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Travel | Take Me Away To…Cuba!

Since it’s winter and we’re all dreaming of sunshine, I’ve decided to get a little more organized with my travel stories. Starting this week and each following Tuesday, I’ll be writing about my adventures past, present, and future. As part of my quest to keep more memories, it’s great to relive those moments and what better time than RIGHT NOW. Guys, it’s -5 in Toronto right now and I’m wearing a big fur hat as I work.

This week, we adventure to Cuba! I visited Havana back in 2010 w/ a friend. We stayed at Hotel Nacional, a famous spot where gangsters, famous people, and socialites used to hang out. The hotel opened in 1930 and Notable guests include Ernest Hemingway, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Backstreet Boys, Naomi Campbell and tbh there’s so many!

I absolutely love being in a country that speaks another language. Best way to learn I reckon! I danced to the sounds of Buena Vista Social Club, ate delicious fresh fish, and took in heaps of history about Cuba.  Each day I watched different coloured taxis roll up with old white walled tires. It was like going back in time, I loved it.  My dad builds hot rods so I’ve been around old cars like this my whole life.

My friends at Air Transat made this video a couple weeks ago and gave away all-inclusive trips to passengers. Did any of you guys see the Cuban Cab? Would you have taken a ride? I can’t imagine the being handed a trip so random like this! I could love to go back to Cuba. Especially today!

Stay warm out there!

<3 CASIE

 

Over $100,000 Raised for @TorontoFashion Incubator

Was great to be on the comittee with this group of young ladies. Thanks to the lovely Gail McInnes for including me and for making this event a HUGE success. My dress was vintage black suede peplum from Timeless Apparel and jewellery was graciously provided by Swarovski Canada.

Best social media committee ever: @geekigirl @styleblogca @backseatstylers

@reneeswilliams @casiestewart @laurenonizzle @advera #TFI25 <3

— Gail McInnes (@gailmcinnes) May 10, 2012

Photo Credit: Société Perrier Canada &  Becca Lemire for She Does The City

“Over 700 of Canada’s fashion elite flocked to the Royal Ontario Museum this past Thursday to take part in a milestone event for the Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI). Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the TFI hosted guests at a champagne reception, VIP dinner, Barbie(R)-inspired celebrity fashion show, the annual TFI New Labels(R) fashion show competition and an after-party in the ROM’s Crystal. Thirty-five thousand dollars ($35,000) was awarded during the evening which was emceed by award-winning performer Jully Black and over $100,000 in net proceeds was raised for TFI. TFI25 also featured performances by award-winning student dance group the Wexford Gleeks and recording artist Anastasia A and an installation of 25 looks from the past 25 years curated by FLARE Magazine’s award-winning Fashion Director Elizabeth Cabral.” Read full release on Reuters. 

Toronto Fashion Incubator 25th Anniversary at the ROM

Thanks Spiro for this lovely shot of me & Nancy from Peacock Parade. She’s wearing Greta Constantine. My dress in vintage black suede from Timeless Apparel and jewels are from Swarovski. I love this collar, it was a hit. Sadly, I have to return them to the head office today.

I absolutely loved the jackets by Jameson Kane in the TFI New Labels show. Winner was Sid Niegum which wasn’t much of a surprise to me. Patrick L’Arrivee had some awesome avant garde style with nylon & hats. Loved it. Very gaga-esque. Runway Photos: Owen McLeod, The Style Lense. I was socializing & trying to ignore the hurt caused by my 6′ shoes.

See full coverage of the event on It’s All Style to Me.

In other fashion news, last week I was Trump Toronto for the premiere of the first short film from Greta Constantine called ‘From Sketch to Runway‘. It’s now online. watch it.

Stay stylish my friends,

Textile Fancy + Pop Princess + Toronto Fashion Incubator

I’ve mentioned 3F a couple times over the last month. The brand is new in Canada and I’m on the Board of Directors. Fancy, huh? I felt like ‘Young & The Restless’ joining the board!  The 3F flagship store is at Dundas Square & the company was launched to compliment and integrate the family business KTC (Kazareen Textile Company).

KTC is a leading supplier of apparel and textiles for some huge brands in North-America and Europe. Notable clients are Marks Work Wearhouse (see my posts on Mark’s here!), A&F, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy, and Calvin Klein. They have some agressive growth targets to open 33 stores in the next three years so you can see why I wanted to be part of the action!

The other day they had pop princess Aleesia in the store for a meet & greet with fans. 103.5 was on site broadcasting live too.

Next weekend at Metro Toronto Convention Centre all the girls from America’s Next Top Model will be in town and 3F is one of the Social Media Lounge sponsors. I’ll be backstage hanging out and probably feeling like a midget around all the models. Ha!

In other fashion news, Toronto Fashion Incubator celebrates it’s 25th Anniversary on May 3, next week. I’m on the Social Committee and I’d love to see you there. Get event and tickets  info here.  It’s almost sold out!

