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Caught at Capital Fashion Week

From contributor: LAUDIA

Who: Lucie & Andrew
Why: Both a little camera shy, I thought I’d loosen them up a bit by having them pose together. The first thing that attracted me to these two fashionistas was the way they used colour. First of all, not only are those high waisted blue pants absolutely hot, but her belt, hand bag and scarf perfectly are perfect accessorisies for her outfit and create the right colour combination. I have to give her props for wearing a men’s dress shirt so well. She wears it better than some men might I add! Lucie is proof how colours can make a bold and beautiful look, despite the cold weather. Her outfit looks as comfortable, vivacious and happy as she does.

Andrew, on the other hand, is wearing all black, however, he still manages to create a cool splash of sophistication.  Again gentlemen, this is another example as to how one can look cool, calm and collected.  In fact, he’s wearing staple pieces of clothing, but it’s all in HOW you put it together. From the fitted jeans, to the black vest and black vans, he turned this ensemble from cool to smooth by accentuating his look with that a little black bow tie.
Their style: Living la vida “mode”

Who: Reginald
Why: Oh’ that double breasted sweater. From the colour, to the fit, to those bold navy blue buttons, the sweater caught my attention from the moment I saw Reginald.  I think a lot of men undermine the power of a good sweater. The simple and rather casual look in wearing jeans and a shirt can go from street to chic, all depending on how you wear it and what you wear it with.  The belt contrasts perfectly with the light pink dress shirt and the dark jeans.  Although a little shy when I first approached him, Reginald’s style certainly proved to be preppy sweet; casual and charming.
His style: Preppy with a twist


Who: Mirna
Why: Sweet, simple & hot is what I thought when I first ran into Mirna, a fashion stylist from Toronto . I must say I haven’t seen any ladies  in Ottawa rockin’ the one piece, without making it look like cat woman with a really bad camel-toe! Mirna made the jump suit look flirtatiously elegant.  It’s the right size, the right length and perfect for the occasion. The black booties blended perfectly with the all black & bold look.  I must not forget to mention how gorgeous her necklace is.  I like the fact that she has her hair in an up do, no earrings and even the rest of her jewellery compliments the elegance of her ensemble.  Mirna proves that “yes you can wear all black. Just make sure you get the elegance part right.”
Her style: Sexy elegance


Don’t I look like money?

p1050182Moving sucks because it makes finding your stuff even more difficult, that includes some of my most cherished clothing pieces, like my high waisted jeans.

It’s funny how those pieces become much more important when you can’t find them anymore, as if every outfit doesn’t work without them. So I went on the search for a pair and decided that this time, they’ll be even more special. I went over to Carte Blanche on Queen Street West again and tried on the high waisted raw jeans from Pink Cobra (the in house brand). I wanted to avoid getting Cheap Mondays or April 77’s because I want to expand my denim collection with various brands (obsession you all know). Unfortunately, the 27 had too much room in the crotch area and could manage to fit another human inside while the 25 wouldn’t button up. And they ran out of 26. Damn.

p1050184But, because they are nice to their customers and love when people wear items specifically from their in house brand, they offered to custom make me a pair, fitted to my body. Yay! They even went out and picked some swatches for me to choose from. The result? A measurement session on Thursday and a pick-up on Tuesday. That’s what I call service. Did I mention how the bill came to less than $200 tax in?

The staff is great to chat with, I recommend you pay them a visit if you’re ever a) in need of jeans, b) are in the area, or c) need to satisfy your expensive habit, like me! So stop hyperventilating, and go there…immediately!


Carte Blanche 758 Queen St West

A Study in Plaid

From contributor: PAYTON– Payton.kennedy [at] gmail [dot] com

I was at the Elmdale Tavern this weekend for The Fiftymen. Great show … and great style! I didn’t notice until looking at the shots at the end of the evening that all of my subjects were wearing plaid. Expected at alt-country/rock show I suppose but I love how they all wore it in their own unique way, and as comfortably as well … an old, plaid shirt.


