Media, Darling: Tara Ballantyne

Tara Ballantyne joined Style at Home last February as its resident style and food editor. Tara began her
styling career in Norway and worked for publications like Norwegian ELLE and
French ELLE along with various other European publications. She has had
numerous television appearances on the Marilyn Denis Show, Breakfast Television
and CityLine.



photo credit: Transcontinental Media 

Did
you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the
horizon? 
There are so many things you can do in a
lifetime, and I’m guilty of wanting to do anything to satisfy my creativity. My
schooling is in interior design and I worked in architecture for three years
before I switched to magazines. It was the best decision I have ever made and I
love what I get to do and how creative I can be each day at Style at Home.
Where
would you like to be five years from now?
In a studio with a totally inspired
photographer, great light, lots of beautiful food, great models and a hundred
baby bunnies shooting some wild Tim Walker-inspired images.
Any
advice for people getting started in your industry?
Don’t be afraid to sweep floors, pour endless
amounts of coffee, or even pick up someone else’s dry cleaning (seriously I had
to do this once). I’ve had to learn countless coffee orders by heart and had
design proposals ripped up right in front of my face. It can be a long road of
being humble, but you watch and learn and in the end, it’s completely worth it.
What
are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
Having spent so much time in Norway, I really
developed an affection for swedish RUM magazine, ELLE Norway and Sweden, and I
love emmas designblogg –
design and style from a scandinavian perspective
. I also adore Canadian blog Bijou and Boheme, and spend entirely too much time selecting fashion
ensembles from the The
Sartorialist
, that my husband and I
should definitely purchase. Fortunately, he is a kind and patient person who
politely nods and says “uh huh” while I involuntarily involve him
in selecting my favourite looks to wear on a vespa, and for braving the
cobblestone streets. 
Best
interview you’ve ever had?
My interview for ELLE Norwegian… it ended up
landing me my first cover, and I was so insanely excited to be part of the
magazine in another country – it was pretty amazing. There is always something
very special about your first.
Worst?
I’ve been super lucky so far, in that I’ve only ever had great interviews. Fingers crossed this continues!
Best
advice you’ve ever been given?
Avoid horizontal stripes and don’t eat a full
meal before you go swimming.
What
rule(s) do you live your life by?
If you truly love something, it’s worth
fighting for. And edit to clarity – fashion, interiors, your words…
What’s
the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Open and honest communication I guess. I’ve
worked with great PR people and I’ve always appreciated when they tell me what
I need to hear, not necessarily what I want to hear. Also I am always super
impressed when they remember names!
Best
experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
Being convinced that the $250 sweater I
bought for a television appearance was not a bad decision and in fact a
worthwhile investment piece for my wardrobe. Cashmere really is timeless, lol.
I
hate?
Subway delays.
I
love?
Butter tarts, and the way Instagram always
makes you instantly look amazing.
Reading?
International design books (magazines); I
love seeing what’s going on in other countries and get a lot of inspiration
from that. Right now I am also re-reading Rebecca for the second time, and am
guilty of choosing my knitting project over my half-finished copy of Infidel
Best
place on earth?
Any place where I’m surrounded by family and
friends, a great glass of wine, and good food and conversation.
Dinner
guest?
Brother and sister, Sibella Court
and Chris Court. I am so astounded with the creativity that they both exhibit
in the work they do with styling, development and photography. 
Hero?
Coco Chanel. 
Favourite
app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
Instagram, and that
new Christmas app that helps you with shopping and wrapping.
Pool
or ocean?
Definitely Ocean.
Voicemail
or email?
Definitely email.

Fashion-able: Put a ring on it

With the crisp breeze in the air, we’re breaking out our sweaters and stocking up on Joe Fresh tights. While we’re very excited about reintroducing our fall garb into the clothing rotation, we’re also always on the hunt for new jewels. Below are some pieces we’re coveting this fall.

To start, this season is going to continue to show our upper fingers some love with the ubiquitous knuckle ring. From a great, simple band (seen below left from Jacflash) to something with a little flare (like the chevron ring on the right from Etsy), a good quality ring you can mould to your finger + a fun manicure are perfect for the fall season. 


Speaking of chevron shapes, this Dominic Jones ring is kinda superhero, kinda geometric and hella awesome. 


Image source


For when you want to spend a couple more dollars, this white topaz ring from Montreal-based Anzie is pretty perfect on it’s own, or stacked with other pieces. 



And for the times you want to adorn your hands with some straight up bling – weddings, cocktail parties or even everyday wear, we like this dazzling Erickson Beamon 22-karat gold-plated ring with green Swarovski crystals. BAM.


Back to more delicate rings: Toronto-based Lockett Jewels always has cute, fun pieces to choose from – and the best part is, her pieces are made to order so you can give exact style, size and material requirements. (psst: she also does custom necklaces & bracelets)


Another designer we love is Verameat. With Certain pieces available at Rac Boutique, the line has styles like Vampire Crown and Feather, where you can also choose the material you’d prefer, from brass to 14K gold. LOVE. 



