Style Notes: Collina Strada

August 20, 2010 - 2:50 am

I met Collina Strada designer Hillary Taymour in Las Vegas while I was at the Project trade show last February, working on the Buyer’s Guide for WeAr magazine. Along with Taymour I bumped into Jonathan Hokklo, who has now become one of my favorite photographers and New York dandies.

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Fashion trade shows always have a way of bringing people together: it’s a great chance to touch base with big brands, find out what buyers are excited about and more importantly for me, meet new designers (the wholesale prices are not bad either!)

It only takes about a minute after speaking with Taymour to know that you’re speaking to a designer’s designer. Her complete understanding of the industry’s underpinnings, her palpable ambition–it’s a refreshing break from the usual tired seasonal mantra of “we’re doing something different this time around.” These same covetable qualities come through in her line too, accessories that show rather than tell us where fashion is heading and in what direction. Her cache of edgy tiered leather purses–with leathers all culled from a local New York tannery–are decaled with devil-may-care prints like optical illusion patterns and cloud pastels and she’s doing a ton of re-orders online and in-store. She’s also revved up her line with a new collection of harness vests which are being spotted on New York scenesters in Williamsburg and the Lower East Side. She’s been featured in Nylon, Lucky and Tokion, and also on several must-read blogs like Refinery 29 (and, ahem, now this hot little web log).

If you’re in the Big Apple, stop by Eva New York at 355a Bowery. She’ll also be in the “Labels to Watch” section of the September issue of WeAr magazine (an article penned by yours truly). Check out Collette Paris and other specialty stores for copies or go to


Bring out the Schnapps! WeAr Magazine celebrates 5 years

February 7, 2010 - 5:42 am

It’s been five years since WeAr hit international shelves. The fashion-focused quarterly trade magazine–seriously privy to textiles and new design talent–debuted in 2005. It’s published in Austria and printed in eight languages. WeAr is your sartorial one-stop shop for all things retail.

To celebrate its anniversary, WeAr has published a throwback spread of some of its previously published fashion garments and retail boutiques. So if your heart flutters when you see gorgeous store interiors, and if the words Opening Ceremony mean pure ambrosia to you, pick up an issue. (And, ahem, check out my article on Canadian knitwear genious, Mark Fast). Copies are available for order at and sold internationally at specialty bookstores.

Along with its 5th anniversary issue, WeAr has also launched its brand new web platform: WeAr Global Network.

It feels great to celebrate along with this team for their fifth year in production.

Cheers, WeAr. And Schönes Jubiläum!  Let’s here it for five more years!

*photo: WeAr Global Magazine, Issue #21. 
Art by Keiichi Tanaami


Sibling Style: The Beckerman sisters

November 3, 2009 - 5:01 am
photo by: Glynnis Mapp
(c) FashionTKTK
Didn’t someone say good things happen in threes? Well, believe it. I met the Beckerman sisters during LG Fashion Week S/S 2010, who are back from the Big Apple’s FIT after much toiling at the design table. The girls are now working as bloggers for and their own online ode: Beckerman Biteplate Blog. Hitting the best parties, shopping and sampling the best in fashion and prancing along with Agyness Deyn down New York City‘s streets, you’d think Caillianne and Chloe and Samantha would have triple chips on their shoulders. Absolutely not. With warm smiles, encouraging laughs and a stylist’s eye, the Beckermans are a breath of fresh Canadian air: yes, these stylish fashion sleuths also originally hail from Toronto!
Here’s a candid Q&A with the stylish sisters on their favourite urban hangouts, fashion Meccas and sister adventures:
FashionTKTK: Tell me about the inspiration behind your designs and special projects. What inspired you to go into fashion and design? 
The Beckermans: “We get inspired by lots of things: friends, artists, flea markets–even monsters! We always wanted to be designers as kids. We were always drawing together, doing craft projects and going on lots of road trips. While we were in the car we would toss  a sketch pad back and forth and trying to out-draw each other, the most outrageous outfits would win. We had sewing machines and dress forms and were always at Fabricland buying textiles and getting inspired.” 

