Toronto - Editors' Diary
November 26th, 2012
The store was packed with shoppers looking to infuse a few of Express's stellar holiday looks (and amazingly-priced pieces) into their wardrobes. Need jeans? The Denim Lab had every size/fit/cut imaginable, perfct for the stocking up on a wardrobe staple.
We also spied pieces from the Express holiday catalog - a dash of peplum in the season's hottest red, a white coat fit for winter, and bow ties, bow ties, bow ties (who says they are just for boys anymore?). To show off the season's most covetable looks, mannequins are placed in huge glass cases; they may be untouchable, but their outfits are up for grabs!
We saw shoppers stocking up on a bit of everything: sequined belts, chunky knits, layered chiffon dresses for holiday cocktail parties, one-sleeve dropwaist dresses fro New Year's Eve, low cut stack ankle boots, (minus the leather) moto jackets and Aztec-print scarves.
And lest you think it's all about the ladies, rest assured that boys get equal play here. We loved the striped sweaters, pops of colour and puffy vests that would suit a dapper dude of any age.
As for our own basket? Well you'll just have to watch this space and see what we went home with - we'll be posting photos soon. With mannequins like this, our shopping inspiration was at an all-time high.
What's #1 on your Express wish list this year? Be sure to Instagram your photos and tag them with #ExpressLife so we can see what you'll be wearing this season. And for the full Express experience, visit the new Eaton Centre location. Don't forget this: contest entry form Happy shopping!
November 15th, 2012
When Aeroplan invited me on a press trip to Toronto, I jumped at the chance - I have never been to Toronto. That's right: NEVER. I couldn't wait to connect with people I work with on a daily basis but never get to see - so I packed a very efficient carry-on and off I went.
Booked on Air Canada, I opted for a viewing of the Katy Perry documentary, "Part of Me" (you can basically justify watching any movie on a plane) and landed in The Big Smoke late Monday night. Upon checking into the Westin Harbor Castle (there was no moat, despite the description), I may have dug into the snack basket kindly left by the Aeroplan team. (Chocolate-covered popcorn? OK!)
The next morning, I headed to the Distillery District for an Aeroplan walk-through. First off, I had no idea that "points" were such a subculture. The people who are into it are REALLY into it (I'm talking flying to Asia and right back to maintain a certain status). After the tour, I could see why: Aeroplan has everything. I don't just mean loads of airline and travel partnerships (hotels, rental cars, package vacations), which they have in spades, but lifestyle products. All the coveted stuff you can think of: Burberry bags, Dyson vaccuums, Le Creuset cookware, iPads, theatre tickets, Birks jewellery - just to name a few. And if you want to put your miles to awesome use, they can also be donated to several different charities.
They also showed off the top Aeroplan travel destinations: Las Vegas, San Francisco, New York and Paris (what, no Saskatoon?).
One of the coolest offerings has to be Essence Workshop in Montreal, a guided perfume-blending experience. You'll be given base notes to sniff, asked about your scent preference and they will create a custom blend for you on the spot. I am woodsy. Who knew? (Sorry for the photo, it's hard to capture an eau.)
After a lovely dinner at Luma, the group headed to the the theatre, and I headed to meet Toronto contributor Julie Whelan for gin and tonics (and French fries).
Travel safe, my friends.
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November 14th, 2012
Can we tell you how much we LOVE a pop-up closet? Especially one that is all about teasing us for a grand reveal.
Movie-goers were treated to an Express tease over the weekend. In anticipation of the huge Grand Opening event at Eaton Centre on November 21, the team flew in from Ohio with some of their favourite pieces from the Holiday collection. Shoppers were invited to text for free gift cards while scanning the line, while I got to see the new mail-outs that are full of discounts (on clothes that are already pretty affordable for most). You can essentially get 50% off your first purchase without even trying.
Just look at these New Year’s Eve-ready party looks. A little sparkle, a lot of style (without breaking the holiday budget). Take a faux fur, a thick belt and a shimmering heel and it’s instant after-dark glam.
For the boys, it’s classic tailoring (nothing too stuffy or formal – it’s all about smart casual). A scruffy boot with a sharp suit says, “I know what I’m doing.”
