Monthly Archives: December 2011

Q&A with Elle Canada’s Editor-in-Chief Noreen Flanagan

As the new year is soon approaching, we know some of you are ready to make some big changes. Whether it’s eating healthy or starting a new project, the new year means a fresh start. It’s a clean slate.

What about your wardrobe? Are you ready to put a brand new spin on your style? Maybe you’re looking to take some fashion risks or fine-tune your already fab style. This is the time to make it happen – and we’ve got just the lady to help you out.

Editor-in-Chief of Elle Canada Noreen Flanagan is picking her favorite fashions for BTR December 27 – January 2.

New year. New you. Time to elevate your sense of style.

Q: It’s time to think about the holidays and all the parties that follow. What style of dresses do you predict will be huge?

A: There aren’t many months of the year when you can get away wearing sequins and bright colours. With all the amazing options this party season, I urge women to leave the LBD behind and step out in some gorgeous aqua or cherry red sequins. Our December cover girl Alana Zimmer looks stunning in her sequined shift dress from Arthur Mendoza. Expect to see even larger sequins than what we’re accustomed to. E.R.A Vintage Wear has some stunning skirts and I love the resin-disk dress (UNTTLD) we ran in our December issue. The iridescent disks at Prada were by far the poshest sequins this season.

Q: One of the best parts about winter fashion is choosing a hot new coat. What are your favorite trends for outerwear?

A: Definitely the cocoon silhouette. The Jil Sander coat dress was my absolute favourite this year. A close second was the fitted wool coat dress from Miu Miu. The other key trends were jackets with a strict, classic cut (Celine) and ’60s tailored styles that are belted and accentuate the female form (Burberry Prorsum). Earlier this year I interviewed Laura Lusuardi, the fashion director for Max Mara. She’s been in the business of making coats for more than 40 years and she’s still incredibly passionate about them. When I asked her about her first Max Mara jacket she tracked down an archive photo and said: “You know that feeling you have when you desire something so intensely that you simply must have it? That’s how I felt about that coat.” So, I hope that everyone finds a jacket this season that inspires that kind of love (We deserve it living in such a cold climate. Call it fashion compensation.

Q: What type of shoes will keep you warm yet really fashionable for the upcoming colder months?

A: It really depends what I’m up to. When I’m walking in the ravine across the street from my house, I’ll likely be wearing my new rubber/canvas boots from Cougar. For work, it’s my knee-high leather boots from Stuart Weitzman or my new little Prada ’60s throwback booties. Snowy walks in the city require my suede boots from La Canadienne.

Q: Do you have any suggestions for accessories worth splurging on at the moment?

A: I’m always game for a little holiday bling! It’s a time to be bold, so break out the giant drop earrings, metal cuffs and rhinestone cocktail rings (Real diamond frosting is divine, but not mandatory). The mood is retro-deco this season.

Q: In terms of colors, what have you noticed all over the runways this season?

A: Designers were having an orange crush this season—everything from a subtle burnt hue to vibrant citrus. But green was definitely considered the “it shade.” Think olive, khaki, pine and forest with a splash of emerald and turquoise. Chartreuse, one colour I have a soft spot for, also popped up on a number of runways (Proenza Schouler’s vinyl jacket caught my eye, as did Fendi’s chartreuse tights). There are no seasons in colour now—anything goes.

Shop her picks for today – found in these events:

XOXO, U.S Polo, and Etienne Aigner, Yoon sweaters, JBW Boutique , and 4 Now Fashions.

Small touches that make a big difference

Are you tired of seeing the same old thing every time you look around a room, but don’t want to deal with the hassle, time, or cost of a large-scale change like new furniture or fresh paint?

Today’s Luxurious Home event is here to help. It’s full of items that can instantly bring new life to a space. You’ll find pieces that will refresh your current décor, or mix it up a bit, if that’s what you’re after.

We were especially charmed by their selection of vases. Not only can they do wonders for your home’s look, they’d also make great housewarming or hostess gifts.

Shop Luxurious Home, and give your space a mini-makeover!

