Fashion-able: WMC Fashion Week Preview

After weeks of wishing we were in on the action at fashion weeks in Paris, London and New York, it’s almost time for Toronto to strut its stuff. We can’t wait to see what our Canadian designers have in store this season at World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto. Here’s a look ahead at a few of the shows we’re most excited for.
We can’t help but love these sisters, who have quickly become darlings of the Toronto fashion scene. We’re still dreaming about that leather backpack from a few seasons ago. They always have something interesting to show, so we’re looking forward to seeing where they went this year.
The 3-buckle backpack.
Image source.

With outerwear and accessories inspired by Canada’s wilderness and defined by a raw and rustic aesthetic, expect rich leathers, fur-lined hoods, and a lineup of beautiful people wearing sexy jackets.

Rudsak’s hot leather-clad motorcycle gang, F/W 2011
Image source.
VAWK/VAWKKIN 

Sunny Fong’s collection is always one of our favourites, and we’re even more excited this year as he previews VAWKKIN this season. With a slightly lower price point than VAWK, VAWKKIN is designed for the “young, professional, fashion-forward female.” Sounds like a lot of girls we know. Known for having models of all ages and sizes walking the catwalk, he always presents a fun show featuring beautiful womenswear.

Elisha Cuthbert wearing VAWK on the red carpet at the 2012 People’s Choice Awards
Image source.

Soïa & Kyo 

Considering two of our team sport Soïa & Kyo winter coats, we can honestly say we’re majorly excited to preview the chic outerwear collection for 2012. With a line inspired by the ‘hipster urban traveller,’ we can’t wait to welcome them to the Toronto catwalk for the first time.


Who on the fourth floor have you spotted wearing this FW 2011 Soia & Kyo coat?
Image source.

Triarchy/Martin Lim/Travis Taddeo

These three very different, but all very cool lines were part of last season’s Mercedes-Benz Start Up Competition for emerging Canadian designers. It’s going to be interesting to see what they’ve been up to over the past few months, as each shows independently for the first time.

Triarchy denim
Image source.

Such a full calendar, so little space. We can’t wait to head for the tents at David Pecaut Square to see what all the designers have been working on. Check the FDCC’s official WMC Fashion Week calendar here. 
 


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Media, Darling: Susan Antonacci

Susan has been working in publishing and media for over 25 years.
 Prior to becoming editor-in-chief at Canadian Living, she held the position of 
managing editor of Canadian Living and Homemakers Magazine. Susan is 
married with two children, aged 22 and 25. She is co-chairman of Heart and Music, supports SOS (Students Offering Support), and works with Free the Children, Breakfast for Learning, St. Mary’s Food Bank and other charitable foundations. She also works to promote the importance of the arts in school curriculum’s across Canada.



Canadian Living is a dynamic, contemporary, engaging brand that touches
 on all aspects of the busy lives of today’s Canadian women. Susan believes 
that women choose Canadian Living because the brand works hard to respect who their readers are, how busy their lives are and offers them accessible ideas, solutions and stories that will inspire and engage them and help them make the most of their day-to-day lives.
Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
I always thought music would play a role in my life. I sang competitively as a child and was even in a rock band in my early 20s and really wanted to “make it big!”. Unfortunately, it soon became clear that I needed more than $35 a week to live. I was only willing to starve for my art for so long.

I also worked at a radio station for a short time and thought I’d like to be a radio personality. Though it’s been a running joke for years with friends that with my voice, I could have considered call-in centres of an entirely different kind.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
I can honestly say that I would be most happy if I was right where I am now — at Canadian Living. I couldn’t work with a better team, I love the brand, I love our readers. However, I’m fortunate to also love the business side of publishing, so who knows what five years will bring?
Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Take an internship! I know there’s been a lot discussed these days about the merits of interning, but I really feel that it is the best hands-on experience you can get. It is the only time in your career that you can request working in different sections (of a magazine, newspaper or online) to really get a feel for what works for you and what you enjoy.

It’s also extremely important to understand the online side of the industry, from blog posts to social media. It’s an ever-evolving industry that has certainly experienced a lot of change in the last few years, so it’s important to be able to go with the flow and learn as much as you can to keep up!
What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
I am a news junkie, and I always start my day with reading the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail, and I watch and listen to CBC whenever I can. I am a big Jian Gomeshi fan!

