Thursday, April 28, 2011

Meet Mikey & Nata: Illustrators & my bad ass friends.

I’ve always considered my self incredibly lucky.
When I moved to Toronto a few years ago I would have never pictured my life the way it is now, surrounded by the love of so many incredibly talented friends. At times I marvel at their creativity, light, hard work and the joy they take in creating beautiful things. Be it music, moving pictures, photography, wicked words, illustration or even economic advice. It is because of these very people, known simply as The Family, that I have picked away at my insecurity and I am writing more and more with much happiness and less fear. And for this, I would like to thank them!

First up on the docket, are power illustrators and super besties, Michael De Pippo and Natalia Grosner. Known mostly for their divine design skills, impromptu facebook profile photoshoot parties (am not kidding) and straight-up bitch attitudes.

Michael De Pippo, but you can call him Mikey

This art director, illustrator and designer has been collecting and obsessing over cartoons for as long as he can remember. One only needs to peek about his super swank apartment to spot the unique amassment of toys jammed neatly in to tucked away corners and in to a super cool vintage apothecary cabinet. While I’ve always been a fan of his work (THERE IS A CARTOON ME), his latest is a true testament of love combining his adoration for both vintage cereal box art and the legendary Michael Jackson. The Result? A fun and playful series of pop-art pieces that I’m set to throw up on my wall the second I get my hands on the set!

Images courtesy of Michael DePippo, and if you like what you see (and I know that you do) contact Mikey directly at

Natalia Grosner, but you can call her  Nata G.

I’m pretty sure I’ve written about my badass bud, Nata, before. I’ve been hankering over her hip-hop watercolours for ages now, and it’s safe to say that the majority of The Family have a pretty piece hanging somewhere about their abodes. My girl is currently a freelance illustrator with an eye for the perfect pair of shoes, a lust for vitamin D, a deep loathing for Lady Gaga, a love for back-pack hippity hop and has no problem calling you out on your bullshit. She’s got this massive knack at creating cool typography (check out the super model series) and her latest work is so fashtastic I can’t stop talking about it. Taking her cue from Berlin’s Nancy Zhang, Natalia has created these cute and cool  illustrations to celebrate her second love, fashion.

You can check out the rest of the Fall 2011 series over at behance and maybe if you ask ever so nicely she’ll create a custom special something just for you. For inquiries and general fanmail contact Nata G directly at

Next time on ‘What About Your Friends?’ we talk Music with my Funk soul sistas. xo

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Vincent Cassel, The Night Man

Vincent Cassel stars in the latest YSL advert directed by Black Swan’s Darren Aronosfky and is
Okay so I am not bothered with the technical formalities of this video.
Let’s keep it real, Cassel playing a jigalo is all kinds of hot and is making me think of all kinds of dirty.

Don’t believe me? Peep the video yourself. Swoonstown.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

current state of mind

He called it limerence, that of which I am afflicted with.
“A mild case, not to worry.”

Upon hearing this I was gratefully relived at first, for the briefest moment.
As I was worried that I had become some sort of desperate obsessive.
But then again, how was this any better?

“Don’t worry, we’re all a little crazy.” He continued. “Celebrate your scars, polish your wounds.”

when tommy met anna: a heart story.

I won’t blame you for skipping this post, as it’s about the most gabbed about event of the season so far, but I must say something as it was such a rollicking good time! The Room at The Bay keeps swinging it’s madcap sartorial punches by hosting some of the best parties of the year, and this was certainly no exception. Queen of eclectic glamour, Anna Dello Russo, fluttered in to town to celebrate her love affair with click-happy Tommy Ton. While I minced about in my latest white lace dress acquisition trying to blend in, Toronto’s big money spenders and fashion forward elite strutted their stuff like true stylish peacocks. There was Jil Sander, Celine, McQueen and dollar signs galore. I of course was most pleased to see ADR rocking my favourite British Designers like Mary Katrantzou’s lamp shade wonder and Giles Deacon’s band-aid dress.

But enough of my chatter! On to the photos! (please note I took none of these as I wasn’t bothered to drag my massive SLR about.)

Flare Magazine’s Ryan Cheung and I papped by the Globe and Mail’s JJ Thompson

The above four shots (including the featured image) are by the incredibly talented Jason Hudson of  These Roving Eyes.
There is no sense lugging a camera about with real talent like this to take some incredible shots, and to view more of his images check out his coverage for The Bay’s latest online magazine the B-Insider.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

books in my room: a study, part 1.

love in the time of cholera.the bell jar.the beautiful fall.pride and prejudice and zombies.the bluest eye.just like tomorrow.the prophet.after dark.porno.bride stripped bare.on the road.the imperfectionists.the unbearable lightness of being.the wind-up bird chronicle.bonjour tristesse.that mad ache.on,drugs and cocoa puffs.catcher and the rye.when veronica decides to die.lady oracle.the beach. siddhartha.the beautiful and the damned.elegance of the hedgehog.demian.madame bovary.tropic cancer.norwegian wood.le petit prince.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Chloe en pointe.

So beautiful.
When I grow up,
I’ll be a prima ballerina.
A girl can dream right.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Friday Playlist #5: Festival Edition

Coachella kicks of the festival season this weekend and whether you’ve decamped in Indio or set for some real madness over at Primavera Sound or Glastonbury, I am incredibly jealous of you. So I’ve decided to create a little set list of all the bands that I WISH my ikat clad self could dance to.

