Fall fashion trend: Sneakers

Rumour (i.e. the internet) has it that fall fashion is giving us ladies a break this year with sneakers and ball caps making their way onto the trend forecast.  While I’m all for comfort, the mere thought of Jerry Seinfeld makes me cringe and I take it as a personal affront when I see otherwise put together individuals walking down Bay street in a suit and sneakers (this is what flats are for ladies!).  So let’s be clear: “sneakers” as fashionable footware does not include your running shoes, hiking boots, or anything you would wear inside of a gym.  It does include Chuck Taylors of pretty much any style and colour, Kate Spade’s new line for Ked’s (dying), Liberty of London’s Nike collection, or, if you prefer some fancy with your sneakers, Yves Saint Laurent’s silver studded hightops.

2013-08-28Top: Kate Spade for Keds, Vans, Converse, Tory Burch; Middle: Liberty of London for Nike, Top Shop, Converse; Bottom row: Isabel Marant, Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Hardy, Valentino

If you’re not sure you can pull off this trend, check out blogger Sincerely Jules for some inspiration.  This girl wears kicks like they’re Louboutins (to be fair, I’m pretty sure she could make Uggs look good). Continue reading

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Go See: TIFF 2013

It is with mixed emotions that I announce the first signs of Fall: the Toronto International Film Festival is days away.  It’s always sad to say goodbye to summer, but TIFF is my favorite season in Toronto.  The city is buzzing with excitement, Torontonians are forced to be friendly due to the infiltration of visitors who want to talk about all of the incredible films they are trying to digest, and the chaos of summer shows signs of slowing down. It’s all good.

TIFF 2013 runs this year from September 5th – 15th. If you haven’t purchased a package of tickets, then you should know that the public on sale date is Sunday, September 1st at 9:00 a.m. As always, I suggest when you make a list of films you’d like to see and that you double check availability on Saturday so not to waste precious time trying to get tickets to a sold out movie.

Last year TIFF introduced a revamped website which has made getting tickets a whole lot less painful and the TIFF smartphone app now allows you to see the schedule, watch trailers and buy single tickets (this is HUGE!).  One major change I’ve noticed is that Cineplex Cinema at Yonge & Dundas is no longer being used a venue, rather all 18 theatres in Scotiabank will be screening TIFF films.  This will make it faster to shuffle between theatres and screening times (the main venues are now Scotiabank at RIchmond & John and the TIFF Bell Lightbox at King W. & John).

Once again I warn you that my choice of films lean towards dark and I tend to avoid the major gala screenings with all their red carpets and glam. I find the smaller screenings to be more intimate and usually feature a question and answer period with the visiting filmmakers, which is my favorite part. I’ve scoured the hype that has come from the recent major film festivals (Cannes, Sundance, Berlinale, etc) to come up with a shortlist of films that is sure to excite you, entertain you, challenge you and hopefully help you see life through a new lens.

Enemy (Canadian Director Denis Villeneuve (Incendies, a TIFF favorite of mine) returns with an adaptation of the novel The Double from Nobel Prize-winning author Jose Saramago about a glum history professor in search of his doppelganger. Shot in Toronto and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds) and Sarah Gadon (Cosmopolis).)

Gloria (Paulina García won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for her performance as a vivacious, middle-aged divorcée who finds what may be her last chance for love while grooving on the dance floor of the local singles club.) Continue reading

Zara / Zara Home

If you follow me on twitter, you may have noticed that I’ve been a pretty big fan of Zara‘s last few collections.    The August/September look book is no exception, with leathers, plaids and classic colours tailored with just enough special details to be unique and on trend.  I was pretty thrilled when Zara became available for online shopping in Canada this past spring and I’ve already got my eye on a few pieces from the Fall collection (those mustard heels WILL be mine).

PicMonkey CollageBut I digress, the real news I wanted to share with you today is that Zara Home is now available for online shopping in Canada!  I nearly tripped over myself ogling the window displays when I discovered a Zara Home store in Copenhagen this past fall and cursed the shopping gods for keeping this gem hidden from me for so long.   Zara Home’s current aesthetic is considerably more country than its fashion counterpart (think plaid, lace and everything french country), but provides a great shabby-chique alternative to the prohibitively costly home decor on offer at Anthropologie.  Rumour has it Zara Home will be setting down bricks and mortar in both Ontario and Quebec and I know a future bride (ahem, Julie) who could likely complete her entire home registry here (birds on everything!). Continue reading

Ai Weiwei: According to What?

EVERYTHING IS ART. EVERYTHING IS POLITICS.

Here I go again eagerly and excitedly reporting back from yet another incredible exhibit showing at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Before I booked my ticket to the Ai Weiwei: According to What? exhibit last weekend, I was not particularly familiar with his background or importance in the art world.  To be frank, all I knew was that he is a renowned Chinese contemporary artist who is barred from leaving China, is without a passport, and that there is a documentary about him on Netflix.

I won’t recount all that I learned about Ai Weiwei, nor will I show you all of my pictures from the exhibition; this wouldn’t leave you anything to see for yourself! But this is what you should know. Known as the most famous living artist in the world right now, this exhibit was first curated with Ai Weiwei himself in 2009 for viewing in Tokyo, and this is only the second time it can be seen in North America.

weiwei2 Continue reading

Date Night: Julie’s Cuban

Tucked into a quiet residential pocket in Beaconsfield Village is your new favourite neighbourhood date spot:  Julie’s Cuban.

120411_julies_cuban_1109Marked only with a vintage snack bar sign, you may have walked right passed this unassuming Dovercourt establishment a handful of times without giving it a second thought.  Step inside and Julie’s colourful, rustic decor and dusty twinkle lights will make you feel like you just walked into a local watering hole in old Havana.  In the summer, the restaurant boasts a small wrap around patio that – despite the exposure to pedestrian and other traffic – feels like a private garden oasis.

PicMonkey Collage 2
As the name suggests, Julie’s offers a variety of Latin American inspired tapas and cocktails to suit just about any taste.   On my last visit (which was a spontaneous pre-concert date with a couple of lovely ladies), we split a pitcher of the could-have-been-stronger sangria and shared the avocado and mango salad (delightfully fresh and perfectly ripe), the guac and chips (because OF COURSE), the daily ceviche (huge chunks of citrus marinated fish accompanied by crunchy red peppers and sweet corn), the sweet plantains (raved about by a self-proclaimed plantain hater), the frituras de mais (totally worth the deep fried factor) and the vaca frita (the most traditionally Cuban of our choices and, I must admit, the least exciting). Continue reading