Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Me To We Style - The Shameless Romantic Contest!

Hey everyone!

I just wanted to pass along some information for a fantastic contest that is starting tomorrow through Me To We Style! Be sure to check out their Facebook page.


Are you a Shameless Romantic?


Me To We Style will be posting 1 photograph per day of a classic couple or duo from a

film starting February 1st 2012.

Comment on the photo answering the question "What makes you a Shameless Romantic?" for

your chance to win an amazing Valentine's Day prize pack.

Simply LIKE our contest after you enter your comment to be entered twice into the draw!!!

Share our promotion and we will also enter you twice!!!

Contest closes February 9th 2012, with the winner to be announced on February 10th!!!

And Remember, "You Had Us at HELLO"


What does this prize pack include, you might ask?

- TWO Valentine's Day bracelets, in Red & Blue from Toveren!

- 2 Class Passes to Moksha Yoga Downtown!

- a $60 Gift Card to FRESH Restaurants

- a Cooking Class for Two from Appetizers & More!

- a Baker's Dozen of Cupcakes from KOKO'S CAKES!


Sounds pretty awesome, eh? Good luck! :)

- Christina

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I love birthdays!

Another birthday has come and gone...so I wanted to share some photos of the delicious food my friend Riley put together for my celebration! So impressive.

I am officially no longer a teen, but excited for the things to come! :)

- Christina

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Hey everyone!

As most of you know, as well as my obsession with the entertainment industry, my love for fashion is right there beside it. So when I heard of CollegeFashionista, after attending last year's Teen Vogue Fashion University, I thought it would be a great opportunity to get involved - so I am now Ryerson University's representative (called a Style Guru) for CollegeFashionista!

Every Wednesday, I'll have a new post up on campus trends, featuring Ryerson students! So I'll be constantly roaming around campus looking for fashionistas/fashionistos to snap some photos of!

And here's my first post, featuring Hillary MacDonald!

Keep up to date with my posts by going to CollegeFashionista and clicking 'select a school' and choosing Ryerson University :)


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

JRN Feature: Pop-up shops ft. Philip Sparks

Hey everyone!

Just wanted to share a feature article I wrote for my journalism 124 class last semester (so ignore the dates mentioned in it). The assignment was a 'place profile' and I chose to feature Toronto designer Philip Sparks' first pop-up shop, and also looked into the pop-up shop trend.


On any given day, Toronto fashion designer Philip Sparks works in his studio on the fifth floor of the Burroughes Building at Queen and Bathurst, but on September 21, I didn’t find him there. Instead, he had packed the rich earthly tones, crisp tailoring, and shearling accents of his fall collection to display among the soft worn leather suitcases and vintage wooden furniture within the SMASH antique store located in The Junction neighbourhood at 2880 Dundas Street West.
The Philip Sparks Junction Trunk Shop is just one of the pop-up shops making a Toronto appearance. Pop-ups like these are helping designers get their lines out there in a unique way to reach new customers. They are spontaneous and even offer exclusive merchandise, and despite the seemingly complicated task of moving from multiple locations, pop-up shops are becoming an innovative option for today’s Canadian retailers.

And like a reinvention of the travelling circus, the store owner is similar to the ring master, bringing something fresh and original to different locations. This is a new concept in the retail industry, and fairly unknown to the average citizen. Rather than maintaining a permanent spot, designers and store owners search for temporary sites for make-shift shops that remain open for time periods ranging from three days to three months. These shops follow a trend that began overseas in Europe and Asia. Since then, the trend has become more prevalent in the United States, and according to Susan M. Boyce’s article in The Western Investor, “pop-up retail is steadily making its presence felt in Canada.” In Toronto specifically, many other stores are opening their doors as ‘pop-up shops,’ such as the Inside Out Pop Up Shop and A2Zane.

Despite Sparks’ Junction shop at SMASH being only five days long, it is the first of many to come. He will be holding one monthly in addition to maintaining his studio/showroom, which is open to the public on Saturdays. SMASH was his first choice as the location of his debut pop-up because it is full of rustic items such as books, globes, and trinkets that match the line’s sense of finely tailored nostalgia and chestnut brown and olive green colour tones. And that is exactly the outcome that Sparks wanted. He launched his clothing line five years ago and has continued to branch out, adding women’s wear just last season. From the outside, the store is missing an overhead sign that shows a store even exists beyond the exterior, in the address between a furniture store and a bicycle shop. Instead, the word “SMASH” is found in a small font on the lower right corner of the front window. But once you step inside, you walk into a page from a history book.

On the third day since his shop opening, Sparks, a man of quiet nature and friendly face, is pacing around his display. While nodding his head to the Indie music in the background, his fingers slowly move from the table of folded pants and plaid shirts to the blazers and winter coats on the hangers, making sure they are in perfect condition. He is welcoming and smiles at people as they walk into the brightly lit antique shop. Having used a number of items from the store as props to outfit his showroom, as well as for photo shoots and fashion shows, Sparks thought this collaboration was the best idea. In fact, SMASH is known for these collaborations and Dana Francis, co-owner of SMASH, describes the store as a “collective, rather than a single entity.” In the past, the store has been the location for live concerts, beer tastings, and art exhibits, just to name a few. She mentions this is why the store does not have a large sign out front. For Sparks, the feedback has been amazing. He’s hooked on the idea and thinks more designers should take this route.

