Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Classy Trashy Index with Derek Blasberg

Derek Blasberg aka Man-about-Manhattan stopped by this side of the border this week for a fête (or two) in honour of his book Classy, which is an essential guide for young women who don't know the difference between showing a little skin and showing a little nip. Derek is the kind of guy that any self respecting struggling writer would just have to love to hate. He's everywhere all the time. He's got all the best gigs (writing for, Vogue, Interview and the list goes on...), all the cutest friends (the cutestest being gap-toothed Byrdie Bell, who played model in his book and gal pal last night) and as it would appear just the best life ever.

He’s also the kind of guy though, that completely disarms you at first look. Last night at the party at The Room at The Bay, I totes developed that kind of warm new-friend feeling towards Derek, so much so that I would say it was a crush. He is not only cool (obvi!) but really hilar, über-friendly and didn't make me feel awkward for pointing out that we had actually met a few times before. Also, he told me and my bestie that we looked like sisters (which we've heard about a mil times) and that it was a good thing that we were both beautiful because neither one of us would be considered the dog twin.. Swoonsville!

In honour of the book's theme, I put Derek to a bit of my own Classy vs Trashy questionnaire and found out that while the man has some strong opinions on what is and what is not acceptable – he finds it a bit difficult to disapprove of having some old fashioned fun (maybe).

Is having two drinks with dinner classy or trashy?
It's classy if you keep the fluids going. Always drink one glass of water per drink!

Is wearing tights as pants classy or trashy?
Trashy except in extenuating circumstances...

If they look hot!

Is sneaking a funny photo of an unassuming victim on your Blackberry classy or trashy?
I wouldn't even say that was classy or trashy, that's just plain DANGEROUS!

Will clogs post Spring 2010 be classy or trashy in your books?
Trashy with an asterisks... this is to be revisited by me next season.

Is it classy or trashy to double fist? (for the record, I MEANT DRINKS!)
Umm... is that an offer? You just want me to tell you you're classy, don’t you!

Is eating every hors d'oeuvre at a party classy or trashy?
Classy! As long as you don't make a meal out it! Although there was this one phase in college that I won't get into...

Monday, May 17, 2010

All Hail the Collage Queen: Sonja Ahlers

I used to think I was the collage queen. The walls and doors of my childhood bedroom (after a hiatus, it's back to being my bedroom... ) have always been covered with overlapping magazine, advertising and botanical images that at this point are quite out of date and just a wee bit tacky. The reason that I haven't redone my walls is most likely because I know it'll never measure up to the stylings of someone like collage artist and mistress of zines, Sonja Ahlers.

Known for her wildly whimsical collages and sketches (and collaged sketches) of famous ladies like Princess Di as well as her affinity for layering song lyrics into watercolours (I USED TO DO THIS! ITS NOT MY FAULT I SUCK!), Sonja's latest zine, The Selves is her latest peek into the cobweb of inspirations that goes into making a perceiver an artist.

As fan and femme babe Kathleen Hanna puts it, "Sonja Ahlers' meditations on childhood, pop culture and feminine power are beyond entertaining. Entering the alternate reality she's created in 'The Selves' I found myself standing somewhere seductive, familiar and very funny." Ya dig?

For those of you who want to learn to be like Sonja, she'll be hosting a zine workshop at Magic Pony Gallery in Toronto on May 25th from 6-9PM. For more deets, reserve your spot at!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Samantha Says: Rethink Breast Cancer

For those of you who quote Sex and the City witticisms ad nauseum, you know that whatever the inimitable Samantha Jones says goes. Well, as this year's face of the annual Rethink Breast Cancer campaign, Samantha aka Kim Cattral is telling you to support this year's fight for funds by purchasing the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer tee she dons (pictured at left) for $12 or the special Wine colour of nail polish for $4 - both items are available exclusively at Joe Fresh.

100% of proceeds from the sales of these items goes to supporting young people affected by breast cancer by helping raise awareness, education and building strong support groups for patients, families and friends. Major!

This year, lend your support AND get some amazingness for yourself by entering the How Do You Wear It contest. Upload a picture of you wearing your FTBC shirt and you could win a $500 Joe Fresh shopping spree AND two tickets to Toronto Fashion Week!

Friday, May 14, 2010

teeny house bunny: take ii!

Robin here and let me just say that it's with support from Randi that I (bashfully) present to you teeny house bunny's second collection!

As you might remember from this post, I left my post at Teen Vogue last fall to pursue teeny house bunny - a jewelry line created by myself and two fashion school buds, Dyana and Alex. We've had some pretty stellar luck in the past year, and have been featured in ELLE as well as thrice in Teen Vogue. We also sold at Anthropologie during the holiday season and are about the kick up another deal with them.