FTKTK: What projects are you working on now? Also, tell me a little about and the cool work you’ve done for the blog. 
The Beckermans: “We just finished a Beckerman for Uniqlo collaboration. We did a T-shirt collection for them. It was such a fun collaboration: we did a makeup monster T-shirt and a popcorn monster shirt! We are also doing the Freed Fashion House and designing Floor 2 in downtown Toronto. It’s such a wicked collaboration because it’s like living in your own fashion dollhouse! For, we covered Spring 2010 LG Fashion Week in Toronto. It was such an awesome experience working with them. The best was going backstage and taking pictures of all of the models all lined up–we had a blast goofing around and having fun! We also covered street style in Toronto, so we went to Queen Street and Ossington Avenue and had the best time meeting some very cool dressed people. We also covered five of our favourite vintage stores in Toronto including Gaddabout, I Miss You Vintage, Tribal Rhythm, Value Village, and Vintage Mix 1.” 

FTKTK: Which Canadian designers do you love at the moment? Other international artists?
The Beckermans: “We love Dean Davidson jewelry. The jewelry that he did for the Pink Tartan show at Spring 2010 LG Fashion Week took our breath away. It was African, geometrical and it had a big chunky silver vibe. We also love Danielle Hession’s art. She is a very cool artist that uses vintage photographs in her art. As an artist, she has such a great energy–it’s always so inspirational to us.” 

FTKTK: Sibling design teams have proven to be successful combos especially in Canada (read: Dean and Dan Caten of DSquared2). What are the pros of working with your sisters? Cons, if any?
The Beckermans: “Definitely all pros! We all get crazy and have fun together! Especially with our dog Cubby, who is a Pomeranian. They say that successful design teams ARE the ones that have dogs, and we totally agree! After all, even YSL had a French bulldog. Also, as sisters we really push each other to be creative and to work really hard to challenge each other with design ideas. We design our own prints and jewelry and we are always crazy busy with side projects and our Beckerman Biteplate Blog.” 

FTKTK: What’s great about New York City? Toronto? Favourite hangouts?
The Beckermans: “We love Value Village! And the Aberfoyle flea markets. We always bounce around Toronto searching for amazing flea markets! Also Second Cup is our favourite place to get hot drinks. We stopped drinking coffee (which is insane, we know) but we are somewhat more relaxed people now, which is a good thing. Our favourite drink is London Fog with steamed soy milk–made extra hot! It’s perfect with a Morning Glory muffin.” 

FTKTK: Tell me about Agyness Deyn? How did you meet and tell me a funny story about the short videos you made on the Beckerman Bite Plate blog site.
The Beckermans: “We are great friends! We have been friends for a few years now and we always have fun together especially making the Beckerman videos. We met while waiting in line for a concert. We love just goofing around–and that’s exactly how the videos turn out! We also are good shopping buddies and always hit up the Hell’s Kitchen flea market together.”

FTKTK: What’s next for the Beckerman sisters? Will you hit the design table soon?
The Beckermans: “Right now, we are working on our Beckerman Biteplate blog full time and having fun! Our Biteplate documents our daily outfits, parties we go to, flea markets, coverage and art shows.”


VIVA LAS VEGAS: WeAr Buyer’s Guide Bonanza

September 4, 2009 - 3:59 pm

Because even the most discerning fashion eye needs a little direction.

I was in Las Vegas recently for PROJECT Las Vegas ( helping to create and edit the WeAr Buyer’s Guide, lovingly produced–and for the first time ever–by WeAr Global Magazine. Needless to say, my trip was a 48-hour fashion trade whirlwind, so this post will be a bit short.

The WeAr Buyer’s Guide is fashion’s best wrapped up in a free condensed handbook for international buyers. Think of it as a little black book on top world retailers, including the hundreds of labels being featured at the show this year–exclusive to PROJECT 2009. There were two versions of this, one pre-printed for the first day and then another produced on-site for the second day of the show with a special 16-page insert, for your reading pleasure.

But before you read on, think about this for a second fellow hired pens.

Producing 16 glorious pages in 12 hours isn’t easy (that includes reporting and editing folks). But lots of Pinot Grigio, Vitamin D (thank-you Las Vegas sunlight), my boisterous, brainy and beautiful German co-editors at WeAr and my very big YSL sunglasses sure helped the rehab process.

The guide was a success. As they say in Austria: Alles gut!