Succulent dumplings and glistening stir fried noodles are by now a mainstay in many Torontonians’ diets — they are everywhere and affordable, unselfconsciously delicious despite their stints as American-Chinese food. In the precarious food world where trends bubble over, these classics seem somehow eternal. We’ll be slurping up versions of glistening noodles long after toasts become toasted bread again, terms of authenticity are redefined, and the kingdom come. And if there is a place to slurp, slurp as the world pirouettes out of orbit, Chop Chop on Dundas West is the place to do it.
The tall windows, the white walls, and the high ceiling of Chop Chop would put one in mind of a hip brunch place with colorful hollandaise sauce and ‘creative’ takes on French toasts, if it weren’t for the subtle nutty smell of woks being worked in a small open kitchen. The simple menu, divided into three short sections, ‘Dumplings’, ‘Appetizers’, and ‘Mains’, feels like a bridge between a menu at a corner takeout joint and one at a place marked authentic. Ginger beef, Shanghai Noodles, and General Tao chicken sit side by side with mapo tofu, Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup, and spicy cucumber salad. The daily specials menu that includes braised eggplant and pig ears continue the theme. Chop Chop does not cater to the shooters in search of the authentic, nor does it fall back on the comforts of the simulacrum. It’s truly welcoming, in the way eating at a friend’s place is: Come eat what we like to eat.
If you luck out and find the pan-fried vegetable dumplings on the daily specials, start there. The thick and chewy skin that’s absorbed the nutty oil lead the way to the sweet fillings of cabbage and other veges I was frankly too absorbed in eating to decipher. The Shanghai noodles is unsettling as it reminds diners of how good this simple dish can be: vegetables sautéed to be soft with a hint of crunch, slivers of pork and small shrimps swimming in the tangle of oil-glistened, perfectly seasoned noodles. The mapo tofu, more mellow and tangy than it would be in a Sichuanese restaurant, is silky and comes with just the right amount of kick to offset its own sweetness. The braised eggplant makes the apostate believe in vegetables again.
Among the fortune cookie-like aphorisms written in crisp red letters throughout Chop Chop, every syllable of “Happiness begins from within your stomach” rings true like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
In her 10th collection, Spring/Summer 2018, designer Sandy Liang continues to approach her brand’s downtown roots with new, playful interpretations of nostalgic narratives and elevated experimentation with shirting and all-year transitional outerwear.
Liang also introduces color-blocked oversize knit polos, floaty eyelet and lace paired with her hallmark statement leather jackets and neck-cozying shearling.
Piece by piece and collection by collection, Liang builds strong thorough lines in her clothes that reveal a consistent understanding of her girl, as well as the riffs and subversions that make her girl reminisce and smirk.
For more information on Sandy Liang and the designer’s ss18 collection visit WWW.SANDYLIANG.INFO
With Christmas dinner barely digested, we are already thinking about spring.
This is not our fault, though, and we shouldn’t feel guilty about it since brands put their spring collection in store in January. Even if you are not the kind to go crazy for the winter sales, you may have seen some spring items online or even on the streets. Yes, some of us are trying to avoid winter with wishful thinking. Anyways, if you are getting tired of winter clothes, this article is for you.
What’s in this spring? Here are the 10 must have items for the next season.
1. The brand logo T-shirt
If you think that sportswear style wouldn’t be a thing next spring, you are wrong. The ’90s style still a trend. You can play with it even more than you did in 2017 because brand logos are back and will turn our boring clothes into catchy must-haves. This FILA t-shirt from Topshop is the kind you need to look cool and stylish.
2. The little black dress
Every season should have its own little black dress. For this spring, we found the perfect one from Laisure. It’s actually difficult to find a black dress that doesn’t make you look overdressed or too formal. For this season, this one will give you the fresh look you are looking for this spring.
3. The lavender lipstick
Remember the last makeup trends? Zigzag eyebrows, snogging lipstick… weird right?! Well, this season won’t go that far. Seen on the runways at Victoria Beckham, Michael Kors, and Bottega Veneta’s fashion shows, lavender is going to be the next it-color and we thought it will be even trendier to wear it on your lips. We found this Barry M matte lipstick on Asos.
4. The cabbie hat
Already seen last season, the cabbie hat is still fashionable this spring. We really love this trend because it makes you look like a supermodel and gives you this fancy twist even if you are wearing a pair of jeans. If you didn’t have the occasion to wear one during the cold season, or if you preferred wearing a warm beanie which is understandable, spring will give you the chance to give it a shot. Get this one at Forever 21.
5. The pair of mules
Again, this piece is not a new trend but wearing mules in 2018 is going to be a must!!! Almost every shoe brand has one in its collection. Make your feet ready and do your nails because your toes are going to need to show-off. This season, we have so many choices, different colors, materials and shapes. Whatever you like wearing during sunny days, you will find the pair for you. You will find this satin one with pearls at Le Château.
6. Flower printed accessories
Prints are really interesting this season. Unlike past years, the bigger the better! Brand logos, stripes, but also tartan and dots, we have seen everything on tge runways. Because it’s not easy to wear them, we suggest you to go for floral print on accessories. Choose between big ’60s floral prints, soft floral prints, or micro floral prints: Yes, you will have the choice. We found this perfect handbag at Nine West.
