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Copenhagen, Birthplace of the Hipster

Postcard Perfect: Nyhaven is only a block long but it is packed with tourists from morning 'til night.

Copenhagen, Denmark.  Not a place I would necessarily put on the list of places I MUST visit in my lifetime but definitely somewhere that I was intrigued enough to travel.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much I admired the city and now feel the overwhelming need to pay it forward.  A cool destination known for its numerous canals, expansive landscaped parks, historic houses, Scandinavian design, outdoorsy lifestyle, tall blondes and the birthplace of the hipster.  It very much reminded me of my beloved Toronto with its friendly inhabitants, clean streets and trendy enclaves.  I could tell you about the tourist traps but you really want the inside scoop.  Perhaps my little travel gems shall persuade you to add it to the list?  Not really, sort of, maybe, yes.

Stroget is the main shopping area, a pedestrian friendly cobblestone maze of shops from the high-end luxury (Louis Vuitton) to the fast fashion, cheap and cheerful H&M and Gina Tricot.  The department store Illum houses an impressive assortment of housewares and decor.  Wandering into its less boisterous sidestreets, you will stumble upon antique dealers and the more eclectic independent boutiques and cafes.

Bright whimsical Gronlykke with its vintage textiles and curious tchotchkes.

Pale blues: My idea of heaven is being surrounded by embellished fabrics, Eastern decor and colour blocked.

Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer – It’s a fact:  Danes like to work on their tans.  And we love them for it.  Insert *staring problem*  With many bike friendly paths, recreational parks and designated swimming areas on the canals (such as Havenholmen), many people were taking advantage of the milder than usual climates.  Locals lounge on the grassy noles, enjoy people watching, listening to live musicians or taking a refreshing dip in the clean canals. 

Locals beat the hottt, hottt heat by jumping into the canal. Not thinking it would be so scorching hot, we left our bikinis in London. I was very disappointed that we didn't get to jump off this faux boat. Moral of the story: Always pack a bikini.

Waffles & Weiners – Every day the smell of freshly made waffle cones would waft through the air like gauzy puffs of sugar and butter clouds.  Inhale deeply and feel intoxicated by the rush of endorphins.  Known for the quality and variety of their hotdogs and toppings, many carnivores indulge in the street meat offerings as a snack or meal.  So overpoweringly delicious was the scent of Frankfurters, I was HIGHLY tempted to give up my vegetarian ways.

You can't miss the scent of freshly baked waffle cones on the corner of Toldbodgage.

Wherefore art thou Hipsters?  Maybe you would expect more gentlemen of the Sprockets variety (see/ Mike Myers SNL circa 90′s) but I would classify the gents as ‘Modern Dandies’ with their perfectly coiffed pompadours, trimmed facial hair, v-neck cotton t-shirts, walking shorts and deck shoes.  Could you expect any less from the city that brings you the most accessible street fashion?  Vesterbro is the up and coming sketchy area you will find them and the street where they are most likely to congregate is on Istedgade.  Is your curiosity piqued?  See/ The Copenhagen Report

Wherever there are artsy types, you will find Hipsters in the hood. A small pocket of hip in Norrebro (aka Norre Bronx).

OMG, this outfit! Sasha working a 70's vibe in the H&M Fall Campaign. I mean, those burgundy boots paired with coral! Photo courtesy H&M

I tried to find the best representation of the 'Hipster Pompadour' and it really is based on the Elvis model (who btw, is looking super hottt in this picture taken before he started on the banana, bacon, fried peanut butter sandwich diet). Run-on sentence.

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August 8, 2011   No Comments

The Soundtrack to Sunsets On The Beach

I ask you this: "Why is One Tree Hill still on the air??" I still hope that one day these two get back together. You too, huh?

I haven’t written a music post in a while yet like so many of my diversions, it truly is a passion.  This playlist is a compilation of songs inspired by Seth & Summer.  Songs they would play on the beach while roasting marshmallows to the view of the setting sun and sounds of crashing waves, her clad in her bikini and Juicy hoodie and him in his Penguin shirt and plaid boardshorts.  Is it weird that I’m nostalgic for 2005?  I dated a lot of cute skinny boys that summer, rode around my car Habeebs with my sunroof open, danced under the stars and tanned on the beach.  Good times.

