Mastering the cool girl style for summer 2017

If you’ve ever had a secret wish to be the coolest person in the room (or on the beach) this summer, there are a few signature styling nuances that have already been identified (or adopted) by it girls around the globe. In order to master the concept of coolness and spice up your current wardrobe, here are some of the most eye-catching accessories and garments we spotted on Instagram. They will boost your style to the next level by keeping you up-to-date. 

Credit: Theatlantic-pacific.com

Wide brim straw hat

Wide brim straw hats are no longer an indicator of social status or just functional item that protects the skin from the sun. There is something about a straw hat that gives off a glamorous beach vibe with a country style twist, so no wonder it’s the hot trend for summer 2017. It’s a great way to express our individual style especially if the hat is embellished with tassels, colourful pompoms, or fun slogans. The choices are endless: You can offset a feminine oversize floppy hat with a “borrowed from the boys” look or pair a Panama hat with a girly gingham skirt and a linen shirt. Nothing says summer better than a custom-embroidered straw hat. 

Credit: Julia-friedman.com

The Basket bag

Another straw obsession is the basket bag, which was captured just about everywhere this summer. The basket bag which has been seen in Balenciaga, Mark Cross, Dolce & Gabbana, and — the favourite bag among it girls — Alexa Chung and Jeanne Damas, has become a must have accessory staple. We couldn’t help but think that you should follow their fashionable lead and consider swapping your everyday bag for a basket one, which is also very Instagrammable. The good news is that there are many versions of the stylish bag that will also meet your needs: from a rectangular one to a circular one, from structured and boxy to a big fluid tote. Due to its popularity the bags are almost out of stock almost everywhere, so get your hands on it as quickly as possible before it’s too late. 

Credit: Thegirlfrompanama.com

Big statement earrings

What better way to inject some fun to high summer looks than a few colourful pompoms, tassels, and fringes? The statement earrings are having their moment right now and the bolder they are the better. Adding a punch of colour to your outfit may not be suitable for everyone, but it certainly makes fashion more fascinating. Pompom earrings are very strong on the street and on the high fashion scene this season, especially in a spectrum of vibrant hues, which ensure that the outfit will be noticeable even from afar. To bring attention to your ears, make sure to keep everything else simple and avoid wearing a statement necklace.  

Credit: SomeWhere, Lately

Gingham style

One of the biggest hits this season is one always associated witch picnic tables. Apparently it’s possible to wear this childish pattern and still feel sexy. A brief overview on Instagram proves that gingham is completely appropriate for grown-ups. The girly gingham received a quick makeover and has been injected with a dose of cool. To work the trend properly, don’t hesitate to bare your shoulders or rock it with asymmetric crop tops. You can also choose a refreshing colour combo as an alternative to classic black or blue and white, like electric purple and forest green. Another option is to accent the print with bold accessories and neutral tones.

Pool slide sandals

The pool slide, known as the ‘ugly’ shoes of the summer, still remains a huge hit among the coolest fashionistas. Not only because of the effortless comfy feel they evoke, but also because the average cool girl loves out of the box pieces and these shoes definitely meets her needs. High-end designers like as Gucci, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton have already come out with their interpretations of the sporty slides, but you can also always get your hands on the classic brands like Fila and Adidas. This season you can wear it in just about any way your heart desires. Just remember to open your mind to unexpected combinations. Rock the look by adding a pair socks or wear them with fancy dresses. The slides are not limited to rubber soles: We saw them in vivid colours and with delicate floral or 3D embellishments, in leopard prints, with fringes and pompoms, and even covered with a lot of fur. 

Credit: Topshop blog

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Tried and Tested: Levi’s New 501 Skinny Jeans

It’s hard to argue that Levi’s® is not synonymous with jeans. Over the years, the denim market has grown tremendously, and while some brands have come and gone, the iconic denim brand still remains. When we heard about the next member of the Levi’s® 501® family — the new 501® Skinny — we knew we wanted to try them on and put them to the test. Our fashion contributor Liat Neuman got her hands on the SUPERCHARGER wash for women, and our Editor-in Chief Drew Brown was able to try out the HILLMAN wash for men.

