Tag

Cadillac

Browsing

A Peek into the Future of Cadillac

If you’re between the ages of 29-44 and in the market for a new vehicle, chances are the criterial for your next set of wheels is a far cry from what buyers  would be looking for two decades ago. Sure, back then there were those who looked for performance or prestige in a vehicle but one would never have expected to find  both at the same time in one car. The number one purchase decision isn’t just finding a car that can get you from point A to B. Although we are still concerned with reliability and comfort, seeing as though the average commute time for drivers have quadrupled in recent years, we now also look at what we drive as an extension of our personal style and must reflect our lifestyle.

I will never be shy to admit my love affair with German vehicles (Porsche will always have my heart!) but my fondness for American cars have grown over the years after getting behind the wheel of several cars within General Motor family. There has been a lot of change going on in their portfolio of brands but the most impressive to date has been the $12 billion investment from General Motors to re-establish everything about Cadillac – from brand image and messaging, dealer experience, to even it’s vehicle naming system and product portfolio, which consists of plans to release 9 (yes, 9) brand new vehicles by the year 2021.

The future of Cadillac design and technology – The Escala

There has been much talk about what these 9 cars may be but they are rumoured to consist of the following; a sub sedan (CT2 or CT1)  to compete with the Audi A3 and Mercedes Benz CLA-Class, a reimagined version of the ATS (CT3) to rival the BMW 3 series, Mercedes C-Class, Audi A4 and Lexus IS, an ultra luxury full size flagship sedan, a fifth generation Escalade, a B segment sub compact crossover to compete with the BMW X1 and Audi Q3, a C segment compact crossover to rival the X3, Porsche Macan and Mercedes GLC-Class, an entry full size crossover to tackle the Acura MDX, Volvo XC90, Audi Q7 and last but certainly not least, a full size flagship crossover , the Pièce de Résistance of the brand’s crossover lineup which will be a high end full size, three row CUV to rival the current Mercedes GLS-Class and upcoming BMW X7 and Audi Q9.

I got recently got acquainted with the new XT5 for a week, interested…knowing it’s job was to replace the brand’s first CUV, the SRX; with it’s sleeker exterior and sophisticated, contemporary interior. But mainly because I know the vehicle will foreshadow the future of Cadillac SUV’s to come. Inside, the cabin was surprisingly roomy, seats even proved comfy to my boyfriend during our drive to Prince Edward County, who often gets irritable during road trips. For those looking for extra cargo space for urban or out-of-town adventures, this XT5 will definitely surprise you. It seats five however when more space is needed, the adjustable rear sliding seats also fold into a 40-20-40 split for extra storage space, with a metal divider in the back that slides and locks in place to keep cargo from moving about There’s even a brilliant hidden storage compartment under the floor that is sure to please those meticulous, Type A personalities that love to keep things super organized.

The XT5′s V6 engine includes an active fuel management system that cuts down to four cylinders under light loads which is brilliant, but a less attractive feature is the “stop/start” that puts the engine in idle when you’re at a traffic light. Unlike other vehicles that also offer this feature, the XT5 does not allow you to disengage this feature, that could become a bit of an annoyance if you are not into the abrupt start every time the light turns green in rush hour traffic.

Although comfortable than most behind the wheel, winter driving can still prove to be nerving for me at times, but I felt super comfortable in my AWD model, which has three settings; front wheel drive only, sport (needed for extra handling and traction control) and AWD tasked to maintain continuous all wheel power for even the most slippery roads. For those young families concerned about safety, the Platinum edition is packed with amazing technology features within the Driver Awareness Package that also includes the most talked about tech piece, the rearview mirror camera, unique to the Platinum version. It works as a regular rear view mirror but with one simple switch, it converts into a video screen using a feed from, wait for it…a self cleaning camera in the lift gate. And the best way to give your loved ones the best passenger experience – Cadillac CUE Infotainment System with Apple Car Play capability and 4G LTE wifi hotspot.

But you’re probably thinking, “what’s up with that Escala? And when’s that coming out?” Beautiful vehicle I know, but for now just the brand’s latest concept car that has been making the rounds on the auto show circuit with it’s very own handler. Sounds a bit high maintenance, but if you’ve seen this beast in person, you would probably be more understanding of it having a babysitter.

I sat in an exclusive panel discussion put on by Cadillac during Toronto Auto Show week, moderated by Design Exchange President Shauna Levy who spoke with two of brand’s design team members, who dished the design details behind the Escala. Based on what I’ve been hearing and reading since the concept car’s debut at Pebble Beach, the goal of the Escala is to point in the direction Cadillac’s heading in and some of the features could very well be things the automotive company will debut on product models in the very near future. Could this be a prototype for the next CT8 flagship sedan model? Possibly! But what I do know is Cadillac’s design process starts three to four years in advance and inspiration is pulled globally from fashion, architecture, interior design to even accessories, to put them ahead of the game in producing colour and fabrication options. Assuming something close to this comes to market, it’s safe to say interested buyers who desire large, opulent transportation would shell out a lot of money for a car like this, so the designers have spared no expense with every single detail.

The exterior colour, called Gaia, is made up of nine layers of paint and changes colour in different lighting conditions. The spacious interior – surprisingly uses fabric, reminiscent of what you may find in bespoke suit, evoking fine tailoring and actually turns out to be more inviting and interesting than leather. A complex and labour intensive stitch pattern was created using special thread that brings the fabric to live where it meets the luxurious leather.  As for technology, the features are a marriage of understated sophistication with two curved OLED screens layered into the dash but controlled via what designers call the “Goddess Dial” located in the arm rest. Not to be outdone by the cockpit, mix modality plays throughout the rear seat entertainment system as well. Oversized screens are nestled in the two front seats and retract into the headrests, leaving only a sliver of the bottom display in view to reveal a more streamlined finish. In this mode, the passenger only sees the basic necessities – time, weather, estimated time of arrival, etc. And if that’s not enough for you, the Escala design team employed famed American designer Jason Wu to create a custom set of travel sized bags and totes specifically to appeal to what we imagine the Escala driver to be…a purveyor of luxury lifestyle who needs chic luggage for their private G5 flight.Photos by JessBaumung.com and GM Authority

Stay up to date on all things Cadillac and view vehicle portfolio and pricing at CadillacCanada.ca

