Ongoing Obsession: Sweatshirt Dressing

CMX. Tommy Hilfiger. Gap. Alexander Wang. I won't say that I'm "currently obsessed," because I've always had a thing for sweatshirts. Oversized on top and skinny on the bottom has always been my silhouette of choice. I recently skipped purchasing a vintage Club Monaco sweater in favour of a replica from Pink (plus, I was able to pick up another off-the-shoulder nautical version on sale at Aritzia with the money I'd saved). When I found the Dries Van Noten FW10 outfit for the post below, I decided it was time to speak up about this look that I've loved for years on end. You can bet that this fall, my sweatshirts will be for more than just nights in. Below: Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's, 3.1 Phillip Lim FW10 and Ashley Olsen


In My Dries

Wake up, get washed, check email, workout, eat breakfast while watching Fashion Television, get dressed, pack bags, frantically search for parking money and run out the door...That's what things are like Monday through Friday. Although the days of enjoying breakfast while watching MTV's The After Show are over, tuning in to Jeanne Beker is a treat I look forward to every day. Besides, being removed from the fashion scene at work has me wanting more and more. Fashion Television in the morning and fashion blogs (first stop's New York Mag's The Cut) in the evening. I just can't get enough.

Having said that, it should come as no surprise that I'm excited to start dressing for fall. Yes, it's the middle of the summer. But I've always looked forward to fall as a time for tweaking old pieces, shopping for new ones and truly embracing my personal style. I don't think I'm alone either, since the fall fashion magazines are the year's biggest. But I could be wrong. Anyone crave swinging summer dresses like I crave cozy knits? Anyone into winter's coats like I am into fall's light layers?

For so many years, September's arrival meant back-to-school shopping. A new year, a new me. Or a new year, the same me, just wearing something brand new. As much as I love strolling in the sunshine after work, as the day's get shorter I'll be lusting after looks like these from Dries Van Noten.

Images from Style.com



Because I feel like I've been talking too much. 
More illustrations at www.rachaelmeckling.tumblr.com

Let's Get Lost

It was my day off. It was the day my 16-year-old sister and I had been planning for weeks. I’ve often referred to her here as OC or “the coolest girl in the world.” She’s confident and for a tiny girl, she has big dreams for herself. We thought about what we might cram into the perfect day, and here’s what we came up with.

Manicures at Gee Beauty – My absolute favourite nail spot in Toronto. The space is lovely, the people are charming and the couches are always covered with the latest magazines.

Caffe Doria – Next door to Gee is Caffe Doria. I’m not one to boast about espresso bars in Toronto (except for Fresh Start of course), but when OC was craving some caffeine, this hit the spot. The fridges were loaded with a variety of panini and the small patio was buzzing. Next time we’ll have to try Doria for lunch.

Ramsden Parkette – Just a few steps south on Yonge is Ramsden Parkette. Despite our desire for a day in the city, we couldn’t help but park ourselves on a bench here for a moment in the sun.

Maison de la Presse – Whenever we are downtown, we make a point of stopping here to browse the latest issues from around the globe, debate our favourite covers and vow to become bilingual. (I’m always partial to Italian mags, while she decided to practice her French with Glamour’s latest featuring Leighton Meester)

Kensington Market – Have a favourite Kensington stop? We simply breezed through.

Type & Trinity Bellwoods – Since reviewing Type for a Toronto website, I fell in love with this bookshop. Plus, it’s across the street from Trinity Bellwoods, a perfect place to take a break from our lengthy trek.

When I got home I came across a post on my friend Amanda’s blog, Not A Model. She wrote about her chat with a group of teen girls about beauty, body image and self-esteem. In it, she expressed her passion when it comes to spreading this important message: there is no certain definition of beauty. I have always held this idea close to my heart, especially how it affects teens. My attachment to magazines began with CosmoGIRL!’s Atoosa Rubenstein, and her message about being yourself. I was struck by Amanda’s effort to take action, get out there and have a discussion with this stylish bunch. With that in mind, I called her up, just to let her know how much I appreciated being reminded of the things I felt at 16. My heart was filled with first love and my head was filled with big city dreams. 

