Nature Walk Pt. 1

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Fall is such an amazing time for outdoor walks. Though I don’t like the falling temperatures, I do really enjoy spending time outdoors and seeing nature change right before our eyes. The talented Toronto-based photographer Aleyah Solomon and I decided to do a special fall-themed photo shoot last week, exploring nature in downtown Toronto. Yes, there are some very beautiful quiet spots in the city where you can walk or bike in the “woods”. We called our exploratory shoot the “Nature Walk”. Here is the first look from our walk in the city.

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Photos by Aleyah Solomon

M for Mendocino grey bodycon dress

Vanessa Mooney Black Queen Necklace

H&M burgundy beanie

Zara laced ankle boots with block heel

Zara skull scarf 

5 Questions With: Eva Gardner

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Photo credit: Chris Rowe

Pink, Cher and Moby are just some of the artists superstar bassist Eva Gardner has played with thus far in her career. I first saw the Los Angeles native play bass on Pink’s DVD Funhouse tour that came out a couple of years ago. I then saw her play on several television shows and became captivated with her effortlessly cool playing style. Eva not only shreds bass but also looks great while doing so. Recently, she has also been writing a lot of songs on her own and hopes to release her own record in the near future. I’m extremely honored she agreed to take time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions about her career and style. Here are my 5 Questions With Eva Gardner:

1) When did you start playing bass? What drew you to this instrument?

My father Kim Gardner was a bass player. He was from London and part of the British Invasion of the 60s and 70s. He played in bands like The Birds, The Creation and Ashton, Gardner & Dyke. Dad always had his musician friends over at the house when I was growing up – guys like Mick Taylor and Ron Wood hanging out, playing music, laughing and just having a blast. Dad was always telling me stories about his adventures touring as a musician – playing with bands like the Who and Deep Purple…sitting in on jam sessions with Jimi Hendrix. I remember calling myself a bass player before I even really knew what that meant. When I was in 2nd grade I sat in my dad’s studio with some school friends and told them I was a bass player like dad. I went to lift one of his basses and it was so heavy I think I just kinda dragged it along the floor! It wasn’t until I was about 12 that I really actively pursued playing. I was writing songs and performing shows with my first band by the age of 13.

2) Can you talk to us about your style evolution from your teens until now? How would you describe your style today?

Dad and his friends essentially got me started playing bass so I was very influenced by the music of his generation – Jimi Hendrix, the Kinks, Led Zeppelin, etc. As teenager in the 90s, I was listening to bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots and Smashing Pumpkins. So my musical experiences at that time had been mostly in the rock/alternative genre.

After 2 years at an all-girl Catholic high school, I decided I wanted to take my music career further. I auditioned for the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) and it was the best decision I ever made. I became part of the jazz band there and had many live performances in a big band setting. I was exposed to and playing various genres like Latin jazz, salsa, blues, progressive rock, reggae and African percussion. We studied different types of Classical music and performed pieces in our guitar ensemble. It was an unparalleled experience.

After LACHSA I went on to study Ethnomusicology at UCLA. I continued formal music courses but was playing different instruments in world music ensembles – for instance, I was playing Balinese music in the Balinese gamelan and playing upright bass in the Middle Eastern orchestra. As an Ethnomusicology major I was exposed to so many different kinds of music from around the globe.

I was playing with the Mars Volta while I was finishing up college and it was such an amazingly creative time for me. It was like I had learned all these rules and now it was time to break them or use them or whatever I felt I needed to do to express myself. They are tools in the toolbox to use if and when they are needed. I am grateful I had all those various experiences that create a well rounded musicians.

3) How do you pick out your clothes for tour and stage? What are your tour must-haves?

When touring for artists like Pink and Cher there are usually stage attire requirements for the musicians such as wear all black But normally it’s not a uniform so there are opportunities to express your unique style. Luckily, living in LA allows for some great store options. I often go to vintage shops like Jet Rag and Wasteland. Sometimes if I’m out and about and see something that may be great for stage at some point I’ll grab it – shows/tours sometimes come up last minute and there’s no time to shop so it’s nice to have options at hand. Being comfortable on stage is important so I love having the freedom to put together my own outfits.

