THE IT: Kurt Geiger boots

Story by Sara Graham, a Toronto writer and girl-about-town, who recently spent a stylish sojourn in London.

When it comes to shopping in London, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by what’s on offer. But for a convenient one-stop, in my books, no retailer does it better than Topshop’s flagship Oxford Circus location. If any of you have been to the five levels of fast fashion, you know what I mean: Accessories, bags, vintage, maxi dresses, hosiery, knits, and the shoes! It’s all about the shoes.

That being said, I have a strategy (and a budget) so I don’t go crazy.  On the first visit, I browse and never buy anything over £10. However, when I spied these boots by Kurt Geiger, it was love at first sight. Deep and immediate love. The colour, the buckles, the tread, everything said Fall 2010 essential footwear to me. The fit was perfect, of course.

On the second visit, let’s just say I blew the budget and leave it at that.

THE IT: Behind the scenes of the Boobyball shoot

We went behind the scenes of the Studio 54-themed photo shoot, in support of the Boobyball benefit for Rethink Breast Cancer. Tickets for the October 16 benefit went on sale today! Buy yours at

Story and photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

Rethink Breast Cancer recently organized a photo shoot for its upcoming Boobyball benefit in Bavette, the soon-to-be-opened resto lounge underneath Marben on Wellington Street.

Nothing out of the ordinary there, you might think. Except that this shoot’s theme was Studio 54, that iconic playground of the ascendant, the turbulent and the spiraling-out, where fame and the pursuit of indulgence mingled on a disco-infused dancefloor and drifted through lounges populated by Birkin, Halston and Minnelli alongside scores of young hopefuls.

Over seven hours, a slate of talented local photographers—including Jalani Morgan and Babar Khan—snapped models and industry volunteers who got into the ’70s Manhattan spirit.

Check out our behind-the-scenes pics!

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WIN! Oprah’s new favourite earrings

Lia Sophia Coliseum Earrings ($49,

Oprah wore the lovely Coliseum Earrings on the August cover of O, and liked them so much that she bought them. This week, The Style Notebook has three pairs to give away.

Email (with”Lia Sophia contest” as the subject) for your chance to win!

THE IT: Kyra Sedgwick at the Emmys

Who looked better than Kyra Sedgwick last night? Her Monique Lhuillier dress was graceful while still being sexy—and her reading glasses (donned during her acting win for The Closer) made her look, as Sarah Nicole Prickett tweeted, like “a hot novelist.” But even better than her style was her acceptance speech, in which she called husband Kevin Bacon both “my love” and “Kev.” Sweet.

THE IT: The September issues

Vogue, September 2010 and September 1993. Story by Laura deCarufel. Photography by Petra Thomas-Grainger.

Fashion’s great machine plows ahead, occasionally looping back to reference itself. I was reminded of this in the most exciting way last week when I found the first Vogue that I ever bought. The issue was September 1993, the cover model was Linda Evangelista, the photographer, Steven Meisel. The fall fashion statement? A crushed velvet coatdress by Ralph Lauren.

I was 13, on a family vacation in the Finger Lakes, when I impulsively picked up the magazine at Wegmans. By the time we were home, I was a goner. I memorized the spreads, the names of the photographers and stylists, the way the magazine used language to create an impossibly alluring world that seemed (almost, almost) attainable. I fell in love with fashion through that September issue.

Seventeen years later, another September issue is on the stands. Looking at the two magazines side by side, I was struck by how much they have in common. From velvet dresses to pastoral blondes, the following 10 spreads provide the proof.

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THE IT: Jimi’s jeans

Jimi Bellbottom Jeans, by TEXTILE Elizabeth and James ($255, at Holt Renfrew)

Remember when “boho” and “the Olsen twins” were referenced together as fervently as “Romeo” and “Juliet”? For TEXTILE Elizabeth and James, the latest collection from Mary-Kate and Ashley, the twins went back to their sartorial roots. We love the line’s sweatshirts and flannel shirts, but if anything can make flares come back, it’s the amazing Jimi Bellbottoms.

