Do Me A Solid: Dare To Wear Love

You may remember from last year that we have a special spot in our hearts for the Dare To Wear Love show that closes every other fashion week. We’re excited that we get to work on the show again on Friday, March 16, and it promises to be just as inspirational as always. 

Amid all of the hustle and bustle during fashion week that focuses on style, clothing and make up, it’s nice to take a step back and think about how all this fashionable effort can be channeled into helping those living with HIV/AIDS in African countries.


The talented duo behind Hoax Couture have teamed up the Fashion Design Council of Canada, a number of amazing Canadian designers and some fun personalities to create a one-of-a-kind fashion show in support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

There are still some unique bits of the show to be announced, but so far we’ve got some pretty exciting elements: 

Show attendees can participate in a live auction in support of SLF, with pretty spectacular prizes – including a trip for two to Kenya, (provided by the Canadian Kenya Tourist Board and VoX International) featuring a wildlife safari!


CBC correspondent Wendy Mesley walks the 2010 DTWL runway wearing Kingi Carpenter for Peach Berserk
Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage.


There will also be live entertainment during the show, and of course, the bright and colourful designs from various designers that include Brian Bailey, David Dixon, Adrian Wu, Paul Hardy, Linda Lundström and many other talented Canucks. 
Breakfast Television co-host Dina Pugliese walks the 2010 DTWL runway wearing Ines di Santo
Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage.
You’ll be sure to spot familiar faces strutting down the runway including TV hosts Dina Pugliese and Tracy Moore, one of Canada’s leading gospel singers Kathy Grant, and Donisha Prendergrast, granddaughter of the great Bob Marley. 



The show is always a sell out, so we’d recommend buying now. You can purchase tix here for $75 (or a VIP ticket for $300, which includes a front or second row seat and two (!) cocktail parties)

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Media, Darling: Arren Williams

As a stylist, designer, editor and leading trend consultant, Arren Williams’ work has popped up over the last decade in many of Canada’s top style mags and newspapers, including Canadian House & Home, Wish, Style at Home, Flare, Chatelaine, Canadian Family and the National Post

He also pops up occasionally on HGTV, and appears as a guest expert covering style and design for Citytv’s CityLine. Online, you can catch him blogging at www.arrenwilliams.com, as well as writing for SweetHome and the National Post’s home and design blog, Posted Homes.

What was your favourite class in high school? 
Art class. I went to a sports and science focused boy’s grammar school and it was the one place I felt like I actually fitted in.

How did you get your start as an editor?
That was with Style at Home a gazillion years ago. They needed someone to take on their upfront news section ‘Home & Style’ and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

If you weren’t a Media, Darling, what would you be doing right now?
Making jam in Provence. Seriously.


Pitching or follow up: Phone or email?
Email, definitely. Nice short and concise, info and low-resolution-image-filled e-mails! 

We know irrelevant pitches, calling you the wrong name and eight follow-ups are no-no’s; what else should publicists avoid doing?
Please check the sex of who you’re contacting. I am a bloke (obviously!) and you’d be amazed the number of times I get an e-mail addressed to Ms. Williams. And getting my ‘feedback’ i.e. mining for ideas on how to pitch/launch/promote their products or services.

Sunrise or sunset?
Sunrise in Palm Springs. Sunset in Hawaii.

Scent?
None. It gives me a headache.

Cookie?
Dangerous. I’d hafta say Garibaldi, a.k.a. ‘Flies’ Graveyard’ – It’s a raisin cookie from the U.K. that’s hard to find here that I loved as a kid.

Flower?
I’m more on the greens side of things, really.

Ticklish?
Absolutely.

Shower or bath?
Shower.

Film?
Digital. 😉

Crush?
Orange. 😉

First job?
‘Bottling up’ at the age of 12. In other words, filling the shelves with bottles of beer at a local pub.

Inspiration?
Pattern and colour, and anyone who can actually pull their finger out and create something beautiful.
 

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.

