Dine With Cadillac Series – Exclusive Escalade Film Festival Experience

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Dine With Cadillac

Cadillac has been near and dear to my heart over the last year or so and I’ve enjoyed many opportunities working closely with the General Motors Canada family. From media activations, press trips, personal road trips, and lifestyle experiences for SoSasha.com – you name it, Cadillac has blended seamlessly into my life. Although my love for the brand’s luxurious portfolio of vehicles comes across on my site and social media channels, we felt it was time to do something different and introduce a small group of influencers (who have never been exposed to the brand before) to the Cadillac team in an intimate setting to share all the new and exciting things coming down the pipeline in 2015.

Dine With Cadillac

Dine With Cadillac

DineWithCadillac

Dine With Cadillac

I teamed up with my friend Garrett Tonge of Gtonge1.com, who I have collaborated with several times before in the past on lifestyle projects, to launch the #DineWithCadillac series. Our inaugural event took place during this year’s Toronto International Film Festival  and was held at The Spoke Club during the Nikki Beach Toronto  Pop-Up. Over a delicious multi-course brunch served in the venue’s private wine cellar, our guests got to interact with the Cadillac Brand Director, Mahmoud Samara and the PR/Media team, who brought us up to speed on the amazing technologies that will be found later this year in the brand’s 2015 line-up.

Dine With Cadillac

Dine With Cadillac

With We R Addicted Magazine Co-Founder Mark Munroe chatting with Cadillac Brand Director Mahmoud Samara

Dine With Cadillac

From l to r; Natalie Nankil – Media Relations Manager for GM Canada, Bloggers Gracie Carroll of Gracie Carroll.com and Garrett Tonge of Gtonge1.com

Dine With Cadillac

From l to r; Hannah Yakobi – Editor In Chief of Fajo Magazine, Masha Marinkovic – GM Public Relations and Blogger Dani Goddard of GirlsofTO.com

Dine With Cadillac

Dine With Cadillac

With my super busy lifestyle and always being on the go, I can never leave home without multiple charging options for all my mobile devices which leads to a clutter of charging cords around the middle console of my car. Later this year Cadillac will be adding wireless charging technology into the 2015 ATS sport sedan and coupe models, followed by the CTS sport and the Escalade SUV. The wireless charging feature will be in the format of a power mat that will be located inside the storage bin behind the faceplate panel of the entertainment center. And if that’s not enough, Cadillac will also be introducing 4G LTE internet connectivity. The built-in connection will allow passengers access to online content via a Wi-Fi hotspot, which will be able to accommodate up to seven devices. This is pretty much a dream scenario for Bloggers, Social Media Influencers, Real Estate agents, Sales Executives or any other individual that needs internet connectivity for the job throughout the day on the road. Also, it’s an amazing feature for families to have for their children and other passengers when traveling on long road trips.

Dine With Cadillac Escalade

Dine With Cadillac

Dine With Cadillac

Dine With Cadillac

Pictured directly above – the 2015 Cadillac Escalade Premium Collection

After enjoying post brunch bevies on the rooftop, our group was whisked off in chauffeured Escalades to attend the premiere for two of the most anticipated screenings during the festival, “This is Where I Leave You” featuring an all-star cast including Jane Fonda, Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Rose Byrne and Adam Driver and “The Equalizer” featuring Denzel Washington and Chloe Grace Moretz, made possible by one of our sponsors, L’Oreal Paris Canada. Being a car enthusiast, it should come as no surprise that our transportation in the 2015 Escalade was the highlight of my afternoon. The Silver Coast Metallic exterior colour combined with the luxe Kona Brown interior turned heads as we drove down King St West with the windows down. Cadillac did a superb job of preserving the Escalade’s iconic design while modernizing the car’s feature exterior elements, giving the SUV a chic update. Not to be outdone by the exterior, the Escalade’s cut and sewn nappa leather seats, second row captain chairs, hand wrapped leather middle console and door panels in addition to unique exotic wood accents literally blew my mind. A scenic ride through the city was the perfect introduction to the vehicle, which has me looking forward to getting behind the wheel of one very soon so I am able to share more info on the performance and technology details with you. I have a feeling it may become my new favourite vehicle out from the brand’s line-up.

