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!
A couple of weeks ago, the stylish Torontonians gathered at Holt Renfrew on Bloor St to celebrate the launch of Uncrate South America, the latest capsule collection of socially responsible products available exclusively at Holts. Made by artisans in Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia, this collection is chock-full of cool accessories, chic jewelry, and adorable toys – ethically-made using morally-sourced materials. If you’re looking for a unique present for any occasion, this collection should definitely be on your radar – there’s something for everyone.
You can learn more about H Project and Uncrate South America here. And check out the photos from the launch party below.
More after the jump!
It’s been an exciting September in Toronto. First, Nordstrom finally opened its doors at the Toronto Eaton Centre, and last week UNIQLO did the same, with throngs of fans lining up around the block. Luckily, I was invited to check out the store the night before, but even during the pre-opening, the store was packed to the brim. As a fan of the Japanese retailer, I was ecstatic to finally be able to shop the packable ultra light down jackets, warm and comfy HEATTECH layers, and of course, the chic Ines de la Fressange x UNIQLO collection. I was also pleasantly surprised to find the “UNIQLO Meets Toronto” corner, chock full of Canadian-inspired goodies from shops like Drake General and SOUVENIR.
The store itself is huge, bright, and well-stocked, with two floors of men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing neatly displayed. Though I am very curious to see how quickly product will be re-stocked after the first weekend in business. Another UNIQLO store will be opening at Yorkdale Shopping Centre this month, which will hopefully help with crowds and line-ups.
So tell me, are you excited about UNIQLO finally opening in Toronto? Share in the comments.
More after the jump!
Another TIFF has come and gone, and all I’m left with is residual fatigue and lots of amazing memories. 30 minutes in the same room as Ryan Gosling? Check. Brunch with Sigourney Weaver? Check (well, kinda). Below are my most memorable moments from #TIFF16!
1. Variety Studio
Always a highlight of my TIFF, Variety Studio is usually located in a pretty small room with a handful of famous people going in and out, where you have to act cool, even when you really want to fangirl like you’ve never fangirled before. I’ve visited Variety Studio as a guest of Moroccanoil for the last few years, and I always walk away with lots of juicy star observations. This year, I breathed the same air as Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, John Legend, Gael Garcia Bernal, Gerard Butler, Gemma Arterton, Bill Nighy, Sam Claflin,
Miranda Cynthia Nixon, and the cast of The Eagle Huntress.
Despite being in the same room as Ryan Gosling for nearly 30 minutes, I didn’t actually talk to the Canadian heartthrob. But I did watch him, like a creeper that I am. Ryan was shorter than I imagined, and looked very serious the entire time he was at the lounge (unlike Emma Stone, who was animated and smiled a lot). Strangely, I didn’t see the two interact very much – Emma was mostly with her people and Ryan with his. The only time we got to see Ryan’s warmer side, was when he spotted the star of The Eagle Huntress Aisholpan in her native garb, and went over to introduce himself. After a brief chat, he offered to take photos with Aisholpan and her family. I wasn’t quite sure whether the Kazakh family actually knew who Ryan was, but they were happy to snap a few photos with the actor. At the end of his visit, Ryan took some time to sign a postcard for Airbnb and Make-A-Wish foundation, and while waiting for the elevator, he stood right in front of me for nearly 5 minutes. It took all of my strength not to be that person and ask him for a photo; I played it cool instead…but those were the longest 5 minutes of my life. File this one under #TIFFregrets.
Just like in prior years, the British actors were my faves. They just seem to have a camaraderie that the Hollywood actors don’t seem to posses. This year, I watched the cast of Their Finest, including Sam Claflin, Gemma Arterton, and Bill Nighy, work the room and charm everyone in the vicinity. Bill Nighy made eye contact with anyone around him and said “hello”, which shouldn’t seem like a big deal, but it really is, because most of the stars don’t even make eye contact with the “civilians”. Gemma looked relaxed and beautiful, as did Sam, who seemed to be in a good mood and looked very friendly. Sam played the Holt Renfrew claw machine and had to try a couple of times before finally winning. It was cute to see how competitive he got. He also came by the Moroccanoil station to learn more about the products and walked away with a goodie bag of his own.