Some sweet sounds.  Dream on young lovers…

  • Summer Camp – I Want You
  • Air – Playground Love
  • Conner Youngblood – A Summer Song
  • Foster the People – Helena Beat
  • Phoenix – Love Like a Sunset
  • Tokyo Police Club – Bambi
  • Young the Giant – Strings
  • Death Cab For Cutie – You Are A Tourist (Seth Cohen’s favourite band)

Rachel Bilson looking super cute in her Missoni bikini. I mean, Adam Brody, what were you thinking? #girlcrush

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August 6, 2011   No Comments

Cute Band Alert: Miike Snow

Miike Snow as that guy from V is for Vendetta

Mmm, I probably should have written about Miike Snow a long time ago but The LC has been overtaken by my fashionistah posts.  Miike Snow is a Swedish indie pop band comprised of Christian Karlsson, Pontus Winnberg and Andrew Wyatt.  Their sound is a dreamscape melange of vocals and electronica.  The kind of music that makes the emo hipster boys break out of their beer holding, head bopping into dance.  It’s a concert I definitely wanna be at.  #dearuniverse  

Darling of the music bloggers, they also have done tons of great remixes of Peter, Bjorn & John, Passion Pit and Kings of Leon.  While you may not realize you’re listening to Miike Snow, it’s playing as background music on Gossip Girl or MTV’s The Buried Life or blaring on the soundsystem of a downtown store.

Here are my fave Miike Snow tunes and remixes:

  1. Miike Snow – Song For No One
  2. Animal
  3. In Search Of
  4. Cult Logic
  5. Remedy – Crookers (f. Miike Snow)
  6. Sabali – Amadou & Miriam (Miike Snow Remix)

To listen to more Miike Snow, check out what the music bloggers are buzzing about on The Hype Machine

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February 19, 2011   No Comments

Stocking Stuffers That Are Naughty Yet Nice

With global warming, there’s a strange disconnect between what’s going on outside versus what’s happening in the malls.  As holiday music blares over the sound system, I still can’t believe in a few short weeks, we will be celebrating Christmas.  I only have two words:  Holy Canoli

Many of us (myself included) leave the gift purchases until the very last minute, nano-second.  But those proactive list-making shoppers will undoubtedly be enjoying a leisurely skate on a frozen pond followed by fireside snuggles while the rest of us will perspire mercilessly, enduring the crush.  In the parking lot, we will be leaning on horn whilst screaming “You MF’er!” at nasty drivers.  Did you like this dream sequence?  Inspired by Scrooged.   

My favourite gifts are those that are humourous, stylish and thoughtful.  Here are my top picks for stocking stuffers or unconventional hostess gifts.

I mean, have you ever? You had me at mix tape. Amazing, emo, hipster, ironic greeting cards from ableandgame on Etsy.

With these American Apparel leg warmers, I propose a dance party. Grape vine, kick!

"Is that coal in my stocking? Um, are you trying to tell me something?" Your friend will feel better once you tell them it's edible.

A rainbow of Lacie thongs from Victoria's Secret ready for colour blocking. I would rather undies than socks.

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November 18, 2010   1 Comment

Bringing Back Paula Abdul, Cold Hearted Snake

"Ooh Ahh, look into his eyes! Ooh Ahh, he's been telling lies." Oh Paula of Forever Your Girl, wherefore art thee?

Walking along Queen West with my dance poppet I, we passed through many construction areas as many buildings are undergoing the makeover of re-gentrification.  I told him that the scaffolding reminds me of Paula Abdul’s ‘Cold Hearted Snake’ video, which for its time was extremely provocative.  Miss Paula circa ’80′s could do no wrong.  I mean, she was the Rihanna of the day, she dated Arsenio Hall, choreographed her own dance numbers and she was doing group ‘heavy breathing’ and ‘spirit fingers’ while Britney was still a Mouseketeer.  Everyone I knew had memorized the lyrics to every song on ‘Forever Your Girl.’  I played Straight Up and Opposites Attract over and over until I had to use a pencil to unwind my cassette tape.

