Rave: long weekend

The first long weekend of spring! You can practically taste the beer on the patio now.

Whether you celebrate this time with Easter eggs, Matzoh balls, splashing colour on someone’s face or some other way, enjoy this day off by taking a walk outside, scout out some crocuses and be thankful that it seems (fingers crossed) that the snow is gone for the year.

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City Living: Life’s a beach! Ganbanyoku (Rock Bathing)

You’re on the beach. The heat from the hot sand wraps your
body in a warm embrace. We all deserve a little escape from the daily grind, but you don’t have to travel to the Caribbean to get it. 
Ganbanyoku (rock bathing) is one of the hottest Japanese spa trends. With over 4,000 rock bathing spas in Japan alone, we thought it was time to investigate this wellness trend. 


We visited Iyashi Bedrock Spa, located in uptown Toronto, which is the first of its kind in North America and the only place you can experience rock bathing in our fair city. 

Inside the The Traditional Suite at Iyashi Bedrock Spa. There are 17 glorious beds. You can also book the Deluxe Suite which offers a more intimate experience with just 4 beds (couples retreat?). 


The secret to the hot hot heat is in the black silica stones. They provide two main activities Far Infrared Rays (FIR) and Negative Ions. Basically, the rays from the stones detox your body and provide benefits that include anti-aging, pain relief from conditions such as arthritis and of course, you will sweat out tons of calories. 


If you’re not a fan of saunas and hot yoga, you may want to consider rock bathing. We tried the hot yin yoga. A slow yoga practice, all of the moves are done in a sitting or laying down position. You’ll experience a deep stretch that will leave you feeling rejuvenated. The warmth of the hot stones is especially nice on the sitting bones in your back. The room itself is not heated,  the heat is emitted through the floor, so you won’t experience that choking feeling. 

You can do your own yoga stretch or just enjoy a detoxifying nap. 
You will sweat buckets! Yet, it’s recommend that you
don’t shower for two hours after leaving the spa. If you’re
thinking that you may not be able to tolerate your smell, think again. The
sweat that your body produces from this kind of heat is different, believe it or not, you will not smell. The odour-free sweat is a great treatment for your skin and hair.

With a group of 10 guests you can rent out the Traditional Suite. A great idea for a day with the girls, or even an activity for a bachelorette party. Go all the way there with some green juice from Belmonte Raw.
Ingredients like ginger, kiwi, cucumber and carrot will give you an energy boost and keep your insides clean. 



There’s nothing like a good sweat with some good friends. 



If you’re interested in trying it out and getting a little stress-relief (Toronto Life ranked it 10/10 for reducing stress) check out the site below. Give them a call or just wander on in. You’ll love it! Namaste.



2662 Yonge St. (between Eglinton and Lawrence)
416.488.ROCK (7625)

Media, Darling: Miranda Purves

Miranda Purves was appointed Editor of FLARE in
June 2012 and is responsible for evolving the editorial vision of the magazine
and leading the content team as it inspires Canadian fashion, beauty and style
enthusiasts.



A proud Canadian with an impressive 20-year international track record in the publishing industry, Purves spent 12 years honing her skills in New York. She was most recently with ELLE US where she was originally hired to establish a living section before being promoted several times, eventually to the position of lifestyle editor.


Purves previously spearheaded the launch of the stand-alone colour fashion newspaper US Fashion Daily and worked as a senior fashion editor at Mademoiselle. In Canada, she has worked for both Saturday Night and the National Post. Purves has also done freelance writing for the likes of the New York Times and the Paris Review.

Self portrait from my corporate bathroom series. Took a
photo of myself in the same mirror everyday of my first six months at Flare.



Twitter: @FLAREfashion
Website: Flare.com

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other
careers were on the horizon?
I’ve always wanted to charm, surprise or move, and be
charmed and surprised or moved, by the intersection of words and images. And
I’ve always wanted to be, if not at the centre, at least on the periphery of
*the* conversation. The media is where that took me.

