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?

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THE BUY: Military chic

Story by Caitlin Agnew.

For Fall 2010, designers sent their troops marching down the runway—literally—in military-inspired getups. From Balmain to Burberry, never has there been an army so stylish. Crisp details and muted colours are perfect for back-to-school fall chic and also lend some much-needed structure after a summer of lace and free-flowing maxi-dresses.

Military style also allows for versatile fashion strategies. Channeling your inner Napoleon?  It’s brass buttons all the way. Take back the uniform and make it your own, mixing pieces from all eras of combat and fashion.

Here are our favourite military-inspired pieces, from $8 to $4,900, and all available in Toronto.

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THE BUY: Toronto’s top summer dresses

Caitlin Agnew picks 12 of her favourite summer dresses, and where to wear them in Toronto, from Lobby to Camp 4.

If there’s anything more fun than going to a party, it’s getting ready for one. And what’s more important to the preparation process than choosing that perfect party dress? From Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Pretty in Pink to Sex and the City, your dress can make or break your evening. (Remember what happened when Carrie Bradshaw wore her naked dress?)

This week on The Buy, we’ve selected Toronto’s best festive frocks. All you need is a pair of heels, your favourite accessories (see last week’s Buy), your BFFs or your beau, and you’ll be ready for anything, anywhere.

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THE BUY: White riot

OUR INSPIRATION For her 1971 wedding to Mick, Bianca Jagger famously wore a crisp, cool white suit. Illustration by Cleo Kendall. Story by Caitlin Agnew.

From weddings to Wimbledon, white rules the summer months. You don’t need to be a bride or a tennis star to make an all-white ensemble work  (but a tan helps). If you’re going for a monochromatic outfit, use white as a canvas to draw attention to other elements of your look—a poppy turquoise necklace, a perfect red lip.

Or use white hot accessories—a pump, belt, pair of earrings—to add a welcome dash of cool. (A word of advice: Skip the white sunglasses. That trend should have stayed in 2006.)

We’ve chosen our 12 favourite white pieces, from $10 to $859, all available in Toronto.

First up: A lacy take on classic white courtesy of Christian Louboutin. (Guess which piece is $859?)

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THE BUY: Oxford circus

Story by Caitlin Agnew. Illustrator Cleo Kendall was inspired by Blair Waldorf, the modern arbiter of preppy chic.

If you’ve been paying attention to what women are wearing on their feet lately, you’ll have noticed a major shift away from the ubiquitous ballet flat to a pointier, manlier, and more practical shoe. Yes, oxfords and brogues (brogues being the ones with the detailing and “W” shape at the top) are the current shoe of choice for Toronto’s fashion-conscious pedestrians.

The running shoe for grown-ups, oxfords and brogues are as versatile and practical as they are fashionable.  Wear them with jeans, wear them with a dress, wear them to go shopping or out to brunch; they’re the perfect daytime shoe, offering comfort, support, and a polished finish to any outfit.

Gossip Girl’s Blair Waldorf loves them, and with the great selection available in Toronto, you’re sure to find a pair (or four) that you’ll love too. Here are 10+ of our favourites.

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THE BUY: Jean genie

Story by Caitlin Agnew. Illustrator Cleo Kendall was inspired by the famous 1969 photograph of Marisa Berenson wearing a YSL mini-dress.

“I’ve often said that I wish I had invented blue jeans,” said Yves Saint Laurent in 1970. “They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity—all I hope for in my clothes.”

They also have arguably the most stylish lineage of any article of clothing—from James Dean to Brooke Shields in her Calvins to the Spring 2010 runways, which featured more denim than a Zeppelin reunion concert.

Always stylish, forever cool, and never boring, denim is the universal signifier for casual, confident and effortless chic. In the inaugural edition of The Buy—our weekly column of stylish things—we take a look at this season’s top denim offerings, blue jeans, sure, but also denim shirts, dresses and jackets, all of which are available in Toronto.

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FASHION WEEK: Thumbs down

Overall, The Style Notebook team thoroughly enjoyed Fashion Week. The collections were strong and the crowd was fun. (Read our thumbs up here.) But we didn’t love everything…

DOLL PARTS

What sly mind first put forth the idea that Barbie is a style icon? An icon of childhood, sure, of feminist ire, absolutely, but of fashion? It isn’t just the Toronto scene who has fallen under Barbie’s perfectly proportioned spell—last year to celebrate her 50th anniversary, 50 American designers (Michael Kors and Diane von Furstenberg among them) created outfits inspired by her singular influence. This season at the Toronto shows, in addition to a (good) collection inspired by Barbie and created by David Dixon, there was an eight-foot-tall, hot pink box in which you could pose as if you were Barbie herself. And people did.

—Laura

RED-FACED SNAPPERS

We love technology (we are on the interwebs after all) but just because everyone has a rad digital camera and a blog does not make it cool for audience members to be flashing away at their favourite looks. It’s distracting and likely a pain for the photographers in the pit. A little etiquette s’il vous plait—we may be at the Ex but Fashion Week is not a carnival.

—Emily

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FASHION WEEK: Titian nation

One of our favourite male models from the shows, seen here at Joe Fresh. All photography by Natalie Castellino.

It began before LG Fashion Week officially opened its doors. On the LINE Knitwear runway I noticed two models with red hair. “Gingers!” I thought to myself, “Now that’s different.” Now that the last show has been seen, the red tide on the runways can officially be classified as one of the most notable trends of the week.

Red hair tends to get a reaction. It has both negative connotations (see: Anne of Green Gables or…Britain) and sexy ones (Cheryl of Archie comic fame), and this week it was nothing if not versatile.

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