On our next adventure to karaoke, I will definitely peer pressure gently influence my friends into singing this song.  I foresee the hipsters going craaazy.  Some styling cues that I will take from the 80′s and bring into modern 2010:

Gi-normous bow headband. If you're going to do Cold-Hearted Snake, you have to go ALL THE WAY authentic.

Free People East Meets West body-con dress. Great for extra limber Bob Fosse style choreography.

Patricia Field Spy Gloves. This is a great stage move: tipping your hat on the profile. The crowd will eat it up.

And now to relive the salty goodness that is Paula Abdul’s Cold-Hearted Snake, please click on the link below.  You will be singing it for days:  “He’s a lover boy by trade, He don’t play by rules, Ooh oh, Girl don’t play the fool now.” (After all these years, I still remember the words.  Oh deep engrained cellular memory!)  There are countless amazing moments in this video, you may have to watch it twice (gliding across the floor in knee pads, mesh top with tassles, Paula being lowered from the scaffolding, simulated sex positions, etc, etc).  Enjoy!

Paula Abdul – Cold Hearted Snake Video

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July 10, 2010   No Comments

This One Time At Topshop…

Topshop Cool. No TRY. Just is.

The mention of Topshop conjures great memories for me.  More than a decade ago, my fashionistah friends and I embarked on a summer ‘European Study Abroad,’ where we mixed fine art, sight-seeing, fashion, copious amounts of partying and dubious amounts of shopping.  We tasted our first champagne and we got busted at customs (ahem, for shopping, not for drugs).  Many wonderful friends were made and memories forged while blazing a trail from London to Paris to Barcelona. 

When I remember Topshop in its former inception, it was about promo tops in baby pink and blue (2 for 1), cargo pants with sewn in pouches (remember those?), essentially cheap and cheerful.  In its modern-day renaissance, it’s synonymous with Brit fast-fashion, uber-trendy, mixing better-best price points with vintage and diffusion lines.  MK & Ash shop there, so does Alexa (saw her trying on booties) and Gwyneth.  Let’s just say it’s a lot cooler. 

Merchandised in mini shops to work a look.

If anyone has visited the London flagship at Oxford, it’s a multi-level sensory explosion of colour and trend.  As we take the descending escalator deep into Middle Earth, your heart beats with the rush of accessories, shoes, jeans, designer lines and reconstructed vintage.  You better get good reception on your phone because you can literally loose a friend.  Then mix that with the chaotic zoo of fashionistahs clamoring to grab their size while it lasts.  It’s definitely not for the faint of heart and like a 90′s dance song, ‘it’s gonna make you sweat.’

As many globetrotting fashionistahs lament ‘why not here!!?’, the gods are looking down favourably upon us in Toronto.  We get a touch of Topshop when it arrives at Jonathan + Olivia (49 Ossington Ave.) on June 19th.  Similar to New York where it soft launched at Opening Ceremony, the brand is testing before a major launch.  But c’mon we all know it’s going to fare well.  Did you know that the Toronto locations of Urban Outfitters are among the most profitable per square footage in the chain?  I swear we must have the highest hipster per capita.

My favourite Topshop buys of all time are a fuschia sundress embroidered with gold floss in an Indian sari style, a black body-con dress with a flared taffetta trumpet skirt attached and giant bow (Very Robert Palmer ‘Addicted to Love’) and a grey herringbone ruffle jacket with 3/4 bell sleeves.  While you have to rummage and edit through a lot to find what suits your style, there is always something very forward and unique about their offering.  I was trying on playsuits (translated as rompers) more than two years ago.  Hello!!??!

Here are some fun items I hope to see when Topshop lands in our fair city: 

Monet meets Alaia: Painted Floral Bandeau Dress

Mesh shrug in that 'Dashiki Chic' style I enjoy so much

Flapper Style: Do you have fringe on your pockets or are you just happy to see me?

Jingle-Jangle: Ball chiffon bangles make pretty noises

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May 31, 2010   No Comments