DIY: Cut-out tee’s

It’s been awhile since we did a DIY post, and we were itching to get crafty again. After some poking around the Internet (seriously, what did people do before the Internet?) and a timely post from UrbaneBloc.com, we came across some cool cut-out t-shirts that we thought could be pretty easy to try our hand at. 


Some of our inspiration: 

Here’s what you need: 

– An oversized, slouchy t-shirt. Fitted will just look trashy here, not “I’m Coachella-ready”. Pick your colour! We chose tees from Joe Fresh for their punchy colours and solid value. *Protip: learn from our mistakes and pick a solid cotton shirt. The blends feel too flimsy after they’re cut.
– Sharp scissors with pointy tips. 
– Soft pencil or marker if you’re desperate (but a soft pencil works much better).
– Ruler.

We tried two different ideas, one more difficult than the other. There are tons more out there, so try these, then see what else inspires you.
DIY #1: Show Your Ribs
We loved the design of this one, reminiscent of a spine and ribs exposed down the back. Plus, we found a template online from the eternally-handy DIY Queen Martha Stewart that made our first attempt pretty simply. Difficulty factor: 2/10 (but it takes a long time. Have some wine and good tunes on hand while you’re cutting out all of those pesky ribs). 

Step 1: 
Print out the template. Fold the shirt in half to figure out where the centre line is (we like precision).



Step 2: 
Place beneath the shirt. If it’s moving around on you, tape it in place, because you gotta trace that bad boy. Trace the pattern with your soft pencil. Try and keep the pencil lines as light as you can, to make it easier to cut out without leaving any traces behind after.



Step 3:
Repeat above on the other side of the shirt, taking care to make sure the two sides line up. 


Step 4: 
Cut away! Cut out the parts that correspond with the black parts on the stencil – that is, the “spaces” in between the ribs. Take your time, but don’t worry about it being perfect. You are making a torn shirt, after all.


Step 5: 
Wear and collect admiring glances this summer. 

DIY #2: Woven V
This one looks super complicated, but it actually took less time than the one above. The cutting part is super speedy, while the woven effect is a bit trickier. Difficulty factor: 4/10 – we had to play around with weaving the back a few times, but once you get it, it’s a breeze. 

Step 1: 
Lay shirt out and fold *just the back* in half. If you fold the whole shirt in half, you’ll cut through the front. That’s a little too much exposed skin, in our opinion.


Step 2: 
Grab a rule or tape measure to use as a straight line to cut against. Lay it in a “V” along the edge of the shirt, up to the collar. The wider the V, the more exposed your back will be. Pick how much cut-out you’d like and grab your scissors.



Step 3:
Start cutting pinkly-width strips down the shirt, cutting all the way to the ruler. Again, don’t worry about jagged edges or crooked lines – they’ll just add to the effect.



Step 4:
Once you’re done cutting all the way down to the bottom of the V, grab each strip and stretch it out. This makes the cotton roll under, which hides the jagged edges and opens up the spaces between strips. 

Once you’re done stretching out the strips, your shirt should look like this.

Step 5:
This is where it was get a bit trickier. You can either leave it as is, or attempt to weave the back to add a little pizazz. 

To do this, you grab the top strip and the second strip. Pull the second strip under the first and over the top – the second strip should now be at the top of the shirt. Repeat this with the third strip – grab it and pull it under the second and over the top, so now the third strip is at the top of the shirt. Repeat all the way down; you will start to see a pattern forming on either side of the V. 


Step 6: 
Once you’re done weaving all the way to the bottom, cut the very last strip in half and use it to tie the weave off. Tie each half of the cut strip to the strip above to hold your weave in. 

We really liked the look of double weaving it, so we repeated steps 5 and 6 above. Then we realized our shirt looked a little business in the front, party in the back with the V-neck collar in place, so we cut that off to make the front a little edgier. This is the final result: 
Ta da! We’re excited to wear these to Field Trip this summer, to drink tall boys in Trinity Bellwoods, the beach off Toronto Island and backyard BBQ’s. Basically, to any event that involves sunshine and warm weather.