Who? Jake
Occupation: Drummer for The Fiftymen, Guitarist for Jim Bryson, proud new daddy of “Ramona”
Where’d you get that? My hat is probably from Ragtime Vintage … I own a few; I’m a hat-guy
Who’s your style icon? Rick Danko, circa 1967
What are you listening to these days? Notwist and Marc Ford
What’s your favourite thing about Ottawa? My family

Occupation: Librarian for the government
Where’d you get that? My dress is from H&M in the States, I bought my glasses in London, England
What’s your favourite thing about Ottawa? You know where everything is!
If you were an animal, what would you be? A dinosaur


Who? Melissa
Occupation: Cook at Café Fresh
Where’d you get that? I bought my shirt at Dynamite. Genevieve at La Spa cuts my hair
Who’s your style icon? Betty Page (Payton thinks a little Patsy Cline as well … Melissa agrees)
What are you listening to these days? The new Dolly Parton album, Matthew Barber, The Fiftymen
If you were an animal, what would you be? A bird … a Loon to be exact
What’s your favourite thing about Ottawa? Its small town vibe and big city feeling

Okay, not at the Elmdale and not in plaid, but look at his hair … fierce!


Who? Richard
Occupation: Bartender/Manager, The Whalesbone
Where’d you get that hair? Pedro at Scizzors cuts my hair
Describe your style: Comfortable, clean, eco-friendly
What are you listening to these days? Cat Stevens, Neil Young, James Taylor
Your tombstone will say? No regrets!

New contributor – Payton

Third presentation=PAYTON. She put together a cute little package when she emailed me to become Ottawa Street Style’s latest contributor and I appreciate it very much. Payton also has the ability to take pictures of people that are a little older from the usual that we’ve snapped here at Ottawa Street Style.

You gotta love the new market she’s hitting, and it’s also great because we need to represent Ottawa entirely. Oh, and her questions are great, she takes time to get to know her subjects. More from Payton soon, for now, here are some shots she snapped during Halloween and while out in the market. Please note, although I am really not fond of pointy square toe shoes and faded jeans on men, you gotta love what Guy had to say!

Angela, Irene’s Pub in the Glebe
Occupation? Assistant Manager, Claire’s
Three things you can’t live without? Red lipstick, shiny make-up, stockings!
Who’s your style icon? Betty Page
What are you listening to these days? The Bible All Stars, 90lbs of Ugly, Mike Plumb, The Popular
Your tombstone will say? She found joy in everything!

Who? Guy and Ludwig, on Murray Street
Occupation? G – Art Gallery Owner; L – Fashion Photographer
Where’d you get that? G – My new neck tattoo which is currently just an outline is by Guen at Planet Ink; L – I bought my coat in Montreal, $50 bucks!
Who’s your style icon? G – Tom Ford, is that boring?; L – Cary Tauben (Montreal stylist and “about-towner”)
Three commandments of style? G – Have a sense of humour, be unique, mix up your style; L – pointy shoes, comfortable jeans, clean cut
Do you think there are stylish people in Ottawa? G – Yes and I’ve slept with them all!


pantsI decided that today would be a good day to go out and buy those pants I’ve been eying for a week at H&M so I can wear them with my white v-neck shirt and lovely Aldo shoes for the Boytech show at The Social tonight. I also thought it would be a good idea to get there early because I knew that the crowds were going to be in full force for the launch of the Comme des Garcons H&M collection. I arrived at around 10:45am and God knows why I decided to use the front entrance instead of entering through the mall because I almost got stomped on by shoppers huddled in the corner eager to get their hands on the designer pieces.

I quickly went to the other side to grab the pants, which, of course, were not available in my size so I sized up. I started observing the crowd and thought to myself, “wait a minute, barely anyone knows about Comme des Garcons (except the Japanese of course), so why are they all mad over this stuff?” Yes, many Japanese people were grabbing pieces, but people who I think took time off work (people between 25-40) were getting their hands on a collection that well, isn’t all it’s cracked out to be. I saw the previews and some pieces were great but I didn’t see any of those pieces on the rack, nor did I see any pieces that were must haves. Maybe they were all gone but seriously, it was 11am and the collection launched at 10am, where did they go? They weren’t all gone, they were simply in the hands of the shoppers – like dozens of pieces in each person’s hands. There wasn’t even that many pieces in the whole collection!

picture1-3I heard one security say to another, “they are insane!” I noticed that people were grabbing pieces just to have them (such as a plain navy shirt à la American Apparel), and then I saw various people (mostly men) leave the store with almost 6 bags stocked with Comme des Garcons stuff. There were also people huddled near the change rooms exchanging pieces with strangers in order to get the right size or piece. I was flabbergasted.