7. The denim jacket
You probably already have a denim jacket in your closet but this spring, this must have has to be oversize. You can borrow your boyfriend’s or go for this piece from Urban Outfitters. If you are still not convinced about the oversize trend and feel like it doesn’t flatter you, wear it with a skin-tight t-shirt and roll up the sleeves. Also, don’t be afraid to go for a denim on denim outfit, this will actually be the best way to wear it.
8. Tiny sunglasses
Sometimes, trends come from celebrities and not brands. This one in particular has been launched by Bella Hadid. After the stupefaction and after seeing them on every Stars as Kim Kardashian or her little sister Kendall, we finally agree that this trend makes you feel cooler than ever. Get yours at Roberi and Fraud.
9. The plastic jacket
Also seen on the runways, transparency jackets are one of the biggest season trends. No excuses, you can’t look ugly under your jacket anymore! This trend has actually been seen on severals items during fashion week. Simone Rochas, Burberry and Calvin Klein used the trend to create beautiful dresses and Emporio Armani played transparency on a cardigan. You will find this funny poncho at Topshop.
10. The embroidery dress
This last trend is probably the best. No need to wait for a proposal, we can now wear an embroidery white dress anywhere: Yup yup! Well, we still advise that you wear it as a cocktail dress but, anyway, put your heel on, grab your flower crown and be the most stylish girl of the street. Get yours at Zalando.
Men’s fashion has slowly, but surely, taken itself out of the dark ages. Leaving the world of simple suits and trousers behind and pushing into newer, more fashionable territory. The days of simple hyper-masculine silhouettes seem to finally be a thing of the past, with modern Italian menswear moving towards a broader and more unisex look. This season, Milan’s menswear designers sprung into action and created collections that take conventional masculine silhouettes and inject an organic feminity to each garment. Leaving their designs looking undoubtedly masculine, yet satisfyingly feminine all at once.
Marni has taken a very drastic turn in terms of looks since founder Consuelo Castiglioni, stepped down as creative head last year. The new Marni, now headed by Francesco Risso, Marni has evolved into a fashion house focused on the grey areas of boundary-pushing design. Much of the house’s DNA is still very evident within Francesco’s designs, which is always a great thing to see, however, Marni’s codes now have a cacophonous freshness that’s relevant with today’s luxury fashion trends. For fall 2018, it looks as if Marni was about playing with chaos. Pattern, volume, silhouettes, colour, and texture all came crashing into one another to create a modern vagabond chic aesthetic. Some of the most whimsical and likeable pieces have to be the suiting and plaids which were decorated with splashes of cartoon illustrations of keys, foxes, and beakers. Giving the collection a wonderfully light-hearted look.
What can be said about Miuccia Prada that hasn’t already been said before? The woman is a genius of her craft. Often overshadowed by gimmicky designers and their smoke and mirrors, yet never shaken enough by their presence to change her designs. Miuccia has become the underlying foundation of industry hellbent to spitting out trend after trend. This season, Prada once again sends out a stunning collection rooted deeply in design and style, rather than quick trend. For her fall show, Miuccia took one of her brand’s most defining materials (nylon) and reinterpreted it into just about everything the models wore on the runway. One design aesthetic that stuck out during the show was how relatively tame it was in terms of patterns for a modern Prada show. Within the last few years, Miuccia has really spearheaded the pattern mix aesthetic that many designers are basing their entire brands on now. However, that didn’t mean the collection lacked any fun deconstructed patterns. If anything the placement of patterned and graphic ensembles at various intervals of the show, allowing it to stay fresh and electric. Yet even with fun beach-inspired patterns and prints, the real highlights of the show were the looks that combined 60s London mod silhouettes with the sportiness of today. A big part that was possible by the use of Prada’s signature nylon. Fusing today’s millennial obsession with athleisure and Prada’s razor-sharp high fashion go-to’s.
The Caten twins have a true talent in the field of reimagination. While other designers take design go-to’s and fail at reimagining the design trope in fresh and relevant ways, Dean and Dan Caten manage to inject new life into their influences. Take this season’s western theme for instance, while other designers would fail in making a collection that differences from the dozens of western inspired collections of fashion’s past. The twins at Dsqaured2 manage to create a fun a fresh take on western clothing. As usual, their always evident hint of rock and roll fuses perfectly with their reinvented idea of western glam. One stand out a little feast for the eyes was the small additions of feminine glam like a little peekaboo sequin sleeve, delicate floral trims, and silk ribbon bowties help navigate the collection from overtly masculine to modern androgyny.
When thinking of the all American ivy league fashionista, they of Ralph Lauren. Always cool, calm, and collected. Lauren collections always stay firmly rooted in old fashion Americana. Which isn’t a bad thing because it works! However, this season at Ralph Lauren Purple Label, a distinctly European flair was injected into the hardcore Americana tropes littered throughout the collection. There were navy and sailor ensembles that had European silhouettes, with their nipped in waists and widened shoulders. There were aviator ensembles that paired delicate velvets with the masculine idea of military dressing. But the true show stoppers were the elegant formalwear, which took plaids and monochrome black ensembles and infused them with a balance of modern touches and a distinctly European silhouette. Allowing for a fresh take on your tradtitional Ivy League boy.
