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!

Back from Regina #DailyOutfit

Hey everyone!

Hope your week’s off to a good start! Apologies for the lack of updates last week, it was absolute madness in Regina. I just flew back late last night and was already at work early today to shoot BRBR episode 29 today. Can’t believe it’s already the before last show of the season! Time flies!! I had the best time in Regina this past week. Though there was still tons of snow on the ground, it was nice to be back there. The one thing that really stood out from my trip, was just HOW NICE everyone in Regina was! Wow! It’s so refreshing and nice to see people be so kind, helpful and smiley to everyone. I definitely really appreciated everyone’s warm welcome. We also met some really great local artists from Saskatchewan like High Hopes, Fly Points, Pimpton, Young Benjamins, etc. We also spent time shooting some new pilots for next year such as a Taxi show and a cooking show! Oh yea!!

I also took up a pretty interesting challenge last Friday when I hosted a 30min livestream in English and French live from the Juno Awards’ opening cocktail and welcome reception. I was really lucky to have some of this year’s Juno nominees who joined me for the livestream including Bahamas, The Pack a.d., Miranda from Great Lake Swimmers (yea ginger!) and the lovely Hannah Georgas. The 30min livestream was such a rush!! Looking forward to another similar challenge in the future!

Saturday and Sunday’s galas were also tons of fun! It was great to see a lot of my media and industry friends as well as some bands that I really respect and love. Though she didn’t end up taking home any awards, Hannah Georgas put on a killer performance during the big gala on Sunday night. I really hope this will open up even more doors for her in the future. It was also wonderful seeing Hey Ocean! walk down the red carpet for the first time, so proud of how far they’ve come!!

Below you’ll find the brief recap we put up from Sunday’s big gala red carpet. A big thank you to RUDYBOIS and Biko Jewellery for letting me wear their lovely designs this weekend! I’ll be putting together a special report on the Junos’ red carpet tomorrow that will be airing next Monday April 29th at 8pm EST. Make sure you keep an eye out for it! Here are a few pics from the Juno weekend!

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The Saturday night red carpet. Wearing RUDYBOIS & Biko Jewellery.

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Yup! There was that much snow in Regina! My look for the red carpet and big gala on Sunday. Wearing RUDYBOIS and Biko Jewellery.

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Live from the red carpet at the Brandt Centre.

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With the lovely MUCH VJ Lauren Toyota. Definitely inspired by the great work she does at MUCH.

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View from the media room on Sunday. Metric who won several awards during the weekend. Emily Haines was also one of the best dressed in my opinion! See outfit below!

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For today’s shoot, I’m wearing a green h&m dress from last summer, a jean jacket, a neon green and pink necklace and armcandy from Lionette and Biko Jewellery.

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H&M denim jacket (get it here)

H&M green dress (similar one here)

Forever 21 spiked and rhinestoned bracelet (get it here)

Lionette SINEAD bracelet (check the site for more info)

Biko green chainmaille bracelet (get it here)

H&M gold braided belt 

Steve Madden brown suede boots