Hot List: Ink & Water Tattoo Shop

Toronto’s top contemporary tattoo shop Ink & Water celebrates their one year anniversary this month. Founded by the Instagram-famous Prairie Koo (aka Mr. Koo) and Michael Pecherle, this team is doing things very differently. Located at Bloor and Lansdowne, Ink & Water excels at creating quality tattoos in a clean, safe, and welcoming environment.

Ink & Water has softened the look of the archetypal tattoo shop. Semi-jokingly, the walls boast neon signs of “even grandma approves,” but it’s true. Very much suited to their fine line masterpieces being sported by tattoo aficionados and first timers alike, Ink & Water is championing the world of salons 2.0 – ink being the new form of expression and adornment in the in the realm of beauty.

Dear… Donna Karan

Dear Donna Karan…

You’re cancelled. On behalf of anyone and everyone in the fashion industry, as well as the millions of women who have purchased and felt empowered by your clothing, you’re cancelled. On behalf of abuse victims, assault victims, and rape victims around the world, you’re cancelled. On behalf of everything that is righteous and pure in the world, you’re cancelled. Anything you choose to do from here on in has no value to the world, as well as everything you’ve done in the past carries no value. Why? Because it seems that the same women you aimed to empower with your clothing all those years ago, the same women who gave you your title and career, carry no value to you.

It’s baffling to see how a woman whose life mantra was empowerment for women, could so easily dismiss the claims made by women who only want to seek empowerment and justice for themselves and for the countless other women who fell to the disgusting hands of Harvey Weinstein. How could a woman who knows the brutality of finding success in the male-driven world of fashion so easily place the blame on women? On the same women who supported your success and contributed to it? It’s a shame to see that someone who could have been an ally to these women, whose mantra could have been to Weinstein’s victims support and a source of reassurance that they will get through this and that their attacker will be met with justice. It’s a shame to see her take the side of the villain and sow the seed of doubt by putting the blame on his victims and not crucify her BFF for what he’s done.

And how funny it is that 2 weeks later, Ms. Karan is now singing a different tune. Begging those around her to forgive her careless words as a mere misunderstanding in a tumultuous time. However, the truth of the matter is that life isn’t that simple anymore. Today’s society has enough sense to know that certain things are not so easily forgiven. And stating that “women who dress a certain way had it coming” isn’t something that should be easily forgiven. What if some of those women were wearing designs from one of your collection when they were attacked? Would that be inappropriate to you? Or would it be something you sweep under the rug in the way you want everyone to sweep what you said under the rug? Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way anymore. Times are changing Ms. Karan. In the same way that Harvey won’t be able to escape his fate, neither will you. That’s all.


2017 WTF Moments.. Part Deux

Art work by Michelle Cheung for Novella Magazine

We love to chew the fat here at Novella — bring up the most innocuous subject, like ice cream, for instance, and sooner or later the talk will switch over to our cultures and societies and politics. When we are good, we are the non-complacent civic minded, observant and vigilant (which makes sense since our team is a weird and awesome amalgam of minorities). We can also be the harpies of old, pecking at your ears about the latest disaster and stupefaction available in the great outdoors.

But what can you do when 2017 is so far a complete shit show without intermission? (And I don’t really see one coming our way anytime soon.) New disasters — as of this week, North Korea detonated its sixth nuclear bomb — rise and old ghosts — the Swastika is back in style for some — are turning out to be actually not plasma but living people. I forget where but I read (saw or heard) somewhere that Mark Twain said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme.” Fact check that for me.

The below list is one made of shits that have been on our minds for far longer than we’d like: they’ve caked on the walls and are now harder to clean. We’re sharing them with you so that you can commiserate, watch the shit dry.

Drew Brown, Editor-in-Chief

The fact that we are able to put together a second edition of WTF moments is proof that 2017 is not going as well as we hoped. Ann Coulter, right-wing media pundit everyone loves to hate, recently blamed Houston’s devastating storm on the LGBT community. Coulter tweeted “I don’t believe Hurricane Harvey is God’s punishment for Houston electing a lesbian mayor. But that is more credible than ‘climate change.'” It’s no secret that Ann is no supporter of the LGBT community, which is fine with us. I am not surprised that Ann is trying use LGBT community as a scapegoat but what is baffling is the fact that Republicans still think that Climate change is still some crazy thing liberals made up.

Hoon, Managing Editor

Trump recently pardoned Joe Arpaio of criminal contempt, good month and a half before the actual sentencing of the Arizona sheriff behind the notorious tent city, the modern American ‘concentration camp’ designed specifically for ‘illegal aliens’ and those suspected of being ‘illegal’. The baffling thing about the pardon is that it seems legal — despite challenges on the basis of the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause —, at least for now (cases are being made against its legality). The most sinister aspect of the pardon is that this may be Trump’s attempt to disarm Special Council Robert Mueller of his powers to subpoena and charge with criminal contempt — if Trump can pardon, say, an unwilling White House staff, who’s been subpoenaed by Mueller, of criminal contempt, Mueller is stripped of a necessary and important tool in his investigation. Trump is encroaching on the integrity of the Department of Justice and the judicial system at large.

