Friday, September 28, 2012

Art of Fashion Raw 2012 - Design Finalists, Part 3!

It's almost here! With less than one day to go, let's take a look at the final three designers rounding out the incredible roster at Art of Fashion Raw 2012!

Robyn Germanese, a Toronto native, has been drawing inspiration from from world cultures, tribes and ancient practices for as long as she can remember. Her collection for Art of Fashion Raw is edgy and beautiful, exposing the wounds of our psyche on the outside. It is this pain that makes us beautiful and strong, something that is delivered so poetically in her collection, aptly entitled "Morsus". Morsus is defined as a bite, a sting, pain. Pain has never looked as flawless and ideal as it does now.

Tess Barbieri's collection for Art of Fashion Raw celebrates the curves and strength of a woman's body, while providing masculine tailoring. These two opposed design sensibilities harken to the glamour of 1920's and 1930's Hollywood. Her collection is created for women to spend a night out on the town - "A Night At the Opera". The clothes beckon for a woman who enjoys experiencing an evening of culture while dressed in exquisite beading and and flowing pleats.

Our final designer is Mary Duldouras, a Torontonian with an impressive fashion resume. Her collection for Art of Fashion Raw draws inspiration from our own planet, incorporating natural materials that celebrate everything our beautiful earth has to offer. Mary's collection reminds us that our planet is a precious resource that needs to be celebrated and treasured.

Come and celebrate with us tomorrow at Hazelton Lanes from 7pm-1am. We look forward to seeing you there!

Jasmin is a freelance writer currently based in Kingston, ON. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Art of Fashion Raw 2012 - Design Finalists, Part 2!

It time to continue exploring our amazing finalists for this weekend's Art of Fashion Raw 2012 design competition. Are you getting excited yet? We are!

Amy Yuen's entry into the competition explores the five elements of our universe - water, fire, earth, metal and wood. Amy has included her own element - energy - which is evident in her inspired designs. All of the pieces in her collection are interconnected and create a harmonious vibe that is both refreshing and unique.

Tess Elizabeth has created a collection of body-conscious, feminine pieces that reflect the organic nature of the "raw" theme. Incorporating materials such as wooden beads, feathers and organic cotton, Tess's collection is both in tune with nature and luxurious.

Charlotte Ghesquiere and Andrea Kuntz have created a futuristic collection that represents purity, new life and the distortion of innocence. "Orb" is the manifestation of day blending into night and the light piercing through the fog. This is one collection that you must see to believe!

Jennie Uhlman focused her "Undulation" collection for Art of Fashion on pure craftmanship of a garment. Jennie wanted to push the fabrics to their limits, showing how much can be done without the need for other materials. The result is colourful and form-fitting, exposing the strength and backbone of a beautiful piece of fashion.

We've got three more talented designers to show you, so be sure to check back tomorrow! In the meantime, start making your plans for this Saturday night so you can see these amazing designs in person!

Jasmin is a freelance writer currently based in Kingston, ON. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The King East Design District Exhibition

On September 29 and 30, Toronto's King East neighbourhood launches its inaugural Design District Exhibition. The unique event allows venues within the neighbourhood to showcase some of the best in local and international design, from housewares, accessories, to even food and wine!

Attendees will have the opportunity to obtain a passport by making a $10 donation to Habitat for Humanity, Toronto. This passport will chronicle your journey to the individual locations, where an interactive and educational design experience will be offered. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about carpet making, venture on tours and check out the latest collections by renowned designers. Celebrity designers Andrew Bockner (Alexander Interiors & Design) and Ramsin Khachi (Cambria) will provide in-store design consultations.

The King East Design District Exhibition will bring together the leaders in design and architecture to showcase the expressive future of the King East neighbourhood to the design savvy public of Toronto.

Come out and celebrate this unique event and be a part of history as the King East neighbourhood makes its mark on the international design community!

When: Saturday, September 29 from 11am - 4pm
Sunday, September 30 from 11am - 4pm

Where: Various locations in King East between Church and Sackville Streets


Get your passport now and donate $10 to Habitat for Humanity by visiting us online at

For more information, please visit:

Jasmin is a freelance writer currently based in Kingston, ON. 

Art of Fashion Raw 2012 - Design Finalists, Part 1!

With the Art of Fashion Raw 2012 design competition rapidly approaching, it's time to take a look at some of the amazing participating designers this year.

First up, Ryan Joelson from Ryerson University. In his collection for Raw, Ryan will show how synthetic textiles like polyester can be made into works of beautiful, fashionable art. His unique approach to treating and adorning the materials will both inspire and intrigue you.

Devlyn van Loon is a designer and illustrator from Toronto. Currently studying abroad in Auckland, New Zealand, Devyln's Raw collection is a study in deconstruction and emotional impressions. The pared down colours and forms truly become a part of your own body and identity.

Finally, Anouk Moran creates "The Resplendent Warrior", a collection that seeks to meld the relationship between the wearer, nature and even armour. The collection is both feminine and masculine, romantic and strong. These juxtapositions come to life in vibrant colour and refined tailoring.

With the show rapidly approaching this weekend, be sure to check back as we preview more of the outstanding and talented designers competing for the title of Canada's most promising designer. Come out and support Canadian fashion!

Jasmin is a freelance writer currently based in Kingston, ON. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Risqué Clothing - Your New Favourite Boutique!

With a name like Risqué Clothing, you might expect to find some rather daring outfits housed in this lovely little shop located in the Bloor Annex. But Risqué Clothing offers some of the prettiest dresses, sweaters, skirts and blouses that you can find in the heart of this vibrant Toronto community. With a massively loyal following, you are guaranteed to have an amazing shopping experience at Risqué!