Dine With Cadillac

Dine With Cadillac

Photos by Robert Okine, Cadillac Canada, and Instagram (Dani Goddard & Sasha Exeter)

I want to take this opportunity and give a huge thank you to Cadillac Canada in addition to L’Oreal Paris Canada, Rimowa, Glaceau Water/Smart Water, The Spoke Club, Nikki Beach Toronto and the Milka Mili Agency for helping make this event possible – and stay tuned for more lifestyle experiences with Garrett and I, in conjunction with General Motors. For more information on Cadillac and it’s vehicles, head to www.cadillac.ca.

Posted on by Sasha in AUTOMOTIVE, EVENTS, LIFESTYLE Leave a comment

Stay Light, Go Long in the Nike Lunar Glide 6

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Nike Lunar Glide 6

If you’ve been following me on social media over the last six weeks you are already well aware that I will be running in the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco next month, which to be honest both excites and freaks me out at the same time. Prior to my marathon training I was running my weekly km’s in Nike Flyknit Free 3.0’s, but since July I transitioned into the brand’s latest innovation for running – The Lunar Glide 6. This year the R&D team at Nike developed the most sustainable lunar glide ever made. The updated Lunarlon foam delivers optimal cushioning and also harnesses a newly reworked Dynamic Support system for tapered support thorough a runner’s natural gait, which is perfect for my mid to long range runs. For those who are unfamiliar with Lunarlon, it can be best described as soft inner foam surrounded by a more stable outer layer, which is the key behind the shoe’s light weight and stability.

Nike Lunar Glide 6

With the training schedule I have been following on the #WeRunSF app in addition to my additional sessions provided by the Nike Canada team, I required a shoe with stability and support but still lightweight enough to not weigh me down. I noticed the difference with the 6 within five minutes of my first run in them – it is the smoothest ride ever and provides quick transition for those moderate overpronators. There are now five “Flywire” cables compare to six that was in the previous shoe that are attached to the sole giving runners the feel of a customized fit. Furthermore, Nike brilliantly used a “Pressure Mapped Outsole” which allows for more traction and stability where needed and “Flex Grooves” allow the shoe to be gender-specific by providing for flexibility throughout your foot strike transition. In addition to all the aforementioned benefits, the new updates to the upper, now redesigned with an ultra-thin, seamless mesh making it more breathable, wraps the entire shoe and covers strategically placed overlays. Check out the video below to get a glimpse into a training session at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium with by bestie Christian Thompson of ChristianConfidential.com:

Videography and Editing by LeSean Harris // Directed by Shane Stirling

Here’s the skinny: although the Flyknit Free 3.0’s were a good enough shoe for my 5-10K runs, there is no other shoe I would rather hit the streets in than the Lunar Glide 6. And I will confidently say that after recommending the shoe to more than a handful of other runners in the past few weeks, you will not be disappointed either. Nike did a superb job at making sure the shoe has a good mix of cushioning and stability, which I’m sure can be quite challenging during the design phase. The only downfall, the white mesh uppers can be difficult to keep clean and one rain run or accidentally hitting a muddy puddle could be disastrous. However, I was successful i washing my pair several times in my front load washing machine and letting them air dry overnight. After logging solid km’s in the updated lunar’s, I can confidently say this shoe can definitely handle the support/demand needs of both newbies and  high mileage runners.

Nike Lunar Glide 6 Women

What I’m Wearing: Lunar Glide 6 Running Shoe c/o Nike // Pro Rival Sports Bra c/o Nike // Dry-Fit Knit Tank Top c/o Nike  // 2″ Printed Rival Short c/o Nike  // Elite Hyper-Lite No Show Socks by Nike 

For more information on the Lunar Glide 6, head to Nike.com. They are available for purchase now online, the Nike Store located in the Toronto Eaton Centre, The Running Room locations and Sport Chek. Interested in being apart of Nike Toronto’s newly re-launched run club? It’s free, open to the public and a fun way to crush extra kilometres each week in the city. In case you missed my post on what you can expect and the training schedule, you can find full details here. 