A visit from… Jessica Jensen

When news reached our office that our new neighbour was none other than handbag designer Jessica Jensen, well, we were overjoyed. Why? A few reasons:


1. Creative folk seem to flock to our home (The Burroughes Building) and we simply love the energy that comes along with them.

2. She is absolutely delightful, genuine, humble, sweet and passionate about what she does. She even brought us heart-shaped cookies upon visiting!



3. There are handbags for sale on the fourth floor. ‘Nuff said.

Here’s what we learned from our visit with JJ:


There are some designer collaborations coming down the pipeline:

  • New York-based designer Alexander Berardi and Jensen are teaming up once again to come out with some new designs (they did LGFW spring 2010 together last year). 
  • Arthur Mendonça for Jessica Jensen. “Arthur is wonderful, because he catapults me in directions that I wouldn’t have otherwise gone. It’s always fun to work with another designer for that reason; different creative philosophies and directions lead us to be pushed in new directions. It’s awesome.” Cheers to that.
  • Another venture Jensen has taken on is designing for the International Film Fashion Festival (IFFF). Four designers have been asked to pair up with a local filmmaker and design a handbag that goes hand in hand with their short film.

On the horizon, expect to see more evening clutches that work for day or night, and a move to metallic leathers, textures and iPad cases and sleeves. With tanneries in Italy, and suppliers in NYC, Japan, Hong Kong and China, life is busy for this lady.

The door to Jensen’s groovy office.

And we all love a good piece of gossip – rumour has it that Jensen may soon be running a Canadian company’s handbag division, designing collections for this unnamed company alongside her own brand. 

Readers, keep your ears to the ground and your eyes peeled.  

-xoxo, Gossip Girl(s)

Rave: Designer Consignment at Labels or Love

When it comes to consignment in the city, Jeanne Becker goes to Labels or Love. As a woman who knows a thing or two about fashion, where Jeanne goes, we follow. We headed to Labels or Love to sit down with the store owner and former stylist, Meytal Algranti Shekter.  There, we talked trends, labels and babies (she’s a new mom to baby Kole). 

Fourth Floor: How do you make consignment current each season?

Meytal: I am very particular about what comes into the store. With the exception of exceptional vintage pieces, if its not relevant and current in fashion, I won’t keep it.

Fourth Floor: You deal with some very high-end merchandise. What is the most outrageous sale you have ever made?

Meytal: In my first month of opening, I had a woman come and literally spend $6,500 in under 10 minutes. She was in and she was out, just like that. Let’s just say it was a great beginning to my business venture!

Fourth Floor: How does the consignment shopping experience differ from department store shopping?

Meytal: Consignment shopping is about the thrill of the find. Fifty to 60 per cent of my store is brand new and in-season items. To buy something that’s still in the department stores for less than half of the retail price is pretty rare.

Fourth Floor: What keeps consignment shoppers coming back time and time again?

Meytal: I have the best stuff for the best prices, and every shopper dreams of designer labels at discount prices. This is not just any consignment store, it’s a high-end boutique. I really do get the best of the best.

Fourth Floor: What is your favourite consignment purchase you have ever made?

Meytal: I bought a vintage red jumbo Chanel bag that I can’t live without. It’s ridiculous and so rare, the best purchase of my life. I also bought an amazing new Stella McCartney jumpsuit. Chanel or Stella? I can’t choose.

Fourth Floor: Your store was recently picked by Jeanne Becker as one of the top 100 shops of Toronto. What did that feel like?

Meytal: There are really no words to describe it, but if I have to choose some, I would say RIDICULOUSLY AMAZING!

Since there’s nothing like browsing for clothes online, we’re bringing Labels or Love directly to your desk. Check out some of our favourite fab finds from the store here:


These Valentino leather strappy heels in cognac are amazing.


This cropped Giambattista Valli jacket is cutting edge meets refined elegance.



Classic Chanel, no explanations needed for this 2.55 bag.  


Take a turn walking in her shoes… her Gucci open toe lambskin booties, that is.


You don’t need a bike to wear Balenciaga’s Motorcycle bag. 



Hey Jeanne – race you there!

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.