Sunday, January 31, 2010

Taylor Swift wins Album of the Year

So I watched the whole Grammy show tonight; it was long; Lady Gaga looked like an idiot; Beyoncé cleaned hou-wait, Taylor won Album of the Year? Yes, the 20 year-old absolutely robbed Beyoncé of Album of the Year. Not that I am a music know-it-all but Swift isn't very talented as a singer (as a songwriter, I'll give her a few points). Furthermore, I would be willing to bet that Kanye's debacle of Swift's award acceptance at the MTV awards earlier this year played to her favour. Luckily for her, Ye wasn't at the awards show and Taylor was able to sniffle through her speech uninterrupted.
That's all for now but I'll have more about the Grammys tomorrow but had to rattle this off before bed. In the meantime, check my Twitter for all my reactions/emotions from tonight (warning: there are a lot).
Photo cred to BBC

Incase iPhone Case Eh!

To all my people with iPhones, Incase has come out with an Olympic-inspired version of their iPhone case just in time for the Vancouver Winter Games. The cases are avilable at Canadian Apple retail stores.


Dang I wish I was invited to this party + NEW DJ SET

Download A-Trak's set from his recent stop at Power 106 in L.A.
Via A-Trak's Twitter

The United Front - 431 Richmond Street W.

This is possibly my new favourite building in the city of Toronto. I had been there before but yesterday, I got the full experience I had somehow missed on my previous trips. Why is this building so important? It houses not one, but four great stores: Nomad, Goodfoot, Stüssy and Ransom Holding Co..

Nomad carries a ton of brands that have been featured on this blog, including A.P.C. (I think Nomad was the first retail outlet to sell A.P.C. in Toronto), Opening Ceremony and Rag & Bone; and some that hopefully will find a home here in the near future like Nom de Guerre, Comme des Garçons, and one of my favourite designers, Robert Geller. Needless to say, this is a Toronto staple for men who are interested in high-fashion.

Right next store, and a store I've visited on multiple occasions, is Goodfoot. Goodfoot is a Canadian-owned shoe store that stocks the newest kicks from brands like Nike, adidas and New Balance (among others). They have the latest styles, and many limited edition pairs as well. Goodfoot re-stocks very frequently and their staff is very knowledgeable, not to mention really friendly and cool. Last time I was there it was warm outside and everyone was just throwing down kickflips on the street. Also, besides carrying a wide variety of sneakers, Goodfoot also carries some higher-end clothing, like the James Bond for David Beckham x adidas cardigan I saw yesterday, which if I recall correctly, retails for somewhere around $225.

(I couldn't find any pictures of the interior Richmond street location - so you'll have to go check it out for yourselves)

Now, we're moving upstairs. Right above Nomad we have Stüssy, an Orange County, California surfer brand that has since become somewhat of a street staple, adopted by the hip-hop world as one of their own. It was my first time in the store and I was impressed; the shop was heavily stocked with tees, toques, shirts and sweaters and the best part was a good portion of the store was still on sale from their Boxing Day promotions. I picked up a tee and a hoodie - both of which were 40% off. Again, the staff was really friendly and featuring an open concept with bright white walls, it was a very nice space.

Lastly, and the original reason I ventured down to Richmond, was to check out Ransom Holding Co., a Canadian clothing brand that is making huge waves in the fashion world. A few months ago, Ransom hooked up with adidas to create beautiful boots. Sadly, I wasn't able to grab a pair but I haven't given up my quest. Here's the promo video.

Ransom also stocks a wide variety of shirts, pants and tees, and carries not only their own brand, but also Levi's Vintage Collection, Alife, Jack Spade and Mosley Tribes sunglasses (which I desperately want a pair of). The brand's work pants were recently featured as part of Complex blog's "Buy It Now" collection and Drake rocked a pair of the boots in Birdman's 4 My Town (Play Ball) video. This brand is taking off and I'm excited for their future collections.

This building is so impactful on the Toronto scene that it has been featured on countless popular websites and in numerous magazines as well. One can go there and literally be outiftted from head-to-toe in hundreds of styles as each store brings something a little different to the atmosphere of the collective. Plus, because all the stores are in one structure, you can hop between the shops without even having to go outside. I'm very excited to see the summer collections these stores will have in a month or two, so don't be surprised if you run into me one Saturday sometime soon.

Some info provided by Nomad, Goodfoot, Ransom and Stüssy; pictures by the previous four sites, Hypebeast and High Snobiety (and a few Google searches).