Road Trip to PEC’s Drake Dev Fuelled By Costa Coffee at Shell

I’ve done my fair share of road trips over the years and often times prefer the journey behind the wheel rather than flying and spending unnecessary commute time sitting in airports, but having done so many, I have learned through trial and error that there are a few key elements that go into making a road trip not only bearable but fun – a comfy ride, the right company, good tunes (hello XM Satellite radio) and of course coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

In an effort to spend some much needed quality time together, the mister and I took take a day trip to Prince Edward County in partnership with Costa Coffee at Shell to explore the adorable town two hours outside of Toronto and to be amongst one of the first to have a Costa experience here in Canada. So here’s the honest to goodness truth, I quit drinking my daily perquisite of 4-5 cups of coffee a day a little over a year ago, which bummed out my boyfriend because his coffee obsession is next level but from time to time, I still treat myself to a good cuppa joe. Rejean on the other hand my friends, is well known for his coffee obsession and was the perfect partner in crime to taste test hot bevies from the UK coffee chain that has gained a devout following of coffee lovers since opening it’s first shop in 1971. We won’t be expecting stand-alone Costa Coffee shops, well not soon anyways, but instead the brand has installed innovative, state-of-the-art, self serve bars where you can get quality barista style coffee on-the-go at select Shell gas stations here in Canada. I know you’re probably thinking there is just no way coffee at a gas station can rival the premium roasts found in the city’s most loved coffee shops but this is exactly why I had my guy’s discerning coffee palette on hand for some taste testing. To be quite honest, the promise of keeping him caffeinated helped me get him out of bed at 5:30am on a Sunday morning!

The self-serve bar is a far cry from coffee stands in most gas stations with an easy to use, beautiful touchscreen display with more than 250 drink combinations that allows you to easily create any of your fave hot beverages you would normally order during your daily stop in at your local coffee shop like espressos, ristrettos, macchiatos, cortados, cappuccinos, americanos, chai and vanilla lattes. Not a coffee lover? No problem! Costa Express at Shell has you covered with non-caffeinated options like white and black teas and even flavoured hot chocolates. The best part – as you wait for your customized beverage to be created, mini surround sound speakers play jazz music and also mimic normal background sounds one might here in a cafe (i.e. baristas at work preparing drinks) to give you that coffee shop feel which we thought was a hilarious and very cute added touch.

So with both our Cadillac XT5 and our bodies fuelled up with americanos and vanilla lattes at Shell, we were ready to tackle the snow covered 401 eastbound to beautiful PEC. Last Sunday’s snow storm put a bit of a monkey wrench in some of the surprises I had up my sleeve for Rejean with so many of the stores and wineries closed down but we are Canadian so I wasn’t going to let the weather stop us from having some fun at the Drake Devonshire Inn on the Lake. PEC is a magical little place that I discovered a few years back and have made it a yearly tradition to make the trek down in the summer to spend time at beaching at Sandbanks Provincial Park but this was my first time being in the area during the winter season. After taking a look at the current activities the Drake Dev had going on, I was pleasantly surprised to see morning Vinyasa Yoga classes which was truly the catalyst for our ridiculously early departure from Toronto. With hour long vinyasa flows offered a couple days a week with instructor Sam Ravenda in the beautiful “Glass Box” space in addition to their newly offered Devonshire Detox Weekend Yoga Retreats, the Drake Dev is a prime spot for all you yoga lovers to get your zen on. We spent a lot of time walking the exterior of the property, which is lakeside, and during the winter is as close as you’re going to get to feeling like you are in a snow globe. It’s absolutely stunning (if you can brave the cold temps) but we cheated the cold by fire pit with piping hot Costa Coffee.

Known for their 13 kitchy guest rooms, the countryside retreat is equally known for their food and drinks. The hotel boasts five menus that focus on seasonal, crowd pleasing dishes and upscale comfort foods with insanely delicious brunch options, served all day on Sundays that include my favourite- apple compote and fresh creme buttermilk pancakes, chill-maple glazed friend chicken with pecan waffles and a breakfast burger. And oh the drinks…the wine list boasts whites and reds from some of the top vineyards across PEC, natch and cocktails that kept Rejean and our friend Jess content like infused bourbon and maple syrup, classic Manhattan’s and epic caesars.

Post brunch we lounged in the “living room” which houses the Drake Dev’s permanent and rotating art exhibits that are commissioned by both local and international artists that create work which visually reflects, interprets and enhances the Drake Dev experience. The exhibit’s current rotation on now is called “About Face” and will run until March 14th, 2017. It features pieces from artists shedding new light on the faces that surround them, in the forms of various portraiture; painting, photography, textile and sculpture. After the rest of our property tour, we headed back to the Glass Box for a several rounds of ping pong, cocktails (Mocktails only for this designated driver!) and many, many laughs before heading safely back to the city.

Photography by JessBaumung.com

Want to elevate your commute with quality Costa Coffee now available at Shell? Click here to find a Costa Coffee at Shell location near you!

Sentaler | Canada’s New Leading Luxury Outerwear

Sentaler

If you live in a city that has sub arctic temperatures between the months of November and April, chances are you take your outerwear very seriously.  I used to believe I had to sacrifice fashion for function to keep warm during the winter, until I was introduced to Canada’s luxury outerwear brand, Sentaler. Over the past few years I have seen Sentaler’s beautiful coats made from Peruvian Alpaca, on women all over the city and started to become intrigued about this little Canadian brand that has started to make a splash internationally.

Sentaler

Sentaler

Sentaler

Fast forward a couple year’s and I had a chance encounter with the beauty and brains behind the brand, Bojana Sentaler, this past summer. Funny enough, our paths did not cross at a fashion event, but rather on a track day at Mosport Racetrack with Cadillac, where I was learning to race cars and Bojana was filming a video feature for the luxury automotive company’s Dare Greatly campaign. Not too long after the event, we connected back in the city at the designer’s minimalist office. Here we chatted all things Sentaler and discovered our joint love for fashion and cars. It’s not often do I meet another young lady who admires cars as much as they do clothes. Or better yet, prefers to drive a manual stick shift over automatic transmission vehicle. Similar to myself, Bojanna finds parallels in vehicle design as she does with clothing, part of why she agreed to collaborate with Cadillac on Dare Greatly. The Dare Greatly campaign  sought out Canadian leaders in their field who dare to drive the world in their field and naturally she made the cut as a hot, emerging designer. Here’s a sneak peek at the designer’s story shot earlier this summer courtesy of Cadillac.

