And Aziz Ansari Mindy Kaling Haider Ackermann Saniya Khan
ONE DIRECTION’S ZAYN MALIK AND WHAT RELIGION MEANS TO HIM
FASHION IN TORONTO & our favourite places to find it
OCTOBER 2012 $4.99 CAD
Editor/Publisher KAMRAN ZAIDI Associate Editor PRIYA KUMAR National Account Manager CHIRAG PATEL Art Layout Assistant NICOLE ALVAREZ Styling Coordinator SAIMA HASAN Fashion Assistant LIZ GUBER Art Layout Consultant KEN OGAWA Travel Correspondent ROBIN ESROCK Health & Wellness Contributor YAFA SAKKEJHA Special Features Correspondent FRANCES DU Pop Culture Contributor SERENA TARNEJA Digital Contributor MYRTLE JURADO Social Media Assistant TRACY OWUSU Subscription Inquiries: Please to go http://shemagazine.ca/subscribe To Contact SHE Canada: Write to SHE Canada, 1999 Avenue Rd, Toronto ON, M5M 4A5 Or firstname.lastname@example.org For Advertising Inquiries: Please contact Chirag Patel, 416 644 7788, 647 708 4204 email@example.com SHE MAGAZINE CANADA IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF KAMRA ON PRODUCTIONS INC. COPYRIGHT © 2012 KAMRA ON PRODUCTIONS INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. PRINTED IN PAKISTAN
THE KARDASHIANS LAUNCH THEIR NEW OPI HOLIDAY COLLECTION
ONE DIRECTION’S ZAYN MALIK ON HIS FAITH
OCTOBER 2012 8 Editor’s Note 10 Contributors STYLE SCOOP 12 What we’re obsessed with this month FASHION CENTRAL 18 Sanya Khan dazzles World MasterCard Fashion Week 22 Lessons Learned Milan
34 It’s a Man’s World Think like a man, act like a man, dress like a man? BUSINESS 40 The Business of Fashion founder Imran Amed paves the way for online fashion media portals SOCIAL CONSCIENCE 42 Gender Selection plagues South Asian communities across
not only showcases the best of fall, but shows a side of Toronto not often seen (literally) 67 Luxury Multi-brand Stores in the City How Toronto’s fashion scene is taking the world by storm THE ARTS 70 One Direction’s Zayn Malik on love, life and why he
Concerns) Get the lowdown on The Office’s Mindy Kaling’s new book and discover why women are funnier than ever JEWELLRY 76 How the founding of Diamantina changed the way Bollywood buys their baubles Aanchal Mahtani, CFO, exclusively talks to SHE about what makes Diamantina different from the competition NIGHTLIFE 82 Il Mulino What’s keeping Forest Hill locals from dining downtown these days? SHE finds out
HE 84 Wardrobe Essentials every man should have in his closet
THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT AZIZ!
85 That’s What SHE Said Giving sound advice to our male readers on their fashion drama
Shahani and her students know a thing or two about sketching 30 Haider Ackermann Legend in the making, this lion is one to watch! 32 Bollywood Stylist Shyamli Arora lets us in on what it’s like to dress the who’s who of B-town
the GTA—what can be done? SOUTH ASIA 44 Pakistan Fashion Week, London SHE gets the inside runway scoop with Maheen Khan, Deepak Perwani, Ammar Belal and Zainab Sajid COVER STORY 56 Toronto, I Love You SHE’s exclusive cover shoot
won’t let his career in the way of his faith 72 Faraz Waqar’s Epic Leap from his School Thesis to the Cannes Film Festival Discover this young filmmaker change the world and make his dreams come through all at the same time 75 Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other
86 There’s Something About Aziz! He’s LA’s newest South Asian comedian whose off the cuff jokes have created a cult following like no other HEALTH/WELLNESS 88 Monsanto: The Seed Mafia Do you know what’s in the food you’re eating? Health & Wellness correspondent Yafa Sakkejha breaks it down for you, with a little history lesson too!
SHE CARES 90 SOS Children’s Villages How one organization is changing the lives of orphaned and abandoned children by the tens of thousands and what you can do to help! ON THE ROAD 92 The Maldives: Stepping into the Calendar of Paradise Travel connoisseur Robin Esrock takes us to heaven on earth. White sandy beaches, thatched roofs and coral reef never looked better BEAUTY 96 Beauty Desires Want it, need it, gotta have it! 98 Infuse Med Spa Kavita Suri has taken a necessary experience like laser hair removal and made it a luxury treatment at her exclusive spa in Yorkville 151 Horoscopes by psychic Lisa Moore 101 Spirit Guru Have a question that you’ve been aching to ask that no one has given you a straight answer to? SHE’s Spirit Guru has you covered! 152 Quote/Unquote “Who is your favourite Bollywood personality?” We asked our most beloved celebrities to let us know!
EDITOR S.M. Kamran Zaidi If you would like to contact SHE Canada; 1999 Avenue Road, Suite 202, Toronto, ON M5M 4A5 p: (416)644-7788 firstname.lastname@example.org http://shemagazine.ca Facebook: SHECanada Twitter: @SHECanada For advertising inquiries with SHE Canada, please contact; Chirag Patel p: (416)644-7788 e: email@example.com
As this issue went to print there was a tremendous amount of discourse in the States pre-election regarding a women’s right of choice. To refresh your memory, the media had a field day with Republican congressman Todd Akin’s remarks on a woman being able to shut her body down from conception in the case of “legitimate rape.” It was these few poorly phrased words in even poorer taste that really got us thinking. How is it that in mid-to-late 2012 we are bearing witness to debates that were most certainly occurring during the Middle Ages? We discovered this month that this sort of rhetoric is not contained by the US border, but in fact can be found in our very own back yards. In the October issue, SHE is turning the floodlights on the archaic notion of gender selection. Gender selection refers to families (as opposed to individual women) making the decision to abort an early stage pregnancy upon discovering the fetus’ gender. It’s a horrific practice that has caused intense sanctions to be put into place in countries like India, where the birth of a boy being held in higher regard than that of a girl is a reality. Unfortunately, this paradigm has carried over to first and second generation South Asian Canadians. With the freedom choice over a woman’s own body intensely guarded by our Charter of Rights, certain families are taking advantage of the system resulting in a far lower birth rate of baby girls in South Asian communities across Canada. SHE examines, dissects and analyzes the situation for a solution in “Her Choice” on page 42. On a frothier note, we are also delighted to feature the best luxury fashion Toronto has to offer. Titled “Toronto, I Love You” on page 56, our cover story looks at various high-end multi-brand stores throughout the downtown core that are changing the face of Toronto as the stylecentric metropolis it is. Additionally, we look at South Asian comedians making their marks in Hollywood. Read on for “There’s something about Aziz!” [Ansari] and a review of Mindy Kaling’s debut book “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns).” This issue is packed with great material that we’re thrilled to be sharing with you our readers in this our second issue. Enjoy!
Fashion Assistant This month, Guber tackles a hard-hitting topic outside the realm of fashion; gender selection. Afflicting the growing South Asian community in Canada, she takes a close look at its repercussions. On a lighter note, she also interviewed her Illustration professor, Milan Shahani and offered up exactly what she learned.
Styling Coordinator Saima was born in Karachi, Pakistan and came to Canada at the age of 11. Clearly a product of two cultures, Saima brings her fused flavour to her work, styling for the October Cover Shoot, “Toronto, I Love You” as well as “Think Like a Man” featured this month. Having done both an Honours undergraduate degree in English Literature as well as studying Fashion Styling at Ryerson, you’ll see Saima’s fashion sense generously sprinkled over the pages of SHE.
Travel Coorespondent Esrock’s success as a global adventurer, travel writer, TV producer and international TV personality was no accident, although it did start with one. Esrock continues to write, blog, tweet and film his ongoing adventures. He is living proof that sometimes life is just an accident waiting to happen. This month he takes a look a the Maldives in “Stepping into the Calendar of Paradise.”
Pop Culture Correspondent As the youngest member of the SHE team (at only 17!), Tarneja knows a thing or two about what’s hot and happening. Our younger readers will be especially pleased with her coverage of One Direction’s Zayn Malik. She zeros in on what it means to be Muslim in the music industry today.
Make-up Artist McKnight is a self-taught make-up artist. She is very detail-oriented and radiant-looking skin is her first priority. She has been a leading artist for Laura Mericer and MAC Cosmetics. Check out her work in our cover story, “Toronto, I Love You.”
Health & Wellness Contributor Sakkejha is a Palestinian who was born in Toronto, Canada. She currently runs the House of Verona, a health retreat company in Collingwood, Ontario. She also is a partner at Beneplan, a customer-owned health insurance company. She became passionate about health when she met a whole community in Toronto of people who successfully reversed diabetes, mood disorders such as depression, and other diseases through advanced nutrition.
Photographer Based in Toronto, Steve Rhodes has been photographing for advertising and editorial clients, as well as private commissions, for the past ten years. Clients include Style at Home, LCBO and Nestle. This month he shot “It’s a Man’s World”, a unique take on androgynous fashion.
Be sure to catch her gripping investigatory piece on industrial giant Monsanto, titled “The Seed Mafia”. It will make you think twice about eating soy!
Special Features Correspondent Du is a writer/blogger who recently graduated with a degree in English. In a perfect world she imagines Google-ing things for a living. She likes to write short stories in her spare time and plans on traveling all over the world before settling down in NYC.
Associate Editor Kumar is back at it again this month, taking a comedic approach to South Asian lifestyle. Her pieces include a review on “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)” by The Office’s Mindy Kaling and a look at the stylish life of Parks & Recreation’s Aziz Ansari in “There’s Something About Aziz!”