Kimberley Drapack, Contributor 

Despite their horrible history with animal cruelty, SeaWorld has somehow topped itself. An orca whale named Kasatka recently died due to a bacterial infection. Kasatka is the third whale this year to die at SeaWorld. The nightmare began in January 2017 when the beloved Tilikum, from the documentary Blackfish, died without a confirmation from SeaWorld as to what it was that killed him. It is known that Tilikum was prone to bacterial infections, much like Kasatka. Global News reports that since 1961, at least 150 killer whales have been taken into captivity, and 127 of these orcas are now dead. Of those, 45 died at SeaWorld. Tilikum spent 33 years in captivity and died at age 36. In the wild, an orca whale has a much higher survival rate, usually living up to 80 to over 100 years old. It makes me wonder when they are going to shut down SeaWorld once and for all. A girl can dream.

Cara Fox, Contributor

So, the American evangelical-right got together for a tailgate party and decided to publish the stuff of every far-right Facebook status we have seen since 2002. Enter: The Nashville Statement. I don’t know what’s more WTF-worthy, the fact that there really is absolutely nothing newsworthy in the document or that James Dobson was able to climb out of his crypt to be the first to sign it. Congrats, American evangelicals behind this manifesto! You have successfully made your prejudice relevant for the twenty-first century by using words like “transgenderism” and “polyamory.” But oops, plot-twist! Guess who’s non-binary and asks to be called by a male pronoun? GOD!

Natasha Grodzinski, Contributor

So, it’s happened. We are in a time where facts are called fake and skewed opinion can be called fact simply because it is a belief. An unbelievable side effect from this has been the rebranding of Nazism. It had been, for a decades following the Second World War, a politically unifying statement to say “Nazis are bad.” That’s a safe one. You could probably say that at a party and have everyone agree. But then the “alt-right” came, who claim to be neither Neo-Nazis nor White Supremacists. Then Charlottesville happened, where protestors used Nazi salutes and old Nazi chants but Donald Trump said that there were “two sides” to the events there, and took his sweet time condemning the clear racism and Neo-Nazism. My question is this: are we doomed to repeat the past? Did we learn nothing from historic events in Europe to be able to recognize when something is bad and harmful to other people? Germany emphasizes how bad those historic events were in their schools, with facts. How are we in North America not able to do the same thing?

Adina Heisler, Contributor

Even if you don’t know a whole lot about politics or international affairs, you can probably recognize that, when dealing with a country like North Korea, it’s important for world leaders, particularly the President of the United States, to be calm, keep a level head, listen to advisors, and not act rashly. Thank goodness there’s a man in the White House who only loses his temper over important matters, like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s TV ratings. On August 8th, Trump warned North Korea that any provocations against the U.S. will be met with “fire and fury”. Luckily, he thought that through carefully, took advice from his military advisors…what’s that? He totally improvised it? He’s a spoiled tangerine child with no impulse control and has absolutely no clue what he’s doing? We’re all doomed? Ok, cool. He’s playing Russian Roulette (wink) with North Korea, but hey, at least he doesn’t have a private email server!

Christopher Zaghi, Fashion Editor

Having to watch Houston natives suffer through Hurricane Harvey’s full onslaught and its devastating aftermath was horrifying enough, but, of course, the U.S. has a bad habit of demanding sympathy for its affected people while attacking those whose intentions are to help out. Such was the case for queer actor and all around bad ass Ruby Rose, who posted on her twitter that she was planning on generously donating $10,000 to an LGBTQ community centre to help with the cost of providing care for Houston locals. However, some U.S. citizens felt that Ruby’s choice of donating to an LGBTQ community centre was highly insensitive and wrong. Ruby was hit with tweets that read like a witch hunt news letter, some people felt her choice didn’t take into account that “All Lives Matter” (Lol) while other’s felt the need to tell her that “it must be nice to be able to flaunt your money like that.” It seems that the many citizens in the United States think it’s more important to be humble about your wealth then donating a portion of it to flood victims. And it’s far sadder that even more US citizens think that LGBTQ community centres have body guards at the door making sure that ONLY queer people are lining up for help.

Snigdha Koirala, Contributor

Last week, Munroe Bergdorf — a black, queer, trans model, and DJ — was announced as the face of L’Oreal’s True Match campaign — the corporation’s attempt at centering diversity and social justice in its advertisements and operations. Three days later, after Bergdorf wrote a Facebook post in response to the events in Charlottesville (where a white-supremacist killed an anti-racist protestor), she was dropped by the company. In her post, Bergdorf writes the following: “Most of ya’ll [white people] don’t even realise or refuse to acknowledge that your existence, privilege and success as a race is built on the backs, blood and death of people of colour…Your entire existence is drenched in racism.” Because of Bergdorf’s comment that all white people are racist — meaning that they benefit  from the systematic racism found in all corners of society, and, as such, unless they actively work towards fighting this form of oppression, they end up perpetuating it — L’Oreal claimed that Berdorf’s post went against its values of “tolerance” and “diversity”. L’Oreal, a worldwide corporation with a history of alleged racist and discriminatory work environments, a corporation that, through its products and advertisements, has continuously prized white women over women of colour, is now crying lack of tolerance when faced with the angry, unfiltered, true words of a black woman. WTF indeed.

