Designer Fall Collabs Every Fashion Lover Should Be Excited For

Looking to revamp your fall wardrobe without having to spend time digging through your local H&M and Zara for something entirely original and 100% you? Well, you’re in luck: Never has there been such an influx of designer collaborations for fashion lovers to get their wanting hands on before now. Fall seems to be the go-to season for collaborations among some of the world’s most relevant and in demand fashion designers. And with designer collabs now transitioning into every aspect of the consumer market, fashion lovers around the world get first pick on some of the most exclusive designer brands for a fair price.

L’Oreal Paris x Balmain

Photo: L’Oreal Paris

Coming this fall is one of the most anticipated designer collabs to have come out in a while. Iconic Parisian makeup mega brand L’Oreal is teaming up with Balmain Paris to create an exclusive line of three lipsticks that double up as jewelry. The three jewel tone lipsticks come in brilliant and rich sapphire, emerald, and onyx hues that are sure to look as stunning on the lips as they do in their casing.

Erdem x H&M

Photo: H&M

H&M has a long standing history of collaborating with some of the world’s most important brands. With the likes of VersaceLanvin, and Balmain on their roster, H&M is no stranger to sourcing out the world’s most in-demand brands to collaborate with. This fall, H&M is set to release its much-anticipated collection with Turkish-Canadian designer Erdem, whose last few collections have stirred up an astounding amount of buzz for the brand, catapulting it into the fashion spotlight this year.

Jeremy Scott x UGG

Photo: UGG

Say what you will about the current creative head at Moschino, but the man has a knack for knowing exactly where to place his eggs, and it’s almost never in one fashion basket. Launching September 13th, Jeremy Scott’s collaboration with UGG Australia is bound to have lovers of his flashy and garish designs as well as lovers of the comfy boot flocking to stores for a chance at scooping up the limited edition boots.

Moschino x Sephora

Photo: Moschino

Set to makes its official launch in Canada in just a few days (August 25th to be exact) Sephora’s limited edition Moschino collaboration has already sold out in the U.S.. And that comes as no surprise, as the collab comes complete with an adorable “This is not a Moschino toy” teddy bear that opens up to become an eyeshadow palette and an array of pretty lip glosses that encompass everything Moschino stands for.

J.W Anderson x Uniqlo

Photo: Uniqlo

One of the most highly anticipated designer collaborations for fall is undoubtedly the collab between Japanese mega brand Uniqlo and, arguably the most important young designer of our times, Jonathan Anderson. The collab is bound to be the single most fought over collection of the year, with predictions of pre-sales and opening day sales to sell out within minutes.

Superga x Charlotte Simone

Photo: Superga

Italian shoe brand Superga is teaming up with accessories brand Charlotte Simone for a bright and uber girly collab that perfectly mirrors fashion’s current obsession with faux fur. The shoes themselves balance Superga’s iconic tennis shoe style with Simone’s keen eye for bright sherbet coloured faux furs. And best of all, most of the shoes come in a perfectly sweet platform style that’s sure to excite the modern club kids of the world.

Ashish x River Island

Photo: River Island

This is definitely going to be a good year for British brands River Island and Ashish, who are teaming up to launch an affordable collection at London fashion week this fall. The 15 piece limited edition collection seems to be Ashish’s first foray into the mainstream fashion market, but the buzz is already building up, and his colourful and often outspoken designs are bound to sell out worldwide. The collab will open new doors for those who’ve never heard of the designer outside of the global high fashion circle.

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What I Wear To Work: Liem Vu, Global News’ The Morning Show

Photo Credit: Nick Pimenoff

Wardrobe Essentials

My wardrobe essentials are black shoes, black joggers, and a black t-shirt. See a theme there? No, I’m not trying to be your friendly neighbourhood fashion blogger with minimalist and monochromatic fashion. I’m the complete opposite, actually. I love loud patterns, bright shirts, and architectural jackets, but the only way to pull those off is to have a solid fashion anchor. By wearing black shoes and black pants, you can go super loud and outlandish on top without being too distracting or workplace inappropriate.

Favourite Item in Your Closet

Definitely my black and white Saturdays NYC button up (seen in the picture). The shirt is inspired by the glaze brush pattern often seen in ceramic work. It’s bold and brash yet minimalist at the same time. It’s easy to dress up (with a blazer) or down (with jeans) and that versatility is what I look for in all my shirts.

