5 Music Festival Essentials for Men & Women

Very soon, the city will be booming with amazing music with some of the hottest music festivals in town including Field Trip, WayHome, NXNE, VELD and if you’re venturing outside of Toronto, then Osheaga never disappoints as well. With a weekend full of stellar performances, drinking and fashion, we’ve rounded up our top 5 fashion essentials for both ladies and gents, which will guarantee comfort all while looking as if you are a part of the band.

Stylish Hat

Because a hat can be the ultimate accessory to ‘make’ the outfit and more importantly it’ll protect your head from the long sunny days.

Hats

For her: This classic braided straw sunhat – The Fedora Holly Hat – from Lilliput Hats is a staple piece for any outdoor event, especially for these occasions where we want to look casual yet stylish.  For him: If you want to rep Toronto at whichever music festival you’re attending this summer, you can’t go wrong with the Capsule X New Era Toronto Snapback.

Where to buy: Lilliput Hats-462 College St & Capsule-#104 Yorkville Ave.

Sunglasses

You can definitely make a fashion statement by rocking the perfect pair of sunnies.

Sunglasses

For her: These pair of Raspberry sunglasses from Cutler & Gross are handmade in Italian acetate with a hand-polished finish, and are fitted with 100% UV400 absorbing lenses. For him: To stand out of the crowd of un-aesthetically pleasing shades, opt for something more classic such as Bailey Nelson Strauss aviators. At $145.00 their well made, affordable and you won’t have a broken heart if you lose them while having too much fun.

Where to buy: Cutler & Gross-758 Queen St. West & Bailey Nelson-387 Queen St. West.

Flowy Dress/Shorts

When you’re going to a music festival this summer, comfort is going to play a big factor in what you wear.

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For her: The ‘Niort Dress’ by Wilfred from Aritzia is a minimalist and delicate design. This simple piece will definitely add an elegant vibe to your festival look.  For him: You can’t go wrong with these Nike Tech Fleece shorts. The stretch waist & extra front bonded slit pocket will ensure your comfort all weekend plus the pockets will allow you to carry your essentials with you at all times. The all over dot print strikes the perfect balance between subtlety and standing out.

Where to buy: Aritzia-280 Queen St. West & Livestock-116 Spadina.

Purse/Bag

The biggest essential to any music festival is having a bag with you, one that can carry all of your essentials including a battery pack for your smart phone, water, towel, etc.

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For her: The Amaya Striped Crossbody Bag by Vincent Pradier from Anthropologie is handmade out of woven raffia straw. The adjustable strap tailors to your comfort so you’re only worry will be about enjoying the music! For him: The Cote et Ciel Meuse was designed for ultimate comfort, as the bag was designed to fold around your body. There is more than enough space with pockets and slits, so you won’t have to make several trips back to your campsite.

Where to buy: Anthropologie-78 Yorkville Avenue & Zane 753 Queen St. West.

Footwear

The most important thing to have with you at a music festival is a comfortable pair of shoes. A pair that you can wear comfortably all day long  walking from stage to stage and getting ‘jiggy’ with it once the music starts.

Shoes

For her: Hunter Original Short Gloss Rain Boots in Dark Ruby from Get Outside Shoes. Hunter boots are not only a timeless piece but also the perfect pair of shoes to fight the rain and muddy grounds. For him: The Ransom Field Lite Classic is a stylish answer to a comfortable pair of sneakers but still sleek enough that people at the festival will be asking you where you bought them. The upper part of the shoe is made from a breathable ventilated mesh, which is perfect for a hot summer’s day at the festivals.

Where to buy: Get Outside Shoes-437 Queen St. West & Stussy-1000 Queen St. West.

Which essential will you be bringing to your music festival this year? Tweet us @novellamagazine! 

On Our Radar: Needs&Wants Fashion Designer Sean Brown

Sean Brown
Photo found in The GQ Eye: The Style Blog

Toronto’s own fashion designer, Sean Brown, is making his mark in the men’s fashion industry. Brown’s NEEDS&WANTS clothing and brand story are the perfect remedy to overcome the geographical disadvantages (of not being from New York, London, and Paris), while letting the other larger  fashion destinations know that there is serious talent coming from the city of Toronto.

