God Save The Queen: The Next British Invasion Party!

Last week, the most amazing thing happened. A group of prominent young British designers landed in Toronto to be feted at The Bay’s own Room on Queen St. Having swooned over many of their collections on Style.com for years, it was an incredible experience to have been able to meet and mingle with such creative geniuses as Canadian-born Erdem Moralioglu and Mark Fast, Jonathan Saunders, Nicholas Kirkwood, Giles Deacon, Marios Schwab, Tom Binns, Mary Katrantzou and the lovely Charlotte Olympia Dellal – all huge names worldwide, and all partying together at the same Room at the same time! When I first got the invite, I think le boyfriend went deaf from my…ahem…excitement. Huge thanks to Sandra for the invite! You’ve made my year!

I must say that I was quite nervous and starstruck by most of these talented individuals, and as Sharon of The Backseat Stylers put it, sometimes you have to remind yourself that designers too are people. If there was one designer that I really REALLY wanted to meet it had to be Erdem. I’ve always been fascinated by his beautiful, feminine designs and thankfully, the designer himself was just as charming in person. As a Canadian, who once upon a time went to Ryerson, he said that it felt great to come home, where he still has a lot of friends and family.

Later on at the party, I also got a chance to meet and speak to Charlotte Olympia Dellal, whose fun and fab outfit (peep the banana clutch) and whimsical shoes stole my heart, as did her cheeky personality.

Other attendees that night included Tommy Ton of Jak and Jil, whose photos are a huge inspiration to thousands of fashion lovers everywhere, and who is also notably a Canadian, Lisa Tant of Flare Magazine, Dan Levy of MTV Canada, and dozens of amazing Toronto bloggers. I had such an great time hanging out with Sharon and her hubby, Kimberly of The Souls of My Shoes, Lisa – The Hip Urban Girl, and meeting stylist Tricia Campbell Hall.

There were so many stylish people to photograph, so many beautiful (and I mean REALLY beautiful) clothes and shoes to look at – I can truthfully say that this was the event of the year in my books. So much talent and fashion under one roof, it was intoxicating.

And that’s the thing about the new Room at The Bay. It offers a wealth of labels to even the pickiest of shoppers, all carefully displayed in a gorgeous, brightly lit space, featuring trunk shows straight off the latest fashion shows, and giving its customers an opportunity to actually meet the designers. Even on a regular shopping day, The Room is an experience in itself, but pair it with what happened at The Next British Invasion gala, and you’ve got yourself a sure recipe for a night to remember. It might not feel like The Bay you already know, and perhaps it isn’t. This newly-improved Bay is way better!

What I Wore: Dress – Jacob; Blazer – Zara; Socks – H&M; Bag – Prada; Shoes – Miu Miu

Photo Credits: Style Blog, Last Photo Courtesy of The Backseat Stylers

What I Wore: The Baby-Sitters Club

Apparently, babies really like bulky necklaces. And if they get a chance to grab one, they won’t be likely to let go until it’s either off or pried out of their little hands. Same goes with hair. I’ve been learning so much about babies lately, thanks to my little baby nephew and our endless conversations, that consist mostly of “blah blah”, “goo goo”, and lots of funny faces.

Before I met him, I never really was a “baby person”, but I just cannot help but turn into mush every time I see him. I wore this outfit last week to babysit him, and ended up coming home with milk stains on my shirt, and drool on my necklace. Next time, I’m going to wear something printed to camouflage the imprints of his teeny fingers.

What I Wore: Striped Shirt, Denim Shirt – H&M; Jeans – Gap; Shoes – Steve Madden; Necklace, Bag, Cube Ring - Forever21; Sunglasses – Ray Ban; Belt, Ball Ring – The Bay

Calvin Klein BEAUTY – It Touches Everything Contest

Huge thanks to Sumaya and Matchstick for hooking me up with the newest Calvin Klein fragrance, called BEAUTY along with some gorgeous calla lilies! Did you know that the calla lily is the only flower allowed at Calvin Klein’s offices and his home? And composition of BEAUTY itself was inspired by the gracious curves and beauty of the calla lily. BEAUTY aims to depict the internal beauty of a woman, her strength and spirit.

“It’s very elegant, and that’s why we wanted to work with Diane (Kruger). This woman we’re trying to portray — she’s not someone who doesn’t have experiences in her life. We wanted this woman to be worldly and well-traveled, a confident woman and a woman who had strength.” said Catherine Walsh, senior vice president of American Fragrances at Coty Prestige.

