Posts Tagged ‘ fashion ’

Grammy Fashion Do’s and Do Not Do’s

Ah the Grammys! Always night for some badass fashion. (Lenny Kravitz. Need I say more!?) Some celebs reallllly nailed it! My other top choices:

  1. Pop princess Selena Gomez who killed it in a gold J. Mendel. What a beautiful girl seriously, stunning.
  2. Ryan Seacrest’s babe Julianne Hough rocked a bold printed Malandrino number.
  3. Everyone should consider entering his or her next party in an egg. That’s all I’m going to say.
  4. J.Lo . Dang! Girl worked it in a long-sleeved silver Pucci. Those legs! A real woman right there.
  5. Jennifer Hudson in Versace. She’s looking soooo good lately. The dress, the hair, the shoes, the jewelry.  Amazing.

However… some just didn’t impress:

  1. Really Nicki Minaj? (Lady Gaga: ’09 ACE gala anyone?) Its been done. As much as I love Givenchy… just no.
  2. Although I’m quite the fanatic for shear clothing, I really didn’t enjoy Rihanna in John Paul Gautier. (but ask any male and they’d probably have a different opinion…)
  3. Miranda Lambert failed miserably. That dress. Ohhh that strapless dress did not fit her… at all.

Speaking of Miranda Lambert failures, that performance of  “house that built me” was just so boring. Snooze fest indeed.  My favourite performance on the other hand, even as short as it was, was John Mayer, Nora Jones, and Keith Urban’s take on “Jolene”. Ugh it gave me chills I loved it SO much! The Rihanna, Eminem, Skylar Grey, and Dr. Dre mashup was super good too, along with Mumford and sons who were amazing as always! Totally upset me though that they lost for best new artist to… wait what was her name again?

To sum the night up, the fashion (for the most part) was a hit and the performances impressed. But Seth Rogan totally stole the night for me. Ohhhh Miley.

– Steph Martyniuk


December Villains

I love this hoodie! Just love it! Now I just need Santa to buy it for me.

Sustainable Fashion is (Now) Popular

Sustainable Fashio

Click to read print version of the article.

We all wear clothes, naturally. The problem is that these clothes aren’t always natural. We look at some companies – Me to We and Invisible Children – that are both producing environmentally-friendly threads that look as good as they are for the Earth.

by Nils Blondon

Bamboo shirts, hemp pants, towels fashioned of organic cottons and philanthropy. Sounds like lunacy, doesn’t? The workings of a vegan fashion designer fused with environmentalist. Well, this is partially true. Take one part aesthetic genius, an equal measure of goodwill, and combine a dash of amnesty and save-the-planet furor and you have sustainable clothing. A collection of all things eco-friendly and charitable.            

And it’s becoming a big movement.

Toronto hosts a sizeable lot of sustainable purveyors. Befitting for a city with the catchphrase, “Toronto the Good”. There are the small community shops such as Grassroots on Bloor West and Toronto Hemp Company on Queen Street speckling the city. But then take companies such as Me to We.

A grassroots champion of humanitarianism nestled in the espresso-stained sidewalks of Cabbagetown, this social enterprise has redefined style. Now, I’ve always tried to be friendly to the planet and her progeny. I’m mindful of the recycling bin and trashcan. But I’m no avatar of eco-activism. And when juxtaposed beside a giant like Me to We, I look like a seal-clubbing demon that exudes carbon when I breathe.  

Me to We’s founders – brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger – were swamped with requests for products that fit societal standards of the developing communities they worked in. The demand spawned the Me to We: Responsible Style clothing line. The fashion line offers a substantial array of organic garb to socially-conscious consumers. T-shirts, tank tops, v-necks, hoodies, hats, scarves, dresses, pants, even polo’s. All offered in a hip, sleek designs. From modest pastel yellows, greens and ranging coloured shirts sporting pronounced credos. Messages such as “Together we Can,”  “Be the Change” and “Break the Silence” emblazoned on the shirts. You can be politically aware while giving back to the world that nurtures you.

Me to We is the antithesis of Nike. They condemn the use of sweatshops and streamline 50 per cent of profits to Free The Children, the international charity battling child labour. Coupled with the fact that they only use certified organic cotton and bamboo and that all the clothing is made in Canada, Me to We is making headway in an otherwise apathetic ethos.

Invisible Children, rather, started as a documentary film. A brainchild of three young Californians on a quest to detail the barbarisms of the Ugandan conflict, a movement was born. The significant issue was child soldiers. This tryst with the realties of injustice has since morphed into a behemoth activist group with global-backing. Invisible Children initiates a surplus of programs to bolster third-world sympathies and raise funds for the children being robbed of their childhood.

Boasting an impressive online store, Invisible Children offers socially-conscious clothes that are both modern and appeasing to the eyes. Its Tri program offers the browser the chance to make recurring donations in an attempt to bring child soldiers home. By signing up, you become eligible for complimentary clothes and a chance to make a profound imprint on the life of a child forced into war.

And this isn’t it. There are thousands of such groups all working steadfastly at healing our scarred planet whilst making you look good. Something we can all take notes about. Really, it comes down to a choice. Join a philosophy not all about yourself. Let the fashion speak for itself, which for sustainable fashion will speak volumes more than the high-flung fashionistas tripping down the runway.

It’s that simple, let’s start.

Fashion with a Purpose

Celebrities Join H&M to Fight AIDS

H&M teams up with Designers Against AIDS. Click to read.

H&M teams up with Designers Against AIDS. Click to read.


The big guns are coming out to show their support in the fight against the global pandemic of HIV/AIDS. You’ve got Katy Perry, N.E.R.D., Yoko Ono and Yelle all lending their frames and celebrity. And then you have H&M fashion. Together, the household names and designers are teaming up to donate 25 per cent of all sales to go towards HIV/AIDS awareness projects. And it doesn’t hurt that the designs are pretty solid with a fresh ‘80s feel.

In a world where 38 million are infected with the disease, 12 million are children. And even more troubling, an estimated 28 per cent are unaware of their positive HIV status. By fusing fashion with music is a means to get youth to stop and think about the issue. And then to put their support on display. This is the goal of the line, which is being pushed by the backbone of the series, Designers Against AIDS (DAA).

“H&M and Fashion Against AIDS are so important to us because we could never reach so many young people on our own,” says Ninette Murk, founder, Designers Against AIDS in a press release. “AIDS is still very much a subject that’s vitally important today. People build their attitude towards their sex lives when they’re very young, so it’s important for them to realize that safe sex is a vital part of that as early as possible.”

Click the image to read the print version.

Click the image to read the print version.

And the pure organic cotton shirts are using strong words to get the point across. “Life is too short. Have sex, be safe” reads one. Another reads: “Girls just wanna have safe sex.” Right to the point, naturally.

Many assume that the world is educated on HIV/AIDS, but the facts simply say otherwise. And as such, H&M wants to continue to educate the youth – in both the developed and developing world – to prevent the further spread of the fatal disease. Because, simply stated, complacency isn’t an option with HIV/AIDS.

We Are Villains

It seems that everyone that has a MySpace account is making T-shirts these days. And maybe so. But TRAVIS sought out some cool T-shirts that aren’t being made too far away and speak volumes for creativity in an oversaturated market. And why each shirt is limited edition.

Fashion Profile: We go behind the scenes of T-shirt maker Villains. (Click to view)

Fashion Profile: We go behind the scenes of T-shirt maker Villains. (Click to view)

I HATE WEARING what everyone else is wearing. I am guilty of being a trendy piece of crap, although. I’ve gone through the American Apparel stage, the Nike stage, the goofy beanie stage, even the dreaded emo stage. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Hell, as I write this I’m sitting in sweat pants and I can’t help but feel rebellious without my butt hanging out of those skinny jeans I wear.

Besides all this, there happens to be a small corner in Milton where a mastermind lives. Within his lair he creates his own brand of clothing.

Maybe lair is a stretch. But best described as a secret workshop full of underground shirts, stickers, snowboards, skateboards, posters and other random goodies. Keep in mind that this is all tucked away in the depths of suburbia.

Jay Sakuta is the owner, operator and creator of Villains – a limited-run clothing line that fuses style and class into a completely unique brand of clothing.

“We want things our way, we don’t want to look like your stereotypical kid,” Sakuta recently told TRAVIS while leaning back into his chair. I’ve seen Villains around for a while now as a lot of kids wear it at local shows. I’ve met Sakuta a few times prior to this. The fist being after I lurked his website. The next day I drove to his house and bought a grey hoodie that is now long sold out. The medium sweater barely fit me, but I was so stoked I didn’t care. It’s too bad that sweater is sitting in some random girl’s house in Oakville, and she “can’t seem to find it.” Bitch.

“We’ve always been, well, not the outcast, but the kids that want things differently. Whether it be music, skateboarding or snowboarding, we think of things differently so we want things differently. We don’t want to be sheep,” Sakuta said while flipping through album artwork on his iTunes. He clicked play and the slow intro to an album started to play providing creative ambiance to the interview.

His black cat lurked around the room as we sat and chatted about what he’s created. The subtle hip-hop tunes made the entire situation relaxed. The room we were sitting in was small, but had so many old CDs and collectables hidden that it would take hours to explore. A giant black Cancer Bats poster sat tucked away between the ceiling pipes. One of my favorite bands, yet I’ve never seen that one before.

I HAVEN’T BOUGHT a new shirt from Sakuta in quite sometime now. I usually take a look at the new line every month, but don’t have the extra cash to buy one. Recession anyone?

“I’ve always said it’s for kids who know. And it’s always been that way. I like how it’s kind of like a little secret society,” Sakuta said. “The kids that are into it are from a huge spectrum. Whether it’s people that are into Toronto art or 15-year-old kids that literally put it on their wish list for Christmas,” he said handing me a giant Villains sticker to put on my MacBook.

Villains has begun to take off in ways Sakuta never imagined.

“It blows me away to see orders from Sweden and there’s even American military dudes stationed in Iraq that I’m mailing stuff out to. It’s a crazy audience,” he said. A new line is released every month at three locations in Ontario: Livestock in Toronto, Loop in Waterloo, and Boredem in Waterdown.

Starting up in late 2006, Villains has released quality clothing and accessories ever since. All of the prints are silk-screened on quality shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies.

“I’m over American Apparel just because it is so hipster now and I’m just sick and tired of seeing that. I’ve just been sourcing out other things,” Sakuta said.

The clothing is designed and inspired by tattoo artists such as Bailey Moffatt from Anchors Tattoo in Burlington, and local artists such as Patrick Sparrow from The Black Mass in Georgetown. The style has grown from flashy bright colors to subtler, darker colour tones.

Sakuta explained that Villains is slowly changing. Always moving away from what used to be popular.

“The shirts that kids usually grab the most are the ones I don’t even like. Every once in a while I’ll put out something that I’m not crazy stoked on, but then at the same time kids snag that stuff so quickly.”

Themes have emerged from month-to-month with the line. Sakuta explains that he is aware that with many of the new designs, the younger crowd just won’t understand.

“The 2009 Villains [collection] is a lot more grown up,” he says. “It’s always progressed with myself. It’s always been where I am. It’s more what I’m looking for. I want to make references that a lot of people don’t understand. This month’s Mason stuff, a lot of kids don’t get it, but the people that do are even more excited about it.”

Each shirt is limited to 25 prints each. Once it is sold out, it’s gone for good. That shirt will never be printed again. Possibly the reason why Villains is the way it is. You are never going to run into someone else that is wearing the same shirt as you. And if you do, an epic stare down will ensue followed by a solid conversation about Villains. It’s small and unknown. And, sorry girls, Villains is only for guys. Or bros.

Girls clothing has been an idea for Sakuta, but those catchy tag lines like “Nobody Loves A Villain” and “I’m Sorry I’m Not Sorry” have appealed steadily to male audiences.

