Warm-weather makes me happy. Why? Shopping of course! Time to sport your favourite summer gear and maybe even buy yourself a little something special.
But what to get?
A new top or dress would probably suffice but what about a stylish tchotchke or beauty toy that’ll keep you smiling the whole summer? If you won’t let an hour go by without tweeting, live by your RSS feed, have more apps on your smartphone and tablet than even your most well-connected friend, it’s time to ditch the usual seasonal buys for a shiny new fashion-, beauty-, lifestyle-inspired trinket instead.
Here’s a round up of six perfect items (as low as $7!) to give your closet, vanity—even your kitchen—a geek-chic upgrade.
Don’t get me wrong. Nothing can really replace pure wools, silks, and cottons, but from what I’ve observed, a cache of new textiles are quickly becoming just as commonplace as our old standbys. Designers have turned their attention toward new, hi-tech fabrics such as neoprene, casein, lurex, silicone, and tencel. Sounds fancy, sure, but what the heck does that really mean?
Instead of head scratching in the fitting room, I’ve asked a textile expert who helped translate the jargon. Introducing five fabrics that are making beautiful garments more wearable, sustainable, and some, more affordable than ever.
When it comes to fragrance, I love a good floral. Jasmine, lilac, verbena—I can’t get enough. But truly, I’m a gourmand through and through. Chocolate, raspberry, orange, cinnamon, coffee, caramel and cognac, I love the deliciousness of these notes. Researchers have already confirmed that our memory and sense of smell are connected. Making gourmand scents a completely hypnotic and hedonistic experience.
That’s why when the new cologne collection from U.K.-based brand Jo Malone landed on my desk with its notes inspired by English Tea, my stomach started to growl. Ginger Biscuit, Redcurrant and Cream, Elderflower and Gooseberry, Bitter Orange and Chocolate—simply divine dahling.
In my past life, I must have been British. Now, why would I come to this conclusion? Well, aside for being quite good at mimicking the London lilt, having a serious penchant for tea at any time of the day and being a really (really!) big fan of argyle print, I just can’t get enough of that quintessential-yet-preppy-yet-edgy-yet-punk sense of style that the English seem to create so naturally.
I just bloody can’t!
Ted Baker’s latest Spring 2013 collection is just that: posh little shift dresses, lacy little frocks, stately-looking floor-length gowns, belts with bows, really great short suits (the new and hot item to have in your closet), perfectly-tailored suit jackets in punchy Creamsicle orange, lime sherbet and strawberry-ice-cream pink. How fitting that the brand is celebrating 25 years of style. Indeed!
That paired with Jo Malone’s Sugar & Spice collection of scents inspired by English Tea that landed on my desk this week and I’m having a very Brit summer.
Ad-guys and gals got a special treat at JWT Advertising with the help of yours truly, the lovely Julia Seidl (@MissJuliaSeidl) and French Connection Canada.
To the tune of a live deejay and runway show we talked trends, fits and fabrics for Spring 2013.
What did I have to say? Well, I made a few off-colour jokes (as I do) and I waxed poetic on the four main trends for spring: black-and-white, floral, printed pants and bold colour. So many wearable, wonderful pieces that I want to buy for myself. Plus, there was a surprise sneak peak of the Fall 2013 collection after all of the spring fabulousness. Couldn’t get enough! The local Toronto models were decked out in chicly styled ensembles and got lots of love from a very fashionable crowd.
Look out for the next one I’m hosting with French Connection this month. Post to come on FashionTK!
We dissect this black-and-white trend trio: cropped tuxedo pants, an animal-print shift dress and a breezy summer frock. Check, check and check!
An elegant and subtly sexy way to wear floral at the office.
Me and the ever-fashionable Julia Seidl
Say yes to swing skirts and don’t look back.
A suit jacket, sweater vest and trousers in different yet wonderfully complimentary charcoals. Super sharp.
This was my favourite look: The skirt suit is here to stay.
One way to wear the printed pant look: keep your top neutral and let the print speak for itself. The peplum detail adds a little bit of flirt—just the right amount.
Since 1926, British heritage eyewear brand Oliver Goldsmithhas been a name to know when it comes to frames. A favourite of style icons like Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and John Lennon, the brand’s 25 rotating iconic silhouettes from the 1950s to 1980s have been revived and spotted on modern idols: Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Kate Beckinsale to name three.
I had the incredible pleasure of having High Tea with the new fashion brain responsible for this exciting relaunch: Great granddaughter to the Goldsmith house, Claire Goldsmith. I met her months ago at the Windsor Arms Hotel in Toronto, where she debuted her latestline of opticals and sunglasses. Over English Breakfast, Orange Pekoe, Earl Grey (and lots of fabulously fussy biscuits) Goldsmith keep us laughing with funny stories about her kids, British style, tales from her great-granddad’s heyday and why she wanted to start an eponymous line.