Everyone loves knowing their zodiac. Even those who pretend they could care less about what their star sign says about them find themselves skimming through astrology books to see if their personalities match their zodiac signs’ attributes. One fun way to match your personality with your star sign is in terms of personal style. In the same way that every sign has their own specific set of unique personality traits that make them who they are, zodiac signs have specific traits that guide what decisions in appearance each one makes. Infusing each unique sign with a personalized style guide made especially for them. So how about it, why not try and match your astrological style with some of this spring’s best trends to see if your everyday style matches your signs preferred style.
Always ever so self-confident and self-assured. Aries’ have a knack for drawing attention to themselves with their strong personalities and their demand for respect. This headstrong and aggressive personality falls perfectly in line with fashion’s most assertive and aggressive Spring trends. For an Aries, the perfect spring trend is all about colour. Bright reds, citrine yellows, and tropical greens.
Grounded Taurus, as close to the earth as the plants that grow from its soil. Taurus is a very earthy sign. So when it comes to fashion and style, it’s all about how the clothes feel rather than how they look. For that reason, Taurus spring trend is the straw hat. Earthy and organic, fashion’s take on the straw hat reimagines the farmers straw hat and farming is career birthed from mother earth herself.
Since Gemini’s can’t decide what they want, do the same in terms of fashion. Wear whatever you feel like wearing. You’ll probably hate it by tomorrow anyway.
Always the sensitive one, Cancer tends to be the most emotionally vulnerable and emotionally driven. As a sign guided by feeling, Cancer is best off looking for a spring trend that’s based more the material rather than the look. To put it simply, opt for trends rooted in texture and fabric, soft, silky, and comfortable are your best bets. This ultimately leaves Cancer with the opportunity to wear one of this and last seasons biggest trends, feathers!
Proud Leo loves a good injection of drama. Like Aries, it’s all about drama and flash when it comes to Leo’s style and this spring’s trends came through with a decent supply of drama. One of the most dramatic trends of the summer has to be the multitude of rubber that was used this season. From Paris to New York, colourful rubber seemed to pop up over and over. Here’s to you, Leo!
Virgo, the Zodiac’s resident perfectionist, is right at home with clean and well put together looks. Pristine tailoring and crisp design are exactly what any Virgo needs. This season, crisp white suits were all the rage on the world’s runways. Now, most people would run from the idea of wearing an all-white suit. But well maintained Virgo is the perfect person to keep a white suit bright and shiny from day 1 to day 365.
The scales of the zodiac are the embodiment of balance in the human world. Libra’s are known for their balanced personalities. Always weighing the scales of logic in hopes of making the best decisions. Unfortunately, this season’s fashion trends were more about the chaos coming together in unison than the perfect balance of equals. However, one of spring’s trends does embody the idea of linear equals and that’s the square neckline. Which perfectly frames the neck and almost looks like an upside down scale itself.
Fiery and sensual Scorpio is all about exploring the body. Scorpio is essentially a sign with an affinity for drama, however, Scorpio uses a unique form of dramatics to feel their best. The name of the game for a Scorpio is sexiness, with that said, the perfect spring trend is the flirty peek-a-boo panty. Showing just enough skin to provoke, nut still being deeply rooted in what’s relevant in fashion.
Sagittarius is the adventurer. Always one to be a free spirit, Sagittarius can’t be tied down by the conventions of everyday life. Spontaneity is the name of the game and their fashion choices should follow suit. Try bright colours or punchy patterns. One of this season’s perfect pattern trends is polka-dot. Opt for a fun and graphic black and white polka-dot for the best visual effect.
Like Virgo and Libra, Capricorn’s personality is built around being organized in all aspects of your life. However, Capricorn’s are known to focus their perfectionism and organizational skills on education and career more than anything else. Since Capricorn’s focused mind would most likely be created with functionality in mind. And what’s more functional than the everyday white tank top. Created to serve a sole purpose, just like Capricorn likes it.
Individualistic and creative Aquarius’ are known for their unique personality and style. Their lives are dominated by the idea of being different. One to always move against the grain, Aquarius will most likely be the sign to either avoid trends altogether or pick the most outrageous one to stand out from the pack. That’s why Aquarius is best paired with the modern Leg of Mutton sleeve, a trend that very many would dread to wear. But to Aquarius, it’s the perfect way to stand out.
Pisces, like Cancer, is a deeply emotionally sign. Guided through life by their ability to be completely in tune with their emotions, the name of the game of Pisces is sensitivity. Like Cancer, Pisces would most likely enjoy a trend that involves creating emotion through feeling and texture. Like feathers, which is essentially a tactile trend, Pisces would enjoy spring’s obsession with ruching. Especially since ruching mimics the ripples seen on the surface of a body of water, Pisces, being a water sign, would highly enjoy this spring trend.