Friday, January 29, 2010

1 LOVE T.O x Haiti

Last Saturday, I had the chance to hook up with the dudes from 1LoveTO again and attended their Haiti Relief event and annual Thank You at 6 Degrees nightclub. Although cover was free, all attendees were encouraged to donate whatever they could to the ongoing effort in Haiti. The guys managed to raise just under $3000 - which will be $6000 when the Canadian government matches the donation dollar-for-dollar, along with boxes of first aid supplies. Here's the video of their trip to the Red Cross. Oh, and big ups to my classmate Zoey Dash for doing her thing and helping out with this event.

"That's word to Toronto"

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A.P.C. SS 10 Lookbook

Gentlemen (and any interested ladies), I know I have been lacking a little bit in fashion posts lately but I just haven't found much I'd like to share. This might have something to do with brands not releasing new collections during Paris Fashion Week (which ends today), although that's likely more of a hypothesis than a causal relationship. But just as I was getting frustrated from spending hours searching through my many bookmarked sites, I came across something good. I'm hoping this trend continues...

French brand A.P.C., probably known best for their denim, released their Spring/Summer lookbook today and I really like it. The look definitely has a European feel to it but not in an overt sense. Most of this release is wearable, a nice change for a higher-end brand, even though it remains very expensive. To buy an actual outfit as seen on their site will run you on average between $800 and $1100, but the pieces work well as stand-alones as well. Here are a few of the looks; for the whole set, head over to Hypebeast.

Via Hypebeast

Good Morning: MadTV x iPad

Despite my unwavering hatred for MadTV (minus Aries Spears), I have to give them props for this one.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Warrior Footwear SS 10

Warrior drops a classic-looking first collection to kick off their 75th year in existence. Established in 1935, "Hui Li" as it is known is China, started out as the original shoe for Chinese athletes. After three quarters of a century, the brand seems to have moved away from athletics towards a look that is more "lifestyle" oriented; I don't think partaking in any physical activity without socks is sanitary or comfortable.

For the Ottawa peeps reading this (LV I see you), Warrior shoes are available at Norml Clothing (184 Rideau St.); Torontonians and everywhere else, head over to the website for the online links.

Via Hypebeast

Status Update: the iPad

Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Inc., delivered his much anticipated speech today introducing Apple's latest creation, the iPad. I apologize for the poor quality of the video - which is weird considering it was filmed by CNET - but it's a clear and concise way of explaining, and showing you, what exactly the iPad is.

I do feel it's important to lay out the specs of this new device so I turned my way to Acquire Mag (by way of the homie LV) and they laid it out like this: "The iPad is a super thin design that's half an inch thin and features a 9.7 inch screen, 3G ($15 a month for 250MB, $30 a month for unlimited), 802.11 WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, 16-64GBs of storage, and an incredible 10 hours of battery life". Depending on size and internet capacities (WiFi vs. 3G), the iPad will run for between $500 to $830 USD. However, much to the chagrin of technology buffs, the iPad doesn't have a camera, there are reports that the iPad browser doesn't support Flash - which will make it difficult for some web pages to render - and finally, the iPad can't multitask. Not being able to open more than one application at once is my least favourite part of the iPhone and it's extremely frustrating that Apple hasn't been able to fix this problem.

While the reports on the iPad are mixed at best, the best comment I have heard so far is one person they would just wait for the 2nd generation to come out, after Apple has worked out all the issues, because the later generations of all Apple products have been exponentially better than the early versions (iPod? Check. Macbook? Check)

And if you think "iPad" is a funny/weird/stupid name, you're not the only one. Here are a few tweets on the subject.

With files from Cloud10LV, Acquire Mag and Wired

Good Morning: Robin Hood (Trailer)

Three-time Academy Award-nominated director Ridley Scott (American Gangster, Black Hawk Down, Gladiator) teams up with his main man Russell Crowe to star in a gritty looking version of Robin Hood. This one's set for release May 14th.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Os Gemeos at the Galeria Patricia Armocida

Two of my favourite artists, the Brazilian duo Os Gemeos (Portugese for "The Twins"), have just launched a new exhibition “Nos Braços de um Anjo” ("The Arms of an Angel") at the Galleria Patricia Armocida in Milan. I've been following these guys for a few years; Their style is super distinct and immediately recognizable.. I have to admit though, I like their graffiti more than their exhibitions, but hey, I'll take what I can get from these guys.

Seen at SlamxHype

A-Trak - Loonies to Blow

Yesterday an A-Trak remix of the Cash Money crew's "Money to Blow", entitled "Loonies to Blow", appeared on Drake's blog, without any indication as to whether it was a stand-alone remix or part of something bigger. Today A-Trak, who's from Montreal, tweeted:

For anyone who's heard DSD Vol. 1 (shouts to Kevin for sending that my way last year), this is exciting news. For those who haven't, here's my favourite song off the first album.