THIS FALL, EMBRACE THE GREAT OUTDOORS WITH STYLES INSPIRED BY HUNTING AND FISHING, YET EQUALLY FIT FOR THE URBAN JUNGLE
Elizabeth & James
Hat Helen Kaminski $245
Fur Collar Elizabeth & James $295
Blanket Cape Chloé $784
Fisherman’s Sweater Altuzarra $880 Blazer Ralph Lauren $812
Plaid Pants Farfetch $86
Cargo Pants Burberry $295 Sweater Ralph Lauren $339
Pleated Skirt Lyst $59
Lace-up Boots Steve Madden $54
Rubber Wellington Boots Burberry $495 Hook Bracelet J. Crew $55
Suitcase Globe Trotter $2,122
Leather Jacket Schott $620
Hunter’s Cap Polo Ralph Lauren $89
Sweater Missoni $5,650
Suspenders H&M $12.95
Aviator Coat Burberry $1311 Khaki Pants H&M $29.95
Bag Asos $60
Side Zip Boot ZARA $99 Dstressed Denim Diesel $420
Lace Up Shoe Hudson $172
Sunglasses Ray Ban $145
HALLOWEEN IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER AND FASHION IS CROSSING OVER TO THE DARK SIDE. HERE ARE SOME CREEPY WARDROBE MUST-HAVES FOR THE SPOOKIEST TIME OF YEAR
Knuckle Duster Alexander McQueen $2,295
Bracelet Alexander McQueen $245
Lace Dress Alexander McQueen $1,495
Belt Miu Miu $550
Tartan Loafers Christian Louboutin $895
Satin Trousers Malene Birger $295
Emerald Cocktail Ring Alexander McQueen $475
Shoes Wunderkind Price Upon Request
Jean Paul Gaultier
Maison Martin Margiela
Satin and Tulle Sandals Dolce & Gabbana $685
Brooch Cartier Price Upon Request
Rockstud Gloves Valentino $445
Lace Blazer Topshop $78
Dress Stella McCartney Price Upon Request
Earring Etro $340
Studded bag Valentino $3,395
Scarf Alexander McQueen $295
Pumps Nicholas Kirkwood $985
FOR ASPIRING ACTORS/MODELS, GETTING A FOOT IN THE DOOR HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER With TIFF having just wrapped, Toronto is still flush with the buzz celebrity walking its streets during the month of September. SHE had the opportunity to talk with the lead booker at MAX Agency about how one might break into this seemingly impenetrable industry
AX Agency, one of Toronto’s most successful model and talent management companies, has truly changed how productions source their talent. An industry icon, MAX represents women, men and children throughout Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Besides scouting and developing talent, MAX services a diverse clientele keeping them on top of an ever-changing industry. We had the opportunity to speak with Suzanna Onyskiv, Senior Booking Agent, about a day in the life at MAX, and here’s what she had to say: What do you look for in potential talent? We represent a wide spectrum of talent. For us to consider potential new talent, they must possess the following attributes: a marketable look, passion for the industry, a high level of dedication, willingness to accept criticism and learn from it, and most importantly, an outgoing and positive attitude! Explain your scouting process. Where are the top places you like to scout and why? At MAX, we love to develop and nurture new talent. We like to update our roster seasonally with fresh faces. Besides having open calls at the MAX office [see maxagency.com for further details], we also scout at various events and locations, from beauty pageants to music festivals—you never know where you’ll find the next STAR! Can you tell us about your model’s/actor’s path of going from undeveloped talent to auditions to having a solid career? We are very selective with the talent that we represent. Everybody that walks through our doors must undergo a 3-step screening process. The initial screening is done over the phone. If we feel you fit the requirements, we then set up an appointment for you to meet with an agent. The agent then does a more thorough evaluation and screening. If the agent sees potential, the talent’s application is then discussed in-house with the booking
department to make the final decision. If accepted, we sign a contract for 1 year of representation and the talent must undergo training that is provided and paid for by MAX Agency. The classes are done by the industry’s top professionals and casting directors to ensure all of our talent have the best possible training to ensure a high level of success at auditions. Because MAX is a principal film, television and modeling agency, all of our talent is submitting for a wide range of projects thus increasing their chances for auditions and bookings. Toronto has been known as Hollywood North for years. Where did this name originate? Do you still feel it fulfills this nickname? Hollywood North is a phase used to describe the Canadian film industry. Toronto is one of the major cities in Canada that has a significant amount of studios and films being produced. It has become a convenient destination for producers due to the fact that it’s more cost effective as opposed to shooting in L.A. This is largely due to the city’s versatility—Bay Street can pass for Wall Street in New York City, the Bridal Path could be Beverly Hills or anywhere else for that matter. We have projects that are continually coming in from major production studios, as well as TV series, that are being filmed in Toronto. I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon! What is the benefit of being represented by MAX (as opposed to a competitor?) MAX Agency prides itself on standing out from the crowd. We have been in the industry for 13 years, and are comprised of a great team of professionals that genuinely care about our talent. We give everybody personalized attention to help guide them and build their success. We have no favouritism at MAX Agency, and treat everybody as an individual. We are also an agency that will invest in our talent. We provide all of our talent with the best possible training in the industry to ensure our talent is given all the tools to succeed! The agency’s clients include the who’s who of the business and entertainment worlds and include companies such as Nike, CBC, GM, Coca Cola, Sony McDonald’s, Hugo Boss, TD CanadaTrust, L’Oreal, Motorola and countless others. Its sharp acumen for talent recognition and development is just one of the reasons MAX continues to be a strong national brand and a leader in the entertainment business. We hope to see all you industry hopefuls participating (as opposed to spectating) next year at TIFF!
SANIYA KHAN TEXTILES: A TRUE TALE OF TWO CITIES Associate Editor PRIYA KUMAR Chats with Saniya Khan about her Presentation at Fall/Winter 2012 World Master Card Fashion Week in Toronto and Discovers the Influence Heritage can have on the Creative Process
aniya Khan was born to be an artist. Having completed her first oil painting at the age of 11, the Pakistaniborn designer attributes her talent to the environment in which she was raised. “I grew up seeing my mother and older sister paint, and so it seemed natural for me to do the same.” As time went on, her passion for creating art carried over to garment design. After studying textiles in Pakistan, she began designing linens and apparel for Western markets. Her work was inspired by her ancestral homeland in addition to Mughal architecture, African tribal motifs and the opulence of Egyptian and Moroccan art. She proudly describes her 10-year-old label as being fully homegrown—“It’s a Canadian label, we’re doing each and every thing. We’re transforming the fabric in our studio in Mississauga, we are having them sewn in the studio, doing the prototypes there and then, we have a contractor in Toronto who’s sewing them [locally].” She credits this “do-it-yourself” attitude to the way her parents raised her. “We were taught not to take anything for granted and to count our blessings when we were growing up.
We could not order around the [household staff] around and had to do our own work. This I think made us grounded and hard working…to get respect and love you have to first give it.” She appreciates them never having “forced us towards a certain profession.” They nurtured her blossoming talent in design from a young age and she fondly recalls making clothing for her dolls and partaking in other art projects regularly during her childhood. She says she started making scarves as soon as she landed in Canada. At the same time, she shared her artistic know-how as a teacher of textile design at the Living Arts Center in Mississauga. Having been influenced by two arguably polar cultures, she found a way to fuse the two flawlessly. “I have to keep in mind who is my customer. She is the woman of today who likes to wear something different. Pakistan offers a plethora of images and experiences; its streets, architecture, people, crafts, natural beauty and diversity have been a constant source of inspiration in my work.” The work of Pakistani seamstresses has also played a roll in Khan’s design process. Paayanchas (the quilted ends of traditional trousers) were made by these women to earn ex-
tra income by sewing at home. This struck a chord with a young Saniya and these embellishments can be seen on the hemlines, sleeves and necklines of her contemporary garments such as blouses, dresses and capris.
PHOTO CREDIT: GEORGE PIMENTEL
Her Fall/Winter 2012 presentation at World Master Card Fashion Week in Toronto was themed “Window to the Soul.” It was a manifestation of the spirit’s evolution. “There were old materials in my studio’s archives that were combined with new materials to make this collection.” “Window to the Soul” showcased soft flowing garments and the use of combining soft pastels with strong vibrant colors such as royal purple to heighten your senses, transporting you to another time. Khan’s presentation allowed a look into an ethereal world created by Mughal and Pakistani inspired features. Jeweled embellishments, the draping of scarves and the movement of Khan’s garments as if they were floating, embodied the line’s confidence, elegance and comfort. She describes the inspiration of her collections not as a certain type of fashion sensibility, but each as its own story. Besides her experiences in Paki-
Her Fall/Winter 2012 presentation at World Master Card Fashion Week in Toronto was themed “Window to the Soul.” stan, previous collections have equally reflected the streets of Toronto and the colours of the Lakeshore, while others the twinkling skyline and towering buildings. The textiles she creates using velvet, organza, leather and linen are a manifestation of what she sees around her. “The rustic and rich, nostalgic yet futuristic streets of Toronto represents the cycle of life itself.” She advises young designers starting out in Toronto to put “your heart and soul in your work. There is no easy way out. Work hard and if you love what you do, then hard work is not hard anymore.” She goes on to sing the praises of The Fashion Incubator (a not-for-profit center for fashion entrepreneurship). When she started out it was her greatest resource. She encourages up-and-coming Canadian designers to consider it as a career investment.
Former Student LIZ GUBER Reunites with Professor Milan Shahani to Hear Her Canadian Success Story
ilan Shahani is easily categorized as a “cool” professor. With a sharp wit and great talent, full of playful charm and endless enthusiasm, she is the sort of mentor a fashion design student would be lucky to have. Her career has spanned across continents, taken unexpected turns and made her a true Indian-Canadian success story. Currently a teacher at the Fashion Studies Department at George Brown College, I met Shahani at the end of Textile Science, a class she teaches. Sitting atop a desk, her voice carries all the way down the corridor. As we proceed to walk through the halls of my alma mater in search of a quiet room to talk, she shares her triumph over smoking, having gone over a month without a cigarette using nothing but willpower. Born and raised in Mumbai, India, Shahani attended the University of Mumbai, and majored in sociology, hoping to become a child psychologist. Realizing that it was not the most practical route for her, she resourcefully applied to law school. “While waiting for my law school admissions, I took a course in fashion design after finishing my undergrad. I enjoyed it so much.” After showcasing her work at the school’s year-end fashion show, Shahani was approached by the famed film director Kumar Shahani (no relation), who wanted her to design the costumes of his 1990s melodrama Kasba. The film was based on one of Chekhov’s plays. “I was a little scared because I’d never done
costume. I went into it, he guided me a lot, and because I’d never done any research, he basically held my hand.” After gaining a wealth of on-screen experience, she signed on as the fashion coordinator at NRK, one of India’s largest apparel export firms, where she dealt with major international retailers and publications. By this time Milan made up her mind— law school wasn’t for her. “I didn’t want to be stuck in an office with so many law books around me.” Her next step was the pursuit of higher education via the North Carolina School of the Arts, which Milan describes as “a conservatory program, [focusing] just on Costume Design for film and theater.” Jada Pinkett Smith can be counted among the esteemed alumni of musicians, directors and actors. Once Shahani relocated to Canada with her husband and son, it seemed that she would have to start from scratch. “I was willing to wait tables”, she expressed in earnest. Fortuitously, Shahani was introduced by her husband— who was working at George Brown College’s Continuing Education Department—to the chair of the Fashion Studies Program. It was she who gave Shahani the chance to teach for one semester, a serendipitous opportunity that allowed her to remain in her beloved field of costume design. Taking on every subject the program offered, from sewing to drafting, Milan proved her worth as an instructor and still calls George Brown home. Since then, her subjects have been narrowed to Textile Science,
History of Costume and Fashion Illustration (favourite amongst all her pupils). The best teachers are the ones that bring a breadth of experience and knowledge back to the classroom. Maintaining her active role in the costume design industry in Canada, allows Shahani to prepare her students for the real world. Her most recent work with a Pleiades Theatre Company play called The Post Office, is a celebration of Nobel Laureate and author Rabindranath Tagore’s 150th anniversary. Shahani’s work can also be seen in Toronto’s annual festival of arts and creativity, Luminato, where she costumed a series of plays from international playwrights called The Africa Trilogy. To Shahani, the students prove to be the best part of the job. “They laugh at all of my jokes, so I think they have a good sense of humour.” Recalling Milan’s brash manner and no nonsense instruction, I find myself wanting to be back in her classroom, sketching vigorously, trying to keep up with the inspirational, radiant woman at the front of the class. There is nothing like a professor who exudes knowledge and understanding based on decades of hard-earned experience. We asked three of Shahani’s students to give us their renderings of what South Asian fashion is to them. The next five pages by George Xu, Robyn Macdonald and myself, Liz Guber are the final products.
BY GEORGE XU
It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. —Albert Einstein
BY LIZ GUBER
BY LIZ GUBER
BY ROBYN MACDONALD
BY ROBYN MACDONALD
HAIDER ACKERMANN: IN LIKE A LION
Haider Ackermann has taken Paris by storm in recent years—with rumors a swirl about his possible assent to the helm of Dior or Chanel, this Lion-heart is one to watch! By PRIYA KUMAR
n today’s European fashion scene it’s good to be Antwerp, Belgium-based Haider Ackermann. In response to whom he felt might succeed him at Chanel as Creative Director, the fashion glossy Numero quoted Karl Lagerfeld as saying, “I have a contract for life [with Chanel] so it all depends on who I would like to hand it to. At the moment, I’d say Haider Ackermann.” Lagerfeld is notorious for his off-colour remarks about others in the industry (most recently apologizing to Grammy award-winning singer Adele for calling her overweight), so such praise is not to be made light of. Ackermann, whose first name Haider translates to lion in Arabic, launched his self-financed women’s wear line in 2001. He soon became renowned for his avant-garde draping and angular design aesthetic. Born in Santa Fe de Bogota, Colombia in 1971, he was adopted by French Alsatian parents. As a child he and his family traveled extensively for his father’s career as a mapmaker. They moved from Columbia to Africa and back to Europe where they eventually settled in the Netherlands. After being inspired by Yves Saint Laurent, Ackermann moved to Antwerp, Belgium to pursue design professionally in 1994.
