SOME LOOKS WE LIKED: At the Artbound ’80s pARTy

Amanda Alvaro, Artbound Co-founder and Anthony Lacavera, the CEO of Wind Mobile, at the Artbound pARTy: Fame fundraiser. Photograph by Tom Sandler.

This time last week, guests planning to attend the Artbound pARTy were heating up their crimping irons and popping their collars in can’t-wait anticipation of the ’80s-themed fundraiser which raised over $150,000 for Artbound, the non-profit organization, in support of Free the Children.

With outfits this amazing, selecting our top 20 favourites was as tricky as choosing between Andrew McCarthy and James Spader. But we did it. Check out our picks for the top pics!

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THE INVITATION: At the Artbound pARTy: Fame

The Society’s Ashleigh Dempster and Amanda Blakley vamp it up at the Artbound pARTy fundraiser. Photograph by Sonia Recchia.

Story by Emily Blake.

The ’80s, despite being oft ridiculed for their fashion, music and hairstyles (hello crimping iron!), are perennially called upon as inspiration for costume parties. There is fun in the ridiculous, and those of us who have only vague memories of what our parents dressed us up in in the ’80s seem to take great joy in the excess, the schadenfreude, the truly over-the-top ridiculousness of an ’80s costume party.

Enter The pARTy: Fame, a fundraiser for Artbound, a non-profit volunteer initiative, in support of Free the Children, which encourages art programs and schools in developing countries.

While my original costume idea—Robert Palmer girls—was shot down by my girls in favour of something a little more Desperately Seeking Susan, I was still excited to see what the attendees would come up with. I wasn’t disappointed.

As we rolled up in front of Maison Mercer—the new club at 15 Mercer that played host for the evening—we spotted a Lloyd Dobbler costume complete with long coat and boom box. Any fear I had of being over-costumed was dispelled. Everyone—literally everyone—was fully decked out.

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THE BOULEVARDIER: Cloaked in art at Nuit Blanche

Every week, our Boulevardier, Marq Frerichs, considers matters related to men’s style. This week: What to wear to Nuit Blanche. Hint: Take a cue from Ann Demeulemeester (left) and John Galliano.

White Night—the words alone conjure up a myriad of images. I’m transported to Paris, to St. Petersburg’s street theatre, to Rio de Janeiro, watching the waterfalls of fireworks on New Years Eve. It brings to mind ideas of beauty, worldliness, and art. At Nuit Blanche, our town, Hogtown, really shows off its place as a centre of arts and culture in the world.

We’re not provincial; we’re not a wannabe New York. I’ll say it: We’re on the cutting edge, avant-garde, if you will. A good friend of mine, an art curator, is flying back from Europe just for the night. Now, I’m not qualified to tell you which installations/pieces/works/events/happenings you should see—there is a website for that. In fact, don’t bother, just get outside and roam!

The question then becomes what to wear.

Guaranteed, the weather will be inclement: Rain, the threat of rain, wind, the threat of wind, muddy, with a distinct chance of chill in the air. (I pray I’m wrong.) In keeping with fashion’s current trend towards Edwardian-Victorian-Prussian-military-neo-retro-post-pre-punk meets Clockwork Orange, I’m thinking that the cape or cloak is the way to go.

I would say that the best-designed example of this sartorial flourish comes from right here at home.

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THE BITE: An amuse-bouche of fashion news

A hint of what’s to come at Ungaro? Giles Deacon, Spring 2009. Story by Anne Pringle.

Giles for Ungaro
Giles Deacon was appointed the new position of creative director for Ungaro this May, and this Monday, he’ll show his hotly anticipated debut collection for the Parisian house. He claims that the brand has “a romance to it and that feeling of Parisian glamour that people are attracted to around the world.” We can expect a fresh, light pastel palette with lots of black lace—in cocktail dresses for daywear, along with some evening gowns. (Vogue UK)