And about once a week, usually on the weekends, I spend time reading the New York Times and the New Yorker online, along with food blogs and guilty pleasure blogs, often ones that mostly show pictures of cute puppies and kittens doing cute puppy and kitten things. 
Best interview you’ve ever had? Worst?
A few years ago I was invited to be a moderator at the Canadian premiere of Food Inc, a documentary about the food we eat based on the book by Michael Pollen. This was at a theatre downtown and some of the people in the film, including Michael Pollen, stayed for a Q-and-A session. The crowd was very receptive to the film and we had a lively discussion about it. I was lucky to be asked to take part.
As for my worst interview, I’d have to say it was when I had a few minutes with Martha Stewart in the middle of the paint aisle at a major retail outlet in Toronto. It was so rushed and hard to settle into, and it was Martha freakin’ Stewart! I was trying to come across calm and cool but instead I was nervous and sweaty. I’d love a do-over. 
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
Salt, tequila, lemon! And if that doesn’t work, treat people how you want to be treated. I know it’s such a cliché but my mom always used to say this to me and I truly believe that in the larger, karmic way of how things go, life is just more pleasant when you treat everyone with love and respect, and it makes it more likely you’ll get it in return.
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
It’s taken me a long time to learn this, but I try to let go of negative things and thoughts. That goes for my personal and professional life. I used to really let it get to me but it’s just not worth carrying that kind of baggage around. Think positive, be positive.
What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
I work with many PR reps and I’d say the most important tip I can offer is for them to understand that we must consider editorial integrity first and foremost. Pitch the idea or concept and let us determine whether it’s the right fit for our reader/audience.

It’s also more pleasant when they’re not too pushy.
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
John MacKay from MacKay and Co — every interaction I’ve had with him has been positive. His approach is a soft-sell, he has great ideas and does his research on the media outlet that he’s approaching. He is the ultimate connoisseur in his field. He’s been bang on in regard to Reitman’s and Tiffany this year. The guy is top-notch.
I hate?
Bananas! And any baked goods bananas can hide in.
I love?
My husband, Greg, my children and my dog Scooter McGee (not always in that order!). I’d also add licorice, fudge, PEI, and farmers’ markets to the list.
Reading?
Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie by Alan Bradley.
Best place on earth?
That’s a tough one, but Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island comes to mind first, so I’m sticking with it. 
Dinner guest?
Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Palestinian doctor who wrote a book that I often refer back to, I Shall Not Hate. And Elie Wiesel, a Nobel Laureate who has written about his experience as a teenager during the Holocaust. I’d have us sit down for dinner and figure this whole Middle East peace process out.
Hero?
That’s another tough one. I think anyone who sees an injustice and has the guts to stand up to it is a hero. Craig Kielburger, the founder of Free The Children, comes to mind. Here’s a guy who was just 12 years old when he first read about children rights issues in Pakistan. He was so bothered by these sweatshops that he went on a mission to change it. I love that.  His brother, Marc runs a close second.
Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
Twitter, and some newspaper apps.
Pool or ocean?
Ocean! I used to scuba dive and I’ve always loved swimming in such vast, open spaces. I love knowing I’m sharing the space with millions of other creatures, many of which haven’t even been discovered yet.
Voicemail or email?
I’m cool with either.

Fashion-able: Rudsak Fall/Winter 2011 and a sample sale!

The fourth floor had the pleasure of working on the LG Fashion Week RUDSAK fall/winter 2011 runway show and it was wicked cool. Creative leader and RUDSAK owner Evik Asatoorian designs leather apparel, footwear and accessories and this collection was meant for today’s road traveler.

With motorcycle helmets in hand, the RUDSAK models, lead by Addison Gill, rocked the runway. Montreal-based RUDSAK is one of Canada’s leading leather fashion brands. 
Paired with leather leggings and fashion-forward harems, jackets were sleek in leather and down-filled in neutral khaki, tan, beige and black tones with fur trims.

 

Already known for luxe outerwear, Rudsak turned heads in the front row with equally hip footwear, handbags, and wearable separates. 
Men’s bomber jackets worked with wrapped scarves and cool combats.  
 
For trendy leather you can wear all year, carry a new bag from Rudsak. Can you say “it” bag?

The collection retained RUDSAK’s timeless feel with styles than can be worn wherever, whenever, and showed that the designer’s strengths go well beyond fab jackets. The stylish shoes, bags, pants and skirts had us almost wishing for winter again.
Surely, if ever there was a time to stock up on edgy biker-chic outerwear, handbags and accessories for men and women, it’s now. Especially because….
…RUDSAK is having a sample sale starting Wednesday, April 20 to Saturday, April 23. At 50 to 70 per cent off, zip over to 108 Tycos Drive, in Toronto, and fill your wardrobe up with sweet pieces.