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Photo found on Needs&Wants website

Sean Brown’s humble beginnings started when he worked at the menswear retail store front Nomad, which eventually led him to create The Art of Reuse, an online and pop up store, which focused on selling vintage and thrifted goods. By then, Brown was already known and respected in Toronto but what took his name & brand to an international level is when he took his first shot at fashion design by creating his brand NEEDS&WANTS. NEEDS&WANTS offers a unique take on luxury sportswear. The brand’s core ethos focuses on essentials designed with understated taste and international sensibility. By taking the philosophy of only releasing a select few items, and not an entire collection, NEEDS&WANTS  became a hit outside the Toronto market including cities such as New York, before his home city of Toronto finally took notice. By designing an asymmetrical varsity jacket that felt like it belonged in menswear rather than feeling like it just belonged in the six. The jacket was a fresh take on the varsity offering a jacket that either featured one leather or suede sleeve or a varsity that features two distinct colours on the sleeves. The jackets hit the sweet spot right in between sportswear and high end luxury and, soon enough, Sean Brown & NEEDS&WANTS were on the radar by the menswear community regardless of location.

Fishtail Flannel # 1
Photo found on Needs&Wants website

Today Brown is known for more than his unique take on varsity jackets. He continues to introduce innovative designs in menswear that garner international appeal. In the past two years, the brand began to introduce other cut & sew pieces to their arsenal by introducing their unique fish tail flannel shirts, as well as fleece wraps, that sold out as fast as a highly anticipated sneaker release. Most items on the NEEDS&WANTS online store continues to sell out quickly every time it’s restocked. Culturally, Sean and his NEEDS&WANTS team keeps relevant by releasing mixtapes and a bi-annual print magazine.

Fleece Wrap # 1
Photo found on Needs&Wants website

While Brown and his NEEDS&WANTS team were presented with opportunities to offer their line at Holt Renfrew or show their collections at Toronto Fashion Week, Brown simply declined wanting to prove his worth on the global scale before settling back home. Even with all the international recognition, Brown still maintains his Canadian roots by keeping the manufacturing and production in Canada and has plans on potentially setting up a NEEDS&WANTS retail storefront in the city that raised him.

varsity jacket # 3
Photo found on Needs&Wants website

On Our Radar: Chill Ice House – The Coolest Bar in Toronto

Gresham Bayley has contributed to the building of roughly 20 ice lounges around the world, but this is the first one he has owned himself and it is about time. Toronto’s coolest venue, Chill Ice House, is recognized as a top tourist attraction and is located on 82 Bathurst Street, off from King West.

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The freezer sits around -4 degrees at all times, which I’m sure everyone is thinking, “Why go to an ice bar, when we live in Canada and suffer long winters already?” Well, I thought the same until I stepped inside the venue. “While ice lounges are understandably extremely popular in hot climates, having a venue in Toronto has great benefits”, Gresham explains. “After all, Canadians do know a thing or two about ice and snow, so this becomes a truly Canadian experience for people around the globe. Chill wants locals and visitors to come and see what we can do”.

Before you enter the cave, you select a blue or red pair of gloves and parka. The vibe is great and, in the freezer, everything is literally made out of ice. From the walls, to the seating, decor and bar area, all of it is made out of intricately detailed ice sculptures. The room has cool lighting and a unique ambiance. A cool fact is that the owner does leave carvings on site when requested and also works in-house with the company Ice Culture, where he adds all the finishing touches.

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Each couple of months, the Ice House has a theme and right now they are in collaboration with HBO’s Game of Thrones. They have an ice sculpture in full size, of the Iron Throne, an HBO advertising poster carved by hand of “All Men Must Die”. The drink menu is all in the Game of Thrones theme including, Wilding, which is 1oz Glenfiddich, Muddled Wild berries and Lemonade, and can be served in an ice glass, Beyond the Wall, which is 1oz Glenfiddich 12 yr, Lemon Juice & frothed egg whites, and The Viper & the Mountain – 3/4 oz Glenfiddich 12 yr, 3/4 oz Cherry Brandy, 3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth & Orange Juice. The cabin area, which is a separate warm-room, off from the ice bar, has banners from each of the kingdoms, comfortable couches, draped faux blankets and flat-screen TVs playing each episode.

