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Archive for September 2010

Live in Toronto: The xx

September 30th, 2010 — 12:51pm

While I never listened to their debut album on repeat, watching The xx perform last night at Massey Hall, the music spoke to me in a way that iTunes hadn’t and completely blew me away.

The trio, all dressed in black, appeared only as dark silhouettes against a pitch black backdrop in a smoky haze of coloured strobe lights and two white x’s. Their dramatic intro set the mood for the show and captured me instantly with heavy rhythmic beats in their signature chilled out, minimalist tunes. Female vocalist and guitarist, Romy Croft’s studio-quality vocals were incredible and complemented the low-key demeanour of the group’s bassist, Oliver Sim.

The group engaged the crowd more with their music rather than simple banter. The seated venue gave me a chance to sit back and appreciate the music on a different level without worrying about being walled off by sweaty giants.

Towards the second half of the show, the calm energy was uncontainable and people on the ground floor impulsively jumped up and danced at the front of the stage. After an intense, almost emotional ending, the band came back to a starry stage for a one song encore and left the crowd aching for more xx.

1 comment » | Canada, Concert, Review, Toronto

Dieppa Restrepo Shoes

September 26th, 2010 — 5:57pm

Founded by Colombian duo Andrea Vargas Dieppa and Elisa Restrepo, Dieppa Restrepo’s unisex shoe collection provides a contemporary twist on a gentleman’s shoe that is very fashion-friendly. The androgynous shoes are well-crafted and durable and are available as oxfords, lace-ups and loafers in a variety of colours and finishes. Wether you buy an existing pair or get them custom-made, these shoes will add some flavour to any outfit you chose.

Available at Maryam Nassir Zadeh in New York.

Comments Off | Fashion, New York, Shoes, Shopping

Billy Reid SS ’11

September 26th, 2010 — 5:07pm

Billy Reid stayed true to his Southern style with his Spring/Summer 2011 collection. Influenced by being in Louisiana, the line has a distinct all-American feel combined with a refined hipster look. The collection consists of patterned double breasted suits, cotton pleated pants, sheer white shirts, cashmere sweaters and boots. While the line is rugged and manly, Reid’s little additions of bow-ties, ascots, skinny ties and wingtip loafers brings an obvious sophistication to the collection.

More looks below.

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1 comment » | Fashion, Shopping

Suno New York

September 18th, 2010 — 3:47pm

Being a Kenyan, Im always intrigued by African influences in fashion and music so New York brand, Suno, caught my eye immediately. Max Osterweis, the designer, named the company after his mother who visited Kenya years ago. After falling in love with the beautiful country, she decided to stay there. It wasnt until 2007 after the political instability the country faced during the presidential elections, that Osterweis decided to use the fabrics he had been saving for over a decade. With the help of local seamstresses he created a collection in the hopes of bringing some positivity to the country.

Two incredible seasons later, his Spring/Summer 2011 line is pretty exceptional. Seeing the bold fabrics and textures of the traditional kangas I grew up with carrying a modern twist to create stand-out pieces, displays creativity at is best and is quite a treat for me. Suno has also collaborated with Loeffler Randall on two different styles of printed sandals which will be available at Opening Ceremony in February 2011.

Comments Off | Fashion, New York, Shoes, Shopping

For The Kids

September 18th, 2010 — 1:22pm

While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about.
-Angela Schwindt

More photos below.

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Comments Off | My Photography, Paris, Quote, Toronto


September 16th, 2010 — 4:01pm

Manimal began after cofounder and designer, Kristen Lombardi was inspired by the vast space of the desert to create a collection. Her shoes, bags and jewellery pieces are all influenced by her interest in traditional costumes and craftsmanship. Based out of Brooklyn, everything is hand-made and organic. In addition to using recycled leather, she is slowly developing a vegan line as well. The striking mix of earthy and bright colours puts a twist on this old favourite and is definitely a great pick for fall.

More cool styles below.

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2 comments » | Brooklyn, Fashion, New York, Shoes, Shopping

Tom Ford Womenswear SS ’11

September 14th, 2010 — 9:13pm

After six long years away from womenswear, Tom Ford is back with a bang. Personally narrating his show to just a hundred exclusive guests, he spoke of individuality by getting his friends of different ages and body types to model the collection. Among the group was Julianne Moore, Beyonce Knowles and Iman. He is keeping his collection a secret for a little longer with photos at the event being taken only by Terry Richardson, none of which will be released until January as an attempt to keep fashion fresh and fun. The suspense is killing us but after waiting this long, what’s a few more months?