Where would you like to be five years from now?
As I wrote in an editor’s letter a few issues ago, I’d like
be furthering causes of environmental and social justice more than I am now.
Less grandly, I’d also like to have reached some work-life balance that would
allow me to work out more regularly. I used to be low level but consistent, but
these days I can’t seem to make the time. I’m terrified to hit my fifties
without more muscle mass. After 40 it’s all erosion. You’re so much better off
having more to erode.

Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Be dogged and be rigorous, make sure your resume looks good,
fits on one page and is grammatically consistent. Don’t send unnecessary emails
to busy people, be useful to them and try to empathize rather than personalize.
Hone your craft however and whenever you can.

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your
own?
 
Man, that’s too hard! I scour tons of print media, mostly
what you’d expect: The Grid and Toronto Life are both fantastic, Globe and
Mail
, Toronto Star (their metro reporting kicks a**), New York Times and the
magazines (am awed by Deborah Needleman’s surgical redo of T even as I mourn
Sally Singer), New York, New Yorker, Paris Review, TLS, New York Review of Books when I find it, ELLE US (where I used to work; they have fantastic
features that don’t get nearly enough recognition, which I think is a weird
sexism) the British fashion mags, Worn, the recipes in Chatelaine, I’m enjoying
Vanity Fair after a long hiatus… I just like gorging. For several years New
York Magazine
was definitively my favorite but —this
is unfair – it’s so good that the so goodness gets old hat! Being at the
airport when the September Vogue has just dropped; it is embarrassing how happy
it makes me. Online: my brother’s smart, funny blog that intertwines his civic
and personal life in Montreal http://briquesduneige.blogspot.ca/.

Best interview you’ve ever had?
The artist Jenny Holzer, over emailI had to cut it down to a nubbin, but she is a genius and it
felt like a dance between us.
Worst? 
I don’t remember specifics because when an interview is bad
I blame myself and throw it into the vast ocean of self criticism that ebbs and
flows within.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
So much of it is personal! My sister-in-law hipped me to the
adage “Never apologize, never explain,” and I call
on that in times of trouble.

What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Don’t work for capitalism, make capitalism work for you.
Love more, complain less (that’s not always in effect).

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
You can assume that if the story is one that makes sense for
that editor or that outlet, they will want it. All we need is the information.
We don’t need announcements on two-inch thick slabs of Lucite in heavy stock
boxes tied with ribbon. —It creates more work for the mail
room and custodial staff and is bad for the environment. And if it’s from an advertiser’s PR, we have
to pay attention, so that goes double.

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear
about #wins.
Well, I was happy to get that righteous block of Parmesan
from Max Mara PR for Christmas. But aside from thoughtful edible gifts, it’s
satisfying when a story is personal and mutually beneficial. For the April
Flare (out now) we worked with Ann Watson, Club Monaco’s PR VP, on a well story
in which Peter Ash Lee shot the BC-born model Mackenzie Hamilton in Club M
mixed with other designers at the design director Caroline Belhumeur’s lovely
Victorian house, followed by a profile-ette of her. The catalyst was my own
curiosity. —I was impressed by their recent
ad campaigns and their clothes, so I investigated her and wanted to do
something that expressed something about what she was expressing in the
clothes. That led to her house. 

As a fashion magazine we’re pretty focused on
designers, but chains are what most of us can afford, and I like the way they
are starting to steer away from creating a faceless brand (Jenna Lyons!). The
shoot took a lot of trust (it was her house) as well as coordinating and
persistence because everyone involved had busy schedules, but Ann wasn’t scared
off by that. She knew the reality of making something special happen. It felt
warm and organic and I think that reads in the story, which is about both of
our stories, in a nice way.

I hate?
Man’s inhumanity to man and unnaturalness to nature. People
who gut houses of original detail and stick potlights everywhere. Egotism, bad
taste and a lack of imagination: horrible combination.
I love?
Watching my eldest son’s gesticulations that began when he
first started talking, persist. I want those hand gestures to never go away.
Professionally: my colleagues who bring real thought and care to their work. It
makes the days good.

