THANK YOU BLACKBOOK: INDIA’S LUXURY INSIDER FOR FEATURING MY TRAVEL GUIDE TO CANADA AND INDIA IN YOUR JULY 2013 ISSUE.
THANK YOU BLACKBOOK: INDIA’S LUXURY INSIDER FOR FEATURING MY TRAVEL GUIDE TO CANADA AND INDIA IN YOUR JULY 2013 ISSUE.
‘Toronto is having what the fashion world lovingly refers to as a “moment,” and—splitting her time between the Canadian city and New York—Vogue.com contributor and budding design entrepreneur Sophie Young is perfectly poised to experience it in the city’s epicenter… [The] tight-knit family of six travels via floatplane from Toronto regularly on weekends to their cottage on a fir-lined island in Georgian Bay. The cedar interiors and faded furnishings conjure summer nights filled with good food and great conversation—a haven in which to recharge before heading back to Toronto’s ever-increasing hustle and bustle.’
READ THE FULL APT WITH LSD ARTICLE ON SOPHIE YOUNG’S TORONTO AND GEORGIAN BAY HOMES ON VOGUE.COM
FOLLOW FOR PICTURES OF TRAVEL, FASHION, FOOD, DECOR & MORE ON INSTAGRAM.
MANY THANKS TO VOGUE INDIA FOR FEATURING ME AS PART OF ‘INDIA’S NEW FASHION VANGUARD’.
THE MAVERICKS. VOGUE INDIA. OCTOBER 2012.
IN ANTICIPATION OF THE 2012 TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVVAL, ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST ASKED THREE PROMINENT TORONTIANS FOR THEIR FAVORITE SPOTS AROUND THE CITY. READ IT HERE.
To celebrate the opening of the first Tory Burch boutique in Canada, the fashion maven asked Canadian boy and Elle magazine’s Creative Director Joe Zee to share his favorite spots in Toronto.
Read the Daniel Pillai’s full interview with me on Two Mangoes here.
See more photos from Agra on Facebook.
Brenda Thomas with Timmy the donkey at Wishing Well Sanctuary
For the past few years, Brenda Thomas has had a vision – of an Animal Sanctuary in Bradford West Gwillimbury, that would take in and provide a loving home for rescued farm animals.
“We’re taking animals that are typically raised for food, and promoting a vegetarian lifestyle,” Thomas says. Wishing Well Sanctuary has 51 acres on the 10th Line of BWG, 9.5 of them fenced – and on October 14, received its first residents, 5 sheep and 9 cows.
The sheep are part of a flock of 32, that had been used for research at the University of Guelph, and rescued by Animal Alliance Canada. Most of the flock was adopted out – except for the five that were brought to Wishing Well.
The cows were purchased from a farmer by Animal Alliance, to save them from the slaughterhouse.
Thomas is hoping that all of the animals will find “joy, and open pasture,” at the Sanctuary. “They’re going to live out their lives.”
The sheep posed a particular challenge. “High Health” sheep, bred to be pathogen-free for research purposes, they had to slowly be acclimatized to their environment, and to pathogens, over a period of months, says Liz White of Animal Alliance. The tricky acclimatization was accomplished with the help of Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary, located near Stratford Ontario, and a skilled sheep farmer.
Since “these sheep have never been outside,” Thomas will have to introduce them to pasture slowly – starting with an hour a day.
Besides providing shelter for rescued animals, Thomas has another goal for Wishing Well Sanctuary. Recognizing the connection between humans and animals, she also plans to focus on mental health and healing, using the farm’s buildings for seminars and programs geared towards children, youth and their families, with the animals playing a role. As it says in her brochure, “Animals nurture our awareness of the interconnectedness of all and help us in our healing process.”
She wants to provide art therapy, music, meditation, yoga, dance, tai chi, as well as horticultural therapy and animal therapy, in a safe and peaceful environment. “I really see it as a sanctuary for all animals, human and non-human,” she says, adding, “I’m very into promoting mental health, not treating mental health… There is certainly this big need around here. There are some great things we can do.”
Wishing Well Sanctuary has applied for charitable status, and Thomas has been putting together a portfolio of facilitators to work with families and children. “The wheels are in motion,” she says.