Q&A with TV Host and Master Chef David Rocco

We’ve got David Rocco, Canada’s favorite food connoisseur on deck to help make 2012 the year we finally learn how to cook like a pro. Shop the kitchen guru’s picks for BTR home December 19-26. The seal of approval from the kitchen master himself? Sounds de-licious.

Rocco is most notably known as the host of his television show, Food Network’s David Rocco’s Dolce Vita, where he shares his thoughts on the philosophies of cooking healthy Italian food. He is involved in all aspects of production, especially music choice. Musicians from all around the world who are also fans of the show have even contributed their music. Much more than simply a cooking show, the program has become a must-see for foodies.

Rocco is all about giving you the tools you need to make the most appetizing meals for you and your family. If you’ve always wanted to master your own cooking skills, then look no further. Be sure to pick up his books, La Dolce Vita Cookbook and Made in Italy, and stop by his website www.davidrocco.com.

Read the Q&A and start cooking up a storm today.

Q: What are some tips you can give our members who are looking to cook more at home as opposed to going to restaurants?

I always make sure to keep my pantry well-stocked with staple dry ingredients that are versatile enough to use any time of day and that are non-perishable.

A COUPLE OF VARIETIES OF DRIED PASTA: I always have both penne and spaghetti on hand. My life would be very dull without pasta! And besides, can you think of any other dish that can be whipped up with little fuss, and can feed a family of four for a dollar a serving?!

GOOD OLIVE OIL: It’s always about extra virgin in my books. I use olive oil for all my cooking. I generally have two types: one for basic frying and sautéing and the best one I can get for simply drizzling at the last minute to finish dishes just before serving. I call this my “Italian MSG.” It’s my secret ingredient and just elevates a finished dish.

GARLIC: It has a long shelf life and is the base for many dishes and sauces. Lightly browned in a little olive oil and you have a sauce… Spaghetti Aglio e Olio.

CANNED PEELED PLUM TOMATOES: Because they’re picked at their peak, this is a decent substitute for fresh ones in a pinch, or when fresh ones are out of season. And, of course, with a little bit of garlic and olive oil, throw in your peeled plum tomatoes and within minutes you have a good basic tomato sauce. Cook up your penne and you’re good to go!

A TIN OF TUNA: It’s so versatile. That Aglio e Olio sauce that I told you about? Well, now add that tin of tuna to the frying pan with the browned garlic and olive oil and you have a spin-off from your Aglio e Olio, which I call Aglio e Olio e Tonno! Now, add some peeled plum tomatoes and let it simmer for five or ten minutes, while your penne is cooking and suddenly you have a new sauce and a completely new pasta dish.

CANNED LEGUMES: It doesn’t matter. Buy what you like. They’re so convenient and inexpensive. They’re packed with protein and they’re good to go in a jiff. I like to give mine a rinse before I use them. In a pan, heat up some olive oil and garlic and throw in your beans and in no time you’re eating! You want to fancy it up a bit? Throw in that tin of plum tomatoes and let that cook for ten minutes. You want to turn this into a soup? Throw in a couple of cups of water, bring it all to a boil, break up some of the pasta, throw it in and in 15 minutes you have Pasta Fagioli.

OR BACK TO THE OPEN CAN: Rinse your raw beans, add in the tuna, some good olive oil, and you’ve got a salad.

Q: Fans of scrumptious Italian cuisine will adore your new cookbook. What kind of kitchenware is needed in order to make these dishes at home?

A: I’m not a very high tech guy. I like to keep things simple, so my recipes are very basic and do not require gadgets. All you need are some good thick cutting boards and good knives – I like Global Knives because they are light, professional, stylish, and look great in a kitchen – a good set of basic pots and pans with a heavy bottom, a mezzaluna, which is great for quickly chopping parsley or onions, and if you’re nervous about handling a knife, it’s simple to use. In fact I have a whole section of my new cookbook Made in Italy where I make pestos using only a mezzaluna.

Q: You often hear people say that there’s no time to prepare a delicious meal after a long day at work. Any tips on creating something fast yet tasty?

