Toronto fashion week: Jean-Pierre Braganza Spring 2013

October 30, 2012 - 10:34 pm

Not only do we love Jean-Pierre Braganza’s name (“Brrrraganzaaaaa!”) we love the looks we saw during The Shows, a pre-Toronto Fashion Week runway presentation held at Andrew Richards Design’s venue space in Toronto. His pop-art inspired Spring 2013 collection featured strong-shouldered blazers with hits of teal, black, and cream with bold graphic prints.

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photos: Glynnis Mapp / FashionTK


Toronto fashion week: Tanya Taylor Spring 2013

- 9:18 pm

After spending two years as a designer for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s Elizabeth and James brand, Canadian-born Tanya Taylor brings us easy, breezy 1960s-inspired A-line maxi dresses, and circle skirts with headscarves—the kind Rosie the Riveter would wear to Sunday brunch with the girls. She opened has the first of two during The Shows, a pre-Toronto Fashion Week runway presentation held at Andrew Richard Design’s venue space in Toronto.

See more runway looks on

Ann Taylor opens downtown location

October 10, 2012 - 3:57 am

Animal prints, skinny belts in bright colours, tops, separates that are perfect for work and play. Ann Taylor has finally opened in downtown Toronto and its fall cache is a thrilling sartorial mix of office and apres-five.

See below for some of my favorites (many of them spotty, you’ll notice!)

Photos: Glynnis Mapp, FashionTK

5 Great Dresses to Wear to a Fall Wedding

September 30, 2012 - 7:24 pm

Are you going to a wedding this fall but not quite ready to let go of summer? If you are, you must be going through exactly what I went through attending a wedding a couple of weeks ago. My friend, a fashion boutique owner and style maven, tied the knot with her equally stylish New York ad-guy fiancé at the gorgeous Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. I knew that this wedding wasn’t going to be the typical wedding hall-, cucumber sandwich-affair, not for this cooler-than-cool couple. Guests were coming dressed to impress with not-so-traditional pieces—their favourite ones, too.

Before you begin your hunt for a dress for someone else’s nuptials—including shopping online, buying brand new in-store, or wearing a dress from a previous wedding—here are a few great picks you should jot down before you hit the shops.

Read my full article on

5 Great Dresses For a Fall Wedding

Clockwise from top left:


Monki Copenhagen

May 26, 2012 - 11:48 am

Walking in to Monki is like walking into a fashion fantasy: quirky coinpurses in the shape of watermelons, banana bag necklaces, furry little stuffed animal critters—all things that make you want to scream, “Kawaii!”  Monki makes fashion fun again: it’s a concept store, a fashion brand, a magazine and so much more. Monki stores are proverbial walk-in closets “filled with treasures.”

Each location has separate themes like “Forgotten Forest,” the bio-hazardous “City of Oil and Steel” or the magical “Sea of Scallops.” Get ready for a trippy, trendy experience.  While you can find unique, no-one-else-will-have-this pieces to take home, the kooky-cool shop also has basics that your closet will thank you for: dark and light denim, sheer blouses, skirts and things sure to take you through the spring and summer, no problem.  Take a peek at these images of the Monki store in Copenhagen, carousel-themed and dreamy.

I skip through other fashion, food and hotel greats in Copenhagen in my latest post on Read my monthly column, “Eat, Shop Stay: Copenhagen. Read it here!

*photos: (c) courtesy of Monki

On the Avenue

August 11, 2010 - 7:07 pm

Last week, in between working the trade shows, I cruised along 5th Avenue to see what luxury retailers were displaying in their windows. Saks Fifth Avenue is undergoing a major face life at the moment, yet the scaffolding and construction around its perimeter is only making eager shoppers even more keen on getting inside. Framed within the metal and plywood are these beautiful store displays–an effective juxtaposition, I think.

While its neighbors Versace and Michael Kors have set their stages sans drill bit and traffic cone, Saks has done what it does best, despite being under construction, and shows off gorgeous collections from the late Alexander McQueen and beautiful pieces by Derek Lam.

*photos: Glynnis Mapp

Shop Talk: Anthropologie

January 19, 2010 - 3:23 am

While Anthropologie does have that trademark big box Urban Outfitters ambiance, it still manages to feel like home.

With cozy sweater dresses in a variety of knits, cool and kitschy (but not too kitschy) bric-a-brac, giftable housewares and selection of French pop/rock playing on loop, it’s also nice that you can actually count their stores on one spendthrift hand here in Toronto.

Still, the retailer has expanded exponentially–especially in Canada: it’s West Edmonton Mall outfit is incredible and its Yorkville location in Toronto is always abuzz. Now, with a new Uptown spot at Don Mills in Toronto and a brand new Regent Street boutique in the UK, Anthropologie is growing right before our eyes. (Awwwww!)

I can’t wait to see how this brand evolves–surpasses even–its sister shop, UO. Maybe? We’ll see!

*photo: Anthropologie


Velvet Underground

December 4, 2009 - 1:09 am

Velvet may have been on fashion’s runway radar during Fall 2009 fashion week shows, now (finally) Ralph Lauren’s oh-so-seasonal fabric pick can be rightfully donned to your next Holiday mixer in real time!

Lauren himself hasn’t been shy about his crush on the textile: the designer has shown velvet almost consecutively in his previous collections,  namely Fall 2006 and 2008, thankyouverymuch.  We should listen to Ralph Lauren, fashion’s All-American granddaddy. Maybe he’s trying to tell us something?

