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
Miguel Correia, PR intern, writer and fashion enthusiast, charmed us at first sight. His gorgeous smile had me giggling (inside) like a school girl. As we started talking, my internal giggles subsided and evolved into respect. It was exciting to speak with Miguel because I sensed that he had a genuine excitement for fashion and that he was working hard in pursuing his passions. Miguel is certainly busy - he is currently a PR student, interning with fashion label, Kavi Kavi, and at Salim Remix Clothing, a Toronto-based consignment shop and working at Over The Rainbow, Toronto’s go-to for jeans. It takes a lot of heart, soul and sweat to succeed in the fashion industry (and any industry, for that matter), and Miguel seems well on his way.
Miguel described his style as simple but current. His wardrobe is full of pieces that don’t go out of style and, in some cases, which he has been collecting for years. One really can’t get more classic than a pair of jeans and a gray t-shirt. Yet, we loved how modern his look was, owing to the cut of his clothes, the resulting silhouette and of course, his disarming smile.
Annie looks positively 60s summer chic in her Diane von Furstenberg plaid dress. All that’s missing is a scarf wrapped around her hair and we’re good to include this red lipped beauty in a segment of Mad Men. The setting is seemingly fitting given that Annie works in Toronto’s own Mad Men-esque hub, Bloor and Bay street, where advertising agencies line up, or stack up I should say, like homes on tree lined streets in suburbia. The dress, made by the doyenne of dresses, is one in which I am mad about. It’s simple, yet ultra feminine, perhaps because it is evocative of a time where women were meant to be perfect wives and beautiful lovers at the same time.
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
New York and Toronto Street Style: Summer Delicates
White on white is definitely a colour matching situation that is hard to pull off, at least in my books. Safer circumstances in which women can go full on white is typically in the summertime and even then you’d be hard pressed to find an outfit that does not look tacky. Not in this case, not even close. Both Angela and Irene look spectacular in white.
The linen shorts on Angela (above) and Irene are incredibly summer chic, and this is a measurable attribute, people. Amidst the scorching heat we seem to be enduring, these shirts and knitted shorts make their owners look breezy and comfortable next to their hot and bothered neighbours. The cool (pun intended) trick to both Angela and Irene’s white outfits is they feel delicate, but their materials, which are made of heavier fibres, feel comfortable and practical at the same time. Notice how both their tops have longer sleeves! And the only glisten to be had is of the variety that seeps from their style. White, comfortable outfits are in full throttle here, and I need an encore.
Photo credit: Irene Kim
Shirt, The Gap
Shorts, Club Monaco
Dog, King Charles Cavalier (my favourite!) named Finn
Amy is about to take her next steps as a student at a designated fashion school, and I can say with conviction that she is going places. I got this sense when we shook hands at the beginning and end of our encounter. I was slightly taken aback when she told me she was in high school. I’m aware this might make me sound like an old fart, but whenever I meet students who shine with ambition, intelligence and class, my day is made, especially among girls. Amy was more than obliging to have her photo taken, and she poised herself well. Her style certainly mirrored her maturity. With her Marinière shirt, Celine skirt, meadow hat and mauve lipstick, she reminded me of a mature French lady with a lot of gumption.
I hope I meet Amy again in 5 years to see where she’s landed. I’m also keen on seeing where her style takes her as she grows. As it stands, I think she’s looks fantastic.
It was only a matter of time before I ran into the quintessential North American style, and documented it, given I live in North America. Perhaps i’ve been subconsciously avoiding it due to its prevalence. Nevertheless, Mr and Mrs boat shoe have appeared before me and I have to say, they are what I will call North American chic. So what comes with being North American chic? You have to have all the essentials: J.Crew, boat shoes (preferably from Sperry Topsider), at least one item from the Gap and a Starbucks coffee cup in hand. Check, check, check and check. Alana and Dan radiate the warm, and inviting side of preppy. And yes, there is such a thing. Plus, i’m a sucker for the nautical look, mainly because I have a non- participatory obsession for boats and the seafarer way. I hope Alana and Dan belong to a yacht club, it would render the image complete!
Round two of pretty in pink men. This time, Alessandro gives us some European flare with ETRO. My very first post on Geeky Chic was of Sam, who was decked out in ETRO. I noted that Sam’s ensemble romanced me with it’s colours, paisley and the old world European look.
Alessandro’s ETRO is another story. The colours are youthful and fresh. The blue and green lines that make up the checked pattern on his suit are almost boyish, as is the blue and purple knit tie. Ah yes, I am a big fan of the knit tie, especially ones made with Italian silk. The texture is soft and playful, a great piece to wear with a shirt during the day for casual yet chic wear.
I mark ETRO as a primo brand for (mostly) men. They are artisans of pattern and fabric, in which timelessness and culture has become the leitmotif of the collections.
Men in denim prevails under the auspices of American Workwear. Will Eagle, a freelance digital marketing consultant, gives us reason to look at the workwear style beyond a general facade and as a genre, influenced by epic writers and geography. Will and his fantastic triple denim get up is a pastiche of British past and American present. Growing up in a private school for boys in the UK, Will has retained the best bits of it’s quintessential “uniform”, while adopting an ever so cool nuance of the American workwear style. That’s right, I said nuance. Will goes beyond the norm and ventures to a segmented form of workwear, that which lives in a Cape Cod setting. Additionally, his denim shirt is reminiscent of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” (sans West Coast).
Indeed, a North American filter exists over Will’s British sensibilities, though the two are unified by New England prep and workwear. His style bears a unique patina of literary and Transatlantic goodness that fashion journalists like myself cannot seem to get enough of.
My “Men in Denim” series continues with Steve, a music producer from Toronto, who charmed me with his chambray on denim on bicycle before he momentarily became the “man who got away”. I spotted Steve initially at a Queen St. traffic light. He was on his bicycle waiting for the light to turn green, and I was a pedestrian hoping the red light would linger for a while. I am not much of a gun camera slinger, so by the time the green light shone, Steve whizzed onwards. I could have kicked myself for not whipping out the camera sooner, but as fate would have it, Steve was parked one block ahead where I eventually caught up to him. In fact now that I look at my photo closely, Steve the music producer is in the foreground while Steve’s the music store is in the background. Perfect! Back to style. Men in chambray shirts paired with jeans or earth toned trousers are aplenty in Toronto. Dare I say the Toronto hipster has replaced himself with the Americana classic workwear male? Local designers Hiroshi Awai and Klaxon Howl seem to be in the know.
Not to sound anticlimactic on the topic of Men in Denim, but I must make mention of Steve’s bicycle. I am gaga over it. Mainly, I think it’s one of the sexiest “accessories” i’ve seen if I were to look at it through a style lens. Sadly it is an unknown brand to me, so if any of you bicycle connoisseurs can shed some light i’d be grateful.
Denim pants, Dr. Denim Jeans
Chambray shirt, American Apparel
American workwear classic designers in Toronto: Hiroshi Awai of Creep and Matt Robinson of Klaxon Howl