Rant: Dressing for Unseasonable Weather

Listen, we feel you. We’re sick of talking about the weather too. At this point, we’re seriously thinking about starting a class action lawsuit and make Punxsutawney “Fibber” Phil rue the (Groundhog) day he ever missed his shadow. Last time we’re ever going to listen to a rodent. So yes, we appreciate that it’s confusing to be donning your Canada Goose in the Easter Parade, but this is no excuse for some of the sartorial disasters we’ve been spotting around the city.


You’re telling us. 

Sandals + Snow = mortal enemies 

Thankfully the days of trudging through snowbanks in our Sorels seem to be behind us (until October, at least). While this may seem like a sign to call up your pedicurist and break out your new sandals, but please, for the love of all things holy, don’t. Use this as a chance to wear your suede booties without fear of slush. Sport your spindliest stilettos and stare straight ahead – there’s no ice in sight! But when Mother Nature plays an April Fool’s joke on us and delivers flurries in the “springtime” maybe skip the gladiator sandals.  
Cute look from our style icon.
Who wears short shorts (in 10 degrees)? 
Raise your hand if you’re sick of wearing black tights? While we’re eternally grateful to Joe Fresh for keeping us stocked up on affordable, durable stockings all winter long, we are sooo ready to show some skin. That being said, we also realize that immediate gratification is a plague destroying the fabric of our society. There is nothing more infuriating than seeing a pair of Daisy Dukes atop pasty white legs the very day the temperature hits double digits. Start with some bare ankles and slowly work your way up. While you’re at it, invest in some self-tanner for the (20 degree plus) day you debut that pretty little sundress you picked up in January.

Nice day for tanning, bro. 
A little jacket wouldn’t kill ya. 
In high school we remember asserting our independence by refusing to zip up our winter coats or wear toques. As adults, we’ve suffered through enough bouts of flu to realize how idiotic this is. We’ll give people the benefit of being caught off guard (we’ll get to this more later) by the temperature to excuse why they’re shivering in their jean jacket waiting for the streetcar. However, in this unpredictable April we encourage you to borrow an autumn style trick and layer, layer, layer. Throw a chubby knit sweater on under your jean jacket, if you’re insistent on packing away the parka. Unlike weight loss, it’s always easier to lose some layers than add them on. 

Saturday night steez.

“Always prepared.” The Boy Scouts of America & you
We’ve got a crazy idea: let’s all adopt new New Year’s resolutions. How about we resolve to check the weather forecast before getting dressed in the morning? You know, the weather forecast; the thing you can find on the news. Or on your phone, the Internet, in the newspaper or on the radio. The greatest thing about this is that you’ll stop having people stare at you in disbelief on your morning commute or suffer the indignity of having us write a blog post making fun of you, ever again. Happy spring!

Happy trails!

Fashion-able: WMCFW shows we’re excited for

Seems like just moments ago that we wrapped another successful World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto, but here we are again: ready to soak in the looks that our Canadian designers have created for next fall and winter.

Even though we don’t want to think about another fall now that we’re in the homestretch toward spring, there’s still something exciting about brand new ways to wear leather and fur. Plus, we’re always pumped to spot the best in spring street style at the tents.
Check out (just a couple shows on) our can’t miss list for this season’s World MasterCard Fashion Week:


MIZ by Izzy Camilleri
Monday at 5:30 p.m. / Runway



Izzy is a vetran who designs for the confident woman. This collection will feature sleek separates in jersey, stretch wool twill and faux leather. A neutral colour palette incorporating houndstooth and animal-print has us thinking back to the Fall 2010 IZMA collection and its richness of attitude. 




Chloé Comme Parris

Monday 6:30 p.m. / Runway




The return of sisters Chloé and Parris Gordon breathes effortless, youthful cool into this season’s roster. A bit more New York than Paris, the girls’ focus on custom and hand-made elements make their wearable collection covetable.