It will be great to see everything come together in the new store. I had never heard of Express until I spotted a model wearing a gorgeous pair of gold shorts at a shoot I was working last year. I asked her where she got them, and it was, of course, Express. I suspect I may be too late for those, but there are loads of new metallics to appease me.
If you missed the AMC Pop-Up Closet, don't fret - there's two more chances to get on the Express train! Stop by a Pop-up Closet for a chance to win a 1MX best-selling men's dress shirt, the Editor and Columist pants, a $25 gift card, or a special offer.
Dundas Square: November 15 (11 a.m.-3 p.m.) FASHION Magazine editor will be on location
Eaton Centre (Level 1 across from MAC Cosmetics) Friday November 23-Sunday, November 25 (11 a.m.-3 p.m.) FASHION Magazine editor on location
November 10th, 2012
Diesel's new hard/soft look is all about versatility. Cowl neck, drapey, black dresses, embellished army jackets, an asymmetrical cropped blazer in tweed, and chunky heels were some of my spots.
So clearly, Coco Rocha in the new ads, isn't the only thing that caught my eye. The key is to pick one embellishment and level it off with a classic shape. I found myself asking time and again "really, this goes with this?"
I couldn't argue that the pairings worked well together, but they were definitely a little out of my comfort zone.
My favs were the shirt with the ice cream cones and flowers (I would wear this just about everyday), the green and blue tweed moto jacket, and the simple black jean jacket that's basically made of sweatpant material. They all feel like pieces I could throw on just about anywhere, but I'm a pretty casual gal.
A few of the accessories really shone, as did the space itself. Who knew this haven was hidden on the second floor of an industrial building on King St? Give me a newspaper, an espresso, and this table any day. Okay, and also, the clothing.
Cheers to your weekend,
Photos by Katherine Holland
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November 8th, 2012
Today was the day that I decided half of my wardrobe needs to go back under the bed. A quick morning of outings, and I froze my ass off. We're already talking MITTS! (Vancouver editors cannot relate). Montreal, you know what I'm talking about. Sorry for whining, Calgary.
I'm a bit OCD when it comes to sweaters. I'm always worried about the apocalypse, and am convinced that with a sufficient amount of warm over-the-head sweaters, I'll do just fine.
My newest fave? Valentine K's Carolina sweater. It's a big ol' grandpa sweater, but it's made of caaaaaaashmere. I'm pretty sure you could give this to ANYONE for Christmas, and you'll be getting thank you notes well into next summer. The patches give it a little extra punch, and make it almost socially acceptable to wear out to dinner. (I will be, no doubt.)
Her dressier houndstooth pullover is bound to sell out, but it's burgundy or grey, for me.
I met with the designer, Lauren McLachlan, at her pop-up shop on Bayview. She knows exactly how to dress her sweaters to make it look high fashion. I'm missing that gene, I think. I'm going to be pairing with some wide leg pants, and making it my holiday uniform.
Cuddle up, everyone...
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November 7th, 2012
On a rainy Tuesday evening, our Twitter feed had only two topics: the US presidential election and Nicola Formichetti at the Bay. While we don't have any close-ups of First Lady Michelle Obama in her Michael Kors dress, we do have plenty of photos from the Mugler party.
Standouts in the fashion crowd included Rebecca Bree owner Rebecca Rawlinson and FASHION Western Editor (and former VitaminDaily.com Vancouver editor) Joy Pecknold, along with supah stylist Leila Bani (below in green).
November 5th, 2012
We stole a moment with superstar blogger Leandra Medine of Man Repeller in anticipation of her first public appearance in Vancouver.
Herewith, 6 questions:
Q: Your blog features a lot of layering shots - what's the one item that can turn an outfit from a man-getter to a man-repeller?
A: Oversized plaid button down.
Q. It rains a lot in Vancouver. Is there any shoe more man-repellant than the wellie?
A: A very furry 8 inch wedge.
Q. Vancouver is known for having a serious lack of eligible men, and women here often wear yoga pants outside of the gym. Do you think there is a correlation there?
A: Of course not, man repelling does not actually repel good men.
Q: Have you ever featured something on the blog as man-repelling, then realized it was actually great for pulling?
A: No, but I have featured what I thought was great for getting (bell bottom jeans) and learned they are repellers.