A: Again, having your pantry well-stocked to me is essential. A simple tomato sauce using a can of plum tomatoes can be a delicious meal in minutes, or for hearty soups you can even use canned lentils to make a beautiful hearty Tuscan lentil soup in 10-15 minutes.

Q: How has all your travelling affected your recipes? Do you incorporate cuisines from different regions into your dishes?

A: Traveling always affects your perception and opens your mind. This is no different in cooking; the more I travel, the more I eat, the more I get inspired. Within Italy, traveling from region to region, they will often have different spins on a recipe, which I will then take the best of and use in my recipes. Take for example the classic Putanesca, my grandmother made hers with walnut halves in the sauce, and 100 miles away they don’t use walnuts at all. To me this is fun and exciting!

Q: What’s one cooking faux-pas you always see, and how can people avoid it?

A: People tend to over-complicate things in their recipes as opposed to keeping things simple and letting the integrity of each ingredient shine – less is more! The other big thing I find is the overuse of garlic in Italian cooking because it can be a bit of a cliché. Too much garlic will ruin a dish – or worse leave your mouth coated with the garlic flavor after dinner. A good tip is crushing your garlic but keeping it whole while making your dish; it will flavor up the olive oil, do its job, and can then be removed at the very end.

Start shopping David Rocco’s picks today:

Entertain in Style

Framed Pop Art

Believe it or not…It’s plastic!

Q&A with Redbook Fashion Director Audrey Slater

If you’re like most modern women, juggling all your responsibilities can be overwhelming to say the least. For so many of them, Redbook has become like a dependable best friend. The Magazine’s dedicated readers keep informed on everything from fashion, to raising a family, to staying fit and healthy.

That’s why we couldn’t be happier to have the Magazine’s Fashion Director, Audrey Slater, picking her favorite fashions for BTR December 19-26. As you’ll see from the Q&A, she really knows what it takes to get you looking gorgeous this holiday season.

Look for the Redbook icon on events to shop Audrey’s picks. Create the wardrobe of your dreams and make 2012 your most stylish year yet. From one fashion lover to another.

Q: What’s the number one style-related question you get from your readers and what do you tell them?

A: As you can imagine, I get asked lots of questions about style, both by Redbook readers and women in my life who care about fashion (which is most of them!). Invariably, they want to know how to be stylish without looking silly. “What’s the right way for me to try trends and still look appropriate and like myself?” Here’s my advice: Pick just a trend or two per season that speaks to you, make sure whatever piece you buy fits you beautifully, then wear it with the items you love the most in your wardrobe. For example, red jeans are all the rage right now, and while women are intimated by this bold look, they definitely want to go there. Red jeans are no different than any other jeans, in that you must try on many pairs to find the one that does the best things for your body. Once you achieve that, it’s easy. If you’re a die-hard striped tee girl, there’s your outfit. If a crisp blazer and button-down are your stock in trade, that’s what you should be wearing. Being true to yourself and on-trend aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact when it comes to dressing stylishly, that’s the goal!

Q: Winter fashion is all about finding that perfect coat. Which type do you think is flattering on most women?

A: Hands down, it’s the pea coat. It’s timeless, it works with both casual and fancier outfits (even over a party dress!), and it looks impeccably chic on everyone.

Q: Some women find it hard to look fab in the winter. What are some beauty tips to stay fresh when it gets frosty?

A: If your mom is like my mom, she drilled it into you to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize, and she was right – particularly in winter when all is dullsville from that cold dry air. Also, use a cream blush rather than a powder, which will give you a nice dewy glow and wake up your complexion. Finally, take a few minutes to give yourself an intensive hair mask in place of your everyday conditioner once a month or so.

Q: Let’s talk fashion-related New Year’s Resolutions. What’s a faux-pas you think women should avoid for 2012?

A: I’ll tell you what my resolution will be, and I think it applies to all women: Buy less stuff! Instead, invest in only a few pieces that are wonderful, and that fit perfectly– I always think tailoring is a very wise investment! Remember to be an editor when you shop: Only pay for what delights you, looks amazing on you, and that you’ll want to wear over and over with what’s already in your closet.

Q: Holiday fashion is all about getting dressed up and attending fab parties. What are some trends for dresses right now?