As part of a way to get out of the office and get better acquainted, I took the beautiful Toronto designer for a spin in the new Cadillac ATS V Coupe, the same vehicle we both had on the track back in June. Finding similarities in different areas of design has always intrigued me. It’s interesting that the same level of care Bojana takes creating her designs, is very similar to what Cadillac’s design team does with the vehicle’s interior. The cut and sew treatment of the interior’s leather is an element the team borrowed directly from the fashion industry.

Sentaler

Sentaler

Sentaler

Cadillac ATS V Coupe

SentalerAbove in Sentaler’s long coat with baby alpaca fur collar (limited edition) 

In 2009 Sentaler was born. But not from the fashion educated roots of most designers. Pre Sentaler, Bojana was worlds away in Dubai working on economic investment reports (yep you read that correctly). While living way out in the luxurious desert region, she had an opportunity to meet and chat with Karl Lagerfeld and this conversation left her so inspired that she had decided that she wanted to finally pursue her passion within fashion. After leaving Dubai, Sentaler then headed to South America where she came across the alpaca fibre and spent time in Peru learning all about the alpaca fabrics amazing qualities and how to design with it. “When I launched my first collection six years ago, I loved my product and truly believed in it. I wasn’t considering failure as an option because I was so passionate about what I was doing”.

SentalerSentaler’s Shawl Collar Poncho Wrap 

So why has Sentaler’s outerwear been gaining so much notoriety as of late? Personally, I think consumers have dabbled in quick and fast fashion for such a long time and have so much access to trendy fashion at high street stores but are coming to understand again the importance of a proper investment when it comes to classic and chic outerwear. These coats are far from a seasonal fad and one can last you a lifetime. However, if you ask the likes of “Suits” actress Meghan Markle, “Sex and the City’s” Kim Cattral, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau and yours truly, one Sentaler coat is just not enough. I am already plotting on what I am going to acquire next after getting the label’s uber functional hooded wrap coat in grey. Sentaler’s full collection is ultra versatile and there is literally a style that suits any body type and style preference. The thing I love the most is that each piece can also be toned down into a more casual look depending on what you pair with it. On another note, alpaca seems to be trending as of late. On a recent trip to Quebec City I visited an Alpaca farm and learned a bit more about these cute animals that produce such excess soft fur that is now being used for everything from socks, sweaters, gloves and jackets. Like most, I always thought wool was the warmest fabric but surprisingly alpaca is much warmer but lighter in weight, making it an easier fabric to wear during transitional seasons. Bojana uses only baby alpaca for her Sentaler jackets which comes from the first shearing of a young alpaca.  This is the softest and most desired fibre – which makes Sentaler coats so silky and soft to the touch.

SentalerSentaler’s Hooded Wrap Coat

The future is bright for Bojana and I am excited to see what 2016 has in store for this young and super talented woman that I am now lucky to call a friend. Busy filling stock and custom orders for the current season, Sentaler is also keeping herself busy designing her next collection citing that she draws most of her inspiration from her travels, “Inspiration comes from everything around me. And when I step away from my everyday work, my mind is free and my creative thoughts arise.”

SentalerPhotography by Danielle Reynolds

Sentaler’s fabulous collection can be found at Holt Renfrew locations across Canada, the team’s Toronto showroom and online, where she ships internationally – thank God! For more information on Sentaler, to view the entire collection and to purchase online head to Sentaler.com.

Cadillac Reveals Its Premium Luxury CT6 Sedan in NYC

Cadillac CT6 Sedan

For the last year and a half I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with General Motors Canada and their diverse portfolio of brands. Very early on in our relationship, I was drawn to the offerings of the Cadillac brand. If you have been reading my blog for a while you are well aware of my passion for cars which I credit to my father’s influence. Like many other car enthusiasts, I had the common misconception that only Germans knew about performance and could make cars for “drivers” while North American companies focused on making vehicles for “passengers” with fancy bells and whistles. Well, boy was I ever wrong! Something special has been happening with Cadillac over the last year and the brand’s focus has been on finding ways to marry the worlds of performance, technology and luxury design within their fleet of vehicles. I had the privileged of getting behind the wheel of Cadillac’s SRX, ATS, CTS, CTS Sport, XTS (you can check out my road trip experience with it here) last year and it changed my view on North American cars forever.

Cadillac started 2015 off with bang. In January during the Oscars, the brand launched it’s new “Dare Greatly” campaign as part of their strategy to reposition Cadillac as a distinctive alternative to it’s German competitors. Throughout the Academy Awards broadcast, four commercials aired to promote their new CT6 luxury sedan featuring individuals with inspiring stories of how they have taken risks in their careers and included fashion designer Jason Wu and Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak. Aside from the attractive body of the vehicle that made a small cameo appearance towards the end of the first commercial, I personally was intrigued by the message because of the risks I have taken myself to get to where I am today.

I had the privilege of going to New York City at the beginning of April with a handful of Canadian media to witness the world premiere of the CT6 full size sedan and to attend the New York International Auto Show. Cadillac has long been known for it’s extravagant parties and this one was no exception. Guests walked from the Ritz Carlton in Battery Park to the pier, where we caught branded water taxis to Duggal Greenhouse at the Naval Yards in Brooklyn and got serenaded by Grammy winner Raphael Saadiq at the end of the night. Revealing the brand’s most luxurious vehicle to date in New York was fitting as Cadillac plans to relocate its headquarters to the Big Apple from Detroit, which is a move that can help them reach more luxury buyers.  What can you expect to see from the vehicle Cadillac hopes will be the catalyst into the super premium category?

Cadillac CT6 RevealCadillac President Johan de Nysschen unveiling the 2016 Cadillac CT6 full size sedan

Cadillac CT6 Reveal

Cadillac CT6 Reveal

Cadillac CT6 Reveal

Although the frame is constructed of more than 10 different materials, it is somehow still the world’s lightest and most agile full size luxury performance sedan. Easy on the eyes, the body of the CT6 is super sleek and sophisticated but it’s inside the cabin where all the magic happens. Upon entering the car, it’s hard not to notice the quality materials used, the hand stitched and cut & sewn tailored interior – that closely mimics the tailoring in the fashion industry. I am sure driving this machine or sitting shot gun is where most want to be in the CT6, but I love that Cadillac is redefining the rear seat passenger experience. With best in-class rear leg room, two high-def TV screens, quad zone cooling & heating, not to mention reclining seats…I would be more than happy to be relegated to the backseat.