Ackermann made his foray into the fashion world as an Intern for John Galliano, although his existence was anything but charmed. “It was the best study ever,” he says. “You know, at the time, I had no money, nowhere to stay, so I was sleeping on the street and going everyday to work. I put my luggage in a locker at a youth hostel and went there to take a shower. I remember a sense of humour - I cannot talk about it though, because it was so sarcastic and it’s bad to talk about this now. Due to all the respect I have for Mr. Galliano, I prefer not to mention his name.” Be that as it may, he was cleaning toilets at the time to make ends meet. After paying his dues as a novice designer, he launched his namesake label, wowing fashion critics around the world. Drawing upon his eclectic upbringing for inspiration he says, “the first thing I was drawn to as a kid in Africa was the idea of one piece of fabric that women would wrap around themselves. The fabric was always blowing in the wind and you’d see these women running through the medina like ghosts. It touched me. And ever since, a wardrobe has only ever been interesting to me when it’s moving.”
We developed a few prints initially and they came out really well, and so we decided to go deeper into it.
Not long after his first showing at Paris Fashion Week, he was hired as the head designer for the Italian leather label Ruffo while simultaneously producing his own line. This soon led to him winning the prestigious Swiss Textiles Award. Vogue Fashion Features Director and panelist for the award Harriet Quick, was quoted, “Ackermann has a chic moody aesthetic typical of Antwerp-trained designers and a great skill in draping of jersey, suede and leather.” With the floodgates open, Ackermann quickly became an industry and celebrity favorite. His wellknown clientele include Tilda Swinton, Penelope Cruz, Victoria Beckham and Janet Jackson. In terms of what the future holds for Ackermann, he says, besides being tremendously flattered by Lagerfeld’s kind words, that “There are two houses I would be interested in [designing for]. Two where I feel there is shared sensibility, and I could bring something else of myself to the house, which isn’t expressed in my own line.” He refuses to divulge which two houses, so we can only imagine where Ackermann aspires to be. L to R: Haider Ackermann, Tilda Swinton, Daphne Guinness (2011)
HOW ONE STYLIST IS TRENDGINEERING INDIAN FASHION Shyamli Arora, one of Indiaâ€™s premiere fashion stylists and costume designers gives LIZ GUBER a behindthe-scenes sneak peak on what really happens on set in Mumbai
ing good use of her symbiotic relationship with designers and stores, “We work with them on a regular basis, and designers and boutiques are very keen that their products be showcased in films and commercials and are therefore mostly very cooperative and enthusiastic.”
elieve it or not, Bollywood cinema was a welcome source of escape from behind the Iron Curtain for my Ukrainian parents. In their hometown of Kiev, Raj Kapoor was as much of an icon as in his native India. To this day my parents fondly recall the fantasy and escape films like Sholay and Mera Naam Joker, provided their otherwise censored existence. A few oceans and decades later, I, the Slavic daughter of two Bollywood fans got to chat with Shyamli Arora, a Bollywood stylist superstar. Although educated as a Chartered Accountant, Shyamli realized in time that number crunching was not her true calling. “I took a break for a month, joined a fashion magazine for a brief internship and never looked back.” Never looking back meant styling for blockbuster films Dum Maro Dum,
Jodi Breakers and No Problem, making stars look their best on the big screen, embodying colourful characters. For Shyamli, styling is a well-honed skill; she credits “an eye for detail and a refined sensibility as the only two things that never fail a stylist.” Formerly undermined in the fashion industry, stylists have come a long way, earning respect from celebrities and designers. “More and more people [at the helm of the industry] are recognizing the utility of a stylist as opposed to a designer. We as an industry have grown-up since then.” Shyamli stands behind the fashion decisions of top actors, and their keen eye can take a designer from obscurity to celebrity. As a stylist, Shyamli is well connected, mak-
With the significance of fashion stylists, bloggers and editors on the rise, the role of celebrities in North America as fashion innovators and trendsetters is threatened. Not so in India, Shyamli assures, “Bollywood celebrities are our style and fashion icons in India. A trend picked up by an actor from the ramp is always deemed successful.” Fashion inspiration continues to trickle down to the masses rather than rising-up from the streets, assuring us that celebrity fashion influencers are here to stay. When it comes to dressing stars on-screen, the vision of the director comes first. “Needless to say a film is a visual medium. Styling [clothes, hair, make-up] takes precedence over a lot of other factors. Whether the styling is required to blend in or scream out depends on the director’s vision of his onscreen actors.” Bollywood indulges the viewer in a decadent experience, however it strikes a fine balance to avoid overshadowing the intricate plot. Shyamli leaves us with a few words of wisdom gained over her years in the industry; “Clichéd as it may be but the wrong shoes could single-handedly ruin a very carefully put together look.” When asked to advise anyone starting out in the industry as a stylist, she adds “Keep an open mind and be influenced by all forms of life and those will filter into your work naturally.”
Arora (right) with client Bipasha Basu on location in Greece
WITH THE SIGNIFICANCE OF FASHION STYLISTS, BLOGGERS AND EDITORS ON THE RISE, THE ROLE OF CELEBRITIES IN NORTH AMERICA AS FASHION INNOVATORS AND TRENDSETTERS IS THREATENED, NOT SO IN INDIA “Bollywood celebrities are our style and fashion icons in India. A trend picked up by an actor from the ramp, is always deemed successful.”
IT’S A MAN’S WORLD Celebrating androgyny as a staple in today’s fashion zeitgeist, this fall we explore the menswear focus with looks that take you from busy day to fabulous night
Photographed by STEVE RHODES Stylist SAIMA HASAN Stylist Assistant ANDREA MACEROLLO Model TIA SPOWART Hair DANIKA KAHILL Makeup GENEVA FONG
This Page: A bold pink blazer with printed pants creates a great balancing act MCQ Alexander McQueen Pink Two Button Blazer $570 CAD Aldo Studded loafers H&M Houndstooth Trousers $34.95 CAD
Opposite Page: Funk up your look with a fedora before you hit the town Helmut Lang blazer $645 Zara Harem Pants $49.95 Le Chateau fedora Le Chateau suspenders American Apparel fedora
Despite those long days at work, you can always look chic in a white on white ensemble Elie Tahari Theora pant $248.00 J Crew Boy shirt in classic white $84 Le Chateau suspenders
Another invite to a charity gala? Donâ€™t fret; a classic tuxedo saves the day. Club Monaco tuxedo blazer $199 CAD J Crew Boy shirt $84 Aritzia high waisted Starboard shorts $50 CAD
Channel your inner beatnik with this cropped turtleneck American Apparel cropped turtleneck $36 Pink Tartan pants $221.50 Aldo Studded loafers
IMRAN AMED: FASHION’S NEW MEDIA MOGUL
How has one Canadian man changed the way fashionista’s get their news? PRIYA KUMAR looks into The Business of Fashion and how Imran Amed has changed the landscape of fashion journalism forever
he Business of Fashion (BoF) has undeniably changed the way every level of the fashion world gets and processes industryrelated news. Previously unattainable, the information shared by the multifaceted blog rivals established heavyweights such as Women’s Wear Daily, but by allowing readers to access the content for no fee, BoF founder Imran Amed has essentially democratized previously elusive fashion journalism by streamlining it. Amed, 37, described BoF to the Globe and Mail earlier this summer in saying, “Essentially, we provide a free service to the industry every single day. And I’m beginning to learn as I travel around the world how much people have integrated it into their professional lives. BoF has become a part of the way they work. It has created this goodwill among people in the industry.” Born and raised in Calgary, Amed seemed an unlikely candidate to change the face of fashion media. He studied at McGill University in Montreal and then Harvard Business School before relocating to England to work for McKinsey & Company as a business management consultant. While he proved to be a success at the firm, he felt something was lacking. He thus decided to go into business for himself with his own consultancy Amed & Co. Simultaneously, he began blogging on the side for fun under the URL uberkid.typepad.com.
Although not the typical URL you might expect of a high fashion news portal, the blog caught the attention of fashion industry heavyweights including the PR Director at Oscar de la Renta, who proceeded to invite Amed on behalf of CEO Alex Bolen to a fashion show for that particular season. Although having never met in person, Bolen knew the significance of Amed’s blog early on. Amed continued: “People say to me one of the reasons they like BoF is because it clears the clutter. They don’t have to deal with a deluge of information.” The contributors of the blog span the world’s fashion capitols and are well versed in the industry’s ins and outs. Whether posting original content, or judiciously editing each post to include the five best reads of the day from other fashion-related news portals, his team of editors intuitively know what will whet their readers appetite. Having been recognized by other top-end publications such as GQ, who named him one of the 100 most influential men in Britain, BoF continues to steam ahead as the go-to news source for fashion industry insiders. With their social media footprint growing by the day, the potential for this once little blog is infinite. Mr. Amed has hit the crux where publishing meets technology and fashion in equal parts—he is a visionary to keep your eye on in the coming years.
It is no secret that some archaically minded individuals in Toronto’s South Asian community have a preferred choice of gender for their future offspring. The problem has become so rampant in the GTA, a steady imbalance between male versus female children is become increasingly evident. LIZ GUBER looks into gender selection and its effect on Canada’s South Asian community
pregnant woman living in Canada faces no legal bounds when it comes to her right of choice. The choice we refer to in this case, is that of keeping or terminating her pregnancy. Although a consistently hot-button issue south of the border, that includes laws that differ stateto-state, Canada prides itself on giving women clear-cut rights over their own bodies. These rights, protected and entrenched in our society, may also play a part in the hesitation doctors face when revealing the gender of the fetus in the early stages of pregnancy. Generally, doctors have an obligation to society to curb early-stage ultrasounds in an effort to avoid gender selection. However, with the rapid increase in private ultrasound clinics in predominantly South Asian communities such as Brampton and Mississauga, all fingers point to a disturbing common denominator—gender selection. All expectant parents are eager to learn the gender of their child. Will it be dollhouses or
toy trucks? Pink or blue? In some families however, the questions goes beyond the choice of name and nursery colours. In familial circles where boys are valued more than girls, especially because they are thought to financially care for the elderly parents and do not require a dowry, a woman may face pressure to abort a female fetus. “When we see boys being born, they are celebrated, and when the girls are born, they don’t really celebrate that sort of thing,” says Dr. Verjinder Uhbi who is based in Brampton. Ultrasounds performed before 20 weeks (the period when elected abortions remain possible) in order to determine the gender, mirror the decades-old, ongoing practice in countries such as India. In fact, India has so strictly outlawed the viewing of an unborn child, it is difficult to receive an ultrasound for a variety of other medical reasons as well. Despite this, according to the CBC, an estimated 12 million girls have been aborted over the past 30 years. Yet in Canada, where gender equality is protected, “gendercide”, as it has been dubbed, seems incompre-
hensible. The evidence suggests otherwise. A recent CBC News investigation revealed the shocking truths about the lack of protocol in private ultrasound clinics and the presence of sex selective abortions in Canada’s ethnic communities. Census data in Brampton, where the South Asian community makes up 32 percent of the total population, reveals that for every 100 boys under the age of 15 there are only 86 girls. Amandeep Kaur of Punjabi Community Health Services was quoted telling CBC host Diana Swain “the numbers are tilted because women are aborting the girls.” In one specific case, she cites a young lady’s harrowing story; “she had 3 abortions, now she is pregnant for the 4th time, and she is going to have a baby girl. This ended up with her being separated from her family, now she is divorced and she has given birth to this baby girl.” The piece was titled ”Unnatural Selection.” The 16-minute investigation aired on June 12. CBC Producers, armed with hidden cameras and
a supposed pregnant undercover reporter, entered multiple private ultrasound clinics to find out how strictly the franchises adhere to the company policy that refuses to perform ultrasounds for gender determination before 20 weeks of gestation. Overwhelmingly, the numbers showed that this policy is ignored as insistent mothersto-be often get what they want. What’s worse, one doctor in particular joked about him helping the reporter discover the gender of her unborn child so she could take action immediately, pressuring her and saying “if it is 14 weeks you should get it done right away. If you have come so far you must get it done” The Canadian Medical Association Journal shows significantly higher male-to-female ratios in third-born children to Indian-born mothers in Ontario. Is the lack of regulation over private ultrasounds the culprit of a skewed population? Or are old-world cultural norms to blame? In 2004, Canada’s Assisted Human Reproduction Act became law, banning the use of reproductive medicine for the selection of a child’s gender, in
an effort to snuff out the flame of gender-based abortion. Why isn’t specifically gender selective abortion illegal in Canada? Although banned in the UK and China, this polarizing issue directly infringes on a woman’s right to choose— a right that is unwaveringly defended in Canada. A woman need not disclose her reason for an abortion, and limiting her protected right to choose in any context may weaken the foundation of this freedom. In many cases, the abortion of a female fetus is not the choice of the woman, but that of her family to uphold archaic norms, oftentimes through abuse, which may lead to this unfortunate decision. Dr. Ubhi has witnessed the pressure women face to give birth to a boy firsthand and believes that education remains the key to change, “we need to give education to these people, a child is a child and girls are very, very important to the perpetuation of the community, stop killing them, seriously.” It seems a woman’s freedom of
choice has become a double-edged sword for some in the South Asian community. While the law is such that a woman can choose whether or not to keep her pregnancy, it seems in these situations it is the woman’s family that is in fact making this choice for her under the guise of her own. Change begins with education, and it will not occur overnight. Further census data should continue to be put forth in order to raise awareness about the effects of gender selection on our population. The communities that have these notions about daughters need to learn the value of a baby girl for the propagation of gender equality, morality and enlightenment.