I spoke to a few employees and some shared my view about the collaboration. One employee said that half these people don’t even know the designer, they just read all the press and well since it’s an H&M designer collaboration, let’s go nuts. I wonder what it was like when the Karl Lagerfeld or Roberto Cavalli line launched. I’m sure that was way worse.

My question: Are people going to go this nuts when Alexander McQueen collaborates with Target?

My advice: do not attempt to go to H&M when a designer collaboration launches, or even on a Saturday (if you must go to the one on Queen Street West, it’s less busy).

My Halloween Costume

Tomorrow is Halloween and I’ve been invited to a party where I am forced to wear a costume. I’ve been thinking of being a cigarette since last year but I never got around to finding the costume so now that I have like 24 hours to come up with a costume, I went back to my previous choices either Donatella Versace or Karl Lagerfeld.

I walked around most of the day looking for a costume shop or shops that sell costumes without any luck, until I walked into a small dollar store on Queen Street West that had a unicorn mask (haha Deyla) and a greyish long haired wig. Since my dresses are still in storage in Ottawa, I had to settle for the Karl look and skip the Donatella costume, although I really wanted to be Donatella and pass vodka bottles and cigarette packs to eager trick or treaters (kidding kidding – anyone see that SNL episode?).

Any way, the only thing missing from my Karl outfit is my black blazer which I also left in Ottawa somewhere so I am using my black leather jacket with silver zippers which will match my black bowtie I have and the pimp silver necklaces I’m lining up on top of my white chemise. The outfit basically looks like what Karl is wearing below, but the blazer is a tight leather jacket.


This is going to be crazy and the costume might even help strike up conversation with random people because I only know like 3 people there.Next year I am definitely going to try to be a cigarette, that’s like the most original costume ever, or an onion.

Pictures from:,,

Fritz Helder and The Phantoms

fotobooth21Having moved to Toronto just a few days ago, I was eager to begin networking. I had emailed blogger and fashion illustrator Danielle Meder last month letting her know I am moving and would like to get involved in the scene. Bloggers are the best. Why? Because they, unlike many people these days, respond to your emails. This is something I try to live by, to answer everyone between 24-48 hours.

Well I emailed Danielle again Sunday letting her know I’m here and she sends me an invite to the “Lagerfeld Lady” single + video release party for this band called Fritz Helder and the Phantoms at Strangelove in Little Italy. One problem – I was supposed to confirm with the publicist Sunday, it’s now Monday, so I try my luck and email her any way. Luckily, she turns out to be one of the nicest and most helpful publicists I’ve ever met and grants me access to this jam (yes I used the word jam). She also lets me know that Pastel Supernova and Diego Superstar from the band are originally from Ottawa!

So I dress up (luckily I did) and head out solo. Now, I don’t know what Danielle looks like because I didn’t think of Facebook stalking her or anything so this was going to be a challenge. I look around, then I run into the publicist who describes Danielle to me. I find Danielle and her entourage. Blogger Anita Clarke sits on her left, designer Philip Sparks on her right, and to his left Now Toronto’s Fashion Editor Andrew Sardone. Danielle mentions the firm I’ll be working at and I am happy to know most of them know the company well.

I like the location because it’s small and intimate and you have the opportunity to chat with everyone.

I notice cameras are all over the band and I can’t help but admire their style. The lead singer is wearing a pair of turquoise April 77’s (I was wearing my April’s too) and I was tempted to strike up a conversation about how great these jeans are but refrained myself. I kept staring at them for a bit and realized how much their look reminds me of Hercules and Love Affair.

The video starts playing, the Hercules and Love Affair vibe is growing but I see a little more of Prince (à la Erotic City) in the lead singer’s persona. It’s original and fresh, I’m enjoying it (you can too, see the video below).

Danielle introduces me to more people, including designer Nada Shepherd (who just showed at L’Oreal Fashion Week) and Gail McInnes (I spelt your name right this time…are you reading this?) Gail’s personality and personal style is great, she’s also one of those people who responds to your emails. Another thing about Gail? She knows everyone so she introduces me to the owner of Stylus Canada and Fabric Magazine, who, tum tum tum, studied at Carleton University (does everyone have a tiny attachment to Ottawa around here?).

fritzAfter chatting for a bit I head out, having thoroughly enjoyed the band and meeting all these great people. I look forward to more events like this, and seeing Justice at Circa tonight.