Reading?
The second installment of Susan Sontag’s journal entries and
the latest Diana Vreeland bio.

Best place on earth?
Please! That answer can only be metaphorical and
metaphysical!  But right now I’m enjoying
bourgeoisie pleasure zones, such as the king size bed in our rental house when
my husband and two sons and I are all on it together snuggling, just before my
husband gets too grouchy and needs coffee, my two year old bangs his head
jumping, and my seven year old will not cease talking like a Pikachu (whose
language consists of pica over and over.) 

Hero?
There’s a long list: George Tiller, the abortion provider
murdered in Witchita, Kansas; Barbara Lee, the only person in the US congress
to vote against the Iraq war in 2002, Paul Watson, whale savior, … unionists, suffragettes, abolitionists, environmentalists,
all the people, now and throughout history, who conduct themselves with
inimitable bravery and tireless focus, for what they (and I) believe is right
and incrementally, maybe, help society evolve.

Dinner guests?
My friends are dauntingly adept conversationalists, I’m not
sure a famous figure could compete.

Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
I debated putting apps on my hate list.

Pool or ocean?
Ocean

Voicemail or email?
Email, except for maybe five specific voices for which I
would stop the earth at any moment to listen to over several repeats.

Fashion-able: WMCFW Day 1

Today to provide our very first recap of the season, we’re excited to have Septembre Anderson on the fourth floor, a stylish, lovely freelance writer-about-town. She spills on a few of her favourite moments from opening night.


Septembre Anderson (@SeptembreA) is a freelance writer and editor who lives, works and shops in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. While she writes on a number of engaging topics fashion, beauty and lifestyle seem to pop up most often. Her work has appeared in a number of print and online publications including TheKit.ca, Slice.ca, FASHIONmagazine.com, Huffington Post Canada, Sway Magazine, Momtastic.com, OpenFile Toronto and GlobalTV.com. She is the editor of TheFashionEclectic.com


Izzy Camilleri introduces MIZ, a boomer-age
‘50s siren
Izzy Camilleri is known for her fashion
democracy. There isn’t a woman that the pint-sized Toronto-based designer won’t
dress. From high-end furs, including the red coat Meryl Streep wore in The
Devil Wears Prada
, to stylish adaptive duds for clients in wheelchairs, Izzy
dresses them all. For the fall/winter 2013 season of World MasterCard Fashion
Week, Ms. Camilleri turned her fashion lens onto the boomer-age woman with her
newest fashion line, MIZ by Izzy Camilleri.


The fashion show began with a mature model
rocking a silver-haired bouffant and a houndstooth pant suit and it was clear
that Camilleri’s collection was a modern twist on the fashions of the ‘40s and
‘50s. The show was a classic affair and while a muted palette full of neutrals
dominated the collection luxe textures and prints like faux leather,
houndstooth, sequins, wool, snakeskin, brocade and, of course, fur added some
serious visual interest.

A parade of ladies who seemed to be
channeling a very sexy librarian sashayed down the runway in sophisticated
separates and easy-to-wear LBDs. Snakeskin dresses and shirts featured leather
collars and cuffs while blouses and skirts got a massive hit of metallics via nude
sequins.

While the clothes were created for a more
mature woman they would look equally as stylish on all of Izzy’s clientele.

Chloe comme Parris brings luxe rebellion
and a dash of Teen Spirit to the World MasterCard Fashion Week stage
Last season the Gordon sisters brought us
California cool and for the fall/winter 2013 edition of World MasterCard
Fashion Week Chloe and Parris blended that relaxed bohemian aesthetic with the
young rebellious spirit of grunge for their Chloe comme Parris collection.


