Sole Mates: From metallic brogues to velvet slip-ons, we’re dazzled by fall’s friendliest footwear


Fall 2013 Flat trend

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When red carpet renegade Kristen Stewart wore a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors with her Yigal Azrouël dress at the MTV Movie Awards in 2009 (or the sneakers she wore on any number of subsequent red carpet walks), she was essentially flipping fashion the bird. In this industry, comfort has historically been a four-letter word: f-l-a-t.

This season, there’s a more sophisticated way to save your soles.

After years of sending models teetering down runways in sky-high strappy sandals and stilettos, designers have become the new flat-vocates, endorsing everything from clunky lug soles and creepers to trim, slim loafers and sleek skimmers especially suited to holiday dressing.

Like so many other recent trends that can be traced back to Lanvin, it’s arguable that the house’s ubiquitous stretchy, girlish ballerina flat of 2002 was fashion’s gateway drug to comfort. Once you go flat, you never go back. This season, Lanvin creative director Alber Elbaz sent winter floral party dresses down the runway but grounded their feminine whimsy with more mannish oxfords in leather, velvet and glitter-encrusted versions. This new flat provides a balance to the proportions of fall’s revival of ’50s volume, from the new New Look of full dirndl skirts at Rochas to the boxy topcoats at Céline.


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Inside the first-ever Centre Stage gala: Opera hopefuls compete for a place at the top


Centre Stage Gala 2013

Photography by Jenna Marie Wakani

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Last Tuesday night, the Canadian Opera Company held its first annual Centre Stage gala at the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto. The event focused around the company’s Ensemble Studio, a training program for emerging opera talents. Part benefit, part performance audition, Centre Stage pit nine hopefuls against one another in the battle for entry into the ensemble as well as a few hella generous cash prizes. And because no singing competition can do without some showmanship, Rufus Wainwright lent his skills, playing the host role for the night in a sparkling Moschino suit. He even surprised the crowd by performing a few of this favourite songs including “Les feux d’artifice t’appellent” from his opera Prima Donna.

After each finalist performed a piece from the likes of Verdi, Bizet and Mozart, soprano Karine Boucher was crowned winner of the judges’ award as well as the night’s audience award. She won the fashion award too, in a floor-length gown covered in gold sequins and featuring a diva apropos plunging neckline. Tenor Jean-Philippe Fortier-Lazure and bass-baritone Iain MacNeil place second and third respectively.
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Holiday Windows 2013: View the top displays from Toronto, New York, London and Paris and vote for your favourite

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Holiday Windows 2013 Selfridges

Photography by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for New West End Company

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With less than a month left until Christmas, the grand showdown that is holiday windows 2013 is in high gear. And while the weather outside might be frightful, these intricate displays are way delightful. Continuing in our tradition, we’re taking a virtual stroll through the streets of London, Paris, New York and right at home in Toronto to see which department store has the freshest displays this year.

This year, Liberty London showcased an opulent scene of Christmas crackers gone snap and bang. Each of the storied windows features a colour-themed display of Kenzo clutches, Fornasetti candles and more surrounded by an explosion of lights and sparkles. Across Oxford Street, Selfridges commissioned French foodies Bompas and Parr to construct an edible version of London’s lost architecture entirely out of gingerbread and frosting.

Meanwhile in Paris, Printemps collaborated with Prada to transform the store into an obsessional classic event: surrealist re-interpretation of the advent calendar with animated mannequins and gift boxes made of the label’s iconic saffiano leather.
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Kate Middleton channels her inner Audrey Hepburn in a pretty Temperley London dress

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Kate Middleton Temperley London SportsBall

Photography by Samir Hussein/WireImage

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We may never forgive Kate Middleton for passing up the chance to party with Taylor Swift, but this new Temperley London dress is helping to make up for it. Last night Kate attended SportsBall, a gala event for SportsAid—which is one of her official patronages that is dedicated to supporting young British athletes and Olympic hopefuls. (It’s also the charity that caused that infamous post-pregnancy volleyball photo op.)

As for her outfit, Kate’s black Temperley London dress is from the label’s Fall 2012 collection and featured laser-cut detailing inspired by Renaissance stained glass. The nipped-in waist and full skirt gave it a very feminine feel—and it’s no surprise that various descriptions of the dress have included a nod to Audrey Hepburn. Read more »

Saks Fifth Avenue announces Bloor Street location: Details of the latest Canadian retail entry

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Saks Fifth Avenue Bloor Street

Photography via Flickr

Blame it on cross border Thanksgiving sluggishness, but two days have passed since a pretty major Canadian retail announcement and the buzz seems yet to hit. Saks Fifth Avenue is not only confirmed as coming to Canada, but its first location has been revealed as the current Hudson’s Bay megastore on Bloor Street in Toronto. Amidst an influx of US retail entry to Canada including Target and Nordstrom, Saks is just the latest giant to tango with the existing landscape, one that has recently seen Sears tumble and cause Holt Renfrew to ramp up store expansions by 40%. The news also comes as a natural follow to the Hudson’s Bay Co. purchase of Saks for $2.4 billion earlier this year.