Other lucky guests who took home some Moroccanoil included John Legend (who chose to walk 6 flights of stairs down instead of waiting for the elevator), Cynthia Nixon (who came in looking a bit stern, but seemed to liven up at the sight of Moroccanoil…seriously!), Richard Gere (who popped in for a few minutes and was gone in a flash), and Gael Garcia Bernal (who was just as cute as I remember from back in 2007 when I met him at MTV, but didn’t spare a minute to sign the Airbnb/Make-A-Wish postcard, which was disappointing).
2. Brunch at Brassaii
Stargazing is a pretty popular activity during TIFF. You can find throngs of fans camping out on King St, in front of theatres, and waiting outside of various hotels, but did you know that you can have brunch at Brassaii, where all sorts of movie stars arrive to attend the Hollywood Reporter Lounge? It’s true! My friend Al and I stopped by Brassaii to try their new brunch menu, and in just one hour, we watched Sigourney Weaver walk in and out (apparently she requested a special vegetarian soup), and saw Felicity Jones in a pretty striped outfit. Had we had more time to hang out, we would’ve also seen Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, Douglas Booth and Bill Nighy, Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac, Pharrell and Taraji P. Henson (who was greeted with a banana cream tart, lemon meringue tart, a white chocolate/dark chocolate brownie, and a Happy Birthday song). It’s so easy – the stars literally come to you, and you don’t have to jockey for position, or stand in lines for hours – just enjoy delicious food like Oreo Pancakes and Fried Chicken and Waffles, while trying not to pass out when Ryan Gosling strolls by.
More after the jump!
After weeks of anticipation, it finally happened – TIFF Soirée with guest of honour Michael Fassbender. Fundraising for year-round initiatives like Pocket Fund, Special Delivery, and Reel Comfort, the gala kicked off with a fascinating on-stage conversation between TIFF Artistic Director, Cameron Bailey, and
the love of my life Oscar-nominated actor Michael Fassbender.
Looking dapper (and a little jet-lagged) in his blue Gucci suit, Fassbender was generous with his answers, and delved deep into the things that make him tick. One quote that seems to have gotten the most attention was the one about Michael’s performance as Magneto in X-Men. Despite the numerous reports claiming that he was embarrassed by his portrayal of Magneto, it sounded like he was only referring to the scene shown during the conversation, and as Fassbender described it was “just like some dude shouting”.
I wish I’d recorded the entire conversation, but I didn’t want to disturb my seatmates with the bright light of my phone, so here’s what I remember about the rest of the on-stage conversation.
- Liam Cunningham moved in with Michael Fassbender for a couple of weeks to prepare for the infamous 23-minute and 27-page long one-take scene in Hunger, where Fassbender has a lengthy dialogue with Liam Cunningham’s character. “We got up every morning, cooked porridge, and we started rehearsing,” says Fassbender. “We did it every day for 11 days and had people bring lunch to us. The goal was to do it ten to 15 times a day and then Steve would come in in the evening and watch us, give us some notes, next day same thing.” Obviously, Magneto and Ser Davos were great roomies, since they only had to do 4 takes during filming.
- In real life, Magneto’s superpower is power-napping. “I’m a great power napper. Having been a mutant with superhero powers, that is my real superhero power. I could do it now. I could just lie down on the stage, if it goes that way. There is the downside to it, when I get tired, I have to sleep. I can’t keep awake.”
- When talking about his physicality in acting, we learned that shoes (or lack thereof) is one of the most important parts of Fassbender’s wardrobe, as choice of footwear grounds him “from the feet up”.
- When asked about which film was the most personal to him, Hunger was his answer, “because I was hungry…to act, and quite literally”.
- In a moment of self-deprecation, Fassbender admitted that he didn’t make a great first impression on Director Steve McQueen. “I think he said I was arrogant? I guess maybe I was a little defensive. I hadn’t been working a lot, and I don’t know how I came across in the room. I thought I came across well, but that just goes to show how much I know.”
- If you were wondering about what turns him on, it seems that watching his movies for the first time with a live audience does the trick. “I get off on it a little bit. It’s nice when the sort of nerves and excitement are at maximum and you get to experience it with a very passionate audience and they’re usually very honest as well, so you get the full effect, as it were.”