Posted on by Sasha in FITNESS Leave a comment

Superfood Breakfast | The Antioxidant Rich Acai Bowl

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Acai Berry Bowl Recipe

Although acai berries are nothing new, it seems as though the Acai Bowl was everyone’s obsession this summer – myself included. Acai (pronounced “Ah-Sigh-EE”) is a Brazilian super fruit berry that grows on palm trees in South and Central America and is known to have the highest content of antioxidants than any other food on earth. If you’ve been to Brazil, or even California because lets be real, LA is always on top of anything healthy, you can literally find them everywhere. Thankfully, Toronto now has options for when you crave this power packed treat, such as my fave go-to on Queen St West, Bolt Fresh Bar.

I found out this weekend that making acai bowls at home is surprisingly easy, all you’ll need to do is track down acai in the form of frozen puree, juice, dried or powdered form. Don’t waste your time trying to be a purist hunting down fresh or frozen acai berries, like I did, as they only exist in the amazons. I decided to use Sambazon Unsweetened Smoothie Packs, which you can find at your local health food store or Whole Foods, because I heard it’s the easiest to use. It’s a little piece of heaven that tastes a mix between bitter chocolate and blueberries. The perfect way to refuel after a workout, as breakfast or a late night snack!

What You’ll Need…

  • 4 packs of Acai berry puree
  • 2 cups of soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, coconut water, or filtered water
  • 2 bananas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup of frozen strawberries (or any other berry you like)
  • 2 tbsp of hemp protein powder (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor. If you prefer it chilled, place in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. I pimped my bowl with shaved coconut, chia seeds, bananas and diced almonds. Granola is also a tasty topping to add as well!

Posted on by Sasha in FOOD Leave a comment

Vince Camuto Flagship Grand Opening | Yorkdale Shopping Centre

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Vince Camuto Toronto

I’ve been a fan of the Vince Camuto brand for quite a while and last fall I had my first experience working with their New York team when I did a style contribution on their digital publication The Crest  (which can be viewed here). Oddly enough, I just noticed that it was published on the one year anniversary of SoSasha.com and fast forward one year later, I am excited to be named one of their Canadian Brand Ambassadors. In case you missed my first outfit post featuring the brand’s Klayton open-toe booties, you can find it here.

Vince Camuto Toronto

Last week I joined fellow Toronto media personalities to celebrate the grand opening of Vince Camuto’s flagship free standing store located inside of Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Canada’s premiere shopping destination. The beautifully designed and merchandised store houses Vince Camuto’s latest footwear, accessories and key outerwear pieces from their collection, but unfortunately no ready-to-wear just yet, however rumour has it we may be expecting it in the Canadian market in the near future.

Vince Camuto Toronto

I got a chance to chat with the man behind the brand, who I am now fondly calling “Uncle Vince” to discuss his passion for creating luxurious looking footwear that won’t break women’s wallets or ankles and how the company has grown to include 30 different categories from; shoes, handbags, outerwear, clothing, watches, accessories, fragrance and even menswear.

Vince Camuto Toronto

Vince Camuto Toronto

Photos by George Pimentel Photography

If you’re looking for the perfect fall footwear, I promise you, there’s a shoe for everyone – and the accessories are pretty killer too! For more information on Vince Camuto or to shop their full collection on VinceCamuto.com. Be sure to also follow them on Twitter and Instagram for updates and style inspiration. *Please note, online shopping is available for U.S. residents only!

 

Posted on by Sasha in FASHION Leave a comment

Stepping Into Fall With Transitional Chic Booties

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Vince Camuto KlaytonDressing for the transition between seasons can be fun sometimes but seldom easy. Having to make decisions between skirts or pants, light or dark colours, fabric choices and of course footwear. Choosing a pair of shoes can pose as a difficult task because you don’t want to look like that crazed lunatic wearing sandals when it’s cool outside but you also don’t want your feet sweating and swelling in boots if the day turns out to be 27 degrees celsius. My two transitional fashion rules have always been; 1) Leave the house with layers. If you get hot you can alway remove something and on those cool fall evenings you have something to throw on or put over your shoulders to keep you warm and 2) Invest in a pair of stylish shoes that can take you from summer to fall in serious style.

