THE IT: J+O tops up its Topshop connection

Photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling

Jonathan + Olivia expanded its specially-selected Topshop line last week, adding another layer of accessible high street chic to the Ossington Avenue store-within-a-store by launching the label’s final Kate Moss collection, along with additional items from Topman menswear and the new Topshop Make-Up range.

Check out some scenes from the media preview below, including the panther dress made famous by Ms. Kate herself!

Continue reading

SOME LOOKS WE LIKED: At a very stylish sample sale

Photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

With a flurry of audacious patterns, primary colours, and ’80s explosions, the Beckerman sisters—Caillianne, Samantha and Chloé—held one of their occasional sample sales this past weekend, bringing a stash of their own designs as well as a curated selection of vintage finds to a pop-up shop at the north end of Toronto’s Fashion District.

Also on board was handbag creator Andrea Brueckner, who supplied a selection from her line—New York-made and sweatshop-free—which typically hangs from the shoulders and arms of L.A. starlets. Check out our favourite looks and pieces from the event!

Continue reading

THE IT: Celebrating Jie Matar

Story by Leanne Delap. Photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

The other night at the Canfar Bloor Street Entertains fundraiser, I had the pleasure of being seated beside some bright young things. It was great fun—I enjoyed them and wondered at the verve and nerve.

But I was struck by the lack of history in the fashion industry of this city.

More particularly, mention of some of our classic eccentrics, I was struck by how fleeting fame and infamy is in this city. The currently current generation does not have a clear sense of what came before. Good heavens, someone must retain the grand memory of the years Bentley-driving Babs hairdresser Robert Gage wore nothing but white. Oh, except for the half-decade he wore only red.

Which brings me to Jie Matar. I first wrote about the self-professed “God of Hair” in Toronto Life when he opened his eponymous Parthenon on Avenue Road.

The new, reincarnated Jie is not on the bright young thing’s radar; then again, neither is the tale of his scandal and resurrection. Therein lies the tale: Fashion is a fleeting business. Good news is that we forget bad stuff. But bad news is we don’t celebrate the knotty stories that make larger-than-life legends like our embolden-empower American cousins.

Continue reading

FLASHBACK: Nuit Blanche 2010 at 69 Vintage Collective

Allie Hughes and band at 69 Vintage Collective. Story and photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

The subway is packed but the crowds aren’t filtering out to this edge of the Junction Triangle, well beyond the festival zones. Still, at the Bloor West home of the 69 Vintage Collective (1207 Bloor St. W.) the banner of public art is being unfurled under the auspices of their Soiree des Hiboux event, a Nuit Blanche celebration with art, food and music.

In this case, the art is provided by the Lolita & Consuela installation, a slide projection on the joys of an inebriated kitchen party, which plays casually in an upstairs window.

Continue reading

STYLE MAP: Shopgirls

Story by Justine Iaboni. Photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

Shopgirls (1342 Queen St. W., 416-534-7467)

Lately, the fashion industry has been abuzz about supporting Canadian designers and local brands. So it’s quite fitting that this edition of Style Map should feature the brilliant boutique, Shopgirls and its owner, Michelle Germain.

Located in the heart of Parkdale, Shopgirls is more than just a store where you buy things, go home content, and possibly visit again. Shopgirls is a bustling community centre for designers, artists, and fashion lovers alike. With over 80 Canadian designers on hand, a newly added Home section and a gallery hallway space showcasing original pieces by local artists, Shopgirls is quickly becoming a leading lady of Toronto’s fashion scene.

Continue reading

SOME LOOKS WE LIKED: At the Bitch Slap art opening

Story by Caitlin Agnew. Photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

Last Friday, Playground Projects held the opening party for Bitch Slap, a no-nonsense art show featuring works by 28 female artists living across Canada and in New York City.

Curated by Toronto art-scene veteran Derek Mainella, the show celebrated art of all mediums—painting, photography, drawing, installation, sculpture, and film. The landmark event was sponsored by nearly every other business on the Queen West strip, from Parts & Labour at one end to Carte Blanche at the other.

Guests arrived at Thrush Holmes Empire in all sorts of looks—tartan maxi skirts, fur hats, and vintage leather, to name a few— and spent the evening sipping Russian Standard Vodka, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Vitamin Water.

Fashion trends may come and go, but art never goes out of style. Here are some of our favourite looks from the evening.

Continue reading

THE IT: Alessandra and Lily

Alessandra Ambrosio and Lily Aldridge, Victoria’s Secret Angels, touched down at the Eaton Centre last week. Story by Caitlin Agnew. Photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

Last Thursday marked the opening of Canada’s fourth Victoria’s Secret store and the first in downtown Toronto. Located at the Eaton Centre, the occasion brought two very special visitors to our city: Alessandra Ambrosio and Lily Aldridge.

When asked if I was interested in meeting with the Angels to chat about Victoria’s Secret, I jumped at the chance—as did my (male) photographer. Who wouldn’t want to check out these mythic creatures in person?  When we arrived for the interview, the door was flanked by two massive security guards.  I wondered if they were hired to protect the models or the $2 million bra on display.

Continue reading

SOME LOOKS WE LIKED: At the Joe Fresh after-party

Story by Caitlin Agnew. Photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

At the always fantastic Joe Fresh Style runway show on Wednesday night, attendees (Ben Mulroney among them) were given a neon-orange wristband to get into the official after-party. After the pandemonium of finding our seats in the packed venue, a drink was most certainly in order.

Held at Maision on Mercer Street, it was a full house when I arrived at 11. The location couldn’t have been better. A vaulted ceiling covered in giant chandeliers hung above a dance-floor surrounded on three sides by an upper level, perfect for people-watching.

Members of the media indulged in free drinks while Joe Mimran, the man himself, got down with his design team. I even spotted a group of representatives from Scouts Canada in full uniform. Who better to celebrate their new collaboration with the brand?

Continue reading

STYLE MAP: Coco’s Closet

Story by Justine Iaboni. Photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

Coco’s Closet (413 Jane St., 647-981-6870).

Nadia Trelle, a former associate buyer at Holt Renfrew, could easily become any girl’s new best friend. Not only is she très enthusiastic about all things fashion, she’s also a girl’s girl—which becomes clear within just a few minutes of watching her interact with her customers. She wants them to find the perfect dress, the perfect bag, or the perfect shoe, and she makes it her mission to help them succeed. (With a few Chanel bags on the shelves, how could she steer you wrong?)

Nadia’s consignment boutique, Coco’s Closet, is one of the first to pop up in the Bloor West Village area, after the recent success of shops like Fashionably Yours and LAB  Consignment in the Queen West and Ossington neighbourhoods.

What strikes me most about the selection at Coco’s is the quality. The Postcard winter jacket with fur trim has surely never seen a Canadian winter, and a beautiful pair of Burberry rain boots have certainly never splashed in a puddle. The finds that particularly caught my eye were a Balenciaga Giant clutch and a Missoni knit twinset that I had to reach out and touch. You know, just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.

What can we find in Coco’s Closet?

“I take things that are a year or two old, unless, of course, they’re classic pieces. An Hermès scarf from 20 years ago is still relevant, right? Ideally, I’m a mid-to-high end store. I have a Christian Dior dress, Armani, Prada, Gucci, Robert Rodriguez, but I also have some Theory pieces, as well as premium denim like Sevens and Citizens. I also carry the odd piece  of Banana Republic. I’m really looking for up-to-date fashion. The boutique is 70 percent on the higher end of things, but I’m always looking for that fun fashion piece. If something comes along that I think is right for me, I’ll put it in the store.”

Why consignment versus retail?

Continue reading