Some tour must-haves would definitely include sock slippers like Muk Luks for the tour bus. We usually travel to the next city right after a show so I love getting comfy for the ride. Lip balm is essential – Flora Metaphor has some awesome natural products. I keep my V-Moda headphones handy at all times as well. It’s the little things that go a long way on the road.

4) In addition to playing with some of the world’s biggest artists (Cher, Pink, Moby), you also have your own band called Telstar. How do both of these aspects of your career feed your creativity and help you grow as an artist?

I’ve been so fortunate to work with some truly incredible artists. And I have been blessed to share the stage with some of the world’s most talented musicians. I learn so much from these experiences, spending time on the road with some serious tour veterans – people that had even worked with my dad back in the 60s, 70s and 80s. When I have a break from the road it’s a great time for creative projects. Telstar was formed a few years ago. We do everything ourselves – Chris Unck (vox/guitar) is also a fantastic engineer/producer. So we record everything on our own, do all of our own artwork, etc. It’s a lot of fun, and brings you back to why you started playing music in the first place.

5) What are some of your favorite moments thus far in your career?

I have had so many incredible moments in my career. I have worked with some amazing people, been to some incredible places and created relationships with people that will last a lifetime. One of the things I am most proud of is having a signature bass with Fender. Fender had always been a household name for the Gardner Family. Dad had his Fender basses since the 60s. So by the time I came around they were these treasured vintage instruments that I was barely allowed to touch as a youngster. When I actually started to play all I ever wanted was a Fender bass like his. But it took be about 3 years to prove I was serious about playing for him to finally give me my own Fender bass for Christmas when I was 15. So to now have a Fender with my name on it is absolutely huge for me! It’s a combination of all my favorite basses that I’ve played. And to make it personal I added some of my tattoo artwork on it. You can check it out here:

http://www.fender.com/squier/series/artist/eva-gardner-precision-bass-rosewood-fingerboard-black/

WMCFW SS15 Day 5 Recap

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Yesterday was my last day of shows for this season at World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto. What a whirlwind of a week it’s been. It’s always so inspiring to see the runway shows.

BRIT WACHER

I didn’t know what to expect going into this first show yesterday and to my surprise I was completely drawn into the collection she presented. I loved her minimalist yet somewhat futuristic looks. The earthy tones complimented well the style of the garments she presented. I can without a doubt say that I’m a fan of the entire collection.

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Pictures by: SONY Canada

MIKHAEL KALE

The studio was jam-packed yesterday for Mikhael Kale’s runway show. There definitely seems to have been a lot of thought put into this collection and a lot of hard work that went into making these items. The collection was incredibly creative, not only in the cuts but also in the choice of material and the combination of materials he presented. It was modern, intricate and detailed. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the show!

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Pictures by: World MasterCard Fashion Week

HD HOMME

Yesterday was my HD Homme initiation. The collection was colorful, bright and filled with bold prints. My favorite item of the collection was the black flower bomber jacket he presented. There was a lot of silk on the runway, an element that caught me a little off-guard. The entire collection was accessorized by a rad up and coming jewelry brand from Toronto called Vitaly Designs. I think that the pairing with these jewels completed the outfits nicely.

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Picture by: SONY Canada

STEPHAN CARAS

The Stephan Caras show without a doubt had its own signature look. What a great idea to pick just a few fabrics and create so many different gowns, pantsuits and tops & shorts from them. The collection was feminine, imaginative and romantic. The gold and cream created an incredibly glamourous line, which was contrasted by the models’ mohawks. Beautiful from start to finish!

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Pictures by: SONY Canada

MADAME MOJE

Vancouver’s Madame Moje presented dresses with varying colors, textures and cuts last night. All of them were interestingly constructed and very ladylike. The design pair have a skill for making every model’s behind look incredibly plump and beautiful. I believe that every woman could find something to her liking in their ss15 collection.

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Pictures by: World MasterCard Fashion Week

MIKAEL D

Mikael D finished off this incredible week of fashion in a very glamorous way with his exceptionally gorgeous gowns. So in love with this gold dress below. It’s a must-have!! Every creation was unique and well imagined. Every gown was fabulously detailed and put together. I was enchanted by the collection.