- A self-described “slow-learner”, Fassbender went into a bit of a panic when he received the “mountainous” script for Steve Jobs. “In rehearsals I was trying to find a way to get out of the job,” he said. “I remember telling my driver, ‘If I put my arm in the door, you should slam it. It should cause a break and it should get me out of this gig.'” Luckily, Michael kept his limbs clear of car doors, and ended up with an Oscar nomination as a result. Not bad for a slow-learner!
- After being asked about working with Director Quentin Tarantino, Fassbender revealed that when he was 18, he directed and starred as Mr. Pink in a stage version of Reservoir Dogs. As such, being directed by Tarantino in Inglorious Basterds was “pretty special”.
After the interview, we headed upstairs to Malaparte for the cocktail party, where to my surprise, Fassbender was making the rounds, chatting with people and taking photos. I felt a little bad about stalking him around the room, but not bad enough to stop – I was too excited.
Michael looked great in person, with warm eyes and smile, and had a welcoming energy about him. He laughed often and when it was finally my turn to have a brief conversation with the man of the hour, I am embarrassed to say that I froze up a bit, and could only mumble something about my love of his acting and my appreciation of his performance in Fish Tank. Looking back, I wish I’d asked one of the many questions that were swirling in my head, but hopefully next time. After our brief chat, my friend Anita and I were lucky enough to actually get a photo with Fassy thanks to Nick from Best of Toronto. Giddy like schoolgirls, we let his handler lead him away to the next group of admirers, while we stood around, unable to believe our luck.
And while TIFF has only just begun, without a doubt in my mind, the TIFF Soirée was the best part of the festival for me – even if it happened before the official Day 1. Stay tuned for more TIFF coverage as the festival continues.
More photos after the jump!
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the 2nd annual Best Buy Life & Wearable Tech Expo and Fashion Show held at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto. Alongside my blogger buds Casie Stewart, Gracie Carroll, and Jay Strut, I checked out the latest in wearable technology, and chatted with tech expert Tom Emrich and stylist Afiya Francisco about all things style and tech.
With the abundance of new products on the market, it can feel both intimidating and exhausting trying to figure out which products are worth trying, so I asked Tom to share his Top 5 wearable tech products and why he’s excited about them. Thinking that I was already on top of all the latest releases, I quickly realized that I was wrong, because I’ve never even heard of the first must-have on Tom’s list – the kate spade new york wearable tech. Soon to be released are the most adorable fitness trackers you’ve ever laid your eyes on. You actually won’t believe that these accessories aren’t just meant to look good. Other items that made Tom’s list are the upcoming Fossil smartwatches (style and substance), Muse Brain-Sensing Headband (to remind you to take some “me” time), Merge VR Goggles (because VR is the future of gaming and possibly many other forms of entertainment), and iON SnapCam (for documenting life’s moments without interruptions).
Another thing to keep in mind when considering wearable tech products is definitely the style element. Afiya’s rule of thumb is to make sure that the product must suit your personal style, otherwise you probably won’t get much use out of it. This rang especially true for me, as seeing this gorgeous Fitbit Alta Metal Band made me choose this specific Fitbit model over other fitness trackers on the market.
After the interviews, my friends and I sat down for the fashion show, seeing just how wearable so many of the tech accessories are today. Though I won’t be strolling the streets with VR goggles on my head any time soon, I love the elegance and simplicity of the many smartwatches and fitness bands available at Best Buy right now…and I’m certainly excited for what’s to come in the near future.
So tell me, do you own any wearable technology products? Why or why not? Share in the comments.
More photos after the jump!
Leave it to the fab team behind Greta Constantine to make high-school chic by throwing a perfect end-of-summer Poolside Prom bash complete with Prom Kings and Queens, cheerleaders, and glam frocks. Speaking of beautiful clothes, models moved through the venue wearing pieces from the brand’s spring/summer 2017 collection which will be presented during Paris Fashion Week in October. But from the sneak peek that we got, I can already tell that it’s going to be one gorgeous collection.
“Models donned silk tulle overlays featuring voluminous sleeve detailings, boned bustiers, and exaggerated ruffles, atop rust-, metal-, and copper-hued slip dresses. The silk tulle pieces were in fact translated from existing silhouettes in the duo’s signature microfiber and silk wool fabrications from the Greta Constantine spring 2017 collection. The minimalist-maximalist tension that underlined each look, as well as the emphasis on semi-transparent fabrications, loaned a darkly romantic air as night fell and the temperature rose.”