Both pairs of jeans are a new kind of skinny jeans, featuring everything we all love about the classic 501® original, but with that skinnier fit. The 501® Skinny adds an authentic, vintage feel to your closet that only the creators of the blue jeans can offer.

“We are very careful when we touch the 501®, and we do it with a lot of respect,” explains Jonathan Cheung, the Head of Design at Levi’s® Brand. “People have been altering their vintage 501® jeans for a snug, skinnier fit for years, so we followed that as inspiration and created a vintage-looking 501® Skinny.”

Liat and Drew headed to Nordstorm and selected items that will take their jeans from day to night and over the weekends.

Drew’s Day look:

For my day time look, I paired the 501® Skinny with a faux fur bomber jacket from Express and a Trovata t-shirt from my own closet. This look can take me from the office to drinks with friends, or to one of the many work-related events. I have been a fan of Levi’s for many years and I love the fact that they always work well with items from my wardrobe, and, unlike the designer jeans I have purchased, my Levi’s still look brand new.

Drew’s Evening look:

I dressed up the skinny jeans with a Paul Smith printed button-up and a blazer for a chic nighttime look. The fit of the jeans and the blazer makes the look sharp and dressy rather than casual. Being vertically challenged, I love skinny jeans because they make me feel and appear a bit taller.

Drew’s Weekend look:

I fell in love with this sweatshirt from KENZO and they look great with the jeans. This look is perfect for brunch on the weekend or running errands around the city. You can style them with a pair of cool white kicks or your favourite pair of shoes. One thing I did notice during this test was not only did the jeans make everything I picked look great but they are also  super comfy, which is a plus.

Liat’s Day look:

Blouse: Theory, Jacket: BCBG, Heels: Bata

During the day, I am usually juggling business meeting and my duties as a mom, so I was looking for an outfit that will be comfy yet put together. You can’t go wrong with a classy pair of Levi’s that creates a professional look. I chose a structure black blazer for a slightly serious appeal and paired it with an office-friendly crisp white button down shirt with cutout details. I completed the look by adding nude glossy pumps for an instant elegant-polished touch.

Liat’s Evening Look: 

Shirt: Robert Rodriguez, Heels: Guess

After a busy work day, the night requires a more glamorous and sexy outfit, so I decided to transform my day look into a night one without changing my favourite Levi’s jeans. I picked up this playful off the shoulder top, since it’s not only a huge trend this season but also very flattering to any body type. To add a gorgeous pop of colour, there is nothing like pair of stiletto heels with floral prints to finish the look.

Liat’s Weekend look:

Shirt:The Kooples, Sneakers: Adidas

During the weekend, wearing a comfy outfit is my first priority. As such, I decided to adopt the classic Canadian tuxedo,  the denim on denim ensemble. It’s effortless, easy to wear, and never goes out of style. I pair the jeans with a embroidered button down denim shirt and a pair of Adidas floral sneakers because of the cool fun-vibe they create. Since these jeans are high waisted, they give my body a great shape and allow me to tuck the shirt in without having to worry about my imperfections.

The new edition will be available for men and women in a variety of finishes and in light to dark washes with the true original 501® button fly. For more information, visit the Levi’s website here.

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“When do we want it? NOW!”

With women’s fashion month in its final stretch for the spring/summer 2017 season, we couldn’t help but touch on the topic of the season, see now buy now! For those of you who may not be in the loop, the “see now, buy now” model is as simple as it sounds. Collections are shown on runways in the fashion capitals and are immediately available for sale following the show. As more and more designers (Tommy Hilfiger, Rebecca Minkoff, Ralph Lauren, Alexander Wang x Adidas, Moschino, Michael Kors, and Proenza Schouler to name a few) jump on the bandwagon we wanted to see if this new business model has been successful or whether the hype is all for nothing.

One of the first brands to adopt the model was Burberry. Starting off last February having select pieces such as bags and scarves from their Fall/Winter 2016 collection available online following their show. This time around the brand decided to go full force and have the entire collection available not only in stores, but also on Snapchat, WeChat, Kakao and Facebook Messenger (where the show was live streamed)!