TORONTO, I LOVE YOU
Toronto has truely become the place to be especially for fashionphiles. Here is a showcase of some of the best style picks the 416 has to offer Fashion Editor PRIYA KUMAR Head Stylist SAIMA HASAN Make-up JUSTINE MCKNIGHT Stylist Assistants LIZ GUBER, ELODIE CHANE-KY Hair DANIKA KAHILL Models SHAIFALI (ELITE), DELIA (NEXT)
Who says grey is boring? Look fab in this long-sleeved dress, paired with a serpent friend Previous Page: Sail Blazer, Over the Rainbow $79, Acme Denim Best Low Wool Blazer, $360, Alexander McQueen Booties (REMIX Clothing) This Page: Grey Spike Dress, REMIX Clothing
All you need is a statement necklace and you can glam up any outfit BCBG Armor necklace (REMIX Clothing), Belted Schraeder Jacket, Black, Over the Rainbow $132, Isabel Marant Etoile Petra Flannel Jersey Pant, $360
Access the unknown while subtly channeling space age travel, trekkies unite! This Page: Northbound black and grey dress, REMIX Clothing, Cuffs, H&M $12.95 Next Page: Rich & Skinny Legacy Snake Print Jeans $230 (Over the Rainbow), VAWK Samurai blazer, VAWK Tattoo Top (price on request)
Experiment with different colours and textures. Nothing goes with fur quite like crinkled metal This Page: VAWK Moto jacket (price available upon request), ACNE Denim Roxy Short Lea Skirt $785 Opposite: VAWK Samur cross coat (price upon request)
No urbanista is complete without the occasional red carpet appearance. This deep purple and gold is the perfect combination for those glamorous city nights This Page: VAWK Purple gown (price available upon request) Opposite: Alexander Wang double zip hybrid jacket $1325, Jonathan + Olivia, Rich & Skinny Legacy Foil Skinny Jean, Over the Rainbow $215, Lace Black Blouse Over the Rainbow $158, Betty Paige boots, REMIX Clothing
THREE REASONS WHY TORONTO IS NORTH AMERICA’S EMERGING FASHION HUB What makes 10 Corso Como and Intermix the style destinations they are in their respective cities? PRIYA KUMAR and LIZ GUBER visit three fashion destinations around the downtown core that prove Toronto has what it takes to compete in the multi-brand big-leagues of luxury retail Over the Rainbow, 101 Yorkville Avenue: When I was in early high school
and discovering Toronto for myself, one of the most alluring neighbourhoods in the city was Yorkville/Cumberland. It had an air of elitism and confidence not yet seen on King Street West and was certainly less commercial than the Eaton’s Centre. It was during this time I first visited Over the Rainbow, a youthful boutique stocked with the “it” brands of the moment. I even distinctly recall my first purchase back in 2000—it was an electric blue velour hoody by a then virtually unknown casual line cheekily called Juicy Couture. What I didn’t know about Over the Rainbow, was the sheer number of years it had been around. In fact, back in 2010 OTR celebrated its 35th anniversary and boasts an equally illustrious history. Back in the mid-seventies, Joel Carman graduated with a BA in Political Science and Sociology. Not finding what he was looking for in his field career-wise, he resorted to driving a cab to make ends meet. It was when he picked up a serendipitous fare that his life changed forever. This fare’s name was Peter Jackson, a tailor, who encouraged Carman to go into garment
retail with him. “I had just seen Wizard of Oz and suggested, why not call the shop Over the Rainbow?” recounts Carman. “The only thing I knew was blue jeans. He knew ladies wear, so we sold ladies fashion jeans. After a year, I bought him out.”
Carman attests their commitment to customer service is what keeps his clientele coming back. “There is a science to retail,” Carman says. “You have to have a good computer and inventory system so you can tell what’s in stock and you have to have good staffing. You get nice people and teach them how to sell. We have 24 people on the floor on Saturday and 19 change rooms so we make sure you get one-on-one service.” Their in-house tailoring department is another huge convenience for their busy customers. “Customers demand that jean Miley Cyrus is wearing,” he continues. “Hilary Duff has been shopping here since she was 14. We got the Olsen girls, Lindsay Lohan and Renee Zellweger comes in all the time. My young staff knows them better than me.”
Having moved twice since its founding, OTR has always called the Yorkville district home. The iconic boutique has been at its current location for close to 30 years and has expanded by taking over adjacent stores around it. Besides a plum location in Toronto’s most elite neighbourhood,
Let’s be honest, who can really argue with the Olsens when it comes to good taste in fashion. Here’s to wishing OTR another 35 years of success as a pioneer in Canadian fashion! —Priya Kumar
Remix, 639 Queen Street West: Located in
the heart of Queen Street’s garment district, REmix is a one of a kind, fashion consignment experience in Toronto. Started by stylist and designer Salem Moussallem two years ago, it closely resembles Vogue’s fashion closet packed to the rafters (there really are rafters in this former industrial loft) with top-shelf designer brands. The idea for Remix came about when Moussallem noticed that his celebrity clientele would not know what to do with their barely worn designer duds. After being photographed in them once, many of these pieces would sit forlorn in their closets for months if not years. Moussallem gave clients an alternative. Items in the store also come from trade shows and other lesser-accessible retail avenues. Moussallem once said to the blog ifclothescouldtalk.com, “There are too many Aldo’s in this city. Too many of the same stores selling the same product. I’m bringing in something that’s different and unique.” We couldn’t agree more—REmix
has become a destination for fashion retail shoppers downtown for some time now. It’s not only because it carries the labels we love like Chanel, Missoni, McQueen and Jeffery Campbell, but it is Moussallem’s unique way of doing so. REmix offers a unique vintage experience unparalleled in the country by making luxury brands previously inaccessible, available to fashionphiles locally. In addition to carrying some of the most coveted pieces fresh from the runways around the world, Moussallem is also a talented designer himself; “I made a jacket out of old tire too. I like using fabrications that are not usually in the norm.” He also cites the 40’s as being a huge inspiration for his designs in addition to the everyday shoppers he sees come and go from his store. Having been a first timer at Remix while working on this piece, I can honestly say I was thoroughly impressed with their stock. Forget Holt’s and The Room at Hudson’s Bay Company—REmix carries a product you would expect of only the most upmarket retailers in Paris and Milan. — Priya Kumar
Jonathan + Olivia, 69 Ossington Avenue: When Jonathan+Olivia first opened its doors in 2008 at 69 Ossington Avenue as a companion to the Vancouver location, the west-end neighbourhood was, to put it mildly, in transition. The once derelict street is now a destination, attracting art enthusiasts, foodies and shoppers on the hunt for the next big thing. Affectionately named after the niece and nephew of owner Jackie O’Brien, Jonathan + Olivia offers style savvy boys and girls hard to find, cutting edge pieces from many of-the-moment, luxury brands. Look no further in your pursuit of platform sneakers from Isabel Marant, metallic denim from Rag and Bone or the perfect leather jacket from Alexander Wang. Situated among independent art galleries and faux-grunge bars, the store reflects the tastes and budgets of upscale urban-
ites. Walking into the minimally decorated, uncluttered store evokes the feeling of visiting the closet of a very fashionable friend, echoed in the unpretentious demeanor of the staff. Every piece oozes effortless cool, the merchandise is the perfect mix of edge and sophistication. Following the closing of the Vancouver location in 2010, O’Brien permanently settled in Toronto, and the now lone J+O continues to carve out a strong presence in the Queen West fashion scene. Following extensive renovations in 2010, Jonathan+Olivia was one of only eight boutiques in North America to host a Topshop pop-up store to introduce the British retail chain to Canadian consumers. Carrying a carefully curated range of pieces, the collaboration was met with accolades from the press and public alike. Upon Topshop’s departure following a successful one-year term, Jonathan +Olivia began stocking a selection of menswear and apothecary items with plans to expand into a miniature department store catering to the needs of the city’s sartorial set. —By Liz Guber
ONE DIRECTION’S ZAYN MALIK WON’T BE LOSING HIS RELIGION ANYTIME SOON By: SERENA TARNEJA
ans may know Zayn Malik as the cutest member of boyband One Direction, but he’s so much more than just a pretty face. Born on January 12, 1993 in Bradford, England to Pakistani-British father Yaser and English mother Tricia Malik, Zayn Javadd Malik was raised having the best of both worlds. Although his mixed heritage contributed to his unique features, it also made it difficult for him to fit in at school. Malik is a self-proclaimed victim of bullying and was forced to switch schools several times, which he has spoken openly about. In an interview with a popular British website, he said, “I almost felt like I didn’t fit in at
More recently he tweeted “La ila ha ill lalla ho muhammed door rasoolalah” meaning “there is no god but God and Mohammad is the prophet of God”. Muslim and nonMuslim fans alike have openly embraced his religious beliefs and support his decision to make them public. For Muslim fans, his presence on the music scene has given them a voice like never before. Although popular the world over, it is in predominantly Islamic countries such as Egypt, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines where he receives the most attention and has reportedly been invited to visit over Ramzaan by his hoards of devotees via Twitter.
NOT EVERYONE HAS ACCECPTED MALIK’S ISLAMIC UPBRINGING WITH OPEN ARMS.
With talk of religion (especially Islam), comes controversy, and it would seem that teenage boy bands are not immune to scrutiny and hostiliy from conservative, right-leaning groups. Malik has been accused of unleashing a jihad on his young, naïve teenage fans, in an attempt to convert them to his faith. my first two schools because I was the only mixed heritage kid in my class. When my sister and I moved to a [third school] it was a lot more mixed so it felt like I fit in better.” Like most teenagers, Malik worked hard on his appearance to gain acceptance by his peers. By high school he started to take pride in the way he looked and eventually gained the confidence to audition for the UK edition of The X Factor in 2010. Like the rest of his future band mates, Malik auditioned as a solo artist, but failed to qualify individually for the competition. However, the judges weren’t ready to let him go just yet. Instead, they placed him in a group with four other contestants, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson, and created One Direction. The group went on to take third place in the show, but was still able to score a record deal with the infamous Simon Cowell, who has served as a mentor to the band ever since. Malik’s musical influences include Michael Jackson, Usher, Ne-Yo, and many other hip-hop and R&B artists. These artists not only influenced him musically but also sartorially. However, Malik has always stayed true to his Muslim roots in spite of societal pressures. Last August, Malik tweeted “Ramzaan Mubarak”, in honour of the widely celebrated Muslim holiday.