A: There’s no stopping the one-shoulder dress this holiday season. And you can find a festive one at just about every price point. Also, longer dresses are looking really fresh, and– according to a major designer I know– are outselling cocktail dresses. A long gown is elegant in a way a short dress can’t be, and women are really responding to that. Rich color is key this holiday season, as is sparkle. Black will always be classic, but navy is definitely trendier!

Before it’s too late…

It’s happened to the best of us.

In all the holiday frenzy, someone mistakenly gets left off your list, or the perfect present you had planned just doesn’t end up working out. Well, this year, it’s BTR to the rescue.

We have a range of accessory events, featuring an array of attractive watch and jewelry styles for both men and women. The best part is, these are Quick-Ship Events, which guarantees you’ll have your order just in time for Christmas.

Banish last-minute trips to the drugstore in a panic – give the gift of gorgeous this year.

Shop the events:

Premium Watch

Akribos XVII

My Jewelry Box

Haurex and More

Signity Steel

Q&A with Celebrity Style Expert Jené Luciani

If you’re stressing yourself out over last-minute holiday shopping, Celebrity Style Expert Jené Luciani will ease the process by choosing from over 500 amazing gift ideas. Shop her picks December 14-17 and get all your gifts on time for the holidays.

Jené is a fashion journalist, stylist, and regular correspondent and contributor to NBC’s Today, the Style Network, and Martha Stewart Living Radio. Hailed as a “Brilliant Bra Guru” by BRAVO-TV and a “Stylist Extraordinaire”, Luciani is the bestselling author of The Bra Book: The Fashion Formula to Finding the Perfect Bra which counts Oprah, Sherri Shepherd, Jill Zarin, Kathie Lee Gifford, and Kat Deluna among its many celebrity fans.

The former fashion editor is now a sought after stylist, spokesperson, and brand consultant, frequently called upon by major retailers such as Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, and Calvin Klein.

You can find her on Facebook by searching “The Bra Book” or on Twitter @JeneLuciani.

Q: Last minute Christmas shopping is inevitable. What’s a good game plan for our members who might be stressing out?

A: The game plan is to HAVE a game plan! So much time and money is wasted when people get down to crunch time, get frantic, and start buying anything and everything. Even if it’s the day before the big holiday, there’s still time. Get a gift certificate to your favorite online store, department store, or a site like Beyond the Rack. When most people are returning their unwanted gifts, you’ll be happily shopping to your heart’s content.

Q: As a style expert, you know what’s hot right now in fashion. What’s on top of your gift list?

A: This year, I’m craving opera-length leather gloves, a new Vix swimsuit for resort season, über-glam Prada ‘Baroque’ sunglasses, QVC Rachel Zoe tassel earrings, colorful cashmere sweaters, jewel-toned ankle-length pants (think red or fuchsia), a great textured and structured (Birkin-like) bag, a purple silk jumpsuit from Tracy Stern’s first collection (not even out yet but I’m already obsessed), a sequin cape from Calvin Klein (to go with said opera-length gloves), a fun cocktail dress with lots of feathers (Sherri Hill), House of Holland suspender tights, unexpected sequins, something vintage, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t say – NEW BRAS! The New Year is a great time to go get fitted and replenish your supply (and throw out those old dingy ones!). Same goes for shapewear (aka that same biker short-style pair you’ve been wearing under everything).

Q: It’s the day before Christmas and you still don’t have a gift for your boyfriend/girlfriend. What’s a meaningful gift that can be put together on the fly?

A: Something pampering is always perfect. So for guys, visit the Art of Shaving and get a luxurious barber-style shaving set. Or for gals, you can hit your local drugstore and put together a basket of their favorite bath products, loofahs, and colorful nail polishes. What woman doesn’t like beauty products and makeup?

Q: What are your thoughts on re-gifting a present as a last minute gift. Acceptable or a faux-pas?

A: I think it depends on the re-gift and the recipient. If you’re trying to give Grandma a halter dress then I’d say no. Make sure the gift actually fits the person and looks like you put some thought into it. I always say, if you’re not going to use it, might as well give it to someone who will!