Cadillac CT6 Reveal

Cadillac CT6 Reveal

Always on the forefront of technology advancements in their vehicles, Cadillac is stepping up their game ensuring that driving this car will not only be enjoyable but safe. The all new Bose Panaray system boasts 34 strategically placed speakers to ensure each passenger experiences concert hall sound quality. Surround view-video recording capabilities that can be used while driving, a 360-degree camera and a night vision cam that can detect animals and humans by heat signature and much more.

Cadillac CT6 RevealPhotos courtesy of Cadillac and General Motors

Click here for more information on what else you can find in the all new CT6 and head to Cadillac.ca for more information on the brand’s full portfolio. Production of this vehicle begins at the end of the year and scheduled to hit roads early in 2016.

Automotive Review: The 2014 Cadillac XTS Platinum Collection

Video shot & edited by Robert Okine (robertokine.com) | Music “It’s New” Produced by SOUL

Thanks to Cadillac Canada I rode in style all summer long in a few vehicles from the brand’s 2014 line to get better acquainted with the design, performance and technology that can be found within it’s current portfolio. After spending significant time in the 2014 CTS and ATS , I was treated to an extended experience with the XTS Platinum Collection, one of the most technologically advanced production cars in the brand’s history. With it’s enhanced space, entertainment features and luxurious interior design inspired by the fashion and home furnishing industries – it came as no surprise that I fell totally in love.

2014 Cadillac XTS

I feel that is it is only right that any vehicle I drive reflects me and my lifestyle. Call me crazy but because of my love for cars, I look at them as an extension of who I am and similar to fashion, cars can sometimes be a way to express yourself without having to say a word. Design aesthetic is of course important, but performance and technology are also key touch points . I want to feel safe in a vehicle – whether that’s having a confident feeling of power when accelerating or over taking traffic on the highway or feeling safe knowing camera based detection systems will help me avoid collisions. And although, I don’t have kiddies, space is still very much a welcome feature both in the cabin and in the trunk for my friends, various changes of clothes for photo shoots, and luggage for press/road trips.

2014 Cadillac XTS

2014 Cadillac XTS

My black on black XTS Platinum Collection turned heads just about everywhere I went because of it’s clean lines and dramatic presence. Not to be outdone by the exterior, the vehicle’s interior is really what blew me away. The brand’s design team didn’t cut any corners when it came to leather and other interior materials. For example, the cut and sew treatment of the leather – is an element the team borrowed from fashion. During the design process, Cadillac studied how the industry chooses leathers for shoes and handbags to design the XTS’s interior in a way that would be an extension of products with which luxury consumers already interact with. In addition to the beautifully wrapped leather seats, wood grain accents contrasting stitching, illuminated sill plates, and ambient interior lighting – every single detail is considered. The extended space in the rear cabin was a hit amongst my friends and family who I carted  around the city and brought along on my luxury road trip adventure to Montreal for my So Sasha x W Hotel Experience. 

2014 Cadillac XTS

2014 Cadillac XTS

Even my rear seat passengers over 6 feet tall sat happily in the backseat with absolutely no complaints about lack of leg room. While having to sit in the backseat of a car is usually a passengers least fave thing to do, the XTS manages to turn this into a treat; with oversized fold-down arm rests that houses additional storage and audio/video remote controls, integrated rear controls for both temperature and radio, rear side window shades, rear entertainment system with dual screens accompanied by two Cadillac Bose noise cancelling headphones. The vehicle offers more interior space than other mid sized luxury cars, particularly in the backseat, where it has four inches more leg room than the Mercedes Benz E Class, BMW 5 Series and approximately two more than the Audi A6.

2014 Cadillac XTS

One of the main reason I love Cadillac vehicles is because of the advanced technology features. The CUE (Cadillac User Experience) system always acts as a welcome distraction for passengers while sitting in traffic. With access to XM Satellite radio and listening to music out of  a Bose Studio Surround Sound – 14 speaker system with two additional personal speakers on the top of each front seat, the XTS creates a superior music listening experience. And if that’s not enough, the powerful amp and AudioPilot noise compensation technology takes it to a completely different level. The 8 inch multi-touch capacitive screen in the “infotainment” system is really easy to use and as I am seldom driving alone, it’s nice to have multiple charging outlets and the capacity to pair up to 10 bluetooth enable devices. CUE also responds to my voice commands, has a 3-D GPS nav system and for when things really hit the fan and I am in need of major help, I can always rely on the On-Star service to help me with directions, recommend restaurants in the area and provide assistance in the event an emergency arises. Low on gas and not familiar with the area? Not a problem — the XTS lists the closet gas stations, provides a list of all the locations in close proximity and directions to each when the vehicle is low on fuel.

2014 Cadillac XTS

Cadillac XTS Platinum Collection

Here’s the skinny…for those of you who are car geeks like myself, unfortunately this model doesn’t pack the heat and speed of the much talked about V model, which has 410 hp, but it still has enough get up and go to not have you bored while driving. Average fuel consumption was to be expected with approximately 9.9-10.3 litres/100km (combined city and highway driving). Larger than any other sedan I think I’ve ever driven measuring in at over 200 inches long, means there is a cargo advantage over other vehicles in it’s category with room for 5 or more suitcases. With this size, it was really beneficial to have features such as lane departure warning, side obstacle sensors, forward collision alert and rear cross traffic alerts, which notified me of any potential danger via driver seat vibrations – all standard in the Platinum Collection. And inspired thinking from the brand team made it possible for the ultrasonic front and rear park assist that helps drivers parallel park the car. With that said, XTS is an ultra chic, comfortable ride and all around good place to spend time whether it be on long road trips or short city driving. The price point for the XTS Premium Collection with all the bells and whistles comes in at $67,655. For additional details on the 2014 XTS click here and to learn more about the brand head over to www.cadillac.ca.

Dine With Cadillac Series – Exclusive Escalade Film Festival Experience

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.

