Fashion and style how I see it. Not dictated by the masses, rather what inspires me. I'm multi-faceted. A writer. A photographer. A Cypriot born Lebanese living in Toronto and traveling the world capturing style on the street. My style? Geeky Chic. Your style? That is what I aim to uncover because every style has a story behind it. I want to uncover stories.
Like Mona, I have had my share of girl crushes before, but have you ever had a family crush? You know, where you have had to think twice about breaking-up with an ex because you would have missed his/her kin? Melissa and I spotted Stefanie and her family (mother, father, aunt and uncle) taking a stroll on a hot Sunday afternoon in Toronto. We started chatting, and as it turns out, all are involved in the arts in one way or another - actors, interior designers, screenwriters.They were all very warm, the ladies very fashionable (sorry dad!) and also very supportive of our upcoming magazine, The Genteel!
Naturally, creative expression runs through Stefanie’s veins – she studies fashion design, shuffling between Toronto and Paris to learn and develop her craft. She looked positively angelic in a radiant summer white dress, with a chic gamine cut to match! Her pop of colour a la clutch and scarf completed her look perfectly. Stefanie, I am looking forward to following your work!
Writing by Irene Kim, photos by Melissa Sung
Dress, Line Shoes, Aldo (not shown) Bag, Louis Vuitton Scarf, Ted Baker Sunglasses, Ray-ban
Toronto Street Style: Striking Style Inspired by Unlikely Coupling
Make-up artist Ashley Lovsin is a photographer’s dream - striking, stylish and a radiant spirit to boot. First, her hair. I have always appreciated a great short cut on a woman and looking at Ashley, how could one not appreciate it too? The cut highlights her features and captures her personality beautifully. She has done many variations of the short cut in the past, and this one in particular was inspired by an unlikely coupling. The side shave was inspired by talented Swedish pop star, Robyn (“doing amazing things these days!”), and the platinum white by the dignified elegance of ladies of a certain age. I love hearing from where people draw their style inspiration as it reminds me that inspiration can literally come from anywhere.
As for her outfit, Ashley’s black could very well have been white. The combination of sheer materials and delicate details resulted in a feel that was far from somber, but rather sweet and light!
But, even Ashley, with her bold style, feels security with a little length on top of her head. I understand where Ashley is coming from, but I say to go with whatever she wants - her instincts are right on!
Story by Irene Kim, photos by Melissa Sung —— The Goods: Top, Sirens Skirt, Value Village ($2.99!) Shoes, Spring
This is exciting! I have been published in the Toronto Standard! Please check out the article by clicking on the title above, and let me know what you think. This is a big feat for me because I am a loyal reader and fan of the Toronto Standard. The writing that comes out of that publication always amazes me. I’m so honored to be a published writer there!
If I were to trace my knowledge origin of American Workwear, it would lead me to Nicolas. This former model, who could be plucked out of a Hedi Slimane campaign during his âge d’or of menswear at Dior Homme, epitomizes the workwear style and takes me on a journey as to why.
What inspires Nicolas most is how classic the pieces are. He stands by the notion that he will be able to wear some of these clothes when he’s older (without them seeming dated or out of style). Of course, at the crux of his desire for workwear is the craftsmanship that accompanies the heritage. With workwear, there is quality manufacturing that is too often overlooked in the fashion industry.
This fact alone has me all over the style from a journalistic point of view. I’m all too comfortable exposing the nuances of fashion that are buried, which brings me back to Slimane. Even though workwear was not the focal point of his vision, the London rock band look was. It’s exciting to see those effeminate influences mixed with the man’s man workwear look on Nicolas.
This week, Geeky Chic salutes men in denim. I will include chambray as a sister fabric. I think there is something to be said about denim worn right. In fact, scratch that. I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to wear denim these days. It’s become such a staple in our wardrobe that I feel we ought to play with it a bit more. Like Peter, for instance, whose outfit stands on the periphery of a Canadian tuxedo. Denim on denim never looked this chic.
The interplay between denim, and accentuated by leather, is a visual experience. Had Peter worn white denim pants, it’s likely I wouldn’t have felt this provoked, but the cream is something else. It goes so well with the blue denim, and even better with the leather belt and loafers. Peter, an advertising executive from Toronto, says he bought his belt from Lucky Jeans in Miami. Suffice it to say, he’s brought back a whole lot more Miami than his belt. This includes the sun. We need more Miami!