A little something from Tommy?
Tommy Hilfiger just purchased a $31 million, 15,000 square foot estate in Greenwich, Connecticut. Presumably so he could cut back on moving van miles (and to clear space for new furniture), Hilfiger held an online auction for 500 of his decor items, including Austrian hand-painted hutches, upholstered French settees, an antique Victorian desk, signed Picassos, Louis XIV-style armchairs and a Ralph Lauren sideboard. Sound alright? Apparently, Hilfiger is planning another auction with “even better merchandise” in late November. (WWD)

Klum, Angel no more
After 13 years of modeling for Victoria’s Secret, Heidi Klum and the lingerie brand are parting ways. The 37-year old German American model is reportedly leaving the brand because she is busy with other things—like hosting Project Runway and designing clothing lines (not to mention being the mother to her four children)! Seeing as Klum held the position of “Head Angel” at Victoria’s Secret, the spot is now open. Will it be taken by Adriana Lima or Alessandro Ambrosio? Or perhaps it will be the next “It girl” Rosie Huntington-Whiteley? Stay tuned… (NY Mag)

Sander + Uniqlo
On Wednesday, we told you about Uniqlo’s new “Made for All” campaign, which promotes the retailer’s philosophy that clothing should transcend age, gender and nationality. Minimalist master Jil Sander is the perfect design house to collaborate on a universal clothing project, and has just released its third +J collection for Uniqlo. The line contains over 150 pieces, and boasts a palette of black, white, silver, grey, beige and, adding to the recent trend, all shades of blue—from “storm to sky.” There is a black wool and cashmere jacket, tight-fitted, high-waisted duffle coats in pewter wool, a silvery down jacket and leggings. (Fashionologie)

LETTER FROM LEANNE: Marc for the people

The limited-edition Marc by Marc Jacobs tote ($48), created exclusively for Holt Renfrew, and on sale now. Part of the proceeds go to support Vision Spring, a non-profit organization providing affordable sunglasses to people in the developing world.

Story by Leanne Delap, who will be writing a regular column for The Style Notebook.

Carry-alls have become an important accessory. We all drive, bicycle, or tote on transit, many grocery and sundry bags. You feel like a criminal carrying a plastic bag, so you collect reusable totes in a way you never would have predicted. I love the oddball, though curated, cloth sacs I grab: a Harrods bag, one from a bookshop in Martha’s Vineyard, a Toronto Public Library tote, and a plasti-straw Marc Jacobs tote with retro red piping.

So I was intrigued when Holt Renfrew recently launched a limited-edition charity bag from Marc by Marc Jacobs. The bags are like the Prada parachute fabric: High-tech with a sheen. The front is the logo in the form of an eye chart. In short, the kind of item you see and unreasonably want, whatever that says about me-slash-us.

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THE BITE: An amuse-bouche of fashion news

60 years deserves a celebration! (Pierre Cardin, 1967.) Story by Anne Pringle,

Cardin’s 60th anniversary
Pierre Cardin’s namesake label celebrated its diamond anniversary this week—that’s right, 60 years in fashion design. Cardin is known as the pioneer of Space Age fashion, who invented the bubble dress in 1954, and produced cutting-edge designs for major names like the Beatles and Rolling Stones. Yesterday, he showed a Spring 2011 show in Paris, and admitted to a reporter that he was “ashamed” of the designs which have been churned out by licensees of his name for years. If 88 year-old Cardin was at all concerned about his clothing still appealing to today’s youth, he can take it as a pretty good sign that Lady Gaga sported one of his dresses for a recent video shoot. (WWD)

Abercrombie legal troubles
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. has been fined $1.05 million in a settlement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The company allegedly violated federal immigration laws by failing to check that some of its employees were eligible to work in the U.S. There was no evidence that any illegal workers had actually been hired, just that there was some kind of deficiency with their electronic I-9 verification system, but the ICE found that “employers are responsible not only for the people they hire, but also for the internal systems they choose to utilize to manage their employment process.” (WWD)

