Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ottawa Fashion Week: Street Style Roundup 

Well ladies and gents, another fashion week has passed here in our capital city, and we definitely uncovered some cool.  Whether plain or simple or pretty in prints, we always love to see the outfits you fashionable folks put together.  So, here's to next season - I think I'll start preparing my wardrobe now.  - J

*Photos 1 and 2 taken by Loren Romei*

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ottawa Fashion Week Day 3

This past Sunday concluded yet another installment of Fashion Week here in Ottawa. The shows were pretty diverse, with designers sending down something for everyone – even the fashionable men in the crowd. 
Loft 604, the first mainly menswear collection to be shown in OFW included a wide array of extra cozy sweaters along with a carefree, jazzy soundtrack which added to the easy and cool vibe of the collection.  The few womenswear pieces that came down the catwalk seemed out of place, and the first thing that came to mind was, “Oh! They must have spent the night at the guy’s house and then taken his sweater…hm.” Slightly strange…There was also a navy blue sweat suit, to which I simply ask, “Why?!” – sweatpants in public, as daywear, should never be an option…but anyhow, on to the next one…
The Helmer show had its bright moments – yes, I'm talking about that fluorescent pink pencil skirt – but it also seemed a bit confused.  At first, the pieces were tailored, ladylike, and mostly office appropriate.  Then, a soundtrack of Indian sounding music started playing which did not seem to fit with the colonial looking clothing that emerged next.  Tartan’s mixed with velvet, in purples, browns and grays were followed by gowns that seemed to belong to a separate collection altogether. One in particular seemed to be made of an old chandelier, and it was sent down the runway with no soundtrack other than the noise it made on its own.  The show ended with two bridal looks under one veil and a bagpipe player…how it got to that is really unclear.  That being said, some of the looks definitely had potential to be really great. 
 The Sukhoo Sukhoo show also offered some key pieces, such as the black and white circle patterned dress; the print was interesting, yet not crazy and the silhouette was really neat.  The black and white striped chiffon maxi dress was also a key piece, with a sort of Gaultier-esque feeling.  Overall, there were some really beautiful dresses, but the collection as a whole did not feel completely unified. 
And so ends another Fashion Week here in our capital city.  Stay tuned for a roundup of the best street-style looks from the entire weekend.  Here’s to next season! - J

1. Ella Peru 2. Loft 604 3. Helmer 4. Symbiose by hinda A. 5. Sukhoo Sukhoo 6. Helmer 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ottawa Fashion Week Day 2

Day two’s designers seemed to have practicality in mind, with collections that seemed much more wearable than Friday’s collections.  The designers also seemed to have the brooding vocals of Lana Del Rey on their minds too, as her three current singles provided the soundtrack to multiple shows. 

As soon as the models stepped out in the designs of Tribal Sportswear, the crowd seemed much more enthused and excited than the previous night.  The Tribal collection, though not really “tribal” feeling at all, offered functional and mature looks, in a mostly neutral palette with some bright pops of red and teal. 
Animal prints made their way on to the runways yet again, proving that this trend is still going strong.   Fur in all shades, along with lace and leather, have also been dominating the runways thus far, keeping right on trend with fall’s lush atmosphere.
ElizBourk revealed her Canadian roots by sending multiple models down the runway wearing wintery toques with their girly outfits.  A palette of pinks, blush tones and purples worked with the fun and easy style of clothing in the collection. 
The night’s highlight was definitely Ottawa-based designer Rachel Sin.  Sin send models down the runway in what has become her signature structured aesthetic, complete with back revealing, cage-like cutouts.  The collection was short but sweet, with 12 cohesive and thought-out pieces, including sexy and feminine cocktail dresses. 
The final show, Turbine by Lisa Drader-Murphy, started off strong with kimono like dresses and blouses with leather obi belts, which brought to mind designs by Haider Ackermann.   She also sent down blouses and skirts in a colourful and on-trend digital print.  However, some pieces, including the slinky tube dresses, seemed tired and somewhat uninspired. 
With that being said, day two was an overall good night.  Stay tuned for more from day three! Plus, I’ll be posting a round-up post of the best street style from the entire weekend.  - J