Ok, blushing now. Anyways, take a peak and let me know your thoughts. Oh yeah - we've just relaunched our web site and will have a full online store soon. Check us out at - but only once you're finished here!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

No Big Deal... I'm Teen Vogue's Blogger of the Moment!

like. oh. my. god. Teen Vogue picked ME as their Blogger of the Moment. I repeat: like oh. my. god. Thanks to the awesome Nathan Simpson and Sarah Kuhn of the mag and Stefania Yarhi who took my picture, my mug and my totally brill commentary (yeah, right!) are bouncing all over!

Check ME out y'all! like. oh. my. god.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Oh Haiiiiiiiii Opening Ceremony Fall 2010

Opening Ceremony's Fall 2010 book is out and all I've got to say is: why you got to do this to me? Tati Cotliar - my fave model of the mo - is jumping around in the most exceedingly covetable pieces I have ever seen (since this morning at least) like she don't give a flying hoot that the rest of us mere humans can't even see them in the flesh (or, cotton) for a few months! Waving those silver platform booties in my face and then telling me I can't have them until at leaaaaast July (at which point I will invariably huff and puff about spending so much cash that I potentially miss my chance to actually purchase them in my size...) seems particularly cruel, Humberto.

Until I get my greasy paws on these puppies (eww), I spose the best I can do is stare/dream/pick my faves with a pink arrow/re-post them unoriginally/die inside.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Can We Hang Out With You, Jeremy Laing?

Jeremy Laing is a pretty serious designer. Seriously amazing is one thing of course, but he's also introspective where needed, to the point and non dependent on affected awkwardness, uber-hipster tendencies or the word 'like' (he's got me there, that's for sure). Still one of the only internationally acclaimed still-based-in-Canada designers, the wonder boy was ahead of me by a few years at fashion school in Toronto and people were still talking about him. His impeccable tailoring ability, his sleek geometric aesthetic, and most of all his quiet ability to get attention.

These days, I'm still fawning over Jeremy. At parties I'm always awkwardly waving like "remember me? please?" Thankfully, he ignored my lameness for long enough to talk to me about his latest collection, growing up wanting to be an artist and his favourite bands at Coachella. Enjoy!

Your fall collection was definitely one of my faves so far - but I thought it was quite a divergence for you, with all the fur and textile use and what not. Do you agree? Did you do it intentionally? I think it was an evolution, certainly, and on purpose, but not divergence. A lot of the shapes and construction methods are variations of pattern-making techniques I've been developing season after season. We did use more fabrics, and more prints, in order to create a rich and layered palette, and in terms of new categories we added both fur and knitwear, as well as a range of tees, all of which have been performing really well.

If you had to pick your top three influences for yourself as a designer, what would they be?
method, material, and make.

Did you always want to be a designer or do you look back and kinda go, what the hell? I always wanted to be an artist, in the loosest sense, to have ideas and to manifest them. For a while I wanted to own an antique store, which would still be fun, but would probably be more of an early mid-century design shop.

Frank (Jeremy's partner) tells me you guys were just in LA, I went a few times last year after having no interest and now I'm totally hooked! What did you think? Was it the first time? I loved LA, and found a lot of parallels to life in Toronto. I liked how different the neighbourhoods are, how close you are to "environment" be it beach or hills. I could definitely see myself living there, though I would have to learn to drive.

You documented a little bit of your LA experience for and included in that journal is a bit about Coachella. What did you like best about the festival? I love The Gossip, Fever Ray, The Specials, Grizzly Bear and my friend Owen Pallett's show. It was my first time at a multi-day festival and I found it both fun and exhausting. The crowd was huge and freaked me out at times, but the chance to see so many great shows made it worth while. I loved the landscape around Indio, where the festival takes place, and the Palm Desert where we stayed. The burnt brush, wind farms, and the weird oasis of country club golf courses in the middle of the barren mountains were amazing sights.

What's your favourite city you've ever been to? Where have you not gone that you want to go to? Growing up I always fantasized about Paris, and I do love it still, though it's become a place to go for work, not leisure. I sort of grew up in western Europe, so I've seen most of it, but haven't been very far East. I'd love to go to Morocco, Shanghai, Tibet.

If you could live in any period - when would it be? Now seems just fine to me!

Are you ever jealous that you can't wear your own designs? Ever thought about designing for men? All the time! I'd love for there to be something in all this for me! I
get pestered all the time about doing some Mens, and someday I will, for sure.

Who are you favourite designers for men and/or women? Past or present.
I love Dries and Rei, both for their singular vision and the way they run their businesses. I love Balenciaga and Vionnet, M. and Mme. respectively, for their mastery of skill and resulting innovations in construction. I love Westwood for her history of forging her own path. I love Jil and Helmut for their rigor.

You are a famously Canadian designer, choosing to show in New York but never to move. Is it that you love Canada or are you just more comfortable at home? A bit of all of the above. It would take an overwhelming change in circumstances to move my business anywhere, but even then I might stay. I do love Canada.

What/where do you love about Toronto?
The food, the island, the art and indie music scene.

What are most looking forward to for summer? Cottage visits, Taco parties on Toronto Island, working on my Spring collection, riding my bike...