Vince Camuto Klayton Booties

This season I will be swapping my sandals for open toe booties. They’re summery enough to allow me to show off my pedicure, yet still keep me warm on cooler nights.  The versatility of these chic booties from the newly opened Vince Camuto flagship store in Toronto, will definitely mean they will be in high rotation over the next few months.

Vince Camuto Klayton Bootie

Vince Camuto

Vince Camuto is just one of the many international brands that have been gracing Toronto with their presence and to celebrate the brand’s arrival and opening of it’s flagship store in the city, I would like to invite you all to join us for refreshments, music, to view the collection and meet the footwear visionary himself this Friday September 5th… I look forward to seeing you there!

Vince Camuto Toronto

What I’m Wearing: Klayton Booties c/o Vince Camuto // Pleated Midi Skirt by Zara // Denim Shirt (old) by Madewell // Tank c/o Artizia // Bag c/o Nella Bella // Necklace (old) c/o Ann Taylor // Sunnies by Ray Ban

Posted on by Sasha in FASHION, WHAT I'M WEARING Leave a comment

Nike+ Toronto Run Club Re-Launch

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Nike Run Club Toronto

Earlier this year I made the decision to turn  it up a notch with my running and began logging kilometres several times a week. When this journey commenced, I got accustomed to pounding the pavement solo until I joined the Black Toe Running/Nike Queen West Run Club here in Toronto.  This phenomenal group that I run with on Wednesday evenings gives me the motivation on those days when I may not feel up to hitting the streets and that little extra push in improving my speed – not to mention the amazing new friendships I’ve formed with the other runners.

Due to the success of the existing run program at Black Toe, my friends at Nike Canada has re-launched and expanded the Nike+ Toronto Run Club to be more friendly to those who are just entering the world of running, challenging enough for seasoned runners and completely open and free to the public. The expansion will offer those part of the newly launched Gridlock Runners group more days of running, diverse training options, plus access to coaches and experts that can help you eat for endurance and increase speed.

What’s On The Nike+ Toronto Running Menu

  • MondaysSpeed Work: These runs will be focused on assisting you increase your speed with weekly workouts
  • Tuesdays - Rookie Runs: New to running? Then Tuesdays is made for you! This session will provide you with the key fundamentals to become a better runner.
  • ThursdaysNike’s Run Club: Bring your friends or come solo and make new ones as you pound the pavement in the city on either a 4K or 8K run
  • SaturdaysNike’s New Long Run: It’s officially marathon season. Whether you’re training for a half/full marathon or simply want to build up your endurance, this 12K+ run will help you with your distance training

Nike Run Club Life is a Sport

The program is free, open to all ages and meets at the Nike Running Store at Toronto Eaton Centre; Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays @ 6:30pm and Saturdays at 10am. For additional information head to gridlockrunners.ca or feel free to contact me at info@sosasha.com. If you haven’t already, you may find me running the city streets on Wednesday evenings with the Nike Queen West run group. If you are looking to join us, we meet at 6:30pm sharp at BlackToe Running (on Bathurst just north of King St.) for either a 4k or 8k run. Look forward to hopefully seeing some of you out there!

Posted on by Sasha in FITNESS, HEALTH & WELLNESS Leave a comment

Easy Brunch Recipes: Poached Egg & Avocado Toast

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Poached Egg and Avocado Toast

I have a slight addiction to Eggs Benedict and often told myself that I would eat it everyday if only I knew how to make them. For years I have often wondered how the heck these little perfect pillows containing yolk were made and just figured that recipes that called for poached eggs are reserved for real foodies or those skilled in the culinary arts. Over the summer months I have been hearing about little tips and tricks on how to make the process easier like; adding a teaspoon of white vinegar into the water to stop the eggs from falling apart (Thanks Steve D.) and using the outer rim of a mason jar covers to house each egg while poaching. Both tactics were used and if you ask me, the results were more than I could have asked for. I originally wanted to make a traditionally Eggs Benny but after being sick for the last several days, I thought ingesting a creamy, fatty hollandaise sauce probably wouldn’t have been a great idea – so I opted for this healthy Poached Eggs & Avocado Toast recipe.