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Pictures by: SONY Canada

Hope you’ve enjoyed my recaps this week! Until next season…

WMCFW SS15 Day 4 Recap

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Day 4 was a shorter day for me at the tents but I still saw some amazing pieces on the runway.

THRESHOLD – RANI KIM & SOM KONG

Two young designers that I’ve never had the chance of seeing before. Rani Kim, who presented her debut collection made a pretty big statement with the items she presented. The show started with a contemporary dance duo followed by some loose, flowy and colorful creations for both men and women.

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Picture by: George Pimentel (WMCFW Facebook)

Som Kong undoubtedly has an interesting way of designing clothes and fitting them to a women’s body. His fabrics were all stunning, I especially liked the beautiful red number that started the show. I also liked his long sleeved grey shirt with embossed hearts. I truly believe that this young designer is very unique and has a bright future ahead of him.

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Pictures by: SONY Canada

MALORIE URBANOVITCH

Thrilled to have seen Malorie’s collection last night. The first thing that stood out was all the incredible colors she used. I very much enjoyed the mix of plum, black, forest green, lime green, burgundy and red. Her formfitting knit dresses were the bomb! I’m also a big fan of her suede type dresses like the one pictured below and at the very top of the blog. Congrats on a memorable presentation!

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Pictures by: George Pimentel (WMCFW website)

Last day at the tents for the season tomorrow. Stay tuned for my last recap coming on Saturday!

WMCFW SS15 Day 3 Recap

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Wednesday was probably my busiest day of the week at WMCFW. I attended 5 shows, all of which were super interesting. Here’s what stood out from each runway presentation.

RUDYBOIS

Those who’ve been following my blog, know how much I love RUDYBOIS. I’ve had the chance to wear some of his beautiful dresses at the GALA ADISQ, the JUNO AWARDS & the GEMINI AWARDS. I couldn’t be more proud of him. Yesterday was his first ever show at WMCFW and he KILLED IT! Rudy presented a super classy, simple yet sophisticated collection in three colors – red, black and white. The thing I love about Rudy’s designs is that he creates them with a woman’s body in mind. He knows how the body moves and what is the most flattering. I think that this will be key to his ever-growing success. Couldn’t be more proud of his runway debut. So much more success to come!

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Pictures by: David Kirouac

HILARY MACMILLAN

Hilary MacMillan’s first piece down the runway last night came with an awesome twist – an incredibly cool painted back piece on the jacket. Each piece that was sent down the runway was interesting not only from the front by also from the back. I loved all the extra details and attention she placed all around her creations. Great prints and colors on the runway. I think I found my perfect white summer dress!

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Pictures by: David Kirouac

CHRISTOPHER BATES

I always love seeing menswear shows because I find them so refreshing. Christopher Bates presented last night, a collection that could not only suit every type of man but that also had one clear and concise editorial line. I love his re-imagination of the camo print, his mix of casual shirts with dressier pants and his all-black semi-rock semi-classic look.

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Pictures by: World MasterCard Fashion Week

KLAXON HOWL

To me, Klaxon Howl is the perfect menswear designer. He always combines classy, effortlessly cool and edgy pieces together to create unique and strong looks. He also incorporates elements from the past in his designs but gives them a modern twist. There were many things that I liked about last night’s presentation including the incorporation of a few women’s looks, some graphic shorts and pants, comfy sweaters and his classic vests and dress shirts.

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Pictures by: World MasterCard Fashion Week

MACKAGE 

Always my favorite show to watch each season. This season it was about three main color palettes – black, white and blue / yellow and white / military green and black. They also added a few pops of neon pink here and there but kept the color combinations bold, which is very suiting for the clothes they presented. This season, I loved the addition of new handbag styles, the fringe, long sheer shirts as well as perforated leather and lot’s of layering. Whether it’s menswear or womenswear, the talented duo have got both down to a tee. I would once again wear everything that went down the runway last night… Remarkable!

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Pictures by: David Kirouac

 Tomorrow! It’s my recap of Day 4 at WMCFW. Stay tuned!