Comments Off | Fashion, New York, Shopping

Paris Travel Guide: Restaurants

September 10th, 2010 — 3:46pm

A food lover’s guide to restaurants in Paris:

Le Water Bar Colette is a trendy, fashionable restaurant on Saint-Honore with an excellent lunch menu and lots of beautiful people enjoying the finer things in life.

Angelina, a tearoom restaurant established in 1903 is a five minute walk from the Louvre. This little landmark must be visited for the legendary and deliciously rich African hot chocolate and an extensive pasty bar.

Le Philosophes sits right on Rue du Vielle in La Marais and is a great place for people-watching – not to mention classic French onion soup.

L’As du Fallafel is rumoured to have the best falafel in the world. This small, hole-in-the-wall resto definitely lives up to the bold statements thrown its way with people standing on the streets, messily munching their pita sandwiches.

With no menu, Le Relais de L’Entercote, only serves steak frites in a tasty butter-based, ‘secret’ sauce. With line ups around the block every night, try to get there before 7pm to avoid a long wait and bring a healthy appetite for their large portions.

Cafe de Flore, a famous cafe in Saint-Germain, was the meeting ground for the Existentialist Movement in the early part of the century, used to be Picasso’s cafe of choice and is now Karl Lagerfeld’s. For a taste of French history and celebrity sightings, take some time for an Orange Pekoe Tea after a long day of shopping.

La Petite Tour is a cute creperie in the heart of the Latin Quarter with a warm, cosy feel and traditional sweet or savoury buckwheat crepes.

Laduree sells fifteen thousand macaron a day and is responsible for inventing the double-decker macaron. Indulge in some fresh treats for an afternoon picnic at the park.

Amorino has 12 locations scattered throughout Paris and offers some of the best Italian gelato ever made. They serve you as many flavours as you like, shaped as a flower bud in a cup, waffle cone or focaccina. A dream come true.

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2 comments » | Cafes, Guides, My Photography, Paris, Restaurants

Live in Toronto: Vampire Weekend

September 8th, 2010 — 2:24pm

The night started off at the Molson Amphitheatre with two opening acts; Dum Dum Girls and Beach House, the latter of which were a laid-back indie band, with a raspy-voiced female lead who had a giant mane of wavy locks. They seemed lost in the music in a glow of coloured lights and had some great tracks namely ‘Zebra’ and ’10 Mile Stereo’.

Performing on one of the ‘last days of Summer’, the air had grown quite cold by the time the openers were done their sets. Fortunately this didn’t last very long as Vampire Weekend surprisingly burst onto stage to DJ Khaled’s ‘All I Do Is Win’, promptly taking their places and warmed up the crowd with ‘Holiday’ causing major summer nostalgia.

Despite his boyish appearance, lead singer Ezra Koenig, seemed totally confident on stage with a crazy vocal range to match his youngling looks. The prepped out Columbia grad, in his button-up shirt (and a seriously beautiful head of hair), contrasted the super hipster audience that made their way to the front of the stage. His interaction with the crowd as a form of ‘community building’ was very well taken and listening to the choir of people singing along to the call and response was a great reminder of the beauty of concerts.

The foursome killed their set, playing songs from both albums and mixing in high energy songs with more mellow tunes. Its hard to pick a favourite especially since they played almost a 90 minute set but ‘White Sky’, ‘Cousins’, ‘One’, ‘Campus’ and ‘Oxford Comma’ definitely stood out and of course ‘A-Punk’ and ‘Giving Up The Gun’ were simply amazing. It has to be said that their live performance certainly brought more of an appreciation of the variety of sounds they play, from the African beats to the hand drums and reggae rhythms.

To the band’s dismay, they had to leave behind the crystal chandeliers from their set at Canadian customs, but Ezra created a more memorable moment in the encore after ‘Horchata’ by instructing the crowd to wiggle fingers in the air like a sea of anemones. To everyone’s delight, they closed with the much awaited ‘Walcott’; a perfect ending.

1 comment » | Canada, Concert, Toronto

Quote of the Day

September 1st, 2010 — 10:55am

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.
-Thornton Wilder

1 comment » | My Photography, Quote, Toronto

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