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2015/12/01 / Shanan

POP POP! IN THE CITY

First off – yes, I don’t know what is with that post title either.  I feel like a really tame early ’90s rapper or something.

The Collingwood vintage pop-up party I put together a couple of weeks ago was such a great success that my old Toronto friend Kristin (whom you may remember from Natural Habitat fame – only she now lives in an even cooler place) invited me to have one at her house in December.

Kristin had worked in film for ages and is now a wardrobe stylist so it seems like a perfect fit.  She has been adorable and really helpful and accommodating and I’m so excited to bring you The Symmetric pop-up 2.TO (working title, guys. I’m clearly having issues today).

Spread the word, bring your friends, come and hang out with us and shop for some amazing vintage clothing, jewelry, homewares and art.  In the meantime, follow The Symmetric on Instagram to get sneak peeks of the goods, and to make me feel a little less alone out there in cyberspace.

Okay, enough talk:

Please join us!

THE SYMMETRIC x stylist Kristin Somborac

warmly invite you to a

VINTAGE POP-UP SALON

Saturday, DECEMBER 12TH, noon to 4pm

310 Wallace Avenue (in Toronto’s Junction Triangle neighbourhood, view map)

This one-day only concept shop offers a unique and intimate retail experience of curated vintage fashion, jewelry, homewares + art (plus drinks + holiday treats!)

xx Shanan

 

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2014/05/26 / Shanan

BUILT-IN BOOKSHELF INSPIRATION

It feels like it’s been awhile since we tackled any major decorating projects in our house, but the time has come to whip out and make use of the many rooms I’ve pinned and then never, ever looked at again!  There are renos going on in our walk-out basement as we speak and it’s finally going to emerge as a functional, beautiful space, and not just an entire floor dedicated to housing our random overflow of crap (I’m ignoring what is perhaps the larger issue, which is where said overflow of crap will live when this is all done).

I’ll take some photos of the space in progress (right now it’s all drywall dust and electrical sockets), but naturally I’m moving right ahead to dreaming of the finished product.  We’ll have a family room with a new working fireplace, our TV (which has been more or less sitting in a closet for the last two years), and some form of built-in shelving along one wall to showcase all our books and mementoes. I’ve been collecting inspiration for built-ins and these are some of my favourite possibilities.

Image above: Ugh, this gridded rainbow bookshelf is pretty over-the-top rad, right?  NYC apartment tour via A Cup of Jo. Photo by Alpha Smoot, styling by Kendra Smoot.

Sophie-Holt-shelf

Sophie Holt (managing director of Australian brand Country Road)’s built-ins in grey/green look sophisticated and unusual. From Belle, Feb/March 2013, via Great Dane Furniture.

black-builtin-bookshelf

The drama of a really dark bookshelf definitely has its appeal – especially since the rest of our room will be a lot lighter (blonde wood floors, cream sofa, etc). I hate to not properly credit photos, but I couldn’t find the source for this one.

low shelving

Now on to the classics… I love the relaxed feel of this low-slung horizontal shelving with storage drawers and cabinets at the bottom.  We’ll likely need to utilize the space going up the wall for all our books, but this is such a nice minimalist shelving solution. Photo by Paul Massey via House to Home.

Wrubel-family-house-style-stories

Simple white bookshelves temper the crazy a little bit in the Wrubel family house, via Our Style Stories.  Not that I have an issue with the crazy.

Apt-Therapy-bookshelf

Clean, classic shelving with that all-important closed storage at the bottom.  The styling on these is great – a nice mix of objects, photos, and books.  From the Brooklyn cottage home of Lyndsay Caleo and Fitzhugh Karol, via Apartment Therapy.

Decisions, decisions…

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2014/04/02 / Shanan

SET IN NYC: MY LIST OF FILM PICKS

Sometimes it seems like a lifetime ago, but I spent four years during my mid-twenties in New York City – attending art school, working odd jobs, eating way too many bagels and korean noodles, walking everywhere, crying over boys, and cementing some pretty incredible friendships.  I even hung out at the Cafe Grumpy in Greenpoint before it became a chain and went all Girls.

It was one of those formative experiences that will always be a part of me, and lately I’ve really found myself missing the city and its unique energy.  Good thing I’m heading to NYC, oh, ah… TODAY.

In honour of my visit, I’ve compiled a personal top 6 list of evocative films set in the Big Apple.  Major caveats: it’s in no real order, and doesn’t adhere to any particular aesthetic criteria or even represent my opinion of the ‘best’ movies to take place in NYC.  Let’s just say that these picks all conjure some kind of specific sense of the city for me, whether accurate or imagined.

