is sthis working?
Today marks my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary. As in – FORTY!
Happy anniversary you crazy kids! Congratulations!
Image via You Look Like the Right Type.
This week I had the most exciting time meeting and getting to know one of Canada’s foremost window dressers, Philip Minaker. Having created hundreds of major storefront windows during more than 25 years as a style director for many iconic Canadian and international retailers in Toronto and his home town of Winnipeg, Philip is a fascinating individual unlike any other.
His boundless creativity and problem-solving know-how are only surpassed by his sweet and fun personality. Philip is a fashion force and he’s put on countless runway shows and deconstructed trends working for various styling and retail roles at The Bay, BCBG, Lipton’s, Eaton’s, Mondi, Parachute, and the list goes on and on.
He is known for his stunning sales-boosting windows and his ‘let me show you’ philosophy about sharing his fashion knowledge. His windows are known to increase sales; a job well done, then. Look for his work coming up at Toronto’s downtown Josephson’s in the next few weeks- he told me that he’s currently fabricating the set pieces for the fall windows.
Beyond having a keen eye for styling, trends and balance, Philip is an incredibly talented artist and he creates much of what you see in his displays. Today’s French doors featured below are an example of his incredibly simple take on getting what you need: make it yourself.
When I met Philip on the weekend during his first of two moving sales, he invited me in his home where he has these gorgeous antique French doors behind a bed (those aren’t for sale, though, sorry! but just DIY for these and drop in on Philip’s second sale for other very cool stuff).
These gorgeous French doors are not real; they’re two large format prints of doors that are glued to large pieces of foam. The antique look is truly outstanding and the quality of the print here is just right, working in favour of achieving that natural aged look that the doors have.
The best part about all this is that they weigh nothing! They’re made of foam! You know, the inch-and-a-half rectangle sheets of white foam from the craft store. So simple. Philip told me that he cut the print and foam in the curved shape at the top and he has another piece that creates an archway to really bring it all together. I think they are spectacular just like this.
Images courtesy of me via Philip Minaker
You’ll want to be there for Philip’s second moving sale in a few weeks, September 13-16: he is parting with some of his window dressing treasures including props, decorative urns, industrial art, art hangings and artist canvasses, art that he has created, beautiful vintage mannequins, and so much more.
You’ll love meeting Philip- just drop in to say hi and check out all the fascinating pieces of his career that he’s selling to new good homes, and meanwhile take a look at his moving sale ad on Kijiji– lots more pics there to see what he’s got on the floor (including Herman Miller La Fonda chairs…).
I’m now back from the most beautiful week of sun and sea in Maine and I’ve got surfing on the mind. I’ve only been back on home continental turf for less than two days- but how I could easily slip back into the curl of the ocean’s waves.
Not surprisingly, I’m interested in bodyboarding since I spent the week perfecting catching waves on Ogunquit Beach. Bodyboarding is easier to master than bodysurfing since you use the board to help catch the wave and ride its curl. Bodysurfing involves your body riding the wave with your head pointing facing down and your hands extending in front of you like an arrow as the wave propels you forward. Both are fun, and while I’m slowly picking up the tricks of the bodysurfing trade, bodyboarding is proving to be a lot of fun.
What’s your ocean sport of choice?
I’m in Maine this week chasing ocean waves and eating lobster like a fiend.
See you next week with photos of my travels on the coast!
The Big Top of Cavalia’s Odysseo production in Toronto, Canada
In case you’re not living in Toronto or have passed through in the last month, you wouldn’t know that the city’s whiteness just went to new heights: the big top of Cavalia’s Odysseo show is here! (and you can still get tickets!)
The beautiful big white tent is the largest touring big top in the world and it is currently at the Toronto Port Lands on the city’s east side waterfront where each night, skilled performers and 61 horses create a spectacle combining music and acrobatics to make your childhood equine fantasies come true.
Many horse breeds are in the show. Image via Cavalia’s Odysseo
The big white tent is a sight to behold- I see it frequently from the Gardiner Expressway and I’m always admiring how lovely it is. The structure was conceived in Canada by set designer Marc Labelle, director Erick Villeneuve and Cirque du Soleil creator Normand Latourelle.
It is more than twice as large as the big top used for Cavalia’s original production and was designed with the help of the Italian firm Cannobio. The massive arches were built by Show Canada and the tent structure was manufactured in Italy. More than 60 people were involved in its creation process over the 11 months it took to finalize.
Big Top Facts
Dimensions: 125 high, covering an area of 393 feet long by 311 feet wide, which is more than 120,000 square feet.
Inside: A stage covering close to 8,200 square feet, no obstruction on stage or in the audience. Seating capacity: 2,290 people.
Assembly and transportation: Assembly requires more than 40 motors and a mechanical crane. The four arches are 88 feet high by 203 feet wide. 20 trucks are required to transport it all.
Below is a video of the assembly- amazing!
One of the first Alessi pieces I ever bought was the Juicy Salif citrus squeezer designed by Phillippe Starck. While friends were buying shoes and beauty products, I was investing in odd looking Alessi. I know, right?
The Juicy Salif is probably the most expensive citrus squeezer I’ll ever own. Seriously – who needs a $100 citrus squeezer? I’ve never even actually used it. I just love the design of this kitchen gadget and I’m happy to see it sitting on one of my shelves looking cool. It’s a wonderful sculpture that has been around for over 20 years. It’s also quite the conversation starter – many of my guests stare at it wondering what the heck it is.
While my collection of Alessi is small I do enjoy making frequent visits to the Alessi online shop (to add on to my wish list of course!). Here are some pieces – new and old – to come out of of the Alessi design factory.
Round tray, $74
Ape chip bowl, $53
Pluto milk jug, $32
La Rosa fruit bowl, $108
Mouse bottle opener, $20