Saturday, 31 March 2012

Dining in Toronto: LUMA by O&B

I know that I talk about fashion, and fashion, and fashion; but a wonderful new friend I met tonight suggested I incorporate my love of dining culture into this blog as well. After all, I am equally passionate about amazing food since I can't get enough of it! And there really is little else more therapeutic and soul-cleansing than a brilliant night of dining with incredible people and, hopefully, incredible food. This is the first of a unique take on dining in the city through the eyes of Dylan In The City!

Oliver&Bonacini's LUMA, a relatively new restaurant that opened at helm of the TIFF Bell Lightbox's famous beginnings on King St. West, is a casual yet refined escape from both the monotony and sometimes pretentiousness the Entertainment District can evoke; and it does it all with a brilliant plate of food. I spent the evening here tonight with my cousin, who was coming into the city for a day or two, and a couple of her amazing friends (who are now, I'm happy to say, my amazing friends as well). Immediately, upon entering the 2nd floor restaurant that overlooks King, we were greeted and treated in a polite, respectable, and refined manner. We were seated with prompt attention and given a chance to gather ourselves before we ordered.

I should mention, before I comment on the food, that LUMA was not what I expected it to be. Commonly touted as Oliver&Bonacini (famous for restaurants of significant praise and expense like Auberge du Pommier and Canoe) under a semi-casual light, I was expecting LUMA to be decent. What I experienced was beyond that; what I experienced was brilliant.

LUMA's decor is urban but refined. Warm colours and wood create an inviting atmosphere that is reflective of the urbanity of the street it sits above. It is casual enough, in this sense, to almost be a midday, bistro-esque sit-down. However, it's meticulous menu; scattered with everything from crisp, Parisian salads to warm, truffle soups; exudes a beautiful and minimalist sophistication.

I ended up vying for the Ricotta Gnudi, which is the only vegetarian-friendly item on the menu. The gnudi was as beautiful as the menu itself. Fluffy pillows encased in the slightest foam of Parmesano and swimming in a creamy ricotta mixture of field mushrooms, herbs, and the slightest, effervescent hint of truffle. The gnudi was heavenly, and left a rich aftertaste that just melted my heart. It was as warm as the service, which at times was a little slow, but was made up for in the fact that it was extremely attentive, kind, warm-hearted, and respectful.

I washed my wonderful pasta down with a sharp Vinho Verde, before sharing LUMA's famous Chocolate Délice (voted by Toronto Life as one of the best desserts in the city!) with my new, wonderful friends. The Délice was a rich and velvety bar of pure, dark chocolate, layered with textural elements of crisp peanuts, crunchy brownies, caramelised bananas, and perhaps the best peanut butter ice cream I've ever had the privilege of eating!

Overall, LUMA, as you've probably guessed, proved to be an unforgettable experience. A wonderful, sophisticated dining experience that was both refined and unpretentious. Fantastic, attentive service only equalled by the quality and execution of its beautiful, subtle dishes, and perhaps only surpassed by my wonderful company! A must-experience, especially with patio-season approaching, LUMA lives up to its reputation as the cornerstone of King West's most famous endeavour, the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Cheers!


Friday, 30 March 2012

Nina Ricci, Fashion + Film for Spring 2012

Nina Ricci's Spring 2012 Campaign is a haunting and memorable composition of movement and melody.
Directed by Inez and Vinoodh.


Jeremy Laing and Holt Renfrew

Jeremy Laing continues to be one of Canada's youngest and brightest talents in the industry. He has consistently been a powerhouse of construction and form, with an eye for the finest details to create the simplest piece. A refined approach to fashion, Laing's consistent ability to remain on season but unpretentious is key to the understated chic of his clothing. Unsurprisingly, his talent has not gone unnoticed. Laing, after his early beginnings as a designer in Toronto, expanded and honed his skills through an exchange program in London, as well as landing an apprenticeship under the famed House of Alexander McQueen. Holts was the first store in Canada to pick up Laing's clothing; and ever since, his independent presence in the industry, both above and below the border, has substantially increased. Jeremy Laing, in my opinion, is one of the most inspiring young designers, with vast potential, to blossom from this city.

Holt Renfrew: Jeremy Laing from LLchemy on Vimeo.

Here is Jeremy Laing's Fall/Winter 2012 Collection from New York Fashion Week this year:


Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Lou de Beauregard, You Make Good Jackets

I was just reminiscing on old pieces that I loved, and I can't help but exclaim my praise for Nelly Furtado's fantastic Lou de Beauregard jacket in FLARE's July Editorial from two years ago! I still have dreams of owning it. It's perfect for the season; metallics and white, fantastic structure! It's still marvelous. Yum!

Don't forget to LIKE my new Facebook Page! Thanks for the support everyone! 

Monday, 26 March 2012

I Am Beauty #5

Christian Lacroix

Dylan In The City on Facebook

Hey everyone! Thanks for keeping up to date with me so far. Be a doll and check out the new Facebook home for Dylan In The City. You're probably terribly awesome and dripping with style; and if you are, then you will surely simply love it. And if you do, perhaps you should then LIKE it! Oh, it's just for me, it's no big deal. As Fanny Brice would say, "there's no director who can direct you like an audience." That, or, I'm just feeling particularly hammy today.