Can you describe your style without using phrases like boho chic,
old Hollywood glamour or anything with a twist?
My clothes are for women who don't need ruffles and bows to feel pretty.

*Profile picture by Max Abadian. Collection shots by Thomas Kletecka/Collective Edit

Oh, the crazy things imprisoned Club Kids say....

"As far as I know, there isn't really a nightlife. There's sort of a skeleton of what was
there but nothing substantial, nothing to be proud of. I read in a few magazines every
once in a while about something happening in Williamsburg or whatever,
but nothing seems to last very long"

-Michael Alig on the current state of nightlife in New York
to Christopher Bollen in the April issue of Interview.

And just in case you forgot who the Club Kids were, see what happens
when crazy meets crazy on the Joan Rivers Show!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Reading Rainbow: Grace Kelly Style

Everything has been coming up All American lately, and while the resurgence of some fashion icons begs the question "Where have you been?" or even worse "Who are you?", the resurgence of Grace Kelly more appropriately begs the question, "Wait, did you ever leave?" Us Postmodern fashion-inhalers have gotten so addicted to trolling for new inspirations, never satisfied enough to admit, "Yes, she was perfect. That's how we all should look forever and ever" that we kind of skip over the basics of glamazon 101, a course which begins and ends with the kind of style embodied by Grace Kelly.

The lovely folks over at Abrams sent me a copy of the new book Grace Kelly Style, which accompanies the current exhibit at the V&A in London, Grace Kelly, Style Icon which is on until September 26th. Split into the three public phases of Miss Kelly's legendary life, the book profile's Grace's style from her explosion onto the screen as a Hollywood star to her fairytale marriage to Prince Ranier of Morocco to her eventual role as Princess of Morocco. Ranging from her calm and cool tucked sportswear and circular Ray Bans by day to her stunning columnar on set dresses (my absolute fave of which being the dress she gets rip roaring drunk in with Bing Crosby and then Frank Sinatra in High Society, designed by costumer Helen Rose) to her opulent and stately royal gowns - Grace's clothes are always flawless, serene, otherworldly. At the very least, flipping through the pages of Grace Kelly Style should be a reminder of the pinnacle of glamour. At the very most, Grace brings us one step closer to fashion being considered a religion.

Talent Scout: Speech by Michael Mercanti Pt. 2

Can I still call myself a Talent Scout if just about everyone who knows what's up already knows that my scout-ee is an amazingly cool designer who makes some of the raddest, most unaffectedly punk looking jewelery? Mock me all you want, dear readers, because I'm bringing you up to speed once more on the amazingness that you probably already know as Michael Mercanti and his rad ass line of necklaces and rings, Speech.

His latest collection, entitled 'Lost Paradise' is what happens when Jesus meets Keith... religious iconography like the cross and the crown of thorns, that's been roughed up like mad and then molded in silver and slapped on chain. While the results are not what Grandma (well, definitely not my Buby, that's for sure) ordered, they are most certainly what every guy and gal this side of the PBR machine is going to want to wear night after night, for the rest of their late night existences.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Happy Psychedelic Birthday to Me!

I've been feeling really psychedelic lately. I've been listening to The Doors and Jefferson Airplane on repeat and been reading Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. I also just about picked up and moved to California (circa 1969) when I went to see When You're Strange, the new documentary about The Doors.

It was only fitting, then, that my 25th birthday party was hippie themed, which it totes was! My lovely friend Sarah (you might remember her from 'The Future of Fashion as We See It'... or basically everywhere if you live in Toronto) not only played host, but made me a tie-dye cake and took some real cool photos, some of which are below (mine are the shitty camera ones... ) We boogied to some records, breathed some nagchampa and all got into bed with each other at 4am to watch Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Wish you were there? Me too.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Utrasuede: In Search of Halston

Praise the lord (and/or the filmmaker, Whitney Smith) because the tradge that is the current state of Halston affairs can finally take a break from front and center ridiculousness and we can actually talk about about the true genius, the original fashion messiah that was Roy Halston Frowick.

Utrasuede: In Search of Halston is the new documentary about the legendary designer that opened last night at Tribeca and it looks goddamn amazing. Anjelica, Liza, ALT, Bob Colacello and the like all share tidbits about the golden boy, the golden scene and no doubt the golden crowd that was like a virtual social-explosion off of the kind pictures like the one above. And while we're on it, can we just talk about this amazingness for a second? I always love these 'the who's who' group shots and this one to me is like a School of Venice of glamazons (save for the absence of Bianca or Grace) - Pat Cleveland, Anjelica Huston, and is that a pre-Rocky Horror Susan Sarandon in the back? Jesus.

The scene surrounding Halston, or more importantly, Studio 54, is the kind you (or me, furiously, between the ages of 19 and 22) can only dream about. Bianca and then Jerry, the Dupont Twins, Liza, Baryshnikov... makes me CRAZY!