2013: And The Winner Is…

February 27, 2013 § 2 Comments



Not a total shocker, but come on, Argo? Throw me off the Hollywood Hills if you must, but this was not a strong year for films. We had three, pardon me, ‘America F**k Yeah!” films, an exhausting, overdone musical, a glorified rom com, which left us with only 4 decent films worthy of the title. Argo had incredible pace, that was thrilling until its final act, but it was a perfect example of the Academy’s love for the underdog pulling through. By snubbing Ben in the Best Director category, he & Georgie boy took home the gold baldie for Best Picture. Whatever, its all so mastabatory anyway…

Just for the record, Seth MacFarlane has made it resounding clear that he will not be hosting next year. In all fairness, unlike the snarky, shocking snipes from the trigger happy Ricky Gervais, Seth set the tone from the get go that he was going to cut fast & deep. I appreciated that the comedy writing was certainly in his voice, unlike other puppet hosts of the past (ahem, Hathaway). The whole Captain Kirk bit was tapped from his comedic veins and allowed him to take shots at himself. I’ve had “I Saw Your Boobs” rattling around in my melon for days now.



Listen, I saw all the Best Pic noms, & then some, and I can honesty say that The Master being snubbed was a terrible oversight. P.T. Anderson keeps those masterpieces coming and trust me, The Masters rich symbolism will be analzyed and agonized in film schools for years. The performances were incredible! Amy’s heavily pregnant, Lady MacBethes-que, Peggy Dodd was the stuff of legend. Same goes for Joaquin who underwent an incredible prosthetic-free transformation into a character that was more animal than man; but he tried so hard to have the ego rule the id.

Although Amour won Best Foreign Film, Emmanuelle Riva’s stroke victim was unbelievably good and truly earned the French actress the golden statuette. Her stutters and steely gaze behind a paralyzed face was chillingly remarkable. Even Naomi’s tsunami survivor was astounding; I was in tears before the 20 minute mark. But alas, as much as I love JLaw this win was premature; a classic Oscar mea culpa for previously snubbing her groundbreaking performance in Winters Bone. Even though he didn’t win for Best Picture, I’m elated that Ang received the win for Best Director. The Ayatollah ain’t got nothing on directing a novice actor (carrying an entire film on his shoulders, mind you), kids, animals, water, multiple locations, continents & languages. And Ang made it look effortless.

“Xie Xie & Namaste”.


The Dresses; The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Alright, I’ll stop my film school diatribe to give you want you really want; the dirt on who stunned and who was shunned. This was a year of Big Time Bling! Metallic Maidens galore who put on the glitz & glam in La La Land


Emmanuelle, our French Grand Dame was effortless elegance in Lanvin


Jennifer Lawrence was chided for her bridal gown look, but with her youthful vibrancy she pulled of this white Dior Haute Couture gown and I adored the subtle sparkle of the Chopard chain flowing down her back


Halle Berry, do you never age? My God, did she stun everyone stupid in this long-sleeve, stripped Versace gown. I’ve not seen anything like it & loved how the plunge in the front matched that of the back.


Jessica Chastain was an absolute vision. As a red head, I can imagine that it would be difficult to find an airy tone that didn’t wash her out, but this Art Deco-inspired, gold gown by Armani Privé was perfection. That juicy shade of red lipstick paired with her jewelry by Harry Winston made her shine like a Glamour Goddesses of the Silver Screen era.


Catherine Zeta, I ask you the same question I posited to Halle; how do you keep it so tight, woman? This dress was metallic sexiness and she reminded me of a Gustav Klimt painting. I know she’s made it on almost every worst dressed list but I think she looked incredible in this gown; the work on the bodice is exquisite and to die for.


Naomi’s snub aside, she was the High Fashion forward belle in this futuristic metallic Armani Privé column gown. It was a risk that paid off and made her stand out from the crowd. Grace Jones eat your heart out…


Jane Fonda, is one of my absolute favorite actresses, and its not because she’s smoking hot at age 75 {yes, that’s right, 75 years old}. A former bulimic and anorexic, Jane was able to love herself and now spends her time as a motivational speaker, telling her story so that future generations of woman hopefully won’t suffer like she did. She sang in this canary-yellow corseted Versace gown with strong shoulders and sequin details; she is woman, hear her Roar!