Monday, April 11, 2011

British Style Genius: take to the streets

I’ve always had a thing for BBC documentaries.
From wildlife to big fat Gypsy weddings
and then of course FASHION.

BBC2′s British Style Genius is a five part, one hour series that originally aired back in 2008 and showcases a very patriotically English take on fashion in the nation.  The one episode I managed to find, discusses the rise and fall of street fashion and development of style tribes beginning with the post-world war 2 TeddyBoys, the Skinheads and right up to the Chavs of our generation. There are interviews with tribe heads - including Rolling Stones Charlie Watts – and an interesting look at how working class youth used street-wear as a rebellion against the elite and the establishment long before the punk revolution.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mother Guilt: the morning after.

Growing up in an incredibly strict home hard work and disciple was the norm, think the Vontrapp children but East African and replace Nazi occupied Austria with post-oil boom Abu Dhabi. The parental units had one goal, to rear decent, good and compassionate children with love, fear and of course guilt. So much guilt.

Speak to any of the youth in my family, both immediate and removed, and you will find more than just last names and tribal associations in common. You see, we suffer terribly from loud, heart ripping, soul shattering guilt that sometimes weighs upon us so heavily one can’t help but break. And a few of us have, be it an emotional ticks or perhaps rebelling against our own stern up bringing by taking it out on the establishment that corners us outside our private walls.

On Sunday morning while sitting at a rickety old table at our favourite brunch spot, three coffees in and hungover my good friend answerability decided to pay me a little visit. It wanted to play dress-up and cover my heart with its dark gauzy veil. Interestingly enough I wasn’t alone, all around this very city the dear friends that I had celebrated our ‘joie de vivre’ with the night before were now dowing glasses of alka-seltzer, nursing massive headaches and trying to piece fragments of broken and hazy memories.

So why the guilt?
The battery and abuse my body was dealing with over the last several months was certainly an issue. The worry of my behaviour was another. What did I say? And to whom? Did I make a fool of myself? Was I hurtful or mean? As we sat around the table it seemed all the erratic feelings stemmed from one place, a fear that our behaviour was probably deep rooted denial and self defense. There was a little something eating away at us slowly. Stress? Fear? A late blooming quarter of a century crisis? Anxiety? Plummeting self-confidence?

The questions become endless and the remorse? Oh how it loves to curl through my viens, fill my twisted insides before settling like a quite hum below the surface of my skin until there is nothing left but a fifty dollar Dominoes pizza bill and the bodies of four friends flopped on mis-matched ikea furniture. Thank goodness for Bob’s Burgers on the telly. We chuckle (real laughter!) and for a half hour we are allowed to escape our reality. If only for a moment.

Then comes Monday morning, and a promise that we will be better. And dare I say it- grow up. What ever that entails. I do believe in guilt free vices and moderation. A delicate line drawn in my conscious. Perhaps getting ‘fucked up and epic’ really isn’t what I want and once I do figure out what it is that I do want, I can stack my house of cards right back up again. Hell, at least I looked cute that Saturday night. A white lace number, so feminine and delicate I felt, and I never feel that way at all! Shame about the red wine though.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Meadham Dreaming

Designer x Highstreet retail collaborations is not much of a surprise to any one these days. It’s almost expected and appreciated by those who covet luxury pieces but can’t afford the steep prices. As a sales advisor at H&M I would sit back and watch the madness unfold around me. I’d dealt with Matthew Williamson and Comme Des Garcons but both were tame in comparison to the Cavalli and Jimmy Choo madness, and I’ve got battle scars to prove it. While these were all designers I admire, I was of course most excited about the Lanvin launch, and as I no longer worked for the company, I called upon a few friends to squat outside the store on Bloor street. Thank god for my obscene fur coat. It was a fucking cold wait! Was it worth it? I only bought the t-shirt. The experience of being drunk out on the street with friends made the event a real spectacle. Having to drag my ass to work straight after was torture. For eight hours I wanted to die and no amount of redbull was helping the situation.

As designer collaborations go I am most excited about what Topshop has to offer. And now that The Hudson Bay Company plans to house and roll out the mega-retailer across our fair nation this fall, I’m really hoping a selection of their quirkier collections make my greedy palms. I admire the eccentricity and true bonkers intellect that British designers all seem to harbour. Take the lastest S/S Meadham Kirchhoff for Topshop collection. I am absolutely in love! Their mastery in creating decaying beauty is unlike any other. Then there is Ashish and his fun foodie sportswear. The guy is totally mental, but fuck I want a sweatshirt with a fry-up on it! And finally Mary Katrantzou‘s kaleidoscopic capsule collection featuring her signature prints marbled on sweet summer dresses.

With big buys, come big bucks. I am really hoping The Bay takes this oppurtunity to showcase Topshop’s designer collabos and bring a whole lot of fun and lunacy to my city and mainly my closet. Plus I am so fucking tired of paying for shipping!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mulberry f/w campaign video

I think this video is gorgeous. Was expecting it to be super digitized and sharp.
But I love the duality of the soft blooms and the campaign images. Dare I call it a very well made fancy GIF?
And a little Jill Scott never hurt anyone either!


Sunday, April 3, 2011

monday morning: a moment

This was a perfect weekend.
Three days filled with good food,
great music,
and my most favourite people.

I tend to gripe mostly,
all fishy faced and sad.
So I simply wanted to state
that yes, I am happy.
And content? Yes, possibly.
Blessed? Most certainly.