I was recently in Singapore to attend Chanel’s cruise collection. It was a fabulous affair, but after a few days of subsisting on canapés and champagne (hey, I’m not complaining), I was craving something more substantial than a postage-stamp-size piece of smoked salmon on rye. I was also in serious need of some comfort food as I was bracing for a four-hour night flight to Hong Kong, a 10-hour layover there followed by a 15+-hour flight home to Toronto. Several people—including the woman who had recommended I try a Malay abdominal massage—suggested Pollen. (I figured this was a solid tip coming from someone who clearly had a heightened sense of the need to care for one’s stomach.) But as a seasonal allergy sufferer, I flinched when she first told me the name. “Do you mean ‘Poland’?” I clarified. “No, Pollen,” she replied. “As in the flower.”
Entrance to the Pollen restaurant in Singapore.
Pollen restaurant is located inside the Flower Dome.
I thought it was a curious name until I Googled the place and learned that it was located in the Flower Dome in the new Gardens by the Bay. The gardens, which span 250 acres of reclaimed land and reportedly cost SGD $1 billion, are a rare gem in a city whose bland skyline has a certain Ottawa-government vibe to it. (The notable exception being the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and its jaw-dropping infinity pool on the 57th floor.) For Pollen’s chef director, “Michelin” man Jason Atherton, the name is a metaphor for the growth of new ideas or “the birth of newly invented recipes and ways of cooking.” Atherton—who is a former protege of Gordon Ramsay— has a similar venture in London, called Pollen Street Social.
The Marina Bay Sands Hotel dominates the Singapore skyline.
The spectacular Marina Bay Sands’ infinity pool.
Foodie hype or divine dinner: Did the restaurant deliver? Read on…
I haven’t read Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asiansyet, but I feel as if I got a glimpse into the fabulously OTT Asian jet-set scene when I attended Chanel’s recent cruise collection in Singapore. Unlike other fashion spectacles—where the front row is lined with international press and A-list European and American starlets—this outing felt more like a gigantic love letter/trunk show for Karl Lagerfeld’s seriously committed “Chanelites.”
There were some notable style scribes (Carine Roitfeld and André Leon Talley), one American celebrity (Dakota Fanning) and some Asian film stars (Rinko Kikuchi, Fann Wong, Zhou Xun and Gwei Lun-Mei), but the majority of the 1,200 people at the show on May 9 appeared to be A-list shoppers who wore their loyalty literally from head-to-two-toned pumped toe. While some travelled from Hong Kong, Bangkok and Malaysia, many of the moneyed set were from Singapore—a city TheWall Street Journal recently called the “world’s richest city.” According to Global Language Monitor, it also ranks eighth in the world’s fashion capitals.
At the afterparty held at the Loewen Cluster—a collection of buildings that at one time housed a nutmeg factory as well as British army barracks—I sidled up to two Chanel-clad young women or, as Kwan calls them, “CRAs.” After a little banter about the cruise collection’s chic pencil skirts, high-waisted wide-legged pants and the adorable—and highly covetable—No. 5 “fragrance” clutch, I asked them what they did for a living.
The Chanel No5 clutch. One word: adorable.
Read on to find out just how these two stylish women fund their fashionable—and enviable—wardrobes.
Hold on for dear life, people: the French 75 cocktail packs a punch. This boozy delight was first named after a .75mm handgun–because apparently, that’s how hard this drink will hit you. Of course, with the ELLE Canada team couldn’t resist seeing whether the drink lives up to its name. The verdict? It’s a good thing tomorrow’s Saturday. Ka-pow.
You will need:
1.5 oz of champagne (we used Chandon)
1 oz of Tangueray gin
0.5 oz simple syrup
You will need:
1 bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne
1 bottle of green chartreuse (available at the LCBO)
Beautiful champagne flutes (we especially love these elegant crystal glasses from The Hudson’s Bay company!)
MONTREAL: FAIR-TRADE FASHION Status: This Saturday only What: Spring clean your wardrobe and come home with 10 exciting pieces in their place at the Style Trade MTL Boutique event this weekend. When: Starts Saturday May 11, 10AM to 3PM. Where: 5524 Rue Saint-Patrick, suite 325, Door A, Montreal Buzzworthy notes: Swap your much-loved but rarely worn pieces for must-have essentials this season, plus get advice from a fashion expert; tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door.