My Luxury Road Trip to the W Hotel Montreal with Cadillac

W Montreal

The W Hotel brand has gained notoriety across the world as the ultimate luxury hotel and last week I had the absolute pleasure to call their Montreal property home for a few days. Located in the city’s historic Banque du Canada building and just blocks away from Old Montreal/The Old Port, it’s a phenomenal location for out of town visitors and for locals interested in a chic stay-cation! Staying within the theme of luxury, we traveled in Cadillac’s new 2014 XTS sedan, which turned out to the best road trip vehicle. With room for four long-legged adults with excessive luggage, 2 rear TV’s with wireless Cadillac headphones, the ingenious CUE (Cadillac User Experience) interface for all our entertainment, navigation and technology needs, our smooth and comfy ride was even better than taking a flight in my opinion. And we weren’t the only ones in love with the vehicle. The XTS’s finely crafted exterior gained so much attention on the streets in Montreal, the valet and hotel guests.

Cadillac XTS

Cadillac XTS

Cadillac XTS

W Hotel Lobby

W Hotels prides themselves with taking their guests through a journey that awakens and engages all of their senses during the course of their stay. Upon entering the dimly lit lobby, I was engulfed in the most sweetest of scents, which turns out to be the brand’s signature mist that is sprayed throughout the property. It has become so popular and synonymous with the hotels, that is now available for sale through W location lifestyle boutiques and online. The music played in all the common areas is unlike what you normally hear in hotels and sets the mood for an ultra chill vibe. When I inquired about the trendy playlist I was informed by the property’s PR & Marketing Manager that the W actually has their own Musical Director, Michaelangelo L’acqua, who carefully curates soundtracks for each location.

Wunderbar

Visually, each square foot of the W Montreal exudes comfort and luxury and with 2.5 bars, home to one of Montreal’s best restos, Otto; and the tranquil Away Spa…let’s jus stay it was sensory overload in a good way. Sidebar, 2.5 bars in fact isn’t a typo. The hotel actually has one of the smallest bars in the world, Bartini, hidden on the ground floor behind the elevators. This tiny space is perfect to kill time waiting to check-in, a quiet pre-dinner drink or even ideal to rent out exclusively for a small bachelor or bachelorette party before hitting the Montreal streets. Directly across from Bartini is the sleek designed Wunderbar, where you will find amazing cocktail concoctions created by highly trained mixologists and music that will have you stumbling to your guest room wee into the early morning. And as if the bar wasn’t already super cool, the gorgeous staff all wear custom dresses by Canadian designer Travis Taddeo. If you’re looking for a more laid back vibe then Plateau, the mezzanine level bar, is just the space for you. Taking some design cues from other W properties in other markets, they definitely made it a point to integrate a Canadian theme with the usage of maple leafs etched into the beautiful bar. And with it’s unique design, wood plank flooring, high ceilings and furniture, it creates the illusion of chilling outside on the perfect summer night!

W Montreal Bartini Plateau Bar

W Montreal Wunderbar

The chic decor and ambiance of Otto is the perfect setting for the restaurant’s elegant italian cuisine. There, you will find seasonal dishes infused with local ingredients created by Executive Chef Yves Lowe and a pretty extensive wine list with bottles from all over the globe. I thoroughly enjoyed my dining experience there and noshed on delish seared scallops with chorizo, soya beans and honey mushrooms to start, followed by black cod and honey cake for dessert.  I finished off the meal with a Chateau Faillefer Lafon 2012 ice wine made specifically for the W Montreal – how cool is that? Not to be outdone by the restaurant,  the in-room dining service is pretty phenomenal as well. The signature W Montreal breakfasts in bed were the perfect way to start each morning!

W Montreal

If you have yet to stay at the W Montreal, or any W for that matter, guest room accommodations are available in three general categories and are all very generous in size. The basic guest rooms, which believe me are not basic at all range from 252-328 sqft and the mid-size suites range between 422-580 sqft. All these rooms have oversized windows, ultra-modern design, the ultimate mini bars, open concept bathrooms and plush white robes. The ridiculously stunning penthouses; appropriately named the “Wow” and “Extreme” suites are exactly that and range between 1000-1336 sqft with a multi-level layout, dining area, 20 foot ceilings and large outdoor terraces. Ever left your face wash or fave body lotion at home when traveling? You will be happy to hear that the hotel has Bliss Spa amenities. It is the only hotel I can travel to where I would feel comfortable leaving my Korres face wash behind at home because their amenities and beauty products are so amazing!

W Montreal

W Montreal

W Montreal Mega Room Accommodations 

E Wow Suite

E Wow Suite

E-Wow Suite

E Wow Suite W Montreal

 E – Wow Penthouse Suite

Other Services/Amenities Worth Nothing:

  • FIT Fitness Centre, a beautiful workout environment with state of the art equipment for strength training, pilates and cardio. Open 24/7 for guests convenience
  • Certified “Green” Hotel that practices waste minimization and practices environmental excellence. Each day a guest declines housekeeping services, they are rewarded with 500 Starwood Preferred Guest Points. More in here 
  • The good life at the W Montreal isn’t only for us humans. Your fur babies can also get the star treatment during your stay. With dog walking, grooming services and pet birthday cakes and even an in-room dining menu from Otto, this is a vacay your pet will never forget. More info on the W’s pet policy, fees and menu items here 
  • Away Spa, located on the lower level of the hotel, is a place where guests can restore harmony and balance in a space designed to help you decompress. I enjoyed a few services during my stay and highly recommend the Aroma Polish, which is a 90 minute treatment that includes a full body exfoliation utilizing a volcanic scrub and a 60 minute massage. During my massage my amazing therapist detected some my problem areas due to excessive stress and running and was so kind as to take me through some exercises that I can do at home to help relieve the pain.
  • W Hotel Worldwide App: If you’re a fan of the W properties, then you need to download this free app immediately, which allows you to find and book a room, see special offers, shop the W Store and even download special W Hotel music playlists created for different moods and activities by Musical Director Michaelangelo D’acqua and the brand’s fave DJ’s from around the world.

Here’s the skinny…the property is approximately 10 years old and although it looks aesthetically pleasing to the eye, I think they will be due for a few updates in the next little while. Rumour has it that the property will be undergoing some renovations this Fall to the guest rooms. They do not have complimentary wifi in the guest rooms and it must be purchased for $15/day however, wifi is available for free in the lobby lounge. Minus these two small issues, our stay at the W Montreal was pretty amazing. Going forward it will be difficult to stay at any other hotel property in Montreal as the W’s hospitality game is ON POINT! It’s a hotel that is family friendly but still cool enough for celebrities and stars alike – during my stay I saw Actors/Comedians Seth Rogen and Chevy Chase. Travel Tip: Summer time in Montreal is extremely busy with concerts, conventions, film, music and comedy festivals so it can become a difficult task to find accommodations. I suggest when traveling between May through August, you book as early as possible.