Founded in 1989, Risqué Clothing is a staple of the Bloor Annex community. As the owner herself describes it, Risqué is a “customer-oriented boutique”. There is never any pressure to buy – you are welcome to pop in and browse at your leisure. But if you do need assistance, one of the friendly staff is there with a smile to help you find that perfect piece for your wardrobe.

Risqué carries a wide variety of brands, including BB Dakota, Dish, Kersh, Bionic, Mink Pink, C’est Moi and many, many more. They specialize in dresses (and do they ever know how to accessorize them! Just take a look at the mannequins on display throughout the boutique or on their Facebook page) but also offer a selection of jeans and outerwear during the fall and winter seasons. You’ll also find a wide selection of belts, jewelry and sunglasses. Need to know how to pull an outfit together? Just ask a sales associate for some invaluable tips!

The price points are perfect for fashionistas on a budget and the styles change weekly. With a focus on Canadian brands and designers (they even carry Anice Jewelry, whom we featured on Art of Fashion just last week!) Risqué Clothing is a true fashion treasure trove in the heart of Toronto. Pop in and find out what all of the fuss is about!

Risqué Clothing
404 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON
Between Spadina and Bathurst Stations on the Bloor-Danforth subway line.

Jasmin is a freelance writer currently based in Kingston, ON. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Inspiring Anice Jewellery

Strolling through Toronto’s hip and eclectic Kensington Market, your eyes will be treated to a variety of beautiful clothing and jewellery stores. One of those stores shines out like a beacon on a cacophony-filled street – Anice Jewellery.

Founded seven years ago, Brittany Anice Catherine Hopkins created her unique brand of jewels after finding inspiration in her own grandmother. Brittany vividly recalls on her website being a 4-year-old girl fascinated with the jewels her grandmother wore and wishing to wear them when she was older. She has now realized that dream. Certified with a diploma in Goldsmithing and Jewellery Arts (as well as a diploma in Business Administration, Entrepreneurship & Innovation) Brittany is a true connoisseur of jewel creation.
Brittany specializes in the art of mixing old gems and new materials, with the ultimate goal of creating one-of-a-kind jewellery. On top of her own vintage and modern creations, Brittany works with clients who wish for their own unique jewellery visions to come to life. Visiting the Anice store, you will find a variety of antique treasures that you can use to create your own stunning piece of jewellery that people will stop you on the street to ask you about.

The Anice store also holds private and open workshops where you can learn the art of fixing or re-working your own broken/old jewellery yourself. Come on in and be inspired!

“Anice wishes you inspiration every day; that you may give love to yourself and those around you, and hopes to encourage you to wear jewellery fearlessly.”

Anice – A Jewel Boutique
167 Augusta Avenue
Toronto, ON
Buy at

Jasmin is a freelance writer currently based in Kingston, ON. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I’MONIQ – A Jewelry Adventure

Torontonian Monique Anderson is the visionary designer behind I’MONIQ accessories, a unique jewelry line that is rapidly growing in popularity. As one of the participating designers in Art of Fashion’s boutique on September 29, now is the perfect time to learn more about this eclectic, beautiful line and its creator!

When did you start designing? 
I graduated in 2004 with a BA in fashion design from Ryerson.  I started designing jewelry in 2009 after a life-changing trip to India. My adoration of unique textiles and secret obsession for jewelry meant more to me than just a shopping experience. Having been surrounded by colorful textiles and intricate artwork my entire life, as a result of growing up in an Afro-Caribbean household, I realized this trip to India sparked an interest that had remained dormant for a long time.

 Where do you draw inspiration for your pieces?
I am inspired by my travels, past and present. I let the materials I find dictate the direction. Because I specialize in dismantling hand dyed scarves and incorporating them into my pieces, they are a great source of color reference and texture.  The colors are the key - they are the starting point of everything I create. This season I drew inspiration from a scarf that looked like the colors of the plants you might find when looking into space through a microscope.  I sourced some titanium-coated crystals, which were very “galactic”, and added them to a lot of the pieces. The light hits them from different directions and creates this beautiful collision of colors! This called this collection “Galactic Pixie”.

How long does it take you to put together a piece - from original conception to the final product?
It could take anywhere from 2 to 6 hours - every piece is different. I do a lot of testing, because I never know exactly what the piece will look like until I have started knotting all the materials together.  It is always a pleasant surprise to see how the different materials play off of each other.

What sort of materials do you use and where do you source them?
I combine hand dyed silks, ribbons, crystals and chains.  I source from all over - from markets in India to vintage boutiques and gem shows. The silk scarves used in my pieces are hand dyed in different cities and villages from all over the world; Bali, Thailand and Chennai are just a few.

What is your current favourite piece in your collection and why?
My current favorite piece is I’M Brianna. It is just so rich in color that it lifts my spirits every time I put it on! This piece takes a long time to complete and is a serious showstopper.

Come visit Monique and see her amazing I’MONIQ designs in person at the following events!
1)        I’MONIQ Accessories will be premiering at the Henri Bendel trunk show, September 13th-16th. – 712 5th Avenue (at 56th Street), New York City. Chosen amongst hundreds at their semi-annual Open See®, I’MONIQ emerged as one of the few to return to showcase their collection.

2)       Come shop I’MONIQ on September 27 and 28 at Miracle Thieves - 249 Crawford Street, Toronto.  Meet the designer while you shop and have a cocktail!

3)       Come shop I’MONIQ at the Art of Fashion Designer Boutique at Hazelton Lanes - Nuit Blanche Oval Square, Toronto. Starts at 6pm! Receive a 20% off voucher for your next online I’MONIQ purchase!


Jasmin is a freelance writer currently based in Kingston, ON.