Pink Tartan
Monday 7:30 p.m. / Runway




Kimberley Newport-Mimran wowed crowds this past season with her ability to incorporate a punk edge in a collection that was ultimately soft, sensual and ladylike (in the 50’s sense!). We can’t wait to see what she comes up with for fall – and what colour palette she’ll be working with.


Mercedes-Benz start up presents: DUY
Tuesday at 7 p.m. / Runway




Winner of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz Start Up Award, Duy Nguyen will present his new collection this season. We are hoping to see more of his intricate pattern making at play in fall/winter layers.


Joe Fresh
Wednesday at 9 p.m. / Runway




The Mimran’s are taking over! It’s okay, we really don’t mind. Frequently enticed by the affordable, on-trend fashions available at Joe Fresh, we want a glimpse into what Joe will have in store for us this fall. And we will be on the look out for special guests on the runway – like Pat Cleveland (pictured above).


Soïa & Kyo
Thursday at 6 p.m. / Runway




Ilan
Elfassy,
designer of Soïa & Kyo (and sister Brand Mackage), says that this
season he has “channelled the timeless elegance and malleability of metals, such as
copper and nickel.” The Quebec-based brand is most renown for it’s winter-wear – a can’t miss given the season.



VAWK
Thursday at 8 p.m. / Runway




Luxury label VAWK, by Sunny Fong, pushed the boundaries last season with light-weight feminine fabrics, sharp metallics and revealing cuts. We’d be OK with another take on the awesome gold cone bra above.


Travis Taddeo
Friday at 4 p.m. / Studio




Expect Travis Taddeo to own the studio this season with his signature raw, minimalist and edgy style. Known for pushing conventional expectations, we are looking forward to seeing what his unique blends of street wear and luxury will bring this year.


Stephan Caras
Friday at 7 p.m. / Runway




Established, Toronto-based designer Stephan is rejoining Toronto’s official fashion scene this season. We can’t contain our Canadian glee at the thought of seeing the master of collections that incorporate femininity and movement present on home turf.


Pavoni
Friday at 8 p.m. / Runway




Mike Derderian & Gianni Falcone know how to make a woman feel like a queen. Literally. The detailing on their dresses is so delicate it makes this Fourth-Floorer feel faint. Hope you’ve already RSVP’d.


We could go on. Get the full calendar here. Ladies, don your gem-toned or graphic print dresses and men lace up those brightly soled shoes – this is a season you don’t want to miss.

WMCFashionWeek: Fave moments

World MasterCard Fashion Week is almost over and it still feels like it’s just begun. It’s been an incredible week in both the studio and in the runway venue, including some surprises like the 5 Gum Black Collection Greta Constantine presentation on Wednesday.

When we do get a moment between shows, there are so many fabulous outfits to take in that it seems the whole week has flown by in the blink of an eye. But, for each of us, a moment or two stood out from the rest. 

Here are just a few of our fave moments:

We love being at the front of the runway room entrance. From that spot we can see so much of the action in the fashion environment and hundreds of familiar faces and friends as they go into the shows. It’s a lot of big, positive energy that passes through that entry; energy that is passed to us and, most importantly, the designers. We love that.


The awesome neon light installation at the runway room entrance.

This week we were fortunate enough to rock some pieces from the new L by Linda Lundstrom collection. A couple of us even got street styled because of it!



Michelle and Andie on Flare.com.
Another favourite was Arthur Mendonça‘s 10th anniversary collection. Being a vet in the Canadian fashion industry, Arthur was cool, calm and collected. We loved running his proud mom, Marie, to her front row seat and – of course – everything on the runway!

Image courtesy of Steve Alkok and It’s All Style To Me.

Pat
Cleveland strutting her stuff during the
Joe Fresh show was pretty amazing. Even
though some of us only got a glimpse from backstage, it was clear that her walk is as iconic as she is and it was
great to hear the massive applause she got from the crowd!

