Monday, April 25, 2011

Preview: Banana Republic Fall 2011

Heart racing, palms sweating, butterflies in my stomach – definitely love at first sight. The object of my affection? A gorgeous printed silk dress accented with hues of marigold, burgundy, and brown from Banana Republic’s new Fall 2011 collection. Then I spotted a mini leopard print trench coat and long fuschia scarf which would complete my dream outfit and got infinitely more excited. In stark contrast to last year’s pastel and neutral-heavy trends, rich colours and brights are set to inherit the scene.

For fall, the full autumnal palette is represented in Banana Republic’s new collection, from rich red to grounded gray. The classic pieces also cover a spectrum of finishes and textures, including feminine ruffles and draping, cable-knits and faux furs, and will be perfect for the layering which inevitably accompanies this transitional season. As always, the standout offerings are Banana’s fitted trench coats for both men and women – spotted at the preview in leopard print, discreet plaid, and neutral solids. The overall effect is a season appropriate wardrobe which sneaks in a sprinkling of lingering optimism from summer’s flower filled gardens. I’m curious to know which of these pieces will be available in Petite cuts and I’ll be waiting eagerly to find out – the full collection will be available in stores by August.

The collection also prominently features complementing statement accessories and could provide measured pops of colour for those who prefer an understated approach. My favourites included a multi-colour cluster beaded bracelet with shades of red and orange, a green purse/satchel, and the perfect gold skinny belt.

Eagerly anticipating a fall wardrobe overhaul,


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Preview: GAP Fall 2011

Stating with certainty that the days of surfer-chic at GAP from a decade ago are over seems like an understatement. Although I’ve gotten some of my most treasured cotton tees from GAP over the years, I’ve watched with enthusiasm as every new collection shifted the brand’s image in a more sophisticated direction. Following in this trend are the looks from GAP’s Fall 2011 preview.

Offering a distinctly more muted palette for fall than Banana Republic, the women’s collection boasts a variety of pant fits for both work and play in colours like soft peach, ochre, olive green, and charcoal gray. A big focus for this season is the use of leather in construction and trimming. The collection adopts this luxe texture for everyday wear as seen in skirts, pants and leather-trim sweaters in addition to jackets and accessories.

The accessories for fall 2011 deserve special mention – these bags, clutches, and belts just beg to complete a stylish outfit

A few different cuts of comfortable cardigans which have become staples in all of my classmates’ and coworkers’ closets are also included in the collection. Mental note to self: pick up a few in different colours as these seem to be a limiting factor in constructing weather appropriate outfits.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Preview: Nella Bella FW2011

If anyone needed proof that the fashion community in Toronto is all about feeling good as well as looking good, they need look no further than the success that Nella Bella Brand has had since its launch in 2007. Nella Bella is the brainchild of Toronto-based designer Tarek Al-Azbat who set out to create a line of handbags which would blend fashion and function. The handbags and accessories are made from all-vegan materials in a multitude of colours and textures and with the added launch of NB Man for fall/winter 2011, there's bound to be something for everyone. What I find makes Nella Bella unique is the combination of guilt-free material (which actually feels like really supple leather to the touch) at a reasonable price point.

One of my favourite bags at the FW2011 preview was the London bag, a multipurpose unisex accessory which is available in every colour of the rainbow - and a few prints for good measure! I loved that it can be worn to reflect your individual sense of style by combining detachable pieces including a chain strap and an outer pocket-turned-clutch. It's really like building your own bag from Lego pieces.. but the building blocks are way cooler.

Other favourites from the preview were a gorgeous weekender from the men's collection and a women's hobo purse that I loved in every colour displayed (and photographed accordingly!). It's quite easy to see how the popularity of Nella Bella has taken off and if last week's launch was any indication the brand should have an even brighter future ahead.

 New favourite subject to photograph - Marc Piercey from Toronto is Fashion

At least my bags can be vegan ;)


Friday, April 15, 2011

Miik SS2011 and some gorgeous women!

If you spent as much time today thinking about your carbon footprint as you did about which shoes to wear, you just might find your perfect fit in the new collection from Miik. Pronounced [mik], this Toronto-based clothing label is equal parts style and sustainability, with a major focus on using eco-friendly materials and processes to create flattering pieces which last and minimize our impact on the environment.

Gorgeous collection for spring and summer
The beautiful Christine Estima with her selections

I had the pleasure of visiting the Miik studio with a number of fellow blogerettes and all around gorgeous women last weekend (thanks for organizing Val!). The best part? We were let loose on the new collection and got to try on the designs! It was incredible to see for ourselves just how flattering these cuts are on a spectrum of different body types. There is no compromising comfort and the range of colours is just my taste - demure charcoal and navy contrasted against aqua, lilac and magenta, perfect for this season!

Spring is here!
The Sydney in Lilac
The Myrna in navy
We'll just call this dress The One - the Sarah in aqua

Miik's Michael Gaghan will be at the Green Living Show for Fashion Takes Action (booth 129) this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If you are in the area make sure you stop by and chat with with him to find out more about the company. If you're interested in learning more about the processes Miik uses in their production please check out

Ladies wrapped up in MIIK! Thank you for such a wonderful time!
The ladies from left to right - Nat from the Nat and Marie Show, Christine from The Spadina Monologues, Marie from the Nat and Marie Show, Simone from Skinny Dip, Valerie from I'm Charming You, Wendy from Hip Urban Girl, yours truly

--> for your own chance to win one of these amazing dresses, all you need to do is "LIKE" the Miik Facebook page at and comment below the photo of the dress you like - it's that easy!

Shrinking my carbon footprint to a stiletto-print,


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sales Spotting

Some great sales to end the week on a high note!

You may have seen the recent LGFW post featuring JUMA's FW2011 collection but here's your chance to check out their designs in person and take a few home yourself (everything under $75!)

Friday to Sunday you can also preview and preorder the Lundstrom & Lundstrom Collection for FW2011, with a special 15% discount

Anyone else up for some shopping?


Saturday, April 02, 2011

LG Fashion Week: JUMA FW2011

Come spring or fall, it's difficult not to get swept up in the excitement that is LG Fashion Week in Toronto. One of the perks of living in such a fashionable city I guess! My work schedule kept me away from quite a number of shows I was excited about this season, but I'm happy I was able to make it out for JUMA. The brother-and-sister duo behind the JUMA label, Jamil and Alia, unveiled quite the colourful collection for Fall/Winter 2011, with plenty of flowy silk prints and multi-coloured cotton knits intended to be layered, draped, or worn any way one may see fit. Oh yeah, did I mention these are intended as unisex pieces? Not sure how well I could pull off any of these looks but I would definitely clear out a section of my closet for a few of their gorgeous scarves!

This season a second studio venue was unveiled at Heritage Court for select LGFW shows. In stark contrast to the flashy catwalk, this venue offers a very different kind of Fashion Week experience where you are right in the centre of the action (literally) and never further away than two rows from beautiful designs. Love it or hate it, let me know your thoughts!

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