One of the first posts on this site (way back in 2009) was about TIFF Cinematheque’s Italian Cinema showcase. I noted then that Italian films from the 50’s and 60’s were probably some of my favourite movies of all time. In part because I grew up watching them, and also because they still hold up so many years later. Well, starting this month TIFF Cinematheque will be showcasing more gems of Italian Cinema, this time focusing on films starring the incomparable Anna Magnani. If you’re not familiar with La Magnani’s body of work, this is your chance to see some of her most brilliant performances on the big screen. It’s the perfect wintertime date idea! More info after the jump!
When I first read the press release, March 2018 seemed much closer than it actually is…but no matter, 1.5 years is a small price to pay to finally have a proper showcase of Yayoi Kusama’s art in Toronto. Yup, a Yayoi Kusama exhibition is coming to AGO in March 2018, and I can’t wait!
“In March 2018, this exhibition will offer a unique opportunity to experience six of the renowned artists Yayoi Kusama’s most iconic kaleidoscopic environments at once, alongside large-scale, whimsical installations and key paintings, sculptures and works on paper from the early 1950s to the present. It also marks the North American debut of numerous new works by the 87-year-old artist, who is still actively creating in her Tokyo studio.
Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors makes its ONLY Canadian stop at the AGO from March to May, 2018. A selection of more than 60 paintings, sculptures and works on paper will also be on view, showcasing many of Kusama’s lesser-known collages, made after her return to Japan in 1973. These works trace the artist’s trajectory from her early surrealist works on paper to recent paintings and soft sculptures, highlighting recurring themes of nature and fantasy, utopia and dystopia, unity and isolation, obsession and detachment, and life and death.”
This is a big deal, and mark my words, in our age of selfie sticks and Instagram stories, this exhibition is going to be EVERYWHERE – in people’s Facebook profile photos, on Snapchat, and obviously all over your Insta. Kusama’s art is colourful, fun, and highly photogenic…so mark your calendars and get your credit cards ready – you don’t want to miss this one!
More about the exhibition after the jump!
Couture season is upon us and, of course, this site would never miss a chance to feature some CHANEL Haute Couture amazingness. Skipping the usual frills, CHANEL Haute Couture Fall 2016 collection was presented in a pared down setting made up to look like an actual atelier, with petites mains working away in the background. Karl Lagerfeld wanted to pay tribute to the people behind the magical couture creations by dedicating this show and collection to them.
While couture is certainly not the biggest influencer of mainstream trends, this collection seemed to proclaim the return of the strong shoulder. From boxy tweed suits to exquisite evening gowns, strong shoulders dominated CHANEL Haute Couture Fall 2016. Perhaps because of all the off-the-shoulder looks as of late, seeing more structure felt fresh and exciting.
I probably don’t have to mention how exquisite the gowns are – all you need to do is look at the detail shots. Evening silhouette was inspired by the work of English illustrator Aubrey Beardsley. Using a variety of fabrics and embellisments like radzimir, ziberline, mikado, taffeta, faille, chiffon, crêpe georgette, organza, silk tulle, embroidered laces, almost transparent grosgrains, stones, matt sequins, beads and feathers, Karl Lagerfeld has once again presented art on the runway. Many of the looks placed a lot of emphasis on the back of the garment as well as the front – this way you turn heads coming and going…that is if you can afford CHANEL couture, of course.
Willow Smith (aka coolest 15 year old) sat front row with her famous father Will Smith, and I couldn’t help but think of her when I saw the sequinned top and culotte combo from the collection. I won’t be surprised if I see her wearing this look on the red carpet in the near future.
What about you? Did you enjoy CHANEL Haute Couture Fall 2016? Share your fave looks in the comments.
More after the jump!
Just look at those inflatables behind me, happy and unaware of the night ahead of them. By the end of Power Ball XVIII: Pleasure Principle, most of those animals would be deflated and Inflatable Culture installation taken apart, creating numerous colourful photo-ops for partygoers throughout The Power Plant. As I mentioned in this post, Power Ball is one of my favourite parties of the year, and this year’s event did not disappoint. Apart from the inflatables, other art installations included Ungentrified by Lorna Mills – a collage of gif-like raunchy video clips, Opium Den by Karen Tam – “response to stereotypical portrayals of Chinese in the West”, complete with a gong and lanterns, Anaglyph by Jordan Sodenberg Mills – mirrors that created trippy 3D reflections, perfect for surreal selfies.