The Purge Rule

One for one. If you buy something new, get rid of something old. It’s a rule that I’m still trying to commit to. Everyone has a bad habit of holding on to things they don’t need. Unless it’s a staple like a blazer or jacket, it’s always best to consider whether or not an old item in your closet is worth holding on to.

Describe Your Work Uniform

Thankfully, The Morning Show really supports my outlandish fashion choices. Heck, I wore overalls on the show once. My daily work outfit usually starts with a pair of black golf joggers and then I pair them with a bold and bright short-sleeved button up shirt.

Liem Vu is a Toronto-based journalist and television personality. He can be seen weekdays on The Morning Show, and as a regular contributor on ET Canada Live. His sense of curiosity and passion for storytelling bring him to the front lines of breaking news. Liem has written for both local and national publications including The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, and The National Post. In 2011, he produced and hosted a series of investigative features for MTV News, focusing on hot-button sociopolitical issues aimed at Canadian youth. 

Liem is an avid music fan, insatiable foodie, and all-around nerd. Prior to his career as a journalist, he moonlighted as the lead singer of a barbershop quartet called ‘The TemptAsians’ and has seen every episode of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer at least twice.

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A Conversation with Afrim Pristine of Cheese Boutique

Afrim Pristine is the world’s youngest Maitre Fromager, practicing affinage, or the art of making cheese, ever since he was born into it. He owns the Cheese Boutique in Toronto, a cheese museum in itself that houses 450 kinds of cheeses, along with meats, local fruits and veg, savoury snacks and pastries among many other things.

Lexus — the Japanese suave on four wheels — sought out Afrim to participate in the Lexus Master class as he reflected the Lexus brand pillar of Takumi Craftsmanship. Takumi Craftsmanship is the ancient Japanese concept that holds the essence of absolute mastery of an art or a craft. Takumi craftspeople at Lexus distill years of training into a single goal: perfectibility. Similarly, Afrim has spent years mastering cheese. Like Lexus Takumis (Masters), Afrim applies high quality craftsmanship when making cheeses and stocking Cheese Boutique with the very best.

Helen Jacob: Do you run the whole place by yourself?

Afrim Pristine: A business owner has to do everything. I have my brothers (my business partners,) and I have my staff but you know, a business owner does everything. When they’re needed, they do it. I’ll sweep the floors if I have to.

HJ: How long has the business been in your family?

AP: Since 1970. So we opened up in the heart of Bloor West Village in 1970. Of course we were much, much smaller than this.

HJ: Is your whole family involved?

AP: Most of the family, the ones that want to be involved are involved. My eldest brother and I, we’ve been involved since we were kids. Literally [since] 8-9 years old, we were first working. And now this is our store. And now my niece and nephew, [his kids] are working. They’re the fourth generation. I grew up surrounded by all this stuff.

HJ: What kind of stuff did you do when you were 8 or 9?

AP: I had two jobs. I remember because we still have them. I’m 37 now, so this is 30 years ago. We have 2 employees that have been with us for 30 years each, one of which is Celina. So Celina used to make me go around the store with a damp rag and go and wipe all the bottles. This is all stuff that could sit for a long time but it wasn’t a good sign to the customer. Then there was the other job. We used to have all these wicker baskets with buns and bakery products. This was when we weren’t really making a lot of our bread and we used to bring it in, so the bakers used to come and literally throw everything in there. My job was to face up all the breads and all the buns and all the baguettes. My grandfather always said, “a bun face up, the bun sells itself. A bun face down, you have to sell the bun.” So it’s kind of the simple little things like that you never forget but that’s what Cheese Boutique is built on — on things like that, and ideas like that.

HJ: Are you interested in cheese because you’re interested in it or because your family is interested in cheese?

AP: Well it started with my family because that was our background and cheese was always on the dining room table and it was always the talk at the dining room table. Getting older, I started understanding what it is and started appreciating it for what it is. Then I understood what cheese gave to me and my family as well so I ended up loving it. It’s what I know and it’s what I know well. I don’t know many things in life but what I do know is really good cheese and that’s kind of my job — to really glorify it and to tell people hey this is a simple ingredient but it’s a really good ingredient. As you can see we’re not just cheese anymore, we’re everything (referring to the Cheese Boutique).