Image courtesy of Steve Alkok and It’s All Style To Me.
Seeing
Duy Nguyen backstage immediately after winning the Mercedes-Benz Start Up
Program for emerging designers was a great moment. He was so genuinely humble and overwhelmed – we can’t wait to see his fall 2013 show this spring.

Duy and his lovely models right after winning the competition.
A surprising moment was
witnessing some “show birds” strutting their stuff down the Korhani Home runway
on the arms of a couple very sharp looking models. 
Backstage, the gorgeous parrots were celebrities in their own right with
camera phones and flash bulbs going off every few seconds. Rumour has it
that these birds were actually imported from the Vegas strip so there would be
minimal noise.  And it worked – the birds were very professional!

Image courtesy of Steve Alkok and It’s All Style To Me.

For some of us who are a newer to Toronto’s most fashionable week, meeting Jeanne Beker was a huge highlight. Not only is she truly stunning (and, as expected, decked out in timeless, stylish wear), she is down to earth and incredibly positive and supportive of the designers. We always love meeting people who share the love.



We are looking forward to the Travis Taddeo show tonight. We love his signature sleek, minimalist dresses that are within our budgets. 


Finally, one of the best moments of every season always comes after the final shows ends and the rock-it team has a celebratory cocktail to toast a job well done.





World MasterCard Fashion Week: What we’re excited to see

In an office filled with women, it’s inevitable the there will be some passion for fashion amongst us. So,  we’re pretty excited to (again) be a part of this year’s World MasterCard Fashion Week. This year sees a return of some old favourite designers and some exciting new additions. We are on the edge of our seats and can’t wait to see some cutting-edge, fabulous creations make their way down the Canadian catwalk.

From haute-couture to street-style, we’re loving it all. Here’s a sampling of some of the shows that we’re
reaaaalllly looking forward to seeing this year.

Mercedes-Benz Start Up National Final
Tuesday, October 23, 7 p.m.


For the past two seasons, Mercedes-Benz has sponsored a competition between emerging Canadian designers. The competition aims to foster the young talent in this country, and provide mentorship and support to young designers. This year, eight are competing for a chance to show at the fall/winter 2013 shows this March. The eight finalists this year include Caitlin Power, Christopher Bates, Duy, Dreamboat Lucy, Lauren Bagliore, Malorie Urbanovitch, Nicole Campre and Pure Magnolia


The designers in this competition always provide an interesting show and it’s exciting to try and predict both this years’ winner and who else will wind up making a strong impression on Canadian fashion. We can’t wait to see who wins this year and view their full collection next season.

Wednesday, October 24, 9 p.m.

Joe Mimran and his wife Kimberley Newport-Mimran (Pink Tartan).
Image Source
We consider ourselves to be fairly up-to-the-minute with fashion trends but of course being on a budget (and who isn’t these days?) can sometimes crash our closet fantasies. This is why we love Joe Fresh. A staple amongst the office (it’s not a coincidence since there’s a Joe Fresh store down the street from us), we love how creative director Joseph Mimran offers trendy shoppers stylish and versatile looks for everyday that are totally cute and totally affordable. His pieces are simple. Sleek lines, bold colours and cute accessories that are easily paired to create great outfits for work or weekend. Not to mention the down-right crazy-cute shoes that are popping up everywhere you look.

Being the co-founder of Club Monaco, it’s easy to trust that the Joe brand will be on trend.  It’s earned a huge following over the last couple of years and is available at over 300 Canadian locations and has popped up on New York’s Fifth Avenue this past spring. It’s come a long way from it’s 40 store launch in 2006. Can’t wait to see what Joe has come up with for 2013.



Adorable.

Image Source


   Thursday, October 25, 8 p.m.

The man behind the label…
Image source

Arthur Mendonça launched his collection in 2002 after receiving a fashion design degree from Ryerson University. His line has grown since then and opened Spring 2005 Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Los Angeles. The line has since been presented in London, Los Angeles, Montréal, New York, São Paulo and Toronto. His designs have also been featured on
the covers of
Cosmopolitan,
Marie Claire, Fashion,
Flare, Elle
and Out
Magazine
, and within the covers of Wallpaper and In Style. 


