A New Toronto Restaurant
Be sure to warm up your voice before heading to Dasha, the new Toronto resto from Michelin-star chef Akira Back. Once you’re sated by the delicious Chinese food (think har gow dumplings and traditional Peking duck), you have to head into one of the five private karaoke rooms and belt out a tune. (We call dibs on Céline Dion, thank you very much.) And if you need a little liquid courage, cocktails are available in the rooms.
Architecturally Inspired Handbags
Instead of dreaming up buildings, Toronto-based architect and designer Ashley Phillips is using her technical expertise to create something you can take with you wherever you go. With Azure Lazuli, her line of leather handbags (which made its debut at London Fashion Week), Phillips explores form, combining modern shapes with bohemian details. Each bag is made by leather workers using traditional hand-tooling techniques for the ultimate personal touch. (From $129, azurelazuli.com)
“If a retailer wants to take on [our] brand, it has to carry it in the entire size range; it can’t break it up,”says Khloé Kardashian of her size-inclusive line, Good American, which she co-founded with entrepreneur Emma Grede. Now, for the first time, the brand—which carries sizes 00 to 24—is available in Canada, with its activewear finding a home exclusively at Sport Chek. (From $85, sportchek.ca)
Gucci dug into the archives for its new 1955 Horsebit bag, a contemporary recreation of the classic style that debuted over 60 years ago. Creative director Alessandro Michele has reimagined the bag in three different silhouettes—shoulder, bucket and messenger—all featuring the double-ring-and-bar-horsebit hardware, an iconic emblem influenced by the house’s equestrian heritage. With finishes in the classic monogram canvas and coloured leather, it’s an original made for the next generation. ($2,860, gucci.com)
Legal Drama Just Mercy
Warning: You will experience the full range of human emotions while watching the legal drama Just Mercy (out December 25). The movie—which tells the IRL story of civil-rights advocate Bryan Stevenson (played by Michael B. Jordan) and his quest to free a wrongfully convicted man from death row (an Oscar- worthy performance by Jamie Foxx)—received a rapturous standing ovation at its premiere at TIFF earlier this year for a reason. We may have been hiding our tear-stained faces on our way out of the theatre too.
Looking to unwind after a stressful week at work or to feel revitalized before the mad dash of holiday parties? There’s a mist for that. Canadian indie beauty brand Cardea AuSet has tapped into the power of aromatherapy to enhance your mood. Activate Mood Mist uses a blend of energizing rosemary, patchouli and lemon-grass essential oils to boost mental clarity, while Calm’s blend of lavender, bergamot and frankincense will help you chill. Finding your centre is just a heavenly scented spritz away. ($30, cardeaauset.com)
A Fancy Portable Speaker
Sonos is on the move—literally. The brand has just launched Move, its first-ever portable speaker. The wireless speaker connects to Wi-Fi for at-home listening but is also enabled with Bluetooth, so you can take it with you everywhere. Plus, it’s designed for 10 hours of continuous play, which means you can blast Solange all day long, from brunch to your evening cookie-exchange party.
Bold geometric jewellery
Salvaged materials find new form in Louve Montréal’s collection of bold geometric jewellery, which is inspired by the warmth of natural textures. Handcrafted one by one in designer Virginie Turcot-Lamarre’s studio, the pieces are made using wood from fallen or damaged trees from Quebec forests and leather scraps left over from local handbag producers. Any imperfections are kept and preserved for details that are as distinct as they can be. (From $60, louvemontreal.com)
A Gripping Debut Novel
If you’re looking for a page-turner to bundle up with this holiday season, look no further than Canadian author Samantha M. Bailey’s debut, Woman on the Edge. The gripping story follows Morgan Kincaid, who is suddenly given a baby by a woman moments before she dies by suicide. Pick it up when you have a few hours, because you’ll want to finish it in one sitting.
The First Scent From NARS Cosmetics
The maker of everyone’s favourite cheekily named blush (“Orgasm”) is venturing into perfume territory. Audacious Fragrance is the first-ever signature scent from NARS founder François Nars. Sweet white frangipani flower is blended with notes of smoky incense, sandalwood and ylang-ylang for a sensual, daring fragrance that lives up to its promise. ($240 for 50 mL, narscosmetics.ca)
A Binge-worthy Podcast
The podcast referred to as ‘Canada’s best kinda-literary, mostly-feminist, definitely hilarious, bingeable podcast’ has finally made its return after its three year long break and we are officially hooked. Comedian Lauren Mitchell wanted a place for powerful women to discuss how great it is to be them, without ever actually being asked “what’s it like to be a woman in your field?” With guests like Haviah Mighty, Carly Lewis and Georgia Webber, you’re guaranteed to be left inspired.
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