Just Say No to Fashion Mags

This started as a book review of Face Value: The Hidden Ways Beauty Shapes Women’s Lives by Autumn Whitefield-Madrano. And, I admit it – before I write a book review, I usually head over to GoodReads to see what other people thought of it. Not to crib their thoughts but to get a general consensus […]

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The Man in the Blue Jacket

I never met Bill Cunningham. He never took my photo and published in in the New York Times. But like millions of people around the world, the news of his death at 87 this past Saturday brought me to tears. He seemed – from the 2010 documentary about him and from the voice-overs he did […]

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Book Review – The Lost Art of Dress

The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish by Linda Przybyszewski If I ran the world, every child, starting at about age 10, would be required to take some kind of “home”-related course. I hesitate to call this home ec, because there are certain connotations to “home economics” of olde tymes, […]

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Four Books on Goth

In my exploration of Nu Goth and Dark Mori recently, one of the points I kept coming across was that the Goth kids of today just didn’t take the time to learn about the origins of their subculture. And while there is plenty of information online for anyone capable of using the Goggle box, for […]

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What Are You, Nu?

While it’s heartening to see young people still dressing in a Goth style, are these kids in their floppy black hats and crucifixes “real” Goths? The debate over Nu Goth has been taking place for a few years now, a weird conversation really, given the misuse of “nu” to denote a resurgence of something that never really went away. […]

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Book Review – Fear and Clothing

Fear and Clothing: Unbuckling American Style Cintra Wilson Style is the collision point between our fantasies of who we are, the larger realities we live with and the way we are perceived by others. As much as I appreciate the sincerity and empowerment behind style campaigns like #fuckflattering or “I wear what I want”, I […]

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One of a Kind Fashion Finds

The One Of a Kind artisan show takes place in Toronto twice a year (there’s also a version in Chicago), and the holiday event attracts almost 800 artisans, designers and craftspeople. While the goods range from tasty to twee, OOAK has become a major event for many indie clothing and accessory designers from across Canada. We […]

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When Style and Art Combine

Most of the people I know who have come out of alternative music scenes also tend to have an alternative sense of style. They work really hard to ensure they look unique, avoiding the mall or mainstream stores, as well as specific sub-culture clichés, in order to rock a look that is all their own. They usually […]

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Review – Fixing Fashion: Rethinking the Way We Make, Market and Buy Our Clothes by Michael Lavergne

Fixing Fashion: Rethinking the Way We Make, Market and Buy Our Clothes by Michael Lavergne There are plenty of books on the market bemoaning the sad state of the mainstream fashion industry from working conditions to the life-cycle of the average fast fashion garment. And while they are all well-written, carefully researched, and offer inspiration to […]

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Arthur Elgort’s The Big Picture

The photographs are, of course, iconic. As in, I remember exactly where I was when I opened that September 1991 issue of Vogue to flip to the page of Linda Evangelista kicking that bagpiper (plaids are hot for fall, ladies!). But Arthur Elgort’s The Big Picture (Amazon, Powell’s) is about more than pretty fashion models. Oh, […]

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Awesome Thing – Fashion Blows

Anyone who follows fashion will have heard of Isabella Blow, the iconic stylist who was  fixture on the UK fashion scene. She was known for her fantastic wardrobe, purchasing Alexander McQueen’s entire 1992 St. Martin’s College MA collection and launching his career. Blow committed suicide in 2007 and her entire wardrobe was sold to another […]

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The Mahvellous Bill Cunningham

Street fashion – and street fashion photography – is now ubiquitous in most cities. Online, there are even niche sites dedicated to older women, people of colour or particular style trends. But most of these blogs tend to simply record what’s out there, and what’s currently hot within mainstream fashion. Here in Toronto, where we’re […]

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Advanced Style Documentary – a Review