Click here for more information on the W Montreal and follow them on Twitter and Instagram. For more on W Hotels Worldwide, destinations and events, head to WHotels.com. Stay tuned for my full review on the Cadillac XTS

Automotive Review: The 2014 Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD

2014 Cadillac ATS

Summer driving is always made more pleasant with a set of sweet wheels. Thanks to General Motors, I recently enjoyed a very extended test drive experience with the 2014 Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD. The luxury automotive brand’s full sized CTS sedan, built to go head-to-head with imported competition, has increased in size this year and is now comparable to the BMW 5-series. This left room in Cadillac’s portfolio lineup for a compact luxury vehicle to compete in the entry level luxe class with the BMW 3-series and Mercedes 3 Class. A few weeks ago I picked up my ATS in Opulent Blue Metallic, which was equipped with all-wheel drive,a 2.0L turbo engine (boasting 321 hp) and the luxury collection. I literally drove it all over the GTA and as far as Montreal for a weekend jaunt in hopes to test out every single feature. As a legit car enthusiast and lucky enough to sit behind the wheel of some of the most beautiful cars manufactured, I was shocked at how much attention this little vehicle garnered at stoplights, gas stations and valets.

Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD

Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD

Exterior innovations help to make the vehicle more fuel efficient and uber quiet. Sculpted side mirrors which are firmly positioned to reduce wind noise in addition to an acoustically laminated windshield and side door glass, expertly deflects noise making this one of the quietest cabins I’ve ever driven in. The 18″ wheels, dual exhaust, illuminating door handles, and vertical LED signature lights help to make this sporty body look extra chic. In regards to the interior, I am confident that those who have never driven in a Cadillac before would be blown away by both the features and design. The vehicle was equipped with some of the most advanced safety innovations including the brand’s Driver Awareness Package. Utilizing sensors and strategically placed cameras allows for the driver’s seat to alert of the driver of potential danger via seat vibrations, in addition lane departure alerts, rear cross traffic alert, side blind zone alert, front and rear automatic braking and adaptive cruise control, which was really beneficial on the 5 hour drive to Montreal.  I could understand if some found these constant vibrations to be an annoyance while driving, but I found it to be extremely helpful. For those that would much prefer to have their rears vibrate while driving, the functional option can always be easily turned off on the auxiliary panel.

2014-Cadillac-CTS-Dashboard-Done-Small

I was also treated to an upgraded steering (that has a heated option obviously not beneficial for right now but still an amazing feature forWinter) and the much talked about CUE (Cadillac User Experience) interface aka the heart of the interior; controlling navigation, media, climate control and more. The latter combined with BOSE surround sound made listening to my favourite Sirus XM Satellite channels a really enjoyable experience.

Cadillac ATS 2.0 AWD

Outside the St. Germain Hotel in Montreal, Quebec

So here’s the skinny, the manufacturer rates the ATS 2.0T AWD’s fuel efficiency as 6.9L/100km for highway driving and 10.4L/100km with city driving, while my approximate fuel mileage came in around 6.9L/100km and 10.9L/100km respectively. For a premium vehicle, it was nice to discover that premium gasoline wasn’t mandatory but rather only “recommended”. This is a huge deal as majority of other vehicles in the luxury category require premium gasoline usually making fill-ups pretty pricey. The ATS starts at $35,695 but the ticket price for this model with the luxury collection and all other aforementioned packages/upgrades brings the price point at $49,290, which is just a smudge under the $50K sticker price for the BMW 329i xDrive with similar bells and whistles. Surprisingly, overall I preferred the ATS. Although both vehicles are almost identical in size (minus one inch), the Cadillac’s interior feels a bit roomier and it also ticks all the boxes when it comes to speed, luxurious design and functionality.

For more information on the brand’s vehicle lineup head over to Cadillac.ca and for details specs click here. To follow along all my past and present adventures with Cadillac, use the hashtag #RideInStylexCadillac on Twitter and Instagram!

Luxe Stays |Hotel Le Germain Montreal

Hotel Le Germain

During the Summer months one of my favourite places to visit is the city of Montreal. If I could, I would travel there each weekend from May to August and do nothing but shop, eat copious amounts of pain au chocolat and enjoy some of the cities amazing dining experiences. I recently took a little weekend trip to “La Belle Province” in the new 2014 Cadillac ATS sedan and stayed in Hotel Le Germain, one of the cities most premier accommodations. Owned and operated by a small family owned company appropriately named Groupe Germain, this chic hotel is situation in the heart of downtown Montreal, yet resides on an uber quiet street – allowing guests to be in the midst of the hustle and bustle within seconds but sleep at night without noise pollution. The location is perfect for guests without vehicle transportation, as the hotel is within walking distance of Rue Sherbrooke – which is the home of high-end luxe stores such as Holt Renfrew, Hermes, Catherine Malandrino, Tiffany & C; art shops and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Also within a close radius, the popular Saint Catherine Street and plenty amazing dining opportunities.

Hotel Le Germain Montreal

Hotel Le Germain Montreal

Hotel Le Germain Montreal

Images above are of Hotel Le Germain’s Deluxe Room with queen size bed

I have stayed at many boutique hotels during my travels and usually find that there is more of an investment in the building’s design and style than there is with hiring competent and helpful staff. Luckily, Le Germain did not cut corners on either. The staff was beyond accommodating to both myself and my dog Brooklyn (yes, this is in fact a pet friendly hotel!) and went the extra mile to ensure my pup had an equally comfortable stay by providing her with a comfy Germain dog bed, food/water bowls, and of course treats. Concierge also eagerly advised me upon check-in that they could provide dog-sitting services should I want to venture anywhere that is not dog friendly, provided restaurant recommendations that are actually cool and not run of the mill tourist traps, and even packed my vehicle with an ample supply of their branded water bottles to ensure I stayed hydrated during my daily excursions.

