We’ve Moved!!

Hello Lovelies,

I am sure you have been wondering what has happened to OfTheNow, it may have seemed that we have abandoned you, but I assure nothing could be further from the truth! OfTheNow is better than ever before with a new look and new address, yes that’s right we have moved! Please update your readers, RSS feeds and blog rolls to http://ofthenow.ca

We are much prettier now too…here’s a little peak at the new home page:


TIFF & Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan

Black Swan captured the attention of fashion fans internationally when word spread that the innovative designer sisters, Laura and Kate Mulleav of Rodarte, were sought after to  design 40 costumes and outfit the entire ballet corps for Black Swan. And Roy Thompson Hall was the perfect setting for the Toronto International Film Festival gala screening Darren Aronofsky‘s  a film based in the clutches of the New York City Ballet corp.

But, let’s get one thing straight: Black Swan is NOT a dance film. It is also not a light film. Black Swan is dripping with malice, sexual provocation and fantastical delusions. This can by and large be attributed to the direction and story-telling talents of Aronofsky and his ability to cast top notch actors.

Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder and Barbara Hershey made up the main cast. All were in attendance for the gala premiere, except Kunis, which is a shame because her performance as Lily, the mysterious and deeply sensual ballet dancer, took her to new plateaus. Kunis can say good-bye to Jackie from That ’70s Show, and hello to more complex roles in her near future.

The success of Black Swan lay on the shoulders of its cast, and they delivered.

Natalie Portman went above and beyond any of her past roles with her portrayal of Nina, the timid, virginal and initially innocent ballet dancer. Potman’s ability to show emotion through her expressions, gestures, and dance was awe-inspiring. Portman also worked tirelessly with Benjamin Millipied, a principal dancer for the New York City Ballet to train for the role.

“Physically, I trained starting a year ahead of time, and then the six months prior to [shooting] the film, went into a sort of hyper-training, where I was doing five hours a day of both ballet and cross-training with swimming,” Portman told reporters at a press conference at the Venice Film Festival

Nina is a technically magnificent dancer, who recently won the role of Swan Queen in the upcoming performance of  Swan Lake, after scorned prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Ryder) is cast aside. Nina is easily manipulated by those around her, and often falls prey to the whims of her over-bearing stage mother (Barbara Hershey) who wants nothing more than to control her and often refers to her as “my sweet girl”.

But Nina is torn between staying the inhibited, sweet girl, on an impossible quest for perfection and loosing herself in her dance to find the sensuality and passion her artistic director, Tomas demands from her.

The unfailing Vincent Cassel takes on the role of Tomas, the sexual predator, with an ease that he somehow fills you with desire, but simultaneously makes you cower from his advances. Which is exactly what Nina feels when she is with him. She yearns to be seductive and passionate in her dancing, but the fear of not being perfect grips her like an unrelenting vice, and ultimately makes her her own worst enemy.

Aronofsky takes us deep into Nina’s psyche, where we begin to question where her paranoias end and reality begins. And then we meet Lily (Kunis), a dancer who is everything Nina is not. Lily is the woman every woman wants to be and the one all men want to tame. She dances without abandon, feeling every movement without thought and soon becomes Nina’s biggest rival, next to herself.

But, the relationship that develops between Nina and Lily is not the rivalry you are expecting. Lily’s sensual free-spirit exasperates Nina’s internal tug-of-war, but also, allows Nina to tune into her more sinister sexual side.

The polarities between the two also draw them together and a  relationship brews that centres on the peculiar, complex and ultimately perverse. It inevitably teeters on the verge of lesbianism and manifests in an erotic sex scene between Portman and Kunis. And this is where Nina’s mental and physical transformation from white swan to black begins to manifest.

Aronofsky is a master at delving into the inner psyches of his characters to unleash the demons lie beneath the surface. In Black Swan he introduces us to a world where passion and desire are currency, and the line between right and wrong is nothing but a blurry mess. Black Swan is a psychological thriller that will have you wondering where reality ends and where delusions begin.

Black Swan is a beautiful film, one that is provocative, dark and an incredible sensual tour de force.