I have to be honest, the scent did seem to be a bit too much for me at first, but upon further applications it really started to grow on me. I like the warm, spicy floral notes of BEAUTY – and the body chemistry makes the scent smell a bit less crisp, and a bit more musky (just the way I like it). Along with the bottle of BEAUTY, I also received a few samples to give to my friends and family, and the feedback I’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive.

So, if BEAUTY sounds like something you’d like to try, you might be in serious luck, as FASHION magazine had just launched an amazing contest! All you need to do to enter FASHION magazine’s Calvin Klein BEAUTY It Touches Everything Contest  is submit a photo of what you think is beautiful (can be anything). The contest prize is worth $2500 – and it includes a shopping spree, calla lily deliveries for six months, a basket of CK fragrances, spa day and much more! You will also get a sample of BEAUTY just for entering. Not sure which photo I’m going to submit, but in the meantime – good luck to all of you!

What I Wore: Cousin Itt

I adore my new Old Navy coat! Have been wanting something “camel” for a while now, and now, thanks to Old Navy Canada, I got it! Have you checked out their coat section lately? I believe most coats are 30% off in stores right now, and the variety is pretty amazing. This one is lightweight, with a removable faux-fur collar, and also comes in black. Most people that have seen it, cannot believe that it’s from Old Navy! But it is, and I love it!

Same day I got the coat, I stopped by H&M and picked up this hat, and circle scarf (at children’s department). I was so happy with my hat purchase, until I took some photos in it. As soon as my mom saw the photos, she could not stop laughing…the scarf + the hat + sunglasses + the hair = Cousin Itt in her mind. Well, I don’t mind if it brings uncontrollable laughter a smile to her face. To me, this coat and this hat scream 70s. Perhaps, I’ll re-think the scarf and the sunglasses next time around.

And speaking of Cousin Itt…have you figured out what to wear for Halloween? I think, I’m going to shop my closet for a costume this year. I can’t stand the sight of those polyester (Sexy Nurse/Cop/Schoolgirl) costumes. Any fun ideas?

What I Wore: Coat – Old Navy (courtesy of Old Navy); Top – Club Monaco; Pants – Forever21; Hat, Scarf – H&M; Bag – Prada; Shoes – Winners; Sunglasses – Ray Ban

Lanvin for H&M – First Look

It seems that this morning everyone is buzzing with excitement over the release of the first look at the highly-anticipated Lanvin collaboration with H&M. So far, I am really into it! The black asymmetrical frock is a fave of mine, and is so typically Lanvin, that I can barely believe that this collab is actually happening. I do really hope that the collection has some signature Lanvin color, as well as some cute ballet flats. Though, I guess the shoe-thing won’t be happening with this particular collection. Either way…ladies, do you have your credit cards ready? I know, I do!

Photo Credits: TFS

Foodie: Enoteca Sociale

Enoteca Sociale
1288 Dundas St. West
Toronto, ON
416-534-1200
Perfect For: Date Night, Girls Night Out
Menu

I really don’t know what took me so long. Enoteca Sociale has been on my “list” for ages now, yet I haven’t set foot in the West End resto until last week. And I am so glad that I finally did.

First of all, I just want to say that hostesses at Enoteca are great! When my friend and I came in without a reservation, there was not a hint of “hollier than thou-ness”, just a friendly smile and a genuine attempt at getting us a table. We were advised that the wait would take around 30 minutes, and that we should grab a drink at the nearby Brockton General, which we did. Not even 30 minutes in, we got a call to let us know that our table is ready. Quick, courteous, perfect!

As we weren’t too hungry when we got in, the tasting menu on the card looked the best – we’d get to try a little bit of everything to gauge what we liked best, all at a price of $45 (split between the two of us). Not bad for antipasto, pasta, main, side, cheese, and dessert, no?

I do believe that the tasting menu gets tweaked once in a while, but whatever we did have that night was pure deliciousness. We started with chef’s choice antipasto, which included rabbit rillette, best-tasting olives ever, and some pickled green beans. All were great, and gone in a flash.

Our pasta dish consisted of a few large pieces of ravioli stuffed with duck pâté – something I’ve never tried in ravioli form. But it was taste bud explosion with every bite! Too bad my friend had to have his carbs that day, otherwise I would’ve definitely hogged well over my half of the plate.

Next, we got a plateful of Beef Tagliata with eggplant, potatoes, and corn. The meat was definitely full of flavor, but I would’ve preferred a bit more eggplant in my dish. For that reason, the ravioli were still the clear winner of the night in my books. For our Contorni, we went with Zucchini in thyme, honey & butter – lightly cooked, crunchy, and very healthy – yum.

