Best On The Fourth Floor posts from 2011

For our last post of the year, we’ve put together a round-up of some of our favourite and most-read posts from the last 12 months. We have had almost 175,000 page views since we started in the summer of 2010 thanks to you. Fist pump. xo

Our first Media, Darling of 2011, Sasha Tong, was fun to interview, and her post full of good advice and insider secrets is our most popular to date. 

The snowboarding vs. skiing debate raged in our office in February, when we went head to head with each other to see which snow sport reigned supreme. The verdict? Find out here.

Back in March, we went to visit a brand new little resto that opened just around the corner from us called 416 Snack Bar. We chatted with owners Dave and Adrian, and have literally been back almost weekly to sample their tasty wines and homemade snacks. It really is our Cheers.

We eloquently expressed our rage regarding biking in the city in April, since we’d just taken our trusty steeds out of winter storage and were still getting used to the new “war on bikes” era ushered in by Mayor Ford. We hate to say it, but things didn’t really change for the better when it comes to biking downtown. Maybe in 2012?
We were excited when PR maven Kelly Cutrone stopped by the fourth floor in May, to give us some advice (and record a funny video with our own Matt Austin, a former Power Ranger). 
Delicious cooking made an appearance on the fourth floor in June, with a delicious fiddlehead and ramps recipe, complete with quinoa. Yum.

Our appreciation for art increased with our trip and subsequent post about the Abstract Expressionism exhibit at the AGO, featuring Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and others. 

Lazy summer days gave us plenty of time to ponder email etiquette, so we put those thoughts on screen and generated a strong response. People have opinions about email etiquette.

We checked out the brand-new Black Hoof cocktail bar. Needless to say, we were impressed with the clever and careful concoctions. 

TIFF was busy and exciting, and we celebrated our favourite moments and memories from a festival that were full of encounters with talent, great music and fun after-parties (in between all the work!).

Immediately after TIFF, we dove into fashion with LG Fashion Week Beauty by L’Oreal Paris. Guests really brought their style, so we snapped shots of our fave looks. 

We got our craft on at Miracle Thieves and created some clever and sassy pumpkins. 

Finally, we closed out 2011 strong with our very successful step-by-step ballerina bun post. If you see these pretty hairstyles around the city, and want to DIY, read this

Thanks again for reading, commenting, tweeting and subscribing. It means a lot. We have some fun things planned for 2012, so keep on coming to visit us on the fourth floor. Happy and safe new year to you all. xo

 

LGFW: the first two days

It’s only day three of LG Fashion Week Beauty by L’Oreal Paris, but it’s more like week three on the fourth floor. After months of planning, inviting, compiling RSVPs, scheduling and meeting with designers, we’re finally able to take a breath and reflect on the incredibly successful launch of CanadaCool S/S 2012.
With so many seasons under our belts, you’d think we’d jaded by now, but the truth is we get just as caught up in the fashion week buzz as the rest of Toronto. We wouldn’t do it if we didn’t love it! Here are some of the team’s favourite moments from the first two days of shows:
Debra
Michi’s show was so fresh. The models were cheeky and sexy. It was a party on the runway.
Lara
The energy backstage at the Lala Berlin show: hustling the girls out, dancing and whooping – it was an amazing thing to be part of.
Kylie
Being able to forget about the cold weather outside, and being transported to a tropical vacation during the Tosca Delfino show.
Abby
I loved the neon accessories at Arthur Mendonca – especially the neon yellow earrings.
Natalie
Chloe Comme Parris. Seriously, I want everything on the runway. There were a number of Holt’s buyers in attendance, so fingers crossed for them! 
Image source.
Meg
Jully Black complimenting me on my lipstick and seeing Stacey McKenzie and Yasmin Warsame catching up before Arthur’s show – model moment.
 Image source.
Christina
The Mercedes Benz Start Up show was awesome. Although my favourite designer, Triarchy, didn’t win (#client), the competitive nature of the show made for an exciting atmosphere.
 
Image source.
Andie
The Lala Berlin show was fresh and fun and I loved the colour palettes. It was also really fun to watch the inaugural Mercedes-Benz StartUp competition and check out some new Canadian designers. 
Allison
Being hustled backstage minutes before the Juma show and getting my first glimpse into the frantic world behind the runway. 
Michelle
I loved the Holt Renfrew show, since it offers up so many different designers, looks and inspirations. I especially loved the colourful Smythe jackets.
Image source.

