Bay Company is currently in talks with Macy’s Inc., owner of Bloomingdale’s, to bring the upscale department store north of the border. Canadian fans dying to fill their Little Brown Bags cheered at the news that a luxury U.S. chain might finally be making its way to Canada. Now that we’ve had a few days to ponder the possibilities, we really, really, really hope that these rumoured plans come to fruition. For 5 very good reasons:
1. More Brand Selection
Bloomingdale’s carries some brands not sold in Canada and others that are available only in limited quantities, and we’re hoping the chain introduces them to the Canadian market. There’s also a lot of overlap between the designer roster of Bloomingdale’s and those of Holt Renfrew, The Bay and smaller local chains, but one more retail outlet means that much more inventory for us to shop, shop, shop. Meaning: if you miss out on that Nanette Lepore dress at Holts, it may not be the end of the world after all.
2. The Outlet Store
Bloomingdale’s only introduced its outlet format, aptly named ‘The Outlet Store’, in Fall 2010. Since then, they’ve opened 8 locations across the U.S. If the main Bloomingdale’s department store were to come to Canada, why shouldn’t the outlet chain come along for the ride? And you know how I love a good designer outlet.
3. More Square Footage for Canadian Designers
One would hope that if Bloomingdale’s were to come to town that they’d bring with them more than just the American and international brands we’re accustomed to shopping at their U.S. locations. We’d love to see some of their sales floor square footage dedicated to Canadian designers as well. Bloomingdale’s currently carries Mackage and Canada Goose, among other Canadian lines, and a few more racks for local designers would be more than welcome. Selling to Bloomingdale’s would be a huge break for any up-and-coming designer.
4. The Big Brown Bag
Remember that very first time you walked out of Bloomingdale’s swinging a Little, Medium or Big Brown Bag, and the elation you felt? I want that shopping high to be readily available in the streets of Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal…across the country, really. It sounds ridiculous, but those paper bags give me a little extra spring in my step, and I think every shopaholic should experience that. Even if it’s just a new pair of Spanx inside.
5. Another Registry Option
Having shopped for a bazillion wedding and baby showers by now and even set up my own registries, I’ve come to one sad conclusion: this country is sorely lacking in registry options. Bloomingdale’s sells a full range of dining, kitchen, bed & bath and home decor items, and would be a welcome addition to the Canadian registry market.
6. Magnolia Bakery!
Let’s be real: this is reason #1 in my mind. Bloomingdale’s houses Magnolia Bakery shops in their Manhattan and Dubai flagships, so definitely/possibly/maybe/hopefully they would do the same in at least one Canadian location (Toronto please!). Cue gratuitous shot of the cupcake shop in the Bloomingdale’s in Dubai to get your mouth watering:
So there you have it – 6 perfectly and equally legitimate reasons as to why HBC and Macy’s Inc. just have to bring Bloomingdale’s to Canada. Are you as excited as I am about the possibility of Bloomie’s coming to a Canadian city near you?
Image Credits: Ronald Saari, Dallas Morning News, Diana Susselman, Dubai Chronicle
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!
Last night, Creative Director Nicola Formichetti and his creative team, including women’s designer Sébastien Peigné, previewed Parisian design house MUGLER‘s Spring 2012 collection at The Room at the Bay in Toronto. With the likes of FLARE editor-in-chief Lisa Tant, supermodel Yasmin Warsame and socialite Suzanne Rogers (in Givenchy!) in attendance, it was an evening of bold-faced fashion names and fierce clothing and shoes, both on the guests and the MUGLER-donning models and mannequins.
Though his frequent collaborator Lady Gaga sadly didn’t make an appearance, Formichetti himself was enough of a rock star on this night. Dubbed the “sexiest guy on the planet” by the Bay’s own President & CEO Bonnie Brooks, the man best known as Gaga’s fashion director charmed the invite-only crowd of editors, clients and fashion fans. Check out the gallery below for party photos.
FASHION Magazine’s Susie Sheffman and supermodel Yasmin Warsame
Models in MUGLER
Blogger Anita Clarke and socialite Suzanne Rogers
Flare Magazine’s Liz Cabral
Nicola Formichetti and writer Septembre Anderson