Fashion: Dressed for the season

Style expert Afiya Francisco can regularly be found sharing her fashion expertise on Global News’ The Morning Show, CBC’s Steven and Chris and on Entertainment Tonight Canada.
afiya_francisco_600x340-594x335
With Christmas fast approaching, Francisco revealed her list of holiday must-haves to get through this busy time of year looking sharp and in season. Whether it’s an office party or a family celebration, the blogger behind The Style House and editor-at-large of Real Style magazine has got you covered.

1) A statement clutch. “Something shiny, bright and/or sparkly can add just the right amount of festivity to an otherwise simple outfit,” Francisco says.
Tommy clutch
2) A great coat. “Outerwear is often forgotten but it’s the first impression and should be chosen with more consideration than an afterthought,” Francisco says. “If it’s a second coat, chosen as an occasion piece, I suggest a versatile but surprising hue like red or cobalt.”
Paola Coatlula coat club mon

3) A tux jacket. “This piece is a cool and sexy alternative to the little black dress. Thrown over a dress or worn with trousers, a tux is an easy solution to holiday dressing.”
tux-jacket zaratux-jacket

4) Sequins. “A blouse, a dress or pants, a chic sequined piece is an instant dose of holiday cheer.”
joe fresh sequin 2joe fresh sequin

Extra holiday essentials:

SEEING RED: Nothing shows off holiday spirit in a stylish way quite like sporting the colour of the season.
Banana-Republic-Fall-Winter-2013-2014-Collection-For-Women-7

GO FOR BOLD: A statement necklace adds a layer of interest to an outfit and takes a dress or shirt up a festive notch. Photo courtesy Sistaco.
By The Light

Local Designer: Tuck Shop Trading Co. & City of Neighbourhoods

DSC_4565

The idea stemmed from a coat.

After receiving an old buffalo check jacket from her mother-in-law, Lyndsay Borschke started thinking about creating clothes that embody both city and cottage life.

“I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if this coat were a little bit more updated and it could have more street value so you could wear it downtown,” says Borschke.

The resulting cottage coat is one of her favourite pieces in her newly launched label Tuck Shop Trading Co., a line of ready-to-wear men’s and ladies’ casual clothing and accessories.

Her line includes toques, scarves, jackets and bags made with fabrics like cashmere, fur and leather. She had already been involved in designing lines of clothing for summer camps and schools when she decided it would be “fun and a little bit of an adventure” to do something with more luxurious fabrics while still being influenced by “that outdoor lifestyle.”

DSC_4524

A major inspiration for the collection was the time spent at Algonquin Park growing up. She also worked as a business director for a summer camp there, and now spends summers with her family at a cottage on Canoe Lake that was originally leased by her husband’s grandfather.

Historical pictures of his family, who in the 1940s would travel by train to the lake and were, in her words, “always superbly dressed,” are incorporated into the company’s hand tags and website.

The idea for the name springs from onsite tuck shops where summer campers can get necessities and clothing.

“I thought, well it’s sort of like a tuck shop at camp but then I was also thinking fur traders bringing fur to the old trading posts and then that filtering back down to the city,” she relates.

Borschke has a subsidiary line called City of Neighbourhoods, which allows people to proudly display their neighbourhood pride — on their toques. Midtown neighbourhoods represented include Summerhill to the Annex and Yorkville, Rosedale and Forest Hill to Lawrence Park.

Leaside will be part of the latest toques added to the collection, which will be available this month. Other additions are St. Clair West and Christie Pits. Sweatshirts and t-shirts featuring the neighbourhoods are also available.

DSC_4557

To celebrate Tuck Shop Trading Co.’s debut, Borschke held an official launch party at the Big Crow on Dupont Street near Davenport Avenue on Oct. 1.

“It was great to have all the products on display and it looked woodsy and like a tuck shop,” she says. “It had a wood background, but then there was also this wonderful smell of wood smoke and we were serving Canadiana-themed food.”

Although Borschke is already looking ahead to a brick-and-mortar location, which she would like to see in the Summerhill area, both her collections are currently available online at tuckshopco.com and select local stores, including The Narwhal and Over the Rainbow. She also hopes to expand City of Neighbourhoods to major cities such as New York, Boston, Los Angeles, London, Paris and Sydney.

“Since the launch the response to the neighbourhood hats has been fabulous,” she says. “It’s great to see how people are responding to them on social media and posting pictures of themselves wearing the toques, and also just how they’re asking for different neighbourhoods and how they want to represent their own neighbourhood has been really great.”

All images by Ann Ruppenstein