Breakfast at Tiffany: A Peek Inside The Beautiful New Toronto Flagship

Remember that time we had breakfast at Tiffany? It’s been almost 2 years since that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and it’s remained one of our favourite blogging career moments. How often in life do you get to have breakfast at Tiffany, literally? Twice, apparently. Because we recently received a second such invitation, this time at the brand new Tiffany & Co. flagship in the swanky Yorkville neighbourhood in Toronto.

The luxury jewelry brand officially made the move to the north side of Bloor Street into its new digs earlier this month, and they are jaw-droppingly beautiful. Our amateur photographs and lack of interior design know-how won’t do the new store any justice, but suffice to say it’s a must-visit for Tiffany devotees.

Walking through the doors of the new flagship feels a lot like wandering onto a fabulous movie set. The new boutique is beautifully decorated with gold and Tiffany blue accents that give it an air of opulence, and brightly lit so you can see every drool-worthy ring, necklace and bracelet sparkle. We’re rather envious of the lucky ladies and gents who’ll get to shop for their engagement rings in the new dedicated space on the second floor.

So blown away were we by our surroundings that we forgot to shop – when does that ever happen? We’ll definitely be making a return visit soon to admire the latest offerings and bask in the glow of the lovely new store.

S with bloggers Anita Clarke and Rachelle Saevil

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Retail Therapy

Every Gorgeous Piece in Tiffany & Co.’s The Great Gatsby Collection

For those of us who have been waiting for what seems like forever for the arrival of The Great Gatsby in theatres, May 10 just can’t come soon enough. Carey Mulligan‘s Gatsby-themed editorial in Vogue and the slew of trailers have tided us over until now, but with just 2 weeks to go, we’re getting a bit antsy. Enter Tiffany & Co. with the best distraction of all: The Great Gatsby Collection, a stunning line-up of jewels created for the film with costume designer Catherine Martin.

Inspired by designs from the Tiffany Archives, “the jewelry symbolizes the story’s themes of wealth and privilege, and we approached its design with the utmost style and luxury in mind,” said Jon King, executive vice president of Tiffany & Co. The pièce de résistance? The Savoy, a breathtakingly beautiful headpiece of diamonds and freshwater cultured pearls donned by Carey Mulligan’s character, Daisy Buchanan. A close second is the to-die-for daisy-motif hand ornament, featuring diamonds, platinum and pearls – oh my!

Emerald-cut aquamarine earrings, black onyx bangles, sapphire and diamond rings – this is the stuff of dreams. Check out the complete, jaw-droppingly gorgeous collection in the gallery below. And in case you’re interested in owning a piece or two, prices are available upon request.

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The Backseat Stylers’ Year in Review – 2012 Edition!

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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A Peek Inside Our Private Soirée at Tiffany & Co.’s Toronto Flagship

The sight of just about anything wrapped in Tiffany blue is always exciting, so when an invitation to a private soirée for me and my best blogging buds arrived, you can be sure it elicited a chorus of squeals. Nelia of Style Blog, Kimberly of The Souls of My Shoes, T and me were summoned recently to the Tiffany & Co. flagship on Bloor Street in Toronto for the boutique’s first ever private viewing session.

Dressed in our finest LBDs – the perfect backdrops to diamonds, diamonds and more Tiffany diamonds – we arrived at the store for our big date with the lovely Andrea Hopson, Vice President, Canada at Tiffany & Co. The next few hours were a blur of jewelry, cake and champagne, all the ingredients for a lovely evening spent behind the heavily-secured doors of a closed Tiffany boutique that was open exclusively just for us. Our very own sparkling playground for the night!

We took full advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, adorning ourselves with stunning piece after stunning piece. Diamond this, 24-karat gold that…it was the stuff of dreams. We paraded around in Elsa Peretti Diamonds by the Yard, tried on Jean Schlumberger‘s insanely gorgeous bracelets, and pretty much died over a $22,000 gold Elsa Peretti bone cuff that none of us could bear to part with.

