THE IT: Philip Sparks Spring 2011

When the news broke that Philip Sparks, designer of the city’s best-loved menswear line, was showing womenswear for the first time, people talked about it with the kind of anticipatory fervour usually reserved for promising first dates.

It ended up being love at first sight.

A little New York cool, a little Toronto indie, the spring womenswear featured classic pieces—trench, shirt-dress, a perfect pair of high-waisted shorts—and a lovely print (repeated throughout the collection) taken from a photo of cherry trees in High Park.

Click through for a sweet selection of looks, arranged boy/girl.

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THE INVITATION: A night with Steve Nash, James Franco & co.

Story by Emily Blake.

TIFF can be a celebrity whirlwind. Heads snap in all directions and the whispers of “Isn’t that…” and “So and so looks so different in person” echo throughout the city. So when a celebrity athlete makes a film about a Canadian hero, and hosts the party at the home of a famous Canadian artist, it can become the perfect storm of star sightings.

MVP Steve Nash is the athlete in question, our very own basketball savant and my hometown boy (both of us are from Victoria, B.C. leading to one degree of separation). His documentary about Terry Fox, Into the Wind, was the reason for the ruckus, which included an army of valets, Mounties in full costume, a red carpet and many, many, lit up bottles of Vitamin Water, the party’s sponsor.

Inside there was a scene not often found during TIFF—the sports crowd. Olympic athletes like Adam van Koeverden (Canadian gold medallist in kayaking) and members of the Canadian women’s gold medal hockey team, mingled with men who, due to their height, must either have been pro b-ball players or human ladders.

We also saw film producer Jason Reitman, TV and radio host George Stroumboulopolous, and Ben Kowalwicz, the lead singer of Billy Talent. What really made the night for us though, happened while we were standing in the open air Zen Garden on the bottom floor, discussing Electric Circus (what else?) with designer Philip Sparks and NOW Magazine’s adorable Andrew Sardone. Out popped Charles Pachter, owner of the incredible home we were ogling.

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This spring 2010 Philip Sparks look provides sartorial inspiration. Story by Marq Frerichs.

I’ve known the time was coming for a couple of weeks now. I’ve even gone out and bought myself some. Didn’t do it last year, I thought I could get away with it. I was wrong. I mean really, we all have to do it at some point, what with the weather and all.

Yes, you know what I’m talking about: Shorts.

Short pants, Bermudas, knickerbockers, cut-offs, whatever you might call them. They come in all shapes and sizes, drawstring, belted, Velcro, snapped and elastic, high waisted, low-rise, cuffed and frayed. You wore them as a kid and laughed at your granddaddies – they’re as much a part of spring as fireworks on Victoria Day weekend.

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TOP SPOTS: Andrew Sardone

Photograph courtesy of Jenna Marie Wakani.

Andrew Sardone is the fashion and design writer for NOW Magazine and one of the snappiest dressers in the city. With designer Philip Sparks, he’s also half of the fashion scene’s most likable, talented couple.

After a busy week covering the Fall 2010 shows, Andrew shared his favourite places in Toronto with us.

Pho, dim sum or both?

“Can I say Indian instead? Trimurti takeout.”

Brunch spot

“The breakfast for two at Oddfellows. My boyfriend and I inevitably order the same thing at restaurants so the clay bowl full of baked eggs, sausages and other brunch staples lets us do that without looking too cute.”

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A vintage photo of Nathalie taking a break while on assignment. Photograph courtesy of James Pattyn.

“In the past I’ve been known to pack not only my own deluxe sandwich for lunch but one for the Post‘s hardworking photographer. Sadly this year, there’s been no time. Though I did bake hearty cookies that I swapped with Andrew Sardone from NOW for one of Philip Sparks’s homemade butter tarts! And anyway, the thing that all the camera guys in the pit seem to want most is earplugs.”

Nathalie Atkinson, journalist and style columnist for the National Post

Nathalie sent The Style Notebook a photo of what she described as “one of the only butter tarts better than Philip’s that I’ve ever tasted.” Warning: You’ll want one.

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