Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Inferno is opening in Toronto!

If you are in Toronto this upcoming weekend, don't miss the opening of Henri Georges Clouzot's Inferno (see older post) playing at the Bloor Cinema on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Monday, February 22, 2010

St Germain Style at H&M: Spring has Sprung!

Yes, I got these three pieces: the black shorts, the jumpsuit and the black-and-white striped sweater!

Today has been a snowy day in Toronto. A lot of snow. Winter is still here, manifest. But let me tell you something, spring has sprung, or at least, in my wardrobe! How gay and light-hearted was I to play with the snowflakes landing on my multi-coloured scarf!
On February 20, 2010, I was waiting outside H&M on Bloor Street, Toronto, at 9.45AM with my husband as assistant extraordinaire. I could not miss the opening at 10AM of the exclusive knitwear collection by Rykiel pour H&M! Actually, we were surprised to see there was just a very short line-up, let's say there were 15 people in front of us, at the most... When the collection first opened on Bloor Street, we must have been 20 customers interested in the Rykiel pour H&M perles rares. No big rush! I was so happy to see that Sonia Rykiel is not that well-known in here. Pffew!
The collection is sheer delight, full of classic Rykiel signature pieces like Sonia Rykiel’s striped sweater, one of contemporary fashion’s iconic pieces.

Yes (bis), I got that beret studded with rhinestones, a few graphic bangles, that swell little handbag, and the oversized striped sweater//dress too!

It also brings fashion fantasy to life with very graphic bangles, black leather patent platform shoes, leggings covered in rhinestones, frilly hot pink or yellow dresses and the perfect drawstring jumpsuit, with a focus on brilliant colour and Parisian joie de vivre.

No, I didn't go for these flashy one-coloured outfits. I know my limits! But they are a treat for the eye, aren't they?

Well, I ended up renewing my spring wardrobe, which was graciously offered by my wonderful husband as an anticipated gift for my upcoming 40th birthday (next May...)- how spoilt I felt!

Don't miss the opportunity to drop by your nearest H&M store for the occasion and try on as much as you can. The collection is irresistible! Sonia Rykiel knows the language of ladies' knitwear to perfection.

For a behind the scenes peak at the collection featuring interviews with Sonia Rykiel and Nathalie Rykiel, president and artistic director, check out the video:

Put a bit of Sonia Rykiel pour H&M in your life, you won't regret it!

In Toronto:
The Toronto Eaton Centre
1 Dundas St West

Bloor Street
13-15 Bloor St West

Yorkdale Shopping Centre
3401 Dufferin Street

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Our night at the Museum: On a Pedestal...

Two Venetian Ladies - Vittore Carpaccio (1460-1526, Venice)

Last Wednesday, February 17th, we attended an incredible after-hours party at the Bata Shoe Museum.
That night, we could freely meander through the floors and collections of the Museum - as if we owned the museum for a night.
We first relaxed and sipped drinks in the lounge, while listening to the music of a live DJ and watching performance artist Faye Mullen ponder a provocative idea : I am an artist and I weigh...

Faye Mullen, using an unusual handmade scales - Photo by Shayne Gray

Then my husband and I enjoyed a new visit of the permanent collection, which I always marvel at, displayed on the basement and first floors with star pieces like the smugglers' clogs, the 17th chestnut crushers' shoes from Ardèche in France, or the minuscule women's embroidered silk shoes for bound feet worn in China, during the Han Dynasty. Finally, our friends, Cristy and Shayne, joined us, and we all went up to the 3rd floor to experience the newest exhibition : On a Pedestal, From Renaissance Chopines to Baroque Heels, featuring extreme footwear, like the 50cm high Chopines!

Venetian chopines, 16th century, on loan from Museo Palazzo Mocenigo, Venice, Italy

We learnt a lot, and played at finding the Chopines, the slap-stole shoes or other extraordinary baroque heels in the photographed paintings that were significantly illustrating the exhibit.

Slap-sole shoes, probably Italian, mid-17th century, from the collection of the Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Canada

Slap-sole shoe, English, mid 17th century, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto

That night, we were offered a wonderful opportunity to learn and share our discoveries among friends. Fundamentally educational and terribly pleasant!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dream Nuptials a Labour of Love

Photo Giancarlo Jacob

On Valentine's Day, my husband and I just took a very pleasant stroll around St Lawrence Market in the downtown area. Nothing extraordinaire... Love, as always, was in the air!

Oh, but we did find it amusing that this year's Valentine's blessed us with an article in the Toronto Star, exactly one year after we got engaged in Paris, France. This was an unexpected gift.

* Read the article
**For more details concerning the wedding step-by-step preparations, go through the posts in this blog's Wedlock topic, or go directly to the final blog post showing the photos of the wedding!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Put a Tiger in your Valentine's Guitar!

Old Tiger in the Snow, Hokusai, 1849

Today is Valentine's Day, but it also is the day to celebrate New Year's Day in the Chinese zodiac: The Year of the Metal/White Tiger.

The Year of the Tiger is associated with the earthly branch symbol .

According to Chinese astrology: The Tiger is said to be lucky, vivid, lively and engaging. Another attribute of the Tiger is his incredible bravery, evidenced in his willingness to engage in battle or his undying courage.

To know more about your Chinese Horoscope 2010 Year of the Tiger, click here, or here.
To read your horoscope in French (en français!), go there.

Now, what a great opportunity to celebrate with untamed French crooner, Jacques Dutronc and his 1966 song: "J'ai Mis un Tigre dans ma Guitare" (I've put a Tiger in my Guitar)! Enjoy.