We even held an impromptu photo session in the leather goods section – Andrea included! – complete with oversized Tiffany sunglasses, chic Tiffany handbags and, of course, our usual duck faces. It was, undoubtedly, one of the most surreal experiences of my blogging career to date. Thank you, Tiffany & Co., for hosting us. It’s been a week now, and I’m still pinching myself!

T, Kimberly Lyn, Andrea Hopson, Nelia Belkova and me

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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


Swag For Days: TIFF 2012 Gifting Lounges

Limited edition Tiffany & Co. x Yorkdale Shopping Centre bracelet at Tastemakers Lounge

And there goes TIFF for another year. After 10 days of failed Ryan Gosling/Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Zac Efron stalking and minimal actual film watching, all I have to show for my efforts is bags and bags of swag. #Firstworldproblems, right? Here’s a recap of my tour of the TIFF gifting lounges this year and some of my favourite swag items, not because I’m bragging but because I’m still in awe myself. TIFF was like Christmas in September for celebrities, VIPs of various sorts, and lucky media types like yours truly.


My first TIFF gifting lounge stop was at Tastemakers Lounge by rock-it promotions. “Keep calm and swag on” was the motto. Easier said than done; it’s hard to play it cool when surrounded by so much sweet swag. There were swanky Tiffany & Co. bracelets from Yorkdale Shopping Centre, cute bra and panty sets from La Senza, as well as Indeed Labs‘ full product range, including peptalash (longer, thicker and fuller lashes? yes please!). The team from John Allan’s men’s spa came out in full force providing complimentary services, while Demeter was on hand with its fun range of scents, including ‘Blueberry Muffin’ and ‘Laundromat’.


Next up was the Essentials Lounge by Esther Garnick PR, where guests were treated to gluten-free food truck goodies by Gourmet Bitches, faux lashes by Winks Eyelash Boutique and even spray tanning sessions. We were also loaded up with 2 overflowing (and extremely heavy) swag bags, one titled “Survival” and the other “Recovery”. Inside were everything from a Flawless Complexion Makeup Kit by Benefit Cosmetics to The Socializer‘s Spotlight Exfoliator by Elizabeth Grant, all of which I can’t wait to try. A case of vitaminwater even showed up on my doorstep a few days later; as a Spark addict, I was overjoyed.


My next stop was the Swarovski Fashion Suite at the brand new Shangri-La Hotel, where celebrities and their stylists visit to add the type of sparkle only Swarovski crystal can bring to their TIFF red carpet looks. There on display was the Kingdom of Jewels catwalk collection, as well as the Bond 50th anniversary and Skyfall (the next James Bond film) collections. As always, I was blown away by the ornate catwalk pieces and very tempted by the latest offerings for fall.


NKPR‘s IT Lounge was the final stop on my TIFF gifting lounge tour this year. For the first time, the lounge featured a portrait studio where guests had their photos taken by the likes of world-renowned fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier. After a much-needed makeup touch-up by MAC Cosmetics, I had the pleasure of being snapped by photographer Norman Wong, and was rather pleased with the results. I also scored some jewelry by lia sophia and beauty tools by Tweezerman, got a nail polish change and eyebrow clean-up, and even fueled up at the Yogurty’s frozen yogurt station.

Blogger Anita Clarke getting touched up by MAC Cosmetics before her close-up with Norman Wong

C’est tout! Thanks to these incredible gifting lounges, I have just about enough beauty and hair samples to last me until TIFF 2013. And then we’ll do it all over again…

xx, S

Image Credits: Images #1, 3 and 4 courtesy of rock-it promo; all others by The Backseat Stylers

Retail Therapy

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide 2012: 10 Red Hot Accessories to Set Her Heart on Fire

With only 5 days remaining until Valentine’s Day and men all around the world scrambling to find the perfect gift for the loves of their lives or those in the making, we’ve decided to generously offer a helping hand. We’ve put together a gift guide filled with our 10 favourite shoes, bags and jewelry, all in the loveliest shades of red. Men – pay attention. Ladies – this post can very conveniently be sent, via email, to the men in your life, as a not-so-subtle hint. You’re welcome, all.

