Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bandits in Bows Fashion Show!

Remember that exciting Jessica Rabbit meets Catwoman fashion show I posted about awhile ago? http://amandasfashionspot.blogspot.com/2009/06/bandits-in-bows-by-maybe-by-sarah.html

Well the date has been changed! It will now be held on Thursday, August 13th, 2009 at 9pm at The Rivoli on 334 Queen Street West so check it out!

Amanda

Monday, June 29, 2009

New York, New York It's a Helluva Town! Part Deux

What is a trip to New York City without a little shopping? Well, in my case a lot shopping. NYC is filled with oodles and oodles of places to shop 'til you drop. Uptown, Downtown, East Side, West Side, clothes are everywhere and I love it!

Some memorable places include a small store called, Taroo located in Murray Hill. The small white boutique has tons of colourful bohemian inspired pieces and exotic jewellery. Some items that I picked up there include, a bright pink peasant top with colourful embroidery and a silvery blue lightweight ruffled dress. Perfect for a summer afternoon catching a Broadway show or a lunch date.

A store that must be visited when in Manhattan has to be the Marc by Marc Jacobs Accessories store located on 385 Bleecker Street. The store that is no stranger to long line ups, bright colours and stylish sales associates is filled with affordable accessories all by Marc Jacobs. Last summer I got a purple quilted clutch and a gun metal quilted bag that was only $64. This year they had a colourful python clutch with a chain link handle that was ah-mazing for $74. It would great for a night on the town in a black blazer, hot heels and a mini skirt.

My favourite store to visit would have to be Nolita's Project 234. Carrying designers and brands such as, Yumi Kim and Plastic Island I felt welcomed by this small boutique through the warm inviting smell of pomegranate citrus and its surrounding positive energy. I was instantly taken away by the gorgeous prints of the beautiful Yumi Kim dresses. A piece that caught my eye was a purple floral silk t-shirt dress. It works perfect for day with a pair of jewelled gladiator sandals and delicate gold jewellery. It is lightweight, very comfortable and made me feel so pretty as I wore out of the store and down Bleecker Street. Another standout piece was a silk chiffon floral ruffled button-up. Worn by the store's friendly manager, this Yumi Kim design looks great with tailored shorts for a casual summer day or crisp white linen pants for work. I loved these pieces and the entire store. The music including No Doubt, Justin Timberlake and AHA's, Take on Me puts you in a relaxed, happy mood. The clothes are great for any fashionista who loves colour, print and a dash of sophistication. Project 234 located at 234 Mulberry Street is definitely a hot shopping spot to visit while in New York City!

Last but not least would have to be good 'ole H&M. I know, I know. Why go all the way to New York to shop at a store that is right here in Toronto? Well I have got to tell ya, the prices there are about $5 to $10 less than they are here and they have many different styles that are not available in Toronto. I snatched up a Chanel-inspired chain link scarf, white skinny jeans, a lightweight grey t-shirt, a red and white gingham button-up shirt (perfect for Canada Day) and studded sandals.

All in all New York City shopping was a great success. I came with a brand new summer wardrobe and a shot of some New York style!

Amanda

Rant of the Day: Local Designers

What I love about NYC are the endless shops. Not matter where you are in that city you able to stumble upon a cute boutique filled with designer duds. Another thing I have always admired about New York is the support of their local designers. From my experience it seems so easy to by a peice by your favourite designer who is born and bred in New York, in Toronto not so much. Hopefully that is something that will change because I have been dying to pick up endless by some of my favourite designers.

Amanda

Saturday, June 27, 2009

New York, New York It's A Helluva Town!

Ahhh.......I am finally back in Toronto after a couple days in rainy New York. But in all honesty who can complain about rainy New York when there are so many amazing clothing stores and fashion related events to explore?