 Buy yourself something pretty, YOLO. 

Media, Darling: Liz Cabral

Liz Cabral started
her career as Fashion Editor with
Chatelaine magazine, and in 2004 she joined
FLARE as Style Editor. In 2005, she was promoted to Fashion Director. During her
tenure, she has given
FLARE’s fashion coverage a fresh, distinct point of view
that successfully combines inspirational fashion editorial with down-to-earth,
how-to information.  


An esteemed stylist and creative visionary, Cabral has
won multiple industry awards and worked with some of the world’s top
personalities, including Daria Werbowy, Coco Rocha, Fergie, Taylor Swift,
Dakota Fanning and Zooey Deschanel. A sought-after fashion expert, she
frequently appears on such shows as Breakfast Television, CityLine, MTV, Fashion Television, ET
Canada
and eTalk. A designer in her own right, Cabral has been
involved in two very successful collaborations: the first-ever FLARE/Aldo shoe
launched in 2011, which sold out in weeks; and, in partnership with The
Shopping Channel, was the creative force behind the FLARE designer-inspired lamb leather convertible shoulder bag.



Did you always want
to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
I always knew I wanted to be in the fashion industry,
but I didn’t realize magazines were my calling until I actually interned at
one – Flare, actually – back in university.

Where would you like to be five years from now? 
Either living in the eye of a chaotic fashion hub like
Paris or New York, or the complete opposite and living in a California coastal
town growing organic vegetables.

Any advice for people getting started in your industry? 
There’s been a lot of controversy and hullabaloo around
interning these days, but it is one of the most invaluable experiences you’ll
have if you take proper advantage of it. It allows you to meet people you’d
never otherwise be exposed to and gain experience. I’ve hired countless interns
on as editors and never once been disappointed. I believe the right internship can
really lead to your dream job 
 it did mine.

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own? (i.e.:
what do you read/listen/watch?)
My Internet surfing is very fashion-oriented so WWD, Style.com,
The Cut (although I could do with a little less snark; that’s certainly the
downfall of a lot of websites these days). I read all types of magazines from
every edition of Vogue to Women’s Health to Esquire and Wired.

Best advice you’ve ever been given? 
Never make a decision based off of fear and follow
your gut.

What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Never wait until tomorrow to fulfill a dream or
passion.

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Read magazine mastheads and don’t call a senior editor
asking who covers what beat; you should be reading the publications you’re pitching and know all the players. I can’t tell you how many times I get an
email addressed to someone who worked at Flare 10 years ago.

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
The pros know how to relate and talk to editors
without sounding like a press release 😉

I hate?
I hate to hate. Nothing goods comes of it.

I love?
Travelling. Nothing brings you life experience and
education like travelling the world and experiencing different cultures. You’re
a more interesting
person for it.

Reading? 
Eckhardt
Tolle’s The Power of Now – a little self discovery is always good.

Best place on earth?
Hard to pick just one. But in the last year I’ve been
to Morocco, New Zealand and Japan; I’d say those are all up there on the best-of list. Along with Italy and Bali and the California coast and……..

Dinner guest?
Nothing beats dinner with my best friend/husband.

Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
Whatever app my husband downloads on to my phone, he’s
a computer engineer. ‘Nuff said.

Pool or ocean?
Ocean. Salt water is great for your hair and heart.

Voicemail or email?
Email. Easier to hit reply than pick up the phone.

Rave: NYFW highlights

For the last week, New York Fashion Week has dominated our news feeds, time lines and Twitter. After seeing the collections online (and a couple in person), we can’t help but get excited about our very own World MasterCard Fashion Week just around the corner.
Fashion week can be overwhelming, so much to see, way too much to read and a ton of collections, new designers and trends to follow. Here, we’ve picked a few of our favourite shows with looks we’d love to rock.

New Zealand based Karen Walker showed a collection full of great pieces and accessories including her sunnies and amazing shoes. We fell in love with the jackets, featuring pops of colourful shirts and the very wearable skirts and dresses, take a peek at the full show here. We’ll take one of everything please. 



Images via Fashionologie.
Beads, pom poms and tassels were all over Altuzarra‘s FW collection. All of Joseph Altuzarra’s looks were fun, flirty and we could find a place to wear each and every one. Check out the full collection here at Style.com.

Altuzarra Fall 2012 Ready-to-WearAltuzarra Fall 2012 Ready-to-WearAltuzarra Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
Images via Style.com.

Always a great show – Marc Jacobs incorporated oversized hats with their structural dresses and chunky knits to put on an eccentric show with lots of texture. Though we may not be stepping out in a big fuzzy hat anytime soon, the skirts, dresses and shoes are on our radar for fall. 
Images via NYmag.com.