Burberry "Seasonless" Collection
Burberry “Seasonless” Collection

Now let’s talk about Tommy. If you didn’t hear about the Tommy Hilfiger x Gigi Hadid collaboration you must be living under a rock! This season was huge for Tommy… literally. Tommy Hilfiger converted Pier 16 in New York City into a two-day carnival (one day for the runway show, the second day open to the public) and this show TOOK OVER social media!

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Tommy Hilfiger x Gigi Hadid

Standard to most shows during fashion week, Tommy live streamed the coveted show at the “Tommy Pier” located at South Street Seaport in downtown Manhattan and made the collection available for sale immediately following the show. As you can just imagine with the power of technology and social media, the collection was almost completely sold out shortly after it’s debut. So this new see now, buy now model is a success after all?! At least for Tommy it was but here is why. Take an Instagram famous super model, pump up fans for the upcoming event (and that it is open to the public the next day for one day only!!!) build an Instagram-savvy show space (which IRL was amazing, FYI) and design a collection with pieces that are seasonless, affordable, and wearable to the general public and you have the equation to the see now buy now model! Not only was this a success for the Tommy x Gigi collection but this event caused such a boom in sales, that almost all items available on the Tommy Hilfiger website sold out or were left with very limited quantities.

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Tommy Hilfiger x Gigi Hadid

Rebecca Minkoff also took part in the new model, showing her latest collection on the sidewalk outside of her Soho store location making it ever so easy for her guest to shop the collection right after the show. Not only did she make it easy, Minkoff’s collection was worn by both models and influencers on the runway and half of the guest at her show were customers. R.M. also released that the previous season’s see now buy now show generated a 200% increase in sales that month!

Rebecca Minkoff show outside Soho store.
Rebecca Minkoff show outside Soho store.

Another success story comes from none other than Mr.Wang himself. Alexander Wang surprised guests with his Adidas capsule collection following his show in New York on September 10th with no prior announcement of the collaboration. Following his show, Alexander hosted a festival themed afterparty to celebrate the collection alongside his celebrity-filled guest list. Wang made the collection that isn’t scheduled to hit stores until spring, available in various locations around NYC and other cities in pop-up trucks where fans lined up for hours before the truck even arrived at the location! Are we seeing the pattern here? Affordable, wearable, involve public figures that people look up too and this seems to be how the see now buy now model works, am I right? A new element Wang added to his equation is the element of scarcity. Having the collection available for only a select amount of hours at select locations makes the collection even more desirable than just seeing it on super models!

Alexander Wang x Adidas Originals
Alexander Wang x Adidas Originals

Now with all these success stories you must be wondering how can this work for everyone? Well it didn’t work so well for a few and it isn’t the right approach for all designers. Look at Tom Ford for example. As we discussed a component necessary to the see now buy now approach is “seasonless” clothing. Ford’s latest collection was what he called “fall/winter 2016” presenting clothing for the colder months ahead including fur coats and turtlenecks, which don’t get me wrong were amazing, but are not what one is looking to wear immediately following the show, on the last few days of summer. Another element to the equation is price. The see now buy now model tests the impulsive behaviour in us all. That being said, we have to be able to justify spending a decent amount of money in that very moment. Unfortunately, a fur coat worth thousands of dollars is simply not everyone’s typical impulsive purchase.

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Tom Ford Fall/Winter 2016

What does this mean for the industry? That we will have to wait and see, as the model has already forced changes in the way things work. For example, buyers now must secretly make their way into showrooms where they view collection months before their runway debuts (and sign non-disclosures, of course) in order for it to be for sale following the brand’s runway show. Not only this, but fashion shows are likely to only become larger and larger! As we learned, the see now buy now equation calls for a large production that the public will rave about! Great job Tommy!