Q: Clearly man repelling is an inexact science as you were married this fall: does your husband weigh in on our man repelling style, or do you just judge the success of outfits by the look on his face?
A. My husband is one of a kind. To see me in a jeans and t shirt registers somewhat alarming to him.
Q: What's the most man-repelling item/trend you've seen on the spring summer 2013 catwalks?
A: Very tall hats. I like them so much.
—Alexandra Suhner Isenberg & Maria Tallarico
November 5th, 2012
Branding is a big deal in business. As sick as I am of the word, not even I can ignore its importance.
How do people feel about your brand? Do they feel reassured by its professionalism, or irked by a business owner who doesn't feel confident enough to play the game?
I think if you ask someone for their money, they want to feel like it's going into good hands. Costs are kept reasonable, and customer experience is top priority. But the most effective way to reassure people is simply by having your sh*t together.
Business cards, online advertising, blogs. They all show confidence in your brand. It takes people from interest to purchase.
We would like to thank Magenta Studio for sending us this rad little iPad cover, reminding us to write, and write often :)
It makes for a great thank you gift for a small business that has helped you out.
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October 30th, 2012
EXPRESS kindly invited us to come check out their runway show and pop-up show at Toronto’s World MasterCard® Fashion Week on October 26.
Before we get to the show, we thought we'd share a little about EXPRESS (did you know the store is 30 this year? And still a hottie!). Life requires more than just staples: sometimes we need a black pant suit for work, or a pair of killer black skinnies for the weekend, or a really sophisticated cocktail dress for a party, and Express has us covered for not just the everday or the special occasion, but for... everything. And because the store is so affordable, we never have to choose between looking polished on a Monday morning or looking chic on a Saturday night. (Read on below for more details on the November 21 Eaton Centre Grand Opening.)
The one and only Jessica Stam opened and closed the show (seen above in stripes). Apparently her Mom was watching proudly from the front row! A Canadian (from born in Kincardine, Ontario, no less!) supermodel is always a welcome face at fashion week. She even tweeted her love for EXPRESS backstage.
An EXPRESS girl doesn’t shy away from bold colours, prints or textures. She doesn’t need a lesson on walking in heels and she has a killer accessory for every occasion (Stam closed the show in a fire-engine red dress with wrist-length red gloves to match)… Come to think of it, “shy” might not even be in her vocabulary.
Pepulum is a must this season, and though I've been hesitant to try it, the black and white print ankle-biter trousers this one was paired with below could absolutely get me on board with the trend. The mix of prints, colour, and cuts makes getting dressed fun. What's life without a little risk!
If you can’t wait until spring, pop into your local express to try on this sequined skirt that everyone is raving about. With tights and ankle boots? Hello, holiday parties.
Closing walk, getting in the mood for the after party and pop-up shop (oh trust us, those photos are coming soon) Don't miss the shiny new store at the November 21 Eaton Centre Grand Opening event. Oh, and did we mention the $1,000 shopping spree up for grabs? A possible new wardrobe is just a click away: contest entry form.
October 29th, 2012
Arthur Mendonça, Unttld
It looks like Canadians will be sporting a lot of shiny getup come spring. Maybe it was due to Toronto's dark skies, but we couldn't keep our eyes off the glistening metals that took to the runway during the week. Take, for example, Arthur Mendonça's slinky, liquidy number, a courageous alternative to the little black jersey dress. Or Unttld's fiery bronze maxi skirt, one of the many incredible items in a game-changing collection by this young brand.
Dreamboat Lucy, Joe Fresh
Swimwear gets some high shine too, thanks to Dreamboat Lucy's '70s glam suit that recalled images of Jerry Hall and Helmut Newton. At the same time, Joe Fresh looked to the previous decade, incorporating futurist silver textile into their streamlined sportswear -- with shoes to match.
Pink Tartan, Duy
A less flashy and more understated silver jacquard treatment played a major role in Pink Tartan's ladylike collection that, at moments, brought Kate Middleton to mind. And Duy, the Montreal-based winner of Mercedes-Benz Start Up runway competition, went with a tough-but-sweet gold cropped jacket that's currently at the top of our shopping list.
Photography by George Pimentel