Prom guests sipped Apothic Wine and Proof Vodka, nibbled on hot dogs and caviar-topped chips, and posed for the Yearbook Selfie Wall. I pasted my selfie over the spot that read “The Next Coco Chanel”, and even though it’s not exactly true, it felt good to dream big at Poolside Prom.
What do you think of Greta Constantine spring/summer 2017 collection sneak peek? Share in the comments.
More photos after the jump!
TIFF time is the best time to be in Toronto, and what better way to kick off the festival than at TIFF Soirée on September 7th with actor extraordinaire Michael Fassbender as the guest of honour?! In case you’re not familiar with what TIFF Soirée is all about, I asked maxine bailey, the Vice-President of Advancement for TIFF, to share her thoughts on what to wear to this gala and why TIFF Soirée is a not-to-be-missed event this September.
Q: What is your inspiration for this year’s TIFF Soirée Outfit?
A: Comfortable Glamour. Is that a thing? If it is, I’m going for it. TIFF Soirée is ALL about dressing up, but making sure my feet comfortably make it through the following 11 days. Lashes, big hair, sparkles and glitter, AND, comfy shoes. After all, this is the launch of our 41st Toronto International Film Festival and a fundraising gala to support our year-round outreach activities the other 354 days.
Q: Does the choice of a special guest influence your style decisions for the event?
A: I believe, most of the men and women in attendance, will be dressing for our fabulous guest of honour, Mr. Michael Fassbender. I mean, who wouldn’t. Mr. Fassbender makes you want to up the ante!
Q: What makes TIFF Soirée one of the best galas of the festival?
A: It’s a fantastic kick-off to the Festival, it gives you a sense of all that is to come for the next 11 days! And, much more importantly, funds raised from this event enable TIFF to reach out to youth in under-served communities and provide access to high-quality opportunities to learn about and engage with film, bringing film screenings, director discussions and workshops to community partners across the city FREE of charge through our outreach programmes. Our core outreach programs (Pocket Fund, Special Delivery, Reel Comfort) emphasize access, inclusion and diversity.
Q: Is it important for you to incorporate Canadian-designed clothes into your TIFF Soirée look?
A: Absolutely. For the 7th year in a row, I’m working closely with my lovely co-designer, Susan Dicks, who makes the bulk of my Festival clothing. It’s important for me to feel and look good as we race through those 11 action-packed days so leading up to the Festival, I scour fabric stores and land on the doorstep of Susan’s studio with ideas, Pinterest pics, and tons of ambition.
And there you have it, if you love Michael Fassbender, would like to contribute to future TIFF initiatives, and can’t wait to dress up to celebrate the 41st Toronto International Film Festival, then you should definitely attend the TIFF Soirée on September 7th. The evening will start with an exclusive onstage conversation at TIFF Bell Lightbox, followed by a rooftop cocktail party…and of course, Michael Fassbender will be there too. Tickets are still available and can be purchased HERE. See you there?
More photos from past TIFF Soirées after the jump!
Do you remember The Jetsons? I used to watch that cartoon as a kid, dreaming of flying cars and helpful robots, thinking that it was all just a far-fetched fantasy. Well, in many ways, the future is here. Though we still don’t have flying cars, and only some people have robots in their houses, wearable tech is everywhere from smartwatches to wearable cameras, to virtual reality headsets – there are gadgets out there that we could only dream of just a decade ago. And if wearable tech is something that interests you (and if you live in Toronto), you should definitely stop by the Best Buy Life & Wearable Tech Expo and Fashion Show at Yonge and Dundas Square this Thursday. The expo is a full day interactive event, showcasing the latest wearable tech available at Best Buy.
I’m already a huge fan of Fitbit Alta, but I can’t wait to learn more about gadgets like Muse Brain-Sensing Headband, iON SnapCam, and Smart Rope! The event will include demos, panel discussions, a fashion show, and some cool surprises. If you can’t attend in person, make sure to follow hashtag #LifeandTech on Twitter. See you on Thursday!
EVENT: Best Buy Life & Wearable Tech Expo and Fashion Show
WHERE: Yonge and Dundas Square, Toronto
WHEN: August 25th, 2016 11am-9pm
Photo Credits: Best Buy Plug In Blog
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!