I love rummaging through vintage shops, Value Village and my mother’s closet castoffs for velvety skirts, vests and trousers (!) And finding items made with silk wefts (the highest premium) is even more of a cause for celebration. Worried about maintenance? Make fast friends with your local dry cleaner and you should be able to wear it for seasons to come. Plus, it’s perfect for Holiday socializing: the soft, touchable textile is more than an ice-breaker (well, more like a fire-starter).

Hurry up and throw on a velvet little number and get a little closer to your Yuletide sweetheart–mistletoe or no mistletoe.

photos: Ralph Lauren


I SHOP, THEREFORE I AM: Jonathan+Olivia Super Sale

November 10, 2009 - 9:29 pm


Remember that porcelain coin keeper you pulled out and started filling at the beginning of the recession? The one you said a hammer would never touch?

Sorry piggy bank: you’re toast.

Style sleuths in Toronto are backsliding on their savings and gathering up their pennies for the sale of all sales! Jonathan+Olivia is an au courant boutique set to arm you with best-present-ever selections this weekend: with to-DIE-for labels like Acne Jeans, April 77, Alexander Wang (all the good A’s really), Opening Ceremony, Vanessa Bruno and a zillion others; you’d have to have a heart of gold if you manage to add these to a gift list for someone else. Owner, Jackie O’Brien tells me she has been prepping selections and final touches all week–so be prepared for some sartorial gems.

You can catch myself and FashionTKTK readers there at 49 Ossington Avenue this November 13-15 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. chugging complimentary Vitamin Water and filling our arms with gorgeous goods. Credit, debit and good old cash are welcome for all purchases. Line ups are inevitable, so come early. Check out FashionTKTK this week for details.


October 19, 2009 - 12:39 am

Ah, Paris! The city where global fashion weeks come to rest, season after season. Spring 2010 sprang with bright colours, wacky themes and an overall rebirth that shook the fashion community free of its studded and leathered dark aura. Well, except for those fantastic Isabel Marant studded ankle boots (glorious!)

Here are four favourites from Paris SS/2010:

Say, Quoi!?

Fashion’s design dandy Marc Jacobs interrupted Louis Vuitton from its usual monogrammed mantra and offered a confetti assortment of cuts, colours and creative confusion for Spring 2010.

Sportswear mixed with couture lines and a dash of eclectic ethnic influence (or how else can you describe the fur-topped sandals, reminiscent of Sasquatch? MJ, please forgive me). Add models stomping down the runway in multicoloured afro wigs, looking too similar to Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Lovers perfume dolls and voila: consider us perplexed!

But just because one (me) doesn’t quite understand the artist (Marc Jacobs) and his inspiration of the moment, doesn’t alter the absolute genious of the collection. Whether he’s creating haute or prêt-à-porter collections, Jacobs is truly a couturier when it comes to fabrics and construction (not to mention, he makes me want to wear a fanny-pack like no one else). Jacobs explained the mish-mash of textiles and sartorial genres to Sarah Mower of as being “about travelers—the movement that came after punk. Then we were thinking about hiking, trekking, and then denim and parkas—city utilitarianism.” 

Yeah … uh, what he said.

Channeling Cowboy 

Who can turn hay into gotta-have-it chic? Leave it to fashion’s haute cowboy Karl Lagerfeld to flip the happy switch on to fashion’s of late demure visage and put smiles on the industry’s sardonic faces (Love you Anna!)

Texas seemed to have descended on the Grand Palais offering ho-down worthy separates in light linen whites and studded leather mules sure to get any girl’s dance card filled, ya darn-tootin.’

While last season’s Chanel shows (both couture and prêt-à-porter) offered an overall luxurious yet still austere outlook on the fashion industry (remember the paper headdresses?) this time around Chanel models kicked off their heels (literally), crooned to the pluck of a banjo and shimmied to the shake of a tambourine avec Lily Allen and then rolled around in the hay with none other than Karl’s male muse Baptiste Giabiconi (yee-haw!)

This season, Lagerfeld helped us remember that fashion can be fun, again.

(insert Kernel Sanders jokes here! HA!)

Back to the Future 

If you could travel to the future, what would fashion look like? Alexander McQueen‘s Spring 2010 ready-to-wear show answered with otherworldly shapes, armor silhouetted mini dresses with crystals and jewels mimicking fish scales: an underwater underworld. McQueen envisioned a humanity afflicted by its own environment with the entire civilization sinking underwater (thank-you melting ice caps).

The inspiration behind the collection was reminiscent of the lost city of Atlantis, models did an uneasy colt trot down the runway in fantastic alien-shaped stilettos (many of them looking like they were taking the model as human host, morphing), dresses designed with digital patterns and space-age coiffed hairstyles that would make any future babe a bit green. The palette was also a sight to behold: earth tones, golds, reptile inspired verts, and mirrored ocean blues kept the collection superbly afloat. Alexander McQueen (need we be surprised?) again managed to brilliantly combine wild imagination, tailoring and technology for a future perfect runway display.

Les Parisiennes 

Sonia Rykiel’s SS/2010 collection was a sartorial skip along the Seine, a stroll down the Champs-Élysées and a waltz down Rue Mouffetard: Paris, Paris, Paris! Je t’aime.

Bright yellows, ceruleans, and very prêt-à-porter blacks and neutrals fortified the collection, with horizontal stripes making an appearance (of course!)

Models sported sheer-and-sexy hoisery and dainty Mary Janes. Bare legs in Springtime? Jamais.

While some critics thought the plastique raincoat was too close to Prada’s some time ago, the collection excelled and offered Sonia Rykiel’s celebrated joie de vivre: smiling, bouncy models with trademark Rykiel frizzy, fluffy laissez-faire coiffs, pulled back effortlessly (a feature that the French seem to have down to a simple science) by a mini beret disks. Mignon!