After checking out the installations, I devoured some delicious bites by Parts & Labour, and tried a non-alcoholic jello shot, which luckily wasn’t one of the chicken broth flavoured ones. It seemed that everyone in town was at the party, and I spent the rest of the night socializing and trying not to trip on my Erdem gown. It was definitely a night to remember, and I am already dying to find out what the theme for next year’s Power Ball will be.
So tell me, did you attend this year’s Power Ball? What was your favourite installation? Share in the comments!
More after the jump!
We are less than a week away from Power Ball XVIII: Pleasure Principle aka one of the best art parties of the year in support of The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery. If you know me, you know that I do not enjoy most galas, but Power Ball definitely falls into the DO NOT MISS category. Last year’s Power Ball XVII: Appetite for Excess was ridiculously fun – with over-the-top food displays (think story-high pastry towers, humongous loafs of bread, octopus chandeliers, and white-gloved hands popping up from tables to feed the attendees), colourful ball pits, and so many more exciting art installations. This year’s theme invites guests to explore their desires through various art-filled spaces at the gallery.
“VIP ticket holders start the evening at 7 p.m. with modernist cocktails prepared by BarChef, and a special production by New York-based artist Ryan McNamara. Remaining spaces open at 9 p.m., showcasing work by several Canadian artists including an opium den installation by Karen Tam and an exploration of (over)stimulation and sensuality by Laura Kikauka, among many other works. Chicago house music pioneer DJ Mark Farina and two of Toronto’s most talked about DJs, Teo Nio and CRSB, will provide musical entertainment throughout the evening. Max Mara will also have an on-site presence throughout the event with visual installations that represent the brand’s heritage, as well as performances by contemporary ballet dancer and choreographer Javon Jones, winner of the Max Mara Young Visionary Award for the National Young Arts Foundation.” Sounds pretty amazing, non?
Considering this year’s theme, I feel like I can probably get away with wearing the same dress I wore last year…and while I am certainly tempted, I am still on the hunt for something else to wear. Right now, I am thinking feathers, velvet, chokers, body chains and sexy heels. If you’re stumped for ideas, I put together a list of my fave Power Ball-inspired pieces below.
Tickets are still available HERE, and if you’ve never been to Power Ball before, I highly recommend this event as a date night, girls night out, or just a fun and fancy outing on a Thursday night. Pro tip: make sure to take Friday off, because going home early is not an option. See you there?
WHAT: Power Ball XVIII: Pleasure Principle
WHEN: June 2nd, 2016 at 7pm (VIP), 9pm (General)
WHERE: The Power Plant, 231 Queens Quay West, Toronto
Back in October I wrote about the upcoming CHANEL Cruise 2016/17 show that will be presented on El Paseo del Prado in Havana, Cuba on May 3rd. But if that wasn’t enough reason for you to book a flight to Cuba, now it’s been announced that as part of the month of French culture in Cuba, the House of CHANEL will be presenting the exhibition “Obra en Proceso/Work in Progress” by Karl Lagerfeld at the Factoria Habana in Cuba, running from April 28th to May 12th, 2016.
“This exhibition, divided into three sections representing the designer’s main interests – fashion, architecture and landscapes – brings together more than 200 of Karl Lagerfeld’s photographs. It explores the great diversity of subjects, approaches and techniques that define the very personal and subtle interpretation that makes Karl Lagerfeld’s photography.”
Unlike some of the other exotic destinations for the CHANEL Cruise collections, Cuba is so much more easily-accessible for those of us in North America. Flights are affordable and quick from Toronto…and I really wish I could jump on a plane and check out this exhibit. What about you? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Photo Credits: CHANEL
On the final day of the Discover CHANEL program, my fellow bloggers and I were whisked away to a super-duper secret location outside of Paris to visit the CHANEL Handbag Workshop…aka the place where the brand produces their timeless bags. It was the very first time that CHANEL had invited bloggers to visit this workshop, and I can’t explain just how lucky and grateful I felt to be able to see and experience the step-by-step process from development to quality control.