My fashion trek of NYC first began at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art special exhibit, The Model As Muse: Embodying Fashion. After watching Coco Rocha's E! Canada special, Fashion Attacks where the Canadian model provides a behind the scenes look at New York Fashion Week, I knew that one of the first things that I saw in New York had to be The Model As Muse exhibit. Sponsored by acclaimed American fashion designer, Marc Jacobs with additional support from the notable, Conde Nast the exhibit was a sight to be seen.


Highlighting iconic models from Dorian Leigh to Daria Werbowy, the exhibit showcased the works of the models and their respective eras. As you enter the exhibit you are welcomed by a hot pink room, with a mannequin remake of the 1970 Richard Avedon photo featured on this blog, accompanied by the famous Yves Saint Laurent quote, "A good model can advance fashion by ten years". This powerful statement set the stage for the encompassing exhibit.

Despite the chronological set-up of the event, I accidently viewed it backwards after being lured by the attractive gift shop filled with The Fashion Book, Audrey Hepburn's Funny Face and the exhibition book Model as Muse: Fashioning the Ideal by Harold Koda and Kohle Yohannan. In I went to what was technically the end of the exhibit and was embraced by FW 2007-2008 Dior couture dresses draped over white mannequins that were displayed against a navy blue sparkling wall as Marilyn Manson's, Beautiful People blared in the background. Tributes to contemporary models such as, Liya Kedebe and Natalia Vodianova framed the display.

In the next room was a tribute to Giorgio di Sant'Angelo. Mannequins dressed in his brightly coloured jersey gowns hung from the ceiling. Complimenting this display was a glass mirrored box with mannequins dressed only in black and white pieces by Donna Karan, Prada and Helmut Lang. The contemporary room was followed by a tribute to the grunge/alternative era of pop culture and modelling. Nirvana's, Smells Like Teen Spirit played in the background of the room covered with graffitti walls. Outfits by Anna Sui were showcased and the whole room reminded me of being in grade 4 listening to No Doubt's, Spiderwebs. The Grunge era was all about the anti-model and this section was complete with several photos of Calvin Klein muse, Kate Moss.

Next up was Christy, Naomi and Linda.....the Supermodels. George Michael's music video for Freedom '90 played behind Gianni Versace's Andy Warhol-esque Marilyn Monroe dress. Tributes to Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford lined the display as the exhibit moved on to The Body Politic, with a tribute to Halston and Paco Robanne. Photos of a young, innocent-looking Janice Dickinson and Lauren Hutton decorated the colourful walls that transitioned into the Youthquake a.k.a. the British Invasion where Mary Quant, The Beatles and Twiggy ruled. Images of Jean Shrimpton and Veruschka accented the futurisitic, chain-mail-inspired Paco Rabanne shift dress.

Audrey Hepburn's Funny Face welcomed me into the last room of the exhibit that was dedicated to The Golden Age of Couture. A recreation of the famous Cecil Beaton photograph of models dressed in Charles James was featured in the centre of the room and was a lovely conclusion to the wonderfully curated model exhibit.

Viewing the Model As Muse exhibit was fulfilling in every way. As someone who could learn more about models I feel like I had an informative lesson in Model History 101. The array of editorial and gorgeous images left me feeling inspired and ready to strike a pose!

Amanda

Thursday, June 18, 2009

MADISON AVENUE

After a rainy afternoon stroll down Madison Avenue I am currently in the MAC (computers) store on Fifth Avenue and buzzed about all the fabulous stores I was able to pass by.

Emmanuel Ungaro, Betsey Johnson, Prada, Chloe, Valentino, Sonia Rykiel just to name a few......

Located in the Upper East Side these stores are every fashionista's dream. Just a few blocks from Blair Waldorf's lunch hot spot, this is the place for fine shopping, city strolling and some NYC style!

To be continued........

Amanda

Monday, June 15, 2009

New York, New York: North America's Fashion Mecca


On Thursday morning, I have the privilege of visiting the city that never sleeps, New York City! Home to the black & white cookie, broadway and design studios such as, Marc Jacobs and Diane Von Furstenburg I will get the chance to visit the best shopping spots in Soho, Greenwich Village and the list goes on!