It's Hard to Interview a Comic

because I couldn't stop laughing. I get nervous before interviews and my stammering only made this phone call more comedic. Enjoy my profile on motivational speaker and MTV personality Sabrina Jalees, originally from Ryerson's Folio.

The audience took their seats. The lights dimmed. A sole performer stepped onto the stage with one thing separating him from the crowd, a microphone. He scanned the group for inspiration and hoped his material would impress. At the comedy club, the spotlight can be an intimidating place. Toronto-born teen, Sabrina Jalees didn’t see it that way. From her place in the crowd Jalees saw her future, and she wanted it to start immediately. “I wanted to tackle the comic and say what was on my mind,” she says.

At 25, Jalees has made a name for herself in the Canadian comedy scene with her brand of cultural humour. This former Ryerson University student has worked in print, radio and television. Though much of her material is informed by her experiences growing up half Pakistani and half Swiss, Jalees has recently found one more way to share her story. Armed with creativity and unfailing ambition, she’s now telling audiences what it took to land her dream gig.

Motivational speaking is Jalees’ latest venture. Her mix of humour and advice makes the experience that much sweeter for the audience. “It’s like having a vitamin with a milkshake, something good for you along with something you’ll enjoy,” she describes. After writing a story for the Impact Entrepreneurship Conference, Jalees was recruited by Speakers’ Spotlight (www.speakers.ca). In her talks she encourages people to find out what they love, take action and embrace diversity. She also wants audience members to be empowered by what makes each of them different, a point that hits close to home for the radio and television personality.

Since her first stand-up performance as a Yuk Yuk’s amateur at age 16, Jalees has dealt with being embarrassed by her heritage, Muslim post-9/11 and discovering her sexuality. “I realized I was gay while I was doing stand-up,” she reveals. “Now I can speak about it and empower other people.” Most importantly Jalees is excited about what she does for a living, and she wants her young following to feel the same.

Currently Jalees is touring American colleges and doing stand-up. She describes her decision to relocate to New York as a natural progression for any creative type. In New York she is able to reach a larger market and strengthen the work ethic that got her recognized on the streets of Toronto.

Being on the go in New York City reminds her of her days as a Ryerson student. She was studying Radio and Television, and working relentlessly toward her goal. Between classes she performed her stand-up act, penned a column for The Toronto Star and hosted a television show on CBC called Smart Ask. “I wanted it all,” she says. She remembers it as being one of the busiest and most fulfilling points in her life. Now her weekend visits home are filled with tapings of CBC Radio’s LOL!, MuchMusic’s Video On Trial and Slice’s Plastic Makes Perfect.

Up next for Jalees is season 2 of YTV’s In Real Life, a reality series in which contestants aged twelve to fourteen compete to win four years’ college tuition and a family vacation. Jalees was a writer and host of the first season. In the future she hopes to write and host a television show for MTV, a move that would reach viewers similar to those of MuchMusic. She’s also taking a course on Advanced Sketch/Improv with the Upright Citizens Brigade. It’s clear that Jalees hasn’t stopped learning or dreaming. Surely her determination keeps her going, but it also might be the voice of that had-to-be-heard fifteen year-old inside.


Love/Leave Aug 2010

One of Life is Glossy's biggest fans and critics is my sister, OC. I often ask her opinion, especially when it comes to these cover comparisons. Yesterday at the newsstand I lined up Dakota Fanning's Marie Claire and Flare covers for her. At first she didn't even realize it was the same person. That got me thinking about the way that stars are treated when being showcased by different mags/brands. I can just hear the voices of editors discussing how to bring out (insert star's name)'s personal style while keeping it (insert magazine title here). This month I'm looking at Drew Barrymore. 