TORONTO: URBAN GARDEN Status: Blooms this Saturday What: The Toronto Flower Market sets up floral shop this Saturday with freshly plucked, locally sourced flowers and plants on display each month for the summer. When: Starts Saturday May 11 (10AM to 3PM) and continues every second Saturday of the month until September. Where: 99 Sudbury, 99 Sudbury Street, Toronto. Buzzworthy notes: Take home a bouquet of over 80 varieties of fresh-cut flowers and 120 types of potted plants (think tulips, violets and hydrangeas), straight from the over 200 greenhouses in Ontario.
Westwood (left) at her Spring 2013 runway show in Paris. Image courtesy of ImaxTree.
By Caley Skinner
Employees of Virgin Atlantic must be getting pretty excited right about now! Famed fashion designer Vivienne Westwood has re-designed the airline’s iconic red uniforms; the new looks will debut in July 2013, and the official launch will be in 2014. Westwood has been working with Richard Branson to create environmentally friendly uniforms – the polyester yarn used in the uniforms comes from recycled plastic bottles, while reused roadside banners make up the canvas. Of her ethical looks, Westwood stated, “Fashion – actually let’s call it clothing, because most of it isn’t fashion – is one of the biggest polluters, it must be with all that landfill. My main focus is quality, rather quantity, and I’ve been saying to people, ‘Buy less, choose well, make it last’, Rather than just keep sucking things up.” [Vogue UK]
Pierre Hardy Poworama, 2011, displayed at the Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture exhibit at The Bata Shoe Museum. Collection of the Bata Shoe Museum, gift of Pierre Hardy.
Image C 2013 Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Canada.
By Caley Skinner
On April 25th, Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum opened an exhibit called Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture. This marks the first North American exploration of the urban footwear style, which originally appeared in the 19th century. The Bata Shoe Museum is showing over 120 sneakers from across 150 years; standouts include a pair donated by rapper Run DMC and current designs from powerhouses such as Christian Louboutin, Prada and Lanvin. With the current explosion in sneaker popularity (or, more specifically, wedge sneaker popularity), it’s no wonder Toronto’s fab footwear museum has chosen to explore this type of footwear now!
TORONTO: SPA CALLING Status: Opens this week What: A relaxing sanctuary at the newly opened Equinox Fitness Club in Toronto, The Spa offers a luxe menu featuring 24-carat gold and caviar facials, seaweed wraps and microdermabrasion, with Rodial skin care products. When: Opens Monday April 29. Where: 199 Bay St., Commerce Court West, Toronto. Buzzworthy notes: Head from your body-toning Pilates class to a Sculpt Facial appointment without stepping outside: The Spa @ Equinox offers access to the fitness club on the day of your spa appointment, plus a range of luxe facial and body treatments to indulge in a well-rounded “me”-day.
TORONTO: REEL TIME Status: Screens this week What: The official launch party of Toronto recording artist Kirty’s music video, Run River Run. When: Tuesday April 30; doors open at 9PM, screen to take place at 10PM. Where: El Mocambo Tavern, 464 Spadina Ave, Toronto. Buzzworthy notes: Directed by Matthew DeFilippis and Elisia Mirabelli, whose most recent short film, Pretty Thing, will be screening at the Cannes Film Festival as part of Telefilm’s Not Short on Talent program, the underwater-shot music video is the Ryerson grads’ latest cinematic venture.
Click here to read on about more fashionable events taking place this week!
Can you guess which celeb wore this Fall 2012 Giambattista Valli Haute Couture gown on Saturday? Image courtesy of ImaxTree.
By Caley Skinner
Stars always bring their fashion A-game to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, where celebrities and political heavyweights mix in Washington D.C. every year. It’s a night for chic, demure ensembles – celebs who regularly dress for shock value tone it down and class it up for this foray into the political sphere. So we’re always excited to catch this particular red carpet’s fashion hits and misses. This year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, which took place Saturday night, didn’t disappoint – after all, belle of the ball Michelle Obama showed up wearing a shimmering black Monique Lhuillier gown! Some of this year’s standouts? Katy Perry in Giambattista Valli and Sophia Bush in Lela Rose. [Huffington Post] [CocoPerez]
Amanda Bynes shows off her buzzed head in new video [JustJared]
It only took one hour for Kate Middleton’s polka-dotted Topshop dress to sell out [Daily Mail]
Anne Hathaway wins Most Influential Film Hairstyle title [ELLECanada.com]