Hotel Le Germain Montreal

With loft like design, concrete ceilings, earth tones, contrasting textures and modern design, each of the guest rooms felt and looked ultra roomy.  I am very particular about hotel bathrooms and it’s not uncommon for them to be so small it’s difficult for two people to get ready in there simultaneously. However, the washrooms in Le Germain are all oversized, even those in the regular guest rooms.  They contain ultra plush white robes, tubs and showers overlooking the bedroom and luxe toiletries from Molton Brown, the UK’s bath and body product connoisseurs. Although this was primarily a trip of leisure, I still had work to do, which was made easy with the room’s expansive work station. And the best part hands down had to be the hotel’s beds and accompanying bedding, which was designed exclusively for Le Germain by Quebec fashion icon Marie Saint Pierre. The high thread count and plush duvet and pillows made me feel as if I was  literally sleeping on a cloud. It has been years since I’ve slept that good. In need of extra space? not to worry… in addition to the 99 guest rooms, Le Germain also has two penthouse suites that each have two floors, 1.5 baths, full kitchen and large dining and living rooms and surprisingly only goes for $950 a night.

Hotel Le Germain Hotel

Hotel Le Germain Montreal

Living and dining room of the 16th floor penthouse suite

Although Le Germain impressed me on many levels, they did fail in one area. Minor, due to the fact that I was only there for a couple of days, but could be an issue for those guests who are staying much longer. Their restaurant Laurie Raphael fell flat in my personal opinion. Headed by Executive Chef Daniel Vezina, the presentation of the dishes that I was served during the dinner service was indeed pretty but the taste was subpar, which was a disappointment seeing as though Restaurant Victor in Groupe Germain’s Toronto location on Mercer is absolutely exquisite. Furthermore, the service (in the restaurant only) was less than stellar. However, a deluxe breakfast is included in the room rate, which is served buffet style. For those that have food sensitivities to gluten and dairy may find it a bit challenging to eat during the breakfast service as it’s filled with breads, bread putting, cheeses and oatmeal.

Other services/amenities worth noting:

  • Espresso bar on the main level
  • Computer with high speed wifi in the lobby in addition to complimentary wifi throughout the hotel
  • Valet (which is needed as street parking is very limited in the area)
  • Renovated fitness room with cardio and weight equipment, towels and water
  • In-room massage and spa services

In the end, I had a fabulous stay…the concierge and front desk staff were so amazing I was sad to leave after the fews days I spent there – and I look forward to returning as a guest hopefully during my next visit to Montreal. For more information and rates on Le Germain Hotel, head to their websitand you can stay up-to-date on current and future deals via Twitter. One of the most active twitter accouts I have ever seen from a hotel, if you have any questions, concerns, feedback or require help at any time, make sure to tweet @HotelGermain 

 

My Ride In Style x Cadillac Fashion Week Experience

IMG_1865

Attending World Mastercard Fashion Week for the Fall/Winter 2014 collections was made extra special this season because I got to partner with my friend Christian Thompson and the amazing people at Cadillac Canada to hit up the top 5 shows during the week – and thanks to the luxury automobile company, we arrived in style to the tents in the sleek new Cadillac CTS sedan. With the temperatures still below zero, we thoroughly enjoyed the heated steering wheel feature, the car was spacious enough to fit our fellow blogger friends when we headed out to after parties, and we couldn’t get enough of the amazing BOSE noise-cancelling sound system. The heart and soul of the vehicle called “CUE” (Cadillac User Experience) was the perfect tool that navigated our routes to shows, allowed us to connect multiple iPhones to the entertainment system so we had plenty of music to choose from and even when we were low on gas, it directed us to the top 10 closest gas stations within the area. The CTS was the perfect accessory for Toronto Fashion Week. The CTS has both beauty and brains, no luxury detail was spared and the advanced technology features are super impressive; a driver awareness package that has lane departure warnings and rear cross traffic alerts and the best feature is the Automatic Parking Assist. The vehicle scans a parking lot for an available space and automatically steers itself into a parallel space only requiring the driver to use the accelerator and brake when needed.

Cadillac CTSWorld Mastercard Fashion WeekWorld Mastercard Fashion WeekThe week was all about fall fashion so it was only appropriate that we started it off with Line Knitwear, who is known in Canada for their high quality knits that combine both style and practicality. I was pleasantly surprised to see so much depth in the collection, co-designed by friends, John Muscat and Jennifer Wells, who said their inspiration for the line came from the hidden wonders of the forest and bold colours of nature. Sitting across from us during the show was none other than Supermodel Coco Rocha, who looked absolutely stunning . The 25 year old Toronto native wore a blood orange top from Greta Constantine paired with a Zac Posen high waisted skirt.

Line Knitwear Fall/Winter 2014

What I Saw: Tons of angora in the form of crop tops and mini skirts that came in the prettiest macaron hues, form fitting pencil skirts, and gorgeous outerwear. Texture was a huge theme throughout each vignette and the silhouettes in the collection seemed like a nod to the “Mad Men” era (aka the 50s). What I Loved: The stunning winter white ensemble (sweater and lacey mini) literally made me temporarily lose my breathe, bodycon textured sweater dresses and a croc embossed leather moto and pencil skirt. The latter so good that I wanted to rip the look off the model on the runway. Also catching my attention on the runway…the cool, edgy ear cuffs and the flowy side swept locks on the models.

Line Knitwear Fall 2014Line Knitwear Fall 2014Backstage post show with Christian Thompson and designers John Muscat & Jennifer Wells of Line Knitwear

Grace Lee World Mastercard Fashion WeekLead Artist for Maybelline NY & Key MUA for World Mastercard Fashion Week Grace Lee doing her thing backstage

GSUS Sindustries Fall 2014

It’s been almost 6 years since Amsterdam cult fave brand showed a collection at Toronto Fashion Week. Why you may ask? “Simply because it’s long overdue…” says GSUS Sindustries Canadian Marketing Manager Everton McDougall. I couldn’t agree more. I have been a long time fan of the brand after discovering it out west in Vancouver in 2006 and still collect key pieces each season. GSUS has slowly made a resurgence as of late in the Canadian market with a successful press preview of their Spring/Summer Collection at the end of 2013 and has plans to expand into the American market. What I Saw: The edgy Dutch company latest line aptly titled, “Tour Des Alpes”, was inspired by both the brand’s cultural heritage and the outdoors – which McDougall calls “The Boyscout meets Alps Folklore” resulting in a ton of folklore prints found in the knits. Taking a different (and refreshing) approach to the runway experience, GSUS had local singer/songwriters Cylenz, Peter-John and Q-Benjamin perform as models walked in ultra cozy cardis, printed long johns and graphic printed dresses.