Nylon's Denim Issue calls Barrymore "our kind of icon," and frankly, I'm more intrigued by what the interview inside might be like rather than hearing anything more about jeans. This issue has me thinking about the way a brand like Nylon would tackle a personality like Barrymore. As a former subscriber and now occasional reader, I think that this story might reveal something that another fashion publication might leave out. But that's all speculation. When it comes to the cover, the only thing really grabbing me is Barrymore herself. The only things the cover lines are saying are, "JEANS" and "DREW BARRYMORE." So if she weren't on another cover this month, I might have chosen this one. 

I'm not the most dedicated ELLE reader, but I was recently tempted by this issue at the newsstand because of the cover star. With a similar pose and hairstyle as the Nylon cover, Barrymore's ELLE cover steps it up by dressing her in a much more flattering way. Also, I like the way that ELLE's covers aren't always featuring a star on a white background. As for the cover lines, at least a reader can get a sense of some other stories by looking at this one. Besides the feature interview, I'd like to read Fashion Editors' (the real ones, not stars of The City) Secrets. The bottom right corner calls out to Ashley Greene. I've been seeing more of her lately in magazines, but I'm still waiting to read something interesting about Twilight's Alice Cullen. If it came down to these two, this month I'd choose ELLE. Based on covers alone, it looks like ELLE readers are getting a lot more. 

Things I've Been Meaning to Say

Writing display copy makes me tense and nervous. At work I fill it in and expect an editor to immediately re-write it. Recently I was so anxious about writing display copy for a small assignment I had, that I spent time after work flipping through back issues (of any magazine in my collection) in search of snappy titles. My Service Journalism instructor often mentioned the value of 'stealing' display. Also, my Feature Writing teacher told us stories in which he used display copy he'd seen in European publications on his query letters. In the end I actually received an email complimenting me on my titles and sub-heads, which certainly made my day. 

So when starting a blog post I often blurt something out as a title and then go back and think it hardly captures what I'm trying to say. Other options for this post? Things I like, I'm Likin' It, In My Head, Without a Hed...See what I mean? 

Bottom Line - You know when something catches your eye and you think, 'I've gotta tell (insert BFF's name here) about this later!' I've had a bunch of moments like that lately and I've been meaning to tell you about them. Here's what's been on my mind:

Last Summer 
I had the most incredible, life-changing vacation in Italy. From the very first time I went when I was 12, I feel like I discover something new about myself every single time I'm there. Last summer I experience the Amalfi Coast for the first time. This summer I'm at home. Naturally, my cubicle is decorated with photos from that August adventure. So seeing la Costiera through a vintage lens felt like a love letter from Vogue Italia to me. 

The Miu Miu Covers
By now I'm sure you've all seen the Miu Miu dress that ended up on three August covers. This month Dakota Fanning's on Marie Claire and Flare (sporting quite different looks, might I add), but clearly having an outfit on more than one cover causes much more of a stir. My pick? Elle UK.  

Current Polish
First off, I must announce that my search for the perfect mint green polish ended last weekend when OC and I had the most successful trip to Vaughan Mills, EVER. That's when I found China Glaze in Re-Fresh Mint. After a quick stint I ditched the mint for a coral that seemed a little out of character (I'm usually sporting a neutral or dark colour) -- Tart Deco. Not sure what my next colour choice will be, but the next thing I'm searching for is OPI Done Out in Deco.

My Two Lefts
Once upon a tweet, I mentioned my incessant search for the perfect pair of Zara pumps, how I found them and then how the last pair in my size ended up being two lefts. The store was messy, I was frustrated and the salesgirl couldn't have cared less. These were the ones. 

Glad we could catch up. xo


Birthday Wish

I spent my 21st birthday at 4 Times Square in NYC for Teen Vogue Fashion University. It was especially perfect because Proenza Schouler and Rachel Roy were there. I knew it was somehow meant to be. For my 22nd birthday I had the chance to review runway shows at Toronto's LG Fashion Week - another dream come true. Though 23 is still fairly far off, I've been doing some dreaming lately. 

Recently Vogue Italia EiC Franca Sozzani started a contest to attract more followers on Twitter. Follow her, retweet and you may just win a day at her head office in Milan. 