Prada: Made in India?
Prada’s garments have always traditionally sported a label reading “Made in Italy”, because the vast majority of their goods (85 percent) are in fact made in Italian factories. Miuccia Prada felt the need to “take away the hypocrisy” for the other 15 percent, and has thus introduced new “country of origin” labels on her designs, which will take pride in the brand’s use of international artisans. The newest collections sporting the labels will include a “PRADA Made in Scotland” collection of tartan wool knits; a “PRADA Made in India” collection of entirely handmade garments; “PRADA Made in Japan” line of jeans by Dova denim manufacturer; and a “PRADA Made in Peru” collection of artisanal alpaca wool knitwear. (Vogue UK)

Argyle re-Launch
Russell Simmons, the pioneer of hip-hop group Def Jam and creator of clothing line Phat Farm, decided to step away from hip-hop culture when he created ArgyleCulture three years ago. The men’s line is be aimed at the “urban graduate”, young men who have upgraded from the baggy-panted look to a more refined, sophisticated one. The brand hasn’t made much noise, so it is being re-launched today at Macy’s with a newly opened shop-in-shop. New fall ads will debut on October 11, featuring Tyson Beckford as the face of ArgyleCulture. (WWD)

THE IT: Inside the 2010 White Cashmere Collection

Detail from Katrina Tuttle‘s design for the 2010 White Cashmere Collection, held at the AGO last week. The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation event, in which top Canadian designers create clothes made entirely out of bathroom tissue, coincides with the brand’s reintroduction of its limited-edition pink product, of which 25 cents from each package sold goes to the Foundation.

Story and photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

Last week’s White Cashmere show—featuring designs from Renata Morales, Pat McDonagh, Réva Mivasagar and other top Canadian couturiers—made crafting ensembles out of bathroom tissue almost look easy, obscuring a design process swathed in challenges.

“The biggest thing is that it tears,” recalled Katrina Tuttle of creating her belted sheath dress. “That was the hardest thing to get around—figuring out what was the best way to strengthen it so the garment would hold itself up. The first day, the first 12 hours, was about trial and error.”

Sleek cocktail dresses, voluminous frocks and even a swimsuit—all formed from pink and standard-issue white Cashmere bathroom tissue—appeared across a runway navigated with careful confidence by a model contingent featuring Canada’s Next Top Model, Meaghan Waller, in a sweeping Ines Di Santo gown. Shay Lowe’s Tudor-esque ruff necklace boldly established territory for accessorizing under the TP aesthetic. Remarkably there were no casualties on the catwalk, save for a bit of downed flower detailing.

Style legend Pat McDonagh, whose striking commission evoked a candy-flossed southern belle, remembers “three weeks of utter labour” culminating in near-disaster.

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THE BITE: An amuse-bouche of fashion news

Armani’s blue period, Spring 2011. Story by Anne Pringle.

Bleu de Armani
We took note when Chanel released their fragrance “Bleu de Chanel” and Tom Peucheux came out with the Blue Dhalia makeup collection for Estée Lauder. Blue has now shown up on the runway in the boldest statement yet: Giorgio Armani’s Milan show featured only the colour blue in different shades and textures, and was inspired by the Tuaregs—nomadic desert people of North Africa. Think long, draped skirts, bold ethnic jewellery, silky scarves wrapped around the model’s heads and flat sandals—all in deep shades of blue. To top it all off, the models wore smoky navy makeup around their eyes. This colour is definitely having a moment. (NY Times)

Formichetti for Uniqlo
The most recently released ads for Japanese label Uniqlo were styled by Nicola Formichetti (stylist to Lady Gaga and newly appointed director of Thierry Mugler) and feature Orlando Bloom. The expectant father stars in Uniqlo’s “Made for All” campaign, which advocates the philosophy that clothing design should not be confined by labels. The pieces are made to transcend age, gender and nationality—in other words, made for everyone, everywhere. Think straight-leg jeans, v-neck sweaters and crew neck T-shirts.  (Uniqlo) and (NY Mag)

Burton’s New McQueen
Sarah Burton is the new successor of Alexander McQueen, having taken the reigns as creative director in May. The pressure mounts as she prepares to debut her first independent womenswear collection on October 5. The designer said she hopes to maintain the McQueen “spirit and essence”, but that there might be a few changes. She claimed that being a woman, the collection would perhaps have more a woman’s point of view and be a littler softer. But she won’t lose the McQueen edginess completely. As she aptly put it, “There’s always got to be some darkness, because otherwise you don’t appreciate what’s light.” We can’t wait to see what she’s come up with. (Vogue UK)

