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Maison Kitsuné’s first North American store

September 1, 2012 - 7:37 pm

French music-meets-fashion brand injects its cooler-than-thou fashion appeal to the Big Apple. Paris-based fashion brand Maison Kitsuné has touched down in North America via the NoMad Hotel and are fashion types ever excited.

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The store (which opened in April) melds old New York architectural charm with French je ne sais quois:  the ambiance of an old Parisian apartment with towering steel framed oval  windows, classic custom made furnishings juxtaposed with luxe furnishings like silk carpets, polished marble, mosaic tiles and patterned  wood flooring.

Get your credit card prepared for sartorial favorites like: WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie, Monocle, Michel Vivien, Aesop and Maison Kitsuné’s own collections—all personally curated by Maison Kitsuné founders Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki. Oh, la-la!

*photos: courtesy of Maison Kitsuné

Eat, Shop, Stay: New York

June 24, 2012 - 8:41 pm

A multicultural melting pot of food, fashion and fun: there’s reason to say “I Love New York.” Manhattan and Brooklyn are becoming serious competitive contenders for hot places to go in the city that never sleeps. In this edition of Eat, Shop, Stay, I list The Big Apple’s sweetest culinary, fashion and hospitality successes: from upper crust restaurants to down-home delis; high-fashion haunts; and the latest luxe-and-lavish hotels. Channel your inner style globetrotter with these trendy top destinations! Chow down, drink up, shop-until-you-drop and then get a great night’s sleep in the “greatest city on earth.”

EAT

The Meatball Shop
If there’s one thing this kitschy-cool resto knows, it’s meatballs. With three locations—Greenwich Avenue, Stanton Street, and Bedford Street in Brooklyn—star dishes include the “Everything But the Kitchen Sink Salad” (the name spells it out) and “Smash” (two meatballs smashed on toasted brioche bun, with your choice of mozzarella or provolone cheese). The no-reservation house is packed daily with tourists and locals alike. This summer, it’s delighting meatball lovers yet again with a new pop-up meatball “Tent Garden” in Williamsburg with a prix fixe menu.

SHOP

Kitsuné
French music-meets-fashion brand injects its cooler-than-thou fashion appeal to the Big Apple! Paris-based fashion brand Kitsuné has touched down in North America via the NoMad Hotel and are fashion types ever excited! Opening in April, the store melds old New York architectural charm with French je ne sais quois:  the ambiance of an old Parisian apartment with towering steel framed oval  windows, classic custom made furnishings juxtaposed with luxe furnishings like silk carpets, polished marble, mosaic tiles and patterned  wood flooring. Get your credit card prepared for sartorial favorites like: WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie, Monocle, Michel Vivien, Aesop and Kitsuné’s own collections—all personally curated by Maison Kitsuné founders Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki. Oh, la-la!

STAY

Wythe Hotel
This 1901 city structure oozes old-school turn of the century charm: located in the heart of Brooklyn, the eight-story Williamsburg waterfront structure is textile factory-turned luxury ‘It’ hotel. With 72 rooms and almost all of its original architectural gems— concave corner entrance, original pine beams, masonry, arched windows and cast-iron columns, 13’ high original timber ceilings, oversized windows, radiant heat concrete floors—the building is a chic history lesson and hotelier example as well. Vacation or staycation here before you ever book a room at a franchise.

Read the rest of my article on Lookbooks.com

photo: (c) courtesy of The Wythe Hotel

 

April 77′s new Paris store, Noise Creation

June 19, 2012 - 8:36 pm

Trendsetters in Paris have much to be happy about: a new president—and a brand new April 77 store location in Bastille.

OK, so a new French leader isn’t quite the same as a new clothing store—but isn’t it?

April 77 (a style leader in its own right) opened the 7-9 rue de Charonne store in the 11th district (metro Ledru-Rollin / Bastille), a super-trendy area for all kinds of chic types.

Even better: April77 is working with the group of Parisian shoegazers called Noise Creation and have two really cute limited edition tie-dye T-shirts to buy—”April” T-shirt in gray tie dye and “Noise” T-shirt in tie dye multi-colours.