I’m still sorting out my thoughts about the Advanced Style documentary I saw on Saturday as part of the Hot Docs festival. Based on the incredibly successful blog and book by photographer Ari Seth Cohen, the film introduces us to a number of Cohen’s regular muses/models; a collection of stylish, creative women who have stood […]

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Seeing Red

If you watched the last episode of Mad Men this season, you may or may not have noticed a trend towards the use of the colour red strategically throughout the episode.  An article on Slate works on the theory that the red, used at some point to costume each of the female leads, represents female […]

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Flower Child

So florals are big this spring. They’re showing up on everything from dresses to pants to bags. I’ve always been big on florals. Maybe not on fabric – the wrong print can make the wrong person look like they’re wearing Aunt Bertha’s curtains – but who doesn’t love having flowers in their life? Living in […]

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The Window at Rhino

My neighbourhood is an interesting place. Run down rooming houses full of run down people sit side-by-side beautifully renovated Victorian and Edwardian homes with $15,000 stoves in the kitchen. We have a high end toy/gift shop but the swankest coffee chain is Coffee Time – we don’t even rate a Tim’s. A seasonal, local, nose-to-tail […]

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Old Punk Rockers Never Die

Okay, well, technically they do, eventually. Last night, Greg and I attended a photo exhibit called Toronto Calling, of photos of concerts that took place in the early 80s in Toronto featuring bands like the Clash and the Ramones. We didn’t actually stick around to see the photos, though, as the gallery space was packed […]

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The F-Word

I was at a media event a few weeks ago, talking with some folks about why I don’t do restaurant reviews for TasteTO myself. “I’m pretty unique looking, you know? If I’m out at something like this and meet a chef, they’re probably going to remember the fat girl with the red hair and sparkly […]

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Out of the Closet

Some people are naturally pack-rats, saving everything, dragging it with them from home to home throughout their lives. Others though, are purgers, overcome with the need to be free of the stuff they no longer use, need or love. I’ve never seen the point of keeping “stuff”. Sure, I have a few items that I […]

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Number 5

I haven’t worn perfume for years. Nothing scented really, if I can help it, unless it’s of the all-natural essential oil variety. Allergies and chemical sensitivity see to it that pretty much anything with fragrance gives me a splitting headache. I don’t mind this especially, as I think most people who wear scent wear far […]

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Getting Up There

Yesterday, I moved into a new marketing demographic. Now in the void known as the 40 – 49 market, I no longer hold the cachet of youth, but have not yet achieved the financial stability or respect of the baby boom. Essentially, I’m supposed to stop caring about being cool and hip and be fully […]

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Thirteen

There was a post the other day on Shapely Prose, a kickass fat acceptance blog, that included a heart-breaking letter from a 13-year-old girl who was considering suicide because of pressure from her classmates and her family. As of this writing there are over 150 responses, the majority of which seek to reassure the girl […]

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The Glorious Glamour Years

Maybe it’s because of my background in vintage clothing, but I’ve noted on more than one occasion that people dress too darn casually. Jeans, ballcaps and those hateful flipflops make Torontonians look like slobs as they walk down our city streets. There was a time when no one would be seen in public without a […]

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They DO Exist!

No, not aliens, not Samsquantch… cute, stylish, funky orthopedic shoes!! Regular readers will remember my post of about a month ago in which I bemoaned the lack of cute shoes, whined about ugly puffy sneakers and theorized that my chiropodist was out to get me. Thanks to my good pal Erika, and some folks on […]

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If the Shoe Fits

I’m having feet issues. A combination of genetics and decades of bad shoe choices have escalated into a diagnosis of flat feet and a need for orthotics. Now, the word orthotics, in theory, should no longer strike fear in the hearts of people fated to wear the things. It used to be that foot problems […]

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Get Stuffed

A block away, there is a mattress and box spring sitting out at the curb to be taken away. They are in front of a tiny little rowhouse cottage built in the 1880s, and probably by necessity, the box spring has been sawed in half, revealing the inner stuffing. This fabric pulp is mostly grey, […]

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