In the meantime, the truck loaded with the rescued animals rolled slowly up the winding drive, to the barn and fenced paddock that will be their new home. The animals were quickly unloaded – the sheep finding their way into a warm stall, the cattle outside into the field – as Thomas and supporters, including Lesley Sloan, also a member of Wishing Well’s Board of Directors, watched.
“It’s the happy side of animal protection,” Thomas says. “These animals are ambassadors, for all the other animals” – being raised for food, at times in less-than-humane conditions.
“I’ve visualized this for so long. It’s just amazing they’re here.”
For more information about Wishing Well Sanctuary, call 905-775-9179.
Read this article in The Bradford Times here.
“Channeling “Paris-Bombay,” Lagerfeld was able to do what only he, the Kaiser, could… take us on a magic carpet ride to the Rajasthan, without going too literal on us and keeping that chic CHANEL signature, which we love. We certainly found our happy place (or should we say, palace?) in Paris! The Coveteur was first (yes, first!) to view the collection the following morning and let us say, we haven’t experienced an ice storm like that since Jen Brill’s crib. And it was all in the details: Henna-printed handbags (and gloves!), beaded bibs, endless strands of Coco-approved pearls and more. The attention to detail and celebration of the hardworking heroes behind-the-scenes certainly did not go unnoticed and had us henna tattooing each other with Sharpie’s après the show. (No, seriously, though.)”
See all the photos and read the full review on The Coveteur
It was a sunny spring day in Toronto when I first met Veronica Chail — all dressed up from the OMNI studio to meet me for coffee at a Starbucks on the funky Queen Street strip — but idyllic atmosphere aside, we had something very serious to discuss: IIFA 2011. Little did I know that a masala style chat about one of the world’s biggest award shows would offer me a window into the life of a young woman carving her own path in the media landscape and proving that stereotypes are meant to be broken and glass ceilings shattered.
What began as a collaboration for IIFA became a real friendship and I was lucky to learn about Chail’s passion, courage of conviction and dedication to giving back. She’s had success as a producer, news writer and reporter, and most recently, as the very talented host of Bollywood Boulevard — yet has always found time to volunteer with charities and organizations with genuine interest and commitment. Outraged by the shameful blind eye to human trafficking she’s witnessed, particularly at home in Canada, Chail has recently set up an anti-human trafficking organization to create awareness, spread knowledge and ultimately find solutions to end this horrible practice. No small feat with only 24 hours in a day.
In a very short time spent with this media maven it was clear to me that there’s absolutely no stopping her — the sky’s the limit — and after reading the interview below I’m sure you’ll feel the same.
After being escorted down a long winding hallway I entered the hotel’s banquet room to the ebullient sound of Hindi music and stomping feet, where dance king Shiamak Davar was rehearsing with his dancers and Bollywood actor Bobby Deol for the 2011 International Indian Film Academy Awards in Toronto. Anyone who knows anything about Bollywood knows that dance is an absolutely integral part of film and the IIFA Awards are no exception; Davar has been called upon to choreograph the stage show for 11 consecutive years simply because he’s the best.
Life hasn’t always been easy for Davar. Over two decades ago when he first started his school with seven students, traditional values and binding stereotypes in India provoked enormous backlash and harsh criticism. “Everyone made fun of me, they said ‘you’ll never make it, it’s an effeminate thing, it’s disgusting, you shouldn’t do this,’” Davar told me he, yet he had the strength and vision to pursue his dreams amidst the condemnation. His female students were maligned as well for their tight dance clothes and passionate dance moves, told they were crazy and would never be able to marry.
Ironically, it’s thanks to one of Davar’s first female dance students that he broke into film and forever changed dance in the Bollywood film industry. Gauri Khan, then girlfriend and future wife of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, was a student of Davar’s and Khan would often be at the studio to pick her up from dance class. At the time Khan was working on a film with the legendary Indian filmmaker Yash Chopra and approached Davar to come on board. Chopra told Davar “we want your different style, we want your freshness, we want your unique style” and when Dil To Pagal Hai released, it included the banner “Introducing Shiamak Davar.” And the rest, they say, is history. Davar won the National Film Award for Best Choreography and was credited with changing the style of dance in Bollywood. The exposure was “unbelievable’ said Davar, whose career has continued to soar since.