Meg Summers, Contributor

The fashion world has been increasingly inclusive and it’s about time. Magazine covers and runways finally celebrate models of different body types, races, sexual identities, and more. However, there still seems to be some flaws when a brand shows their ignorance towards wanting to appear inclusive while not actually doing so. This past July, Vogue featured Gigi Hadid and her boyfriend Zayn Malik in a cover story that deemed the couple to be ‘gender neutral’ in their fashion choices. This is simply because Gigi enjoys wearing her boyfriend’s shirts and jackets (so basically, if you are a girl who has ever needed an extra layer or run out of laundry, you are also gender neutral — who knew?!). With the number of models who belong to the LGBTQ community and ACTUALLY identify as gender neutral, this could have been a great opportunity to gain some insight into a truly different aspect of fashion. Instead, this has been a sad attempt by Vogue to look edgy while still clutching onto their celebrity status.

Continue following our fashion and lifestyle coverage on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

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.

Continue following our fashion & lifestyle coverage on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Best Fall Fashion Ads… So Far

To some, the outlandish tactics used to garner attention within the fashion industry may seem like ridiculous attempts to either shock or put out confusing jumbles and present them as art. And though that may be true to a certain extent, there is one area where designers, film makers, photographers, and artists all agree: that bigger and bolder is always better. Fashion ad campaigns are one of the most important things that brands put out throughout the year, second only to the products made by the brand itself. They showcase the created message that may not have reached its audience during the initial runway show. Here, the entire creative team can create a fantasy world based on the collection, fragrance, cosmetic, or accessory that the ad is based on, taking whatever unanswered questions the collection left behind and filling in the blank spots on the canvas.

Christian Dior Fall 2017-18

Although some may say that Maria Grazia Chiuri’s work at the iconic house of Dior is lacklustre, it’s undeniable that this ad campaign injects brute strength that may have been missing during the show. With Dior favourites like Ruth Bell and Fernanda Ly, the original idea of outfitting a strong and unapologetic woman in Dior is completely evident in this campaign. The pulsing, industrial music and stark black and white create an air of strength that follows each model as they twirl, stomp, and pose in their black leather berets.

Valentino Menswear Fall 2017-18

Menswear sometimes gets a bad rep of being the less inspired and completely out of touch brother to high fashion womenswear. However, many brands are starting to take notice on how important the men’s fashion has become. Valentino is definitely one of those brands. In recent years, Valentino has made amazing strides in taking their brand from luxury tailoring to here and now men’s fashion. Valentino is no longer your rich grandfather’s go-to suit, and their campaign for fall proves just that. Placing their models in a modernized version of punk London, the ad pushes the idea that Valentino is a brand that’s as fresh and as new as the millennials it wants to attract.

Gucci Fall 2017-18

Gucci‘s creative head, Alessandro Michelle, is no stranger to transforming a brand into a contemporary go-to. Not long after joining the brand, Michelle was able to turn the ever increasingly forgettable brand into the most talked about and coveted Italian name in the fashion industry today. For their Fall campaign, Gucci not only channelled the same cacophonic parade of colour and texture that’s brought it back to life, but also channelled something that’s become a staple in millennial style; nostalgia for times far before their childhood. The ad features the all too familiar setting of a psychedelic ’70s like space adventure that mirrors the bright rainbow of colour, texture, and inspiration that Gucci is all about.

Oscar De La Renta Fall 2018-17

Since taking the helm at Oscar De La Renta almost a year ago, Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia have thrust the brand into an interesting place. Hovering delicately between modern edge and old world glamour, the brand that has dressed the likes of Laura Bush and Sarah Jessica Parker is eagerly awaiting to see whether the fashion world buys into its new image. One key element in helping its audience understand the new De La Renta image is fashion icon Mariacarla Boscono who was the face of Renta’s fall campaign. Her strikingly alien face and sharp gaze helped sew together the contemporary edge that Kim and Garcia wish to bring to the brand with the grace and glamour that Oscar established years ago.

Miu Miu Fall 2017-18

Miuccia Prada is a fashion genius. No one is able to reinvent two brands simultaneously every season and keep the look and the ideas of the brands fresh and exciting the way she does. So it comes as no surprise that her brilliant collection for Miu Miu now comes with a brilliant ad campaign. Borrowing heavily from the collections fuzzy bubblegum-60s mod fusion, the ad takes its viewer through a pastel coloured journey that takes place in an old movie theatre where models (including Kate Moss!) all sit and watch a grainy Lousiana Bayou short film featuring the models themselves. And if seeing Kate Moss decked out it groovy Miu Miu is not enough, then seeing Adwoah Aboah and other stunning models of colour dominate the ad should be more than enough incentive to fall in love with this light hearted ad!

Continue following our fashion & lifestyle coverage on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.