Models channelled the sullen rebelliousness
of ‘90s youth and trudged to the beat of teen anthems like “Loser” by Beck
wearing a luxe and modern take on the thrifted uniform of grunge king and queen
Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love. Worn plaid shirts were reimagined in richer
fabrics and thigh-high tights featured a carefree baroque-esque print that also
popped up on trousers, blouses and leather skirts and jackets. Even the combat-ready
footwear was given a fashionable twist and was reincarnated as sometimes
tarnished Day-Glo creepers.

Chloe and Parris always manage to infuse
some unexpected details into their collections and for the fall/winter 2013
season punk-ish chain was woven into the collars, hems and cuffs of chunky,
slouchy over-sized knits and a caged version of the chain dangled from the hems
of spaghetti-strap slip dresses and were worn as necklaces.

Dr. Seussian polka dots and prints dance
down the Bustle runway
One of the downsides to fall and winter
fashion collections is that designers usually stick to neutral palettes that are
heavy on blacks, browns and tans. Shawn Hewson and Ruth Promislow of Bustle
Clothing, however, aren’t those designers. Classic, tailored men’s sportswear was
given a heavy dose of lighthearted fun, and funky patterns and colours were all
over the runway.

Dr. Seussian florals, polka dots and an
updated pinstripe scattered with blooms popped up on bisected blazers, crisp
men’s shirts and even socks on handsome male models wearing Doc Marten’s
footwear. For fall/winter, the suits were slightly shrunken and while many of
the patterns were definitely not for the faint of heart there were some tamer
offerings for the more traditional gent. A shawl collar cardigan featured
grey-on-grey polka dots and the aforementioned shrunken slacks and jackets were
also available in tans and greys.



Hewson and Promislow even played around
with gender and androgynous model Myles Sexton and his platinum blonde hair graced
the Bustle runway while female models borrowed some looks from the boys.

*All images courtesy of World MasterCard Fashion Week (George Pimental)

Photo Friday: Sleepovers

TGIF! Today, we’re putting in our butterfly clips, packing our caboodles and putting our favourite mix tapes into our overnight bags. You’re invited to our sleepover party… circa the mid-1990s. 

Rave: Oscar Predictions

Hollywood’s big night is just days away – the 85th Academy Awards take place this Sunday, February 24. As the entire awards season leads up to this, anticipation is high. If you give a hoot about these awards, then you’ve likely got an Oscar pool you’re participating in (we highly recommend entering Lainey’s annual pool for some kickass prizes). While we aren’t going to reveal all our picks today – because duh, we want to win, too – we will share our insight into the nominees and the evening, in general. 


The BFF Connection


Wonder if Matt is jealous of George?



If anything has become evident this awards season, it’s that Best Picture is Ben Affleck’s to lose. Argo has been riding a massive wave of dominance, which is partly attributed to Affleck’s Best Director snub, partly because of the “perfect family” show he and wife Jennifer Garner have been putting on the past few months, and a lot due to his bestie and co-producer George Clooney. Clooney knows how to play the game and he’s been pressing a lot of flesh on behalf of Argo. Who could resist the Clooney charm? Not us, that’s for sure. The only real question left to ask is, will Clooney bring girlfriend Stacy Keibler with him to the Kodak? That would be two trips in a row, a new record. 

Tightest Races


Classic moments from JLaw & Bette.

There are a few categories that are way too close to call, among them Best Director and Best Actress. Also, Best Actor. We know, you’re all thinking “oh hey, who can challenge Daniel Day-Lewis? Nobody.” and yes, you’re right. But maybe, just maybe… Hugh Jackman can rip the bald statue out of DDL’s hands? That would be an upset. For Best Actress, we’re saying it’s between Jennifer Lawrence and Emmanuelle Riva. We love JLaw, but this won’t be her last time at the Kodak. Can’t say the same for Riva (sorry!). Finally, the most contentious category: Best Director. After the high-profile snubs of Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow, we weren’t sure what to think. Still don’t, to be honest. The power of Harvey Weinstein has us leaning towards David O. Russell, but Steven Spielberg and Ang Lee are also strong candidates. 