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The Ice House has been open since July 2014, but the family company Ice Cultures is where Gresham has contributed most of his life. The company has been around for over 21 years, and is still going strong. Chill Ice House is the first one anyone in the family has owned them self. Gresham has more than 15 years of experience in the ice business, with events hosted from the Super bowl, Oscars and has contributed to a new experience of VIP parties across the world.

This summer, the Ice House is doing an Around the World theme that will be based around the Pan Am games, with Toronto hosting them this summer. Chill will be showcasing ice sculptures of iconic statues from around the world like Brazil, the Colosseum, the Eiffel Tower, CN Tower and a variety more. This is going to be a featured event with great music, drinks and cool vibe for those hot summer nights.

On Our Radar: Sam Mizrahi

When I say, “Toronto’s construction boom” you say, “Sucks!” Who doesn’t hate it? The torn-up streets, the blocked-off sidewalks, all the shiny new towers cropping up in every corner of the city — the whole ordeal, which according to the government is all a part of advancing Toronto, is becoming increasingly uncool with its residents. And the early morning noise of construction and the terrible traffic aren’t even the worst part of it. For many of us, the ultimate downside of this advancement is to watch so much of our city’s history being swallowed by the “bigger, better, more” mentality.

Surprise, there is one person who gets it and that’s Sam Mizrahi. He’s one of the most important developers in the city, who is responsible for bringing forth the likes of 181 Davenport, 133 Hazelton and now The One, the famous/infamous residential retail project at Yonge and Bloor. He gets it. And at the same time, he’s got his two cents to say about all the drama surrounding the wealth of development that’s going on in Toronto. We sat down with the entrepreneur and real estate visionary to listen to his side of the story, which offers some shocks, some reason and a lot more heart than most people might assume. Because if anyone’s contributing to the look and feel of this city, it’s him — he whose ultimate goal is to place a shiny, new label on Toronto for the rest of the world to see and admire. A label that reads “World Class.”

Read our interview with Mizrahi and find out why he’s On Our Radar.

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 On why he builds in the first place:

SM: I want each development we create to really serve the community we’re building in. One of the value systems that’s very important to me when working on each development is how it will benefit the surrounding community. We want the value to go beyond the building to serve the real needs of the people in that neighbourhood. For us, that’s how we measure our success. So all of the developments we’ve done to date not only enhance the landscape from an architectural standpoint, but they also add lots of value to the communities.

On the developer’s struggle of preserving Toronto’s history:

SM: I’m an old soul, and I’m one that champions old world architecture. If you look at our projects, they’re all in that DNA. And I agree that it’s vital that we respect and maintain the city’s history, but just because something’s old doesn’t make it historical or heritage. I believe there are times for that, but I don’t think it pertains to this corner [of Yonge and Bloor]. It’s one of the most important corners in Canada, it’s the most important corner in Toronto, and we need to use that space to create something, an iconic piece of architecture that will put Toronto on the map internationally as we mature as a city every decade. And it requires something of this stature, of what I’m proposing here, in order to do that. So I agree with a lot of the comments, and I think they’re correct in a lot of ways — like that we need to look at how we can incorporate the city’s heritage and history into new developments. But you know this corner doesn’t partake to that. Even the owners didn’t feel that there was any historical merit to it. So it’s something I think is important, but doesn’t pertain to this corner of the city.

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On preserving the history of Stollery’s at One Bloor West:

SM: That was inspired over a year ago, before anybody even thought about the heritage or history of the building, and it was something that was very paramount to me and to the family. They had it for over 100 years, and I wanted to have something that contributed a memory of the family, a monument that was meaningful to them. Back in October, when I purchased it, I made a promise that no matter what happens, we’re going to create a monument to the history and legacy of Stollery’s. We’ll be incorporating limestone pieces into some of the arches and stuff like that, and we’ll be working with the stakeholders and the family to really emphasize that history for centuries to come.