Star Print

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Another day at WMCFW, another outfit! Wearing my brand new Anine Bing dress. I thought it was super cute when I saw it on the racks of the brand new Anine Bing store in Los Angeles last month so I had to get it. Happy the sun was finally out yesterday in Toronto :)

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Photos by Aleyah Solomon

Anine Bing Star Print Loose Fit Dress (get it here)

Urban Outfitters felt slouch fedora (get it here)

Zara Green Wool Coat

The Kooples Faux Python Embossed Boots (get them here)

Urban Outfitters knee high socks

WMCFW SS15 Day 2 Recap

Another busy day at the tents yesterday in Toronto! Here’s my recap for Day 2 at WMCFW SS15.

ELAN + CASTOR

This was my first time seeing a runway show by Elan + Castor. Her show was filled with ample amounts of stripes, knits and earthy tones with a few pops of pink and purple. The top buns and bandeau tops were also a thing. Everything she presented looked incredibly comfortable and cozy!

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Pictures by: David Kirouac

NARCES

Also my first Narces runway show last night. The entire collection was beautiful, dainty and flirty. She stuck to a very feminine color palette – white, pink, pale yellow, seafoam green and blue. I liked the intricate beading, flower details and lace on some of the dresses. The model below totally reminded me of a modern ballerina. My favorite was the white lace doily dress below. I could totally see myself wearing it next summer!

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Pictures by: David Kirouac

MINNIE MOUSE PRESENTATION

Not your traditional fashion show but just as fun to check out. The Minnie Mouse special presentation last night was pretty magical. They had asked a handful of local designers including Sig Neigum, Beaufille, etc. to make a special Minnie Mouse inspired creation. Everyone’s piece was incredibly creative and all channeled the Minnie Mouse spirit. I loved that they had placed big posters of the evolution of Minnie Mouse throughout the decades around the studio. Everyone was smiling, champagne was flowing and Minnie ears were everywhere in sight. Last night’s presentation definitely brought back lot’s of memories of my childhood and all the times I went to Disney World.

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Pictures by: Me

THOMAS BALINT

Thomas Balint is one of my favorite Canadian menswear designers. There was a very British rock n’ roll vibe to the collection he presented last night. Some of the show’s highlights were the black and white striped pants and blazers, the loose fitting pants tucked into army boots, the orange trench coat and his really nicely structured dress shirts. Anyone else recognize Cibo Matto’s “Sugar Water” track playing in the background?

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Pictures by: David Kirouac

BUSTLE

You could definitely feel the summery vibe with the collection that bustle presented last night. Lot’s of prep, color and class on the runway. It definitely fit the European backdrop, parasols and Peroni bottles they had placed as props on the runway. My favorite pieces were hands down the relaxed drawstring trousers for men and the white blazer and pencil skirt combo for women.

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Pictures by: David Kirouac

 

MÉLISSA NEPTON

Mélissa’s designs totally blew me away last season. This season, it was all about presenting something fresh, clean and sporty. Show highlights: dolphin shorts, drawstring pants, sheer & white stripped garments, and the many skirt and top combos. She did a great job accessorizing her show yesterday. I’m crushing hard on all the shoes I saw on the runway. I feel like if I was wearing Mélissa’s designs, I would not only feel comfortable but also look amazing!

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Pictures by: George Pimentel – Getty Images

TARGET

Target is reputed for always putting on the most fun runway shows. Last night’s show included inspiration from Paris, New York and oh yes… winter! I loved the addition of live music on the runway. Music plus models smiling and having a good time created good vibes all around! Lot’s of great knits, bags, faux fur vests, jackets, leopard, plaid and faux leather pieces. One thing’s for sure, I need the plaid coat pictured below!! In case you haven’t heard Target Canada is now collaborating with TOMS to offer a special collection that will be available across Canada on November 16th. Being a big fan of the brand, I was happy to see them on the runway last night!

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Pictures by: Michelle Siu/The Canadian Press

Stay tuned for my 3rd recap coming tomorrow!