Williamson + Bulgari
British designer Matthew Williamson collaborated with Bulgari on a new line of handbags for the Spring 2011 season. The capsule collection of bags features beautiful hexagonal clutches that come in jewel tones like ruby, sapphire and emerald and giant totes with bright, kaleidoscope style prints. The collection will likely be out of most of our price ranges, but if you are, say, Sienna Miller (a close friend of the designer), you can buy them at Bulgari stores as of January 2011. (In Style)

TOP SPOTS: Arlene Dickinson

Story by Caitlin Agnew. Photograph courtesy of Arlene Dickinson.

Starring in Dragons’ Den is no easy task, but Arlene Dickinson manages to do it with professionalism, grace, and impeccable style. As the CEO of Venture Communications, Dickinson provides marketing services for the likes of Toyota, Unilever, and the LCBO. With an astute eye for the next big thing (she was the first Dragon to start a Twitter account back in 2008), she’s the image-savvy dragon, and arguably the one with the best (and most fiery) head on her shoulders.

Dickinson shared a few of her favourite places in Toronto with The Style Notebook.

What’s your favourite place to go for a drink during the week (and what’s your drink of choice?)

“I enjoy the patio and lounge at ONE (116 Yorkville Ave., 416-961-9600) for people watching and doing business. Belvedere vodka and soda with olives, please!”

To go for a drink on the weekend

“At my cottage. If I’m in the city there’s so many options—I have a commitment to visit a new bar/restaurant every month so I can explore them all and mix it up.”

Favourite brunch spot

Fresh on Bloor (326 Bloor St. W., 416-531-2635) and Kalendar Koffee House (546 College St., 416-923-4128).”

Top date spot

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THE BITE: An amuse-bouche of fashion news

Giorgio Armani’s sketch for Lady Gaga’s Grammy dress, and the dress itself. Story by Anne Pringle.

Armani + Gaga
Italian fashion house Giorgio Armani gained iconic status in the Eighties with its perfectly tailored power suits that ended up defining corporate America (and Richard Gere in American Gigolo). With that in mind, the brand developed a somewhat conservative, traditional reputation… but not for long. A recent partnership with eccentric trendsetter Lady Gaga has put Armani in a new creative spotlight. Armani has created several outfits for the performer, including the cosmic hoop dress with orbiting rings she wore to the Grammy Awards, the bondage-style black leather costumes in her “Alejandro” video, and the black rubbery dress with spikes Gaga wore to the MTV Music Video Awards. Armani is also set to design the costumes for Lady Gaga’s upcoming concert in Italy this December. As Mr. Armani put it, “It wouldn’t be possible to give Gaga a look from the collection because she wears pieces of art. It’s theatrical.” (Wall Street Journal)

Intern inspiration
The 2008 CFDA winner Alexander Wang has a reputation for edgy designs. This is good news if you happen to be an Alexander Wang intern—Wang reportedly used one if his intern’s drawings as the print for some pieces in his Spring 2011 show. Apparently, he had his interns sit and doodle whatever they felt like for several minutes, and ended up using the scribbles in his show on pieces like a white jacket and free-flowing cropped pants. (Nylon)

Walker memorial
Catherine Walker, longtime friend and designer to Princess Diana, has sadly passed away after a long battle with breast cancer at the age of 65. Originally born in France, Walker moved to London as a young woman and began her career in fashion in 1976, a year after her husband passed away. She worked as a tailor and dressmaker for many high society women in London, and made over 1,000 dresses for Diana, including the black dress the Princess was laid to rest in. A memorial service has been scheduled for next month. (Catwalk Queen)

Clothing by Claudia
Claudia Schiffer is having a momentous year—after giving birth to her third child, Cosima, in May and turning 40 at the end of August, she has decided to get back to business. While sitting in the front row at the Salvatore Ferragamo show this past weekend, the supermodel spilled the beans that she will be launching her own fashion line at “an event” next month. (Fashionologie)