Q: Our members love to give amazing gifts for their friends and family without spending an arm and a leg. What are some super gift ideas that are still affordable?

A: The more practical the gift, the more “affordable” it really is. If it’s a tchotchke that’s going to sit and collect dust and take up space, it doesn’t matter if it cost you $5 or $50 because it’s not practical. But, if you get a $100 gift certificate to their favorite restaurant, movie tickets, a luxe spa robe, or even a nice set of pajamas, it’s something they’ll actually use that won’t break the bank. I’m also a fan of edible gifts such as wine, chocolates, or even gourmet coffee. Or, something that looks more expensive than it is. You can pick up a nice colorful scarf from a street vendor in Manhattan, wrap it up nice, and it’ll wow the person on the receiving end.

Shop Jené’s picks today:

Yves Saint Laurent

Winter Fashion Fix

Gold rush

Accessory Addict: Most Wanted

Salvage

Laundry by Shelli Segal

Kalorik

Cooking and Baking Favorites

Bring home art with Maximum impact

Few artists have the instant recognizability and styles as frequently imitated as Peter Max. Even fewer achieve this while they’re still alive.

Peter Max has painted for six American Presidents, and his work hangs in presidential libraries and U.S. embassies across the world. He has also been the official artist of the Winter Olympics, five Superbowls, the World Series, the Indy 500, the New York City Marathon, and more prestigious events. With accolades like that, it’s hard to deny his impact and importance in the art world, and in pop culture as a whole.

BTR is thrilled to offer you an event full of custom framed originals and one-of-a-kind pieces by this hugely prolific artist. And with items in stock, we think one of his works would make an excellent gift for the art lover in your life.

Shop Peter Max

Q&A with Jeremiah Brent from Bravo’s hit The Rachel Zoe Project

If you’ve seen Jeremiah Brent in action on Bravo’s reality series The Rachel Zoe Project, then you know he can do it all. The home authority for Rachel Zoe Inc. is picking for BTR December 11-13. Be sure to look for his icon and shop “The designer gifts they will love.”

Jeremiah has worked with numerous celebrity clients, designing everything from their home interiors to multi-million dollar nightclubs. He originally joined Team Zoe as a stylist, but has proven his interior design chops, having recently decorated Zoe’s 7000 square foot home in under two weeks. In addition to her home, he completely designed and prepped the nursery for new baby Skyler.

While it might have been his personality, style, and model looks that got Rachel’s attention, it was his undeniable talent that made him an essential part of the team. In the season finale, Brent made this evident by designing a fab in-store boutique space for Rachel’s fashion line.

Read this Q&A to learn more about the décor and style guru.

Q: First and foremost we have to ask, what have you learned from working with Rachel Zoe, the most fashionable lady in the biz?

A: Wow, that’s a great question! The answer is multi-layered! There has been so much I have learned from her both personally and professionally. I would say the most prolific lesson she has taught me would be to live my life through passion. Rachel really helped guide me back to interior design. It’s amazing getting the opportunity to work with her. Her work ethic, knowledge, and hunger to know anything and everything related to fashion has been such a huge inspiration.

Q: You went from working in interior design to full on fashion mode. Which do you prefer and why?

A: Interior design is my #1 passion, hands down. However fashion has been and always will be a close second. The irony is that the two are more closely related than most would guess. Often, you can use the same principles of building the perfect outfit for building the perfect room. Designing the Rachel Zoe store in stores for Bloomingdales has been one of the most fun projects because it’s the marriage of décor and fashion.

Q: Is your personal style similar to your home décor aesthetic?

A: They are definitely similar. I love the idea of blending vintage pieces with new and interesting designs. My house feels very well-traveled and eclectic and I hope my wardrobe feels the same. The truth is I just wear what feels right. I love to try new cuts, fabrics, and combinations that one wouldn’t think of off-hand. Rodger (Rachel’s husband) always jokes that my house is “garage sale chic.”

Q: It was amazing to see you completely redo Rachel’s new home so fast. What tips can you give our members who just moved into a new space?

