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SNAP HAPPY: My Toronto Fashion Week Pics with a little (lot of) help from BLACKS

Training day with the talented Bardya at BLACKS. 

Okay, so here's my dilemma. I'm a fashion blogger. But my camera sucks. That is, it could be the camera, or it could totally be me. So, let's blame the camera.

With World MasterCard Fashion Week on the horizon and a new gig as digital correspondent for, I reach out in a desperate eleventh hour appeal to my friends at BLACKS to see if I might be able to borrow a camera for Fashion Week. I already own an expensive SLR camera which is fantastic for shots of my family but for Fashion Week, not so much. I'm talking big, bulky and way too complicated for my basic photography knowledge - plus I have yet to invest in a proper zoom lens so can never get close enough to get any decent runway shots. For the last few seasons, I've relied on my smartphone to capture the action. But let's just say my pics are falling flat.

So I tell BLACKS what I'm after - something super easy to use, not too big (after all, I'll be running from show to show and don't need the hassle of a heavyweight), with high quality images and a stellar zoom. The response? We have the perfect camera for you. Oh, and by the way, you get to KEEP IT. Seriously?! Pinch me. 

Where it all went down - the brand new BLACKS boutique at Yonge & Eg.

I meet up with my camera guru, Bardya, at the BLACKS at Yonge & Eg in the middle of Fashion Week to pick up my new camera and get a one-hour tutorial between the shows. The new BLACKS stores (if you haven't had a chance to check them out) have been made modern for our digital lives with the coolest ways to finally get pics off of our phones and computers, including fun photo wall art printed on acrylic and metal, gorgeous photo books (Christmas gifts, anyone?), and even Made for Instagram prints.

They hook me up with a Canon PowerShot SX50 HS, a next generation point-and-shoot that Bardya believes will answer all of my Fashion Week woes. He gives me the lowdown: this camera offers the world's first 50x Optical Zoom lens in a compact digital camera, which goes all the way from a wide-angle 24mm to 1200mm to capture any shot. The camera even features 1080p Full HD video for any live action I might want to cover throughout the week. Bardya assures me that I don't need to know anything about aperture or shutter speed or even settings at first because the auto setting will pretty much do it all for me. Perf. 

Still, he takes me through the camera's super cool features anyway, including an Instagram-like 1x1 sizing option, an action mode for fast-moving models and my personal fav: the smooth skin feature, which irons out fine lines and wrinkles, evens out blotchy skin, and basically nixes the need for any post-pic Photoshopping. Genius. I head to Fashion Week and get to work (if you can call it work). 

I'm already totally smitten with this camera and can't wait to keep testing it out - from my glam fashion life to my photogenic little ones. Check out my Fashion Week pics below and see the results for yourself. Keep in mind that all of these pics were taken on the auto setting because I'm lazy and because this camera is SO FREAKING AWESOME. Next up? Street style.

Big love, BLACKS, for my amazing new camera! Mind blown.

Testing out the camera's black & white feature with the models backstage.

Pretty meets punk backstage. 

Sorry, got distracted there for a second. Nom nom nom....

The Caitlin Power presentation where I jostled for a place next to the pro photogs...

...but didn't really need to thanks to my crazy zooooom. Booyah.

Love this model.

Sometimes there's more action in the front row than on the runway.

A stunning look from Hilary Macmillan.

Cannot get over the details you can see with this camera!

A model gets a little touch-up at the Minnie Mouse dress competition.

Playing with shadow and light. 

iPhone vs. my new Canon PowerShot SX50 HS - think it's obvious which one's the winner. Speaking of winners, this dress designed by Sid Neigum won the Minnie Mouse competition.

Gorgeous colours at the WMCFW Press & Buyers' Brunch.

The lighting at a runway show is always the tricky part. 

Luckily, my new Canon PowerShot SX50 HS picks up every detail, even the fine print.

Love this big, bad, bearded model at Christopher Bates.


Obsessed with this dress from Narces. This camera's so fast I caught it coming and going.

The way my runway pics look with my iPhone...

...and the way they look now. SUCH a difference!



#WMCFW: My 10 Fav Spring Trends from Toronto Fashion Week

Photo by George Pimentel/Getty.

World MasterCard Fashion Week has come to a close and after witnessing hundreds of tempting creations strut down the runways, I've compiled a shortlist of what I want to wear once the snow melts. Check out my article in today to see which trends we'll all be wearing for Spring '15...