Now I am faced with the DAUNTING task of finding something to wear. Have some ideas? Your bff/sister/friend/mum is a fashion designer? LMK. I need to look fabulous!

I can’t believe it’s almost MAY. OH MY GAGA.

 

the cuban milk story

We’re really lucky in Canada to have all the luxuries we want, when we want them. We’re also really lucky to have such warm positive attitudes.

They’re not really as nice in Cuba as I originally thought. It’s like they look at us and see only money…and they want it. I learned they make something crazy like $20-50 Cuban pesos a month. So, I can see why…

They do this thing where they say “hi” and compliment you, then they ask if you need help finding something or to buy something and then ask for money.

We met a real asshole on the last day. He started chatting to us about how beautiful Cuba was and that he loves Canada but it’s to cold for him. He spoke pretty good English and was wearing a gold watch. He was persistent and kept with the handshakes which I didn’t like.

We tried to get away but then came the pitch “No money, don‘t want money but can you buy me some milk for my baby”. I didn’t see a baby anywhere. He said it was to take to the hospital for the baby. Ok, fine, its just milk, gonna be like a couple pesos.

We waited with him in this line at a small merchant shop in Old Havana. He asked me to order milk and the lady gave me a bag with about 4 litres and told me it was $20.

WTF. How the hell can it be $20? I was pissed. I told him that wasn’t cool and refused to pay for it. He tricked us.

We ended up returning 2 bags and paying the lady $10 for 2 litres of milk to get him off our back. We walked away cursing the dick as he walked behind us for a minute before disappearing. I’m sure he went back and returned the milk for cash.

It made me look at the people differently. They’re not nice, they’re poor and hungry and live in shit conditions. They’ve really got begging from tourists down to an sneaky science.

It may be cold in Canada but we’ve got warmer people and attitudes.

merry christmas from cuba amigos

I’m having a blast. Staying at a five star called Hotel Nacional de Cuba Not internetting very much cause it’s so freaking slow and painful. Figure I’m better to save myself the trouble and drink pina colada’s in the sun. Best pina’s here EVER!

Old Havana is so neat. I took about 8,000 photos walking around. Saw a cool show last night with musica & dancing.

That’s all for now…back outside to the sunshine! Have a great day, I am :)

Fashion | Ted Baker London & Baker’s Arcade at The Eaton Centre

Friday marks the opening of the second Ted Baker London store on Toronto at the Eaton Centre. It was two years ago when the first store opened in Ontario at Yorkdale Mall and it’s been great fun working with the brand since. I’ve collected a bunch of beautifully designed pieces and had the opportunity to visit Ted Baker London shops in New York City and London, England.

Scroll down for some of my fav Ted moments from the last two years and info on the new ‘Baker’s Arcade’ shop at the Eaton Centre (opens Friday). I’m getting a sneak peek at the media preview tonight!

Heading to the 5th Ave Flagship in NYC

Look who did a little shopping at Ted Fifth Avenue… The always lovely @casiestewart!

A photo posted by Ted Baker (@ted_baker) on

Hosting Ted’s 25th Birthday Celebration at Yorkdale

 

In love with my first @Ted_Baker dress. The Scuba, its neoprene! A photo posted by C A S I E S T E W A R T (@casiestewart) on

Queen’s Plate this past summer w/ my fav yellow Ted Baker beauty.

I can’t wait to check out the new store tonight! The steel ceiling trussles are spray painted in neon pink and series of framed panels of wallpaper, fabric, leather and detailed collections of relevant props define each ‘shop’ area: Umbrella Shop, Watchmaker, Optician, Jeweler, Perfumery, as well as a Tea and Cake Shop.

One of the most admirable things about Ted Baker London is the acute attention to detail in the design of stores, clothes, and accessories. My purses and wallet are lined with English Bulldogs,  my camel cape coat has funky orange ribbon lining. I love it!

I’ll share some photos on the new shop after my visit tonight. Today I’m visiting the Shangri-La Spa and Evolve Hair Studio, before an audition at 4:30, then Ted’s baler’s Arcade event.  It’s gonna be a busy one!

<3 CASIE

Brunch Tomorrow? #‎TFIGuiltyPleasures

I’m starting  my weekend with the Toronto Fashion Incubator’s event tomorrow at The Drake Hotel. Post my 11am seating I’ve got an afternoon of GUILTY PLEASURES! A 90 minute massage followed by manicure and pedicure. I can’t WAIT! Deets on the TFI event below.

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If you are looking for something fun to do tomorrow morning, this is it! If you’ll be there LMK :)

One of my guilty pleasures arrived yesterday, shoes from Nasty Gal! I just can’t hold myself back from ordering from there. I’ve got a jacket on it’s way too!

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Happy Friday!

<3 CASIE

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