On what his plans are for One Bloor West:

SM: We want this to be an iconic building that’ll bring Toronto onto the international stage, not only in terms of architecture, but also in terms of high street retail. It’ll have that “wow” factor similar to what you experience in New York, Chicago, London, San Francisco, bringing together international retailers and the community in an area that this city hasn’t seen before. Bloor St. is high street retail, but it needs this kind of space, this square-footage, this format, to provide a true Fifth Avenue type of experience.

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On loving Toronto:

SM: What makes me love this city is that we’re a mosaic of cultures. We’re literally like the UN. We have a real international culture in Toronto. I love that. I love the fact that we get along so well together in the city. I think we’re so blessed and very fortunate that we have one of the best cities in the world to be living in. At the same time we have the best healthcare system, education system, social system, and that’s coupled with some of the best lifestyle requirements. I’m really proud of the fact that we live in an incredibly safe, clean, well-organized city with a mix of different cultures. We’re truly an international city, and very few cities can say that the way Toronto can. We have arts, we have theatre, we have music, we have all the factors that makes a city an international one and an incredible place to live. I’m very proud to be living here and to be a part of the community and the fabric of helping shape it.

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On Our Radar: JamCam App

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Remember when it was impossible to record a video and play music at the same time? Well JamCam, created by Matt Loszak, was one of the first apps to really tweak the video recording experience, designing a simple way for people to make their own music video with high quality tunes.

What started out as Matt’s frustration turned into an unexpected hit with users, which now allows them to not only get creative but they can also share their videos and talents with people from all over the world. JamCam even teamed up with Maroon 5, giving fans the chance to serenade the band by creating their own video using their new single “Sugar”.

We asked Sam Scofy, Co-founder, about JamCam, the challenges behind being a young tech startup and about their Maroon 5 collaboration. Find out why they’re on our radar.

What inspired the makings of JamCam? How are you different from Vine and other competitors?

SS: JamCam was created out of a simple frustration; that no other app (at the time) would keep music playing while recording a video. Vine, Snapchat and others all have their own take on mobile video thanks to several considered constraints (video length, ephemerality, etc.). By having your music be the only audio channel, JamCam has carved its own unique niche out of the mobile video market as a whole.

What was the process behind developing the app? How many people were involved? Were there features you wanted to make happen but couldn’t because of logistics?  

SS: Version one was coded out by Matt (my business partner & Creator of JamCam) over the course of a month and a half. Since it was just him doing the programming and designing, version 1.0 was fairly bare-bones, by design. Over time, more features were added to the app, including the social network aspect, more recording tools like slow motion, and improved sharing options.

Was this a passion project? What equipped you to create JamCam? 

SS: JamCam was a passion project to some extent. In another way it was almost an accident, because Matt never could have predicted JamCam turning into what it has when he started coding it in his bedroom in August of 2013. Starting JamCam only required some basic programming knowledge, but turning it into what it is today took a lot of effort from a couple dedicated cofounders.

JamCam

Are there any challenges that come with being a young tech startup in Toronto? 

SS: We do have challenges (like any other startup) but I’d say the only disadvantage we have, being based in Toronto, is that there is less money flowing around than say, in Silicon Valley. This may also be a good thing because most of the money should go to the startups that stand out by having a truly great product.

Do you think videos are taking over photos on social media? 

SS: What I think is quite irrelevant here, but if we look at more fact-based stuff: One of the most successful video platforms, Vine, never truly became as big as Instagram or Facebook for example. So in the near term it’s pretty unlikely that video will overtake photo. But who knows, in the future when smartphones are designed differently and data speeds are higher, we might see video become more prevalent.

JamCam recently collaborated with Maroon 5 using their “Sugar” song. How did that go?

SS: The fans were super excited to finally have the chance to be in the spotlight and show their love for M5, who has one of the most loyal fan bases in the industry. We’re glad that this excitement turned into a large number of submissions, which the band liked so much that they decided to do a full music video with the content.

Purchase JamCam for free on  iTunes today and start creating your very own music video! Follow them on Instagram @jamcamapp.