My Clairol Shift-A-Shade Hair Campaign Reveal

Pre-hair/pre-makeup. Let's just call this the BEFORE.

Hair can say a lot. Like clothes, your hair can tell people about your taste (or complete lack thereof), your personal hygiene, and even your ability to make rational decisions. As I mentioned a few weeks back, my hair is usually laissez-faire, and while it’s not extreme in a bad way (since I’ve kept my natural brown and obviously wash it regularly), it also doesn’t really say anything at all. It’s just kind of there. Which, in a way, is just as bad as an actress wearing a little black dress to every single movie premiere. I needed a serious shade shake-up. Luckily, Clairol swooped in to save the day when they asked me to be a part of their Shift-a-Shade Campaign, along with a few other lucky Canadian blogettes. Our mission: show up at Hair on the Avenue in Toronto for a full-day video shoot complete with a colour consultation, makeup makeover and styling session. Um, love my job.

First up was my consultation with owner of Hair on the Avenue, the formidable Luis Pacheco. As he eyed me over, I pleaded to go anything but red (I’ve gone there before and let’s just say I was far from a ravishing redhead). I could see him considering the selection of Clairol Nice ‘n Easy boxes and then he honed right in on a rich brown: 5N/118A – Natural Medium Neutral Brown. My natural hair colour is a light brown and I’ve always wanted to go darker, especially for fall. Luis totally read my mind. Phew.

Next up was my consultation with makeup genius Patrick Rahme. My husband’s currently working on a start-up, we’re living in the midst of a never-ending house reno, and my two kids have just started JK and Grade 1 in a new school in a new city, so the stress and lack of sleep are starting to manifest themselves as subpar skin and under-eye bags. With the magic of a few smart makeup tricks from Patrick, I became a well-rested, bright-eyed beauty. Like I said, genius.

After my new hair colour had been applied, I met with super stylist Alexandra Melancon. I wanted help justifying some more expensive pieces and also hoped to test-drive a jumpsuit, so Alexandra put me in an expensive black one-piece and a cool little bomber, a perfect high-low mix for my new look.

And the darker, deeper AFTER. KaZOW! 

It’s amazing what a difference shifting a shade can make. With my new darker ‘do, I feel more stylish, more sultry, and emboldened to try more Clairol colours at home. My hair is shiny, rich and healthy-looking and I’ve already gotten so many compliments on my colour. Why didn’t I do this before?!

Check out the fun video from my day at Hair on the Avenue below and then try shifting a shade yourself. Oh, and be sure to use this $2 off coupon for Clairol Nice ‘n Easy when you do.

Thanks for the fun, Clairol!


Go bolder. Go warmer. Go deeper. Go golder. With our broadest spectrum of natural looking shades, you can change it up and still look like your most amazing you. Get inspired and #shiftashade. Nice n' Easy with Colour-blend Technology is available in 44 shades. For more information visit 

Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Procter & Gamble via Mode Media Canada. The bloggers were compensated for the Clairol Shift A Shade campaign and were asked to review our products. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Procter & Gamble.



A gorge Smith & Mara ear crawler. Photo via Shopbop

I never jumped on the ear cuff bandwagon. I don't know - I was all over the punkness on Cara Delevingne and co. but they always just felt super awkward on me. The new ear crawlers literally crawl up your lobe, making a more subtle, more refined statement than last season's cuff.

I am LOV-ing the sleek gold versions from Smith + Mara and Elizabeth and James on Shopbop right now. Edgy but not way out there, I'll wear them everywhere this fall. Cool, right?

Here are a few of my favs from Shopbop right now:



Disclaimer: Real Life Runway occasionally receives vendor/brand sponsorships for mentioning their products and services.  


WEEKEND UPDATE: The New Off-Duty Essentials

Off-duty perfection. Photo via GAP

Originally posted in The CLOSET

When Friday hits, it's tempting to just throw on your jammies and be done with it. I mean, seriously, after the torture of control-top tights and the pressure of being buttoned-up all week, it's no wonder we need a little breathing room.

Luckily, off-duty dressing doesn't have to be sloppy. Step away from your saggy-bottomed joggers, ladies - these 10 on trend pieces will help you keep your cool (without sacrificing an ounce of comfort) all weekend long...