A: I think the key to a great room, is a great foundation. Pick 3 pieces that are timeless and are a clear representation of your personal aesthetic (i.e. sofa, 2 arm chairs, coffee table) and build from there. My favorite rooms are one that feel as though they have been curated over time. Don’t get bogged down in rules. There is no paint by numbers for interior design….no matter what anybody says. Your room should feel like YOU!

Q: Let’s talk fashion. What types of pieces would you say can totally transform your look?

A: Hahaha, great question. Well, for me I would have to say a great leather jacket or an amazing blazer. Both are effortlessly chic and can be dressed down or up. A blazer with ripped jeans…perfection. A leather coat with dress pants, tie, and vest…chic.

Shop Jeremiah’s picks for today:

Gracia

La Classe Couture

Majesty Diamonds

Dex

KitchenAid

Introducing Tommy Girl by Tommy Hilfiger

From the ubiquitous flag logo of the mid-nineties to the preppy-cool aesthetic he’s known for today, everyone’s familiar with Tommy Hilfiger.

Today, we’re proud to announce the premiere of Tommy’s sister label, Tommy Girl, on BTR. Tommy Girl takes the classic, All-American look and puts a youthful spin on it. The line is full of casual separates with a collegiate edge that’s all Tommy Hilfiger.

Shop Tommy Girl today, and put your own spin on a style that’s quintessentially American.

Q&A with Style Expert Lindsay Albanese

Picking gifts for the the family can be quite the challenge. Style expert Lindsay Albanese is here to help. We’ve got the fashion star picking for BTR December 7th and 9th.

To say Lindsay Albanese has experience in the fashion industry would be like saying Christian Louboutin makes nice shoes. Quite the understatement. This fashion maven has been spotted just about everywhere and has quickly become the go-to fashion expert in Hollywood.

Her impressive resume includes contributing to the styling of Entertainment Tonight, American Idol, Access Hollywood, The Academy Awards, The Grammy’s, and the list goes on. Lindsay has also worked on music videos with pop stars Britney Spears and Mary J. Blige.

Some of the celebrities that she has styled include Lara Flynn Boyle, Kristin Cavallari, Wilmer Valderama, and Paula Abdul.

As one of Hollywood’s most regularly quoted style experts, Lindsay is the perfect person to help you shop for your loved ones this year. Read this insightful Q&A to get more hot tips.

 

Q: It’s the season for gift giving. What are some creative, wallet-friendly ways people can shop for loved ones this year?

A: I suggest shopping the home section of online discount websites like Beyond the Rack, you would be surprised with what you may find.I always suggest making something or baking something! I love giving and getting pretzel rods dipped in chocolate and holiday sprinkles. So easy to do and a great gift!

Q: You’ve worked on the sets of American Idol, The Golden Globes, and music videos for some of the biggest stars. Since you’re used to working under time constraints, can you give us some tips for getting ready in the morning when you’re in a rush?

A: It may sound like a stretch for some people but I always say either lay-out your clothes or have an idea of what you’re going to wear the night before. That way you are prepared for an unexpected rush in the morning.I also love dry shampoo or basic baby powder to refresh your hair if you don’t have time to wash it in the morning! This saves me every week! Not to mention, it saves a ton of time.

Q: In your expert opinion, what should be on every fashionista’s Christmas wish list?

A: Booties are the season’s “it” boot! Any color, style, or heel height! You just need a pair, or 5 :)

Q: What would you say is a great gift to give the man in your life?

A: Some of the best gifts I’ve given my guy are the ones having to do with any of his hobbies!
Or to be more specific, I feel like guys never have a good jacket that’s casual but still nice. In my experience they usually only have sweatshirts!

Q: Let’s talk home décor. What are some easy ways people can make their home space more stylish?

A: To be honest, I think adding bold color, or textured pillows to your couch, chairs, or bed livens up a room without feeling totally committed! They are easy to switch out!

Shop Lindsay’s picks for today:

Pretty in pearls, London Fog, 6ixty 8ight and more, Luxury bedding, Theme, Arianne, Global treasures

Be sure to stop by her Website and follow her on Twitter @StyleExpertLynz.