Toronto - FASHION & SHOPPING
September 18th, 2012
A girl can never have enough bags. At least that’s what we say every time we clutch hold of a new handle.
These ones from Barcelona-based artisanal brand ($138) are too gorgeous to walk away from. Lubochka bags are handmade from vegetable tanned leathers and come in a variety of great shapes, but it’s the colour combinations that grabbed our attention. Think periwinkle, sunflower yellow and a hit of tangerine.
Lubochka means “love” in Russian, and that pretty much sums it up for us. —Athena Tsavliris
At Bluebird Handmade, 758 Queen St. W., Toronto, 416-535-3232, www.bluebirdshop.ca
September 12th, 2012
From nature to architecture to fairytales and tapestries, designers find inspiration everywhere.
For South African born, Toronto-based jewellery designer, Tenielle Franklin it was vintage Goyard, Malle and Moynat trunks that inspired her latest collection of dramatic necklaces ($100-$700)
Hardware is the theme, and chunky chains, studs, padlocks and clasps characterize the collection. Franklin travels the globe in search of materials – ribbon from Japan, silver from South East Asia and her signature charms from the Middle East. Look for pyrite polished beads, Peruvian opals and freshwater pearls.
Wear with a simple a white shirt, and prepare to inspire envy. —Athena Tsavliris
September 4th, 2012
Still, I couldn’t resist a flirty bra ($68) in peach silk with lilac ruffles. The chambray printed shirts ($126) caught my eye and I love the Mexican blankets re-worked into boxy denim jackets ($225).
Best of all, are the poufs, pillows and vintage chairs in Kantha textiles. When you pay more attention to the furnishings than the clothes, you know you’re all grown up.—Athena Tsavliris
Free People, 79 Yorkville Ave., Toronto, 416-515-1555, www.freepeople.com
August 27th, 2012
There’s something a bit humorous about a country whose most famous product is a sugary liquid we pour on pancakes, eh?
Canadian Icons is reminding us that this country has more to offer than maple syrup. The site features a webstore and interactive exhibit of some of Canada’s finest goods, including Canada Goose parkas ($595), an Emily Carr painting ($380,000), and Manitoba Mukluk moccasins ($500), each featured with an accompanying history of the product and its significance.
Of course they’ve completely forgotten about poutine, but we guess you can’t really sell that online. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
August 23rd, 2012
Sugar and spice are nice and all, but women are made of much more than that.
New Toronto jewelry line Niki & Lola takes inspiration from the diversity of girls' personalities (the designers have three daughters) and from ancient nomadic cultures to create their first collection, made of mixed metals and semi-precious stones. Our favourites include the Shield Ring ($95, pictured), hand-shaped from brass; and the Astra Bangle ($150), whose scattered stones evoke the night sky.
We think Xena would approve. —Kat Tancock
August 16th, 2012
Even though our back-to-school days are (long) behind us, we still love splurging on new office gear to put us back in work mode.
Recharge with this ProLine Universal Portable Power Bank, which works for all cell phones, and can charge an iPhone 4 three and a half times, or an iPad up to 70 per cent. This is far chicer than a lumpy power cable, and works on several of our devices. $39.99 online at Future Shop, www.futureshop.ca
Light up your workspace with these stylish Anglepoise table lamps. Great for brightening up a workspace late into the night, or (even better) lighting the pages of the great book you’d rather be curling up with. From $340 online at Provide, www.providehome.com
Keep track with this paper mouse pad from Knock Knock, which doubles as work week calendar and to-do list. Despite our handy digital calendars and reminders, there’s something very satisfying about putting pen to paper. 5 Days a Week Paper Mousepad, $12.99 online at Room in Order, www.roominorder.com
Store it all in these Ikea PS 2012 multicoloured storage boxes, that can be wall-mounted or stand on a flat surface. We’ll be stacking them to make pretty colour combinations and filling them with lovely office supplies, not only useful but a great procrastination activity. Organizing is work though, isn’t it? Set of 4, $49.99 at Ikea, 1-866-866-4532, www.ikea.ca
—Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
August 14th, 2012
Not every girl inherits handbags from her chic grandmother. Martina Marcellin’s debut collection is the next best thing – vintage inspired bags, handmade in Italy with a modern twist.
Her fondness for fashion legends, such as Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren, is reflected in the Toronto-based designer’s classic style. The colour palette is classic too, combining black with a Chanel ‘Mademoiselle’ red.
The collection – a clutch, ($275), tote ($400) and shoulder bag ($365) – is an amuse of things to come: beautiful bags that your granddaughters will enjoy as much as you did. —Athena Tsaviliris
Shop online at www.marceliine.com
August 8th, 2012
Is your penchant for silk scarves in Grace Kelly proportions? Do you sort of wish for a broken arm so could wear an Hermès scarf as a sling?
Anyone with a fetish for foulards should come find Jan Marriott at The Brickworks on Saturdays. Her collection of vintage silk scarves (sourced at markets, brocantes and charity shops) is divine, and spans the decades from the romantic scarves of the '50s to the bright, clashing colours of the '60s.
Quilt devotees will fall in love with her blankets, quilts and textiles too, dating as far back as the 1800s. Her prices range from $28 for a small baby quilt (perhaps made by a ladies church group) to $500 for a 19th century showpiece.
You’re bound to find the perfect wedding/baby gift here: You just won’t want to let it go. —Athena Tsavliris
Find Jan Marriott at The Brickworks every Saturday 8 a.m.-1 p.m., http://ebw.evergreen.ca/farmers-market
August 1st, 2012
Inspired by Golden Era babes of Forties and Fifties Hollywood, the British company makes shoes that are sexy as heck. Little touches like arch support and soft leather mean they’re comfy, too.
We’re giddy over the Chica Chica Boom rainbow platforms, but our heart belongs to a pair of peep-toes with ‘Home Sweet Home’ embroidered on black ($160). Come fall, we’ve set our sights on the Chianti t-straps adorned with grapes and Flambé wedges emblazoned in flames.
Now if we could stop gazing down all day, we might actually get where we’re going. —Marianne Wisenthal
At Doll Factory by Damzels, 1122 Queen St. E., Toronto, 416-598-0509, www.damzels.com
July 31st, 2012
It’s not enough just to sell things anymore. Today, it’s as much about the mood as it is the product. To that end, the folks behind new concept store, Room 2046 are fueling us with espresso (from locally roasted beans) while we shop.
One caffeine jolt later, and I’m fawning over butter-soft, handmade-in-Milan wallets ($187) in a fruit cocktail of colours. Next, a pair of turqoise lace-ups ($62-$78) made by Kulkith from Indonesia catches my eye and that Juma carry-all ($330) is begging for a soujourn.
The coffee smells good, and so do the candles (soy based and packaged in recycled materials). I’m flicking through a book about pastries and Paris and wishing for a canelé right about now.
Well, that would be the icing on the cake, wouldn’t it? —Athena Tsavliris
Room 2046, 1252 Yonge St., Toronto, 647-348-2046, www.room2046.com