During IIFA 2011 Leanne Delap from the Toronto Star called me to chat about Bollywood fashion – read my thoughts in the article below.
Canadians not of South Asian descent may have trouble wrapping their heads around just how flipping huge Bollywood stars loom in the lives of the Indian diaspora.
“The level of idolatry is unprecedented,” says Toronto-based actress Lisa Ray, who lived in Mumbai and worked in Bollywood for more than a decade.
Vinay Virmani, one of the stars of Breakaway, a Hollywood/Bollywood fusion flick set to premiere in September, was also born and raised in Toronto. “Bollywood film stars are held in such high regard within many households that people literally can’t distinguish between onscreen and off-screen sometimes. So the actors are idols, and they have to be very responsible about how they conduct themselves.”
That means they have a talk to walk: Women, especially, have to be demure. “You may see a low back on a sari, but that is as racy as you will get,” says Mohit Rajhans, the film critic for Omni TV’s Bollywood Boulevard and CBC Radio One’s Metro Morning. “You see some little minidress costumes on screen, but at premieres and awards the women always look regal.”
Among both the fêters and the fêted this long bollyweekend there is likely to be a real mix of traditional garb and funkier western gear.
Toronto-born Marissa Bronfman is a blogger and contributor to The Huffington Post who recently relocated to Mumbai to cover the Bollywood beat. “When I worked in Toronto and New York, my uniform was basic black,” Bronfman says. “Since I moved to India, though, I’ve come to appreciate it as a rare place that still appreciates traditional dress. I’ve become passionate about colour and embellishment.”
Bronfman packed “a real mixed bag” for a trip home to cover International Indian Film Academy events. “Colourful, embellished Indian skirts with a crisp white blouse.” [* Which is exactly what I wore on Bollywood Boulevard, see the pictures and video clip here.]
Ray similarly plans to mix things up, day over day. “I also love to wear Canadian,” says the actress, who appeared Tuesday at the Mad Hot Ballet fundraiser in a turquoise column sheath by Andy The Anh. Speaking on a Bollywood cultural panel at the ROM Wednesday, she had Kim Newport-Mimran whip up “an orange-red tribute to Bollywood.” She may go with an old-school sari this weekend.
Read the full article on The Toronto Star website here.
For over three decades makeup magician Mickey Contractor has been wielding his magic wand on Bollywood’s brightest beauties for dozens of hit films and advertising campaigns. Gender discrimination in the film industry forced him from hair into makeup, where he felt frustrated with archaic beauty ideals and lighting technology that required egregious amounts of makeup.
Though change has been slow to come in India, he’s proud to have been a driving force behind altering mindsets to embrace different kinds of makeup and lighter applications. I caught up with this seasoned pro during the 2011 IIFA Awards Weekend to chat about his new partnership with MAC Cosmetics, his passion for Viva Glam, his trajectory through film and advertising, and the beautiful life lessons he’s learned along the way.
The fans were screaming, the media running and the celebrities dancing — yes, it was the 2011 International Indian Film Academy Awards that brought Bombay and Bollywood to the streets of Toronto for a decidedly spicy IIFA weekend full of film, fashion and masala-style fun. Keep reading to find out which stars came, which films won big and why the 12th annual IIFA awards weekend was a memorable Canadian affair.
Confirming Bollywood celebrity appearances is about as easy as getting through Bombay’s glutted traffic, so it’s no surprise that there was a lot of confusion, debate and disappointment surrounding which stars would touch down in Toronto for IIFA 2011 (read more about it here). A smattering of sultry sirens came along with a handful of Bollywood hunks but by far the biggest star at IIFA 2011 was the king of Bollywood himself, Shah Rukh Khan. His attendance was confirmed mere days before the big event and the pandemonium that ensued was a testament to his astonishing global star status. Bollywood heavyweight Salman Khan dropped out at the last minute to much disappointment, but young hero Ranveer Singh joined Anil Kapoor, Sonu Sood, Ritesh Deshmukh, Boman Irani and Rahul Khanna, who all shared the IIFA 2011 green carpets with Dia Mirza, Bipasha Basu, Mallika Sherawat and Shilpa Shetty.
Read the full article on The Huffington Post.