“Guys are more conscious. Guys are just like, ‘I want this.’ While girls want to go see it, try it on and pick it up that way. I’ve got too many major competitors for girls. If I were to make a woman’s shirt at the same price point as everyone else, girls will just go buy it at H&M,” he said.

Villains is expanding quickly by hosting events like BroSesh, a fun snowboard evening at zero cost to shredders. It includes high fives, boardslides, good times and free shirts.

PEOPLE THAT ARE into Villains are hooked. It’s only a matter of time before Sakuta might have to give up his day job to keep up with demand. Steve Burger, a friend of Sakuta, put Villains into perspective.

“It’s just good – is all it is. It’s just got a vibe to it, chill clothes for chill guys.”

The small Milton music scene has also caught onto what Sakuta has created and it will only take time for it to move further.

“I don’t know why its appealed so heavily to kids in that scene. I never wanted it to be pinned as a scene brand, a skate brand or a snowboard brand. I never want to be pinned as anything, I guess. I just want it to be a lifestyle,” Sakuta said with a quick glean of a smile.

If you’re interested, Villains is available online at

text by michaelburton

TRAVIS’ Style Guide: Dressing for Success

As graduation nears, we give you the TRAVIS guide to entering the workforce. How to land the interview, dress down for Casual Friday and grab a martini with the coworkers. And how to look smart while doing so.

Click to view the print version of our style guide.

Click to view the print version of our style guide.

Now, more than ever, is the time to dress the part. Sitting down for that interview will no longer allow for that slight mustard stain on your lapel. It just won’t do. There is way too much competition these days.

Ladies and gentlemen, remember these three words: Professional, sophisticated and unique. For ladies, you can interchange unique for sexy, if you prefer.

When dressing for the office, do it right: Go all out. Make sure that shirt is ironed, pants pleated, tie eye-catching, and overall, everything fits snugly. (You shouldn’t be able to fit a fist inside of a buttoned jacket.)

All of this, of course, means get a suit. You might have been able to get away without having a solid suit thus far, but enough is enough. Get the suit. Ladies, that means pant suit. Just one solid suit with a couple interchangeable collared shirts and ties can go a long way. More than this, however, one way to stand out is via spit-shined shoes and belts. Little accessories can transform a mundane suit. Make sure they match, though.

Now that you landed the job – thanks is due to the suit, remember –let’s look to casual Friday. Many myths surround this day as if it were North Korea. Casual Friday is simply a day that you don’t have to wear the tie, high heels and pleated pants. You should make sure your shirt still has a collar, however. Think polo shirt and khakis. You can still bring tons of style to this somewhat-Civvies day. Spice up your outfit with a personalized touch like a watch or loafers. (White Italian leather loafers always awesome, except after Labour Day, of course.)

Since you are comfortable in your job (and suit) you’re now ready to go out for a drink after work with some coworkers at the local martini lounge. We’re sure you have all been out to a bar/club/pub/lounge before, so dress up for this occasion. Call ahead to the bar and ask for the dress code. From there, you want to show your coworkers that you have some unique style so bring some punch. Show some colour. Wear some light makeup with some strong eye makeup. Like a photograph, always give yourself a focus point. Think bowler hat, purple skinny tie, silk pocket square or patterned scarf. Just do it in a way that screams you and maybe a little: “Hey, look, I’m comfortable and well-dressed. Want to dance?”TRAVIS' Style Guide

If you’re completely lost, pick up a fashion magazine. They always have pointers for dressing the part in whatever situation. Guys, check out GQ, Esquire and Canada’s own men’s magazine, Sharp. Ladies, lean towards Vanity Fair, Nylon and Flare. Please try to resist Cosmopolitan’s juicy sex tips.

So jump on the common sense train. Get that suit into your wardrobe. Make sure your shoes are scuff-free. Find a tie or pair of pumps that are you. But remember: Dress the part. Which really means: Professional, sophisticated and unique.

text by ryanbolton, editor