HJ: You’re the youngest Maître Fromager in the world. What does that feel like?

AP: As silly as it sounds, it feels like..uhh.. are you a superhero fan?

HJ: I appreciate it.

AP: You know spiderman?

HJ: Yes.

AP: Ok well the whole story of Spiderman was that this kid got bit by a spider and had all these superpowers. So Spiderman, when he was a kid, was just kind of a punk and his superpowers he used for fun. Then his uncle came along, and he says “With great power comes great responsibility” and he has all these super powers, he can use it for something good, save people’s lives, whatever it is. So getting back to this, “With great power comes great responsibility,” it’s a duty for me. Yes, I’m very honoured, it’s a big deal for me, my family, and the store. But for me, all this means is that I need to work harder. I need to be better at my craft, I need to understand cheese better. Someone bestowed that honour on me. Now, I need to honour it and give it back to all the people that love cheese. I have to work harder and I have to spread the love of cheese more and more and more.

HJ:Take me through the process of creating a cheese

AP: I make very little cheese here. As much as making cheese is important, the maintenance of the cheese is important as well. It’s how you store it, it’s how you age it. That’s really our focus. So we have 3 different aging rooms dedicated with different environments and with different climates, dedicated to aging different styles of cheese. That’s very important. Can I make cheese? Of course, but really a lot of my training from my father and my training in Europe is to age and keep the maintenance of cheese up. It’s like wine. You can have great wine, but it needs to age. It needs time to evolve. And that’s really our focus here — it’s to age as opposed to make.

HJ: Can you tell me a little bit about your training?

AP: I learned from the best, I learned from my father. Since I was a kid, I learned about business and about cheese from him. When I graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University, I studied history, and that kind of helped me actually understand the importance of food throughout history. In Italy and France, food and wine and cheese is part of the tradition, the culture, and the religion right? So when I graduated and I got back, my father literally said ‘go learn.‘ This is almost 20 years ago, so you couldn’t go to a classroom setting and learn about cheese. Now it’s starting to come up at a collegiate level but back then, I lived on a farm in Switzerland for 6 months. I lived on a farm in Tuscany for 3 months, milking goat and sheep and pressing the milk and making cheese and kind of understanding cheese. I learned trial by fire, I learned right on the farm. I was fortunate enough, from the time I was 20-25, I had spent probably 2 and a half years of that time in Europe. In different parts of France, different parts of Switzerland, in Tuscany, in Spain and in England mainly. And in different parts of Canada of course.

HJ: Tell me about the cheese cave.

AP: So we have three different aging rooms. One is open to the public, which is the cheese cave. It’s climate controlled, so anywhere between 4 to 8 degrees and roughly about 80 to 85 percent humidity. This is something we manufacture whereas in Switzerland, in the mountains, this climate is natural. It’s cold, it’s dark, it’s damp and humid. Here we have to recreate that. So that’s really what that room is doing but it’s open to the public. There’s probably a million dollars worth of cheese in there. Some we age for 2 weeks, some we age for 12 years. Everything is tagged and dated. You have to be meticulous with a room like that because aging cheese isn’t as easy as leaving it there, walking away and it becoming magically delicious. It’s not that easy. You have to watch for it, you have to care for it, you have to keep in mind the youngest product is in the back and the oldest is in the front. I do that and I have 3 staff and that’s all they do is maintenance in the cheese cave. It’s a 24/7 job. We’re always trying to work on that, and keeping it updated and keeping it clean and organized. It’s like a living museum. These wheels of cheese are living, they’re evolving. But it’s a museum so it’s hands off, don’t touch. It’s a fun interesting room.

HJ:How much cheese do you sell in a day?

AP: So retail and wholesale, I’d say maybe a thousand pounds a day, maybe more. We’re cutting a wheel of reggiano a day. That’s a hundred pounds right there and that’s one of 450 cheeses. 1200 pounds maybe? Hey we’re not just cutting cheese here. We’re suppliers of happiness. Cheese just happens to be that tool or vessel to make people happy.

HJ: Are you against Kraft Singles?