After being greeted by a giant CHANEL bag installation in the lobby, we were ushered into the room where the development phase takes place. With prototype bags lining the walls, sketches and photographs strewn across a table, we were told that this was the first step in creating a bag. Sketches come to life as prototype bags, before it’s decided whether they’ll actually be produced. With 6 collections per year, this is a busy place, where a bag can go from sketch to production in days.
Moving on, we stopped by the raw materials and hardware rooms. One was full of various skins, leather, and signature chains, while the other had trays of iconic CHANEL bag closures that are put through stringent testing, along with chains and leather, to ensure the highest quality and durability. Being in the raw materials room was so tempting…I was dying to create my own bag out of all the components on hand.
Next, we popped into a room where leathers like lambskin, calfskin, and others are carefully inspected under special lights that mimic daylight. Each piece has to look and feel perfect before it’s allowed to continue on to production. There’s zero tolerance for imperfections, as expected.
After the hardware and the leather have been thoroughly checked and tested, the next stage of production is cutting. There are three different ways that CHANEL bag patterns are cut: by hand, digitally, or using special metal plates. We watched various methods at work, fascinated by the amount of accuracy it takes to cut those patterns. When dealing with hand-cut exotic skins, precision is even more important, to ensure a symmetric end result, and zero imperfections.
The most fascinating room of all was the assembly/production room, where CHANEL craftspeople split leather (to make it thinner and smoother), assembled bags, stitched and hammered. It takes 4 to 5 years for each specialist on the site to learn how to perfectly master the techniques necessary for the manufacture. Those working with exotic skins wear masks and gloves to ensure that no droplets mark the delicate surface, even going so far as to use plastic wrap on top of skins to protect them further.
What I learned in the assembly room is that CHANEL bags are actually put together using one of two methods: inside-out, and molded techniques. Most iconic bags are made using the inside-out method, where all of the components of the bag are stitched inside-out like a Ready-to-Wear piece, so that the stitches are on the inside when the bag is turned the right side out. The body and base are brought together with the “bag in bag” technique: the interior bag is mounted inside the exterior bag, assembled by hand, and ensuring a luxurious finish inside and out.
When working with more delicate materials like alligator, and turning the bag inside-out is not an option, the moulding method is used. The outer part of a bag is put together around a mould, and hand-stitched, before the inner flap can be dropped in and stitched together with the outer flap.
All in all, it takes over 180 manufacturing operations to create one iconic bag, with 80% of the total production time spent on the assembly table. Once the bag is finished, it is then sent to the quality control room, where a team of testers painstakingly check each bag by hand. But thanks to the attention paid in all the other parts of the manufacturing process, the success rate is very high, and most bags that reach this phase of production meet the CHANEL standard.
This room was amazing, as we were faced with rows upon rows of finished CHANEL handbags everywhere – what fashion dreams are made of! And just like that, our magical tour was over. Talking to the passionate craftspeople, seeing the extensive step-by-step process, and learning just how much work and intricacy goes into each and every CHANEL bag made me appreciate the few bags that I do own that much more…and fuelled my desire to run to the nearest CHANEL boutique right after our visit. These bags are truly investment pieces that never go out of style, and knowing that they are made with so much love and attention to detail makes them that much more special.
This was the last day of the Discover CHANEL program – three unforgettable days spent with my favourite luxury brand in my favourite city. From the fitting at ave Montaigne, to the breakfast at Brasserie Gabrielle, to Mademoiselle’s apartment, to the CHANEL handbag factory outside of Paris…it’s definitely one experience I will never forget. And I truly hope that my recaps of the program gave you a fun little glimpse into the beautiful world of CHANEL, so that you could discover it along with me. Thanks for reading, and share your thoughts in the comments!
More images after the jump!
Last month, while attending NYFW, I was invited to stop by the CHANEL showroom (!!!) to check out the CHANEL Haute Couture Fall 2014 collection in person. I don’t need to tell you that right after I was done pinching myself, I replied with an emphatic YASSS. I had a chance to visit the haute couture salons in Paris, and already knew that the level of craftsmanship of CHANEL couture garments is next level, so to be able to see yet another collection up-close-and-personal, sounded like a dream.
