THE IT: Thakoon checks into The Room

Thakoon Panichgul at The Room at the Bay. Story by Mishal Cazmi.

Thakoon Panichgul’s ascent in the fashion industry didn’t occur overnight. The designer, who obtained a degree in business before enrolling in Parsons School of Design, debuted his collection in 2004. His garments have graced the silhouettes of starlets like Marion Cotillard and Carey Mulligan, but his ultimate coup has been to dress First Lady Michelle Obama. One of the most feted designers of New York Fashion Week every season, Thakoon’s Midas touch is his thoughtful—and artful—approach in flattering the female form.

Recently, The Room at the Bay previewed Thakoon’s Spring 2011 collection at a trunk show with the designer in attendance. The trunk show also included pieces from his Fall 2010 and Resort 2011 collections.

Thakoon embarked on a flight of fancy with his Spring collection, keeping his signature romantic and feminine aesthetic while offering a lighter, airier fare.  A sea of white, structured pieces balanced with billowy dresses, and unexpected details like exposed hook-and-eye closures and mesh. “Almost preppy but done in a feminine way,” said Thakoon.

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TALK TO ME: Leith Clark, part I

Story by Mishal Cazmi. Illustration by Ayalah Hutchins.

Only the prettiest adjectives—ethereal, whimsical, and dreamlike—can describe Lula magazine. It’s a magazine dipped in sunlight and enchantment, a world inhabited by dreamers.

Published twice a year, Lula has become more than a magazine; it’s evolved into brand and a lifestyle, made in the image of Clark herself. A Lula girl is a special kind of a girl. She’s a bit Sofia Coppola, a bit Enid Blyton. She eats cupcakes and sips champagne. She wears Moschino and Erdem.

Leith Clark, the editor-in-chief of the magazine, also happens to be Canadian. Clark’s journey is a familiar narrative in the magazine world—a small town girl who moved to New York City in pursuit of her dreams. She interned at Interview magazine before moving to London to work at British Vogue as an assistant to Kate Phelan. But Clark also made it in a big way.

She’s styled stars (Keira Knightley), campaigns (Chanel), and shoots (Harper’s BazaarVogue). And of course, she created Lula, a magazine that began as a small labour of love and has since earned an international cult following. In other words, Leith Clark is the best friend you wish you had. Every suburban girl need only look to Clark, a former resident of Oakville, Ontario, to realize that dreams can come true. She’s the living embodiment of the Lula fairy tale.

Clark was recently in Toronto for the opening of her Lula pop-up shop, curated for The Room at the Bay in celebration of its God Save the Queen event. In a Chanel dress and her favourite Tabitha Simmons suede platform wedges, Clark sat down to chat with The Style Notebook.

You curated the LULA pop-up shop for The Room, which you also did earlier this summer for Harvey Nichols. What were you looking for when selecting items for the pop-up shop?

“Sometimes it’s very selfish. The Miu Miu shoes that are in there were actually shoes they did five years ago. I think I called every Miu Miu store in the whole world and they were all sold out. This May, I got engaged and I remembered those shoes again. I wrote a letter to them saying, just so you know, one of the very first thoughts I had about a wedding were those shoes. So they made them and sent them to me to my house with a card, which was amazing. And then Harvey Nichols asked me to do a pop-up shop for them last summer and one of the first things I thought to do was phone Miu Miu again about those shoes.

Everything else in the shop is by people that I love. Charles Anastase made a dress similar to this one three years ago, but it was short with much wider straps and a higher neck. The Sonia Rykiel dress is a variation of one that existed that was longer. It usually starts with something they’ve already done. With Rodarte, I was really annoying and decided I wanted to wear white dresses forever! There’s also a book called Pretty Things by Liz Goldwyn. It’s so wonderful and I think people don’t see it enough.”

Lula has a very particular aesthetic. When you’re preparing an issue, how do you decide who gets to be in the pages—who the photographer is, the writer, who to interview?

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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 INVITATION: The Society, The Face Hunter & more

Fashionable guests (including Gee Beauty‘s Natalie Gee in the mini) in conversation at The Society’s party for Yvan Rodic, the Face Hunter, and the Balenciaga Paris fragrance. The event was held at The Room at the Bay. Photography by Natalie Castellino.

Personal style, street style, fashion—the finest of lines divide these style base camps. Photographer Yvan Rodic has carved out his territory in the street style camp and, as evidenced by the turn-out at his book party on Thursday night, he is flourishing there. Sporting tousled hair, a velvet jacket, and the requisite slightly rolled up slacks, Yvan surveyed the crowd with the experienced gaze of an aesthete, doing what he does best: face hunting. Meanwhile, Balenciaga decided to join the hunt, celebrating Balenciaga Paris, the French house’s first new fragrance in years as Yvan launched his first book ever.

On arrival at The Room at the Bay, a delicate scented ribbon was tied around each guest’s wrist—a far chicer version of the sort of bracelet applied at concerts. The guest list was bolstered by the ranks of social butterflies drawn in by an invitation from The Society, as well as the beauty editors, fashion bloggers and style scenesters to whom a shiny party amongst the Bay’s impressive contemporary collection and a glass (or two) of pink sparkling really is just a Thursday.

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