Rave: Great vacation reads

Vacation time is here, and one of the ways we love to relax is with a good book. Whether on the beach or inside by a cozy fire, we’ve found some great reads for our break. Here are three that we’ve been sitting down with:
Set in 1962, The Help is a story about the white children of Jackson, Mississippi, and the black women who raised them. The story begins when Skeeter Phelan comes home after graduating from Ole Miss to find her much-loved maid, Constantine, is gone. When her mother offers no answers about Constantine’s whereabouts, Skeeter embarks on a journey to find her. 
Skeeter asks two maids to help her – the always-loyal Aibileen and the always-loud Minnie. In doing so, Skeeter is exposed to the tough realities of racial divide. While Skeeter’s journey begins as a pursuit of the truth, together these three women start a movement that forever changes their Southern town. Written by Kathryn Stockett, The Help is a hopeful book about the boundaries that exist and the time to cross them. 

Transitioning between the past and present, Sarah’s Key breaks the silence on Paris’ Vél’ d’Hiv’ roundup of Jewish men, women and children. The book begins in 1942, when French police arrest Sarah and her family. With no foresight of the danger that lies ahead, Sarah locks her brother in her family’s apartment cupboard to try and keep him safe. While the French police hold the family captive at the Vel’ d’Hiv’, Sarah holds the key to her brother’s life in her pocket.
In 2002, journalist Julia Jarmond’s editor assigns her to write an article to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Vel’ d’Hiv’. As Julia begins her investigation, the information she discovers connects Sarah’s past to her own family’s future. Following Sarah’s journey from the roundup on, Julia’s life becomes forever intertwined with hers. Written by Tatiana De Rosnay, Sarah’s Key is an unbelievable Holocaust story about our duty to always remember. It’s not a light read, but will be one of the most memorable books you pick up.


After giving birth to a daughter during a monsoon in a remote Indian village, Kavita has no choice but give her up. Kavita brings her baby to a Mumbai orphanage with nothing but a silver bangle. Meanwhile, in California, American-born Somer and her Indian husband Kris decide to adopt a child from his birth place, Mumbai.
Though she loves her adoptive parents dearly, Asha takes a break from college life to discover her roots. She returns to Mumbai to find out who she is and where she came from. Switching between the stories of the two families, The Secret Daughter, written by Canadian Shilipi Somaya Gowda, tells the story of a mother suffering the loss of her daughter, and a daughter’s search for the mother who gave her up.

Pick up one of these books and become immersed in another world, giving you the mental break that you deserve during vacation. Happy reading!

What are your top vacation book picks? Tweet us – @rockitpromo!

Rave: LG Fashion Week beauty by L’Oreal Paris

LG Fashion Week beauty by L’Oréal Paris is here! In case you couldn’t tell, we’re excited. We like the fashion, ideas, creativity, beauty and ugly-pretty (you know what we mean). We also like the craziness and madness that goes with working with a production of this size. It’s energizing. 

This year, LG Fashion Week beauty by L’Oréal Paris is at the gorgeous Heritage Court, and has some very exciting new, as well as veteran, designers on the runways. We’re looking forward to all of them.

Here are some things you may not know about LG Fashion Week beauty by L’Oréal Paris:

1. There is an extremely cool design collective showing, featuring the fashions of hip young Toronto designers. The collective is helping these up-and-coming designers show at LG Fashion Week. They will put on a stellar show.

2. Coco Rocha is coming.

3. All of the shows will be live-streamed here. So, if you can’t make it, you can still watch the models stomp it out.

4. Not a designer, media member or VIP? Not to worry! You can still come – tickets are available to the public. Buy them here.

5. Dare to Wear Love, the closing night show, is presented by Hoax Couture and the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Proceeds go to the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which helps fund grassroots organizations in Africa fight HIV/AIDS. The night features African-inspired fashion, music and dance – and you can go. More to come in a blog post this week!

6. This is the TWENTY-THIRD season. That’s a lotta fashion.

7. This year, there are four spaces within the Fashion Environment for designers to show in, at Heritage Court. Not everyone needs to do a runway show – some of the rooms are smaller and treat the designs and models more like installations. Cool.

8. LG Fashion Week beauty by L’Oréal Paris is the second largest fashion week in North America.

9. Phillip Bloch will read an excerpt from his new book, The Shopping Diet.

10. Robin Kay is rarely seen without her two Maltese puppies, Gracie and Lulu.