As expected, not everyone has accepted Malik’s Islamic upbringing with open arms. With any talk of religion (especially Islam) comes controversy, and it would seem that teenage boy bands are not immune to scrutiny and hostility from conservative, rightleaning groups. Malik has been accused of unleashing a jihad on his young, naïve teenage fans, in an attempt to convert them to his faith. Many anti-Islam writers and commentators, not deserving of any mention, have gone so far as to describe Malik as “dangerous” and “proselytizing”. One blogger in particular claimed he “is pimping Islam on your kids. That’s in addition to his Arabic tattoos and frequent donning of the keffiyeh, the official garb of Islamic terrorism. Malik, a devout British Muslim whose family is from Pakistan, has used social media to proselytize Islam to his primarily female fans around the world.” However, many American Muslims believe Zayn’s proud declaration of his faith is a step in the right direction. He is introducing Islam to a young generation who may have previously been ignorant of it and showing the world that although his faith does not define who he is, it’s an important component of his life. By paving the way for other young Muslims artists, he is showing them that they can achieve their dreams without losing their religion.
FARAZ WAQAR: FILMMAKING REVOLUTIONARY FRANCES DU discovers how recent filmmaking graduate student Faraz Waqar is already changing the face of independant Pakistani cinema
t goes without saying that Faraz Waqar is cinematic visionary. Coming from Pakistan, home to a small, albeit burgeoning film industry, filmmaking is certainly the path less traveled for artists trying to get their message across. When Waqar was studying at the New York Film Academy in Abu Dhabi, his self-written and directed thesis project, a school-based drama called 9-11AM, was deemed ground breaking by his professors and peers. Before he could yell, “cut”, the little indie film landed itself center stage at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Hot on the heels of Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s film Saving Face, which won the Academy Award for Best Short Documentary back in February 2012, Waqar predicts Pakistan will be able to compete with other thriving film industries simply because it’s a nation steeped with untold stories. While Saving Face draws global attention towards violent acts of domestic violence, particularly women who are forced to undergo extensive surgical treatments after being doused with battery acid by their malicious husbands and scorned suitors, Waqar’s film 9-11AM focuses on how one of the deadliest outcomes of the 9/11 terrorist attack is paranoia and how paranoia can be a breeding ground for racism. A captivating social drama, 9-11AM isn’t focused
on the martyrdom of the 9/11 perpetrators, but rather uses the outpouring of terror and distrust after the incident as a point of departure for his unique and refreshing short film. The story takes place in a non-descript school that is quickly shaken up when an American student kills a fellow classmate. After the shooting, the teachers react by announcing that they feel as if this violent act was caused by gunhappy American culture and begin a “war against indiscipline”—a thinly veiled reference to the “war on terror”. The newly instated rule however does not breed a sense of peace and protection, but instead creates a climate of fear and the school begins to feel more and more like a maximum-security prison as students are increasingly targeted for the smallest acts of rebellion. By doing a social drama instead of a documentary, Waqar has more leeway in this fictional setting to really address how the actions taken after 9/11 affected the public just as much as 9/11 itself. The “war against indiscipline” mantra also cleverly shows how the idea of national security, or in this case campus security, can quickly become an unhelpful fullblown obsession for those in-charge within a short span of time.
Waqar insists that film is a great way to address these social issues while re-shaping Pakistan’s image in the eyes of the world. In a recent interview with Hani Taha, a reporter for the International Herald Tribune, Waqar insists that these issues can be addressed through dramatic documentaries but also through lighter mediums such as a comedy. On the subject of stereotypes, the enthusiastic young filmmaker says: “Imagine a comedy involving foreigners who land in Pakistan fearing for their lives because of the image painted of the country in the news media and what a different reality they find on-ground.” Currently, Waqar’s film company is focused on getting those stories to the public, but he also dreams about creating a working group of international filmmakers who will band together and educate the public on social injustices around the world. While Waqar’s director credits are still razor-thin, his boundless imagination coupled with a socially conscious mindset is refreshing especially amidst Hollywood’s endless sea of cliché remakes and superhero sequels.
WHO SAYS WOMEN AREN’T FUNNY? Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) By Mindy Kaling Random House Price $25.00 CAD
Mindy Kaling is an American actress and comedienne. She’s best known for her role as Kelly Kapoor on NBC’s The Office. In addition to being one of the cast leads, she has also been a co-executive producer and writer on the show until very recently. She now has her own series in the works. Have you ever heard of an “Irish Exit”? Neither had I, until I read Mindy Kaling’s new book. An Irish Exit, which Kaling admits she is often guilty of, is when you leave a party without saying goodbye to anyone in an effort to avoid a scene (long parting hugs, friends attempting to get you to stay—which Kaling refers to as “time-wasting dominoes”). It’s not that she’s trying to avoid pleasantries, it’s just that she’d rather avoid having her friends stop what they’re doing to say goodbye. It is these sorts of codes of conduct that make this autobiography a favourite among male and female fans alike. Truth be told, I have never really been a fan of Comedian memoirs. They’re always a little too self-deprecating, too “industry-orientated” and always include one too many anecdotes about being the awkward duck in elementary school. We get it, your sense of humour developed as a survival mechanism. But cliché as it may sound, there’s something different about Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Else Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns).
To begin with, the title itself is pretty hilarious. For anyone who has seen even an episode of The Office, it’s easy to picture these exact words coming out of the mouth of Kaling’s on-screen persona Kelly Kapoor. Not to be confused with the character she portrays on the weekly mockumentary, Kaling dedicates a section of the book to how she and Kelly differ (ie faking a pregnancy attention, writing Jennifer Aniston a letter of support, texting while in the shower), in addition to other humourous observations about how she came to reach the perfect amount of fame (she’s never hounded on the streets by fans, but never has to wait in line for brunch). The book is a compact collection of her coming of age stories, survival strategies and wild observations on the way life has unfolded around her. Vera Mindy Cokalingham was named after Mindy from Mork & Mindy, as her Tamil-Bengali parents always wanted to give her a cute Anglicized name. She grew up in the idyllic town of Cambridge, MA (see above for a precious childhood snap) where her hard working family broke the mold of South Asian parenting by supporting her every effort in becoming the TV writer she is today. After graduating from Dartmouth in 2000, she set her sights on New York City where she lived with her best friend in early adulthood squalor. If the play they wrote together, titled Matt & Ben about conversations between Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, had not taken off the way
it had, she admittedly would still be contently working as an au pair for upper Brooklyn society. After the 2002 Fringe Festival named Matt & Ben the best play of the year, Kaling relocated to LA to fulfill her potential as a screenwriter. After years of struggling with menial jobs on tasteless talk shows, she landed her first high profile gig on the American adaptation of the UK’s The Office. Not a bad start for a then 24-year-old Kaling. And from there, as they say, the rest is history. Kaling makes regular cameos on-screen in various romantic comedies—most recently No Strings Attached and 5 Year Engagement. Not mentioned in the book is her upcoming sitcom on FOX titled The Mindy Project. The show follows a doctor in her mid-thirties trying to navigate her personal and professional lives; needless to say, hilarity ensues. —Review by Priya Kumar
DIAMANTINA: INDIA’S REIGNING JEWELRY DESIGN DYNASTY Aanchal Mahtani, Diamantina’s Head of Marketing and PR, talks exclusively with FRANCES DU about being at the helm one of Bollywood’s most successful jewelry design brands
iamantina opened about a year and a half ago, in the well-heeled Mumbai suburb of Bandra. Known as the Beverly Hills of India, Bandra is a cosmopolitan district famous for its active nightlife and famous Bollywood residents drawn by its waterfront properties, laidback atmosphere, and upscale shopping. Wealthy and lavish locals keep specialty eateries, hip cafes, and exotic restaurants thriving, making it the perfect location for a fine jewels store, with a price point not ideal for jewelry industry freshmen. Luckily, Diamantina is the joint venture of two established jewelers, Amrit Mahtani of Lalchand Jewellers and Dev & Yogesh Bulchandani of Bulchi, who have combined decades worth of professional experience and know what it takes to turn a seed of an idea into an industry success. “It was a backward integration for Lalchand and a forward integration for Bulchi so the partnership seemed like the next, most natural step,” explains Aanchal Mahtani, Diamantina’s Direc-
tor of Marketing and PR and daughter of Amrit Mahtani, whose no-nonsense business jargon reveals how she is also deeply entrenched within the family operation. What she is referring to is how Lalchand, the established jewelry store in Mumbai’s elitist neighbourhood of Colaba next to the Taj Mahal Palace, needed a stable supplier and Bulchi, the diamantaire with connections in the global diamond industry needed a distributor. “An unwritten but understood partnership existed even before the inception of Diamantina,” she finishes. And while it does seem like a logical partnership, that doesn’t mean putting all the right pieces into place was easy. When you’re dealing with two titans within the industry who have experienced nothing but success, every decision becomes a thought-out process to ensure that nothing is left to chance. Their attention to detail is apparent in all aspects of the business. Like their beautiful collection of diamonds, the name of the store is also
multi-faceted. Diamantina, meaning “diamond” in Portuguese also translates into “unconquerable” in Latin, inspiring the company logo which features a single diamond adorned with a regal crown against a violet background. After buying the heritage property that was formerly home to the German women’s designer label, Escada, the 2,000 square foot space was reimagined by interior decorator, Simone Dubash who sought to create something that was both “classic and contemporary”. The use of minimalism invokes Lachland Jeweller’s store design but forgoes the oceanic palette with more neutral earth tones, creating an aura of warmth further enhanced by cove lighting, Italian marble, and Murano chandeliers. Giant archways lead into other rooms of the store, rooms that are dedicated to different kinds of jewelry, like Bulchi’s rare collection of solitaire diamonds, uncut and cut stones, and breathtaking jadau pieces. Atmosphere plays a huge part in getting customers into the store, but the most important in-
gredient is still the product. Since cost is not an issue, Diamintina is able to import emeralds from Zambia, and rubies from Thailand, scouring the globe for high quality offerings. And by employing freelance and in-house designers, the store is able to offer customized pieces for its clientele that are “high value, high quality, high-end pieces that are effortlessly grand,” says Mahtani. The process begins with sketching out the desired design before selecting the perfect stones for the creation. After the customer approves the gems, the item is manufactured before being polished and priced, all under the company’s watchful eye. Prices range from $700 to $80,000. TM
Diamantina FINE JEWELS
Since its launch in September 2010, Diamantina has become a pit stop for celebrities, like Priyanka Chopa and Nargis Fakri. The response has DELHI beenMUMBAI positive and their bold marketingG20campaign 34 TURNER ROAD, BANDRA SOUTH EXTN. PART1 02226407222 01146818142 JOIN US ON WWW.DIAMANTINA.IN and spunky taglines have grabbed international headlines. “Hopefully that will help the brand gain a bigger response both locally and globally,” closes Mahtani.
‘RING’ IN THE NEW YEAR !
IL MULINO: Forest Hill’s Best Kept Secret
By PRIYA KUMAR
estledin the heart of the Eglinton West neighbourhood, Il Mulino is an elegant yet laid back eatery with a distinctly downtown sensibility. Exuding coziness and refinement, the establishment has been a mainstay for the past decade, and has become a reason to stay uptown on weekends for locals. The SHE team and I came to Il Mulino almost accidentally. We received a gift certificate as a door prize at an event earlier in the summer and decided to make a night of it. Once seated at a corner table beside the red bare-brick wall that simply emanated ambience, we were served a lovely plate of bread. To be frank, I’m not a fan of the white bread filler at the beginning of the meal—it really does nothing to the appetite except lose it. But this plate of bread was different. Closer to a warm, crispy focaccia cut into strips, drizzled in olive oil and topped with sea salt and rosemary, it was divine—particularly to our famished selves. Il Mulino also boasts an in house sommelier and an extensive wine list. We were pleased with the selection and were recommended the complementary wine for our respective main. I ordered the Linguine with smoked duck, which was delightful. Served with a medley of large, well truffle oiled mushroom, the duck was seared pinked to perfection, served with a crispy, savory crust. The presentation was solid and it left me craving truffle oil for weeks. I could not have been happier with my selection. Fashion Assistant Liz ordered the classic comfort food Spaghetti Bolognese, to which she gushed, “It was very saucy, very rich and tasted like a family recipe perfected over generations.” Our French food coinsure/intern, Elodie was equally impressed. Having ordered the Chicken Penne with Sea Food, she felt the full dining experience was one of her best since arriving in Toronto from Reunion Island in the spring.