Welcoming a lovely addition to my Japanese in Toronto street style mini series. Rei Murakami is what I would call a fashion anarchist. You’ll never find him reading Vogue, Elle or any mainstream fashion magazine for that matter, to purposely avoid his personal drudgery of “trends”. Rei is a photographer of the alternative fashion variety. I did in fact meet him at Alternative Fashion Week in Toronto. Post connaissance I discovered that Rei put out a photo exhibit of his works in India, titled, “Looking for Beauty in Poverty”. I wish I had met Rei earlier as I would not have missed an opportunity to check out the exhibit. Like Rei, I seek deeper meaning behind things of and related to fashion. I’m always on the hunt, like breadcrumbs leading to a trail, to connect with artists who unearth the depth, and go beyond the glamour to tell a good story. Rei’s visual story telling is also evident in his style. His pashmina, bought in India, is stunning in it’s detail, colour and Earthiness. His worn boots have made their way to Canada from Osaka. I love that everything about Rei seems to be in journey, from clothes to photography. To pursue the depths his works on Beauty in Poverty, he is going to Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia. He will spend his time in the slums and try to look for beauty. Beat that, Vogue!
When it comes to menswear, Spiro always manages to satisfy the upper echelon. He is the real deal, and I don’t use that term in vain. Every time I run into Spiro he’s dressed to the nines, even on an “off” day. What I find most valuable about Spiro is his authenticity. His fashion blog skews to the fine and dandy man, and at the same time everything about his own style is dandified. Take his vintage Harris tweed jacket from John Norman for example. A sporty two button piece that I imagine he meticulously paired with the casual charcoal grey v-neck sweater by Pringle. It’s his version of casual and comfort, and yet it all looks so chic, so English country. Spiro winced when I wanted to take his picture because he was conscious of his boots slightly laden with dust. I reassured him that it added character and authenticity.
I’m really into the blue monochrome on Robert. It wasn’t until I discovered the designer at UPC on Yorkville, and moments later running into Robert wearing the sweater from his collection, that I became acquainted with Henrik Vibskov. I like unique silhouette rendered through the large sweater and loose cropped pants. What I think is special about Robert’s style is that it is completely unassuming of what he actually does for a living. Not that the two should co-exist in the same capacity. When I met him I mistakingly assumed he worked or studied in fashion. Turned out he is a law student. I’ll admit, this threw me back a little because I pre-judged (I know, tsk tsk me!) the sorts of clothes someone is law would normally wear; a little more on the conservative side with cleaner and straighter lines. That sort of thing. Yes, I know this kind of thinking goes against the grain in street style documentary. Nevertheless, I loved looking at Robert and gaining a sense of a duality in his life. His Filson bag was jam packed with papers. It made me chuckle as it was a nice clue that this young fellow studies law.
There are too many elements of Rosie’s outfit to love. One of them being the coat as the centerpiece, in fact the only piece she has on. Even if there is a top and skirt that lies beneath I am choosing to go with the coat as a solo act. Her colour matching is so perfect because of it’s subtlety, especially with the red, as the buttons and pocket flaps match the shoelaces and the bag. Most of you who are acquainted with my earlier posts will know of my love affair with timeless patterns. In this case, Rosie’s coat delights me with Houndstooth.
It’s interesting to note that Rosie said her style was a bit “all over the place”. I will have to take her word for it, as I find it hard to believe when her outfit looks so simple in the minimalist sense, and so structured in colour matching. She also mentioned that her style resembles a grown up kid, which I do buy! She is a pre-school teacher. I am wondering if some of her style inspiration comes from her students?
Nicolas brings a little something else each and every time I see him. In this instance, it is impossible not to love those dark red velvet Doc Martens. Let it be known that I am not a fan of Doc Martens, but these, these are just beyond the category. Traversing north on his ensemble is his black and white polka-dot shirt from Supreme. Polka-dots are “in” this season as seen myself at New York Fashion week and through the lenses of others at various others. I’m especially pleased to see a man showcase polka-dots, but more so appropriately of the smaller variety. That day, Nicolas reminded me of Pete Doherty, though the cleaner, less drug infused version. Other than the hat, which is an obvious clue, and the rock n roll Doc Martens, perhaps it’s also the wet setting and the A.P.C trench. Yes, it’s a French label as is Nicolas, but the look is very London hipster.