What You Will Need

  • 2 organic, free-range eggs
  • slices of bread (whole grain, spelt or ezekiel bread)
  • 1/2 avocado – I actually LOVE avocados and used a whole one…1/2 on each slice of toast
  • 2 tablespoons of shaved parmesan cheese
  • fresh herbs finely chopped (parsley, thyme, or basil) for topping
  • quartered heirloom tomatoes for the side serving
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • *Recipe serves 1

Poached Eggs & Avocado Toast

Bring a pot of water to boil (you must use enough water to cover the eggs when they lay in the bottom). Drop the metal rims (outer rim only) of two mason jar lids into the pot so they are laying flat on the bottom. When the water has boiled, turn off the heat and carefully crack the eggs directly into each rim. Cover the pot and poach for 5 minutes max (4 for super soft, 4:30 for soft, 5 for more for semi-soft yolks).

While the eggs are cooking, toast the bread and smash the avow on each piece of toast. When eggs are finished, use a spatula to lift the eggs out of the water. Gently pull the rim off the eggs (I did it right on the spatula over the water) and place the poached eggs on top of the toast. Sprinkle with parmesan, salt, pepper and fresh herbs. Then serve with fresh quartered heirloom tomatoes. *Adding a teaspoon of white vinegar to the water before boiling helps the eggs stay together in the water!

poached-egg-toast-4Recipe found on Pinterest.com

Posted on by Sasha in FOOD Leave a comment

Christian Louboutin Takes Nail Polish To New Heights

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Louboutin Rouge

Famous for his ultra sexy shoes with iconic eye-catching crimson soles, designer Christian Louboutin has shifted his focus from footwear to beauty with the launch of his Rouge Louboutin Nail Lacquer Color – a polish that simply demands attention just like his shoes.  Louboutin’s connection to the bold red colour dates back to over two decades ago, “In 1992 I was designing a shoe called Pensées. I was satisfied with the sketch of the shoe, but disappointed when I received the prototype from the factory. I couldn’t put my finger on what was missing, even though the prototype was very similar to the sketch. My assistant was painting her nails red next to me, so I grabbed her polish and proceeded to paint the soles of the shoes red. From that moment on, red soles became my signature. The red sole was born from red nail polish…now I’m going to give back to nails what the shoe took from them years ago.”

Rouge-Louboutin-by-Christian-Louboutin-Bellanaija-July2014001

True to Louboutin form, Rouge Louboutin over delivers on the product’s formula, colour and packaging. With it’s luxe glossy back cap tapered like a calligraphy pen and a faceted ombre bottle, inspired by 17th and 18th century European balustrades to house the high-shine lacquer, it accurately captures the designer’s love for art and architecture…with a celebration of colour and form. The rich formula inside the stunning bottle captures the brilliance of the finish in just two coats, using rich pigments to amplify the hue and create a timeless red that works on all skin tones.

“I want the woman to take her time and enjoy this different experience of painting her nails. The pleasure of the object as well as the pleasure of colour. The application will be a painterly and artistic experience, both for her and anyone who may be watching her. My goal is for a woman to feel beautiful, and the most important thing is that she feels satisfied when she looks at herself.” the designer explains.

Rouge Louboutin is now available for purchase exclusively at Holt Renfrew in Canada for $57 and Sephora locations in the United States for $50.

Posted on by Sasha in BEAUTY Leave a comment

American Express Celebrates 25 Years of Front Of The Line

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AmEx FOTL

One of the things I look forward to the most about summer is enjoying some of the amazing concerts and shows that come into this city and being an American Express Cardmember makes these experiences even more memorable by providing unparalleled access to some of the most fabulous events in town. For over two decades, Front Of The Line, has given sports, music, film, foodie and fashion fans the ability to not only purchase seats at the most sought out events prior to tickets going on sale, but they also provide VIP level elevated experiences by offering guests private Cardmember lounges and express bars, in addition to exclusive lines and washroom access. Through Amex’s partnerships with companies like LiveNation, Ticketmaster and Mirvish, they have been able to create these amazing experiences at Toronto’s key entertainment venues like the Molson Amphitheatre , Massey Hall, and Roy Thompson Hall.