According to a Globe and Mail profile published on Wednesday, the shakeup is due to Richard Baker, the 48-year old majority owner of HBC, whose private equity firm NRDC (National Realty & Development Corp) also owns US chain Lord & Taylor. The magnate was the brain behind the Zellers location selloff to Target in 2011, just one of the company’s brainiac moves which also include launching in-store partnerships with Topshop and Kleinfeld Bridal.
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Inside Canfar’s Bloor Street Entertains: The socialite sartorial statements, the Gatsby-themed vibe and more


Canfar Bloor Street Entertains 2013

Photograhy by George Pimentel

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On a frigid late fall evening in Toronto, Bloor Street came alive with black ties and ball gowns for Canfar‘s AIDS-fundraising fête, Bloor Street Entertains. The annual event has a way of tempting the shimmery, well-heeled patrons onto the streets and into the street’s various shops which each serve an intimate dinner made by the city’s top chefs.

Before guests shuffled away to Mulberry, Holt Renfrew, Nespresso Café Bar or any of the various chic boutiques participating, they took to the Royal Ontario Museum for a pre-twilight party to get things started. The Gatsby-themed event kicked-off with a can-can dancing drag queen who wasn’t successful in getting the ladies to join in on the high leg-flying number. And with good reason: the dance is quite difficult long dresses. Design Exchange president Shauna Levy wore a slick, floor-length Greta Constantine, while grande dame Catherine Nugent was dressed in a vintage Bob Mackie deco style number.

The freezing temps did wreak havoc on some original wardrobe choices. With her shoulders covered, philanthropist Sylvia Mantella said, “I was going to go strapless, but it’s so cold.” Also overheard from a patron in sparkly Roksanda Ilincic: “I was going to go for Balenciaga—it’s Canfar!—But I went for something more conservative because of the weather.”
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How to wear metallic makeup: 6 shimmering Beauty Panel looks that are holiday party-ready


metallic makeup intro

It’s hard to resist the glitz and glamour of the holidays—and considering that Hanukkah is here and Christmas is but a month away, bring it on. Since we’re embracing metallic hits of colour in everything from party dresses to decorations, it’s a no brainer that a good precious metals makeup look is also welcome this time of year.

For inspiration we look to the unmissable presence of glittery goodness on the Fall 2013 runways. At Dior silver eyeliner was applied on the waterline and along the crease that continued into a cat eye flick. Adding ornaments to the beauty look at Chanel, mirrored shards were gently placed on the lid and upper lash line. Also taking the adornment route, larger reflective crystal-like specks were used at Dries Van Noten but in an epic switcheroo were they were placed on the ear to mimic a cuff.

Challenge 38: How do you wear metallic makeup and what are some of your favourite products? See the answers now! »

This week our Beauty Panel is drawing from the atmosphere of the holiday season, by adding lavish metallic makeup pigments to their routines. JJ Cowan of SFYGY prefers a shimmery copper eyeshadow to accent her hazel eyes while Ellie Somfelean of My Beauty Box uses silver to bring a little sparkle to the layers of thick jackets and scarves that are necessary throughout winter. And Stephanie Lau of Fun Size Beauty brings it home by showing us how to apply pigment to the eyes while avoiding the disco ball faux pas.

Have a beauty question you want to see the panel answer? Send it our way at Read on for the answers to this week’s challenge and for more goodness, get to know all contributors on our Beauty Panel hub page.


Street Style, Vancouver: 24 shots of the city’s most stylish keeping warm in colourful fall layers


Street Style Vancouver Fall Layers

Photography Sabrina Fenster

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While it’s safe to say that we’re nearing the end of fall, temperatures (and the fashion choices that go along with them) have been all over the place. Mixed weather conditions call for fairly magpie-esque outfit choices to get the look just right. In Vancouver, the city’s most stylish have been finding ways to pair summer-inspired pieces with cold-weather essentials while still looking cool. Case in point: the humour-infused Canadian tuxedo emblazoned with Bart Simpson’s face, the Adidas logo hoodie paired with a thrifted leather vest and the ultra-colourful green hair/turquoise toque. Woo to See You boutique owner Hans Woo toyed with texture by pairing her tribal-inspired dress with a 3/4-length sleeve jacket, her husband Justin played with multi-patterns in one varsity style zip. Here, we’ve culled our favourite looks of the season so far on the street in Vancouver.
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