To describe Il Mulino in one word would definitely be “bustling.” There’s never a dull moment at this restaurant even mid-week when we paid a visit. The staff of older Italian gentlemen was gracious and is extra helpful with their recommendations on the wine list and menu. I undoubtedly urge SHE’s readers and my Italophile father to try Il Mulino and hope to be back in the near future!
THE WEEKEND EDITION So you’ve mastered the art of dressing for your 9 to 5. Blazer, check. Shoes, check. Socially acceptable grooming practices, check. With the long awaited arrival of the weekend, your style is going to be in need of an update. Unless your Saturday and Sunday are going to solely consist of couch surfing: look out for these wardrobe essentials to keep you casual, yet stylish.
Men’s Salt White Chino Shorts French Connection $68
Motor 5620 Tapered Embro Chinos G-Star Raw $166
Chinos. Swap you jeans or trousers for a well-fitting pair of chinos. Dress down with t-shirts or dress up with cardigans or even blazers. Chinos are perfect for the weekend, as they needn’t look perfect, in fact, that makes it all the more stylish.
Vincent Tan Leather Trainer Ash Men’s $208
Stretch Cotton Cable Shawl Cardigan GANT $124
Double Breasted Men’s Cardigan Ralph Lauren Purple Label $1,695
Belgravia Scored Leather High Top Sneakers Jimmy Choo $765
High top running shoes have dominated runways for both men and women with Alexander McQueen and Louis Vuitton offering their take on this sporty shoe. There are countless styles and colors to choose from. Nikes or Converse are a tried and true option, but if you’re feeling adventurous, go for Dsquared.
No longer reserved for your grandfather, the cardigan is the weekend alternative to the blazer. An essential layering piece, a cardigan can be worn with virtually anything. Black and grey are great colour options; try red or forest green to give your weekend wardrobe some variety.
WHAT SAID... By: LIZ GUBER
I carry my tablet, cell phone, water bottle and wallet everywhere with me, but its becoming too much to carry. I’ve been thinking about getting a bag to put all of my stuff in, but I’m afraid of carrying a “man purse.” What are my options here?
I’ve been wondering, what is the difference between a blazer and a jacket?
I just landed my first job in the corporate world, and it seems like all of my superiors wear a Rolex or Cartier that putsmy digital watch to shame. Is there a mid-range watch I could invest in?
Ready for a history lesson? In the 1920s blazers often donned a crest from the private schools their wearers attended, and were most often navy blue. Sport coats were considered leisurewear, back in the day when men dressed up for such picturesque activates as boating and picnicking. Sport coats often feature patch pockets, partial lining and come in a variety of patterns and fabrics, and need not match the pants. A suit jacket must be made from the same fabric as the pant, as they are to be worn together. Nowadays, the North American term for blazer encompasses any garment with sleeves and lapels, regardless of colour or style.
Hi Imran, In recent years masculinity has been re-defined, and society welcomes men who take pride in their appearance. There is no shame in carrying a bag, and trust us, no one will call it a “man purse” if you abide by these simple words: functionality, practicality and masculinity. A great leather satchel will stand the test of time, or if you’ve got a more casual style, try a canvas messenger in olive green or navy. One of our favourite bag designers, Princesse K, has a line of stylish bags for men called Lord K. Once you realize the practicality of keeping your items in a bag, you won’t feel so self-conscious.
-Sid, Halifax Hello Sid,
-Arjun, Edmonton Hey Arjun, As a hip, young guy, you shouldn’t be so concerned with labels. There are so many cool watches from lesser known, yet nonetheless respected brands. U Boat and Soyuz are great alternatives, and will cost you anywhere from $900 to $4,000. Military inspired with bold black and white dials, you can’t go wrong. Alternatively, you could go the vintage route, but stick to timeless styles to avoid a dated looking watch. As with any big-ticket item, beware of imitations, because your Rolex sporting boss will be able to tell from a mile away.
THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT AZIZ!
Move over Russell Peters! There’s a new South Asian comedian in town—and his race has nothing to do with his punch lines. Meet Aziz Ansari, his distinct fashion sensibility and entirely original wit
hen the President of the United States gives you a shout out, you know you’ve made it. Aziz Ansari went from a small time comedian in 2006, making minor cameos in Judd Apatow flicks to being a full-time member of Kanye’s entourage and the newest face of AMEX today. How did he get here? While stand-up comedy prides itself of being relatable, Ansari takes his sketches to another level by incorporating pop music, social networking and of course his correspondence with his hilarious cousins, Haris and Darwish. Hailing from Columbia, South Carolina, Ansari was born to South Indian parents from Tamil Nadu. Although raised Muslim, Ansari called the New York Times out in giving him this title, by specifically labeling himself an Atheist. Although comedy became his true calling, he studied Marketing at NYU, where stand-up was an extracurricular. The same year he graduated, Rolling Stone Magazine included him on their “Hot List” under “Hot Stand-up” but it wasn’t until 2008 that he got his big break.
Following in the deadpan, mockumentary footsteps of The Office, NBC created Parks and Recreation—a halfhour weekly sitcom that focuses a group of government employees in their day-to-day work. As character Tom Haverford, Ansari was the first actor cast in the series. His role in the series has not gone unnoticed, and has garnered him accolades across the industry. Besides starring on one of the most popular shows on American network television, he’s also managed to heavily tour his stand-up show. What separates Ansari’s sets from those of his contemporaries is his ability to change his material overnight. He told Esquire magazine in the spring, “People don’t do that as much now. Yeah, some comedians will tour and do these classic bits all the time. But now with YouTube and Comedy Central, people see your stuff, and they don’t want to hear you do that again.” His bits include stories about torturing the said Harris via his Facebook study group, ordering Ciroc bottle service with Jay-Z and watching 50 cent ask
why his Grapefruit soda isn’t purple. Although the situations he finds himself in are hilarious on their own, it’s the enthusiasm and energy with which he tells these stories that makes it hard to believe he’s not an industry veteran—quite the contrary; Ansari is not even 30 yet. Funny as he may be, something about Ansari that even further puts him in a league of his own, is his sense of style. Unlike most male comedians who show-up in nothing more than a stained tee shirt and jeans, Ansari looks nothing less than GQ ready on stage, in interviews and at events. Vanity Fair tweeted they wanted to give Ansari’s Twitter profile picture its own section on their Best Dressed list. The image famously is of a toddleraged Ansari in a red, plaid suit exuding haberdashery. In addition to his comedy tour, and the several films he has in the works—including another one under Apatow Productions—we see a blindingly bright future for the young comedian. In celebration of his career until now, here are some of our style picks.
What isn’t GQ about this?
Ansari’s comedy tour poster
Ansari at the Lacoste party during Coachella 2012
WHAT SEPARATES ANSARI’S SETS FROM THOSE OF HIS CONTEMPORARIES, IS HIS ABILITY TO CHANGE HIS MATERIAL OVERNIGHT L to R: Shoukath Ansari (Aziz’s Father), Aziz Ansari, Kanye West and Fatima Ansari (Aziz’s mother)
UNLIKE MOST COMEDIANS WHO SHOW-UP IN NOTHING MORE THAN A STAINED TEE SHIRT AND JEANS, ANSARI LOOKS NOTHING LESS THAN GQ READY ON STAGE
ow is it that a darling little soybean has contributed to the bankruptcy and suicides of Indian farmers? For generations, farmers have saved their seed from their fall harvests to replant the following spring. Having done so since Biblical times, this practice has become an intrinsic part of the agriculture industry. In recent decades however, a multi-national corporation called Monsanto has turned this routine on its head. An agribusiness firm that is the top seller of herbicide, pesticide, and genetically modified seeds, Monsanto created a strain of soy bean that is resistant to a common weed killer. What’s more, they were able to patent this strain, changing the way small time farmers do business forever.
MONSANTO: THE SEED MAFIA YAFA SAKKEJHA discovers how your soy habit is causing Indian farmers to commit suicide en masse
Founded in 1901 by John Francis Queeny, Monsanto was started with the initial intent of manufacturing the artificial sweetener saccharine. Queeny had previous been employed as a pharmaceutical wholesaler, but decided to branch out on his own with his entrepreneurial manufacturing plan. Called Monsanto Chemical Works, named for his wife’s maiden name, he opened the plant on the St. Louis waterfront with a modest investment of around $5,000. Saccharine was initially a German invention, and when the original cartel caught wind of Queeny’s business they did everything in their power to shut him down. The Germans dropped the price from $4.50 to $1 a pound in an effort to throw Monsanto off kilter, but much to their disappointment a new, wealthy client that specialized in beverages based in Georgia prevented the American manufacturing closure. This client was Coco-Cola. By 1917 Monsanto broke into pharmaceuticals and never looked back. Their labs became some of the best in the world. Not long after Queeny’s death in the late 1920s, his only son Edgar took the reins of the successful manufacturing company and brought it to new heights. Monsanto was creating just about every product one might have in their household including caffeine, vanillin, plastics, resins, dishwasher detergent, herbicides and pesticides. However, it wasn’t until the 1970s that they entered the realm of plant gene splicing and manipulation. It was around this time they be-
came the first lab to ever genetically modify a plant cell—resulting in a product they would fight tooth and nail to patent. As mentioned, Monsanto started manufacturing herbicides in its early days. One of these herbicides is the pervasive Roundup. Most consumers would know this brand as something they spray on their lawns, but it’s widely used in agriculture as well. It was realized that when it was sprayed on farm fields, it would damage the actual crop being grown in addition to killing the neighbouring weeds. Thus, to combat this, Monsanto created a new genetically modified strain of soybean called Roundup Ready seeds that had a resistant gene to the herbicide. Meant to be strong enough so that the soy plant would not be weakened when Round Up was sprayed on weeds, this new gene resulted in a super strain of soy. If you ask wealthy farmers what they think of Monsanto, their opinion would be positive. One Ontario soybean farmer, wishing to remain anonymous, remarked, “Cash croppers – that is, agribusiness farmers who make their money planting thousands of acres of corn, soy, cotton or canola - are most likely drinking the Monsanto kool-aid. Millions of dollars of farm machinery and yield, yield, yield. International agribusiness is a real mean animal.” When initially spliced, Monsanto first attempted to get a patent on this new seed in the 1970s, which proved to be extremely difficult. This was the first serious attempt by a private corporation to patent a living life form. If successful, Monsanto would own the rights to one type of life. The case eventually made it to the U.S. Supreme Court where they ruled in 1980 that it was in fact legal to patent “a live human-made microorganism,” making Monsanto able to enforce patents on the genetically modified soy, corn, canola and cotton seeds they sell. As discussed, saving seeds from one year to the next is an age-old farming practice. However, once Monsanto applied a patent to their seeds, it became legal for them to enforce the rule that all seeds must be purchased from them. If a seed was saved, Monsanto could claim theft of intellectual property, breaching a patent, and launch litigation against the farmer. Monsanto has even viciously gone after people who don’t even own and operate farms; when the wind or birds pick up extra Roundup Ready seeds from one farm, and drop them onto another rural dweller’s property, that has been grounds for a lawsuit. In the case of Rural Farmer versus Multi-Billion
Dollar Giant, it doesn’t matter who wins on principle – those with the deepest pockets can afford to drag a lawsuit on for longer, hire more lawyers, and bankrupt the other party. It’s not a matter of who is on the higher moral high ground and a race to outspend the opponent. Farmers are notoriously debt laden, in due part to the high cost of inputs, the mortgages on property, cost of maintaining equipment, and the fact that they are at the mercy of world food commodity prices. When Monsanto launches a lawsuit against a self-employed farmer, the inevitable outcome is the bankruptcy of the farm. If you think this scenario is frightening for rural American farmers, imagine what it means for farmers operating in other nations with fewer resources. In rural India, this combination of factors produces a tragic outcome both for farmers and their families. For the past decade, suicides among Indian rural farmers have skyrocketed. Palagummi Sainath, an Indian journalist, told the U.K. Independent that one farmer commits suicide every thirty minutes, and sometimes as many as three in a single family. Stories of farmers drinking crop pesticides to take their own lives invoke a sense of haunting irony. Monsanto insists that the suicides have nothing to do with them. Their website states that suicides started long before the introduction of their genetically modified cotton seed in 2002. They cite studies that state that Indian farmers reported higher profits and yields when switching to Monsanto’s cottonseeds. However, activists on the other side are adamant that Monsanto’s practices and suicide among farmers are inextricably linked. Renowned quantum physicist, Vandana Shiva, Ph.D., has spoken out to international media including the CBC saying, “Every suicide can be linked to Monsanto.” Other activists have called it “indentured servitude” referring to the farmers lack of say on the matter. Instead of smartening up to the agricultural giant’s business ethics, governments are siding with Monsanto as though natural pollination is comparable to counterfeit luxury goods. In November 2011, France passed a law legalizing genetically modified seed manufacturers to demand royalty payments from users. Dubbed a “compulsory voluntary contribution”, it increases the burden on farmers even more. The painful paradox is that Monsanto controls more than the first patent on life. They literally control the precious life of a singular farmer.