It's a beautiful Monday in Toronto, and I'm fairly certain a fabric trip down West Queen West is in order to round out the fabulous today.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Style at Toronto Fashion Week

As we all know, Toronto Fashion Week has come and gone! It was an exciting season as it always is, but the most amazing part of it all was the people that came out. Fashion Week has the ability to draw people together from every creative corner of the city; you end up running into those you've known, those you've only heard of, and talent you've never met. It becomes a meeting place of the fabulous; and social bridges are built.

Fashion Magazine, one of my favourite niches of the net, recently put together a Style Snap compilation in homage to the fashion of Fashion Week; brilliantly shot by resident photographer Lewis Mirrett. I've been sitting at my computer indulging and admiring some of the most tasteful Toronto has to offer, so I thought I'd represent it here. Toronto Fashion Week in a handful of photos! Some of the best pieces from the streets.


Thursday, 22 March 2012

Daria Werbowy for Maiyet (Spring 2012)

Daria Werbowy, one of Canada's brightest young talents, has been featured quite heavily within the last two years in a number of fantastic editorials, campaigns, and commercials. You've probably recognized her all over the place; from H&M editorials, to FLARE, to campaigns of international recognition. In this case, Daria models for American label Maiyet, in and around the Floyd Bennett Field in lightweight dresses and bright, flowing fabrics.

I really love the idea of this campaign, the aesthetic. It's become extremely trendy in a lot of local work, but I've rarely seen it really take off through international campaigns. This vintage-inspired, very subtly (or in some in cases, not at all) styled and modeled shoot; relying solely on natural light, natural moments, and natural captures. Posing is all of a sudden slightly passé (although never totally; I mean this is the fashion world, after all) and beauty takes a bit more inspiration from the carefree energy of the 90's, or, in this case, even the 70's.

Maiyet's Spring 2012 Campaign featuring Daria Werbowy is filmed by Cass Bird, styled by Lori Goldstein, and features fellow Canadian talent, Feist, as it's soundtrack. Watch the fantastic video below!

Maiyet SS12 | Daria Werbowy by Cass Bird from M A I Y E T on Vimeo.


Sunday, 18 March 2012

VAWKKIN by Sunny Fong

VAWKKIN is the new line, presented at Toronto Fashion Week this year, that is the sister label to Sunny Fong's wildly celebrated VAWK. Vawk, since it's recent beginnings, is a true reflection of Fong's approach to fashion; that is, powerful, enigmatic, unique pieces that appeal to the successful woman of taste. His pieces are typically constructed with rich materials, luxurious details, and often evoke an air of wealth. VAWKKIN is his new attempt to transcend the VAWK boundary and re-interpret it's aesthetic into something younger, simpler, and more ready-to-wear for the urban woman on the go. Does this mean we may get to, dare I say, wear more affordable pieces from one of Canada's greatest young designers? I really hope so. VAWWKIN is business smart; but it will also give Fong the potential to re-create his brand in an entirely new light. I'd say that deserves some excitement!

VAWK Presents from Dave Tebbutt on Vimeo.


Saturday, 17 March 2012

Electric Circus

By Chris Nicholls for FLARE (April 2012)

The Beauty of Pavoni

Pavoni embodies a design sense unlike any other designer, brand, or team. Their collection this year at Toronto Fashion Week was astoundingly beautiful. And not because of it's unique touches, it's departure from traditional tailoring, or it's adventurous vision; it was beautiful because it was, quite simply, beautiful. Evening gowns taken to demure level of dramaticism and luxury; incredibly detailed bodices handcrafted with lace and jeweled, and stunning falls of fabric from empire-waisted masterpieces of construction. It is little else than magnificent.

Pavoni // World Mastercard Fashion Week (Teaser Video) from StoriesWorthSharing on Vimeo.


I Am Beauty #4

Friday, 16 March 2012

Joe Fresh // Fall 2012

Joe Fresh has always been celebrated for his tasteful looks, but at Fashion Week, you never totally expect to be blown away by a highly marketed, consumerist brand, regardless of the success. But this was so far from the truth during Fashion Week - Joe Fresh had, in my opinion, the best show of the night he was featured in. His looks were tasteful but very modern and had unique design details and elements that made them very fashion forward in subtle ways. I wasn't the only one in attendance leaving the runway thinking "wow, I need to own some of those pieces!"

Bold colour rocked the runway at Joe Fresh for the Fall 2012 season! It was an unexpected palette that uniquely took quite a bit of inspiration from his Spring collection last year. Joe Fresh boasted bright oranges, neon reds, unusual green-tinted yellows, and brilliant turquoises as part of his fantastic knitwear, winter suits, and trench coats.

But what was most impressive about Joe Fresh wasn't his blocked colour palette that was so reminiscent of Spring; instead, it was his cuts. He had a unique mixture of very chic and very fitted trousers and sport coats that were mixed with loose fitting slacks and over-sized sweaters. The result, especially for the menswear, was a cool new aesthetic that took more inspiration from suits from the 30's and 40's, as opposed to the widely popular 50-60's aesthetic that is so trendy in fashion at the moment. Wide-legged trousers and sharply constructed jackets that were almost overbearing in size and shape dominated the menswear; whereas slight accents of fur, for both men and women, made bold, fall statements in texture.

More photos below
All credit for this fantastic photography goes to Steve Alkok, who has consistently been a machine during Fashion Week this year.


Insta-Dylan / @TheDylanDias


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