I am not the only one who gets to stroll down Fashion Avenue whilst wearing gladiator sandals and cool shades. You do too! As soon as I get back I will be posting all the details regarding shopping and fashion in NYC!


So stay tuned and come back here to read all about it!


Amanda

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Standout Looks for Spring/Summer '09 from LG Fashion Week


For Spring '09, Season One Project Runway Canada winner, Evan Biddell showed a string of cool, easy breezy pieces in mainly white and grey. Accented with hot, leather heels these looks are ideal when you are in the mood to fresh look and a lil' edgy.





















Models disguised as Grecian Goddesses pranced down the runway at NADA's Spring/Summer 2009 fashion show. The purple and green outfits adorned with braided belts and shoulder straps are ideal for any fashionista who wants to unleash her inner goddess!





















In a 1950's meets 2009 Spring/Summer collection, Kimberley Newport-Mimran takes inspiration from the poodle skirt era and transforms it onto the catwalk. The gorgeous looks are ideal any fashionista that wants to look like a lady.
Amanda

One Part Fashion, Two Parts Charity


It was Ladies' Night at Remy's in Yorkville this past Saturday night and oh what a night it was!

Andrew McCurbin, public relations expert and head of leather goods at Roots Canada on Bloor Street in Toronto, MC'ed the event to benefit a Puerto Rican soccer team and food bank drive. Co-founder of Roots Canada, Michael Budman, upcoming photographer Marlee MacLean and a talented soccer player from Denmark were in attendance as latin tunes played in the background.

Among the entertainment at the filled soiree included Toronto-based fashion designer, Sarah Catalfo's Resort 2009 Collection fashion show for her clothing line, Maybe by Sarah Catalfo. The models pranced around the dance floor turned runway dressed in her Cuban-inspired designs. This collection was inspired by the designers recent vacation to Cuba and the line consisted of colourful maxi dresses, laid back off-the-shoulder-tops and pink zebra beach pants adorned with seashells staight off the sandy Cuban beaches.

Stand out pieces include a gorgeous strapless maxi dress with a golden yellow gathered bust top with a long magenta skirt bottom, a flowy pink dress that radiated from the neckline and a lavender and yellow floral maxi dress that was part of the evenings raffle giveaway. The bright, flowy pieces made me long for a hot, havana night where I can sip margharitas while relaxing to the sounds of the ocean or samba to the upbeat latin rhythm.

The night ended with a raffle giveaway where lucky ticket holders won his and her dVb fragrances, gift certicificates to Italian restaurant, Banfi, a leather Roots bag and a free Maybe by Sarah Catalfo dress.

For those of you that were lucky enough to attend, you will know that there is nothing like spending a Saturday night in the summer in Yorkville at a fashion show.
Amanda

Thursday, June 11, 2009

SALE! SALE! SALE!

Are you a lover of trendy, stylish clothes?

Are you a lover of affordable trendy, stylish clothes?

Are you a lover of H&M?

Well then, get thee to the H&M at the Eaton Centre pronto! They are having a sale.


Amanda

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

FASHION Magazine Cover August 2008


This is one of my favourite covers of Fashion Magazine. The colours are GORGEOUS and Coco looks ah-mazing.
Amanda

Going Green in the Fashion Scene!

If you are interested in reducing your carbon print and a lover of all things fashion, make your way to the Second Annual EcoSavvy Festival.

Taking place on Saturday, June 20, 2009 from 7pm-8pm there will be an outdoor Eco Fashion Show. Featuring Canadian fashion lines such as 69 Vintage, Green is Black and Me to We Style, the runway will be lined with lovely trees and be lit by natures greatest light source, the sun.

This event will be located at Mel Lastman Square at 5100 Yonge Street. In order to reserve a seat on the runway visit http://www.enlightenedevents.ca/ecosavvyfestival/rsvp#RSVP_FASHION and sign up fast!