AmEx Front of the Line

From L to R; Christian Thompson of Christian Confidential, Jay Strut, Bryan Brock of 1 Love T.O. and Catriona Lamb of Coco and Co.

A couple of weeks ago I had my first FOTL experience at the Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the program’s 25th anniversary than with a live performance by one of the hottest artists this year – singer/songwriter John Legend. Pre-show, my friends and I breezed through the exclusive entrance, noshed on a tasty dinner provided Barque, then got serenaded by Legend’s velvet voice for over an hour (in some pretty solid seats may I add) before heading to the American Express Cardmember Lounge to chill and enjoy a few cocktails, post show. With the perfect Summer evening weather, it was a pretty epic way to take in a live show.

AmEx FOTL

AmEx FOTL

AmEx FOTL

AmEx FOTL

AmEx Front of the LinePhotography by Robert Poulton

Want a chance to get in on the Front Of The Line experience? Until September 1st, 2014, @AmexCanada will be holding daily contests on Twitter offering tickets to the most covetable theatre, concerts and dining experiences in Canada. Entering is super easy, you must reply to the daily contest question using the hashtag #FOTL25 and the @AmexCanada twitter handle. Twenty-five names will be pulled from the replies collected each day.

Don’t have an Amex card yet but interested in getting one? Visit their site for more information and to see which card is right for you!

This post was sponsored by Amex Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.

Posted on by Sasha in EVENTS, LIFESTYLE, MUSIC Leave a comment

Getting To Know Ann Taylor’s Creative Director Lisa Axelson

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Lisa Axelson

Not too long after launching my site I was blessed with the opportunity to partner with Ann Taylor so the company is very near and dear to my heart. Living in the U.S. for several years I was already familiar with the brand but became an official part of their family when I was named a Brand Ambassador a year and a half ago. Over the course of this time, I have seen the brand transform from creating classic workwear collections for the mature career women to really providing chic and comfy separates that fits into the lifestyle of every woman, of any age. Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with the woman that dresses America (and now Canada), Ann Taylor Creative Director Lisa Axelson, and got to pick her brain as to what inspires her day -to-day, insight into her personal style, current obsessions, things she can’t live without and a sneak peek at the upcoming holiday collection!

SE: Each season I look forward to seeing a new twist on the brand with the launch of each collection, with of course a few classic mainstays. What can women expect to see with your upcoming Holiday collection?

LA: I grew up between Seattle and Vancouver and there’s something about the holidays that get me nostalgic about home. Rustic and authentic rugged textures are the main theme but it was important that we made it really modern and urban for today’s woman while keeping it comfy and chic. It is all about bringing the texture into the brand that was inspired by mountains and tress. You will really see my love of knitwear this season. Taking traditional woollens and tweeds and transforming them. We have a plaid coat in black, grey and white, very traditional colours, but the wool is brushed at the mill, pressed and the inside is bonded to neoprene. Neoprene is really huge right now and gives the jacket a really great sculptural look.

Ann Taylor Winter Holiday Collection 2014

SE: Let’s chat about fabrics. There’s seems to be a wide variety of them in your upcoming holiday collection. Probably more than I have seen in any of your past collections…

LA: I love fabric in general and doing new things with fabric, especially at our price point.  You always see fabric experimentation at the high end and I feel that it’s so hard to get that level of experimentation at a lower price point. You will see quite a bit of vegan leather next season…animal friendly AND at a great price point.

SE: I took a sneak peek of the holiday collection before our chat and clearly have my faves. What pieces are near and dear to your heart that you feel will be must-haves?

LA: We have a white textured sweater that I adore and I feel resembles cracked snow. There is also a backless tuxedo jumpsuit that I wore to this year’s CFDA’s. Olivia Palermo was my date for the evening and I felt so cool and chic in my look beside her which is amazing. The bootie is my absolute hands-down favourite shoe from the entire collection. You name it; the “Biker” bootie, the “Quilted” bootie…I love them all. The leather jogger will be my go-to travel pant this Fall with a cashmere sweater and trainers. I am not schlepping around Paris in high heels…I’m just not! *laughs*

Ann Taylor 2014 Holiday Collection

Ann Taylor 2014 Holiday Collection

Ann Taylor 2014 Holiday Collection

SE: I love how passionate you are about these items. What are some of your other current obsessions these days?