I have to admit, I'm pleasantly surprised A-Trak's been working on remixes after he mentioned in 2009 that he was going to take a break from them. Regardless, I'm definitely looking forward to Volume 2.
Download "Loonies to Blow" here.

Holt Renfrew Extreme Sport Windows

These are the new display windows at Holt Renfrew (at the Bloor St. flagship, I imagine). Very cool designs. Here's what John Gerhardt, Holt Renfrew’s Creative Director, had to say:

"There was an abundance of sport references in the spring collections and designers like Alexander Wang, Balenciaga and Prada really led the way. Our windows capture this trend and exaggerate it with an ‘extreme’ theme. We were also influenced by the photography of Sam Taylor-Wood who plays with ideas of gravity and weight. In our windows, the mannequins are in a state of suspension, defying gravity while participating in a variety of daring sports.”

Thanks to Anita for this one.

Good Morning: Extreme Makeover - LRG Office Edition

Chicago-based artist Pose One stopped by the LRG studio in Irvine. California recently and gave the place a little makeover. The finished product can be seen below.

What is next to the panda?...
Via Curated Magazine

Monday, January 25, 2010

Drake x Complex

Complex Magazine snatched Aubrey to do a quick photoshoot for their February/March issue, while the Toronto native was in Hot-lanta finishing up his album with Wayne.

Complex: Take me through your songwriting process.

Drake: With R&B, I know my sound. I know I make records to f*** to.


Drake: The way Jay and Wayne write rap, I write R&B. I don't write lyrics down on paper. The other day, I was in the studio with Alicia Keys, and I wrote two songs just speaking to her. I wish I could write that way for rap. With my rap songs, there's so much of me I have to give that I don't know if I could ever just flow. The thing is, I'm a great rapper. There's two elements to rap: having the thoughts, and then being a great rapper. I can really rap the shit that I write. My tone, my inflection. When I listen to myself on records, I don't feel like I don't belong there. When I listen to "Forever," with three of my heroes, I fit right in.

Read the rest of the interview here.
Via HustleGRL through Complex

Music Monday: Colin Munroe

I first heard of Colin Munroe because he's featured on Drake's track "Runaway Girl", for which he does the hook. They've since teamed up a few times but Munroe isn't a one-trick pony. In the past month-ish, he's collaborated with Bun B & Talib Kweli on "Don't Die" and will be featured on "So Close So Far", a cut off Statik Selektah's new mixtape 100 Proof. Needless to say, Munroe is doing well as of late, throwing down the hooks for some hot rap acts. But he also released a solo mixtape The Unsung Hero in 2008, which I downloaded last week. Probably his most popular song, and the one I'm feeling lately, is "Piano Lessons" (feat. Joell Ortiz). Check it out below.

And for a nice little bonus, check out his remix of Kanye's "Flashing Lights".

Good Morning: Andrea Bargnani

Last night the Toronto Raptors played host to Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. I liken this matchup to watching my best friends fight my enemies; it's very clear who I'm rooting for. So when Kobe hoisted the desperation 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds to go to win the game, and it hit all parts of the rim before clanking out, I fell to the ground in a state of pure relief. But at certain points, the game had me doing the opposite, and I was jumping out of my seat watching the Raps play very well against the best team in the NBA. One such moment is this one, for which Andrea Bargnani's well deserving of the "Dunk of the Night".

The Imaginary Foundation

First things first, I would like to apologize to my friend who sent me this exactly 61 days ago. I'm sorry I took so long getting around to it, but here we go.

The Imaginary Foundation is a Swiss think-tank who holds dear "a belief in human potential and seek[s] progress in all directions". Supposedly founded by the father of Dadaism, the IF, to me at least, seems like a bizarre pseudo-government for the left whose headquarters is probably in a cave in the Swiss Alps. So why are we talking about this? Because they make damn cool t-shirts!

"Avoiding direct publicity, the team has sought clothing as an unlikely vehicle for bringing their ideas beyond the academic realm and into popular culture."

So far so good; Jay-Z rocked an IF tee this past September.

And Usher was seen sporting one in the July 2008 of Japenese magazine Woofin'.

The designs are extremely intricate and most are very colourful. But besides being aesthetically appealing, the t-shirts are usually designed to create some sort of intellectual stimulation either through a repeated pattern or a combination of seemingly seperate things that create an illusory idea. Besides appearing on a variety of clothing, many of the visuals are available as posters as well. Here are just a few of the ones I liked.

Dream Machine

Let's Roll

Bolt of Inspiration

Higher Education


Besides their online shop, Imaginary Foundation is available at two Toronto boutiques: Lavish&Squalor (235 Queen St. West) and North Trooper (69 Yorkville Ave. #102)