Other notable show shout-outs include Gen Art’s Samantha Pleet show, Theyskens’ Theory and Derek Lam.
And as with any fashion week, outside the tents models, editors and fashion-forward attendees are stopped for their street style looks. After hours of enviously following our favourite sites, we’ve picked some of our favourite bloggers with street style we covet. 
Elin Kling always manages to look effortlessly stylish – she mixes a palette of black, greys, leather (all staples in our wardrobes) and pulls them together in fashion-forward looks. 



Images via Style by Kling.
Hanneli Mustaparta always has a chic, polished look. Being a former model probably doesn’t hurt either. She does great things with colour and can really do no wrong in our eyes. 



                                             Image source.                         Image source.

Leandra Medine, the Man Repeller always makes our lists – her innovative combos and mixing of prints, patterns and fabrics inspires us to increase our layers, amp up our accessories and experiment with new looks. Isabel Marant sneakers paired with a cocktail dress? We’re into it. 



Images via ManRepeller.com

Fashion-able: White Crow Online

As if working on Queen Street didn’t present enough shopping temptations, White Crow Online has opened up shop in the Burroughes Building.


White Crow has been one of our favourite online shopping destinations since it launched last December, so we were ecstatic to see them move into our building. This is White Crow’s first semi-permanent store front. Previously, they had a Valentine’s Day pop-up shop at Sleeping Giant Gallery and teamed up with LAB Consignment for a Mother’s Day sale at the Drake Hotel.

Owner Jin has a friend who helps her source styles and they import their clothing from Korea. Jin says she’d love to expand the store and offer wares from Australian and Europe, as well. White Crow’s offerings feel very fresh and of-the-moment. Best of all, the price points are really reasonable (most pieces are under $50), which makes lunchtime shopping sprees a legitimate concern.

Here are the pieces that top our shopping list this summer:



Jin says the plan was to stay in the Burroughes only for the summer, but the response has been really positive, so she may stay longer. Fine by us, we loving having White Crow here.

Check them out online or at 639 Queen St W. on street level. 


Store Hours
Mon-Wed: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Thur-Sat: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sun: noon to 6 p.m.

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Fashion-able: Spring Trend Watch

Each season, the fashion-forward watch the runways. Whether sitting in the front row or behind their computer screens, they observe the latest designs from talented designers, mentally noting which pieces they can personally rock. Ultimately, from The Row’s precise androgynous tailoring to Proenza Schouler’s pajama-inspired gear, we can choose only a few pieces to add to our ever-growing collections.



We’ve outlined the top three trends that we’re digging (and digging into our wallets for) for the spring 2011 season. Use this guide to help you make your own decisions – it won’t be easy to choose! 


1. Maxis

If hemlines rise during times of depression, then 2011 should be a very happy year. That’s right, it’s time to move your micro-minis aside to make room for longer styles.

Luxe Label: Reach great lengths with A.L.C.’s Pleated Long Skirt ($693). The accordion-style maxi comes complete with an unfinished edged hem and elastic waistband. Made of lightweight woven polyester, this pleated skirt with ruffle trim is a perfect style basic that’s anything but. 


Cheap & Chic: Nasty Gal’s Pleated Maxi Dress ($78) offers a retro feel on a modern silhouette. Partially lined, this flowy dress has a full rayon pleated skirt, and cinches at the waist with a sash belt. From day to night, in this frock you’ll be a real maxi knockout. 


2. Floppy Hat

The floppy hat is not only this year’s “it” accessory, but it also the best shot you’ve got at getting street-styled. So wear this ’70s comeback head topper and smile for the camera. Bianca Jagger would be proud.

Luxe Label: For a look that’s all casual chic, try Rag & Bone’s Estelle Hat ($150) on for size. This retro-inspired accessory comes in a gorgeous tawny beige wool, with a wide brim and deep crown. The cotton lining will keep you feeling cool and fresh, while the style screams boho-chic. 

Cheap & Chic: Beat the heat in style with ASOS’s Catarzi Felt Floppy Hat ($47). Made of 100 per cent wool with a contrast band, choose this accessory in this knockout shade of cherry red. Trust us. This is one hat you’ll wear even on good hair days. 


3. Tribal Print

In past seasons you’ve gone black, but now it’s time to go back with bold colours done up in equally daring Aztec-inspired prints.

Luxe Label: Return to your tribal roots in Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent’s Long Ruffle Slip Dress ($429). For a colourful take on the tribal trend, wear this silk maxi dress in Zulu print with adjustable spaghetti straps and a ruffled hem. Done up in shades of blue and red, the punch of colour will work on so many skin tones. Try it.


Cheap & Chic: Embrace the call of the wild in Pepe Jeans’ Tribal Printed Sheered Bandeau Maxi Dress ($73). This vibrantly patterned maxi dress with multicolour stripes and shapes has a belted waist with a tassle, and as cool a ruffled hem as the dress above (but for a fraction of the price). With a bandeau-style top, this look is all fashion Aztec warrior. 



Luckily, with spring comes some killer style that will break you out of your winter blues. Two more months to go!