Black Swan will be released in early December.

Thanks must also be given to California Strawberries for their generous gift of Black Swan gala tickets at The Toronto International Film Festival.

Time Marches On Never Ending

Nixon Platform Watch

Time is generally the thing most of us in the modern world always seem short on, well time and money, but unfortunately I have no money tree to tell you about. But, I can tell you how checking your watch can be just that much more enjoyable.

The key is having a watch you like to look at, and Nixon watches are just those watches. The range of styles and shapes is almost to much to wrap your head around, almost, but not quite. If you are looking for something beyond a traditional watch, Nixon should be your first (and most likely last) stop.

Many of us have shied away from watches over the last few years, preferring to use our mobiles or PDAs to get our time updates. But, Nixon watches will make you want to keep your Blackberry or iPhone in your pocket. Even if you can’t get out of the habit of checking the time on your phone, you are going to want a Nixon watch,  if only to showcase it as an accessory.

Watches are getting bigger and bolder, and women in particular, are steering away from the more dainty watches of the past and instead choosing a watch, or two or three that swallow their wrists whole. The nice thing about wearing multiple watches, beyond knowing the time in NYC, Beijing, Calcutta and London, is you don’t have to choose. And with Nixon, choosing just one can be a difficult task, especially because the styles can be so varied. Here is just a sampling:

Nixon Ceramic Player Watch

Nixon Chalet Watch

Nixon Rayna Watch

Nixon Newton Digital Watch

Nixon is not only creative with its designs, but also with its materials, which run from ceramic, steel, leather, polycarbonate, rubber, and even walnut. And with the price point ranging from about $80 to $300 CAD, you can afford to buy a few to wear all at once, or for various occasions.

At yesterday’s preview, I picked up the Time Teller, which comes in 18 different colours and now I can’t stop looking at my wrist.

Nixon Time Teller Watch

The only way I could like this watch more would be if it could stop, slow down and speed up time. For now I will settle with it being pretty and functional.

Design is Everywhere, Bookmarks Included

Liquid Bookmark image via Kyouei

If something is designed to look like it is melting, bleeding, or dripping, chances are it’s going to tickle us pink at OfTheNow. You saw it when we found French designer, John Nouanesing resin Love Me table and Fredrikson Stallard‘s Loversand It Can Happen Here polyurethane rugs in Drip, Drip Drop…Goes the Furniture? And we have found it again again in the Liquid Bookmark, which gives new meaning to the phrase “bloody good book.”

Each silicon Liquid Bookmark designed by Kyouei Co Ltd. from Japan is made by hand by the designer, and you know what that means, no two bloody/melting/dripping bookmarks are the same. We like that even more.

The Making Of A Liquid Bookmark Image via Kyouei

You can buy a pack of three for $29 USD including shipping (they come in red, white and grey) from Design Boom.

All Three Colours Image via Kyouei

Another fun bookmark is the Help! bookmark by i3 lab from Korea. It’s a cute paperclip style bookmark with two cartoon hands that jut out from the top of your book. You can get these guys from Design Boom for $26 USD including shipping

Help! Bookmarks image via Design Book

Kinda makes you want to head to the library and/or bookstore and forget your ipad or kindle!

Help! Bookmarks image via Design Book

Saving Grace Indeed

Grace Coddington Image via wwd.com

Grace Coddington is penning her memoirs. Grace who? You might ask, well you might ask if you don’t scour the mastheads of fashion magazines or you haven’t seen the documentary The September Issue.

Most self-respecting fashion fans have seen the flick, but if  by chance you haven’t seen it, or don’t know what it is, it is a documentary detailing what goes on during the production cycle of Vogue‘s September Issue.

Vogue September 2007 Cover

And Grace Coddington, Vogue’s creative director, stole the show from infamous editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, with her charm and creative eye. Viewers of the film were left with a warm and fuzzy feeling towards Coddington, many even commenting that Coddington is the true vision behind American Vogue. But that is a discussion for another time…

Grace Coddington & Anna Wintour image via THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE

Coddington will be collaborating on her auto-biography with former men’s Vogue editor-in-chief Jay Fielden.