The prize is strictly access. The winner has to pay for their trip and hotel themselves. However I am willing to do that should I actually get the chance. I don't think there are words to describe how I would react if I could turn 23 in Milan. Naturally I've already entered the contest and received my confirmation. So I humbly ask you, dear readers, if you'd be so kind as to tweet, "@francasozzani choose @ericaec to join you at Vogue!"

What can I offer you in return? Some absolute must-read blog posts, the chance that I'll track down and interview Chiara Ferragni of www.theblondsalad.com and of course the most insider-y info I can offer. 

ps. I can't wait to pick up my August issues! Next week I have time off so I'll be enjoying a little stay-cation the best way I know how, with more time for sun, reading and blogging!


Lined with Inspiration

Since I've started working in the city, I've spent my time strolling to and from the subway station thinking about what it might be like to live downtown. I've fantasized about location, views, roommates and design. But whether it's my first place or my future home, one thing is absolutely essential. 
I take pride in my growing library and cherish the books I've picked up while traveling or as gifts. Aside from my large bookshelf, my room is constantly filled with piles of books and magazines, divided and stacked in a way that only I can completely understand. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that I recently became a little too excited about Gwyneth Paltrow's upcoming Vogue cover. Yes, she's been featured several times and yes, she's been horribly photoshopped in the past. But the reason I'm looking forward to it? This picture. 
Images from now defunct design mag Domino, and Vogue

Miss Not So Perfect

This week I finally made my very first presentation at work. Although I was completely panic-stricken walking into that meeting, it felt like a form of initiation for me. I think that having my chance to speak up and express myself really made me feel like a part of the team. One of my editors at Internship No. 2 said that I was quiet in the beginning, and that I should try to open up right away. In those early days, she  knew little about my interests, passions and had no idea I had a blog. She encouraged me to share those kinds of things more often, because they can help shape story ideas. I've tried to keep that in mind, but this scheduled presentation was just what I needed to force me to step up. I feel like sometimes part of me enjoys being not so perfect. I mean, I haven't been working for too long and I've already forgotten my umbrella twice. Arriving at work soaking wet isn't the best way to make an impression. And having major anxiety when it comes to presentations isn't always the best thing either. Once it was over I felt like I could breathe again. It's always been that way, and I doubt that will change. If that rush of nervousness can lead to a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction, then I'd say it's worthwhile. But that's just me. 


Coming to a Newsstand Near You

Trailers. Do you need one for your favourite magazine? Are they to excite loyal readers, or entice new ones? In recent months my must-read glossies have been getting the feature film treatment with online videos previewing what's coming up in future issues. While some choose to showcase certain pages along with a dance song, others actually list the Table of Contents online before the issue comes out. I think that the videos are a fun way to introduce the month's features. I have been watching them for the past couple of months to find out what I have to look forward to on newsstands. Seeing the Table of Contents puzzled me because it doesn't give much insight into an article's perspective or take on a certain topic. Do you check out magazine previews? 

ps. It's that time of year again, time to update my magazine subscriptions. So far FLARE, FASHION and Toronto Life are on the list. Are there any others you think I should regularly keep my eye on?

I've got questions and I'd love to hear your answers. Have your say by commenting, tweeting @ericaec or emailing erica.cupido@hotmail.com. 


Are you a Masthead Know-it-all?

When you flip through your favourite magazine, do you care about the people behind the pages? Are you curious about the editors, and their personal style? Before I made my first cold call to a fashion magazine regarding internships, I knew the masthead. I've always read them, looking for new names, hirings, firings and promotions. It seems I'm not the only one who is interested in what goes on behind the scenes. When I enrolled in Ryerson's Magazine Publishing Program, a switch in the masthead became a hot topic in class discussion. Did you hear who they hired? What happened to...? Seeing my own name on the masthead for the first time during Internship No. 2 was a moment I'll never forget. But you better believe that when I left I immediately scoured the page to find out who had replaced me. 