Priced at €40 (about $45 CAD) and available to you dear shoppers at www.april77-shop.com and the brand new rue Charonne store—if you feel like a trip to Paris on the fly. I know I do.

 

*photos: (c) Yves Mourtada for April 77

Roger Vivier shoe collection at The Bata Shoe Museum

May 21, 2012 - 3:06 pm

It’s the shoe that our fashion heroine and Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester (Blair Waldorf ) gave to her French Prince Louis: “It’s Vivier, it’s worth a helluva lot more than a glass slipper.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Miss Waldorf. And we all know how that ended (*Spoiler Alert!)

It’s a romantic (and cheesy) Cinderella gesture but we get the point—that’s one special shoe. So it’s not without immense excitement (read: tear-inducing joy) that shoe fanatics welcomed the Roger Vivier collection to the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto weeks ago. Roger Vivier  gained notoriety as a designer for Christian Dior in the 1950s and worked for the design house long after Dior’s death. The Vivier exhibit entitled, Process to Perfection ( May 9, 2012-April 7, 2013) highlights never-before-seen sketches and drawings of Vivier’s shoe design process and the creations that were a result of his painstaking art. Vivier died at age 90 in 1998 and continues to be an iconic and inspirational shoe designer to many fashion greats from Lanvin to Louboutin. Famous shoe profiles and wearers include the pilgrim buckle shoe—a favourite of Catherine Deneuve, and the thigh-high boot that Bridget Bardot loved to wear.

“To wear dreams on one’s feet is to begin to give a reality to one’s dreams.” —Roger Vivier

 

*photos: Glynnis Mapp, FashionTK.com

Best handbags at Paris Fashion Week

March 18, 2012 - 3:43 pm

Choosing the wrong handbag can make or break your fashion week experience. Trust me! Carry a dressy clutch and you’ll be cocktail ready after evening shows, but you won’t have room for fashion week essentials: a camera, a mini notebook and pen, press kits, little gifts from the designers. Here are a few snaps of lovely lovelies showing off gorgeous purses outside of Chanel’s Fall-Winter 2012 show at the Grand Palais. See more pictures on TheKit.ca

*photo: Glynnis Mapp, FashionTK.com

What I wore in Paris: Nighttime

March 17, 2012 - 9:27 am

Contrary to popular belief, Parisians don’t dress to the nines when going out. Even though The City of Lights is the proverbial fashion capital of the world, the French sport great preppy basics with a few trendy fashion items: comfy but stylish statement heels, a good pair of jeans. Yes, they sometimes they wear horizontal stripes, but not more than anyone else in the world. Overall, streetstyle a nuit is polished but comfortable. Rarely do girls sport a Kardashian-style bodycon dress or short skirt, and if they do attend a fancy soiree, cuts are way more modest. Classy and always chic. Bare legs are a bit taboo in Paris: sheer, sexy black or off-black nylons in spring and summer are a French girls modus. This makes dressing especially easy for me actually! I have several LBDs but sometimes I just don’t want to wear them! Don’t get me wrong, I love going out and showing  a little leg, but more often than not, I love feeling comfortably stylish rather than overdone.

Take a peek at one of my favourite evening ensembles: I wore this (and variations of this outfit) to nighttime fashion shows, low key dinners in The Marais and out for drinks at Paris bars near Champs-Élysées. A maxi skirt, tissue-thin sweatshirt, vintage leather belt and patent pleather clutch, wedge heels and a bib necklace.

Forever21 grey sweatshirt, black vintage maxi skirt, ASOS wedge heels, vintage black patent pleather clutch, Rachel Roy mixed chain bib necklace, vintage black leather belt

 

Paris Fashion Week: Sonia Rykiel earwarmers and insta-cams = tres chic

March 7, 2012 - 3:48 pm

Happy-go-lucky models: it’s Sonia Rykiel’s modus nearly every season and we love her for it. Last week in Paris, I attended her fall-winter 2012 show: an upbeat, cheerful and chic catwalk show that put everyone in a lighter, brighter mood—a sunnier attitude especially in light of the grey-and-cold weather the City of Lights has been having of late.