AP: No! I’m going to give you an example. You just got your license. Are you going to go buy a Ferrari when you’re 16? You’re going to buy a Mazda or Hyundai or whatever it is. It’s not better or worse than a Ferrari, it’s different. So when you’re a kid, Kraft Singles is everywhere. It’s one of the first pieces of dairy you every put in your mouth. There’s milk and then theres Kraft Singles right behind it. So am I against Kraft Single? No, I don’t balk at it. Every once in a while you gotta throw it on a burger. For me, my job is then to expose you to other cool cheeses. You liking Kraft Singles tells me you like cheese- that’s the most important thing. I’m against people who don’t like cheese though.

HJ: What are your essentials for a cheeseboard?

AP: Five different cheese, not complementing each other but contrasting each other. One blue, one firm, one goat, one sheep, and one semi firm. You want kind of a good cross section of products, flavours, and textures. Cheese is milk salt, that’s it. So you want to really differentiate it from each other so you get a good balance of flavours, a good balance of textures. With 450 cheeses, it’s easy to do. A fun cracker with fruit or nut, a crusty baquette for the creamy cheeses, some sort of sweet component (fig spread, honeycomb, honey,) and some sort of water based fruit-grapes or apples to cleanse the palette as you’re traveling through the cheeses. I also don’t like telling people which cheeses. My palette is no better than yours. Mine may be a little bit more trained, because this is what I do but I think if you have those guidelines, you go to your trusty cheese mogul and you tell them, “I want a goat what do you have or I want a sheep what do you have?” You try and you try and you see what you like and what you don’t like. I think that’s the best way but the formula I gave you, I think that’s the best for making a cheese board. Less is more too and let the cheese be the star of the show.

HJ: Do you have any tips for beginners when picking cheeses?

AP: You’re never wrong. What you like is what you like. Nobody can tell you a cheese tastes like something because you have to be the judge of that. If I give you a cheese and you say it tastes like candied apples, and I disagree, well that’s not right for me to say that it doesn’t. If that’s how your palette takes it in, then wonderful. I don’t like when someone is told that they’re wrong. You’re never wrong with food, it’s a personal preference. So when buying cheese, select ones you like. Maybe you don’t like blue because the one you tried was too sharp. Then maybe try a milder blue. If you don’t like that, then move on. Forget about blues. So there’s no wrong in my opinion.

HJ: What’s your favourite cheese?

AP: Parmigiano Reggiano. It’s the king. If there’s one cheese in your fridge, it’s that. I love the versatility of it: just to have on its own, to grate on a pasta, to shave into a salad. I’m going to piss off a lot of other cheeses but just the science behind making it, the history of it, I think it’s the most important cheese.

HJ: Is that your death row cheese?

AP: If you’re tying my hands to one, then yes.

HJ: What’s the most interesting cheese you’ve made?

AP: Something that’s called Sunset Sarsaparilla. We took a gouda-style big sharp nutty cheese from Holland, and then we make our own root beer from scratch, and then we reduce that root beer so it’s like a paste and we brush it onto the beemster (the cheese) and let it age. I love root beer, and that plus the complexities of the cheese work really well together. It’s awesome! It’s thinking outside the box, but it works really well too.

HJ: What lengths have you gone to for cheese?

AP: This is what I’m doing right now. There’s a big music food festival called the Feastival. I was asked to make for Canada 150 an inukshuk out of cheese wheels. There’s about 30 wheels of cheese that’s about 10 kilos each so it’ll be about 300 kilos of cheese — 800 pounds and 6 feet tall. I like to do stuff like that. Last November, I was the headliner for the Ottawa Food and Wine Show so me and six of my staff set up a five thousand square foot cheese vault at the show. That was two months of planning for a four day show. That took years off my life doing that, but it went very very well.And it was a huge ordeal, we brought about 1500 pounds of cheese to the show. We set up four stations, it was crazy. My goal is to one day, build a cheese cellar moon. I don’t know how. I need some time and some help from NASA, so we’ll see.

HJ: Do you get a lot of chefs and vendors that come through here?

AP: The best in the world. Literally the best chefs in the city. I mean we’ve had Alain Ducasse from France, Massimo Bottura from Italy, Albert Adria, David Chang. These are literally the best chefs in the world. And then the chefs in the city are good colleagues. We are suppliers to a lot of those chefs and we do about 400 deliveries a week.