We’ve handed off the ability for a corporation to control life. We don’t know if the U.S. Supreme Court will ever rescind this right. However, we can be armed with facts to help us make more informed purchasing decisions: 98% of the soybeans grown and sold in North America are genetically modified and sold by Monsanto or Cargill When soy is heated, the natural byproduct is monosodium glutamate or MSG, which has been shown in mice studies to cross the blood-brain barrier to put lesions on the hypothalamus, a part of the brain which controls hormones. This leads to wild food cravings in the mice, obesity, and even toxicity of brain cells. Almost all packaged foods contain a soy by-product as an additive, thickener, preservative, or flavour enhancer. There are over 40 names for soy in foods: • Soy lecithin • Soy protein • Soy extract • Glutamic acid • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein • Vegetable protein • Hydrolyzed yeast • Yeast extract • Protein isolate • Natural flavor Choose organically grown, grass-fed meats when grocery shopping. Conventionally raised livestock is fed meal containing genetically modified corn and soy. There is a lack of FDA regulation on what MSG or soy based additives can be labeled as, so it’s possible that more monikers are being used without public comprehension.
SOS CHILDREN’S VILLAGES: A RIGHT TO NORMALCY SOS Children’s Villages are currently helping raise over 61,000 orphaned and abandoned children across the world. Besides providing a home, they also offer an SOS mother, education and medical care these children may not have otherwise been privy to. FRANCES DU talks with Kimberly Brittain, SOS Children’s Villages Senior Resource Lead for the GTA, to get the whole scoop
OS Children’s Villages stands as the world’s largest organization for orphaned and abandoned children to date. Established in 1949, this group operates in over 132 countries in order to provide “a loving home for every child.” Children under their care come from all walks of life, arriving from various circumstances, seeking safety and shelter. But it’s about more than providing a place to stay; the charity is also heavily invested in reminding people how a strong connection to family and the community can lessen childhood trauma and create positive long lasting effects in an individual’s life. In a 1992 the American Academy of Pediatrics reported childhood abuse is described as “belittling, degrading or ridiculing a child; making him or her feel unsafe [including threat of abandonment]; failing to express affection, caring and love; neglecting mental health, medical or educational needs.” And while the memory of being torn from one’s family for whatever reason can never be fully erased in a child’s mind, SOS Villages aims at giving children access to resources so they can progress through life as a well-adjusted and socially conscious citizen without feeling haunted by their past. Kids are placed in a village composed of 10-15 families with about 10 children living in each household. Community services like family support and counseling acknowledge and accept the harsh reality of their abusive backgrounds while education and training programs earnestly demonstrate how there are others out there who
believe they are filled with budding potential. Further schooling is provided and kids from socially disadvantaged families are given special attention since no child should ever be left behind. But they also acknowledge that nothing can replace the warmth and affection of a guardian. So to create a caring family environment, SOS goes so far as to recruit and train women to be mothers. “It does sound odd, the idea of “training” women to be mothers,” admits Kimberly Brittain, the Senior Resource Lead GTA at SOS Children’s Villages Canada. “However, there is much more involved with the role of an SOS mother. It’s a position of great trust and responsibility.” SOS Mothers (and SOS aunties) go through theoretical work—information about education, counseling, psychology, homemaking, first aid—before completing a practical training period. And while there are no SOS fathers, there are active male role models in daily Village life who act as counselors and teachers. What they want to provide for a child are the things that have been missing in their entire lives: normalcy and the right to a loving family. Brittain aptly describes it as the “gift of a normal life—the everyday experiences many take for granted: school, play, dinner, homework, bathtime, household chores and bedtime. “It’s about giving children who were orphaned or abandoned the opportunity to be kids again.” And while SOS mothers might not be embraced right away, this “new” family lets children grow up knowing that “they are loved, that they be-
long, that they each have unique talents and skills, and that they can contribute to their communities.” One remarkable effect SOS Villages has is the number of close bonds that can be forged between strangers. Brittain adds that there have been instances where former SOS children return to these villages as adults to visit and pay respects to their SOS mother. It also gives them the opportunity to tell their stories to the next generation of SOS children. Lost boys and girls begin to realize that there are others like them who have persevered through early hardships prior to carving out their own place in the world and giving back to a thriving community who not only accepts them, but shows them what they are ultimately capable of becoming.
For donation information: www.soschildrensvillages.ca, click ‘Donate’ or call toll-free: 1-800-767-5111 To discuss a gift of securities, or learn more about our specific projects in SOS Muzaffarabad, Pakistan, and anywhere else, and take advantage of our matching gift options, call Kimberly Brittain (647) 771-6779 Toronto Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or mail donations to: SOS Children’s Villages Canada 240 - 44 ByWard Market Square, Ottawa ON K1N 7A2 82.5 cents of every dollar goes to the field Charitable Registration No. 13824 7259 RR0001
1. Smiling girl and friends at school in Guinea 2. Salima Aga Khan with little girl at SOS Village, Lahore 3. Girl at SOS Village, Rawalpindi 4. SOS Mother with child at SOS Village, Mexico
THE MALDIVES: STEPPING INTO THE CALENDAR OF PARIDISE By ROBIN ESROCK
he water of the Maldives is as blue as a Smurf holding his breath, and as clear as the skin on a factory fresh Barbie doll. Throughout the year, the wind blows a warm breeze, and the Indian Ocean gently laps against squeaky white beaches, like a kitten to a bowl of milk. In winter, you are advised to bring a jacket because the temperature can plummet to a low +23C. Brrrr. Sea planes park at the airport near the capital island of Male, ready to whisk tourists away to one of 92 remote island resorts, and for a few days at least, I would be one of them. The Republic of Maldives consists of 1200 coral islands, the smallest country in Asia, the flattest country on the planet. With only 200 of the islands actually inhabited, and with the highest land point being just 2.3m, rising sea levels will inevitably result in Maldivians being the first environmental refugees. One People, Under Water. Until that happens, tourists will continue to catch a seaplane taxi or powerful speedboat to one of dozens of luxury resort, as I did to the $2000 a night Soneva Gili, one of the world’s most exclusive overwater villa resorts. From the base of Lankanfushi Island, the Soneva Gili’s wooden jetties tentacle out in several directions, connected to 44 individual luxury villas. Each villa is about the size of a townhouse, with several private decks, a luxury bathroom, 4-poster bed, and satellite TV. Each guest receives a bicycle with padded pedals for riding along the jetty, should the act of walking seem too strenuous. Glass bottom floors reveal stingrays, tropical fish, and small, harmless reef sharks floating beneath your feet. On the upper deck, a double bed is made up by your private steward should you decide to sleep under the stars (with wheels to gently roll it under a thatch roof if the shooting stars distract you from your slumber). Your villa is designed, with no expense spared, to be tranquil, uncluttered, and to look very much like no expense has been spared. Of course, the island resort has all the trimmings: a
full service five-star spa, world-class chefs, an organic herb garden, tennis courts, scuba diving, yachting and watersports. The over-water lounge glows with candles, and come darkness, the wooden jetties are lit up like runways to help land the romantic dreams of the clientele. These include honeymooners, along with the mega-rich, and the occasional lucky travel writer. I ask the resident sommelier what the cheapest bottle of wine is. “We don’t stock any cheap bottles of wine sir,” he tells me. At dinner, guests gather along the beach for a candlelight buffet beneath the manicured coconut trees. “We prune the trees, after all we can’t have coconut trees falling on our guests’ heads,” says the affable manager. The resort even sets its own time, so that guests can enjoy more sunlight. For those seeking absolute privacy, there are the Crusoe Residences, which can only be reached by boat (on call 24 hours). Russian oligarchs have been known to frequent such residences, as well as celebrities like Paul McCartney, impressed with Soneva’s impressive commitment to protecting its environment, at least while it still has one. As a student, I once tore out the photo pages of an old calendar and plastered the images over my desk. Images of crystal white seas mirrored by deep blue skies, coconut trees flirting with silky white beaches. There might be a hammock, a yacht, or a sunset, but whatever the variation, the inspiration remained the same. This was freedom. This was warmth. This was success! Sitting at my desk, weighted by the pressure of an upcoming exam, I could simply gaze up every few seconds and embrace paradise, with a deep longing to one day visit such a tropical beach. The title of the calendar was “Islands of the Maldives.” Visiting the islands at last, I was able to rip apart the fabric of my cosmic dream wall, and finally put myself in the picture. But even if most of us never get the chance to grace a resort like the Soneva Gili, just knowing it exists gives us something to dream about.
Vancouver-based Robin Esrock is the co-host of the OLN/CityTV series Word Travels. You can follow his
adventures at www.robinesrock.com
MALDIVES FACTS: Population: 330,000 Religion: Sunni Muslim Language: Maldivian Dhivehi Expected Year of Disappearance: 2100 Years Left to Start Saving for a Visit: 91 Number of Island Resorts: 92
LOOK OF THE MONTH
Donâ€™t skimp on the glitter this fall! Giambattista Valli does it right at the Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2012-2013 Fashion Show, July 2nd, 2012
Liz, fashion assistant, says: Urban Decay eyeshadow is very butter, non-creasing, blendable without comprimising on color. Unlike other eyeshadows UD Smoked is not powdery. It feels like it glides on, resulting in a professional finish. I highly recommend the Brightening & Tightening Primer to start—it really does hold your colour in place all day long.