GSUS Fall 2014 Collection World Mastercard Fashion Week

What I Loved: Models wearing bold burgundy lips while classic 8 hole Doc Martens were paired with dresses and skirts…a total nod to the 90s which was so cool! The top on my list was the ultimate plaid boyfriend blazer that could easily be a staple in any female’s closet this fall and of course the classic denim the brand is quintessentially known for. Overall, the joint effort of Everton McDougall, Ian Lee and Stylist Sharad Mohan in putting together the looks and entertainment for the runway presentation was a hit!

GSUS fall winter 2014 GSUS Fall Winter 2014 CollectionIt was all about fur, plaid and leather during Pink Tartan’s runway show on Day 3. Expecting to see another collection of preppy looks, I was pleased to see that Newport-Mimran combined a perfect juxtaposition between Uptown Chic and the Cool Downtown Girl that we can expect to see come fall.

Pink Tartan Fall 2014 collection

Pink Tartan kept in line with the brand’s core aesthetic but played with fabrics, texture and colour. What I Saw: Copious amounts of elegant outerwear…probably the best outerwear I’ve seen from PT to date, plaid pants, skirts (both midi length and above the knee) and cropped jackets in addition to fur mitts, stoles, and vests. What I loved: Pretty much everything as per usual but I had to choose in no particular order; the chocolate midi skirt, which was brilliantly paired with a fur stole and sweatshirt; a brocade skirt with major layer elements on top and a quilted full skirt with chunky knitted sweater and wool moto jacket. I really admire how Newport-Mimran has taken a chance with this collection and tried something a bit different. If we end up seeing a lot of these looks hitting retail racks, the brand may be able to gain fans in an entirely different demographic by appealing to a younger crowd. It has been ages since Pink Tartan showed on the same evening as Newport-Mimran’s husband’s brand Joe Fresh. Both designers used this opportunity to join forces for an after party which was held at Lee on King St West; where media, socialites and buyers sipped on prosecco and noshed on super tasty bites prepped by the staff at Lee.

Pink Tartan Fall Winter 2014 CollectionPink Tartan Fall Winter 2014 CollectionMackage Fall Winter 2014With Christian Thompson of ChristianConfidential.com and Designers Elisa Dahan & Eran Elfassi of Mackage

Each season there are a few things that stand out during fashion week; 1) the outstanding leather pieces that are created by the design duo behind Mackage, 2) the unique design of the runway for the models to walk on – in October it was a high gloss, lacquered gold and this season they got everyone into the spirit of fall with a leaf covered runway and 3) my backstage conversations with Elisa and Eran. I always ask the the pair what their favourite looks are from the collection and enjoy hearing them go back and forth arguing about who is right. But surprisingly last week they agreed that their faves was the head-to-toe plaid. Not only is the Mackage team known for putting together a great show, but they always have pretty awesome celebs sitting front row and the coolest after-parties that nobody wants to miss. Last week they hosted an exclusive event inside Citizen where hottie DJ Brendan Fallis spun tunes all night. What I Saw: Oversized fur-trim hooded jackets, chic crossbody bags, and looks accessorized with hats (fedoras, baseball caps, beanies, etc). What I Loved: There really was just too much goodness in the show for me to handle. The midnight blue leather skirt and oversized army jacket with fur trimmed hood needs to somehow miraculously get into my closet. Extremely happy to see that quilted leather will be a main stay this season. Every woman seated  in David Pecault Square that evening lost it over the quilted crop top and pencil skirt.

Mackage Fall Winter 2014 Collection

Mackage Fall Winter 2014 Collection

I couldn’t think of a better way to close out the week than the Mikael D show. Presented off site in Distillery District’s Fermenting Cellar, it was the perfect space to show off the gorgeous collection from the Canadian designer. For those who are unfamiliar with Mikael D, its creations are as close as one can get to couture here in this country.  They are literally pieces of art and really can only be appreciated fully close up in an intimate setting. I was lucky enough to head backstage before the show started to get up close and personal with the garments thanks to team at Schwarzkopf Professional OSIS+ and also chat with Lead Stylist from Solo Bace, Paul Pereria, to find out what the inspiration was behind the hair looks and the products used to create them.

Mikael D Fall Winter 2014 CollectionBackstage pre-show at Mikael D Fall Winter 2014 Collection runway show

According to the Beirut-born, Montreal based designer, “I wanted to partner with Paul (and Schwarzkopf Professional OSIS+) because I felt that he shared my vision, because they could take the hair design to the next level. With dresses like these, the hair is so important, it is a key part of the ensemble, not just accessory.” Upon chatting with Paul, it was clear that he did in fact get Mikael’s vision and ideas. He mentioned that he first saw the garments when he went to meet the designer at Toronto’s Templar Hotel and immediately picked up on the “Deconstructed Chic” vibe, which inspired him immediately to create an updated look based loosely on the 60s beehive. To obtain the looks he used some of my fave products from the Schwarzkopf Professional OSIS+ line of products; the Blow & Go Thick (leave-in spray), Schwarzkopf Professional Session Extreme Hold Spray, and my new hair crush product the Sea Salt Spray…while also incorporating Schwarzkopf Professional OSIS+ Dust It to create major volume and hold.

Mikael D Fall Winter 2014 Collection

Mikael D Fall Winter 2014 Collection

What I Saw:  Mikael’s collection stayed true to it’s roots of ultra glam with the floor length gowns with intricate detailing and delicate beading that probably took countless hours to create. Cocktail length dresses and mini metallic looks with gold appliques and whimsical lace makes any of these perfect for any red carpet situation. What I Loved: The raw brick walled space as the venue which was set up as in a rather relaxed environment. The official wine sponsor of the night was Apothic Red and being able to sip vino while watching a fashion show was a great touch. The black floor length sheer gown with lace legging underlay, the gold off the shoulder mini and full skirted ball gown wedding dress stole the show, literally leaving us wanting more.

Mikael D Fall Winter 2014 Collection

World Mastercard Fashion Week

Ride In Style x Cadillac

World Mastercard Fashion Week

World Mastercard Fashion Week

Ride In Style x Cadillac World Mastercard Fashion WeekPhotos by Tiffany Sin (www.tiffanysphoto.ca) and George Pimental

Special thank you to all those that made this all-access fashion week experience possible – Cadillac Canada, General Motors Canada, the team at both ASC Public Relations and MacIntyre Communications, Line Knitwear, Mackage, GSUS Sindustries, Pink Tartan, Mikael D, Schwarzkopf OSIS+, and last but not least BAZZUL Toronto for the dressing me.

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: