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Maye Musk: Model, Muse, Mom to Elon Musk...

(Yes, the Tesla GUY)

things that make life ever so sweet: Food,

Philanthropy, Interior Design, Art & Automotive


Toronto sinks its teeth into the hottest

new steakhouse

The Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute

Publications Mail Agreement # 40026675

gives young Canadian Designers front-row access to success

He Says Jump, We Say How High (And in Which Shoes?)

Karl Lagerfeld the King of Couture


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FALL 2017 • VOLUME 21 • ISSUE 3 Publisher/Editor-in-Chief MICHELLE ZERILLO-SOSA Director of Operations ANGELA PALMIERI-ZERILLO

ART DEPARTMENT Co-Founder/Creative Director FERNANDO ZERILLO Web Project Manager STEVE BRUNO Senior Graphic Designer CHRISTINA BAN Junior Graphic Designer AXL VALDEZ Web Designer YENA YOO Web Developer JORDAN CARTER



ADVERTISING Director of Marketing ANGELA PALMIERI-ZERILLO Director of New Business Development SUSAN BHATIA Senior Account Manager MARIO BALACEANU Account Manager CHRISTINA BONO

ADVERTISING INQUIRIES T: 905-264-6789 Toll-Free: 1-888-68-DOLCE • Office Administrator MARIA RIGAZZI Front Cover KARL LAGERFELD Photo By PASCAL LE SEGRETAIN

Dolce Magazine is published quarterly by Dolce Media Group, 111 Zenway Blvd., Suite 30, Vaughan, Ont., L4H 3H9 T: 905-264-6789, Toll-Free: 1-888-68-DOLCE, F: 905-264-3787,, Publication Mail Agreement No. 40026675. All rights reserved. Any reproduction is strictly prohibited without written consent from the publisher. Dolce Magazine reaches over 900,000 affluent readers annually through household distribution across Canada. Dolce Magazine is also available to over 100 million digital consumers of Magzter Inc. and Issuu. Inquiries about where else Dolce Magazine is available for sale may be directed to Dolce Media Group: or 905-264-6789. The yearly subscription fee is CDN $34 and US $48. Send cheque or money order to Dolce Media Group, 111 Zenway Blvd., Suite 30, Vaughan, Ont., L4H 3H9, Canada The opinions expressed in Dolce Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or advertisers. Dolce Media Group does not assume liability for content. The material in this magazine is intended for information purposes only and is in no way intended to supersede professional advice. We are proud to be a Canadian company that has successfully published magazines for the past 21 years without any government funding or financial assistance of programs to cover editorial costs. It has all been possible thanks to the wonderful support of our readers and advertisers. ISSN 2370-4063 Next Issue: Winter 2017/18 ©2017 Dolce Media Group. Printed in Canada. Follow us at:




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Remember to always leave your mark!

Michelle Zerillo-Sosa

Fernando Zerillo


Co-Founder/Creative Director

“Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere” — Barack Obama

(story on page 42): science nerd, registered dietitian and mom to three very accomplished adults. Her modelling career has spanned more than 50 years so far … when originally she was told her career as a model would end by age 18. Today, she leaves her mark on people by sharing her positive body image, promoting healthy eating and donating her time to various organizations — including The Kitchen Community, a non-profit organization cofounded by her son, Kimbal. When Sabrina Barnett moved from Haiti to North America with her mom and sister, she learned a very important lesson, which served her well on her path to success later in life. She learned to live in 3D — which stands for drive, determination and desire (story on page 74). Whether she is setting up her own international women’s polo team, being a successful CEO, a mentor, a healer or a philanthropist, Barnett is grateful for all the lessons she has picked up in life. She firmly believes that our true power is not in our brains, it’s in our wisdom: it’s learning to be kind, compassionate and caring, and teaching people how to be fearless. It’s in these stories that we hope you too find the inspiration to persevere and leave a positive impact on those around you. We hope you enjoy the fall edition of Dolce Magazine. Remember to always leave your mark!



live in an era of social media stardom, where even a cat can leave its mark and build a loyal following — blame it on our tendency to be impressed based on a number of likes. Of course we are talking about Choupette, Karl Lagerfeld’s cat (who has 102,000 followers and counting). Our cover man on this fall edition of Dolce, by contrast, does not even consider himself famous … but says his cat is the real celebrity. His brand, owned by British investment fund Apax Partners, is No. 85 on the Forbes list, and his company’s worth is estimated at $6.8 billion. Back in 2014 at the Fendi catwalk, a doll resembling the king of fashion himself earned the brand more than $1 million. Wow! Talk about status symbol. But what is even more fascinating beyond his talent as a fashion icon is Karl Lagerfeld’s ability to dream up sets for his fashion runways. A bit of an illusionist (he is known to invent his own history, including making up stories about his parents’ pasts), Lagerfeld finds joy in mesmerizing his audience, much like the spectacle found at a circus. Lagerfeld is ready to be influenced by what’s happening in the world as he continues to leave his mark on fashion-craving crowds, firmly establishing himself as a legendary figure (story on page 28). Another individual who continues to leave a mark on people everywhere she goes is Suzanne Rogers (story on page 18). She is one of Canada’s highest-profile philanthropists and our very own fashion icon. Suzanne Rogers continues to donate her time and expertise to advancing numerous causes in the creative arts and fashion industries, and by doing so she is forging a path for the next generation of great Canadian fashion designers. For proof that getting older is your chance to do things better, just read our story on Maye Musk

Michelle Zerillo-Sosa Publisher/Editor-in-Chief @dolcetweets |




fall 2017

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9 fall 2017 | DOLCE MAGAZINE




ALL HAIL KING KARL: A glimpse into the fantastical world of Lagerfeld and his iconic couture

92 OBJECTS OF DESIRE: The spark of inspo you’ve been looking for this season

A HOUSE OF LOVE: French jeweller Van Cleef & Arpels is an ode to the eternal love story





INSPIRING THE PASSION OF CANADIAN DESIGNERS: The Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute at Ryerson University is a game-changer

BLUEBLOOD: CASA LOMA’S CLASSIC STEAKHOUSE: Sink your teeth into Liberty Entertainment Group’s hottest new spot in the city

With thousands of social followers and millions in auto sales, this Lambo girl is killing it with her entrepreneurial success




HOT STUFF: 69-year-old model and dietitian proves that age and beauty do go hand-in-hand

A lush 80-acre property north of Toronto that mimics a secluded retreat ON THE COVER Photographed by Pascal Le Segretain 54 BREATHING LIFE INTO A ROOM THROUGH ART: Jessica Herzig Art Advisory 70 MORE THAN A SMILE: How one local dental artist changes smiles and gives back tenfold More stories inside ...



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dolce was there 4


Weizmann Canada’s Wonderful Women event


5 Photos by GeorGe Pimentel, sandy Caetano, aline sandler, Gil tamin, miChelle levy ProduCtions


The fourth annual Wonderful Women event was organized by Weizmann Canada’s Women and Science committee. Held at Toronto’s historic Casa Loma, about 300 attendees enjoyed dinner and a panel discussion hosted by CBC News Network host Carole MacNeil. The panelists included innovative entrepreneur and humanitarian, Joey Adler; Editorin-Chief of Zoomer magazine, Suzanne Boyd; actress and musician, Louise Pitre; and from the department of structural biology at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Dr. Rina Rosenzweig. These fascinating women shared inspirational stories of the successes and challenges throughout their careers. Funds raised from the event went to support four awards for female scientists in Israel who will be pursuing their post-doctoral research abroad.

1. Panelists: Carole MacNeil (moderator), Louise Pitre, Joey Adler, Dr. Rina Rosenzweig, Suzanne Boyd 2. Renee Bleeman, Marilyn Anthony 3. Reggie Greenberg, Francie Klein 4. Kirste Spencer, Sharon Zuckerman, Dr. Daniel C. Andreae, Michele Atlin 5. Real Housewives of Toronto Joan Walker and Ann Kaplan Mulholland with Michelle Levy (center)



The Hurlingham Club, an exclusive sports and social club located in London, England, played host to numerous racing legends and celebrities at the Grand Prix Ball in early July, ahead of the British Grand Prix. The ball is an annual event that raises thousands of British pounds for charity every year. The Grand Prix Ball recently partnered with the charity Wings for Life, a spinal cord research foundation. This year’s Grand Prix Ball was hosted by British racecar drivers Timothy (Tiff) Needell and David Coulthard; Irish former motorsport team boss Eddie Jordan; and the team principal of Red Bull Racing Formula One, Christian Horner. At the gala, spectators not only donned some stellar attire, but they also enjoyed an exclusive F1 demonstration before dinner, as well as a charity auction and live music.


1. Sophie Stanbury 2. Georgia Toffolo 3. Emily Haig 4. Rory Reid



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Photos Courtesy of the Grand Prix ball 2018

the Grand Prix Ball


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dolce was there 1

Guns n’ roses at maxfield




To amend the words of arguably the most popular Guns N’ Roses song of all time: “Welcome to Maxfield — they’ve got fun and games.” Well, the international multipurpose retail store’s flagship L.A. location doesn’t really have “fun and games,” per se. But Maxfield did launch “Guns N’ Roses Was Here,” an exclusive retail event — in conjunction with Bravado, Universal Music Group’s leading merchandise and brand management company — that unveiled stylish Guns N’ Roses-inspired attire.



The “Guns N’ Roses Was Here” project consisted of band-inspired collections from fashion names such as Enfant Riches Déprimés, Off-White, Palm Angels, AMIRI, MadeWorn and Kelly Cole. Each of these clothiers created their own unique versions of Guns N’ Roses-inspired attire that best reflected the band’s musical identity. These items were part of a limited-edition capsule collection in celebration of the band’s iconic 1987 debut album, Appetite for Destruction. The capsule contained a variety of Guns N’ Roses-branded apparel, including jackets, T-shirts, hoodies and accessories. Notable attendees of the “Guns N’ Roses Was Here” event, held from Aug. 11 to Aug. 18, included CEO of Bravado, Mat Vlasic; creative director of Maxfield, Peter Utz; and NBA superstar Russell Westbrook (to name a few).



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Photos by owen KolasinsKi / bfa.Com

1. The Struts 2. Francesco Ragazzi, Tyga 3. Russell Westbrook 4. Mike Amiri 5. Fernando Lebeis 6. Mat Vlasic, Kelly Cole Olivier 7. Lafrontiere, Peter Utz 8. Rodney Rodriguez 9. Corina Marinestu, Cherie Stuff 10. Luke Funtecha



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dolce was there


It’s “Viva Las Vegas” for coveted designer and Hollywood star Sarah Jessica Parker. The former Sex and the City lead launched her first West Coast standalone SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker boutique at Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas this August. The Las Vegas Strip location of the SJP boutique is only one of two standalone locations in the U.S. to offer Parker’s stylish assortment of shoes, handbags and accessories. Last year, SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker launched its first standalone boutique in the U.S. at MGM National Harbour in Maryland. At the Bellagio location’s opening, Parker unveiled a new colour line entitled “Bellagio Blue,” which is exclusively available at the Las Vegas boutique.

Photos Courtesy of bellaGio

sJP West Coast Boutique, las veGas



1. Sarah Jessica Parker 2. SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker - Bellagio Hotel & Casino 3. Parker greeting a customer at her new boutique

sofina & amiCi Golf ClassiC

The Sofina & Amici Golf Classic’s 10th Anniversary raised an impressive $700,000 on August 3 at Eagles Nest Golf Club in Maple, Ont., in support of the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the Ronald McDonald Houses in Toronto and Edmonton. The Sofina Foundation — the charitable entity of Canadian privately-owned Sofina Foods Inc. — focuses on supporting causes related to children’s issues. This year’s raised funds will go toward the construction of the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre’s Youth Mental Health Program at the new Brain Sciences Centre. Additionally, funds will support the school at the Ronald McDonald House in Toronto, as well as the Kitchen Redevelopment Project at the Ronald McDonald House in Edmonton.


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Photos Courtesy of sofina foods inC.


1. Tony Miceli, Frank Lippa, Michael Latifi and Dave McKay 2. Preet Kullar with his guests and Umeeda Madhany 3. Chef Massimo Capra with Marilena Latifi and her father Isidoro Russo 4. Michael Latifi and Dan Munro



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#GOLDPARK Rendering is artist's concept. Prices and specifications subject to change without notice. E.&.O.E



Inspiring the Passion of Canadian Designers The ambitious simply leave their mark in this world, but the exceptional help others to forge their path to success. That’s exactly what Suzanne Rogers is doing for the next generation of great Canadian fashion designers Written By rick Muller intervieWs By reBecca alBerico


he true measure of opportunity is what you do with it. Over the last two decades, Suzanne Rogers has been one of Canada’s highest-profile philanthropists. As the daughter-in-law of broadcasting icon Ted Rogers, Suzanne has devoted her time, her efforts and her expertise to advancing a multitude of worthy causes in the creative arts and fashion industries, as well as supporting multiple initiatives that directly help and improve the lives of children. A testament to this is the Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute (SRFI) at Ryerson University, a fellowship program designed to promote, inspire, educate and invest in third- and fourth-year fashion design students in order to elevate their creative potential, national and international successes, and opportunities. It is supported by a $1-million gift from the Edward and Suzanne Rogers Foundation. “I noticed about three years ago there was no continuing education program at Ryerson to take these graduate fashion students to the next step in their careers,” says Rogers. “So I wanted to offer financial assistance through this fellowship program to give these incredibly talented Canadians the chance to continue their studies and perhaps show their talents in New York or Paris. I wanted to use the fellowship program as a stepping stone to something bigger and greater — not just an award, but something to advance their careers in fashion, hopefully internationally.” Applicants endure a rigorous review process undertaken by the SRFI selection committee and the school’s fashion educators. All applicants are required to submit a written component outlining

their career aspirations and plan, as well as a portfolio of their work. Following this review by the selection committee, the top-ranked candidates are invited to do an installation of their work, which may lead to an interview. An overwhelming number of applications was received in 2017, and three fellows were named. The goal is to have up to six fellows per year over the next four years. One of the 2017 fellows is Alexandra Armata, who graduated from the fashion design program in 2016. At the 2016 Canadian Art and Fashion Awards, Armata earned a nomination in the Student Designer of the Year category, and she is now beginning her postgraduate studies in womenswear design at the acclaimed London College of Fashion. “I grew up in the suburbs and found art was a way to expand my horizons without leaving my surroundings, and that interest branched into fashion,” says Armata. “I have the highest hopes for the Institute in giving emerging designers more options in how to proceed with their career paths. If you want to pursue more postgraduate studies abroad, it can be very difficult, and the Institute will be able to open a lot of doors for students.” One of the unique aspects of this fellowship program, according to Rogers, is its customization for students. “Every fellowship is tailored for them, what they want — and they have complete control — and hopefully it will be further education in Europe,” says Rogers. “We will sit down with them to determine what their needs are and how they want to further their career or education, one or the other.” Another of the 2017 fellows is Quentin Tecumseh Collier, who



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photo By roBin gartner

Due to Rogers’s effort and the launch of the Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute last fall, three young, talented Canadian designers will get the opportunity to pursue their fashion-career ambitions

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“I wanted to use the fellowshIp program as a steppIng stone to somethIng bIgger and greater” — Suzanne Rogers

2017 SRFI fellows Stephanie Moscall-Varey (standing), Alexandra Armata, Quentin Collier

“I’ve just been so fortunate to have so many amazing teachers and mentors — like Wayne Clark, who has invested so much time in me and provided me with such incredible and honest feedback,” says Moscall-Varey. “When I heard of the Institute fellowship program it got me very excited about all the possibilities it will bring to young designers, allowing them the opportunity of achieving their goals.” “I’ll definitely be following up with all the fellows to see where they are in their careers — that’s very important to me,” says Rogers. “Nothing is guaranteed, but this represents a chance they might otherwise not have had. I have always been a great supporter of the Canadian fashion industry, and

I knew that whatever we did had to be tied to education. There was a void in the industry that I wanted to fill to give students an opportunity to make their mark outside of Canada.” Armata, Collier and Moscall-Varey are not household names — yet. But the Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute fellowship program has launched them into their next phase in the world of highfashion design. As Rogers says, it’s about creating opportunities. Making the most of opportunities provided to you is admirable. But working to successfully create opportunities for others is truly remarkable.



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photo By ted Belton

at the age of only 11 began designing four fashion collections a year, debuting his work in open-access shows for the community in Kamloops, B.C. In 2014 he studied in Paris and in 2015 he was accepted into the fashion design program at Ryerson University. “The associate professor Robert Ott came into our textile class back in January, and he spoke about taking care to put time into things, material manipulation and craftsmanship — things that can be lost today — and that really spoke to me,” says Collier. “The fellowship program application process was intense, and it made me look inward at my body of work and what I was really doing. It made me question things, so when I came out the other side I had such a better perception of what I was doing, and it was such an honour to be chosen.” An additional benefit of the fellowship program is that, due to Rogers’s high-level contacts throughout the world of fashion, she can facilitate introductions for the fellows that may lead to networking, work placement and internship opportunities — rewards perhaps more valuable than any financial remuneration. The third of the three 2017 fellows is Stephanie Moscall-Varey, who graduated from the Ryerson fashion design program in 2015 and already has a long list of accomplishments in her young career. She has worked alongside designer Jeremy Laing and travelled to New York Fashion Week for his Spring 2014 presentation. Moscall-Varey also worked closely with Ryerson’s designerin-residence, Wayne Clark, on her graduating collection, which was so well received that it secured her a position with fast-fashion giant Abercrombie & Fitch as a technical designer. She aspires to study for her master’s degree at Central Saint Martins in London.

text by Rebecca albeRico

Longing for a few more moments of a fleeting summer, forever chasing the warmth of its glow


Jacket, Alexander Wang; Necklace, Alkionides; Silk Trousers, Etro

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Silk Dress, Alexander Wang; Round Silver Pendant + Turquoise Coloured Agate; Scarf, Etro



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Dress, Gucci


Silk Shirt, Etro; White Pants, Ermanno Scervino; Freshwater Pearl Necklace, Alkionides

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GreaTness is in The Process

The Christian Dior brand has become one of the most iconic names in the fashion world. This November, the ROM will provide a glimpse into the work that went into making the Dior name what it is today


here are few dresses that can be worn virtually anywhere, anytime. beautiful in them, that made buyers and manufacturers need to have them in There are even fewer that can be deemed “essential.” Christian hand in order to copy and make versions of them,” she says. Dior’s “Pampelune” meets both criteria. The fine black wool dress Dr. Palmer recently mentioned in a ROM press release that Dior’s postwar is something you could see a woman wearing at a wedding or fashion is a testament to the work of numerous industries and artisans, who made the “extraordinary” sequins, embroideries, ribbons and beads that Dior a wake. And yet, the fitted waist and sleek skirt also provide a casual, unceremonious feeling, enabling the dress to be worn integrated into his dresses. He did so with the assistance of in an informal setting. It’s the best of both worlds. his creative seamstresses, pattern makers and tailors. “This “It’s one of these masterpieces of engineering that looks exhibition focuses very much on the makers and [those] who like a simple black dress, but is not at all,” says Dr. Alexandra made things (i.e., the ateliers) — what it was about the clothes Palmer, senior curator at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) that made women feel so elegant and how that was achieved and author of the award-winning book, Dior: A New Look, through the way the clothes were designed and constructed,” A New Enterprise. “It’s the kind of design, experimentation says Dr. Palmer. and unbelievable [man-hours] put into it, with very The exhibition is thematically organized by clothing types. difficult detailing.” The Day section consists of coats, suits and day dresses; Late This garment, along with 40 other Dior designs, will be Afternoon to Early Evening contains a display of cocktail and on display at the ROM’s Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles dinner dresses; and the Grand Occasion portion features ball Dr. Alexandra Palmer senior curator of Textiles & Costume & Costume from November 2017 until March 2018, as part gowns and formal gowns. at the ROM and the Nora E. Vaughan Some of the items that will be on display at the ROM include of the museum’s new Christian Dior exhibit. The exhibit — costume curator celebrating the House of Dior’s 70th anniversary — will feature the silk-satin “Rose France” evening dress and the three-piece, classic Dior items from one of the ROM’s most beloved and exclusive collections, wool-crepe “Chandernagor” dancing dress. “I think because [the exhibition] is which focuses on the incipient stages and early designs of Christian Dior. The about design and how things are made, when you start pulling them apart and looking, it’s absolutely fantastic [and] difficult,” says Dr. Palmer. “[It’s] an endless exhibition will look at Dior’s great creations and how they revitalized Paris’s jigsaw puzzle of how to make a sleeve, a jacket — all this stuff. There’s haute couture industry in the post-Second World War era, specifically 1947 to endless variations.” 1957. Dior passed away in 1957. For Dr. Palmer, the exhibition’s curator, the showcase will examine the process of Dior’s works coming to fruition. “This looks specifically at the house, the creations of Monsieur Dior — how they were made, what it was about the clothes themselves that made women want them and made women look



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photos Courtesy of royal ontario museum

Written By Daniel CalaBretta intervieW By reBeCCa alBeriCo



27 fall 2017 | DOLCE MAGAZINE

Lagerfeld immigrated to Paris from Germany at the age of 14 and studied drawing and history before becoming a design assistant for Pierre Balmain and, later, Jean Patou



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phOtO by MArtin Meissner

ALL HAIL KINg KArL Karl Lagerfeld is the ultimate pop culture puppet master — from haute couture to the high street, his influence is felt far and wide. But just how did a strange, young German rebel become a global fashion tour de force? written by KAren Anne OVertOn

29 fall 2017 | DOLCE MAGAZINE

phOtOs cOurtesy Of www.instAgrAM.cOM/KArllAgerfeld

phOtO by briquet-guibbAud-nebinger-OrbAn

I’ve become like a Lacoste alligator. Soon I’ll have to be sewn onto clothes



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he has more than 102,000 followers on Twitter, two maids, a penchant for antique lace and the luxury brand Goyard, and has been featured in a 10-page spread for V Magazine. She is a fashion icon and an Internet superstar. We are, of course, talking about Choupette Lagerfeld, a three-yearold Birman cat. Besides highlighting the bizarre nature of the times — in which it’s entirely plausible for a cat to have her own social media platform — this situation mostly underlines the remarkable power of Choupette’s owner, Karl Lagerfeld. It is impossible to discuss the fashion industry without mentioning his name; he is fashion. Having begun his career 60 years ago as an assistant to Pierre Balmain, Lagerfeld remains one of the most forward-thinking, and creative contemporary revolutionaries out there. He is mercurial and chameleon-like, ever pushing and changing the boundaries of fashion. He says jump, and we say How high and in which shoes? He declares aquamarine to be the colour of the season, and every fashion house and magazine follows suit, from the high end to the high street. He is the artist who chooses the palette everyone else will work from — but while they’re still daubing with oil and brushes, he is sketching on his iPad and DJing from one of his hundreds of iPods, because “the iPod is genius” — and if Karl says it, it must be so. Hailing from Hamburg at just 14, Lagerfeld moved to Paris to study drawing and history at the Lycée Montaigne. It was winning the coats category in a design competition that brought him to the attention of Pierre Balmain, “the King of French Fashion.” After only three years as Balmain’s assistant Lagerfeld left to design his own collection. It was perhaps this training in traditional tailoring that gave him the foundation from which to flourish and expand into more daring design. From the very beginning of his career Lagerfeld was creating ripples through the Paris scene. As with many misunderstood geniuses, people were quick to criticize the young visionary. His first collection was famously booed by the fashion press; the silhouette (based on the letter K) was considered too defined, the skirts too short. Based on the initial negative response, very few would have predicted he would eventually go on to become the godfather of fashion. In retrospect, we can now only be grateful that Lagerfeld’s belief in his vision was so unwavering. “Fashion is a language that creates itself in clothes to interpret reality,” says Lagerfeld, with typical mystique.

He is a cultural octopus with tentacles working on every aspect of his design sphere

In 1964 Lagerfeld began to get the recognition he deserved, fashion finally catching up with his brilliant mind. Freelancing for fashion house Chloé, he eventually went on to design the label’s entire collection, which over the seasons would include the famous “surprise skirt” that gave the illusion of a skirt, but was actually a pair of culottes. Then in 1965 came the collaboration that would last more than half a decade: Lagerfeld was brought in to oversee the fur line at Fendi. It was, in fact, the longest relationship ever between a fashion house and a designer. A Roman leather and fur atelier hitherto run by the five Fendi sisters and famously offering design by women for women, it seemed unusual that Fendi would take a risk on this strange, German-born and Paris-trained young rebel, but it was one that certainly paid off. Lagerfeld took the brand to new heights, and by 1968, Fendi bags and furs were stocked in Bloomingdale’s New York. He redefined the fur coat, bringing about the famous FF logo (which stands for “fun furs”), and even received an exhibition at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome. In 1977 he launched Fendi’s first full clothing collection, which was showcased through the medium of a fashion film, the first of its kind. Still breaking new ground 30 years later, in 2007 he staged the first-ever fashion show on the Great Wall of China, with 88 metres of catwalk. “Don’t sacrifice yourself too much, because if you sacrifice too much there’s nothing else you can give and nobody will care for you,” the design master declares, stubbornly unwilling to compromise on even his wildest visions. In the early ’80s, the Parisian fashion house Chanel was struggling; it was in desperate need of a brand overhaul and, naturally, there was only one man for the job. The death of iconic Coco Chanel over a decade earlier had left the house in a state of limbo. Lagerfeld’s decisive approach was not to reinvent the label, but rather, to reinvigorate and revive all the things that had made it wonderful in the first place. “I am first to admit that Coco created something tremendous: the Chanel suit, the feminine version of the two-button,” he explains. “And this started a fashion avalanche — there is no other word for it — that everyone copied and people continue to copy in an incredible way. In the ’80s we had to pull out all the stops — the chains, the camellias, the CC logo — these are all things that I drew out. Exaggerated. And which I made people believe had always existed … but that’s my job.” Ever the illusionist, Lagerfeld has never let the truth get in the way of a good story. Much like Bob Dylan, who is notoriously evasive about his youth, Lagerfeld is also known to have created a fictional past about his parents and never reveals his actual date of birth. He refuses to let reality touch the fantastical world of Lagerfeld. It is this ability to bend the truth and control the gaze of his audience that allows him to pull the rabbit out of the hat time and time again. “I am like a caricature of myself, and I like that. It is like a mask. And for me the carnival of Venice lasts all year long,” he has said. Not only is he as synonymous with Chanel as Coco herself, Lagerfeld’s personal image is just as iconic. So emblazoned on modern culture is that image of shocking white hair, sharp cheekbones and dark sunglasses, that it’s easy to forget there is an actual man behind it. He has reached the same level of status as his good friend Andy Warhol: embodying pop culture. And like Warhol, King Karl has the ability turn a bright young thing into a global star, seemingly overnight. Vanessa Paradis, Keira Knightley, Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne and Nicole Kidman have all graduated to style-icon status thanks to his casting them in Chanel advertisement campaigns. British musician Lily Allen was transformed from quirky pop star to front-row VIP when she performed at a particularly daring farmyard hoedown-themed Chanel show in 2009. Having taken her under his influential wing, Lagerfeld created Allen’s couture wedding dress a few years later. The Chanel maestro shines a spotlight on anyone he considers to be a current muse and is constantly looking for the next “It girl” to conjure into a Chanel darling.

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Inevitably, this dedication to staying ahead of the game requires a certain fickleness and lack of sentimentality about dropping stars once they fall out of fashion. After things turned sour with Inès de la Fressange, famously the first model to sign an exclusive contract with an haute couture fashion house, and once a great friend and muse of the designer, Lagerfeld let his feelings be known when he said, “I wish her all the luck in the world, just so long as I don’t have to see her anymore or hear her spoken about.” His attempts to be current have also been known to backfire; when rapper Azealia Banks became an overnight sensation, Lagerfeld was quick to jump on the bandwagon. He invited her to perform at several of his parties, which didn’t actually help either’s credibility. Banks’s largely urban fan base felt alienated by her sharp transition into high fashion, and the media was quick to turn its back on Banks when she became more famous for her bad behaviour and bad attitude than for her music. Despite the occasional misstep, by and large Lagerfeld remains untouchable, in part due to the control he exerts over every aspect of his creative life. He is a cultural octopus with tentacles working on every aspect of his design sphere. Almost equally respected as a photographer, he himself photographs the campaigns for Fendi, Chanel and his namesake brand, maintaining a level of input that ought to be impossible when dealing with such global brands. Not so, however, for the unstoppable German. The brand Karl Lagerfeld is an umbrella label to Karl Lagerfeld Paris, the premium ready-to-wear brand; Lagerfeld, for men only; and Karl, which caters to his younger, “cosmopolitan and digitally savvy” clientele. The latter is available online only, proving once again that despite being the epitome of classic fashion, Lagerfeld is always ahead of his time. In 2004 he was the first big designer to collaborate with the Swedish high-street giant H&M, a move that seemed risky for such an elite artist. Lagerfeld shrugged off any criticism of the move, saying, “Chic is a kind of mayonnaise; either it tastes, or it doesn’t.” The Karl Lagerfeld x H&M collection sold out in minutes, setting a precedent for all future collaborations, which would include Marni, Versace, Comme des Garçons, Lanvin and more. This autumn, H&M will debut its collection with Balmain, the house Lagerfeld began his career at. Ironically, the designer now at the helm of Balmain, 31-year-old Olivier Rousteing, is quickly becoming the Lagerfeld of his generation, another bold visionary credited with the brand’s rapid growth and exclusive status. The latest Chanel campaign features Lily-Rose Depp, the teenage daughter of Johnny Depp and longtime Chanel muse Vanessa Paradis. Languid, elusive and undeniably Lolita-like, she is the epitome of modern youth and the exact market Chanel hopes to corner in the coming decade. But of course there is much more to this success than simply latching on to the latest thing; Chanel is one of only 15 officially designated couture ateliers. The historical practice of haute couture is considered to be more art than fashion, created on a grandiose and painstaking scale. Garments are entirely hand-sewn, with up to 20 seamstresses working on a single piece, and are often made with rare fabrics and embellished with precious jewels that push the price tag up to the hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions. This is the backbone of the fashion industry. It is essential to maintain the high standards set by the Fédération française de la couture. Fashion houses often lose money on their haute couture lines, but it is this integrity that keeps their elite customers happy, thus cementing their reputation and allowing the brand freedom to innovate on the more profitable and mainstream scale. Do not be fooled by Lagerfeld’s often glib and fanciful nature: he is at heart a businessman and plans every move, every decision, with utmost precision. During his fall 2014/2015 ready-to-wear catwalk show, he had the fashion elite crawling over each other to claim a piece of fashion history when he transformed the Grand Palais into the “Chanel Supermarket,” with shelves stacked with CC-branded products. No one is immune to the enduring and powerful spell that Lagerfeld casts over fashion lovers the world over.

I am first to admit that Coco created something tremendous: the Chanel suit (the feminine version of the two-button)... this started a fashion avalanche

“Personally, I don’t even think I’m that famous,” Lagerfeld has said, with typical dry wit. “Now, Choupette really is famous: she has become the most famous cat in the world. I even get propositioned by pet food companies and things like that, but it’s out of the question. I’m commercial. She’s not. She’s spoiled to death. Obviously.” Whether he is being unusually modest or simply doesn’t put much faith in the fickle nature of fame, Lagerfeld is beyond hype. He is a legend, and not just in the romantic sense. The Karl Lagerfeld brand is owned by British investment fund Apax Partners, and Chanel is number 85 on Forbes’s list of the World’s Most Valuable Brands, with the company’s worth estimated at $6.8 billion. Mattel’s Platinum Collection Karl Lagerfeld Barbie sold out in minutes, and in 2014, when Cara Delevingne slunk down the Fendi catwalk carrying a small, furry doll bearing Lagerfeld’s inimitable likeness, it sparked a waiting list of 600-plus desperate customers and was rumoured to have earned the brand over $1 million. The world-dominating Minions movie franchise even created characters based on Lagerfeld and his fellow fashion puppeteer Anna Wintour. So whether he chooses to accept his celebrity status or not, the legend of Lagerfeld will surely last far beyond his mortal body, which raises the question: is the creative genius even human at all? From the mouth of the man himself: “I’m very much down to earth. Just not this earth.”



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phOtO by stefAnie KeenAn/wireiMAge

Lagerfeld photographed Bella Hadid for the cover of Vogue Arabia’s September issue — Hadid dressed in Fendi

33 fall 2017 | DOLCE MAGAZINE

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Blouse, Dolce & Gabbana; Pants, Elie Saab; Belt, Alberta Ferretti; Hat, Maison Michel; Bag, Dolce & Gabbana; Shoes, Gucci

text by Rebecca albeRico

LA VIE BOHEME Much like an affinity for nature, a love affair with fashion has the ability to transform the soul in ways we never thought possible

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Blouse, Etro; Skirt, Philosophy Di Lorenzo Seraphini; Belt, Toi & moi



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Dress, Alexander McQueen; Knitted Top, Ralph Lauren; Shoes, Ralph Lauren; Belt, Alexander McQueen; Necklace, Calvin Klein; Earrings, Dolce & Gabbana



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Take a walk on the wild side with these chic boho styles

39 fall 2017 | DOLCE MAGAZINE

Dress, Maria Lucia Hohan; Shoes, Paul Andrew; Belt, Etro; Necklace, Etro; Bracelet, Etro

PhotogRaPheR: bela Raba - PRoduceR: alexandeR PaPacosta - PhotogRaPhy assistants: Quentin stRohmeieR, chRistoPheR stavRinides, stanislav loPatin styling: loizos sofokleous assistant stylist: masha salko mua: chloe votsi haiR: fikRet kaRacaR model: mayya deRzhevitskaya, d models Post PRoduction: floRian WagneR -



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411 fall winter 20172016 | DOLCE MAGAZINE

Fashion Maye Musk has graced the covers of magazines all over the world, including Elle Quebec, Time and Vogue Korea

Maye Musk is a model, a science nerd and a registered dietitian — and mom to Tosca, Kimbal and Elon (yep, that guy). She’s also the best proof we have that getting older truly means getting better Written by Donna Paris

Hot Stuff



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Photo by MattheW Priestly


aye Musk is an outlier — and she’s living the sweet life. With a modelling career spanning more than 50 years, her face has appeared on covers of magazines like Time, Elle and Zoomer, in campaigns for Virgin America, Target and Joe Fresh, on billboards in Times Square, and even in the music video for Beyoncé’s “Haunted.” She’s recently been called an “It girl” by Vanity Fair magazine. Last year, she signed with high-profile modelling agency IMG Models, which represents supermodels like Gisele Bündchen. Musk’s motto? “At 69, I am only just beginning!” It’s true. Every day, Musk gets about two dozen requests for speaking engagements and modelling jobs. “I have a team helping me now because I have to be careful; I can’t give talks in three different countries on the same day!” says Musk. And she’s embracing it all. “I love it when I’m giving a talk and everybody’s really enjoying it, I love it when I’m on a modelling job and they’re doing my hair and makeup and making me look better than I do, and I love spending time with my kids and grandkids,” she says. “I would say that’s a good life.” Actually, her life reads like a movie script. One of five children, including a twin sister, Musk was born in Regina, Sask., to parents who flew the family around the world, ending up in South Africa, where Musk grew up. Every summer for almost 10 years, the family would travel the Kalahari Desert looking for the Lost City. “My mom and dad have inspired me the most in life — they had this adventurous streak in them that a lot of us have as well, but they were always good to people, kind and considerate,” says Musk. “I was very lucky to have had parents like that.” A self-professed math and science nerd, as a teen Musk took some courses at a modelling school owned by a friend of the family. She started modelling in Pretoria and Johannesburg, doing magazine shoots and walking the runway in fashion shows. In 1969, she was a finalist in the Miss South Africa beauty competition. When she was 15, though, she was told she would be done modelling at 18. Her father told her that one needs a degree with a profession at the end of it, and she thought of dietetics. Eventually, she earned a master’s degree in dietetics from the University of the Free State in South Africa. “I like sciences, but I didn’t know I would become so excited about nutrition and people’s eating habits, and being able to change them and help them lead healthier lives,” she says. “I didn’t realize how exciting that would be.” She dated Errol Musk on and off throughout university, and they were married in 1970. At 23 she had her first child, Elon, and Kimbal and Tosca followed within a few years. She worked at home doing nutrition counselling and modelled as well, sometimes taking the kids to fashion shows, where they would sit in the front row reading books.

When Maye and Errol divorced, her son Elon went to live with his dad, then moved to Canada, with his mother and siblings following him. “Life wasn’t always easy. I worked so hard, especially when we moved to Toronto,” says Musk. Here, she earned a second master’s degree in nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto, where she also worked as a research officer. With her funds blocked in South Africa, Musk found a rent-controlled apartment. “The people who were living there hadn’t looked after it properly, so we were scrubbing and cleaning for three weeks to make it liveable, and we slowly got

“You don’t Have to Have a Huge wardrobe, but wHatever You Have, Make Sure it fitS and it lookS good on You. all You need to do iS add a few pieceS everY SeaSon to update Your look”

furniture,” she says. In fact, they didn’t get a dining room table until three years later. They couldn’t afford haircuts, so Musk cut everyone’s hair herself. “It wasn’t a good job, but it’s what we could afford,” she says. There were no dinners out and certainly no luxuries. “People would say to me, ‘Let’s go out for dinner.’ Well, I couldn’t go out for dinner because I had to pay for myself, then pay for my kids, so the first couple of years I was pretty much working and studying to get my second master’s degree.” She did it, she says, because she had to feed her kids. “I didn’t have a social life, but it was fine, and my kids were good,” she says. How did she make it all

happen? Was it focus, determination, out-of-thisworld organizational skills? “No, it’s just survival,” she says simply. Eventually, Musk moved to New York, then to Los Angeles, after her daughter had twins four and a half years ago. “It was a good move,” she says. “I have 10 grandkids and eight of them are in L.A., so it’s really nice to be spending more time with them.” The kids range in age from 4 to 14 years old, and she likes to keep it easy. “I hang around. Depending on how many there are, I go out to lunch with them or sometimes we go out to dinner with them. Mostly I join them at home.” In Los Angeles, however, she had to give up nutrition counselling and her private practice. “When I came here, I started modelling more, and it started interfering, because modelling can be very last-minute, and in L.A., you have to drive a long way to get to an appointment,” she adds. But she still likes to share nutrition advice. Her website is packed with wellness tips, including lots of solid health, nutrition and exercise info. “I don’t aim to be an inspiration to everyone, but if someone asks me questions, I do have very straight answers based on my experiences and my studies,” she says. One thing she really enjoys is volunteering with The Kitchen Community, a non-profit organization co-founded by her son Kimbal that builds outdoor classrooms called “learning gardens” in schoolyards across the country. But her suitcase and her passport are always ready to go. “I love modelling — especially when there’s fabulous travelling involved. I fly a lot to New York for work and I’m always happy to come back to Toronto!” Her biggest personal achievement? “Maintaining my weight — it’s the hardest thing ever,” she says. “I’m a dietitian, but it’s still really hard. Everyone says I’m so lucky.” It’s not luck, she says, as temptation is everywhere, especially on sets where home-baked treats are always available — but Musk doesn’t touch them. Instead she likes to eat a variety of healthy foods. “I stick to vegetables and milk and cheese and whole grains,” she says. “And fruits, which help to satisfy my sweet tooth.” One thing you won’t find is Musk promoting nocarb, all-protein diets or meal replacement shakes. She has no time for that. “Those are all fad diets that come and go,” she says. When she talks about nutrition, she talks science and common sense. She also talks about the importance of enjoying your food. “I don’t enjoy eating a piece of meat and nothing else, I don’t enjoy not having bread, I don’t enjoy not having any carbs,” she adds. And she has this to say to people who feel it’s easier to lose weight or maintain their weight by not eating carbs at all: “I find that extreme, because I’ve never known anyone who eats too much whole wheat bread or fruits and vegetables. Nobody gains weight on that,” she says. “They gain weight more on baked goods, on fried goods or sweet goods.” Most of all, however, Musk is passionate about

43 fall 2017 | DOLCE MAGAZINE

If you were an item of clothing, what would you be? A coat, so I could keep someone warm as well as gorgeous! If someone looked in your purse, would they find any surprises? You’d be surprised at how little I’m carrying. Everything is very organized. I don’t have much in my bag. Keys, glasses, a little pack of tissues, a nail file and lipstick.

In November Musk will be returning to Canada for a charity event, walking the runway in support of the Breast Restoration Unit at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto

her kids. “I have three children — people forget that I have two other very accomplished and delightful children,” says Musk. Tosca is a filmmaker who’s currently adapting bestselling romance novels, and Kimbal is a restaurateur who co-founded The Kitchen Community. And, of course, there’s Elon, SpaceX founder, CEO of Tesla Inc. and inventor of the Hyperloop concept, which would transport people by moving them in tubes at hundreds of miles per hour. “Elon is all over the news; I don’t have to say what he does,” says Musk. “He is a lovely son and a great father, and that’s what makes me happy, because that is the most important thing.” At this point in her life, Musk has no complaints — and no regrets. “I’m deeply happy. I wouldn’t change my life as it is now,” she says. “Anyone who knows me doesn’t envy me over what my life has been like, but it’s at a good stage now.” She insists

W e are the F abricators

that even when you are going through a bad stage and terrible things are happening, you just have to carry on. “You can’t pause; you just have to do the best you can, you just have to get past it,” she says. Maye Musk will be walking the runway for charity, featuring fashions by Sally LaPointe on Nov. 6 at the Globe and Mail Centre, Toronto, in support of George Invites Margaret to Dinner. This is the 6th fashion event produced by Lisa Corbo of the George C boutique in Toronto. Proceeds from the evening will support breast cancer restoration at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, led by Dr. Toni Zhong and Dr. Stefan Hofer. To date, more than $1.2 M has been raised for cancer research at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.






905.264.6789 |



fall 2017

Photo by MattheW Priestly

What are your best fashion tips? You don’t have to have a huge wardrobe, but whatever you have, make sure it fits and it looks good on you. All you need to do is add a few pieces every season to update your look.

45 fall 2017 | DOLCE MAGAZINE


THIS PAGE: Van Cleef & Arpels boasts a stunning selection of flawless stones and jewels, from the intricately designed Zip Couture Necklace, made of rubies, emeralds and sapphires, to the iconic Alhambra Collection, made of various types of gold, pearls and diamonds OPPOSITE PAGE: Van Cleef & Arpels has boutiques in Vancouver, Paris, Japan, and everywhere in between. Since its unveiling in 1951, the Zip has become one of Van Cleef’s most sought-after designs



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The French fine jeweller Van Cleef & Arpels is, at its core, rooted in love and harmony — both of which come through in its products



amous American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that “a house is made with walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.” The story of Alfred Van Cleef, the son of a stonecutter, and Estelle Arpels, the daughter of a precious-stone dealer, is very much a love story that did not only last a lifetime, but still exists today. And their home — what is now referred to as Maison Van Cleef & Arpels — was built on a foundation of love and family. “It’s a house for lovers and collectors,” says Alain Bernard, president and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels Americas, of the internationally renowned French fine jeweller. “What I also love is the [company’s] vision of life, which is brought [through] with [every] creation. It’s a very positive vision of life.” This positive vision that Van Cleef & Arpels puts forth started 111 years ago. Well before it became the global fine jewellery sensation it’s known as today, the tale of Van Cleef & Arpels began simply with a woman meeting a man, and the two of them falling in love. Estelle Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef married in Paris in 1895. This signalled the unofficial start of Van Cleef & Arpels. According to Van Cleef & Arpels’s official website, “the young lovers had much in common: youthful enthusiasm, a pioneering spirit, an ethic of family solidarity and a passion for precious stones. But above all, they were inspired by the desire


to create something lasting together.” It was this ideology that led to the establishment of Maison Van Cleef & Arpels in 1906, which marked the official start of the company. The original Maison — the workshop where Van Cleef and Arpels worked with their jewels and gems — was an 18th-century boutique, right in the heart of downtown Paris. The Maison’s legendary address of 22 Place Vendôme in Paris remains unchanged to this day. “Over the years that followed, they succeeded in making Van Cleef & Arpels synonymous with the most exquisite jewellery in the world,” the company’s website states. Since the early 1900s, Van Cleef & Arpels has experienced great success. From one boutique location in Paris, to locations in Vancouver, Toronto, New York, London, Abu Dhabi, Singapore and many more cities, Van Cleef & Arpels has grown exponentially. Many world leaders and public figures have gravitated toward the French fine jeweller’s products over the years, such as the duke and duchess of Windsor during the late 1930s, the prince of Morocco and his wife in the mid1950s, and Empress Farah Pahlavi of Tehran in the late 1960s. Out of all the years in the company’s rich history and the numerous awards it has won, two of the most pivotal years would have to be 1968 and 2008. In 1968, Van Cleef & Arpels created the first Alhambra necklace, which led to the development

of the company’s Alhambra collection. In 2008, the company launched its Perlée collection. Bernard, who has been with the company for almost a decade, describes both collections as “iconic,” given the success and impact they’ve had on the company. “[Alhambra] has become almost like a talisman for all our clients,” he says. The Alhambra collection is symbolic of luck and harmony, as evidenced by the four-leaf clover motif on all of the collection’s necklaces and bracelets for women. “We like to say it’s a four-leaf clover. We like to say that it brings health, wealth, true love and luck. And we need the four of them.” Pieces in the Alhambra collection usually contain various types of gold, pearls and materials. It is rooted in special craftsmanship that spans over half a century and uses meticulously selected materials. The Perlée collection is a distinguished group of items with “delicate golden beads lending their silhouette to jewellery that is cheerful and feminine,” according to Van Cleef & Arpels’s official website. The pride of the collection is its versatility; it offers countless combinations, giving clients the opportunity to customize items to their personal preferences. Perlée items emit a glowing gleam and come in a stunning range of colours. Van Cleef & Arpels continues to expand; it opened its first freestanding Canadian boutique at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto back in June.

47 fall 2017 | DOLCE MAGAZINE

A dv e r to r i A l



The suites at One Forest Hill by North Drive are designed to be as spacious as they are luxurious, and will leave your next move feeling more like a “right-size” and less of a downsize


orth drive, one of toronto’s premier awa rd-winning condominium developers, is creating waves in one of the city’s most affluent neighbourhoods, making its debut in Forest Hill with the latest mid-rise marvel: one Forest Hill. North drive’s newest project is the epitome of luxury condominium living in one of the most sought-after nooks in the city. the established toronto-based builders are focused on contextually responsive developments with a deep-rooted commitment to creating legacy buildings in mature, desirable neighbourhoods. “our purchasers are looking for the comforts and luxury of being in a new building, but they

don’t want to be downtown and this is the perfect balance,” says Jordan Morassutti. Conveniently, one Forest Hill will be within walking distance of shops, businesses and schools. the first development of its kind in the area, one Forest Hill incorporates contemporary art-deco architecture with luxurious suites and amenities in one convenient location — all while paying homage to the neighborhood’s historically rich culture and affluent vibe. the exterior of the 43-suite condominium features elegant limestone along with bronze and marble detailing. the luxury continues through its interior, with no detail spared. dubbed “quintessentially Forest Hill,” the iconic

development is an outstanding collaboration between North drive and renowned architect richard Wengle together with designer Brian Gluckstein. the duo, who live within blocks of the new development, are well-known to the community and admired for the luxurious work they produce. residents will enjoy sensational, unobstructed south skyline views and lush north views overlooking Forest Hill backyards as well as Upper Canada College, together with expansive outdoor living spaces and larger-than-average terraces — perfect for entertaining, or simply lounging. it was important to the North drive team that the spacious element be carried throughout the suites as well, as a number of prospective buyers are looking to sell their 5,000-plus-square-foot homes and “right-size” for a more essential, yet comfortable residence. “We want to make sure we are giving them all the comfort of a house with the efficiency of a condo,” says robert Fidani. “Making sure we are mindful of the details is always important to us.” imagine large, light-filled spaces like family rooms, dining rooms and breakfast areas, generous walk-in closets and stunning five-piece ensuites. luxury finishes come standard in this iconic development. each unit also features sleek SubZero and Wolf appliances. Slated for occupancy in 2020, one Forest Hill by North drive will elevate urban living and enrich one of toronto’s most historic neighbourhoods. Suites at one Forest Hill start at approximately 1,750 square feet from $2.5 million, with sales beginning later this September.



fall 2017

Photo by robin gartner

North drive is spearhead by partners robert Fidani, taylor Morassutti and Jordan Morassutti (left to right)

31 years, one Brand, Martin daniel interiors

Visit our showroom and enjoy!


2663 Steeles Ave. W., Toronto, ON | 416.667.0080 49 fall 2017 | DOLCE MAGAZINE

The main residence spans 21,630 square feet on two levels with a solid granite exterior, two elevators, an indoor pool, a main floor master suite, plus three additional bedroom suites



fall 2017

real estate

King’s Crowning gem With its grand stone home hidden from view of the road, this enchanted forest estate is perfect for nature lovers and those craving a private piece of paradise. Totally equipped with everything one may need to retreat, relax or entertain, Foxley Green checks all the boxes written by rebecca alberico


the perimeter of King Township awaits Foxley Green, a lush, perfectly groomed 80-acre country escape, with a jaw-dropping 21,630-square-foot home at its centre. Don’t let its grandeur fool you. The grand estate embraces visitors with the unmistakable warmth and humbleness of its muted-stone exterior tones — no flash, all charm. What’s more, the gorgeous property mimics a secluded retreat, complete with riding stables, winding hiking trails, fish ponds, waterfall, skating rink in the winter and both guest and staff homes. Foxley Green offers owners the best of both worlds with the serenity of its surrounding nature and the convenience of nearby amenities, superior schools, restaurants and highways. The lush elements of the outdoors flow through the home, incorporating warmth — starting with the solid beamed ceiling in the main entry hall, pine flooring throughout and panelled walls that add great dimension to the space. From Venetian-plaster interior wall treatments and extensive wood panelling that add to the elegance of the living space to a light-filled garden room and bar, the estate exudes a tasteful, luxurious charm throughout. “The primary inspiration for this stone home came from the time the owners spent living in England and travelling throughout Europe,” says John Dunlap of Moffat Dunlap Real Estate. “They were very inspired by the high ceilings, beautiful finishing craftsmanship, large fireplaces, tapestries, art and incredible stonework found in the historic homes. They loved the idea of a grand room for entertaining, but one that family and guests could be very comfortable in.” The breathtaking ambience provides the perfect backdrop to your next indoor or outdoor soiree. “The main house is wonderful for entertaining, with its front foyer and grand living room leading to a west-facing stone patio overlooking the property

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1. The light-filled pool complex has several large seating areas, expansive stone decks, a fireplace, a hot tub and three French door walkouts to the garden 2. The main entry hall features gorgeous white beamed ceilings and pine inlaid floors 3. The large master suite enjoys views in three directions and includes a large sitting area alongside the oversized gas fireplace 4. The grand dining room is ideal for entertaining, with breathtaking western views towards the pond, built-in speakers and fantastic display cases 5. The kitchen spans the entire depth of the home and offers views over both the front courtyard and, to the west, the kitchen garden. The space is complemented by two center islands and several seating areas 6. The property has three points of entry/ departure onto paved regional roads

and private pond in the distance,” says Dunlap, who shares that the main room once comfortably hosted a 100-person wedding. Comfort is an understatement. This cozy property has sweeping views of the landscape, which can be enjoyed in every room, further blurring the line between the great outdoors and the comfortable indoors. “The clients had a deep appreciation for the architecture and the details,” says Kent Taylor, principal designer of Foxley Green. “I don’t think at that time back in the ‘00s there was that type of commitment to building such a high-calibre home of that scale on a farm.” The spa-like ambience is continued throughout the home, as Foxley Green is equipped with a massage room, indoor pool, billiards room, exercise area and light-filled living space. “It’s breathtaking; there’s a beautiful etched-glass coral reef scene, a large seating area and a fireplace [to] accent the indoor pool wing,” says Dunlap. Positioned on the north side of the second floor is a serene master suite fit for royalty. The large space features its own sitting room overlooking the gardens, the walk-in closet of your dreams and his and hers bathrooms — a stunning five-piece ensuite with marble floors and private laundry, and a threepiece featuring an oversized shower with body jets. The bespoke space offers the perfect atmosphere to unwind and recharge. With a plethora of unique features, this property manages to strike the perfect balance of nature’s charm and simple elegance. The home is perfect for those with an affinity for the outdoors and an appreciation for the finer things. One of this property’s most unique features is its cupola at the very top of the house. “The owners loved the idea of being able to go up there and enjoy unobstructed views of the township in all directions,” says Taylor. Listed at $24.95 million, Dunlap says the property can’t be beat. Learn more about Foxley Green on Moffat Dunlap Real Estate’s website.

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Jessica Herzig, principal of Jessica Herzig Art Advisory, has been in the art industry for over a decade. And she’s loved every second of it

Since leaving the Big Apple in 2011 and returning to her hometown of Toronto, Jessica Herzig has become one of the most well-respected art curators in the city and abroad

Breathing Life Into a Room Through Art 54

essica Herzig is not your run-of-the-mill art curator. The bubbly 30-something has been paving her way in an industry that isn’t quite known to lend itself to young, ambitious entrepreneurs like



herself. Herzig is a lively, out-of-the-box visionary with an acute taste for the finer things and a deep appreciation for contemporary art and unique collections. As a young girl, Herzig was exposed to “the greats” by way of colouring books and frequent

visits to international museums and gallery exhibits, where she was totally captivated by the shapes and colours that surrounded her. After spending five years in the United States working at Sotheby’s New York headquarters,

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phOtOs by rObin gArtner


interview by rebeCCA ALberiCO

“I’m noT much of A sTIckLeR foR RuLes In coLLecTIng — BeIng IdIosyncRATIc In youR choIces Is The key To cReATIng A coLLecTIon ThAT Is InTeResTIng And peRsonAL” the curator returned home to Toronto and, soon after in 2013, began Jessica Herzig Art Advisory (JHAA), a full-service consultancy firm that works with corporate and private clients on developing both emerging and blue-chip curatorial collections, as well as rotating art exhibitions across the globe. Whether it’s helping a young professional start their very first collection or helping a seasoned collector hunt for the perfect addition to theirs, Herzig has an eye for perfection and takes on each new job with the same passion and vigour as the last.

When were you first exposed to the art world? Was this a path you were always drawn to? As a child, I was given a colouring book of famous paintings, which had a black-and-white version of each painting on the right-hand page and information on the artist and artwork on the left. I loved it and pored over every word. When we would travel, my parents took me to museums, and I began to recognize the artworks. Working in a museum became my dream, and that was my first job in the art world.

I read that early on you were captivated by the Italian painter Caravaggio. What is it about his baroque style that caught your eye? Everything about Caravaggio’s work got my pulse racing; the dramatic lighting, the composition and the subject matter felt provocative and intensely emotional. It was an early lesson on the transcendent impact that great art can have. My favourite thing to do in Rome is to visit San Luigi dei Francesi and feed coins into the automated box that illuminates his paintings from the darkness.

How have your tastes evolved since you first began your studies? In school at Emory I studied art history and worked at the Michael C. Carlos Museum, which focuses on ancient art. After I finished my undergrad I started immersing myself in the contemporary art world. I still appreciate the historical, but I also enjoy meeting up-and-coming artists.

Since making the shift from Sotheby’s, what have you gained by turning your passion into entrepreneurship and establishing your own company? Sotheby’s was an amazing training ground; I was working with some of the most important and valuable artworks in the world, across numerous collecting categories. But corporate culture comes with a lot of red tape, and I craved the flexibility and creativity that building my own business could offer.

What are some lessons from your past experiences that have helped you grow your business? I’ve learned that expertise is vital, but it must be coupled with superb client service. I’m working with a luxury commodity, and people want a detailoriented, seamless experience. It’s also important to keep a sense of levity and fun in the process, too.

What were some of the initial obstacles you faced in establishing JHAA?

Always touched by the hand of an artisan

There were times I longed for an instruction manual on how to navigate art tax law or customs brokerage — the nuts and bolts of the business. Amalgamating that knowledge through experience was a challenge, but a rewarding one.

What about the curation process do you enjoy most? I enjoy the whole process, but once the right pieces have been found, installation is great fun. It’s incredible how much life art can breathe into a room.

What is a common misconception about what you do? That an art advisor is only for major collectors buying blue-chip pieces. I work with young people on their very first purchases as well. Having guidance on where to look and the right questions to ask is helpful for any acquisition, big or small.

As a private curator, you must be a people person. How do you establish successful relationships with clients? And what kind of questions do you ask to help you gauge their taste? When I first meet a client, I visit them at home. I take a look at the artwork they already have, if any. We speak in depth about their interests, lifestyle, work and family life. For corporate clients, I go to the office space and learn about the company, its culture and its goals.

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The Jessica Herzig Art Advisory offers bespoke services, such as the acquisition of artwork, the maintenance and display of pieces, cataloguing, researching and deaccession, to name a few

What are your relationships with artists like? We imagine that you encounter captivating, unique personalities daily. Seeing completed work in an exhibition setting is great, but it’s such a creative charge meeting the artists and learning about their motivations, influences and practice. On studio visits, you can see the images and books they are studying, hear the music they are listening to. Is it totally chaotic or meticulously neat, solitary or bustling with assistants? It’s all informative to me, and all fascinating.

What are your thoughts on the business of art and social media? I find Instagram can be a very useful tool to follow galleries and artists around the world; it’s a great way to discover new work and share what’s inspiring me on @artadvisory.

What’s a typical day in the life of an art curator?

Where have you travelled? Which place has provided the most inspiration?

It can consist of meeting a client at a gallery to see a show, touring an artist’s studio, dropping by the framer to check how a piece turned out, and overseeing an installation at a residence or office. Every day is different, which is amazing.

Paris is my favourite city for museums. New York is my favourite for galleries. And for overall inspirational vibe, Tel Aviv’s art scene is very exciting.

What’s the key to a beautiful and tasteful collection? Are there rules?

My husband and I love to collect together and focus mostly on work by artists who are young and Canada-based, like us. Toronto has incredible talent and it makes sense to us to explore and support that.

I’m not much of a stickler for rules in collecting — being idiosyncratic in your choices is the key to creating a collection that is interesting and personal. I am particular about how art is installed, though. How works are framed and hung can make a world of difference in terms of tastefulness and stability from a conservation point of view. So my “rules” are more technical — I won’t hang a photograph or work on paper by a window where direct sunlight will fade it, for example.

How did your time in the United States influence your career and perspective? The scale and velocity of the American art market is on another level. My work experience there was immensely valuable in terms of the network of contacts I acquired, and I go back often for art fairs and auctions. But after living in the U.S. for almost 15 years, I love how comparatively low-key Canada is.

Can you describe your personal collection?

What is it about our local art scene here in Toronto that puts us on the map? Is there more we could do to promote and support emerging artists? There is a tendency in Toronto to look over our city’s shoulder, so to speak, to artists and galleries beyond our borders for an international stamp of approval. But there is a lot to be said for the calibre of work here. Toronto is remarkably diverse, attracting artists from all over Canada and the world. We have a number of art fairs throughout the year, and significant galleries with brave programming. I feel exceptionally fortunate to live and work here.



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phOtOs by rObin gArtner

Some clients give me carte blanche to create an environment on their behalf, whereas others want to be much more involved in the process. I encourage clients to send me images of things that inspire them — I’ll receive photos of landscapes from a vacation, a beautiful textile on a coat, graffiti on the street. That can help me create a visual vocabulary and tailor artworks to their taste, and also [gives me] a jumping-off point to push the envelope a little further.





SHOP NOW AT PRIMALIGHTING.CA 255 Bass Pro Mills Drive l Vaughan, Ontario l 905 851 1188 fall 2017


Photo by DaviD Robinson

From Indonesia to Europe to Australia to now being recognized as one of the most revered San Francisco Bay Area-based interior and fashion designers, Jonathan Rachman has left his mark everywhere he’s gone



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Design Across Three Continents Jonathan Rachman is truly a student of the world. He’s been a traveller ever since he was a child. Everything he’s seen and experienced has unequivocally influenced his work, leading him to become one of the best interior and fashion designers in North America WRitten by CezaR GReif


onathan Rachman is at a unique crossroads between design, style and fashion. Geographically, too, he’s in more than one place: he gracefully combines elements of Asia, Europe and America. Based in San Francisco but born in Indonesia, in his work Rachman mixes a variety of influences: classic European chic rubs elbows with California Bohemian and a sparkling of Javanese exoticism. He was born in a rich family, then lost everything, then became successful again through his own work. He recently opened a flagship store in downtown San Francisco and launched a line of men’s fashion bags. Oh, and did we tell you he publishes his own magazine? He is a true Renaissance man for our times, learning from the past to create an original body of work. We sat down with him in his San Francisco office to explore how his personal journey led to the creation of a unique style.

Can you tell us about your hometown in Indonesia? I was born and raised in Sumatra. I grew up near the Krakatoa volcano, about 150 to 200 miles inland. My hometown didn’t even exist 100 years ago because it was wiped out by a tsunami. My dad owned a coffee plantation; I grew up on a huge ranch, with between 15 and 20 dogs. I had maids, drivers and also a carpenter. It affected how I perceived things. The carpenter would fix furniture in front of me. Indonesia is a very crafty country. My first language is Javanese, and then Indonesian. I lived a very pampered life — I travelled a lot. My first childhood memory is being on a plane. That’s why I’m highly addicted to travelling, anything from cars to boats and airplanes. I remember in the ’70s, people still dressed up to travel. Then I moved to Jakarta briefly, after coming back from boarding school in Switzerland. I was there for only one year — I felt

so out of place there! It’s a congested city; the traffic was horrible and so hot. Culturally I felt like a fish out of water.

How was your upbringing? Did your parents have an influence on the way you developed? I was a minority. As a family, we were Chinese, Javanese, Dutch. We’re a mix and we were Christians (I’m not anymore). During my youth, I loved spending time at the Alliance Française. I heard you went abroad to study. How was that experience? I lived in Lausanne, in the canton of Valais in Switzerland, for seven or eight years. I think because I had travelled a lot, I couldn’t wait to leave Indonesia. I felt I was born in the wrong place. Also, because of what I read. I read a lot about the world. I travelled a lot to Europe and Australia. I was attracted to classic Western culture. I wanted to be in places like Holland, or Italy, or France. My formal education was in hospitality management. I went to Les Roches. In the late ’80s/early ’90s, there were very few schools offering this type of education. I graduated in 1993 and until the time I opened my first business in 2002, I had between 20 and 30 jobs. I didn’t have a problem finding a job — I had the biggest problem keeping a job! I was always in some kind of hospitality management position, but you could only have a week of vacation. I was used to the Swiss way and having four weeks of vacation. I wasn’t happy working for big corporations. I went to fashion school and studied under Gladys Perint Palmer, she’s on the same level as David Downton [famed Vogue illustrator]. She does stuff for

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Rachman likes to blend the past with the present through his designs. It’s a concoction of classical design and contemporary flair. Whether it’s at pastoral vineyard property in northern California or a formal estate, “thoughtful elegance” remains the one constant in Rachman’s design



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Rachman believes that every room and area has a tale to tell, and every customer’s voice is unique

“In desIgn, you can only learn so much theoretIcally. It’s not rocket scIence. It’s somethIng beautIful” Harper’s Bazaar and Dior. I never planned to be an interior designer. I actually love fashion just as much, and the two cross over.

Photos by DaviD Robinson

How did you decide to move to San Francisco? I came to the U.S. as a foreign exchange student, in San Jose. I fell in love with San Francisco. Being gay, I felt even more welcomed here. I tried to leave San Francisco three times in my life, but I finally gave up. I can’t. I tried to move to France, to Portland, Oregon. But I always came back to San Francisco. You then started a flower business. In Oregon, people wanted to pray for me to become straight! Outside of Portland, it’s redneck country. I took a piece of paper and thought that I would become a flower boy and open a stand on the side of the street. I wrote on the list what I wanted: a bucket, a pair of scissors, ribbons … We rented the space from a hair salon. It was 100 square feet. I didn’t know what to do. I’d been doing flower arrangements with my mom for the church as a kid, so I did the same. I had to work a lot, I had to work from 2 or 3 a.m. until 8 p.m.; it was so hard. From then on, I hired employees and it developed. Marc Jacobs’s help was so important — they hired us for the flagship store launch in San Francisco. I had clients like Madonna and Sarah Jessica Parker. I was the VIP florist for the Four Seasons — I [worked for] a lot of government officials, ambassadors, etc. Oprah. Then came the United Nations’ 60th anniversary in San Francisco, a little bit by luck. Of course, also weddings and private events. Some events for MTV. Sometimes people would spend $100,000 to $200,000 on flowers, just for a one-night party! By 2005 I’d moved to a bigger space. Besides being a florist, I also collected vintage stuff and antiques. People could see my esthetic. They’d ask me if I could come and help them decorate their apartment or their house. I had no idea what to do. It started with one room, and then they’d ask

me to decorate the whole house. Then they told their friends! Then they asked me to decorate their summer home. I hate the word “organically” — but it truly happened organically! People saw my passion. In design, you can only learn so much theoretically. It’s not rocket science. It’s something beautiful. In 2009, I sold my flower company. I took my interior design skills and my clientele with me. That’s when I opened my interior design firm. The showcase gives me a lot of leverage. At the beginning, it was only me and an assistant. Now we have 10 staff, and with the publishing staff, it’s up to 15.

tallest residence in San Francisco. For the furniture, some is the existing furniture from the client. Some is sourced from Kravet, some from Osborne & Little. The art is from my client’s private collection, but I chose what to use, for example JANUS et Cie. We also work with Holly Hunt. I custom-made my client’s desk from found objects. I didn’t want to distract from the space’s great view. This client is very wealthy, he’s very humble and he travels a lot. He’s very trusting. He just told me, “Here’s the budget, make it colourful.” This was already my second project for him. Now I’ve done four projects for him.

We saw the work you did on the Rincon apartment in downtown San Francisco. Can you tell us where you sourced the material? I’ve done about 15 of them [apartments]. I think the one you’re talking about, the penthouse, it’s the

What do you miss most about Indonesia? I rediscovered Asia in my late 20s. I started going back to Indonesia. I was absolutely in love. Especially Bali and Java. Looking at it from my adult life, I have a completely different perspective.

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Jonathan Rachman Design focuses on constructing everlasting interiors that best reflect the client’s personality and preferences

I heard you’re launching a handbag line. Can you tell us about it? I like to travel and I like luxury goods. I love leather, what can I say! For me it’s about being able to have a design that esthetically and practically serves my purpose. Having spent time in England, France and Italy, I want something that’s durable, handcrafted and well made. I love everything equestrian. That’s why I’m attracted to Hermès and Ralph Lauren. My dad said, “If you own something, own the best you can afford. Don’t own 20 things; own one good-quality thing.” It’s not cheap and not expensive. My dad always told me a story: “if you’re a billionaire and something cost $100 million, that’s cheap. But if you own $1, then $1.50 is expensive.” I’m the most unhip person. I like old things, I go to old places. My line is a bit like that, and for me luxury is defined that way: well made, the oldschool way, from Italy. We will have travel bags,

messenger bags, clutches, tote bags, office and home accessories. We use shagreen from stingrays. And I couldn’t do it without my associate. I met my friend Massimo in Italy. He’s worked for Bottega Veneta and Cartier. He deals with manufacturing. He’s fantastic.

You also launched your own store in San Francisco last year. It’s at 1632 C Market St. in Hayes Valley in San Francisco. It’s directly across from Zuni Café, a very well-known, iconic SF restaurant. It’s called J.Rachman. It’s like something you’d stumble upon in Mayfair in London, or in Le Marais in Paris. It has an old-school feel to it. It has vintage [items] and antiques I’ve collected throughout my travels and all my leather bags and trays — bespoke luxury trays. We also have handpainted wine and cocktail glasses. It’s done for my company by Margaux Larkin. She’s from the East Coast. She’s a friend of mine. This year we’re adding petrified wood accessories and furniture. And of course we carry Bolt Textiles — I designed their fabrics. We also offer floral design. I’m very excited about my store! Can you tell us about the charity projects you’re involved in? I owe my life to so many strangers. I give scholarships to schools in Bali as well as here in

San Francisco. My father lost everything at some point in his life. After growing up rich, I had nothing at the time I was at the University of San Francisco. I was homeless; I couch-surfed on friends’ couches. I would just microwave potatoes — that’s all I could afford. But I got a scholarship from USF. I even got anonymous donations. I wouldn’t be where I am without them. When you’re poor, you really know who your real friends are. Because of that, I want to give back. I donate to poor schools in Bali. We buy sports equipment or furniture for schools there. For many years, I have given money to the hospitality program. I had to work on campus to support myself.

What would your dream project be? My dream project would be to design a resort or a complete boutique hotel. Ideally in Bali or Java, going back to my roots. Or to do projects in my favourite places: Bali, Singapore, London, Paris, Carmel, Hawaii, Jackson Hole. It would be a dream project to renovate an old establishment. It would also be amazing to redo the interior of an airline. I’m obsessed with flying and airlines, like SilkAir or Garuda, the airline of Indonesia. I would love to redo the Beau-Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland. But each designer has their own language or esthetic, so I have a certain esthetic; it has to work mutually.



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Photos by DaviD Robinson

I reconnected with my family in a different way. It’s such a rich culture, with very talented people. I put aside the politics. I have a few clients now from Asia. When I was 13 or 14, that was the first time I went to mainland China. It was a completely different planet than now. I spent many months with my parents there, travelling to maybe 13 or 15 provinces. Now, going back to China, I love going there! Shanghai is one of my favourite cities in the world. Guangzhou and Suzhou, too.

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A dv e r to r i A l

JtF Homes team: Christopher Campoli, Nino Campoli, Frank Campoli, Mario Campoli and tony Mocci (left to right)

Photo by robin gartner

MAKING DREAM HOMES A REALITY Meet the Toronto builders who are changing the game with an impressive portfolio and a gold-standard service philosophy. JTF Homes believes developing an honest relationship with each client sets the stage for a smooth, stress-free and successful project 64 DOLCE MAGAZINE


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Above, the pictured JtF Homes build features a gorgeous exterior of indiana cut limestone and a slate roof, with windows and doors trimmed with indiana rubble coursing

Photos courtesy of jtf homes


hen longtime friends Frank Campoli and tony Mocci started JtF Homes over 30 years ago, they could never have anticipated the kind of growth they would experience, quickly soaring to become one of the top home builders in the GtA. Perhaps it’s the undeniable sense of comfortability that comes with hiring a family-owned and operated brand like JtF Homes. it really is a family affair; the J in JtF is for Frank’s wife, Josie. All three of Frank’s sons — Nino, Mario and Christopher — help run the business and provide the same calibre of talent and passion as its founders (admittedly, with a new-school flair), and they pride themselves on nurturing lifelong friendships along the way. Since 1985, the team at JtF Homes has built more than 200 custom homes ranging from 3,000 to upwards of 20,000 magnificent square feet across the city’s most affluent neighbourhoods. A number of JtF Homes’s projects have even been featured in various local media, as well as receiving praise from popular industry publications. With an arsenal of talented architects, worldrenowned designers and skilled tradespeople on its team, JtF Homes is the ultimate one-stop shop for the home of your dreams, and nothing is out of the realm of possibility. “Challenges are what keep us sharp,” says Frank. “People today have different tastes and needs, and we listen.” From hockey arenas to horse stables to hydraulic lifts, the A-team turns your wishes into reality, creating truly bespoke homes. Frank admits that referrals alone account for 99 per cent of JtF’s business, thanks to satisfied clients who proudly refer the builders. the pair

Below, the luxurious entrance space of another successful JtF Homes build features a timeless custom water jet in a cut marble slab foyer

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built their brand on one core foundational value: superior service. “the attention to detail, the care and the patience we have for each of our projects is second to none in this industry,” says tony. through incredible service and a client-first approach, the duo has not only survived recessions and hardships, but thrived. “We always want our clients to feel like part of our family,” says Frank. “When we’re not having dinner with them, we’re sharing a glass of wine and we’re discussing things that are not always related to the scope of work. this is where i think we develop great relationships.” When Sean Boyd and his wife Peta were looking for someone to build their forever home, they did some research and scoured neighbourhoods like Forest Hill for names of top builders. it didn’t take long for the two to realize that JtF Homes was the perfect fit. “As soon as we met Frank and his family, we just said, ‘these are honest guys,’ and those were the types of individuals we’d love to do business with and work with to build our home,” says Sean. the Boyds dreamt of a large and accommodating home, one that would be suitable for entertaining family and friends, but was as humble as a smaller home. “this is a big home, but it feels comfortable, warm, inviting and that’s all we were after,” says Sean. When the Boyds set foot into their completed home last october, they couldn’t help but reflect on what a positive experience they had working with JtF Homes and how fortunate they were to have constant guidance and support — especially since Sean was often away on business and needed to place full trust in the team. “it’s funny,” recalls Sean, “the only company that called us back that day within five minutes was JtF,

and some of the biggest builders in toronto have yet to return our phone call.” it’s the small details that Frank insists clients remember, like picking up a phone call (no matter the time of day) or the courtesy of keeping a client’s suburban street orderly during construction to avoid future tension with the neighbours. “We always strive to exceed a client’s expectations, and we want to make sure they get the service that they deserve, regardless of the size or value of a home,” says Frank. “to us, every client that we serve is a top client; they’re all A-level clients to us.” From inception to completion, Frank not only believes in maintaining 100 per cent involvement at each one of his jobsites, but also truly understanding clients and catering to their questions or concerns long after the project is complete. “in 10 years i know if there is ever an issue, i just have to pick up the phone and [JtF Homes] will be here,” says Peta. “they’re not just there to build the home, pack up and go.” At any given time JtF Homes is capable of managing the construction of six to ten projects, but the team certainly won’t exceed their capabilities if that means sacrificing quality. Frank and tony are dedicated to their clients and continue to prove they’re more than just the name on the door. “We don’t take our roles lightly. We’re there for our clients whenever they need us,” says tony. JtF Homes is committed to dispelling the fear and apprehension that many have when it comes to investing in a custom-built home. As the brand grows, slowly transitioning into a new era of leadership, it maintains its philosophy of client care and continues to build a reputation focused on quality, durability and integrity.



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Photos courtesy of jtf homes

each JtF Homes interior features the same calibre of care as its exterior. the brand prides itself on a variety of high-quality finishes, talented millwork and impeccable attention to detail


TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE The story of the emperor penguin and its relationship with modern humans is the story of the most intriguing love affair ever between people and birds Written By Bernd Brunner


ow is it that we find some birds fascinating and others move us not at all? Jeremy Mynott, author of Birdscapes, has tried to come up with general criteria to answer this question. He distinguishes between “beautiful” birds and “charismatic” birds. In his opinion, birds such as pheasants, Canada geese and magpies may be beautiful, but they are not particularly charismatic. Barn owls, cranes and red kites, however, are near the top of his list of charmers. Rarity can also be a reason birds attract attention. Then there are penguins − proof positive that beauty, charisma and rarity are not the only characteristics that send bird enthusiasts into raptures. Penguins are appealing on so many levels: they do not look like a typical bird, their upright waddle positively invites us to imbue them with human characteristics and, last but not least, they make us smile. The first human contact with “penguins” was somewhat confusing. Initially the name described the great auk, a bird that has since gone extinct. Like penguins, the great auk was an upright, black-and-white, flightless bird, but it lived only in the North Atlantic and was not even remotely related to the birds we know as penguins today. Of the 17 different species, the emperor and the Adélie embody the stereotypical penguin ideal, a tuxedoed caricature of a person that has mastered the art of walking upright more skilfully than Homo sapiens’s close relatives, the chimpanzees and gorillas. It was a theory about emperor penguin eggs that inspired Captain Scott’s ill-fated 1911 British Antarctic Expedition. Up until this time, the emperor penguin had been considered to be the most primitive bird on Earth. It was hoped that by studying the development of the embryo in the egg, scientists could discover not only the complete evolutionary history and origin of birds, but also their relationship to other vertebrates. The story of the emperor penguin − one of three species of penguin that live only in Antarctica and its immediate vicinity − and its relationship with modern humans is the story of the most intriguing love affair ever between people and birds. Hardly any other bird (with the exception of owls, of which there are many different species spread across the world) provokes such a strong emotional response. Indeed, it may be the most beloved bird of all time, even though there is no single person who stands out as the archetypal “penguin nerd.” Quite simply, too many people feel this way about penguins.

67 fall 2017 | DOLCE MAGAZINE

Out of all the bird species that exist, penguins may very well be the most human-like, as they’re bipedal and extremely affable creatures


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Naturally, only a limited number of people are able to spend much time observing penguins in their natural environment. Watching thousands of birds walking across isolated, ice-covered wastelands is a privilege restricted to specialized researchers and a wealthy class of tourist, which is probably the main reason the penguin has entered the general consciousness as an almost mythical creature. In the French Oscar-winning documentary film March of the Penguins by Luc Jacquet (La marche de l’empereur, 2005), the life of the emperor penguin is presented as a parable for survival in a hostile environment. Fundamentalist Christians soon laid claim to the film and its message — above all because they embraced the penguins’ behaviour as a shining example of monogamy and thought their existence confirmed the theory of “intelligent design.” It strained credulity, they argued, to think that natural selection could ever have produced a bird that lived such an austere and challenging lifestyle. Adopting the penguins as mascots for their belief system inevitably sparked a heated debate. In his 2007 documentary movie, Encounters at the End of the World, Werner Herzog interviewed scientists at the McMurdo Station in Antarctica, including penguin researcher David G. Ainley, who has been researching the connection between the size of penguin colonies and changes in the climate for nigh on 20 years. It’s rather unsettling to see them searching for rocks to raise their nests higher and higher to keep their eggs from floating away. Actually, pretty disgusting, knowing that it’s we humans who have made their lives even more complex and tenuous. In one of the most moving scenes in the film, an Adélie penguin distances itself from the other birds in its colony and feeding stations at the edge of the ice for no apparent reason. It is later seen walking farther inland in the direction of a mountain chain. When the bird was caught and brought back to the feeding station, it immediately set off once again in the same direction. It was facing 3,000 miles (5,000 kilometres) of Antarctica and walking not only into complete isolation but also toward certain death. Excerpted from Birdmania: A Remarkable Passion for Birds by Bernd Brunner. Published October 21, 2017, by Greystone Books. Condensed and reproduced with permission from the publisher.



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PHOtO cOurtesy Of greystOne BOOks

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There are “beautiful” birds and there are “charismatic” birds, according to Dr. Jeremy Mynott. And then there are penguins — the quintessential hybrid of the two, as Bernd Brunner discusses in his book, Birdmania: A Remarkable Passion for Birds

69 fall 2017 | DOLCE MAGAZINE


More Than

a SMIle Bestselling author, international speaker and philanthropist Dr. Hisham Kaloti is a leader in cosmetic dentistry. In fact, his passion for creating one-of-a-kind smiles has been featured on national TV. But even more significantly, he knows the importance of balance in life. For him, it’s all about a great smile, hanging out with his family and giving back Written By Donna Paris intervieW By reBecca alBerico

For Dr. Kaloti, striking a balance is really la dolce vita. “If I was doing dentistry and just creating smiles, there is no value to that. If I was just doing volunteer work, there is no value to that. And if I didn’t have the love and support of my wife and kids, there is no value to that,” he says. “You surround yourself with the things that add value to your life, and those three things for me personally are the perfect tripod that I stand on”



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Photo By geoff fitzgeralD


you think of philanthropy when you think of Dr. Hisham Kaloti, you’d be forgiven — he works hard to make the world a better place. It all started with a trip to Haiti with a friend, who was going as part of a mission after the earthquake in 2010. “A mission? I didn’t really know what he was talking about, but I said, ‘OK, I’ll go, too.’” When Dr. Kaloti arrived, he found a world he hadn’t known existed. There were people whose basic needs were not being met. He called his medical supplier and said he needed as many toothbrushes, as he could get. “We go into an orphanage, and I’m telling the kids about the toothbrushes, and they’re looking at me like they don’t understand what I’m saying,” he says. He thought it was a communication issue, but the translator said, “You know, we don’t have running water here.” “I came home and looked at my four kids and everything they had — Xboxes, beds, fluffy blankets and nightlights, and I thought, ‘Clearly I have missed the boat.’” He was fortunate enough to meet Alden Crowley, the founder of Another Joy Foundation in Las Vegas, Nevada, which delivers medical supplies, toys and games to children around the world on refurbished planes. “We got smart — we got together blankets, batteries and other things you might need after an earthquake, and I went with him. It was amazing; we met so many people,” he says.

And once your eyes are opened, it’s impossible to put the blinders back on, of course. When Dr. Kaloti was vacationing with his friend Marco in Mexico, he met a woman in tears because her son, who was on the autism spectrum, couldn’t go to school — it was simply too far. Dr. Kaloti spearheaded the drive to convert a house in town into a school. The first day, 50 kids showed up, and the next day, another 50 kids. “I couldn’t believe the need,” he says. People were eager to help, including clinicians and instructors, and the school is now operating at full capacity.

Photos courtesy of Dr. kaloti

Funny how things turn around Actually, if his Plan A had worked out, Dr. Kaloti may never have found his passion. Originally, he had wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a cardiologist. But during his second year of undergraduate studies at Western University in London, Ont., he discovered he could apply to some professional schools before he finished his degree. So he applied to schools, including the School of Dentistry at the University of Michigan, where he got an interview. One of the interviewers asked Dr. Kaloti what he liked to do for fun. “I like to draw,” he said. The interview asked if Dr. Kaloti could draw him. “OK, I’ll draw a portrait of you, but if you like it, you have to get me into the program,” he’d said. The interviewer laughed, but two weeks later, Dr. Kaloti got his admission. “I’ve always been on the artistic side, but dentistry has been the perfect medium for me,” he says. “I can still draw, but I can make it more lasting and change people’s lives.” A love of work After graduating, Dr. Kaloti and his brother founded a franchise, Dental Reflections, in the American Midwest, with 16 offices and more than 100 staff members and dentists. With offices from Waukesha, Wisc., to Toledo, Ohio, a workday sometimes involved six hours of commuting to an office, then back home. “I did this for 15 years, so when a group of investors walked in, they made us an offer and we just walked away,” he says. Dr. Kaloti returned to Canada and now operates The Smile Stylist in Oakville, Ont., blending his expertise in dentistry with his artistic ability. “I realized that my passion is smiles,” he says. “Most people contemplating improvement in their looks don’t know where to start. It’s not just the teeth — that’s only a small part of it. A smile is made up of the face, the colour of your eyes, the shape of your lips.” So when a patient comes into the office, the first thing they do is take a video. “We see the patients telling their story, and it helps us understand what they’re looking for at their deepest conscious level. Then we have a one-stop dream team that can deliver.” A smile design can cost thousands of dollars, but consultations are no charge. “If you choose to partake in [our] services, it’s wonderful, and if you

One thing Dr. Kaloti understands is the importance of giving back and leaving a mark on society — in his case, by spending time with kids in underdeveloped countries; helping to bring food, medical supplies and toys to children; and volunteering in a school he helped to build

choose not to, then hopefully we add some value to your life by adding to your dental IQ,” he says. Still, Dr. Kaloti was astounded at the far-reaching impact of his first book (Inside Job: Separating Fact from Fiction about Your Health). “Clinically we do one smile at a time, but people asking questions from across the States and Canada was more profound than I could ever have expected,” he says. That excitement launched his current book, The 14 Secrets Your Dentist Will Never Tell You. Doing the right things for the right reason Where does this kind of drive come from? In high school, a friend gave Dr. Kaloti a Tony Robbins CD. “He didn’t say anything that I didn’t already know, but the way he said it was amazing,” he says. “I thought, ‘This is powerful — if you put your mind to it, anything is achievable’ — and whether it was smart or naive, I decided to just accept it.” When a friend built a 300-office dental care business, Dr. Kaloti decided he wanted to be just like that, too. “And why not? People really care about your smile — your smile is everything. War and Peace starts with a smile. I could be the artist, painting smiles every day and making good money with it,” he says. But perhaps the greater lesson that Dr. Kaloti learned from Tony Robbins is that true happiness

is not what you get, but what you give. “I didn’t understand that all that well, but it must have registered in the back of my brain somewhere,” he says. Indeed, it must have, because he has the awards to back him up, including the 2007 Donald A. Kerr Oral Pathology Award, the 2010 Kids Connection Award, the 2014 Best Dentist Award (Cambridge Times) and the 2016 Top Doc Award ( Most of all, though, Dr. Kaloti can’t underestimate the power of one of his greatest mentors: his father. “My dad is retired now, but his passion was always being there for people,” he says. “I grew up witnessing people coming to his office and appreciating him for the work that he did.” Finding the balance “In the beginning of my career, I was all business, I can’t say that I raised my two older boys; my wife raised them,” he says. “So when the chance to sell the business came, I made a vow to myself to not let business take over. Now I’m happy to serve my patients four to five days a week, but I reserve weekends for my family.” And it’s the same with philanthropy. “The challenge is that we think of ourselves in these little boxes and we don’t really see the big scheme until we open our eyes,” he says. In fact, if he

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A smile goes a long way, whether you’re living in Canada or the United States or any other country around the world. “If you think about it, nothing happens without a smile,” says Dr. Kaloti

“The challenge is ThaT we Think of ourselves in These liTTle boxes and we don’T really see The big scheme unTil we open our eyes”

Photo By geoff fitzgeralD

could change one thing about society, he would ask people to raise their heads out of their own little boxes and take a look around. “You have to get to the point where you can find a balance for success, a balance for business, a balance for family and a balance for giving back,” he adds. What’s coming down the pipeline Right now, Dr. Kaloti dedicates time to providing dental care to communities in Haiti, Mexico and Somalia through the Kaloti Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving children’s oral health. He’s also working on his latest project. With the help of his friend Ivan, he’s getting wheelchairs to people in Mexico. “In Oaxaca state, these kids have to be carried around because they don’t have wheelchairs,” he says. Ivan has provided him with a list of about 25 people who are basically confined to their homes, and Dr. Kaloti is now thinking of how to best fulfil this need. “All of a sudden, a toothbrush is not important, a laptop is not important, the Internet is not important,” he says. “These people just want to be able to get out of their house.” Dr. Kaloti wants to tell their stories. “They’ve been robbed of mobility and my goal is to tell the world that this individual exists,” he says. And he wants this project to grow. “I’d like to keep the wheelchair as the emblem of what we’re doing, because the wheelchair is freedom.” In the future, he’d like to take on a few motivated and dedicated young men and women and help guide them through some of the challenges that he went through so they can align themselves with their own vision. “To be able to pass that along — that to me would be the biggest gift,” he says quietly.

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Former model. Music producer. Accomplished polo player. Clothier. Energy healer. Philanthropist. Sabrina Barnett is, in a word, everything. And she’s made the world her oyster



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From HooFbeat to

photo by Jorge parra CoCktail /Couture dresses by frenCh designer ema savahl fashion styling by romina sergi | hair and make up by Jesus bravo photographed at the pony express farm, in wellington fl


Sabrina Barnett is a modern-day Wonder Woman. As a top model for more than 25 years, her face appeared regularly in magazines like Elle, Glamour and Sports Illustrated. She produced an album, Come as You Are, and still likes recording songs today. She loves horses and polo and has put together her own polo team. She’s a role model for women in North America and as far away as Dubai, having founded her own inspirational line of clothing that’s sold in more than 650 stores across the United States. From CEOs to shamans and medicine healers, she treats everyone she meets with the same respect. Speaking of which, did we mention she’s an energy healer? This woman has no limits — but most of all, she’s a philanthropist who really just wants to help people written by donna paris

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Making a difference At her core, however, Barnett just wants to help people. She’s a philanthropist, serving many charities for the past 15 years, including Boys & Girls Clubs, Feed the Children and Wheels from the Heart, which helps single moms by providing them with transportation and helping them find and maintain employment. “I want to help charities, I want to collaborate — I love collaborating with people because we’re stronger when we work together,” she says. And she wants to expand her work with rescue

After assembling a polo team just a few years ago, Barnett and her crew are considered an elite team, one that travels the world for competitions

horses. She has one now she calls her little unicorn, who was 200 pounds underweight when they rescued him. “Whether it’s a four-legged friend or a two-legged friend, there is always a way for us to help,” she adds. “I’m simply a woman that’s trying to make a difference, like a drop in a very large bucket,” says Barnett. Part of the fashion business since she was 13 years old, she got wind early on that no matter how beautiful someone is, sometimes they’re comfortable in their own skin and sometimes they’re not. She came to the realization that clothing is a powerful medium of expression, like a second skin, really. How can we inspire people through fashion, she wondered? “It came to me when I saw Princess Di wearing a white T-shirt,” she says. “Princess Di was so elegant and inspiring, and such a philanthropist.” Well, thought Barnett, everyone wears a T-shirt at some point, whether you’re royalty or whether you live down the street. And that is how she started her clothing line to help women feel good about themselves — by placing simple messages on T-shirts. Messages like “I am beautiful,” “I am peace” and “Kindness is powerful.” In one of her proudest moments, she showed her collection at Dubai Fashion Fiesta. “With a simple T-shirt line, I became an ambassador for women’s empowerment in an emirate city-state,” she says. One woman ventured backstage to deliver her own personal message to Barnett. “She was wearing a

burka, and she had a tear in her eye, and she said, ‘Thank you for inspiring us.’” Beauty comes from within “Jet-setting around the world, living in different countries, being doted on is a very entitled space to breathe in,” says Barnett. She started to realize that true beauty comes from internal wisdom, which led her to ask the big question: what is life really all about? As a model, she spent a lot of time alone when she travelled, in hotels and on planes. And so she started to read a lot of books about spirituality, enlightenment and positive thinking. “Then I started to feel a truth resonating in my heart,” says Barnett. “I started to do some more research, and thought, ‘Well, coming from the mind is not the most powerful place to achieve inner completion; it’s coming from your heart,’” she says. Years later, she came up with the Awaken the Heart Center. Barnett harnessed her 20-plus years of intensive courses and meditation, using the wisdom she picked up from shamans, medicine healers of the rainforest and the sages of India, to create a program to cultivate spiritual awareness. What she gets back Barnett is a woman who knows how to count her blessings, including her two sons, Shane and Sawyer. “When they were younger, I thought, ‘Wow, this is such a huge responsibility,’ but I took it on in a way that I thought, I’m going to



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photo by Jorge parra | polo Clothing Courtesy of dale sChwartz for polostar fashion styling by romina sergi hair and make up by Jesus bravo photographed at the pony express farm, in wellington fl

hen Sabrina Barnett was a little girl, she loved cantering on a horse — on the front lawn of the apartment building where she lived with her mom and sister. “My mother used to say, ‘If I don’t get this girl a horse, there will be some serious issues!’” laughs Barnett. So Barnett’s mom bought her a horse. “Probably the least expensive horse she could find because we didn’t have much money,” says Barnett. “The horse wasn’t trained; it bucked me, kicked me and stomped me.” But she kept at it, wanting to be friends with her horse. “I wanted to not be bucked, I wanted to not be kicked, so I really had no choice but to learn how to speak the language of horse,” she adds. By the time she was nine years old, she was competing in barrel racing, a crazy-fast rodeo event in which riders complete patterns around barrels. “Horses are a huge part of my life. A horse to me is a symbol of freedom, it’s a symbol of true power,” says Barnett. It wasn’t a huge leap, then, for Barnett to put together a polo team after being introduced to the sport a few years ago. “I wanted to make a statement: I wanted to put together a group of powerful, global businesswomen that are not only beautiful externally, but also internally,” she adds. She wants the polo team to be an example to other women, even if they don’t play polo. “This is about doing something that’s a challenge and doing it fearlessly, because so many of us live our lives inside this bubble of ‘I’m not good enough,’ or ‘I can’t do it,’ or ‘It’s not possible.’” Her message to these women: know that we all have choices and we all have one thing in common. “We all come from a mother. And if we can heal the mother, we can heal the planet,” she adds. One thing you need to know about Barnett: she has never forgotten where she came from, where she got the grit she needed to succeed in life. Her mom brought Barnett and her sister — and almost nothing else — to the United States from Haiti. “I was raised by a single mom who worked three jobs, so I think that it’s ingrained in my DNA to be self-sufficient. Everything I have done, I have done with a motivation of drive, determination and desire,” she says. And this is how Barnett lives her life; she calls it “living life 3D” (drive, determination and desire).

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photo by Jorge parra | CoCktail / Couture dresses by frenCh designer ema savahl fashion styling by romina sergi | hair and make up by Jesus bravo photographed at the diamond yatCh and fisher island , miami beaCh

“our true poWer is not our brain, it’s our Wisdom: it’s learning to be kind, compassionate and caring. and teacHing people HoW to be Fearless” — Sabrina Barnett



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‘give up’ to gain. And this is a message for some younger moms: you don’t give up, you actually gain,” she says. Her message to working women is to lose the guilt. “Just make the time that you’re with your kids as rich and as memorable as possible,” she says. That is what she did, especially around the holidays, which she loves. When her sons each turned 16, she took them individually to Europe. “I used to live in all those countries and I wanted them to know what it was like: the food, the smells, the people, the culture — so I got to relive it with them,” she says. “I feel my boys taught me how to be a mother, how to be humble and how to love unconditionally.”

photo by Jorge parra | polo Clothing Courtesy of dale sChwartz for polostar fashion styling by romina sergi hair and make up by Jesus bravo photographed at the pony express farm, in wellington fl

Go with the flow Currently, Barnett is working on an inspirational book and developing a life-coaching business to empower other women. She’s always had a passion for cars, and she even sells cars, from Toyotas to Bentleys, across the country. Now people are reaching out to Barnett in ways she could never have imagined. “I have an ability to see things clearly, so I work with people, I work with body tapping to help heal their immune system, to help heal their minds and their inner voices, that could be toxic,” she says. She prays, she meditates and she asks Spirit for guidance, “because I found out later on in life that I have a lot of Native American blood in me.” In a few weeks, she’s relaunching “I want it to be an open place for people to unite, where dot-coms and dot-orgs can come together and we can manifest amazing things together,” she says. “I want a place where it’s not just about making money, but a place where we’re also making a difference.” The sweet life For Barnett, la dolce vita is all about igniting your wisdom and igniting your life. “Let food be your medicine — and the food doesn’t have to be food from the garden. It’s whatever you need to feed your body, feed your mind and feed your heart,” she says. “Let that be your food of positivity — everybody wants to be around positive people, everyone wants to be around uplifting people.” “Be the example,” she urges. “I always say to the kids, ‘We have choices in life; we can be nice or nasty. And if we’re nice, we’ll have a nice life, and if we’re nasty, we’re not going to have such a nice life.’ It’s pretty simple.” Barnett is grateful for all the lessons she’s picked up on her journey. Remember her first horse? Barnett named her Sunshine Moon. “I used to call her Sunny because she always made me feel sunny, even when she abused me,” she says. “And maybe that’s the message: if you’re getting abused out there, you have to look for the bright side — and the bright side may be just to walk away. Fear not!”


79 fall 2017 | DOLCE MAGAZINE

The city is buzzing! Toronto’s lavish new steakhouse just opened, and the legendary concept is the brainchild of none other than seasoned restaurateur Nick Di Donato, president and CEO of Liberty Entertainment Group Written By riCK MULLer intervieW By sarah KanBar


rite of passage in elementary school was the field trip, the treasured day outside the confines of the classroom touring some local landmark — treasured, that is, until you had to write your report about it the next day. If you attended elementary school in the Greater Toronto Area, those landmarks invariably included Niagara Falls, the Toronto Islands or Casa Loma. In the case of Casa Loma, you may not have had a reason to return after that Grade 7 trip. Well, now there is a very good reason to return: BlueBlood, a modern twist on the classic steakhouse, by Liberty Entertainment Group, who also brought us the acclaimed Rosewater and Cibo Wine Bar. “The real purpose of the restaurant is to engage Torontonians,” says Nick Di Donato, president and CEO of Liberty Entertainment Group. “Typically Casa Loma has been a tourist attraction. Torontonians who may have toured through in school didn’t have a reason to come back. But with an iconic restaurant in an iconic building, people will be able to come here regularly, and that was always a part of our focus and vision when we took over three years ago: to give Torontonians a reason to visit Casa Loma. This is the last component in our overall vision for development of the property.” One might expect a century-old midtown castle to be home to the fussy kind of dining you’d see in Upstairs, Downstairs, but in Di Donato’s mind, the building was a perfect fit for what Liberty Entertainment Group was planning. “The steakhouse concept fit really well with the Casa Loma feel, which is a heritage building with the décor and all the elements of a castle,” says Nick. “BlueBlood encompasses two rooms on the western side of the main floor of the castle: the more traditional Oak Room, which is done all in original oak, and the Billiard Room, originally the recreation space of the castle, which makes for a perfect lounge and bar area. We also felt there had been a change in steakhouses from casual to very fine steakhouses, which is what we’ve developed with BlueBlood.” BlueBlood is the very definition of fine cuisine and fine dining and sources its product from around the world. The finest-quality meats come in from across Canada, the United States, Japan and Australia. Its menu features such appetizers as prime steak tartare with cured duck egg, Wagyu beef carpaccio, beet-cured salmon, tuna tartare,

oysters and king crab, with entrées featuring lobster, scallops and, of course, the finest in aged prime fillets, striploins, rib-eyes and porterhouse steaks, all matched with creative side dishes. “Every dish has to work together with the quality of the meats we bring in,” says Nick. “While you start with hiring a superb grill-master, because colour is so important with steaks, we also have a chef de cuisine, because we put so much attention on our appetizers and side dishes, which are such wellthought-out, thorough, quality culinary creations.” BlueBlood has a very palatable vibe about it, as well as a special sense of occasion magnified not only by its menu, décor and magically historical location, but also by its impressive wine list, put together over time and with great consideration. “This was a unique circumstance in that we had three years of focus time to select our wines, as Casa Loma already had a liquor licence, which is not always the case when you’re opening a new restaurant,” says Nick. “So we had the time to create one of the most spectacular wine lists in the city. Our wine cellar is $1.5-million deep at the moment and located in the castle’s original 1,700-bottle wine cellar, which our crews stumbled upon by accident during renovations, so it was a special advantage to us to have had that time to put together such a deep and impressive wine list.” The creative design, look and feel of BlueBlood was put in the capable hands of Nick’s wife, Nadia Di Donato, creative director for all the venues of the Liberty Entertainment Group for more than 20 years. At Casa Loma, BlueBlood presented her keen eye with a very special opportunity. “I worked with the historical board regarding the historical aspects of the space; I really wanted to play that up because it’s such a special location in the city, so all of the design elements had to reflect that,” says Nadia. “The restaurant features genuine leathers, real Canadian cowhide and 100 per cent walnut wood tables. Everything is true Canadiana, with classical elements with a modern twist.” One of the most striking features of BlueBlood is its impressive artwork, which for Nick and Nadia was one of the best parts of the experience of creating the concept behind the restaurant. These partners have always believed they are much better as a team and have a deep mutual respect for each other’s individual strengths and complementary skill sets. “We curated all of the artwork for the restaurant,” says Nick. “We commissioned special paintings



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photo By jesse MiLns


Casa Loma’s CLassiC steakhouse


BlueBlood Steakhouse is the most recent concept from Liberty Entertainment Group, spearheaded by Nick Di Donato and his wife, Nadia Di Donato (creative director)

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photo CoUrtesy of LiBerty entertainMent GroUp photo By jesse MiLns

This unique space offers a modern and edgy vibe with a fun juxtaposition of classic architecture, heirloom antiques and modern art

“WhEn pEOpLE cOmE hErE thEy cAn ApprEciAtE thE ArtWOrk, thE histOry Of cAsA LOmA AnD Of cOUrsE, thE cULinAry ExpEriEncE”

Each with their own strengths, Nadia and Nick Di Donato are the definition of a power couple in this fast-paced industry

— Nick Di Donato

by the world-renowned Mr. Brainwash, who has toured the space, and have some original works from Salvador Dali, original contemporary art from Andy Warhol, and we’ve put on display some original artifacts from the castle’s earliest days. When people come here, they can appreciate the artwork, the history of Casa Loma and of course, the culinary experience.” For Nadia and her creative flair, the history and stories behind the castle pushed her to create a unique and special place. “It’s very important in restaurant design to create a space that will reflect the food and how you want the patron to feel,”

says Nadia. “The design must reflect the overall experience, and because BlueBlood had to adhere to the historical nature of the space, most of the primary design elements are reflected in the furnishings and artwork.” BlueBlood continues Liberty Entertainment Group’s string of venues, culinary and experiential successes throughout the city and over the last two decades, which, Nick explains, is as much about expertise and paying attention to details as it is about paying attention to the not-soobvious in addressing Toronto’s ever-changing food industry.

“You have to have your finger on the pulse, understanding where the food market is going and where the food culture is also going,” says Nick. “BlueBlood is a perfect example of that. We’ve determined that Toronto is ready for a renaissance — from the high-end of the 1980s to the casual fine dining of today, with only 20 to 30 seats. We feel there is now a trend back to glamour and fine dining and an all-encompassing type of experience. Not just the food on your plate, but the food, the delivery of your food, the beverage list and the delivery of the overall experience in terms of service and esthetics in the room.” “BlueBlood will encompass all of those things and be that very special place,” continues Nick. “Here it will not be about a ‘scene,’ but delivering a premier premium product throughout the overall experience.” There is passion in Nick’s voice as he speaks about BlueBlood, a proud reflection of what the Di Donatos have created at Casa Loma and a joy for the sweet life. “I think BlueBlood personifies la dolce vita,” says Nick. “Building something like this has been a passion and a labour of love with the artwork and the food. La dolce vita is about being happy in what you’re doing all the time, and BlueBlood has certainly provided me with that.” Nick and Nadia Di Donato are happy to share that sweet life for their customers at BlueBlood Steakhouse in Casa Loma to experience and savour.



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Take a journey across the world, from New York to Singapore to everywhere in between, with these stellar watches 1













1. The Da Vinci Automatic 36 has an 18K red gold case and a bracelet with 54 pure white diamonds | 2. The Métiers D’Art Villes Lumières18K white gold watch with alligator strap is a must-have | 3. The 45mm Aerofusion Black Magic by Hublot, with sapphire crystal and polished rhodium plated dial | 4. One of Jaeger LeCoultre’s finest: a Master Ultra Thin 41 stainless steel watch with automatic winding movement | 5. The updated Globemaster OMEGA is the world’s first Master Chronometer | 6. The L.U.C. XP Urushi merges Japanese ancestral craftsmanship and lacquer techniques with premium Swiss watchmaking | All items can be found at Royal De Versailles Jewellers |

83 fall 2017 | DOLCE MAGAZINE

design news

lUXUrioUs DesiGn: More tHan a PriCe taG


hange your space, change your perspective. Dawn Chapnick, principal of Dawn Chapnick Designs (DCD), is a firm believer in taking risks, and her often exaggerated sense of style encourages clients to do the same. “It’s a way to draw things out from a client,” says Chapnick. “They feel comfortable to express things they always wanted to try or wanted to be; I just give them that safe space.” The designer marries textures, colours and patterns like nobody’s business, and she’ll make you wish you had gone to her sooner.

Sometimes more is more. Adding a light to each shelf and painting the interior a dark colour gives this fireplace wall with built-in shelving a sculpture-like feel, bringing depth and drama to the room

Developing that safe space of trust and comfortability is just one of the ways DCD nurtures ongoing relationships with its clients to master their perfect environment. Chapnick also offers a bespoke “New York–style” service, where her team provides clients with limousine rides to and from various shopping trips, followed by a lunch to unwind — the ultimate catered experience. “I’m always amazed when clients tell me they’ve gone through a stressful renovation,”

says Chapnick. “It should be fun, and we’re focused on getting it right the first time.” The philosophy at DCD is truly a client-centric experience. Chapnick not only wants to get her clients involved, she wants to change their world. “A fresh design that is more authentic to the homeowner changes their life; they start to open up and invite new experiences in.”

Freya rose

CÉline Dion ColleCtion


of Aug. 23, Simons, a legendary Quebec-based fashion retailer, is carrying a selection of handbags from the pride of La Belle Province, singing superstar Céline Dion. The Grammy award-winner worked with The Bugatti Group of Montreal to develop her first accessory collection, which will consist of 14 handbag styles, available at all Simons locations across Canada.

reya Rose, a multi-award-winning British shoe designer, recently released images of two new styles for its upcoming Autumn/Winter Capsule Collection. The two featured styles, Jasmine and Zara, consist of understated, modest, yet sophisticated lines and accented block heels in Freya Rose’s exclusive mother of pearl. The Jasmine is a pointed ankle boot. The Zara is a peep-toe slingback. Both items are created in delicate, snow-white leather and possess a four-inch block heel of grey and white mother of pearl with a shiny brass inlay.



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photos courtesy of Dawn chapnick Designs

Seasoned luxury interior designer Dawn Chapnick encourages clients to think outside the box to reveal the ultimate luxury — their true self

85 fall 2017 | DOLCE MAGAZINE


The New RaNge RoveR auTobIogRaphy The latest in the fleet of superior Range Rovers, the flawless Autobiography was crafted with the sophisticated driver in mind

Land Rover continues its remarkable legacy with its new pinnacle of refinement: the Range Rover Autobiography. No longer is the Range Rover simply for off-roading and camping Written By AmAndAlinA letterio


Land Rover wrote an autobiography, the Range Rover would be an integral part of the brand’s story. Perhaps that’s why it introduced the Range Rover Autobiography back in 1970, a vehicle that had two doors and a down-to-earth interior design, making

it clear to consumers that this was a no-frills SUV. The major focus was to embody and emphasize the British brand’s land-roving reputation. It was not until the 1980s that Land Rover really began to dress up the Range Rover, making it one of the most competitive and luxurious sport utility vehicles to date. With the latest edition of the

Range Rover Autobiography, Land Rover has maintained its place with other top luxury vehicles in the same category, which is largely credited to the high-end interior filled with amenities, highly intelligent technology and a powerful engine. If you’re ready to surround yourself with excellence, step inside the Autobiography.



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generAl SpecS

engine: 5-l V-8 supercharged automatic 4Wd

Technology upgrades make this the safest Range Rover yet

transmission: Stop/start 8-speed transmission Horsepower: 510 hp @ 6500 rpm torque: 461 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm displacement: 305 cu in, 5.0 litre 0-100 km time: 5.4 seconds

When you climb into the Autobiography, the first thing you’ll notice is that the interior is flooded with light, giving it a unique bright spaciousness. The panoramic roof enhances that feeling of space and allows connection to the world outside, especially when driving through a leafy forest or heading home while the sun sets. If you need a break from the sunshine on those extra-hot days, the full-length power blind provides extra shade when needed. Adding to that exceptional interior experience, Land Rover has focused on increased comfort for long journeys. The Autobiography has massage seats that feature five different modes and are available for both the driver and front-seat passenger. The seats are made with beautiful materials like contraststitched semi-aniline leather with high-grade hides and are flawlessly executed for exceptional suppleness and a natural appearance. The lavish interior does not stop there, but continues with a top-of-the-line infotainment system, including a full-screen map. The list of advanced technologies in this truck covers all aspects of safety. This truck pretty much does the thinking for you — though we are not suggesting you let it. It has two unique features: a 360-degree camera that delivers an all-around park distance control and lane-keeping assistance with a driver monitor that can to detect a drowsy driver. The Range Rover Autobiography also boasts automatic high beams and autonomous braking, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go

functionality, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. If you think this is a remarkable assortment of technological advances, you’ll be even more impressed to learn this beauty can also parallel and perpendicular park all by itself. All the driver has to do is select the proper gear and control the speed. Speaking of speed, under the hood you’ll find a Land Rover V-8 supercharged automatic 4WD 5-Litre gas engine with stop/start 8-speed transmission. It pushes out 510 horsepower and 461 lb-ft of torque, which makes it hit 100 kilometres per hour in 5.4 seconds. This is an SUV for someone who works hard and plays hard. This engine will get you 17.1-L/100 km in the city and 12.5-L/100 km on the highway. Land Rover says the maximum speed for the V-8 supercharged engine is 250 km/h when specified with 22-inch wheels and the standard wheelbase. The long wheelbase is an option for a heavier

price tag, but this version of the Autobiography also offers a knurled finish to interior features and rear executive class seating. Adding to how far Land Rover has come with the Range Rover since the ’70s, the SUV’s exterior has a notable presence on the road. This is the vehicle you treat yourself to when you’ve made it to the top. When you want to make a statement on the road, let the Autobiography do the announcing for you, and people will hear your message loud and clear. It has a debonair, classy look with the Dark Atlas grille surround, Atlas grille mesh and chrome ribs. The esthetic touches in the interior, like the embossed Autobiography script on the centre rear squab of the semi-aniline leather, or the name badging on the tailgate, are the tiny details that make it clear this is not the same no-frills truck you met in the ’70s. As powerful and rugged as its competitors, only the Autobiography is impossible to ignore.

land rover toronto 740 dupont St. toronto, ontario, M6G 1Z6

87 fall 2017 | DOLCE MAGAZINE


Kevin Kwan: Crazy Rich Asians


he world is now well-versed in the financial might of China. Chinese tourists have been flocking to international capitals with high spending power. Nevertheless, Westerners are not necessarily familiar with the idea of Asians having vast wealth. Call it a bias from Hollywood or maybe some leftover unconscious racism, but there isn’t a great familiarity with Asia’s new class of super rich. Kevin Kwan intends to change this. His novel, Crazy Rich Asians, already a hit in 2014, was followed up by the sequel China Rich Girlfriend. Setting his sights even higher, Kwan is executive producer of the movie adaptation of his first novel,

interview by Cezar Greif

to be released by Warner Brothers in 2018 with an all-Asian cast. Times are definitely changing, so we sat down with Kevin Kwan at a posh Beverly Hills hotel to get to know the new trends among Asia’s mega-rich class. DOLCE MAG: In countries like Japan, Korea and Taiwan, there is a large middle class and a very homogenous society. What is the role of class in societies like Hong Kong and Singapore? KEVIN KWAN: What they have in common are their colonial pasts. They were both British Crown colonies. I think that kind of affects the class system in a way. There is this very interesting demarcation between the classes. It’s a bit more obvious than in

Taiwan, Korea or Japan. In those countries, people are company men. It is very upper-middle class. You work for a great corporation. Your life is your career. The focus is different. Whereas Hong Kong is all about prestige and wealth — it’s very “blingy.” Because [Singapore and Hong Kong] are both tiny islands, everyone’s obsessed with real estate and acquiring wealth. The land is so valuable. It’s also a distinguishing characteristic, the fact that they’re tiny islands. DM: Was your book intended for a Western audience that is not necessarily familiar with Asia? KK: Very much so. It’s one of the reasons I started to write the book. I just felt there’s such



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Photo by hayley fisk

Singapore-born Kevin Kwan just released his third novel, Rich People Problems. As with his previous books (China Rich Girlfriend and Crazy Rich Asians), Problems offers a look into the cultural zeitgeist, within the purview of Asia

The film adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s national bestselling book, Crazy Rich Asians, is set to hit theatres everywhere in 2018. Dolce sits down with Kwan to discuss the Far East, whose wealth and class systems and cultural dynamics, such as fashion and marriage, he describes in his book

a disconnect between the Asia I knew and what was being reported in the press in the U.S. If you went into a bookstore, there really was no fiction on contemporary Asia. There was a lot of fiction on historical Asia, Shanghai, World War II and so on. There was ancient-Asia fiction. There was fiction based on the Asian-American experience. But there was nothing about what was happening right now, the economic boom that has lasted for three decades now. I wanted to set the book in that world, to show the reality behind the economic reports. DM: Did you travel to write the book? KK: Mainly to Hong Kong and China. I went to the places I didn’t know as well. DM: What is the role of money in your books? I see family as being a central theme, but I wonder if the same story could be transposed to an average-wealth family? KK: I don’t think so at all. It’s the money that really intensifies the drama and complicates the lives of these people. I wanted to show what’s behind the curtain of having extreme wealth, and the interesting problems it brings up. I think wealth cultures around the world are very different. For example, the way Americans use their money is very different from how Hong Kongese, Singaporean and mainland Chinese deploy their wealth. DM: How would you characterize the difference between old money in Hong Kong and Singapore and nouveau riche in China? KK: I think everyone is different in how they treat their money, in how they spend, how they behave, so I don’t want to overgeneralize, but I would say what’s happening in China now is fascinating to me. I explore that a lot, especially in book two, China Rich Girlfriend. You have a country where there was austerity, they weren’t spending money, they didn’t have money, and then over the past 30 years a lot of families have done incredibly well. DM: Even in the past 20 years only. KK: Or you could say the past 10 years. It depends. There’s “old” money there that’s only 30 years old! But there’s also a lot of new money. Everyone’s treating it very differently. To me there are fewer rules in China, in a kind of strange way. It’s kind of this open territory. They’re reinventing their culture; they’re reinventing their relationship to money. And so, yes, you have these people who are completely blank, love to show off, love to Instagram, love their fortunes and pictures of themselves with piles of cash. You have that, but you also have people who are extremely discreet, extremely secretive and extremely private so, really, it runs the gamut. To me, there is a freedom there in how they express and explore their money that is much more “no holds barred” than in Singapore and HK, where the rules have been set; they’ve been set for a hundred years now, and if you

want to be in the “A game” and a part of high society, you have to play by a set of very specific chess moves. Whereas China — it’s a much larger country and much more diverse population. It’s really anyone’s game.

live, you don’t see a lot of wealthy Singaporeans buying property; it’s mostly Chinese. KK: Yes, exactly, and mainland Chinese. In New York, L.A., all over the world, they’re putting their “stamp.”

DM: The laws in China are even more limiting because you can’t buy several properties in the same city under your own name. So they buy for their kids or in another city, but no one owns three apartments in one neighbourhood. That’s not possible … at least not in their own name.

DM: Going back to your point about “no rules,” I’ve seen a mix of what you were saying. There are people who spend their money on something predictable like a fancy car, a Lambo or a Ferrari or a Maserati, but in their daily life, maybe they don’t know about designer fashion — so he’s totally dressed down, like he bought his stuff at Ross or something! KK: [Laughs] Yes! And he might not care! He wants to spend half a million dollars on a stereo system and that’s all he cares about.

“I wAnTed To show whAT’s behInd The CuRTAIn of hAvIng exTReme weAlTh And The InTeResTIng pRoblems IT bRIngs up”

KK: Yes, exactly. Totally. I think it’s very interesting how a lot of the Chinese money, because of all the rules, has become very “international,” in a way that’s not true for a lot of wealthy Singaporeans and HK residents, where a lot of the wealth is very centralized in their home countries. DM: Well, maybe it’s because of the stability that they feel surer things will still be the same in 10 to 20 years, which isn’t really true for China right now. There’s not the long-term vision yet, and I’m not sure it will happen. Even where I

DM: Yes, exactly! There’s a mix, whereas in Hong Kong, it’s wealth and high-end spending across the board; everything is expensive. In China, they have a partial wealthy lifestyle. I think it’s also that some of their friends or wives’ friends haven’t made it to that level yet and they can’t go all “blinged out” since it’s not really in the culture. We’re talking about nouveaux riches who have been around for only about 20 years or so, and they weren’t raised rich. It’s fascinating to see. It’s not yet a completely separate class; it’s too new. The money is there, but it’s not really in the culture. It’s complicated, because it’s very flashy in some aspects, but not in others. Your book does express that if you’ve got it, you’re going to flaunt it … KK: I mean … it’s specific to the character. Not Rachel or Nick, but Eddie does. The cousin is from HK and he likes to show off. I have a lot of fun with this snobbery. It shows the diversity of how different people like to show off their wealth. DM: I think it was in The New York Times that they said, “These people have no shame!” or something along those lines, and it was really interesting to me because I don’t think there is anything in Asian culture that ties shame to wealth and money. KK: That’s true. You don’t. Wealth and prosperity are actually very celebrated. DM: For the characters who do flaunt it [money and wealth], how much of it is a sign of the times we’re living in and how much is cultural? Is it a phase or is it deeper? KK: I think it has to be both. I think especially with people in Singapore and HK who are also very international, they can’t help but be affected by how money is displayed internationally. I think what we’re seeing is an “international wealth class” being established among the one-percenters across the board, and they may be Russian or British or American or Chinese. They’re all mixing together.

89 fall 2017 | DOLCE MAGAZINE

DM: How do interracial marriages come into play at this level of wealth? KK: Well, specifically for the Young family (which Nick is a part of ), there is a lot of intermarrying with the Shang family branch, while all the cousins married British wives from posh British families, and an aunt on the other side married a Thai prince, so there’s another family branch that’s Thai. But his family is representative of the old-money culture. His friends are Singaporean, there are friends who are Turkish, from New York, etc., etc., so he runs in a very international world. DM: There’s also a lot of social commentary. What is the role of fashion in here? KK: Yes! And a lot of new men’s brands that never come to the West do very well just in China. I think fashion is a very important part of my books and my readers kind of demand it. I mean, I don’t wear designer labels per se. I just wear what I like, and I’d be in Asia and I’d be asked so many times, “What brand is that shirt? What label are your shoes?” And they’d scrutinize, and there’s so much brand talk. And I found that funny, but I also think that it’s very true to the culture, and that’s why I included all the brand-name dropping in the book. I wanted to portray that in a funny and accurate way, but then readers started to really go out there and look for the pieces I was describing, so then I started to expand on that. DM: Did anyone recognize themselves and pick up the phone and say things like, “Hey! You’ve got me pegged all wrong!” or anything like that? KK: Funnily, no one who is in the book has recognized themselves, but apparently a lot of people who aren’t in the book find themselves in it. A lot of people claim to be an inspiration to the book, but … it’s all very loose inspirations. No one should be able to be like, “Oh my God. That’s me.” But you know, fashion has become such a part of the culture. In China, Singapore, HK, these people really enjoy clothing and fashion. And especially in HK and Singapore, there’s a level of connoisseurship for both men’s and women’s fashions. I know many men who get their suits custom-made in the U.K. and are into their watches and shoes, and it’s really become a lifestyle in and of itself. I just portray what I see. DM: The book is named Crazy Rich Asians, but the main characters are all Chinese. I was wondering how different the concept of “Asian” is in Asia versus the West, where Asians are considered interchangeable. For instance, in China, a marriage to a Japanese or Korean person is considered an interracial marriage. KK: That’s definitely a good point. There, it’s so much more demarcated. A large part of it also is just in choosing a good and catchy title. It’s also not just about the Chinese. My intention is to eventually

The acclaimed novel Crazy Rich Asians was recently picked up by Warner Bros. The movie adaptation is slated to come out sometime next year

jump around to different places in Asia and show the wealth cultures there as more books are written. DM: What is the concept of book three? KK: Well, it’s still a continuation of the story, but there’s a lot more travelling and jumping around to different countries and regions, so the ones we haven’t explored are covered more. DM: When your movie comes out, it’ll be showing something in a totally opposite direction to what’s out there right now: that Asians are different and have a different story to tell than the rest of us. They’re not the average people. How does that dynamic play when you’re putting the movie together? KK: As far as the movie is concerned, it’s totally uncharted territory. It’s the first all-Asian-cast [American] movie in 25 years, since The Joy Luck Club. That film was very focused on Asian Americans, and this movie will hopefully be focused on a diversity of Asian actors and the top talent from places like Singapore and Hong Kong. But with the TV shows, I think everything helps. And the movie has been in the works for about

three years now. We began developing it, and in the last year there’s been more of a movement for more representation and visibility onscreen, and that’s good for us. We’re showing one type of Asian and adding to the diversity of Asians. DM: So your movie won’t be like that [exploring cultural differences and tensions]? And you don’t feel the pressure to do that? KK: No. Our pressure is striving to be as authentic as possible, because of the global audience. We’re appealing to an audience that’s going to be Asian and Chinese and Chinese-American and European and American. DM: So even with a Singaporean cast, for instance, you’ll be able to get funding in the U.S.? KK: Yup! It’s already a green light to go with Warner Bros. It’s very exciting (knock on wood) and it’ll be fascinating to see how it all unfolds. I’m just trying to be faithful to the book and to the cultures. According to, Crazy Rich Asians is currently in post-production and will be released worldwide at some point next year.



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A dv E r to r i A l

MaxiMize Your Wealth through real estate

Royal LePage Signature Realty agent Hamed Amiran is not only driven to find his clients’ dream homes, but also to help them pursue investments that align with their goals and increase their reward

Hamed Amiran serves clients of all backgrounds and speaks English, Arabic and Persian

Photo by robin gartner


amed Amiran is likely one of the most hardworking realtors you’ll come by in this city. Since emigrating from his native dubai in 2013, Amiran has been determined to pursue his entrepreneurial dreams and make his mark here in Canada. Coming from a family of dedicated engineers and builders, Amiran knew he was destined to find success in the land of opportunity. He never took anything for granted and always had a tenacious spirit. From his first job as a door-to-door energy salesman to becoming one of the top real estate agents in the GtA, Amiran is humbled by his success and continues to strive for more. “i’m aiming to become one of the top teams in Canada very soon,” says Amiran, who has managed to increase his sales exponentially in only three short years. it’s Amiran’s honest approach that lands him new, loyal clientele. due to his calculated research and an organized and efficient approach, buyers and sellers alike see results. “i try my best to put myself in their situation and feel what they are feeling,” says Amiran. “i always want to make sure that they are making the right decision, and i’ll speak up if they’re not.”

CliEntS ComE to you For A rEASon; tHEy HAvE to knoW tHEy ArE in Good HAndS His industry expertise is an invaluable asset to anyone looking to make a move in the current market. Amiran understands the recent apprehension to invest in property, but assures clients that he has done his homework and would never steer them into a decision they’ll come to regret. He is continuously educating himself to be able to offer clients the best advice.

What’s more, Amiran appreciates that his clients are busy balancing work and home life and, as a family man himself, is always conscious of saving them time by only showing listings that “tick all the boxes.” Amiran has closed deals in a day, and alternatively, he has worked months to find the right buy for a client — he doesn’t rush the process. “the key to minimizing the time of the showings and maximizing their interest in the properties is knowing what they want and what they don’t want,” says Amiran. “i really get to know who they are.” But, Amiran admits, a man is only as strong as his team: “Clients come to you for a reason; they have to know they are in good hands.” the realtor gushes about his A-list team of like-minded professionals who live and breathe the same philosophy of honesty and integrity. the young entrepreneur has also built quite a reputable brand for himself and enjoys sharing encouraging words of wisdom across his social media platforms. With an ever-expanding following, Amiran is proud to say he’s inspired others to pursue a similar path or reach for whatever goals they have set for themselves. “i always say you have to be fit for your job,” says Amiran. “i found my perfect fit and i’m making it happen.” With many offices in the GtA, Amiran and team proudly service clients across the city, including those as far north as Barrie.

91 fall 2017 | DOLCE MAGAZINE

Driven to if


One of the best Lamborghini salespeople in all of North America, Heather Ballentine is redefining the gender dynamics of the automotive industry Written by riCk Muller intervieW by Sarah kanbar

you enter the workforce making $13 per hour and, years later, become a successful entrepreneur in the top one per cent of the salesforce for Lamborghini sports cars in North America, you must be doing things right. That’s the top line on Heather Ballentine, a success story who oozes style and excitement, experience and independence, with more than a generous splash of individual panache. Ballentine is the very personification of a selfmade entrepreneur — an entertainment media mogul, former pin-up model, actress, motivational spokesperson and successful, super-lux Lamborghini salesperson now with Lamborghini Uptown Toronto — and it all came from very humble beginnings on a farm in remote Arkansas.



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Photo by robin gartner MakeuP by CandaCe Mallari-david | hair by StePhanie at blo vaughan


“You have to be passionate about what You are Doing, otherwise You will fail”

Heather Ballentine has worn many hats over the course of her life. She’s been a model, a musician and songwriter, an actress, a motivational spokesperson, and now, the president of Ballentine Entertainment and co-owner of WDH Productions. However, she has returned to one of her first loves — her love of cars

In an exclusive interview with Dolce Magazine, Ballentine made two of her personality attributes immediately clear: passion for what she does and unbridled confidence with which to do it. These are two ingredients that spell success in whatever line of endeavour one chooses to undertake. “I just happen to be that girl who grew up loving cars, especially exotic cars, and Lamborghini has always been one of my favourite brands, as it fits my personality,” says Ballentine. “I really love what I do, am very passionate about it, and I want to be the best at whatever I’m doing. Some in this industry think women can be posers. Well, I’m no poser, I’m 100-per-cent legit and I’m the best at what I do. Now I just do my thing. Get on board or get out of the way.” The world of super-luxury, high-performance sports cars is predictably male-dominated, especially when it comes to the sales side of the business, and while that may have caused some problems for Ballentine in the beginning, she now dominates, selling to customers all over the world. “In the beginning I got flak, especially from those who had been in the business for 20 or 30 years, as there had never been a woman selling ‘super-lux’ at the company, but I never let it bother me,” recalls Ballentine. “I’m like a chick with blinders on, just doing my thing and keeping my eye on the prize. I think you have to work harder if you’re a woman in a male-dominated industry because they think you don’t know the product. That just motivated me to know the product inside and out and better than anyone else, and to give my customers the best possible overall experience.” The top of a super-luxury industry is a long way to go for the woman who packed all of her belongings and her cat into a U-Haul van and left rural Arkansas for schooling in Los Angeles, where she majored in musical theatre. A series of fortuitous events led her in just a few short years to fronting a rock band that toured 17 countries. From there she went into acting, landing a role on television’s General Hospital, doing national commercials and even working as a pin-up model for a brief period. Then she met a man who was Canadian and who convinced her to move to Toronto. “When I came to Canada I was more ready to settle down and have a career, and cars were a natural thing for me,” says Ballentine. “I’m the girl

who’d rather have a smaller house and a larger garage and a different car for every day of the week — that’s just me. I now specialize in one thing, Lamborghini. I chose to focus on that and I’m good at what I do. I do one thing and I do it the best.” Channelling her inner artist and leveraging the creative side of her personality that led to her success in the entertainment business, Ballentine has become a force on social media, which allows her to connect with followers of her life, her lifestyle and her adventures around the globe. As an entrepreneur, she is also president of Ballentine Entertainment and co-owner of WDH Productions. “When I recently went to Italy to test-drive new cars, they all knew who I was because of social media, and I now have people who want to buy from me from places like Pakistan and Indonesia,” says Ballentine. “If you’re young and an entrepreneur, social media is an amazing tool. It’s helped me to become a very well-known sales specialist in this field and with the Lamborghini brand. ‘Lambo’ buyers are younger, edgy and clicked in — they’re all over social media.” With wisdom beyond her years and a track record of success in multiple fields, Ballentine does not hesitate when asked what advice she would give to other women entrepreneurs. “You have to be passionate about what you are doing, otherwise you will fail,” she says. “You have to be driven and motivated and believe in what you’re doing. If you’re in a male-dominated industry, it’s going to be more of a challenge, but you can rise above these challenges and set your sights on the end goal, which is becoming the best you can be at whatever it is you’re doing. But once you succeed, it’s important to find that correct balance in your life, otherwise work can consume you.” It is that final point that is perhaps the guiding life philosophy of Heather Ballentine. “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” she counsels. “And I subscribe to the 24-hour rule. If you are ever faced with a critical challenge or issue arising in your life, give it 24 hours, and let it all just settle down. That’s when challenges don’t overwhelm you, and you can deal with them properly.” Whether as a brand ambassador, a super-lux sales specialist or a social media guru, Heather Ballentine is the very definition of today’s new and modern entrepreneur.

93 fall 2017 | DOLCE MAGAZINE


Wonders of south AmericA: Starting in January, ship enthusiasts can embark on a 69-day voyage aboard the Silver Muse, which will visit the most awe-inspiring parts of South America |


shAn: If you’re craving a fall getaway to some tropical oasis, Shan has you covered with their modish and classy one-piece bathing suits and bikinis |

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BesPoKe moBiLe: Made by designer Camal Pirbhai with Swarovski crystals and brushed silver-plated hardware |

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Succumb to temptation and allow yourself to fall into this season's sweetest indulgences





8 TExT by DaniEl CalabrETTa


Objects of

estÉe LAuder LiPsticK: Pure Color Love, Estée Lauder's new series of high-impact lipsticks comes in 30 shades and four vivacious finishes |

fall 2017


cLeoPAtrA choKer: Feel as extravagant as the former Ptolemaic queen of Egypt herself with this 22K plain band Cleopatra choker | suLWhAsoo GinsenG reneWinG creAm: Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream EX by Sulwhasoo replenishes the natural vitality of a person’s skin with the enhanced anti-aging benefits of ginseng. Available in original and light cream types


LAdY GAGA documentArY: Go and experience what it’s like to be pop star Lady Gaga in the documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two, premiering this year at TIFF |


the inVisiBLe coLLection: These eccentric yet comfortable pieces, by French designers at The Invisible Collection, will liven up any room in your home


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VistA ALeGre: This dish by Vista Alegre is Victorian inspired and possesses the smooth, stylish look of traditional porcelain dinnerware

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LAcoste shoes: The latest sleek and shiny rose gold sneakers by Lacoste |

hAnYA's hoPe t-shirt: Proceeds from online and retail T-shirt purchases will be put towards the non-profit’s goal of ending child trafficking, worldwide |


oPerA AteLier: After a tour of France’s Palace of Versailles, Opera Atelier has returned home. Co-artistic director and dancer Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg is seen wearing a stunning Reem Acra gown in the private apartment of Marie Antoinette. This global leader in Baroque-era opera and ballet performs Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, from Oct. 26 to Nov. 4 at the Elgin Theatre. Tickets are available at |

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KohLer: The new Sartorial collection by Kohler delivers a distinct form of luxury and sophistication to bathroom sink designs | ArroW BAthroBe BY dAVid’s fine Linens: This warm and comfortable arrow bathrobe has intricate triangular patterns. It’s easy to care for and suitable for both men and women

95 fall 2017 | DOLCE MAGAZINE


Georgian Renovations started as a custom homebuilder more than 50 years ago. They have since built a name for themselves as one of the top luxury, high-end renovation companies, having renovated more than 100 homes in the past three years, with more than $15 million in projects on the table right now. Georgian recently completed a stunning renovation on a 3,000 sq.-ft. North York home for a family of four. The house is 50 feet wide and has four bedrooms and bathrooms, a professional grade gourmet kitchen, a state-of-the-art backyard with a stone and cedar outdoor kitchen, rich porcelain floors (that look like sleek walnut wood) and lots of fine millwork — especially around the gas fireplace area. The house is very spacious and airy due to its open-concept architecture and California open riser staircase.

▲ Lautem Bag

▲ Lacoste

From the clothing line that is known for its classic crocodile-logo golf shirts, which embody sophistication, comfort and relaxation, comes another series of items that offers a sense of ease and coziness. Lacoste’s home, bedding and bath collection, known as “Lacoste Home,” offers the brand’s custom bedsheets and pillowcases. These bedding items are infused with modernist colours and offer a contemporary, chic feel to your bedroom. The soothing influence of the light grey, blue and green shades of the sheets will complement the walls and the overall ambience of your bedroom.

Just in time for fall, the design brand Lautem is offering some fascinating custom box bags. These traditionally handcrafted, Spanish-made leather handbags have a sharp design with clean and pure lines. Experienced Spanish leather craft specialists construct these bags with the search for excellence in mind. The leather used for these handbags is treated in Catalonia, a northeastern region of Spain. The handles are produced in a small factory in Valencia. One of the objectives of such a handbag is to offer undeniable value and new luxury.



fall 2017

A dv e r to r i A l

Forevergreen in the Pine Valley. The Last Neighbourhood Of Its Kind. ▲ Le Drugstore

Triple Michelin-starred chef Éric Fréchon is the man behind all the hype for Paris’s new hot-spot eatery, “Le Drugstore.” Fréchon has crafted a menu that will satisfy all palates — everything from sandwiches and finger foods to smoked haddock and salmon tartare marinated with oysters and horseradish. Located on the prominent Champs-Élysées, Le Drugstore has a 1960s vibe — with an intimate setup, stylish light fixtures and colourful couches — akin to a classic brasserie, but with elements of everyday luxury.

▼ Essential Home

This fall and winter, the company known for providing the absolute best in mid-century furniture has exactly what you’re looking for. Essential Home has all the essentials. As the season changes, Essential Home varies its selection with new fall and winter offerings such as the velvety dark-green Ellen armchair, Collins chair and Florence stool, which create a verdant and vivacious aura in the room as summer becomes fall, and fall becomes winter. Essential Home also has new brass items such as the diamond mirror and the Miranda pineapple lamp.


his fall, Gold Park Homes is proud to offer Pine valley - unmatched and destined to be immeasurably desirable; the best of the best. the sheer magnificence of the irreplaceable ravine setting is enough to set it apart. the home designs are extraordinary in a choice of masterful architectural styles. the impressive three-car garage detached homes on deep lots will sit on secluded courts and crescents surrounded by ravine, stream and hundreds of acres of lush parklands. there is only one Pine valley. Forever yours. And Forevergreen. Become a viP. register now at

Photo courtesy of gold Park grouP

97 fall 2017 | DOLCE MAGAZINE


6 GTA LOCATIONS: Avenue Road | Yorkville | Bayview Village RioCan Oakville Place | CF Sherway Gardens CF Toronto Eaton Centre




fall 2017

99 fall 2017 | DOLCE MAGAZINE


905-264-6952 | Serving the Greater Toronto Luxury Market | 100 DOLCE MAGAZINE


fall 2017

Dolce Magazine — Fall 2017  
Dolce Magazine — Fall 2017