From left to right, top to bottom:

1. Valentino rubber bow flip flops ($243) – Slip in a pair of plane tickets to a hot, exotic locale for an extended Valentine’s Day celebration.

2. Ela Handbags MILCK clutch in red ($280) – This gorgeous clutch will charm the pants off the lucky recipient…figuratively speaking.

3. Tiffany & Co. ‘Kisses’ book ($55) – To write down all your sweetest nothings for her.

4. Michael Kors small rose gold-plated chronograph watch ($250) – For the trendy gal you’re trying to woo…or keep.

5. Swarovski ‘Intervalle’ red bangle ($180) – Crystals can be a girl’s best friend too, especially crimson Swarovski ones.

6. Thomas Sabo sterling silver heart pendant ($69) – A pretty pendant that will remind her that she’s the love of your life, all 365 days of the year.

7. Sonia by Sonia Rykiel silk-crepe collar ($70) – Not a conventional gift by any means, but for the whimsical gal in your life, it might just do the trick.

8. Tiffany reversible suede and metallic leather tote ($655) – 2 gorgeous bags in 1, for the chic and practical lady in your life.

9. Proenza Schouler PS11 classic iguana in lipstick ($6,825) – Money can’t buy you love, but it can buy you this incredible PS11 bag, which is sure to knock her socks off.

10. Charlotte Olympia Masako silk-satin pumps ($875) – Her very first pair of Charlotte Olympias? She’ll love you forever…or at least until next Valentine’s Day.

xx, T & S

Image Credits: As linked


The Backseat Stylers’ Year in Review – 2011 Edition!

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!

xx, S


Breakfast at Tiffany with Lambertson and Truex

Me with Richard Lambertson and John Truex

There have been moments recently where I’ve felt the need to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming (see, for example, this and this), and such was definitely the case when an invitation arrived for a Breakfast at Tiffany. Say what? Quite literally, I was being summoned to the Tiffany & Co. Toronto flagship for lobster scrambled eggs and OJ with the designers of the Tiffany Leather Collection, Richard Lambertson and John Truex. Rather surreal, wouldn’t you say?

So one morning earlier this week, I arrived at the doorstep of Tiffany’s Yorkville boutique bright and early for my big Audrey Hepburn-inspired moment. And it didn’t disappoint. I, along with the usual media crowd, was greeted by the charming duo of Lambertson and Truex, and a carefully curated selection from Tiffany’s Fall 2011 leather accessories collection.

In addition to the expected, but no less lovely, selection of evening clutches, there was also plenty of options for those on the hunt for a new day bag. From suede totes and Italian leather satchels for the women, to sleek calf leather briefcases and smart-looking leather messenger bags for the men, Tiffany, a luxury chain that’s traditionally known for its jewelry, is making a serious play for a piece of the handbag market it seems.

For a recovering bagaholic like myself, the impressive range of both classic and trendy pieces for women – all lined in Tiffany blue leather, of course – is tempting to say the least. The standouts of the Fall collection were the Savoy, a black satin fold-over framed clutch, and the Easton messenger bag in navy Italian leather, both priced at US$995. Check out the full Fall 2011 Tiffany Leather Collection here. A Tiffany bag or two might just make it on your holiday wish list.

On me: Erdem blouse / VAWK skirt / Chanel bag / Valentino shoes

xx, S

Retail Therapy

Tiffany & Co. Customer Appreciation Day – Dec 22, 2009

Holt Renfrew is hosting a Tiffany & Co. Customer Appreciation Day on December 22, 2009. They’re offering 10% off in stock merchandise at Holt Renfrew Tiffany boutiques in Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. Tiffany jewelry at a discount is a rarity, so take advantage while you can!

xx, S

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