Locked Down


Shaved head + singing cry face = OSCAR!



We’ve already called Argo for the Best Picture win, but we’re sure you’re wondering what other categories are a lock. While there’s always a chance Academy voters will go rogue and have a change of heart, calling Anne Hathaway for the Best Supporting Actress win is about as close to a sure thing as you can get. Considering Amour was nominated in both the Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Film categories, we’re also pretty sure that Amour will take the non-English category. 


Lowered Expectations


Stewie! 

After the excitement of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosting the Golden Globes, we just can’t muster up much enthusiasm for the Oscar’s host, Seth MacFarlane. Don’t get us wrong, we love Family Guy and were thrilled to hear some of the show’s writers were contributing to the Oscars. And while MacFarlane is a talented vocal actor, we always want a little bit of Broadway (i.e. singing and dancing) in our telecast and don’t know if he can deliver. Not to mention, he’s already claimed that this is a “one-time thing” for him. Doesn’t really engender the most confidence. 


Magic Oscar


Please God, let this happen on Sunday. 



This year’s show has an impressive list of presenters and special guests, including the cast of The Avengers (Robert Downey Junior, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans and Samuel L. Jackson), Barbara Streisand, Adele, Nicole Kidman, Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Channing Tatum. There’s so many things we want to know! Is Babs going to sing? Will Aniston bring fiance Justin Theroux with her? How does Clooney feel about Theroux?  Are Kidman and Naomi Watts still besties? And, most importantly, is Channing Tatum going to take off his shirt? 

Fave Five: Brunch

Ah
brunch. If there is one thing the 416 and the 905 can agree on, it’s that brunch is bliss.
Persistent scorn for frigid February – and the accompanying lament: why am I
still living here? – melts away to reveal a fondness for the winter wonderland
we call home when we’re cozied up at one of our favourite joints crunching on
bacon and buttering scones. It’s more difficult to choose a top brunch spot in
Toronto than whether we want a coffee or a Caesar with our eggs benny so, heck
lazy-Sunday-lovers, we’re not gonna do it! 


Here are five faves. We’re open to
suggestions for our next post (tweet us @rockitpromo) and maybe a mimosa too…

Celebrating its ninth birthday next week (with a kick-ass To The Nines bash), The Drake Hotel is a neighbourhood staple. Offering comfort food with it’s signature casually opulent flare, we love everything on the menu. Bonus points for the larger-than-average seating area (with a choice between casual café, lounge and dining room) and extended serving time (brunch goes until 4 p.m.). Must try: warm scone share plate.
1150 Queen St. W.


Only a couple years ago this bright, cheerful locale – where coffee is served in romantic china tea cups – was a dingy, dark illegal after-hours club. We’re glad a passion for food and elbow grease (thanks Orwell?) led to the operation of L’Ouvrier by Angus Bennett. The menu is modestly sized, but contains something for everyone, from the health nut to the heart-attack-challenger. Must try: potato rosti, smoked salmon, crème fraîche, arugula, fried shallots, and capers.
791 Dundas St. W.


Somehow Saving Grace comes off as cozy rather than tiny. There is no arguing the fact that elbow room is at a premium but the large windows and potted plants make the space bright and welcoming. The food is spot on and specials vary daily, just be prepared for a wait to get in. Must try: French toast with caramelized bananas.
907 Dundas St. W.
Welcome to a less complicated time. Aunties and Uncles is unpretentious (we love the retro décor!) and operates on the fresh-is-best mentality. Inexpensive and a reliable hangover cure we can’t imagine the brunch scene without this old standby. Must try: omelette of the day.
74 Lippincott St.

Not all our Sundays are lazy. And when we’re looking for a little excitement we turn to the cultural hub of downtown: Toronto’s Soho House. They pair extravagant, healthy brunch spreads with event programming. It’s a members-only club, so if you haven’t got a membership, cozy up to someone that does. It’s well worth it. Must try: to die for croissants.
192 Adelaide St. W.