Red

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For today’s WMCFW outfit, I’m keeping warm in my new baggy vegan leather trousers that I can’t get enough of, plus an oversized knit sweater. Love that red is in this season, it’s always been a color that I’ve loved wearing. Last spring, I made a custom pair of Modern Vice Dove Booties in Manhattan that are all red. Stoked to wear them with my knit sweater today.

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 Photos by @Offner

Modern Vice custom Oxblood Dove Bootie (similar one here)

Anine Bing Bohemian black hat (get it here)

M for Mendocino baggy vegan leather pants

Zara oversized knit v-neck sweater 

Aldo Parella bag (get it here)

WMCFW SS15 Day 1 Recap

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Yesterday World MasterCard Fashion Week officially kicked off in Toronto. Designers are in town this week to present their Spring/Summer 2015 collections. Each day this week, I’ll be recapping some of my favorite looks from the runway and highlights from the event.

SID NEIGUM

My second season seeing this young prodigy. Last night’s collection included a balance between relaxed and loose fitting garments and some more structured ones. I loved his mix of minimalist yet classy dresses, jackets and shorts. He also presented some interesting fabric cutouts and kept the colors to black, white and silver. Sid Neigum is definitely a ballsy and confident designer and I have much respect for him because of that. Here were my favorite runway looks.

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Pictures by: David Kirouac

PINK TARTAN

Pink Tartan has been one of my favorites each season. The show started off with some beautiful black and fringe bathing suits. Last night, Kimberly Newport-Mimran showed us her go-to classic black and white color combination but also incorporated some very psychedelic prints in her ss15 collection. I loved the flared pants, bohemian style blouses, high waisted pants and jumpsuits that all went perfectly with the 70s psychedelic rock JFB & Iron Buttlerfly soundtrack. Love the pieces below!

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Pictures by: David Kirouac

MERCEDES-BENZ START UP

So great to see one of my favorite designers Beaufille present this evening at the Mercedes-Benz Start Up runway show. I was happy to see a few pieces from their new collection specifically selected for the contest. I am a fan of the white cutout dresses, the black and white prints, the wine colored leather pieces and that amazing backpack! I always leave the show wanting to own every single piece.

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Pictures by: David Kirouac

Eliza Faulkner‘s denim style dresses, crop tops, blue and white pallet, big hoop earrings and headscarves, totally reminded me of the beach and summer. The last look she presented, as seen below, was me highlight of the show.

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Blak. I is a name that I was unfamiliar with until last night. I enjoyed the blue, black and white color combination as well as his black and white pieces. I liked the fact that he also introduced a bit of leather on the runway. The long flowy bohemian style dress, seen below, that he paired with a beautifully crafted leather jacket was my favorite look of the show.

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Pictures by: David Kirouac

Vaiken‘s presentation didn’t inspire me as much as the others, though I did like the white tank and short combo and beaded fringe details on his dresses.

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Pictures by: David Kirouac

Lastly, we watched Laura Siegel present some new designs for ss15. I had seen her collection last season and had been blown away. I love the earthy, bohemian and edgy woman that she presents each time. I loved that she incorporated a lot of headwraps, silver bangles and arm cuffs to accompany her loose fitting but still incredibly flattering pieces. There was definitely a tribal feel to her presentation last night.

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Pictures by: David Kirouac

A big congrats to Sid Neigum who took home the Mercedes-Benz Start Up award last night. So well deserved!

Stay tuned for my coverage of Day 2 at WMCFW coming tomorrow!

Grey

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My first outfit for World MasterCard Fashion Week this season is a combination of comfort and class. With it being a cold and rainy day, I wanted to make sure I felt cozy! I saw someone wearing these MAJ Adidas leopard runners on the streetcar a few weeks ago and I knew I had to get them. Yes, my leopard obsession has not stopped. I’ve paired this funky sneakers with some grey trousers and my grey coat.

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Photos by @Offner

Adidas Women’s SL Loop Runner Shoes

Zara grey trousers with ribbed waistband (get them here)

Zara structured grey coat (get it here)

M for Mendocino white tee

CRYWOLF sharktooth necklace

Hugo Boss Farida-A handbag

H&M beanie