1. ElizBourk 2. Rachel Sin 3. Jana Hanzel & Emilia Torabi 4. Tribal 5. Jana and Emilia

*Photos 1 and 3 by Loren Romei*

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ottawa Fashion Week Day 1
Friday night, February 17th, kicked off this season’s Ottawa Fashion Week.  The night started off a little late (fashionably, of course), but as soon as the models strutted down the runway, it was clear that this year’s designers were out to prove that Ottawa’s got style. 
A major trend for the night was definitely animal print, which made an appearance in almost every collection in some way, shape or form.  There was also a dark, mysterious, almost tribal feeling to some of the shows, adding to the allure of the event. 
Elena’s Creations started the night’s program with a very tailored, lady-like collection that is right on trend, as has been seen with major designers like Marc Jacobs and Jason Wu.  The collection started with a grayscale palette, but also featured very lush, romantic jewel-toned velvets. 
Amanda Emmanuel was one of the highlights of the night, with a collection that was very feminine but also super fun.  Her bright prints seemed slightly more geared for spring (as opposed to the fall season), but either way, prints are huge in fashion at the moment, so she seemed to have hit the nail on the head.  Her tropical and digital prints were reminiscent of looks by British label Preen, as well as fashion darling Mary Katranzou.
Fashion week veteran in Ottawa, Isobel Walker of frAsh, sent a unique collection of jewelry down the runway, with the standout pieces being large, lucite cuff bracelets.  Her final piece however, a giant, gold, halo-like headpiece was definitely the stunner of her collection.
The last show of the night, Y!D.n.a., was definitely the most theatrical.  With a siren song blasting through the speakers at the beginning, it set a hypnotic mood.  A box was set out on the runway, and to the surprise of the fashionable crowd, out came a live dancer.  The first look came out strong, and perhaps controversial, as the model was seemingly painted in blackface.  The rest of the collection featured studded gas masks, ripped and shredded tights and a very neutral, grey palette overall. 
And so ended day one of Fashion Week.  There is plenty more to come – see you on the catwalk!  - J

1. Elena's Creations 2. Amanda Emmanuel 3. frAsh 4. Y!D.N.A. 5. frAsh
Monday night, S and I headed out to the official media launch party for this year's installment of Ottawa Fashion Week.  Along with our fashionable friend and fellow blogger Loren, we mingled with the well-dressed crowd.  The night's event took place at the über-trendy Loft Spa on Elgin Street.  It was great to see everyone out and excited for yet another fashion-filled season.  I'm deifnitely excited to see what the designers bring to the table this year.  Maybe some leather?  Or metallics? I guess we will soon find out!  And though I'll be kicking it solo this upcoming weekend at The Westin, I'll still be looking for all you best-dressed fashionistas (and fashionistos of course)!  And, I'll be doing  my best to update after each day, obviously with tons of photos :) See you there! - J 

You can also read more about Monday's event here - written by yours truly! 

*Photo by Ming Wu*

Friday, February 17, 2012

New Music Contributor: Lim

Hey Capitah Oh friends and relations! I am pleased to introduce yet another lovely new contributer, Lim Farfel. Lim is an architecture student at Carleton University and Capital Oh reader who frequents Ottawa concerts. Her posts on Ottawa shows are thoughtful and informative. Look forward to hearing more from this lady in the future! - S

Birdie Whyte’s performance, which I unfortunately missed, consisted of five-string banjo playing and amazing singing.  From what I hear, the place rocked.  Her album will debut in the fall of 2012, but meanwhile, you can check her myspace and facebook pages for info and upcoming events. 

The night continued with another local act, Claude and the Storm Outside, with members, Claude Munson, Pascal Delaquis, Jean-Francois Delaquis, Phil Charbonneau and Louis-Philippe Robillard. I have seen the band several times and each concert is even more incredible. With Claude’s enchanting voice and the musical collaboration of the various instruments, the band definitely brings the storm to us. Aside from playing vibrant and eclectic sets, the band is a group of good friends who bring that positive energy and interaction to the crowd.  Their album is set to debut at the end of the summer, but check their facebook page for more upcoming events!  If you really can’t wait for the next show, check out the open mic at the Ottawa Jail Hostel every Wednesday night. Munson hosts the event, and manages to get in a few songs of his own by the end of the night. 