HJ: What was your favourite cheese experience so far in your career?

AP: Probably learning from my father. He’s the cheese pioneer of Toronto. He was the first one selling real French brie, real English cheddar, and yes he’s my father and we’ve had a very good relationship so far but he’s also my mentor. So we’re learning from the best who happens to be my father as well. Without that, the rest of this interview doesn’t exist. So for me, that was the best experience, learning what works, learning what doesn’t.

HJ: Where do you see yourself in the future?

AP: I’d like to teach a little bit more. I was teaching the cheese certification program at George Brown college, which is one of three in north America at a collegiate level. That’s a full time job and I already have a few full time jobs here, but I’d really like to get back into teaching. I think my job is to raise the awareness for cheese across the country and for people to love it as much as I do. I think I’m good at my job so for me, I want to spread the love of cheese more and more. I love it and I think it’s needed and I think I glorify cheesemakers, and I glorify my shop and I glorify my family and what my father’s been trying to do.

The Cheese Boutique, located at 45 Ripley Avenue, is open 360 days a year. You can see what they are up to on their Instagram page and on their website here. Continue following our arts & culture coverage on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

What North American TV Can Learn From European TV

In our ever-more connected global pop culture landscape, it’s easy enough to forget that most regions and countries still have their own unique styles of storytelling and media, and the TV scene is no exception. Most of us have, at some point, enjoyed some international programming from time to time. Certainly, American and Canadian TV can be so intertwined that it’s easy to be a little unsure which country it’s from. However, most of us have yet to sample most European programming.

While I would caution against assuming that everything European is more refined and classy than everything in North America (as it turns out, game shows, sports, competitions, and reality TV are popular around the whole world), it is worth noting that European TV has more than a few lessons to offer this continent. Mainly, the format of storytelling found in European programming is much better and cleaner, and provides a better watching experience. Here are a few such lessons:

Sidse Babett Knudsen in Borgen

Don’t be afraid to quit while you’re ahead:

During an interview recently with Stephen Colbert, Broadchurch (the British crime drama) actor David Tennant was asked why the successful show is ending after only three seasons. Tennant responded, “It’s a peculiarly British thing. I think we see something that works, and we run from it…if it works and it’s solid…abandon it immediately.” While he was joking, it’s not bad advice. Except for some anthology shows which have ever-changing settings and stories, or shows like Doctor Who where the leads change every few years, many British and European shows end during their height, or at least don’t continue on past their prime.

While Broadchurch fans may be disappointed the show will end, at least they don’t have to worry about the show being milked out of all possible storylines or suffering through needless filler episodes or terrible spinoffs. This way, the story can be told in full without excess. This is also the case with shows like Borgen, a political drama from Denmark. Critics noted that the show’s third and final season wrapped up the storylines in a satisfying manner. Now, contrast that with North American shows that drag on for years and years, burning through plot lines until nothing good is left.

David Tennant and Olivia Colman in Broadchurch

Crime dramas should pay attention to the crime

There is no shortage of crime dramas or police procedurals in North American TV, but many of them spend all too much time on the investigators and not enough on the circumstances of the crimes, and thereby lose a sense of mystery that is meant to be part and parcel of crime shows. While character work and story development are great, gripping crime dramas and police procedurals need to have some mystery to them. Broadchurch, particularly its first season, was full of intense mystery and intrigue and a plot twist nobody saw coming. The Irish-British series The Fall spends most of its time on one specific case; the Danish drama The Killing spends a good chunk of each episode with the families of victims or discussing the consequences of the crime. It’s worth noting that both shows have spawned successful American remakes.

Michaela Coel in Chewing Gum

Don’t make filler episodes

American TV shows in particular are notorious for having absurdly long seasons, going on for dozens upon dozens of episodes, most of them having nothing to do with the main plot points or adding nothing to character development. However, most Europeans shows restrict themselves to fewer episodes per season, focusing on the important, meaty bits of the show and less on the humdrum. Even for sitcoms without seasonal arcs or serious character development, this equation works out quite well. For example, each season of the brilliantly funny British series Chewing Gum (written by and starring Michaela Coel) has only six episodes, each one packed with hilarity; every scene in an episode feeds the central storyline.

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