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!

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.


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.

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!



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?


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!!

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.


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.

Photo: Vogue UK


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.


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.


Photo: H&M

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


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!


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.

Spring/Summer 2016 Active Wear Brands to Watch

Now that spring is in full swing means that summer isn’t too far behind, and that also means it’s time to breakout the workout gear and get ready for running season! Warmer weather, roller blading and overall getting active is ahead of us ladies and we need to not only look our best while getting trim and fit, but also wear the best fitting clothes to support our bodies before we start to hit the pavement.

From shorts, to leggings, and of course the much needed sport bras, it all doesn’t matter if the flashy apparel doesn’t fit the body comfortably. But do not panic! We are here to give you what’s hot on the fashion market, Novella has a list of four workout items from innovative brands that will be sure to get your body in its comfort zone as you begin your summer workout plan. These four items will be your go-to as you shop for the latest and greatest in athletic wear.

Anita Active

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This intimates and swimwear brand offers the best when it comes to athletic wear as the premise of the brand is comfort and breathability. The German brand offers their range of Momentum Maximum Support Bras where the sports bra has additional coverage around the bust, and made from a breathable material that instantly dries sweat. And even better, along with the sports bras are the matching underwear! Made with the same breathable material, the accompanying bottom is seamless and is great to be worn under workout shorts and leggings and doesn’t show that irritating panty line. Also, no bunching means no wedgies as you workout!

Adidas T-shirts and Long-sleeves


Not only is the iconic Adidas brand known for their trademark three stripe shell-toed sneakers and remarkable celebrity and designer collaborations, but the brand is revamping their take on active wear by making the apparel not only trendy but breathable and comfortable. Identifying more as an athleisure brand – apparel that can double as active and casual wear – Adidas offers this seasons Spring/Summer 2016 collection on a variety of choices that range from what people do throughout their day. Activities such as running the longest mile, to stretching and collecting yourself in a yoga class can able dressed comfortably in the seasons newest active threads. Their newest collection features floral designs on T-shirts, joggers and hats; putting their own spin on the class “Hawaiian Shirt,” the use of rose, gold, and salmon colours exudes the essence of a beach get-away.

Ivy Park


Stemmed from wanting to create clothing that was suitable for her background dancers and herself, Beyoncé brings her take on active wear with her collaboration brand Ivy Park. One of the staples of the brand are the I-V-Y leggings that range from high, to mid, and low waist cut leggings. Wanting the body to stay in place and not have that reverb effect when in motion, the leggings are made of durable, thick yet breathable material that is meant to hold your thighs and buttocks into place as you move throughout your day. Which means it’s a perfect staple piece when running that 5k marathon this summer!–24

 Adidas Climacool Runner


Making sure your feet are also supported while you workout and get active this Spring/Summer 2016, Adidas introduces their Climacool Sneaker that has a cushioned foam insole that helps with the bounce back action that happens at the heel of your foot as you walk. The cushioned foam is great as it acts as a memory foam for your foot and makes your feet comfortable every time you slip them on. Also, with the breathable material, your feet won’t be muddled in its own sweat for the duration of your workout as your feet move throughout the day.