Just like in July, I was in awe of the collection. But this time around, I actually got to touch the pieces, see them in front of my eyes, and imagine that they were hanging in my wardrobe (as if!). I got to see how cool the silicone-coated lace looks, how glam concrete beads are in Karl’s imaginative hands, and just how exquisite the endless intricate embroidery on gowns, coats, and accessories is. But let’s get back to concrete. Those grey bead-like detailing is actually concrete! And surprisingly, it wasn’t as heavy as one would imagine. Sure, the shrug covered in hundreds of those beads wasn’t exactly light, but pieces that had concrete sprinkled on were perfectly manageable, and of course, stunning. Who would’ve thought?
The use of molded scuba fabric also made for some dramatic silhouettes, flattering, but never boring. I was a little sad that I didn’t get to see the puffy blue confection of a gown in person, so in its absence, the red dress blooming with small plastic flowers became the showstopper of the collection – both classic and modern at the same time, and so-very-beautiful. It’s at times like those, I find myself wishing I could live a jetsetting and glamorous life of scandal and intrigue, where CHANEL haute couture is par for the course, and parties where one gets to wear creations like the ones I saw are commonplace. I may be referring to a movie-level type of life, but one can always dream, no?
Anyway…enough of my obsessive ramblings. Check out some close-up photos I took at the showroom, and let me know if you find these as impressive as I do.
More photos after the jump! [Read more…]
I am so excited about Paris Haute Couture fashion week, you guys! If, like me, you’ve been missing the excitement and drama in fashion lately, now’s the perfect time to feast your eyes on the hautest gowns of the upcoming season. And while some couture shows left me bored to tears (or nearly), thank goodness for CHANEL, and of course, Karl Lagerfeld. Love him or hate him, the man’s got imagination.
CHANEL Haute Couture Fall 2014 show featured a variety of surprising elements, including what looked like fancy flip flops worn with exquisite gowns, a pregnant model closing the show (apparently Karl loves the pregnant ladies, who would’ve thought?!), messy feathery up-dos topped with Maison Michel’s tiny hats, and a Kardashian strutting her stuff on the runway. *I wonder if Kim’s jealous of Kendall’s fiery rise to the top? I mean, walking in a CHANEL show and having Karl’s approval has got to be more meaningful than scoring half of that VOGUE cover, amiright?
But no matter, despite the pared down setting (no supermarkets or icebergs at this show), the clothes spoke for themselves. Karl’s modern vision, infused with baroque touches and youthful styling, resulted in a dazzling, but still wearable couture collection. One that I am certain we’ll soon see on various red carpets (most likely on Keira Knightley, Diane Kruger, and the like), and I honestly can’t wait! I especially want someone to wear that poofy feathery blue confection…I think with softer hair, it can look both cool and ethereal…also, I am kind of obsessed with it.
But tell me, what do you think of CHANEL Haute Couture Fall 2014 collection? Are you as obsessed as me? Share in the comments.
More photos after the jump!
Earlier this month, my fellow Canon Blogtographers and I were treated to a second photo session with fashion photographer Steve Carty, this time learning all about portrait photography. Right in time for the holiday get-togethers, where photos will inevitably get snapped, but not always ones you would want to keep. Steve showed us how to get the winning shot that your family and friends will keep and treasure for years to come!
To learn a bit about portrait photography, our assignment for the evening was to shoot a head-on portrait in black and white, shoot a holiday portrait, a holiday scene at a dinner table, and finally a portrait with very low light. Here’s what I learned about getting THE SHOT!
1. Use Creative Filters
One of the best things I learned about my Canon camera is that I don’t need to use Photoshop to spice up my photos with cool effects. With fun creative filters like Toy Camera, Monochrome, Fish Eye, Soft Focus, Grainy Black and White, which can also be layered, you can take any photo from boring to awesome. When using these Creative Filters in-camera, you don’t have to worry about losing your original image, because your camera will save an edited copy automatically. I used the Grainy Black and White filter on the below photo, and love how it turned out!
2. Crop It
As I mentioned before, Rule of Thirds is a good one to follow. You can make any photo stand out by simply cropping it to make sure that the eye is drawn to the subject of the photo and not to the background or other random things in the picture. You can achieve this without having to do any post-production work by using various aspect ratios in-camera. If you want your image to be perfect for Instagram, use 1:1, want a standard image – use 4:3, want your photo to look good on a widescreen display – 16:9 is your go-to aspect ratio.
More after the jump!