Fashion-able: Rent Frock Repeat

Every fall and spring we are inspired by the fashion and trends at LG Fashion Week. They encourage us to put together our best outfits and dress the part. At times though, this is easier said than done, when night after night we have to come up with something new and stylish. Lucky for us, (and now you) we found a solution that will keep our spending to a minimum, and keep us looking fabulous.
Rent Frock Repeat is a Toronto-based online store that rents designer dresses for a fraction of the retail price. It all started in August of 2010, when co-founders Lisa Delorme and Kristy Wieber created the company after both being invited to a wedding, and agreeing that they didn’t want to spend the time or money trying to find a dress they would only wear once. Determined to help women all over Canada with the same problem, they created Rent Frock Repeat, where renting a dress could not be an easier or a more affordable process.

Rent Frock Repeat owners, Lisa Delorme and Kristy Weiber.
By registering online and becoming a member, you’re able to save your measurements and create a wish list of your favourite dresses. As well, you receive emails that keep you up to date with the latest styles and designers offered on the website. After browsing and choosing your perfect dress, you decide when you want it to arrive and pay online. And, because they really have thought of everything, for every dress you order, they will send an extra back up size at no extra charge. Finally, after the wedding or party is over, all you have to do is put the dress back in a prepaid envelope and send it back.

How cute is this dress
With designers like Badgley Mischka, Christian Siriano, Nicole Miller and Shoshanna, you are definitely going to find the perfect dress. We also love all the Canadian designers that are offered, like David Dixon, Jay Godfrey and Pink Tartan.
As of this summer, Rent Frock Repeat has started holding trunk shows every few months, where members can come try on dresses, and add the ones they love to their wish list in person.  

Our intern Kylie got the opportunity to go to a trunk show at Rent Frock Repeat . Here is her account of the appointment. 

“I was lucky enough to be invited to the most recent RFR event and had a great time getting my make-up done, drinking wine, and most importantly, finding great clothes. I was thrilled to spot a gorgeous Shoshanna dress (pictured below) that I had been admiring online all summer. It’s a tad on the summery side, so I’ve added it to my wish list, and will hopefully be rocking it at the first party I get invited to next spring (I was told that depending on their condition, dresses tend to be available to rent for about a year).

This adorable Shoshanna dress has been added to Kylie’s wishlist.

How’s that for convenient? So next time you’re wanting a special piece, but don’t feel like making the commitment, check out their site and have a one night fling. Sometimes they are just what a girl needs.
Send us your pics of your fave Rent Frock Repeat dresses. Tweet us @rockitpromo



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)

LGFW: Day 4 & 5 and what we loved

Last Thursday and Friday at LG Fashion Week Beauty by L’Oreal Paris, the runway and studio rooms were filled with Russian influences (think Ushanka‘s) and femininity in elegant goth and ladylike punky leather, as well as chic suits and dresses punched up with deep purple tones and lots of fur accents.

From Cydelic by Choryin‘s black teardrops to looks that Helena Bonham Carter would ogle amorously, Cydelic’s studio show was showmanship and drama in the best way.


 

We loved the graceful flair Sunny Fong brought to the table for Vawk. The leopard pencil skirt hit another trend seen at many shows: exposed zippers.


A great strong and and dramatic opening to Lundström. A group of models strutted down the runway with luxe black and ivory faux-Mongolian lamb coats and vests.


Not a look for everybody, but the dark, nu-goth vibe at Heather Lawton and Sid Neigum showcased black-on-black ensembles that would make Rick Owens proud.
Sid Neigum.
Heather Lawton.
One of  Amanda Lew Kee‘s highlights were her Kimono-inspired jackets. The wispy sheer floral outer layer showed a soft side of the designer with a delicate Asian-inspired pattern. 
Photo courtesy of Fashion Magazine
Photo courtesy of Eye Weekly.

And last, but definitely not least – the closing night show for Line Knitwear collection. A return to the ’70s with bell-bottom flares, burnt oranges and tie-dyed, pleated skirts had our hearts skipping a hippie beat with every outfit.  Boho-cozy.
Photo courtesy of Medium Magazine.
The end of the week of fashion means just the beginning for fashion lovers, to emulate and create their own looks from all the designers that we watched and loved.
Images courtesy of George Pimentel, except where noted. 

LGFW: Robin Kay’s Road to Success

LG Fashion Week Beauty by L’Oreal Paris kicked off last night, with fabulous shows by Holt Renfrew, Izma and Juma. In case you missed the opening speeches, this season focuses on The Business of Fashion. This is something at which Robin Kay, president of the Fashion Design Council of Canada (@LGFWbyFDCC) and executive director of LG Fashion Week Beauty by L’Oréal Paris, is an all-star. 



Did you know that Kay started her fashion career as a knitwear designer? In 1976, she founded a high-end fashion retail chain called Robin Kay Clothing Company. She opened 18 retail stores and her label was sold in more than 600 accounts throughout Canada and the United States. She also had a massive factory in Toronto that made all her goods.