Although this all may seem like a new phenomenon, one brand has mastered this approach and been using this business model for years. Swedish brand H&M! Each year, H&M announces a new designer collaboration that typically has a runway show or presentation hours or just days before the collection is available to the public. The collection is relatively affordable and only available while quantities last! H&M never seems to fail using the see now buy now equation even adding in a few extra components, making it a huge publicity stunt and adding the high-end designer prestige! H&M is set to release their next collaboration this coming November with Paris designer KENZO!

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H&M X KENZO

 

Going For Gold: Olympic Uniforms 2016

Photo: Hudson's Bay
Photo: Hudson’s Bay

The Rio Olympics have quickly snuck up on us, with the Opening Ceremony happening tonight for us in Toronto. While this year’s Olympics has been surrounded by different issues, the one thing we can always rely on is the fun of the Olympic uniforms. Who will look the coolest coming out the gate and into the stadium? Who will look the most ridiculous? And, most importantly, how will Canada compare to the rest?

CANADA

This year, Canada charged our favourite design twins Dsquared2 with the task of dressing our elite athletes. And quite honestly, they ROCKED the job. Check out these equestrian blazer-style jackets!

Photo: Hudson's Bay
Photo: Hudson’s Bay

They have athletic coat tails!!

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Photo: Lucas Oleniuk via Getty Images

The rest of the collection features relaxed t-shirts, quarter zips, hoodies, and classic sweatpants (these clothes are for athletes, remember). The decision to keep to classic colours and symbols, something that worked brilliantly for the Vancouver 2012 uniforms, is a great one.

GREAT BRITAIN

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Photo: Vogue UK

Team G.B. chose Stella McCartney to carry her collaborative design efforts with Adidas over to their Olympic uniforms. Tom Daley, not only talented as a diver or at wearing teeny Speedos, helped McCartney through the design process. The result is very cool. Streamlined halters, thick bands, and bomber jackets give Great Britain’s athletes an edge.

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Photo: Vogue UK

AUSTRALIA

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Photo: Matt King via Getty Images

Bless these kitschy little outfits! Harkening back to the Los Angeles games, these uniforms are quite frankly so adorable, but not necessarily intimidatingly cool. They look like they should be on the cover of True Prep. Each jacket has the name of every Australian medalist in history inscribed on the inside.

FRANCE

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Photo: Dominique Maitre

Um, how do you describe these uniforms, designed by heritage brand Lacoste, as anything other than so French? Tennis whites, polo shirts, and silk scarves. Wow.

SWEDEN

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Photo: H&M

Proudly, and maybe obviously, wearing H&M-designed looks, Swedish athletes will be hard to miss walking around the Athletes Village.

SOUTH KOREA

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Photo: Chung Sung-Jun via Getty Images

South Korea went for practicality this year as they apparently made their uniforms mosquito repellent due to Zika virus concerns. Hard to tell how those fedoras are going to do the job, but stay safe!

GERMANY

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Photo: Dennis Gromekowski via Getty Images

I think it’s the shades, but I just don’t really know what to say about this Adidas look.

As you can see, with no bias at all, Dsquared2 TAKES THE GOLD for Olympic uniforms.

GO CANADA GO!

ICYMI: adidas Canada unveils THE BASE Toronto

In celebration of the Euro 2016 and the #Copa100 in the USA, we got the opportunity to attend adidas Canada and retail partner, In2Sports  unveiling of their exclusive viewing lounge and pop-up retail shop for soccer fans this summer in Toronto.

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From June 4 to July 31 THE BASE (584 College Street) will give soccer fanatics access to the adidas Mercury Pack boots, premium federation kits, on-site jersey printing and much more!

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THE BASE, comes in at 2,200 square feet and will become a focal point for all things Euro 2016 and #Copa100 for the world’s leading soccer brand. The VIP, premium viewing lounge features 40-person stadium seating and a 16’ x 9’ HD projection screen.

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The retail space, powered by In2Sports will impress and captivate with stunning museum-like product displays and the latest gear from adidas, including the new Mercury Pack – three chrome soccer boots that will be worn on pitch by the likes of Leo Messi, Paul Pogba and Gareth Bale during Euro 2016 and #Copa100.

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The retail shop at THE BASE will be open to the general public from June 4 to July 31. Store hours: Monday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.