Smoked Palette Urban Decay $58
Brightening & Tightening Primer Urban Decay $37
OPI’s Suzi Weiss-Fischmann (third to the left) with the Kardashian ladies at the opening of their Vegas Boutique, Kardashian Khaos
A Gold Winter’s Night All is Glam, All is Bright
Naked Skin Liquid Make-up Urban Decay $45
We can’t gush enough about the Kardashian Kolor Holiday Collection. Priced at $10.99, the stunning colours include three sparkling glitter shades (shimmery gold, radiant silver and iridescent blue) and three rich hues (red, deep purple and teal). There’s really something for everyone in this 6 piece set! What I particularly love about the glittery colors is how thickly and evenly they brush on– normally when I use glittery nail polishes, I find them clumpy and messy. Check out their hilariously, witty names below to really get you in the Holiday spirit! — Priya Kumar
Kardashing Through the Snow
Deck the Dolls
Here we Kome AKaroling
Keeping up with Santa
Infuse Med Spa Founder Kavita Suri Reveals Every Woman’s Best Beauty Investment
“I love what I do,” says Kavita Suri, founder of Infuse Med Spa, a medical spa offering a smorgasbord of services such as Painless Hair Removal, Hydrafacials, Diamond Facials, Peels and Body Contouring. In a time that feels like a game of Hungry, Hungry, Hippos (frazzled young women frantically chomping at the few elusive marbles; the dream job, the perfect boyfriend, that impossible to get designer handbag), it is more important than ever to pause and take care of oneself. For most of us an easy place to start is on the outside. “Skin and hair are the #1 issues [clients] come to us for,” says Suri. Caring for your skin can be the ultimate self-esteem booster and she describes her Med Spa’s services as “skincare that works with the epidermis and dermis layers to get the ‘glow’ back. It is very effective for clients who have acne skin and elemental exposed skin.” Hyperpigmentation is a common issue for South Asian women—a bracket also preoccupied with skin perfection. Taking the step to improve the outer layer of the skin will do wonders to one’s self esteem, and it will not go unnoticed. “There is nothing better than someone saying to you ‘wow you have amazing skin’ and they can never guess your age because of the quality of your skin. We at Infuse Med Spa specialize in just that, creating excellent results with patience and care.” Another malady most South Asians deal with is pesky unwanted hair. Having skin on the duskier side, finding a Laser Hair Removal clinic can be as tedious as the hair removal process itself. “The Laser Hair Removal system we use is called Soprano xl. I specifically chose this machine because it works with all skin types—most laser machines don’t.”
This is especially good news for South Asians with darker skin of varying pigments, as laser hair removal can be damaging to individuals with higher levels of melanin. With winter on the horizon, the cold, dry air brings with it shorter days, but Suri recommends continual use of sunscreen. To keep skin from looking dull and feeling dry, highly recommends the Hydrafacial, which “infuses antioxidants in your skin while removing dead skin cells.” A non-invasive procedure, the Hydrafacial is as moisturizing and replenishing as the name suggests. Over the course of the past decade, Suri says technological innovations and greater access to knowledge have been a factor in improving the overall state of women’s skin; “we have many skin care companies that we can choose and select what products we would like to use and we also have finer grade facials that help reduce the effects of aging.” She goes on to add “women do not hesitate to spend their money on [skincare]; it is a smart investment after all.” Some of those willing to make the investment come to the Med Spa well informed, with a preliminary idea of the services offered. For those without a clue, Suri and her team are keen on consulting clients on a tailor made solution. “Our Medical Estheticians are passionate about what they do and take their time [to meet the client’s needs].” With so many options to chose from to achieve great results, those who visit any of Infuse Med Spa’s five locations will walk away feeling refreshed, confident and ready to take on the challenges of chopping on those highly sought after marbles.
The laser hair removal system we use is called Soprano xl. I specifically chose this machine because it works with all skin types—most laser machines don’t
Have a question that you’ve been aching to ask that no one has given you a straight answer for? The Spirit Guru has you covered! Dear Spirit Guru,
Dear Spirit Guru,
I’m in my early 20s and come from a fairly traditional Pakistani family. My parents raised me as Muslim and I loved everything about growing up and have great respect for my culture and religion. Recently, I started dating a non-Pakistani and non-Muslim guy who I met at school. He makes me laugh, is understanding, so kind and is respectful and it just feels like there’s a lot of chemistry between the two of us. We have been talking about the future and I really think he might be the one, but I know my parents are not going to accept him as my partner. He has hinted at a proposal as soon as I finish school (in 6 months), which makes me so happy but also, I’m scared to see my parents’ reaction. I have to tell my parents, but how do I tell them without causing a major crisis? I can’t live a lie anymore.
My husband and I got married a year ago and lived together for the first time after marriage. Everything has been really wonderful and overall living together is a lot of fun except for when it comes to domestic chores. We both work full-time in demanding jobs, plus we have a busy social life, which I love! Neither one of us takes the initiative to do the house chores and so nothing gets done and we end up eating out a lot. We really don’t have any system and I kind of get the feeling he expects me to take charge of the household chores because that is how his household was run. This leads to many arguments over dishes, cooking and the garbage (silly things I know). I don’t even know where to begin!
Sincerely, Sick of Living a Lie, Toronto
Dear Diva, This is the classic modern-girl conundrum. While it is imperative that we all do are part in the relationship financially, domestic life begins to go by the wayside. You mentioned that you get the feeling he expects certain domestic duties of you. This may sound completely novel, but have you tried talking to him about it? Household duties do not necessarily have to be chores at all. Let’s begin with the kitchen. Did you know some couples go away on cooking vacations to destinations like Tuscany, Italy and Boudreaux, France? Not only are these educational vacations great ways to learn to cook new cuisines, but they can also gives you and your new hubby something to bond over after a long day at work instead of zoning out in front of the TV. In regards to the cleaning, let’s be honest, very few people enjoy this aspect of being an adult. But if you voice your position to your husband and politely request he assist in certain manly chores like taking out the garbage and washing the car, you’ll find your household duty time cut in half.
Dear Sickly, You’d be surprised how many times a month we get variants of this exact question. While the situation is complex, the answer is simple. Although I don’t know your family personally, I can imagine they would be pretty hurt if you came to them with a ring on your finger expecting them to accept this new man into your (and their) lives forever. While it goes without saying that South Asian parents expect a lot of their children’s romantic prospects, you are your own person and having grown up in Canada have a different set of expectations for your future. To answer your question, you should casually bring up the topic of dating with whichever parent you’re more comfortable speaking with. Gauge the reaction and go forward from there. Given that you are now talking about the possibility of marriage with your partner, chances are your parents will want to meet him and probably his family too. This isn’t something to be tense about. If you’re relationship is meant to be for a lifetime, this meeting can be a fun and exciting experience. It will put everyone’s mind at ease. If you decide this is absolutely the one for you, your family will come around eventually with a little persistence. They only want the best for their daughter at the end of the day. But regardless of who this man is, who your parents are and who you think you are at this point, please keep one thing in mind; you’re a student in your early twenties. You have your whole life ahead of you to be a man’s wife. I’m not telling you to end this relationship to play the field, but see where things go as a non-committed couple before tying the knot for what should be decades to come.
The Anti-Domestic Diva, Montreal
With the power shift amongst men and women, it is vital that you do not attempt to “do it all.” You will find yourself burnt out sooner than you know it and with the daunting task of being a mother not so far on the horizon, you will only find your workload increasing in time. Your husband will understand; you didn’t marry a good man for nothing!
Dear Spirit Guru, After I graduated university with an Honours undergraduate degree in Business Economics, my parents always expected me to enroll in an MBA program. They even went through universities and selected which ones they wanted me to apply to and we narrowed it down to 5 options. My grades and qualifications are
fine, I will most likely get into a graduate program that my parents want me to apply to, but I don’t think it’s the right program for me. I prefer to pursue more creative goals, (I’ve always wanted to take up photography!) or I think I just need time to travel and maybe even work in the photography studio my friend works at. I’m torn because I don’t want to disappoint my parents or disrespect them in any way as they have done a lot for me. Should I just apply and go through with it, (even though it will be horribly boring?) Free Spirit, Calgary Dear Spirit, Are we related? I know exactly where you’re coming from. Just like South Asian parents look for the best in a marriage prospect for their daughters, they’re equally involved in their career choices. I have one friend who studied Pharmacology in her undergrad only to decide it wasn’t for her. Now you won’t believe where she is—she’s senior editorial at SHE Canada! What you do in undergrad, academically, is not nearly as important as what you discover about yourself in those years. Now on to handling your parents— although I’m not sure what kind of photographer you are (or might make), what I do know is discovering the world is as imperative as getting into a good grad school. You say your grades are on par for what the best of the best is looking for—Harvard and Schulich Business Schools are not going anywhere. You are always welcome to reapply next school year. But if you do decide to take a year off to figure out who you are, plan your time carefully. Figure out how you will be supporting yourself, what you intend to accomplish and how this will further your career growth in the future. It’s not that your parents don’t want to see you become a photographer. They don’t want to see you become a starving photographer. If you see the world with your camera in hand, come home with albums full of snaps to make your case—perhaps start a blog chronicling your journey to have something to show for it. You’d be surprised what sorts of followings blogs get these days. Finally let your parents know, although you appreciate their input in your career, now that you’re in your mid-twenties it’s time to make a few decisions on your own. It’s not like business school is completely off the table, but a big bonus for these elite schools is a little bit of work (and life) experience. A year figuring out who you are will save you much more time in the long run if you go down a path without a little self-reflection before hand.
“LISA is a fantastic reader. She accurately pinpoints where you’re at and where you’re heading. She’s direct and to the point. She provides clarity where there is indecision.“ -- Joelle, BC
August .23 to Sep 22nd
Someone from your past is coming back, they do not want not to rekindle the relationship but to gain closure. This is what has been holding you back from starting over and after this you will have a clear mind and be able to find the love you been waiting for. May 21st to June 20th A change in your environment or in the way you do things will motivate you to be more focused on yourself rather than others. Its time to make these changes because love and romance will bring unexpected surprises -- lucky you!
November 22nd to December 21st Look into taking a new course or class this coming year for a new outlook. Change is coming your way but you need a little more knowledge to get you where you need to be don’t stress -- you can handle it!
December 22nd to January 19th That smile on your face shows that your love life is exactly where it needs to be but don’t get too laid back keep the sparks going plan a long overdue weekend getaway. You deserve it!
June 21st to July 22nd You’re feeling extra sensitive, more than usual, the comfort from a loved one fills the void. Now is the time to turn to friends and family for emotional help
January 20th to February 18th Wow, you made some really good changes so far this year, keep it up! You will see the results soon. Its time to show them what you’re really about, you have been at the back of the line for too long now.
July 23rd to August 22nd Focus on your love interest this month. It is time to step up your game let them know you are ready to move forward. Your relationship has been on hold for too long its ok to show your feelings and let down that wall.
September 23rd to October 22nd Life seems to be unpredictable lately, you have been taking two steps forward then one step back. Keep you eye on the prize and stop over estimating every decision you make. It is time to start being one track minded.
February 19th to March 20th Money seems to be a issue this month, but do not be discouraged. 2013 is your year for saving and investing, enjoy this time as big things will be happing in the new year, good luck!
March 21st to April 19th You have too much time on your hands and you could be a bit short-sighted this month . Think big and have confidence in what you can do.
October 23rd to November 21st A change in your social circle coming is your way and at a time like this, it is welcome. Think outside of the box. Lately it seems like all your friends are in hiding and have no time for you
April 20th to May 20th The world is not aware of all of the skills you possess, so why not give them a sneak preview today. You can use your hidden talents to entertain, persuade and negotiate with others. You play it safe and go by the rules too often.
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“QUOTE /UNQUOTE” Who is your favorite Bollywood Actor?
Shahrukh Khan and Kajol - ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ was my favourite movie! Sitara Hewitt, Actress
My brother and I, we used to love Amrash Puri! Its funny he played a villain in every picture he was ever in. We met him kind of in passing when we were kids and he was so sweet -- such a shock to the system.
Munaf Musician with Ranbir Kapoor can’tRayani, go wrong
Favourite Bollywood Actor the Big B. A a.k.a. Amitabh Bachchan.
Milan Shahani, Professor
Bollywood celebrity…hmmm, that’s a tough one. I’m going to have to go with Shahrukh Khan Arjan Bhullar
Amir Khan. Not only is he a great actor but an amazingly creative filmmaker.
Saniya Khan, Designer
Ranbir Kapoor...you can’t go wrong with him!
Aanchal Mahtani, Diamantina
I have a couple, but I must say the Queen of Bollywood Maduri Dixit. Her charm and dance has yet to be matched Kavita Suri, Beauty Expert
Vidhya Balan - She is the one who has challenged all those male Bollywood superstars around whom film themes used to revolve.
Faraz Waqar, Filmmaker