Kay definitely knows a thing or two about what it takes to succeed in the fashion industry. Here, she gives us her five steps to success, which can help any aspiring designer in the fashion industry.

Step 1. Product

What is your product? How does it look and feel? What’s the texture of it? The colour? The shape? Having a clear and focused idea of what your product is will enable you to position your brand and sell your line effectively in the marketplace.



Step 2. Location 


It’s not only about who you are, but where you are. Finding the right selling space for your collection is increasingly important. Aligning your brand with the proper retail space, be it an online boutique, luxury retailer or department store, can be the difference between selling a few goods and building a mega brand.



Step 3. Marketing and Public Relations


It’s not enough to have talent. You need to tell the world, show the world, tweet, blog and Facebook to the world that you have talent. You need to let people know who you are, what you stand for and what you sell. Marketing creates the campaigns; PR tells the story.


Step 4. Management

Working alongside the right team and being in touch with what is happening in all parts of the business puzzle is one of the most critical steps in achieving long-term success. It is most important to find the balance between trusting people to do their job and keeping a mindful eye on what’s going on.


Step 5. Finance

Budgeting appropriately to your growth can mean the difference between making a profit on your collection and having to sell your samples to pay the rent. It is critical to be realistic about your finances.


See you on the runway!

LGFW – Let the Games Begin

Today is the first day of LG Fashion Week Beauty by L’Oréal Paris. Media, buyers and straight-up fashion lovers will gather for tonight’s by-invitation-only shows, Holt Renfrew Presents Can’t Live Without Canadian Fashion, Izma and Juma. Suffice to say, Day 1 is sure to impress.

 

A number of fashion weeks around the world offer interaction with consumers, whether by creating a special ticketed event, splitting the schedule into two parts (ie. industry by day, consumer by night), or planning an entire weekend of consumer activity. LG Fashion Week Beauty by L’Oréal Paris is unique in that it gives consumers access to the entire week. As far as we know, Toronto Fashion Week is still one of the only fashion weeks around the world to do this. Consumer tickets are still available for some shows.

RUNWAY: 50 to 75 tickets are available per show for consumer purchase.
PRICING: $40 for day shows, $50 for evening shows, and $200 for a day-pass.
STUDIO: Consumer tickets are not available for these shows due to size.

On Friday at 10:30 p.m., for the first time ever, there will be an encore show available to consumers featuring Line Knitwear. Here’s a glimpse at what lies ahead this week:

Tuesday, March 29
1 p.m. Denis Gagnon / RUNWAY
2 p.m. Label / STUDIO
3:30 p.m. SHAN / RUNWAY
5 p.m. Chloe comme Parris / RUNWAY
6 p.m. Korhani Home Rug Runway Show / RUNWAY
7:30 p.m. Pink Tartan / RUNWAY
8:30 p.m. Joe Fresh Style / RUNWAY
9:30 p.m. Bustle / RUNWAY


Wednesday, March 30
2 p.m. Micalla / STUDIO
3:30 p.m. Duy / RUNWAY
5 p.m. Krane Design / STUDIO
6 p.m. Lovas / RUNWAY
7:30 p.m. Comrags / RUNWAY
8:30 p.m. Attitude Jay Manuel / RUNWAY
9:30 p.m. David Dixon / RUNWAY
10 p.m. Disconnect presented by The Fashion Collective / OFFSITE

Thursday, March 31
11:30 a.m. Fashion Group International: Speed NetWORK-IT (By Invitation Only)
2 p.m. Sid Neigum / STUDIO
3:30 p.m. Basch by Brandon / RUNWAY
5 p.m. Heather Lawton / STUDIO
6 p.m. Rudsak / RUNWAY
7:30 p.m. Cydelic by Choryin / STUDIO
8:30 p.m. Lundström Collection / RUNWAY
9:30 p.m. Vawk / RUNWAY


Friday, April 1
2 p.m. Or by Angela Chen / STUDIO
3:30 p.m. Sarah Stevenson / STUDIO
5 p.m. Diepo / STUDIO
5:30 p.m. Strutting It by Jeanne Beker Book Signing
6 p.m. Klaxon Howl / RUNWAY
7:30 p.m. Anu Raina / STUDIO
8:30 p.m. Amanda Lew Kee / RUNWAY
9:30 p.m. Line Knitwear / RUNWAY
10:30 p.m. Encore featuring Line Knitwear / RUNWAY


So pull on your maxi skirt, strap on your wedges and pack your camera in your clutch, because LGFW is here. Tweet us your favourite moments from the week @rockitpromo or tweet @LGFWbyFDCC.