Front row faces Charlotte Dellal, The Misshapes frontwoman Leigh Lezark and blogger Garance Doré posed hapily for pre-show paparazzi. Smiles all around.

No Breton stripes this time but still a lovely set of supercute cropped trousers, fitted suit jackets and skirts, sexy little sheer blouses, and shirt dresses cinched at the waist with super-chic and simple gold-buckle belts—all in a perfect palette of warm yellows, oranges and sunset reds, with blacks, beiges and whites mixed throughout. Earwarmers and instant cameras. Chic yet carefree: sans souci!

Read and see more fall-winter 2012 Sonia Rykiel on TheKit.ca

Sonia Rykiel’s FW 2012 cheerful finale. Bravo!

Charlotte Olympia’s Charlotte Dellal in a flirty, frilly jumpsuit

The Misshapes frontwoman Leigh Lezark in Sonia Rykiel’s canary inspiration

Blogger Garance Doré and a lovely colourful handbag

photos: (c) Glynnis Mapp, FashionTK.com  

Blog to book: My Little Paris

January 29, 2012 - 10:56 pm

While I plan my vacation trip to France this March (after a year of rescheduling), I’ve been scouring the internet for  good eats and places to go inbetween stalking the stylish on the street during pret-a-porter fashion week. One of my favourite websites by far is My Little Paris. They’ve combed Paris and surrounding cities (Lyon and Marseille) covering top shops, eats and city attractions.  I’ve always considered this site to be the Frenchwoman’s little handbook to France, a real authentic online hub for where Parisians shop, dine and dilly-dally. I also love the cute-and-chic illustrations. Si mignon!

Even better, they’ve since published a new book in English: My Little Paris: the best kept Parisian secrets.

I can’t wait to get a copy of this book and read it from start to finish!

My Little Paris presents its book from mylittleparis on Vimeo.

Oui Oui, Take Me To Paris from moosik on 8tracks.

F is for Fall, A is for Aristide

November 2, 2010 - 4:01 am

Fall is always makes me contemplative–it’s so poetic. A brisk walk over the noon-hour surrounds me with Fall colours, then I start thinking about the changing of the seasons, falling leaves, that crisp, cool air that begs for layers of wool scarves, cashmere sweaters, hats and yes, my very favourite: gloves. And when you say gloves, Parisian accessory maker Aristide answers. Lovely crochet detailing, plush velvet, springtime blooms, bows and laser cut stars, studs and stitching–no design detail left on the table!

Even the most well-heeled feet can’t compare to this gantier’s dainty and daring selection of hand coverings. J’adore.

*photos courtesy of: Aristide Collection (c)

My New BFFs: Judith & Charles

April 15, 2010 - 4:08 am

When choosing the name of your fashion house, should you go hard-edge or eponymous? Going casual continues to be a successful tactic for retailers now and many are dropping last names and fancy inspirational brand titles–including the retail brains behind Parisian-gone-Canadian brand Teenflo. Co-founders Judith Richardson and Charles Le Pierrès opened their first concept store last Thursday (with Fashion Television host Jeanne Beker as the lead emcee) at luxe shopping centre, Bayview Village in Toronto and are now on a first-name basis with all of their customers.

The Olsen twins thought it quite the novel idea, and created Elizabeth & James.  Then there’s Ossington Avenue hotshop in Toronto, Jonathan & Olivia, its name comes from the owner’s niece and nephew and its shelves stock Alexander Wang, Opening Ceremony and accessories by darkly inspired jeweler Pamela Love.

While designer success isn’t solely dependent on the name on the label (design, fabric and price points are also very good reasons to love a brand), the lean towards accessibility is becoming popular with a select set of fashioneers who want to maintain their relationships with consumers–especially after an economic slump that cast a frugal and distrusting spell over shoppers.

Critics are calling it pretentious, but it’s one way to make a brand just a little more personal.

Check out images from the new Judith & Charles boutique and see my additional coverage on TorontoLife.com here.

 *photos: Glynnis Mapp/FashionTKTK (c)

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