The band, Dave Norris & Local Ivan, ended the night with more great music! The band consisting of: Dave Norris, Graham Boyle, Luke Donovan, Tim Watson, Adam Di Penta and Ashley Newall are one of Ottawa’s main folk acts.  They played a set off of
their latest album (that can be purchased here) with the mix of great sounds and lyrics. The band brought an amazing vibe and good times. The collaboration of their sound is very inspiring and magical – a must have experience for all of you seeking out for music events! Check out their facebook page for more events.  - Lim 

*Photos by Lim Farfel*

Friday, February 10, 2012

Exciting news Capital Oh readers!  That's right, we've got our first post by a guest blogger to share with you.  This one comes from local documentary filmmaker and overall film enthusiast Di Golding.    Di is one half of production team Heart Attak Films - the other half being Tim McEown - and together, they are documenting Di's journey as she attempts to abstain from buying new clothes for an entire year.  That's right people - A WHOLE YEAR!  Through the journey, the team hopes to gain insight into what "triggers the compulsions that fuel the fashion and garment industries."  Since we here at Capital Oh are self-proclaimed lovers of fashion, we were definitely intrigued with the idea of this film, and as you all know, we love to support the locals!  So, I will stop here, and let you read about Di's journey so far.  Enjoy! 

(One last, but very important thing - the film is called Something More Comfortable, and you can read more about it here)

Seasonal Reflective Disorder
With less than six months to go before the end of my no-shopping challenge, you’d think I’d be excited to be in the home-stretch, but instead I’m finding this particular season rather difficult. In the summer when I embarked on this challenge I was ready to live with what I had in my closet for the year. Problem is, for some reason completely devoid of logic, I have at least twice as many summer clothes as winter clothes. Maybe because living through an Ottawa winter means that as soon as I’m able to shed a layer and finally shop for something without wool or fleece I tend to go a little overboard. Unfortunately, this means that I’ve been living with the same meagre outfit choices since the city turned into the frozen hinterland we lovingly call home.
Although I’m one of those annoying people that loves winter (the colder the better!), I’m still susceptible to cabin fever. In the past, if I was bored or a little bit down, I’d take my husband Nick to work, keep the car and just drive around and shop. It was a great way to kill a tedious Wednesday, or even just spend some time on my own, while I convinced myself I deserved the splurge. Usually I’d buy an outfit or two and make up an excuse to wear them, which isn’t always easy in the deepest of winter. “Nick, we haven’t been out for a nice dinner just the two of us in ages!” or, “Honey we really should go to so-and-so’s roommate’s CD release party.” Shameless, I know.
Taking a break from shopping has allowed me to spend those bored or sad days engaging in other pursuits. Some lofty, like canvasing for donations this month for the Heart & Stroke Foundation, and some simple, like enjoying a two hour walk through the Arboretum with my dog-child, Mikke. Part of the reason I wanted to give up shopping for the year was to see how much I’d truly miss it, and to ask myself some important questions. I’m not suggesting that it’s necessary to go to such extremes for self-evaluation, nor do I think it would work for everyone.
The challenge has allowed me to put certain things in perspective, the main thing being the amount of importance I put on my appearance.
This doesn’t mean that I’ve given up shopping for good. I’m not completely insane. But I do know that the choices I make on future purchases will be much more considered. For instance, instead of those cute, suede Kate & Mel flats I bought as part of my last shop and have worn exactly twice, maybe I should have bought a durable pair of all-weather hiking boots seeing as I spend a great deal of time outside with my dog. Cute will have to lose out over practical at least sometimes. Lesson learned. The question remains: on the day after my challenge is complete will I run out and shop? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to, but I’ve proven to myself that I don’t need to.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Why We Love It: Viens Avec Moi 
There’s a new local retail authority in town: Viens Avec Moi, a boutique that opened in the fall of last year past Wellington West. Viens Avec Moi or VAM has quickly become an Ottawa fashion community class-act; think minimalist/rustic décor, themed rooms that create a sort of shopping-fun-house experience, and *sigh* absolutely bewitching fashion-things. My trip to Viens last week was totally rewarding: I met its lovely owners, quite literally salivated over Jenny Bird jewelry, Free People and Velour goods, and was reminded of how much I love exploring local. Viens is divided into a series of rooms—the shoe room, the vintage room…to name a few—each offering a different shopping experience. I grant its creative presentation an A+, particularly due to what the owner referred to as Christian’s corner, in which Baxter Men’s skincare products sit in an antique medicine cabinet. Also, to that denim Free People button-up with eyelet-back—I seriously can’t stop thinking about you and someday we’ll be together. ilu ♥ . - S

Viens Avec Moi
1338 Wellington St. W