“We’re just starting, and I think it’s going to be a really fun project,” she told WWD, adding: “I’m hoping it’s going to be very rich in fashion history. It’s more than just about me.”

If you wondered how a skinny fashion obsessed teenager from Wales, who would wait patiently for her Vogue magazine to arrive (often three months out-of-date because she lived miles away from any designer boutiques and had to order it in) transitioned from fashion model, to stylist, to creative director of the arguably the world’s mist influential fashion magazine, this is the book for you.

Grace Coddington in her modeling days

Coddington also discusses modeling in the sixties, the car accident that her in need of plastic surgery to reconstruct one of her eyelids and effectively ended her modeling career. But as we all know Coddington’s career in fashion far from ended, in fact she ascended to levels most of us only dream of.

This is a book we will wait patiently for, as patiently as Coddington herself waiting for her Vogues all those years ago.  The release date is set for fall 2010, which is just around the corner.

Rodarte + Ballet = Black Swan

Natalie Portman for Black Swan

Today, August 19, 2010, I can say with absolute certainty it has begun. The air has officially started to thicken with excitement for the the 11 days of over 300 films that is the  Toronto International Film Festival. Conversations can be heard all over the city about the films, the parties and of course the celebrities that will descend on Toronto in and around September 9 to 19, 2010.

The film schedules will not be released until next Tuesday, September 24, but certain films already have more than just a little buzz around them. Black Swan directed by Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler and Requiem for a Dream) and starring Natalie Portman is one of those such films. Aronofsky and Portman’s names aren’t the only reason this particular film has people chomping at the bit to get their hands on tickets, this film is just about any and every fashion lover’s dream.

Natalie Portman in Rodarte for Black Swan

The costuming was left in the more than capable hands of sisters Laura and Kate Mulleav of Rodarte, who designed 40 costumes and outfitted the entire ballet corps for Black Swan–which is also their first foray into film.

Black Swan tells the story of Nina (Portman) a prima ballerina who is technically exceptional,  but has trouble tapping into her sensuality. She is cast  as the lead in Swan Lake in the New York City ballet where her manipulative dance master (Vincent Cassel) pressures her to become a seductress on stage.

Things take a complicated twist for Nina with the arrival of Lily (Mila Kunis) at the ballet, who is a natural seductress and everything Nina is not on stage.  Black Swan is a dark film with psychological twists and turns aka perfect for Rodarte.

The absolutely gorgeous and gothic inspired ballerina wardrobe is nothing short of breathtaking, as we would expect to see from the talented Mulleav sisters. This is why so many love Rodarte. The clothing is creative, sinister and intrinsically beautiful.

Tommy Ton comes to Holt Renfrew & Toronto pulls out their best shoes

Tommy Ton of JakandJil.com

Toomy Ton, the man behind the insanely popular fashion and shoe blog JakandJil popped into his home town of Toronto for a fun little event at Holt Renfrew, which is Canada’s answer to Saks.

Holt’s gathered the city’s fashion glitterati and presented a collection of Tommy Ton’s much heralded shoe shots as well as the Fall 2010 designer collections. The result was a crowd of impeccably dressed folks with stunning shoes to match. Tommy Ton was also there shooting the shoes of those who came out, so the stakes were high on August 18, 2008 at 50 Bloor Street West.

Here are a few that caught the eye of OfTheNow...

Stylist Allison Bouras in Miu Miu

Stylist George Antonopoulos in Vivienne Westwood

ASC PR's Natasha Penzo in Oscar de la Renta

Alexander Wang

Flare Magazine's Assistant Market Editor Erin O'Brien in YSL

Designer Jeremy Laing in super touchable sweater of his own design



Stylist Shea Hurley in Gucci and friend in Alexander McQueen

Holt Renfrew client Jenny Aaron in Aldo

Fashion Magazine's Elli Stuhler in two-tone Oxfords

Alexander McQueen Fall 2010 Booties

Sam Edelman

Pierre Hardy

Holt Renfrew's Jacinta Mulhern in YSL

Holt Renfrew's Jen Daubney in Miu Miu