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!
Enchanted Designs, Booth W-24
Every year for the past few years, I’ve kicked off my Christmas shopping adventures the same way: at The One of a Kind Christmas Show & Sale. Well, as of Nov 24, the show is officially back in town, Toronto, and here until Dec 4 to help make sure that you and I get our holiday shopping done on time (and maybe even early!) for once. I vow not to be running around town looking for last-minute stocking stuffers again this year on Christmas Eve, so I was excited to stop by the Show on opening day for the media breakfast and visits to some of my favourite booths.
Speaking of favourite booths, these 5 are mine.
Biko Jewellery (Booth N-08) – It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of all that Corrine Anestopoulos does. Biko’s booth has traditionally been the most dangerous for me at the OOAK Shows; I’ve never come away from one without having been parted with a good chunk of change. I’ve been wearing my last purchase, the Adoria necklace, non-stop, and I’m just about ready for my next Biko piece. I have a feeling the Astra necklace will be in my possession before the Show ends.
C comme ça (Booth V-47) – Cindy Cantin’s wares never fail to impress. Her booth is always full of briefcases, backpacks and other accessories made of recycled leather and felt, her material of choice. Her eye-catching designs are a great alternative to the usual array of office-ready bags on the market. I currently have my eye on the Macbook wool felt sleeve for my newly-acquired laptop, and a matching briefcase for the Mister. Fashionable and functional.
Dear Betty Designs (Booth X-03) – I thoroughly enjoy the cheeky t-shirts and door hangers at this booth. A few OOAK Shows ago I picked up a “G for Grumpy” t-shirt for the Mister on one of his grumpiest days; it instantly put a smile on his face. So far this week I’ve already bought a “D for Digger” t-shirt for Baby BSS (he’s obsessed with trucks), and am planning to go back for an “S for Swagger” t-shirt for myself. Because I’m hoping the t-shirt will give me some.
Enchanted Designs (Booth W-24) – That lovely recycled fur capelet Chantel is clutching in the above photo was discovered in this booth, which happened to be filled with much more of the same, namely fabulous, eco-friendly pieces. Based in Vancouver, owners Joanne and Bob Hodgson are in the business of refashioned vintage furs and leathers, and they’re clearly very good at what they do.
TOODLEBUNNY (Booth L-09) – I discovered Trudy Wynans’ jewelry line exactly one year ago at the last OOAK Christmas Show, and I’ve been a devotee ever since. Featuring both one-of-a-kind designs from her ECOuture collection and easier-on-the-wallet pieces from the Toodles collection, the TOODLEBUNNY booth is a tempting one to say the least. One stunning statement necklace in particular has already come home with me this week…it was named after me, after all.
I’ll definitely be making a return visit to the Show before it closes on Dec 4. See you there? Tickets are $12 each online here.
TOODLEBUNNY Designs, Booth L-09
C comme CA, Booth V-47
Biko Jewellery, Booth N-08
Dear Betty Designs, Booth X-03
Late last week, a rather unexpectedly epic – jaw-dropping, really – tweet showed up in my Twitter feed from Vancouver-based jewelry designer Trudy Wynans of TOODLEBUNNY. What she tweeted at me was this photo of a stunning statement necklace with the following description: ”‘Lady S’ inspired by the one and only
@backseatstylers“. Umm, come again? I was floored; surely she didn’t mean that this mysterious Lady S the necklace was named after was yours truly?
Indeed it was, as confirmed by Wynans after an exclamation mark-filled email from moi; I was rendered positively speechless. That minor detail out of the way (who am I kidding – this is the coolest thing ever!), I wanted to know more, more, more about my namesake, and the lovely Wynans graciously indulged me.
BSS: What was the inspiration behind this piece, and why did you decide to name it the ‘Lady S’?
TW: I was peeking at your blog and I must say you have some amazing style! I remembered (at last year’s One of a Kind Show) you were checking out the (fierce) chainmail fringe bib necklace and the (romantic) Love and Lockets necklace. That got me thinking about the pieces you were drawn to in my collection and then I thought, I wonder if I could do a feminine piece but with an edge? The best of both worlds! I love how the sweetness of the vintage brooch offsets the ‘rock n’ roll’ factor of the dark woven fringe. So as you were my original inspiration it made total sense to name it after the one and only ‘Lady S’.
BSS: What materials did you use to create this necklace?