Put a Tiger in your Valentine's Day to better roar out your love!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dites-le avec des Fleurs!

Illustration by René Gruau, whom I love as you might have noticed...

Last Feb.14th, Marco and I were on a plane to France to get engaged in Paris...We had not planned it specifically on St Valentine's Day, but it happened to be just like so. When we took off, we raised our glasses of Champagne To Love & Air France with golden sparks in our eyes. Unforgettable, that's what youuuu are...

I wonder what is going to happen this year now that I am married!

Dites-le avec des fleurs! (Say it with flowers!).

Tord Boontje's Plate

In a word, simple flowers, a personal note and my beloved's kisses will sure make my day!
The rest is silence.

Two charismatic lovers: French musicians Françoise Hardy & Jacques Dutronc.

St Valentine's Treat. Listen to their song: Puisque vous partez en voyage...

Happy Valentine's Day Trip!

May you travel like Françoise & Jacques,

i.e with
"l'amour pour seul bagage!"

Sunday, February 7, 2010

From Hip-Hop to Chicago Steppin'...No big stretch!

Last Christmas, my husband's younger brother and his wife offered us the gift of dance. As they had just embarked on a fun hip-hop journey with Jimmy-award winner, Shawn Byfield, they wanted to share the joy and get us started with hip-hop at BDX studio.

Therefore, last Wednesday we went to the dance studio all ready and geared up for hip hop. But guess what? It was unbelievable! That day was special... Shawn started the class with an announcement. Today, exceptionally, let me introduce you to another cool dance that was born in Chicago... Marco and I looked at each other with disbelief...Could that be????
On that day, instead of having our first hip hop class, we had a Chicago Steppin' class; that was surreal! How serendipitous was that?...Remember the post I published in January on my other blog, Mon Cher Coco...Just when my husband and I thought of getting into that sweet and fluid dance; there we were, enjoying an introduction to the very basic steps! So much so that we too can shuffle and slide on Chicago Steppin' mode in our kitchen now.

Thank you, Giancarlo & Lara for the Byfield Dance Experience! We still have one more class to go, and we are looking forward to it. But perhaps, instead of hip hop, we will go for a beginner's class of tap dance. Very tempting...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Putting on the Ritz at Spadina Museum: Swell!

Climbing the stairs to the party thrown in the great Spadina Museum.(Photo by Daniel)

Last Saturday, January 30th, we cut a rug at Putting on the Ritz (doing something in style), a very swanky (ritzy) 1920s party thrown at Spadina Museum. The museum is currently under renovation to restore the building to its original 1920s state. They threw this swell little party in order to promote the project and to document the impending re-opening to the public in the fall 2010!
As the organizers insisted on the fact that their guests had to be dolled up (dressed up), we decided to play it by the rules...

Cristy and Shayne
Tess and Marco (photo by Daniel)

My husband and I had thought of several possibilities for our costumes: Bonnie and Clyde, Rudolph Valentino and Louise Brooks, etc. We eventually ended up with the glad rags (outfits) of a banker-gangster look for him and the Coco Chanel-inspired flapper look for me.

Left to right: Shayne, Daniel, Marco and I (photo by Cristy).
Marco and I were
awarded 2 tickets for the new-in-town musical, and a restaurant gift certificate for Best Individual Costumes. Whoopee!

There were professional dancers, the Sugar Shakers, who eventually managed to get everyone dancing the Charleston before 10PM.

The Sugar Shakers showing their gams (legs)

They did not have to beg me to dance, I love the 1920s steps! I had dusted off my 1930s shoes for the occasion, and was all set to swing into action.
However, there was a hitch! The party was unfortunately under strict Prohibition rules - no Speakeasy (illicit bar), no hair of the dog (shots of alcohol) that night. Fancy mocktails were served instead of cocktails. Hooey (nonsense)! But oh well, it was still a very hotsy-totsy (pleasing) party! At least no one had the discomfort of experiencing a Bum's Rush (ejection by force from an establishment) in the 1920s fashion!

Cristy's fake drink. These mocktails proved very tasty actually. Bravo Mr. Barman!

This restriction made us dream of a midsummer night's 1920s party where the guests could take roaring sips off their real cocktails, while chatting on the beautiful outdoor terrace of the place...So, dear Austin family and event coordinators, please throw another party...but in the summertime, and with a license, if possible.

At 10PM, the 1920s party was over, so we scrammed and opted to go for a drink at the Reservoir Lounge on Wellington St. When we arrived there, it was insane! No coat check, and no room, we were all squeezed in like sardines. Help! We left and went to the Flatiron Firkin, instead.

Tess, la Garçonne, at the Flatiron.

Daniel, or Tintin the great Belgian reporter.

Marco, my Latino-Canadian Valentino...

Cristy, the flapper, and Shayne Holmes.

Believe me, we made quite a sensation there among the patrons... It was therefore fairly easy to get a good table and a round on the house - yes, they loved our spiffy (elegant appearance) look! They loved us there, and we loved them right back! We were happy to rejoice together while sharing REAL Mc Coy drinks...
As you might have noticed I learnt a lot of 1920s expressions last Saturday... I loved the idea and brought back a lot of these short lists of Cat's meow (sthg stylish) vocabulary in my bag.

Me, all focused, going through one of the lists of 1920s expressions!

Next time we dress up in the 1920s style, it will be for the Max Raabe concert. We can't wait!

Alright, now please excuse me, I have to see a man about a dog!

Any idea of what this means? Give it a try...I am looking forward to your suggestions ;o)

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