Once the plates were licked clean, our waiter brought us some Formaggi e Frutti from Enoteca’s own cheese cave. A little bit of plum, some caramelized pecans, and I’m not exactly sure what kind of cheese we got (chef’s selection once again)…but it was all very good. If only a little too…well, little. But I wouldn’t expect much more from a tasting menu.

To finish off our meal, out came the Ricotta and Peach dessert. Not exactly sure of the name, but it tasted like a typical Neapolitan ricotta-based dessert that I’ve tried once in Switzerland. Delicious whipped ricotta cheese, laced with peach slices and syrup…with granola on top. Screw the granola, I am all about the whipped ricotta – SO. GOOD. Must try to make this at home.

Overall, I am still in a bit of a daze from our Enoteca outing, and have been shouting the restaurant’s name from the rooftops wherever I go…Ok, not exactly from the rooftops, but I am definitely planning a few more outings at this Dundas St. West restaurant. With the inviting staff, delicious food, welcoming ambiance, and apparently one of the best wine lists in the city – there’s no reason for you not to have visited Enoteca Sociale. So if like me, you’ve been procrastinating and delaying your visit, I urge you to finally get off your behind, make a reservation (or not), and RUN to Enoteca Sociale for a yummy meal/hot date/girl’s night out/whatever. It really is as good as they say.

Enoteca Sociale on Urbanspoon

Jeanne Beker Bratz Doll

Recently, at a preview of the new line of toys at Windsor Arms, I spotted something very interesting – a Jeanne Beker-inspired doll! A fan of Jeanne’s myself, I was wondering what the deal was with the Bratz Passion for Fashion doll, since apart from the hair, the doll didn’t really resemble Jeanne in the least. Well, apparently, it wasn’t supposed to. Jeanne Beker, who wrote the book titled Passion for Fashion - Careers in Style for the young fashion lovers, was approached by Bratz for a collaboration. The result? A fashion reporter doll, named Jeanne B – styled by Ms. Beker herself!

The doll comes complete with a copy of Jeanne Beker’s book, a press pass, camera, microphone and other fashion reporter essentials. And as for the looks, I was told that since most celebrity look-alike dolls tend to look creepy (completely agree!), Bratz decided to go in a different direction with this one. Not a Jenne Beker doll per se, but a Jeanne-inspired one instead. I think, it’s pretty amazing!

What about you? With Christmas approaching, would you get a Jeanne B doll for your little fashion lover? Let me know in the comments!

 

What I Wore: Unbelt My Heart

These photos were taken a while ago, actually. Back when wearing a jacket wasn’t really necessary, but I did it anyway, because I missed wearing jackets, after an entire jacket-less summer. I got this one from Gap a few years back on sale, and I’ve loved it ever since. Military is, of course, a pretty big trend this fall, but I like this jacket in particular because it fits so damn well, it’s lightweight and comfy, even when I don’t have to wear a jacket. Is that confusing you? Sorry, it’s been a tiring week.

Also, I think this was the first time I ever wore a belt with a jacket. I kinda liked it aesthetically, but it’s the most awkward thing when you have to take off your belt in order to take off your coat inside a sushi restaurant. I mean, it actually felt as if I was taking off my pants, or something. And then, once the belt is off, where do you put it??? Do you just hang it on the back of your chair? Or do what I did, and roll it up in a ball, and stuff it hurriedly into a jacket pocket? I don’t know the rules of jacket+belt wearing, but I do know that perhaps in order to avoid seeming gauche, it’s best to just keep the darned jacket+belt combo on the entire time? What do you think?

What I Wore: Plaid Shirt, Belt – H&M; Long Tank Top – Forever21; Leggings – Aritzia; Boots – Zara; Jacket – Gap; Bag – Prada; Sunglasses – Ray Ban

Don’t Miss – This Week in Toronto!

LG Fashion Week is almost here, and it seems that Toronto is buzzing with excitement! But until next week, there are plenty of things to do and see for fashion lovers in the city. Here’s a list of the do-not-miss events happening this week:

1. God Save the Queen at The Bay (Friday, October 15th)

If there’s an event this October that makes one forget about Toronto Fashion Week altogether, this one is it. For all those Brit Fashion fans, The Room at The Bay is hosting a two-day “British Invasion”, which includes designers Mark Fast, Erdem Moralioglu, Jonathan Saunders, Charlotte Olympia Dellal, Nicholas Kirkwood, Marios Schwab and Giles Deacon showing off their designs, fresh off London Fashion Week runways. And though Thursday night is guest-list only, Friday, October 15th is free for all.