Taxi Driver. Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Manhattan.  If you’re expecting these, you’ve come to the wrong list, my friends.

Image above:  “I’m so embarrassed, I’m not a real person yet.”

1. Frances Ha (2012)   Present-day NYC through the eyes of the struggling 20-something creative, shot in beautiful black and white.  At the film’s most exhilarating, the “undate-able” Frances runs through the streets to the soundtrack of David Bowie’s “Modern Love” (in homage to a scene from Leos Carax’s Mauvais Sang, in case that sort of thing matters to you).  At its mostmundane, she lounges on her fire escape and chats with her best friend. It’s pretty much perfect, really.

the warriors nyc film still

“Can you dig it?”

2. The Warriors (1979)    I’m fairly sure I never in a million years would have watched this movie, if not for my dad insisting when I was in junior high.  A cult classic about fictional NY gangs, the Warriors are framed for murder and over the course of a night they must traverse the city, make it past the many other hostile gangs and the police, and return to their home base of Coney Island.  It depicts NYC at its most campily inhospitable and, from a kid’s perspective, I assumed the city was just one giant mess of graffiti, dangerous subway platforms, and creepy men in leather vests.  Image from Pyxurz.

muppets take manhattan nyc film still

“I’m staying!  You hear that, New  York?  THE FROG IS STAYING!”

3. The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)  Broadway dreams, showbiz clichés, low-paying luncheonette gigs, purse snatching in Central Park, lunch at Sardi’s with Liza Minnelli, Mad Men as enacted by frog puppets… it is all here, and it is hilarious.

nick and norah's infinite playlist nyc film still

“We didn’t miss it. This IS it.”

4.  Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008).   A long night spent traipsing around NYC, accompanied by a great soundtrack (Chris Bell, Band of Horses, Bishop Allen), culminating in a kiss at sunrise in Penn Station, is a night well-spent.  The sense of possibility, excitement, sweetness, and (mostly) innocent adventure just feels quintessentially New York, to me, in the way that I once experienced it.

kids harmony korine nyc film still

“Don’t you know tricks are for kids?”

5.  Kids (1995)   Ick. To this day I’ve not seen this movie in its entirety, but if ever you needed a skin-crawling cautionary tale involving unsupervised, amoral urban teenagers, this is it (basically the polar opposite of #4).  It may very well be the reason I never did drugs, didn’t lose my virginity til I was 19, and was kind of afraid of New York City til I actually moved there.  Feels like it deserves a spot on the list, though, for its ability to elicit all these strong responses, even now.

baby boom nyc film still

“You see, that’s the funny thing – I can’t have a baby because I have a 12:30 lunch meeting.”

6.  Baby Boom (1987)  Shout-out to Sarah Stringer — girl, you know what I’m talking about.  Diane Keaton might justifiably be mortified were she to realize that children of the ’80s view this as her iconic NYC film character moment.  Sorry, Annie Hall, but we have an eternal soft spot for J.C. Wiatt.

Work-aholic female business exec is faced with caring for an unexpected child, loses her job and leaves Manhattan for small-town Vermont, then launches her own empire making organic baby food.  So, it’s basically the story of my life.  Just kidding.  All the “Big City” tropes of the late 1980s are here – power-lunches, city apartments full of black leather and chrome, big shoulder-pads, and tiger moms with even bigger hair, hanging at the playground while discussing their toddler’s resumé submission to the coveted Upper East Side pre-schools.  But will J.C. give it all up for a slower pace?  Lean in, ladies – this one’s practically a classic.

Is there any other city on earth that’s been the source of such a wealth of cinematic inspiration?  What NYC films have resonated with you?  (and don’t let my avoidance of the high-brow stop you from going there)

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2014/03/14 / Shanan

GET LUCKY

Does anyone over the age of 22 actually ‘celebrate’ St. Patrick’s Day? I’ll go out on a limb here and say no.

The pairing of green and gold, however? Timeless. Here are a few vintage offerings from The Symmetric’s Etsy shop to get you guys feelin’ lucky through the weekend and beyond.

1.  The Tessa: double horseshoe 9kt gold necklace.

2.  The Aerin: Floral ‘scratch print’ dress with lace collar.

3.  Vintage Book Print: ‘A Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals.’

4.  The Chelsea: Emerald skirt with houndstooth check.

5.  The Shanan: Gold-tone bracelet with rhinestone crescent moons.