TW: I’ve used goldtone chains from three vintage necklaces, heavy gunmetal steel chain, a removable vintage gold plated bow brooch, and finished the necklace with a piece of a 70’s tassel poncho that has been woven and hand stitched between the links of chain for the fringe effect. Most of the materials for my ECOuture collection have been sourced locally; antique stores, rummage sales, flea markets and the deadstock components are from a vintage warehouses in New York and Rhode Island.
BSS: Where can the ‘Lady S’ necklace be purchased?
TW: ‘Lady S’ is a one-of-a-kind piece from the ECOuture Collection and will retail for $275. It will be available for sale at Toronto’s One of a Kind Christmas Show & Sale, Nov 24 to Dec 4.
So there you have it – the skinny on the fabulous TOODLEBUNNY necklace named after me! With only one in existence, it’ll be a race to see who will get their hands on it first. In addition to the ‘Lady S’, Wynans will also be bringing with her an entire booth full of incredible must-have pieces to the upcoming OOAK Show. Check out the gallery below for highlights from TOODLEBUNNY’s can’t miss collection, and be sure to drop by booth L9 for your jewelry fix!
Lady S Necklace, $275
Modern Mala Bracelet, $65
Champagne Bride Necklace, $315
Comradery Bracelet, $105
Navajo Rosary, $158
Black swan coffee cup
Thank you, Trudy, for such an incredibly lovely surprise; I’m so honoured! Definitely a fashion blogging career highlight.
Image Credits: TOODLEBUNNY
Fellow blogger Spiro Mandylor took this snap of (a semi-reluctant) me at the ShopCatch launch party this week. My beloved one-of-a-kind cameo pin by TOODLEBUNNY + the vintage feel of the shot (courtesy of Instagram) made for a fun photo I wanted to share. Plus, it was my brooch’s first ever outing, so I wanted you all to see it. And to go check out TOODLEBUNNY‘s site! Because they’re an awesome Canadian jewelry line, and I love them.
P.S. Such a fun name too! TOODLEBUNNY, TOODLEBUNNY, TOODLEBUNNY.
Image Credit: Spiro Mandylor
Joseph military jacket / VAWK leather tank / Elise Overland leather pants / Balenciaga Work bag / ToodleBunny necklace / Chanel glasses / Make Up For Ever makeup
My Nikon D90 is a semi-permanent fixture hanging from my shoulder these days. Don’t be fooled though – my photo skills are self-taught and, therefore, rather non-existent. It annoys the heck out of the Mister that I hold down the button and take 3-5 frames, even when shooting inanimate, still objects. It frustrates me too that I have to edit hundreds of photos where only a fraction of them turn out to be post-worthy. I just haven’t had the time to take a photography course, so shoot me (pun attended).
But my Nikon sure helps me look the part of a professional photog…until you actually see my shots, that is.
Image Credit: Paul Baik
I recently attended a launch event for the Lexus CT 200h, the world’s first compact luxury hybrid. It was a lovely evening hosted by Ken Shaw Lexus here in Toronto that included a cocktail reception and a private mini-concert by Juno-award winning singer-songwriter Melanie Doane. My takeaways from that evening? Hybrids are where it’s at, fiddles are cool (thanks to Doane’s inspiring performance), and I apparently had the hottest shoes of the night, according to a stranger in the know.
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We at The Backseat Stylers wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas filled with great company, good food and fab outfits!
xx, S and T (she’s behind the camera!)
Last week, I professed my newfound love for TOODLEBUNNY Designs, a Vancouver-based jewelry line I’d just discovered at this year’s One of a Kind Christmas Show & Sale. On my first visit, I snagged a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind charm necklace, but I knew I wanted more. When I returned to the show for round #2 yesterday with my OOAK pals P and A in tow, I was on an official hunt for my second TOODLEBUNNY piece. Despite all the wonderful offerings in that booth, it didn’t take long for me to decide, because I’d already been eyeing this stunning cameo brooch the week before and had been daydreaming about it all week. Having left it behind once, I wasn’t about to make the same mistake again. I’m dying to give new life to a basic black blazer with this beautiful piece!
If you haven’t paid the OOAK show a visit yet this year, today is your last chance! Get your Christmas shopping done while supporting Canadian artisans – show info can be found here.
Yesterday I officially kicked off the holiday season with a visit to the One of a Kind Show! After having been to a few of these already over the last few years (see here for my last visit), I’ve become accustomed to seeing the same vendors over and over again, especially since they all seem to hit all the stops on the craft show circuit here in Toronto. While I’m always happy to see my favourite artisans again, the booths and their offerings can get rather repetitive, so when a new vendor shows up in town with a fresh product, I’m easily reeled in. Thus was the case with TOODLEBUNNY Designs.
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