Amanda

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Trinity Bellwoods Park + Saturday Afternoon = A Vintage Sale!


For those of you that are in the mood for a little Saturday shopping be sure to stop by Trinity Bellwoods Park on Saturday, June 13th, 2009. Between 9am and 5pm you will be able to find a great selection of 1980's vintage clothing.

The clothing will be sold by talented musical theatre actress, Cara Leslie who is also the owner of MADAM, a vintage clothing store. The sale will include 1980's eel skin boots, jewellery, blazers and gowns.
So if you are a lover of all things vintage and a wardrobe reminiscent of Madonna, Debbie Harry and Dynasty circa 1984, be sure to stop by!

Amanda

Monday, June 8, 2009

Vintage, Vintage, Vintage: My Venture Into One of the Trendiest Places in Town

Vintage. It is currently one of the most used terms within the fashion crowd. When viewing images of street style, made famous by Scott Schman's blog The Satorialist or viewing Toronto's fashionistas on fashionmagazine.com or flare.com, the common response for the source of the stylish outfits is vintage. As someone who has spent two years in fashion school and oodles of time surrounded by fashionable people, it seems the place to buy the most unique and affordable clothing is from your local Value Village or vintage hotspots such as, Courage My Love or Flashback.

I personally have not ventured into vintage territory. Despite the incredible finds and generally affordable prices I have always felt a little hesitant about purchasing something that someone else has worn and lived in. However that all quickly changed after a recent trip to none other than Toronto's Kensington Market. Although I have always passed by the quiet area, I haven't visited the clothing stores in quite some time and was pleasantly surprised during my recent trip. As I browsed through each store I was bombarded by oodles and oodles of GORGEOUS handbags. Old leather and evening handbags that I have not seen since reading my History of Costume textbook. There were beautiful skinny leather and gold belts. Fuller-flared skirts and dresses decorated with colorful, picturesque prints and exotic maxi dresses. I had not realized that Kensington Market was home to such beautiful treasures.

An added bonus to these great finds were the affordable prices! I saw a number of bags that cost no more than $30 and lovely dresses all under $50. In this economy, that is music to any recessionista's ears. As I continued my treasure hunt down the narrow streets I also stumbled upon great stores that sourced products from India such as, Eye of Shiva. This store had colourful and elaborate skirts, dresses, tunics and jewellery.

My experience has definitely changed my outlook on vintage clothes. I mean, who cares if someone wore the silk Diane Von Furstenburg dress you just bought for $40?

Amanda

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Velvet Revolution Vintage: The Hottest Spot on Etsy.com

Recent George Brown College fashion graduate and vintage clothing aficionado, Vanessa Pinkas has launched her fabulous and affordable vintage clothing store on none other than Etsy.com.

Inspired by her Czech ancestry and glamorous grandmother, Vanessa's Velvet Revolution Vintage has stylish pieces ranging from a blue floral fuller flared skirt and a red ruffled dress reminiscent of a 1920's Flapper dress. With a price range of $15-40, the styling is excellent with photographs remindful of a Marc Jacobs ad modelled by a Chloe Sevigny look-alike.

If you would like to purchase one of the fashionable pieces visit http://www.velvetrevolution.etsy.com/ and shop away!

Amanda

Bandits in Bows by Maybe by Sarah Catalfo

Ever wondered what a hybrid between the flame haired Jessica Rabbit and sleek, sexy Catwoman would look like? Well here is your chance!

Being described as "sexy, frisky, playful and neon" Toronto-based fashion designer and George Brown College graduate, Sarah Catalfo will be presenting her exciting 2009 collection on Thursday, June 25, 2009. The fashion show starts 10pm and will be hosted at the Cheval Bar in the trendy King Street West area at 606 King Street West.

Be sure to check it out and be a first hand witness at Toronto's up and coming fashion design talent!