At an interview I had earlier this year (for a position as an editorial assistant to the fashion department of a Canadian women's magazine), I was asked what one of my favourite features was. I immediately pointed to a selection of holiday wardrobe favourites chosen by the magazines editors. It gave readers like me a glimpse into their worlds, and what they liked to wear on a daily basis. My interviewers immediately shared that I wasn't the only one with such an enthusiastic response. "Our readers feel like they know us," the editor at large told me. "And they're always looking to know more." I love that street style blogs have helped to bring each editor's personal style to the forefront of the fashion scene. They're choices are so influential that I think it only makes sense for readers to learn more about them. 

Joining Twitter became an extension of this fascination. Suddenly voices of magazines, as well as editors themselves were only a click away. Do you care to know more about your favourite editors? Or is reading your favourite glossy enough? Do you flip past the masthead , like you would an ad? If you're curious, here's a small selection of people I'm following:

@KarenKwinter - Editor at Large, Style at Canadian Living
@TheChicStorm - former Fashion & Beauty Editor at LOULOU
@TrucNguyen - former Fashion Assistant at Teen Vogue
@MrJoeZee - Creative Director at ELLE
@MoshaMosha - Assistant Fashion News Editor at FLARE
@Siofan - Assistant Editor/Research at FASHION
@LisaTant - EiC of FLARE

*Note: I've only included those who were or currently are attached to a particular publication. For a full list including the must-read freelancers, check out the full list at www.twitter.com/ericaec

The Reluctant Junkie

Although I've always been intrigued by the wonders of a fresh manicure or a brand new lip gloss, I would never call myself a beauty junkie. When I was 13, my mother decided that if I was going to experiment with makeup, I should have a little bit of professional guidance. I remember that trip to the MAC counter, where one of their experts taught me all about application. I left with pink cream shadow, mauve powder, iridescent lip gloss and an unwavering sense of confidence. I met my friends that afternoon and remember not caring that I was completely overdone for the mall. I felt special, glamorous, even. Besides we had a party to shop for. Unfortunately, later at the dimly-lit basement dance party, I coined the phrase, "This night wasn't worth mascara." (It may have even been my msn name, please don't hold that against me!) It was my eighth grade intro to beauty products.

In high school I experimented a little more. Every morning I'd add a swipe of colour to my lids, always being sure to choose a shade that CosmoGIRL! or Seventeen advised me went well with my eye colour. When we started going to clubs, I became the unofficial makeup artist in my group of friends. At every pre-party I'd go from girl to girl, creating smoky eye after smoky eye. I still proudly play this role, but my own makeup routine has certainly been pared down. I think my fascination with paints and powders diminished when my interest in shoes began. 

When I hit university, my boyfriend always told me that his sisters frequently got their nails done. Over time, I added manicures to my list of pick-me-ups (which already included DVDs and magazines). Today I test colours on my nails instead of my eyes. In second year I started Internship No. 1. One of my memorable duties was collecting cash at their hectic beauty sale.  It was the day that all of our samples were up for grabs, and everyone on the floor was invited. There was a line that snaked around board rooms and down halls. I remember our sales coordinator was at the door, giving each small group five minutes to grab until they were kicked out for the next few bargain-hunters. At the end, we were left with a few remaining hair products and a nice sum to donate to charity. Recently I had another chance to scour products at discounted prices. I went in expecting to spend very little, but surprised myself by leaving with a little bag of new items.
The eyelash curler has always been my favourite tool. Since my sisters have recently been converted, mine seems to keep going missing, so I picked up this Revlon one. Roc Soleil Protexion spray with SPF 45, because I've suffered from too many unsightly burns. Clinque Vitamin C Lip Smoothie in Nude-tritious for me, and a bright pink Smashbox gloss for a BFF (opposites attract, right?). 
OPI Over the Taupe (my favourite colour since I first tried it earlier this year), OPI Tickle my France-y, OPI Otherwise Engaged, Essie Chinchilly, Gosh teal (it's no Nouvelle Vague but I've been searching for a green shade) and Avon Vintage Blue.