He appeared as a guest
judge on the first season of 
Project Runway Canada, and his clothes are earning a reputation amongst celebs. Pieces have been spotted on Nelly Furtado, Rihanna, MariaBello and Mischa Barton, to name a few.

Mendonça’s work is recognized for its accent pieces and his attention to detail, which you can see in features like gold snaps, push buttons and zippers. 

Friday, October 26, 5 p.m.

Travis Taddeo.
Image Source

Travis Taddeo is a hip Montreal-based designer who launched his line in 2008 after graduating from the fashion design program at College LaSalle. Taddeo is known for his combination of minimal lines and distinctive blends of silk, jersey, leather and fur, a perfect combination of simplicity with a bit of edginess. How very Montreal of him…



This year has been a milestone year for Taddeo. With his 2013 collection, he’s focused on clean cuts and classic designs and has stayed true to the line’s minimalistic edge. He’s also launched his first complete collection for men, Travis Taddeo Homme and has collaborated with Aldo to create a line named “Aldo Rise“. He’s taken his signature blend of street and luxury and has created a complete collection, dressing us from head to toe. We love the blend of different styles and can’t wait to see what he has created this year.

Friday, October 26, 3 p.m.

Lead designer, Bruce Dang.
Image Source

The fairytale lovers and the romantics amongst us are dying to see the Paraezo Couture show. Established in Toronto in 2009, Paraezo Couture is the high-fashion division of Paraezo Bridal. The spring/summer 2013 collection, Essence, was created and is led by designer Bruce Dang. Having launched its first collection in 2012, Paraezo is still a new face on the bridal gown scene and offers beautiful, modern designs. The collection’s name reveals its inspiration: the Spanish word paraiso, which means paradise, mountains and garden of eve. Sounds like it will be a lovely show. Even if we’re not in the market for a bridal gown, it’s always nice to day dream, isn’t it?


One of Dang’s beautiful gowns.
Image source

We’re sure there are lots of other shows that will take our breath away; these are just a handful of our favourites. See you in the tents!

Photo Friday: Orange Crush

It can brighten up grey fall days, distract from the horror of impending snow, and is the official colour of Halloween. Today, we pay homage to a cheery, warm hue, that can be lovely and sophisticated, in our orange-themed Photo Friday.

Fashion-able: Wednesday and Thursday at the WMCFW tents

World Mastercard Fashion Week is quickly coming to an end, but what a week it’s been! From S&M-inspired menswear to bolo ties, every variety of talent was represented.

Bustle’s rodeo-inspired look.
Sexy fashion from Ezra Constantine.
Leather accessories and accents are not making their fashion exit any time soon, proven by Rudsak, Line, Ezra Constantine…the list goes on. 

Vawk’s awesome sparkle and leather combo.

Line brings it, again.

Splitting up [only in the fashion sense] was Joe Fresh and Pink Tartan – for the first time in recent memory, they showed on different nights. Joe Fresh showed their always-covetable pieces on Wednesday night, where we were brought to houndstooth heaven.

Pink Tartan showed a palette featuring military green, plum, grey and black.  We immediately swooned over the gowns and have our eye on that amazing tulle skirt. Investment piece – right? 

The perfect party skirt. 
Military chic at it’s finest.

Cara Cheung was a favourite, mixing tweed with hot flashes of fluorescent…
 …metallic snake print with chiffon…
…and jumping aboard the mullet train.

Ashtiani reminded us that while we’re looking ahead to fall wear, we are still very much in spring’s presence.

Incorporating pastel hues in geometric detailing proved that S/S and F/W worlds can collide.

While it’s hard to bid adieu to the tents tonight, we’re walking away with some fashion inspiration to tide us over until next season.



All images courtesy of George Pimentel (unless otherwise marked).

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