Amanda

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Canada's Next Top Model

For those of you who want to see the future face of Canada's catwalk check Canada's Next Top Model tonight on CTV!

Amanda

The Pressure to be Thin

The fashion industry defines what is considered to be en Vogue whether it is clothing, hair style or body type. Spain's recent ban on the use of runway models with a body mass index lower than 18% has raised the question, is it ethical for major fashion houses to advocate an unhealthy body image to the mass media?

Major fashion houses such as Chanel, Gucci and Prada mostly use stick thin models on their runways and this projects a narrow view of what is considered to be beautiful. During the rise of fashion designers in Paris, designers began to have a one-on-one relationships with their clients in which the dictated what theywould wear and the images used that would promote their designs. Promoting a narrow beauty ideal implies that if you do not fit that stereotype that you yourself are not en Vogue. Models have been known to succumb to the pressures of fitting into beauty ideals. Removing lower ribs, back teeth and eating disorders have been common practices that have occured among models to achieve the ideal model look that many fashion designers create and deem beautiful. Fashion's elite excludes those who are not able to afford all the fabulous things that are included in fashion advertisements as well as imply that you will be improved if you emulate the look and lifestyle of your social superiors.

Many of the models used in fashion advertisments are as young as 14 years old. In a 1995 Calvin Klein advertisement the use of very thin teenaged models in a seedy motel setting, sparked FBI investigation for its references to child pornography. It is images such as this that brings up the issue of how fashion industry, at times, represents woman as young as prepubescent girls. The popular 1990's emaciated, dazed look for models entitled, "Heroin Chic" was considered to be a rejection of fashion's rigid beauty ideals. However, it created an entirely. The look of a model in a fashion advertisement or runway is the look of a finished product that has been highly altered and constructed to fit the mold of whatever the designer considers to be beautiful at that point in time. Unfortunately, fashion designers feel the need to project unobtainable images of woman because not only does it make high fashion seem even more exclusive but it creates an even stronger desire for woman tot go to whatever extreme it may be to become that standard of beauty.

Implicating the Body Mass Index for fashion models is a form of discrimination for models that are naturally thin. For 1960's model Twiggy, who naturally had a stcik-like frame, would it be fair to ban her from the runway? Adult magazines such as, Playboy Magazine try to promote women who have a more voluptuous figure and although some may feel that this is a positive because it no longer promotes the thin beauty ideal, it is still promoting another extreme image that a woman "should have". Woman who do not naturally have a voluptuous figure are then meant to feel if they are not voluptuous then they will not be considered sexually desirable. In the 21st century the fashion industry should strive towards equality and promoting images of models in all shapes and sizes regardless if they are thin or full figured.

Elite fashion designers set the bar for what is beautiful and part of women's fascination with the discriminating images that are portrayed in fashion advertisement and runways is the idea of an escape from their everyday lives. Women's desire to be part of the high fashion world has always existed. Napeleon's wife, Josephine de Beauharnais who was once a sommon woman becuase a queen of fashion through emulating the looks of her wealthy predecessors after marrying Napeleon. The ideal images that the fashion industry promotes, makes everyday woman want to emulate the way that models appear in the images and thus be part of the fashionably elite. However, the narrow representation of women in the fashion industry is unobtainable because the ideal look is forever changing. The popular "lean and lithe" look for models fo the 1970's soon became less popular when the muscular cosmetically enhanced look of the 1980's emerged. The fashion industry needs to show that women come in all shapes and sizes and should never be discriminated against because of the shape of their body. Luckily, as we move through the 21st century we realize that some small steps are being made to promote a more positive body image to the mass media. Dior fashion designer John Galliano is known for using thin and plus-sized models in many of his couture fashion shows.

Above all women need to learn to love themselves first regardless of what ideal beauty standard that major fashion houses promote as being en Vogue because fashion's ideal image may come and go but a woman will always have the same body.
Amanda