—Manjit Gill

THE IT: Nua Swimwear

Clara Fortini, the designer of Nua Swimwear. Story and photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

It’s the dog days of summer and your first collection is about to debut. Your models are prepping in what could be a closet. There’s no lighting on the runway. And your line is all swimsuits.

Talk about a baptism by fire.

But Clara Fortini, a sociology grad and former flight attendant, emerged triumphant from the launch of Nua, her fashion-forward swimwear line, last weekend at a King West nightclub. Christened with elegant Portuguese identities—Ferro (Iron) and Cobre Tudo (Cover Everything)—her designs captivated a jostling Friday night crowd.

“I wanted people to see that you can pair these suits with a pair of tights or micro shorts,” Fortini explains. “You’re seeing more and more pool parties where there is the element of being in the pool and then going to the club right afterwards. This season I did the one-sleeve and the hoodie, and I want to go even above and beyond that. I’m trying to push the envelope just a little bit for women who are looking for something different in swimwear.”

What was the inspiration for Nua, and how did you decide to start with swimwear?

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THE IT: Meet Moon

Story by Paul Aguirre-Livingston. Photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

They say that the ultimate challenge for the modern woman, when dressing for day, is “how to go effortlessly from business to pleasure, work to play.” Somehow I think that Bonnie Brooks wants to save the day.

When the Bay gathered us all into an all-white room in Liberty Village, for the launch of Moon, its new private label collection, it was a big deal for more reasons than one. For starters, the Bay had recruited the Mimran Group (the company of Saul Mimran, brother to Joseph) to design what appears to be the antithesis of the upscale designer fare on offer in The Room, the Bay’s luxury boutique. They also managed to snag downtown arbiter of cool Leigh Lezark and her on-and-off-again Misshapes to spin at the party and appear in the company’s upcoming ad campaign.

During her set, Leigh was wearing what appeared to be the line’s most daring piece: a sequined jacket that looked so right on her I wanted to strip it from the mannequin out of justice.

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THE IT: Tommy Ton at Holts

Carine Roitfeld, editor-in-chief of Paris Vogue, photographed by Tommy Ton, the Oakville-born super snapper who now contributes to, and the Paris and Japanese editions of Vogue.

Tommy Ton first came across Carine Roitfeld in the pages of American Vogue‘s 2001 Age issue. First impressions? “Beautiful and mysterious.” But it wasn’t until years later when Ton was taking photos outside Paris Fashion Week that he really appreciated Roitfeld’s singular appeal. “She has a certain elegance and chicness, and she’s also incredibly kind to her fans and the people around her,” Ton said today, during a day of interviews at Holt Renfrew in Toronto.

Ton is at Holts for Pic Me Tommy Ton!, an exhibition of his photos, which are shown alongside the best of Holts’s Fall 2010 footwear. (Bonus! You receive a Tommy Ton print when you buy one of the selected styles.) The media cocktail is kicking off right now, but starting tomorrow (until August 30), you can stop by anytime and check out the show.

THE IT: Meet Ezra Constantine

Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong, the designers of Greta Constantine and Ezra Constantine, the menswear line which had its official launch party last week. Writer Paul Aguirre-Livingston turned what seemed like a missed opportunity into an exclusive interview. Photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

“I think you missed it,” said Samantha Beckerman, of the Beckermans fashion line, as I rushed into a historical Annex home for the preview of Ezra Constantine’s Spring/Summer 2011 collection. Turns out that the 9 p.m. showing of the new menswear line was cancelled because, on the busiest August night for Toronto’s media, the people had simply come, seen, loved and left.

“It had this military subtext to it,” Fashion Television’s Christopher Sherman commented, “but still very classic Ezra.” What an odd way of putting it, I thought. A collection that is still so in its infancy (not even a year old) already had a look, a “classic” style. And that’s why it mattered that I missed it.

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