The launch of the CG Collection in 2009 came after the brand sat unsupervised for nearly 20 years: hundreds of frames in storage with no one to care for them. Goldsmith came up with the idea to bring these sunglasses and their fantastic shapes back to life and also create a modern yet vintage-inspired collection of eyeglasses for today’s trendsetter, and the rest, was history. See the Claire Goldsmith collection here.
Last Tuesday, Toronto fashion obsessors got a special retail treat: Max Mara’s Spring 2013 collection was unveiled at the brand’s 151 Bloor Street W. store by Harper’s Bazaar executive fashion and beauty editor, Avril Graham. Models wore the luxe Italian womenswear designer’s spring collection all done in rich corals, purples, pinks, neutrals and black-and-white. Graham talked trends (like Pantone’s colour of the year, emerald green) and dished on her amicable style run-ins with Kate Middleton, The Duchess of Cambridge and on-camera personality, Katie Couric and reviewed the just-off-the-runway trends for Fall 2013.
Sundays—for me—spell out shoe shopping. And that’s exactly what I did this past Sunday.
I’ve been on the hunt for a nice nude-beige-grey pair of shoe booties for a while. Every time I see a pair I like, I freeze and the world goes into slow motion. Here’s how it usually goes down:
I pick them up, I hold them tightly to me (hugging them) as I circle the rest of the store in search of a darker, less damageable doppelganger—something exactly the same, but black, or an almost-black hue. If I find no kin kickers, I give in to my light shoe lust: I try them on. I invariably love them. Then I take them off and stare at them. Then my feet, almost of their own free will, start moving in the direction of the cash register, but before I do that, I do something incredibly nonsensical.
After spending a minimum of 30 minutes fondling these light shoes, I put them back.
I PUT THEM BACK.
This in-store game of musical shoes is likely hilarious to an onlooking salesperson, I’m sure. The truth is, I never buy them! Why? Well, light-coloured shoes—especially suede ones—are hard to keep clean. The trendsetter in me wants these booties almost as much as I want a hot fudge sunday most of the time, but the Practical Patty in me thinks I should stick to a dark-coloured, wear-everyday-pair. Harumph. What to do?
Well, dear readers, this weekend I did the unthinkable—the almost undoable: I just bought them. They’re right here! Zara is having a mega sale of all mega sales and I snapped up these cute ones without thinking twice this time. They are soft suede, comfy and look great with army greens, browns, jewel tones, other neutrals and greys. A true steal at just $59. My nude booties have found a home at last. Now all I have to do is keep them away from the February slush and muck. I’ll be wearing these babies indoors for months to come.
Whether your latest tech obsession is a smartphone or tablet, fashionable cases for each are everywhere. And what are you doing on your well-dressed toy? Checking emails, searching the Internet, watching movies and of course, taking pictures. Rarely do I ever take my digital SLR with me to fashion events. Seasons ago it was me in the front and second row, snapping pictures with a proper, professional camera. This always led to me toting it around, or trying to stuff it in my already over-stuffed purse. Yet one more piece to my never-ending editor baggage trucked along from the office, to fashion previews to cocktail parties. Now, I rarely use my SLR (only for serious streetstyle or interior store shoots. Poor, lonely SLR.
I stumbled on Japan brand Gizmon which makes a case that takes the whole idea of your phone being your new camera to a literal level. I’m testing the The Gizmon iCA Military phone with a cool army-inspired look and all black exterior. At $33-$40 the sturdy polycarbonate case fits the iPhone 4 and 4S perfectly (sorry iPhone 5-ers!)
It’s a huge change from my dainty, girly Kate Spade case (which I still love).
This one has a whole new tough-girl vibe and a whole lot of tech-geek cred. I’ll be test driving this case for the next month or so to see if it stands up to the test (multiple drops) and sticks with me through some tough love.
Fashion darling and creative accessories designer Margherita Missoni touched down in Toronto last Thursday at Holt Renfrew’s Bloor street location for Missoni’s philathropic and fashionable initiative for the Holidays. The Italian brand partners with retailer Holt Renfrew to create limited-edition stuffed animals to benefit non-profit organization, Orphan Aid Africa, which aims to help orphans and disinfranchised children and youth and give them loving homes. Missoni sat and greeted customers, signing each of their cute little bears and elephants printed with Missoni’s signature zigs and zags hope to raise more than $100,000 for the cause. So open your heart and snatch up these adorable perfect-for-Holiday critters before they’re gone! At holtrenfrew.com