LA: I am obsessed with all things comfortable. Sweatshirts in brocade fabrics, leather that is comfy and not restricted and outerwear. No closet is truly complete without a few key outerwear pieces!!!

Ann Taylor 2014 Holiday Collection

SE: I have to be completely honest, I really love your style. You seem to have perfected the “Effortlessly Chic” vibe. Can you share more on your personal style?

LA: Some days call for me to be a bit more formal, so I’m more tailored and pulled together, while on other days I’m the happiest in jeans, a cool top, a jacket over top and some sneakers. I show up to the office looking different every day depending on my work day. There are those days where I have to dash off to a dinner party afterwards in which I throw on some jewellery and exchange the sneakers for a pair of heels.

SE: In the last year or so I have noticed the brand has gone from workwear for the corporate woman to now creating chic and comfortable separates that fit into every woman’s lifestyle for a much wider age demographic. Do you feel pressure to keep up and top every season?

LA: Yes and yes. I don’t know if any of us would be any good if we didn’t feel some sort of pressure. I’ve always felt some sort of pressure since my days at design school.  I frequently have that moment and say to myself, “Oh my God, what if I don’t have the next idea? What is I can’t come up with that moment, that colour, that something that lights my fire?” To help with the design process my team and I  frequently go through the different scenarios of a woman’s life to help in developing a collection that mirrors today’s woman’s lifestyle…which is a bit of a challenge with there being little separation between work, home life and social. And it can be daunting because the deadlines come faster and faster and there’s pressure to deliver for a brand this big but we just have to get passed it and not dwell on it so we can find the inspiration.

SE: Speaking of inspiration, I have always wondered how designers and creative directors do it; find inspiration that is. Do you go out of your way to find it or do you just let it come to you?

LA: I think every designer is different, but for me I almost always have to be out of the office, like away from deadlines, tasks, like out of the work environment and from people asking me questions. *giggles*

SE: That’s pretty funny…but I am guessing you are being dead serious…

LA: Yes…it could be 3am and I’m half asleep and something hits me, a trip to Europe or a week off on Summer vacation. I just find that I have to get away from it and let my mind relax and the ideas just float to the surface. Interior design and architecture tends to flood my inspiration a lot in credit to my parents. My Dad was an Architect who owned his own firm and my Mother worked for him. I was always around it so I often look to that to get my first spark of inspiration. I actually love starting with something that’s non-fashion related because it forces you to think more openly, instead of combing the catwalks because then you are just repeating something someone already did. So I prefer looking to art, books (I love to read) that get me thinking about a storyline. Hemingway’s Moveable Feast was the inspiration for a Fall collection a few seasons ago.

Ann Taylor 2014 Holiday Collection

SE: Outside of the collection, what are three things that you just couldn’t live without?

LA: Ha…there are quite a few things that I can’t live without. First, maybe Summer vacay. Family…because without them I would never get through the hard times and my iPad – the device for all things inspiring. It’s single handedly changed my life *laughs*. Maybe not for better because it’s with me all the time. Between blogs, shopping, email, music. I do so much research and get really inspired. I mean…forget about it…Pinterest! Once I start, I can’t stop. It is like the rabbit hole.  If it’s 3am and I can’t sleep, there I am tapping and pining my life away.

After viewing some of the key pieces and what Axelson believes are the pillars to the upcoming 2014 Holiday Ann Taylor collection, I am convinced that they will have all your office party, cocktails with the girls, date nights outfit needs and everything in between covered this holiday season. I will be sure to give more updates before the collection hits stores and online. For more information on Ann Taylor and to view their current collection click here – and make sure to follow the brand on Instagram and Twitter for some style inspiration!

Posted on by Sasha in FASHION, HOLIDAYS, PREVIEWS & REVIEWS, YOU SHOULD KNOW Leave a comment
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