Toronto - ARTS & CULTURE
June 25th, 2008
Sadly, the age of written greetings has gone the way of the Rubik’s cube.
But should you want to keep certain traditions alive, albeit in a more modern and technically sharp way, the MOO card (US$19.99 for a pack of 100) is most certainly the way to go.
Using designer images or even your own artwork on one side with room for personal details on the other, these little MOO cards are a sure way to leave a lasting and quirky impression.
How very avant card.
Available at www.moo.com
June 18th, 2008
Forget Facebook – MLS is where we whittle our hours away.
If you’re like us and enjoy peeking around other people’s pads, you’ll love Dressing the Home: The Private Spaces of Top Fashion Designers.
Filled with gorgeous images, shot by Guillaume de Laubier, the book takes us on a tour of Gilles Mendel's dining room, Dolce & Gabbana's living room and Betsey Johnson’s hallway.
Other designers that reveal their most intimate spaces include Christian Louboutin, Catherine Malandrino, Diane von Furstenberg and Patrick Cox.
Does their fashion aesthetic echo their interiors? Try and guess who lives where— without peeking.
Dressing the Home: The Private Spaces of Top Fashion Designers is available at chapters.indigo.ca
June 11th, 2008
Some say this British singer/songwriter is the greatest lyricists of our generation, so why haven’t more folks heard of Thea Gilmore?
With eight studio albums under her belt (she recorded her first at 18, and is just shy of 30) her latest offering, Liejacker is laced with exotic instruments from ukuleles to mandolins and lyrics that are more reflective than ever.
“Question...what do two years, three harmoniums, a chimney hood, a grill pan, the birth of a child, a bout of depression, a 20th century folk music icon and a loft in Liverpool have in common? Answer...they make up the story of Liejacker,” Gilmore writes on her blog.
Joan Baez is the music icon in question, who with Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Paul Westerberg, Neil Young and Elvis Costello, is a huge influence.
Time to listen up.
Liejacker is available at Chapters Indigo across the GTA, www.chapters.indigo.ca
June 5th, 2008
The city can be a noisy place for us all, so when we need to shut down, tune out and escape the cacophony here’s where we go:
The DeGasperis Conservatory
A gorgeous oasis to sit in the sun and take in some eye-popping architecture. It’s hard to find so take some breadcrumbs along to help you find your way out. 585 University Ave. 4th Floor, Clinical Services Building, Toronto General Hospital.
401 Richmond Roof Garden
A tranquil Eden nestled atop of one of the city’s beloved art institutions. 401 Richmond St. W. (at Spadina Ave.)
This leafy promenade is a great place to get away from Bloor St. bustle. SW corner of Bloor St. & Avenue Rd.
Winston Churchill Park
A dog walkers heaven, this is one of our favourite Toronto parks. Corner of St. Clair and Spadina Ave.
For a shift in pace and perspective, hop on the boat to sleepy Ward Island and take in Toronto from a far. The Toronto Ferry Docks, Bay St. and Queens Quay (just west of the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel).
June 4th, 2008
If it’s avant-garde film, electronic sounds and indie magazines that you’re into, check in and chill out at Kensington’s Function13.
With an eclectic mix of carefully curated books, CDs, toys and timepieces, there’s plenty to stimulate a curious mind.
Hear electronic music from The Boredoms and Matthew Dear while eyeing poster art from local silkscreen group Seripop.
Films from cult director Kenneth Anger and local doc maker Peter Mether are featured, as are various hard-to-find books and magazines on art, design and technology.
Function13, 156 Augusta Ave., Toronto, 416-840-1010, www.function13.ca
May 21st, 2008
If we read the tabloids, it may be a while before we hear anything new from Amy Winehouse, but fortunately a couple of acts have arrived to fill the void she leaves behind.
Jim, from British performer Jamie Lidell, pays homage to 60s soul with a set of songs that manage to keep one foot in the present.
Meanwhile, Welsh singer-songwriter Duffy is sure to draw comparisons to another British soul diva, Dusty Springfield, when listeners hear her late-night bluesy voice on her debut album Rockferry.
Both have a throwback soul sound reminiscent of Winehouse but with none of the guilt of enabling drug habits.
May 14th, 2008
We’re midway through Contact and you’re still leafing through the catalogue of shutterbugs trying to map your picks. So why not join a guided tour?
Led by local art aficionado Betty Ann Jordan, this photo packed gander along Queen Street West beelines art lovers to the best shows in the ‘hood.
Highlights include Magnum in Motion at the Drake, First Nations artist Jeff Thomas at Steven Bulger plus star talents like Raymonde April, Robert Burley and Nan Goldin at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Don’t miss Anthony Koutras’ life-size images of Toronto bicycle lock posts installed along Queen Street.
Tours ($25) are scheduled for every Saturday in May and begin at the Drake. For more info visit www.artinsite.com
May 7th, 2008
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Pablo Picasso
With a masterful hand and childlike imagination, Korean artist Suzy Lee tells stories that transcend all ages.
Wave ($17.95) tells the tale of a little girl and her adventures with a wave at the beach. She kicks it, runs from it, dances on it and even sticks her tongue out at it.
Reads it as you will.
Wave is available at Swipe Books. Visit the new location at 401 Richmond St. W., #121, Toronto, 416-363-1332, www.swipe.com
April 23rd, 2008
Some people come to meet the mummies—others the dinos.
For us it was the couture frocks that brought us to the crystal.
Spotlighting fashion greats from Alaia to Dior, the Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles and Costume at the Royal Ontario Museum will set any fashion lover’s heart aflutter.
A Westwood toga dress in soft avocado was a favourite as was a ruby red Dior cocktail frock with five layers of petticoats.
Textiles range from a 19th Century wedding quilt from Ontario to a late 19th Century Japanese kimono covered in weeping cherry leaves and blossom.
More than enough to get wrapped up in.
Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen's Park Toronto, 416-586-5894, www.rom.on.ca
April 16th, 2008
In her new book, fashion journalist Hadley Freeman writes, 'why [women] love bags is pretty much for the same reason they love shoes: they don't make you feel fat, you don't have to try them on [...] and they don't necessarily suit Kate Moss any better than you.'
Culled from Freeman’s British Guardian column The Meaning of Sunglasses: A Guide to (Almost) All Things Fashionable ($24.95) is a collection of acerbic mini-essays on fashion and style.
It’s perfect bubble-bath time material. You’ll laugh out loud and read ‘til you turn into a prune.
The Meaning of Sunglasses: A Guide to (Almost) All Things Fashionable is available on request at Type Books, 883 Queen St., W., Toronto, 416-366-8973, www.typebooks.ca