5 Questions With: MTV Host – Lauren Toyota

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Photo provided by Bell Media

As a teenager, I really looked up to music VJs and MTV hosts. I’ve always been a huge music fan and thought that the people who worked at MTV not only had the coolest job in the world but also seemed like the raddest people. Meeting MTV Host Lauren Toyota a few years ago in Toronto, confirmed what I had always thought growing up. Not only is she incredible at her job, she is also one of the sweetest and smartest girls I’ve met. I think Lauren is not only an inspiration for the youth across Canada but also for young professional women. You can catch Lauren hosting the MMVAs on June 15th on Much and CTV and can also follow her as she continues her vegan mission through her “hot for food” blog. Here are my 5 Questions With Lauren Toyota:

1) Can you talk to us about your style evolution from your teens until now? How would you describe your style today? (you can provide us with photos if you’d like)

Well if you dig deep enough online you can probably find some old photos of what I used to look like. I’ll leave that to you! But I look back in embarrassment at my teens years. I know everyone does, but I just feel like I tried so hard to be unique and different and it just looked weird. Even though in high school people thought I had cool style at the time. My hair, especially. At the time the short ‘do was in and I was one of the first people to do it. Of course, now I have long hair that I’ve been growing out ever since and  I will never cut it again. I even wear extensions to make it longer and thicker! I feel like I’ve just grown in terms of confidence and having a real sense of identity. I still incorporate unique pieces and statements in my look but everything about the way I dress is just so much more refined.

2) Who are your style icons?

I guess I’ve always looked to a music scene and how fashion styles play into that to draw inspiration. But that was more when I was younger. Especially the punk and rock inspired sense of fashion. But honestly I’m not one of those people that scrolls through fashion blogs and magazines and comes up with looks and ideas of how I want to look. There really aren’t any celebrities that I pay attention to either. I think I absorb trends and looks naturally just by watching music videos and stuff, but it’s never an intentional “I want that look” approach. It’s just more about how I feel when I wake up and what I’m going to do that day to function in my clothing. 

3) Over the years, you’ve had the chance to interview countless musicians, celebrities and public figures. Could you tell us who your most memorable interview to date has been and why?

There’s a few. One would be Kermit The Frog, because that is just a childhood dream come true, and he’s so charming. Will Ferrell was so adorable, sweet and funny, and he was always one of the people on my list of interviews I wanted to do. And an amazing memory I’ll never forget is interviewing Lady Gaga. A few months before she was releasing “Born This Way” I had the chance to sit down with her. She played me her album from her own ipod before anyone else could hear it. Only a few people were allowed in the room and she was dancing to the music, we were all dancing in front of her, and she ordered champagne to the hotel room where the interviews were taking place. She was describing all the feeling and meaning behind every song and she just came off as totally genuine and excited about what she created.

4) For those who don’t know, you are also the creator of a vegan cooking blog called “hot for food“, what inspired you to create this blog? What is your mission with the blog?

I started the blog at the end of 2009 when I decided I wanted to become vegan. It was a way to motivate and inspire myself to experiment, research, and get creative with the transition phase and process of changing my life. It definitely helped and it just became a passion of mine. I like taking pictures of my food and sharing the recipes and tips for eating vegan. I now create the blog and recipes with my partner, John, who also became vegan after we met. We just want to share how fun and delicious eating vegan is and really try to get rid of the misconceptions and preconceived ideas about eating a plant based diet.

5) Since you are a big foodie, could you tell us what your favorite vegan restaurant is in Toronto?

I can’t pick just one! Weekend brunch at Grasslands is amazing. The Hogtown Vegan is the place I would go first if you’re curious about eating vegan, or to show a non-vegan that they won’t miss a thing! Live Organic Food Bar is a favorite staple when I want to eat healthy and not cook myself. And Through Being Cool Vegan Baking Co. is my absolute fave place to go crazy for baked goods!

Thanks so much Lauren! All the best to you!

5 Questions With: RUDYBOIS

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I first heard of designer RUDYBOIS almost two years ago now, when I was looking for a dress for the red carpet of the Quebec music awards, the ADISQ gala. He had reached out through twitter, expressing interest in lending me a dress for the special night. Since then, he’s become my go-to designer whenever I need dresses for events whether it’s the Juno Awards, Gemini Awards, etc. The young Quebec City prodigy designs high-end womenswear that is elegant but with a unique edge. All of his pieces are handmade in Canada using fabrics from around the world. His creations can be found in select stores in Canada and also online on his new shop. His latest collection is called Silence and has been making waves around the country. I know this is only the beginning for this talented young man. Here are my 5 Questions with RUDYBOIS:

1) Can you talk to us about your own style evolution from your teens until now? How would you describe your style today? (you can provide us with photos if you’d like)

It’s almost painful for me to go back to my teenage days! I was obese and definitely looking for myself. My style was a mix of Avril Lavigne and Billie Joe! (Osiris skater shoes, with a lot of studs bracelets, blue-black dyed hair, an eyebrow piercing, skulls everywhere and black everything) Later in high school, I became the ancestor of the “douchebag movement” (bleached hair with lighter undertones, white everything (blazer, formal shoes, belt and even the famous surfer shell necklace), mixed with bright colours!) When I say I was looking for myself… Then I moved to Quebec City and discovered the menswear designers section at Simons, this was a revelation to me, for my personal style as well as for my future career. That’s where I learned that less is more!

I now describe my personal style as an antithesis, I love being all dandy and dressed up as well as being a little artsy kind of hipster with an old rock influence, maybe that’s why my favorite brand, that also suits me perfectly, is Neil Barrett. There’s also a lot of things that I would love to wear that I can’t simply because I could not assume it, I still have a lot of body acceptance work to do!

2) Who are your style icons?

I really dig Nick Wooster and Jared Leto styles ( even if back in the day, Leto was wearing silver Crocs!)

3) Where do you draw inspiration for your designs?

I really love sketching outside, I have my spot where I create all of my spring/summer looks. For the cold seasons, I can’t obviously create outside so I just need to isolate myself, I often go to the library.

4) Who would you like to see wear your collections?

Even if her style is not always refined, I would really love to see Madonna wearing my designs, or Lady Gaga and Celine Dion who are always well dressed.

5) What are some of your favorite artists or bands? Do you listen to music when you create?

I do listen music! From when I wake up, until the end of the afternoon, I listen music all the time!  I love a lot of different kinds of music, recently I’ve discovered Songza and it makes me discover so many new artists! My playlists of the moment includes: HBO Girls : Marnie  (featuring Oh Land, Robin, SLL, Graffiti6), 90’s dance hit ( I’m a big fan of 90’s dance music) and Blogged 50 (featuring Trails and Ways, Phil Beaudreau, Cherub). I also have my classics like Madonna’s American Life album, her best I think.

Thanks so much Rudy! Wishing you continued success!