Spring 2011 trunk shows will include Charlotte Olympia at 11am, The Next Wave of British Fashion Panel Discussion at 12pm, Giles Deacon at 1pm, Erdem (woohoo!) at 2pm, Nicholas Kirkwood at 3pm, and Jonathan Saunders at 4pm. This is your chance to see Spring 2011 collections up close and personal before they even hit the stores. Definitely an opportunity not to be missed. See you there?

2. Eleven Boutique Celebrates Canadian Art & Fashion

This month, Eleven celebrates top Canadian fashion designers along with the work of local Canadian artists; beginning with an installation by Toronto born artist Jenna Pietrobon, amongst a backdrop of this season’s most coveted Fall fashions and accessories.   Closing the celebratory month is a shopping evening partnering with local neighbour, The Guild Shop, the Ontario Crafts Council’s retail gallery since 1932.
 
Eleven Art Installation
When: Now Showing until October 15th
 
Celebrating Canadian Art and Fashion
When:  Thursday October 28th, 5pm – 8pm

Eleven, a boutique that carries a lot of Canadian fashion/jewelry brands is a must-visit on your next trip to Yorkville. And if you can squeeze in some culture, while supporting Canadian art & fashion? Even better.

3. Sears Canada LG Fashion Week Promotion

As one of the Fashion Week sponsors, Sears teamed up with LG for the following fashion week promos:

- Visit one of the participating stores and fill out a ballot to win 1 of 5 V.I.P. tickets to the Sears Attitude Fashion show at LG Fashion Week on October 20, 2010.

- 1 of the 5 ticket winners will also win a LG Steam Washer & Dryer* (Selected winner must be present at the Fashion show on October 20 or will forfeit the prize).

- Purchase a new LG Steam Washer & Dryer and receive a $100 Sears Gift Card, October 8 – 24, 2010

4. Dare to Wear Love Show

Ok, so this one is not happening this week, per se. But it is for a good cause, and tickets are already available, so you’d better move fast if you’d like to attend. This year, all seats are being sold in order to raise funds for the grassroots organizations in Africa on the frontlines of the AIDS pandemic, supported by the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

At 8 p.m. on Friday, October 22, ticket holders will have the opportunity to attend an exclusive cocktail party in the Fashion Environment at Heritage Court. Following the party, guests will experience Dare to Wear Love, an uplifting and unforgettable show full of African-inspired fashion, dance and music.

More than 25 talented designers including Brian Bailey, Evan Biddell, Damzels In This Dress, David Dixon, Comrags, Linda Lundström, Lucian Matis, Pat McDonagh, Jason Meyers, Nada, Kingi Carpenter, Izzy Camilleri, and many more will produce one women’s or men’s ensemble for a mix of professional models, celebrity models and friends of the designers to wear down the runway. Each designer is given six yards of eye-catching fabrics sourced from Africa to create their one-of-a-kind look.

White Space Launch at The Bay Yorkdale

If you like The Room at the Queen St. Bay store, then you will love the brand new White Space at Yorkdale. As I’ve mentioned before, The Bay has been consistently improving and brightening up their stores, bringing in new and well-established brands, making the shopping experience so much better and so much more fun. At last week’s launch party, Al and I found out just how much fun shopping at White Space is.

The spacious and well-lit women’s contemporary department is filled with brands like Love Moschino, See by Chloé, killer shoes by Sam Edelman, party dresses by BCBG, pretty prints by ADAM, lovely separates by Sandro - that’s a whole lot of beautiful clothes! It’s so refreshing to see great brand name selection at a Canadian department store…perhaps in the near future it’ll become a regular occurrence? Fingers crossed.

After going around the room taking some photos, Al and I got to enjoy the most delicious Amarula Colada cocktails, a complimentary candy bar (Chupa Chups!!!), and a Fall Trends presentation by FASHION’s own Sarah Casselman. We were hoping to meet Adam Lippes, designer and creative director or ADAM, but unfortunately, he could not make it to the party due to a hurt foot (ouch!).

I also got to meet a few lovely Style Blog readers, and took photos of the stylish attendees, which included Daniel Buckman of BELLOSOUND, and the always fashionable Nolan Bryant, who was lucky enough to win a fun prize basket, courtesy of The Bay!

I think it goes without saying that if you love beautiful clothes, then a trip to The Bay’s White Space is a must. And their revamped shoe department? It begs a whole post of its own!