Eva Tolkin, owner of the Inside Out Pop-up Shop, would agree. She decided to try her hand at the business after getting a taste of it in Montreal. Her unique store, which features an elaborate collection of vintage hats and lavish fur coats, is located on Queen Street West and she emphasizes the most difficult part of opening a pop-up: finding the right location. When she first set out to find a spot, she walked around the city aimlessly and was lucky to find her current location through a friend. It is often a challenge to find a place for a limited amount of time, but Tolkin’s timing was perfect. Previous occupant, and strong supporter of the pop-up trend, Zane Aburaneh, just happened to be moving. Now, he has even designated a space in the new location of his store, A2Zane, specifically for the in-and-out feature of pop-ups.

As for Sparks, he is already planning his next few spots, focusing on arts-oriented areas that suit his overall theme of modern nostalgia, which is “a combination of classic tailoring to suit the modern day guy or girl.” And after his stint at his first location, Sparks packs up his trousers, button-up shirts, and coats to bring back to his studio once again. The success of his shop is seen in the amount of customers who stopped by, as well as their eagerness to learn more about his brand. He gained followers who are anxious to see where he will end up next.

All photos taken by me.

Thanks for reading! :)

- Christina

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I'm surrounded by such talented people!

Hi everyone

I know I haven't been able to post event coverage in quite some time, but don't worry, it's just the start of the year and I'm sure there will be lots to come! But in the meantime, I thought I'd show some appreciation for the talented people that surround me all the time - whether it's a new YouTube video or news coverage or a simple Facebook status update, it's so awesome to see the amazing things these people are doing. So here's to 2012 - another year of growing, learning, and dreaming! So proud!

Express Not To Impress (E.N.T.I)

I've watched these guys grow into such incredible and passionate dancers and I am SO proud of how far they've come - and they're only still in high school! I was lucky enough to coach them back at Sullivan Heights Secondary and I love visiting them whenever I'm back in town. Just yesterday, they competed at Breakout, a high school dance competition, and they came 2nd in the small team division. Check them out!

Laura Roy

I met this talented singer/songwriter at Encounters With Canada, a trip to Ottawa that brought Canadian students together for a week of various activities/events. Laura is from Canning, Nova Scotia and she is currently in a Music Arts program at the Nova Scotia Community College. This past summer, she even visited Ghana, where she collaborated with Ghanaian rapper Guru and produced two hip hop/r&b tracks. She also has a video entry right now on YouTube to be a contestant on Canada's Got Talent (see below) - good luck Laura!

I interviewed her a couple years ago for a previous blog post - check it out HERE

Navid Charkhi

Wow, this guy is seriously so crazy - and humble - in the dance world. I've known him since our high school dance competition days and it's so great to see he's still as awesome as ever. His choreography is so sick...AND he's in baking & pastry arts, so he's sick in the kitchen too! Check out this video (props to the other dancers in the video too!):

BRAV3 Productions

This is the company that produced Navid's video above, and I think these guys are super talented - they do photography, video, and other awesome multi-media projects. They even helped me out with a photo shoot for my clothing line (all.dun.up) and I love their work! Want to get in contact with them? Shoot an email to: brav3productions@gmail.com

RAW Dance Crew (RiseAsWe)

I met these guys at an event in Vancouver but they're actually from Toronto! So I've gotten to hang out with them and see them at TO events as well, which is awesome. The group is made of Mikey Le, Gregory Villarico, David Forteau, and Jimmy Lin and they are based out of Rightfoot Dance Studio. Keep it up guys, can't wait to see more!

Follow them on Twitter: @RawDanceCrew & on Facebook

Jayson Araja

A fellow dancer from Vancity, and Ryerson student, Jayson is one of the most fashionable people I know. Currently a third-year Fashion Design student, he is always incredibly busy and I don't know how he does it sometimes. I've posted previous blog posts about him as well, featuring his contest entries in different competitions: TRIUMPH & Danier. I can't wait to see his designs on a runway in the future!

Scott Forsyth

Vancity is full of so many incredibly talented dancers, so I will probably continue posting videos from all of them eventually, but this guy in particular...he's so dope. I've been able to dance with him in the past, with SickStylz Symphony, and always used to see him at high school dance competitions, so I love seeing his amazing choreography on his YouTube channel - here's his most recent:


Okay, that's enough for now, but I could honestly go on and on for a while - I can't help it, I admire so many people and what they've accomplished! So this will probably become a series of posts, perhaps weekly or biweekly. So let me know if you know any talented folks who I should feature!

Follow on Twitter: @christinaaa28

Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy (Belated) New Year everyone!

Sorry for the lack of posts, but I was enjoying the holidays over on the West Coast...And now that I'm back in cyber-world, I am excited to see what this year has in store for my blog! Last year was incredible, from going to New York for Teen Vogue to sitting front row at the Canada's Walk of Fame awards show as the Sandra Oh seat filler. So this year, I hope it's just as exciting!

But just if anyone is curious, here is a mini re-cap of what I did over the break:

Was a supportive sister and attended my brother's hockey games.

Sewed for my own enjoyment - yes, that is my new favourite skirt!!

And finally added to my all.dun.up clothing line - sewing wraparound scarves as well as selling vintage silk scarves that I have found all over (see photos below). You can check it out at: http://www.alldunup.tumblr.com

And I also just enjoyed being back in Surrey with my family and friends :)

I'll keep you posted with the adventures I embark on this year!