Oh hello Amanda. I loved this Alexander McQueen gown lace, and totally thought she outshone her Les Mis costars. But I don’t think it loved her; the way she held herself seemed like her corset/spanx were crushing this bird. She honestly looked like she was suffering on the red carpet, but it worked for the paps snaps. I also loved loved loved the red gown she wore in that ensemble musical number. This was a rooky mistake, but with her acting chops, I know she’ll be back.



This woman is supposedly a wrestler. What?! Stacy Keibler obviously had no problems locking Georgie’s arms in taking her down the red carpet in this Naeem Khan killer dress.


*Sigh*…Charlize, the only woman who can pull off peplum with such fierce elegance. But let’s be real, she could wear a potato sack and stop traffic with a 10 car pile up

The Bad & Urmmmm Ugly

I don’t mean to be horrible, I really don’t, but this is all a lesson for next time, right? For the record, I don’t think any of these ladies are ugly, but uhmm, their choices, well let’s just say require more imagination than I can muster at the moment…

Except for Anne…



She knows better…And not only that, she has an army of stylists and has designers literally throwing gowns at her. I think she is a fab actress, but I don’t know…my spidey senses are tingling and I find her terribly insincere. When I saw this rosy gown with the perky boob seaming, the image of Audrey Hepburn winning her first Oscar flashed in my mind.

Never will you ever be as grand or iconic as Audrey; sorry.

I’m onto you Hathaway, & no amount of side boob can help you…


Kristen, you ‘Trampire” {Will Ferrell’s words, not mine}. I don’t think she looks bad, she clearly doesn’t give a f**k.


Melissa McCarthy unfortunately matched the grey curtains she was presenting in front of; a definite Oscar no-no & you’re people should have been on this. But her make up and hair were dynamite



Norah had a great performance but terrible red carpet dress; its ill fitting. Poor thing, she should have stuck with the Supremes Sunshine yellow; she nailed that look.


Helena, I love you, you saucy spazz. And like KStew, you also do not give two flying f**ks.


I have no idea why this mess has topped many Best Dressed Lists, but from the waist up, those appliques and that belt are ridiculous. I don’t know what Zoe was thinking. The tail is beautifully crafted, but the colours are a drab bore on this dusky beauty.


This is a frumpy, ill fitting, blight in blue. Reese constantly had to announce her pregnancy as if to say it wasn’t her fault that as a huge Hollywood star she wore a dress that looks likes it about to slip off. Just don’t go shopping with Kim Kardashian, ok?


Tsk, tsk, tsk…Kelly Rowland this is a disaster. From that bustier that looks like a 2nd graders attempt at origami to that awkward and unflattering slit, I’m just in shock. This is a beautiful woman, one of Destiny’s Children, who has clearly lost her damn mind.

Well that’s all my Happy Howlers! Another Oscars has come & gone; the rest is history now & theres no point crying over spilt Moet!

Because I’m cruel & hate to suffer alone, I leave you with…


Capricorn Rising: The Trailblazers

January 19, 2013 § 1 Comment

“I am learning all the time. My tombstone will be my diploma.” —Eartha Kitt 1/17/1927


As the Sun drifts seemlessly out of Capricorn and onto new horizons, I have mere hours to regale my Happy Howlers with a dedication to la creme de la creme of my fellow horned beasties.

Born under this mysterious & unrelenting sign, I have the honor of being in the company of other wild Capricorns who air on the side of adventure while simultaneously upholding our salt of the Earth status. Stubborn & determined, every goal is attainable; ‘Can’t’ is the dirtiest of all words. Before the sun sets on Capricorn for another year, a hommage must be payed to my astrological kindred spirits who are trailblazers & literal inventors, changing the face of music, fashion, gender, culture and our collective concsiousness.

Elvis Pucker


Who better to kick off this zodiac ode than the King himself. Elvis Presley; many have imitated him, but none shall ever come to close to capturing his magnetism. He awoke the world to a new sound, rattling the establishment with a flexible pelvis and curled upper lip. Hide your daughters; Elvis is absolutely swoon worthy! Those eyes, that glossy black hair, what a fox! I particularly loved his jumpsuit phase; only he could pull off rhinestones & capes with the chicks screaming for more! But nothing beats that black leather suit he wore during his 1968 Comeback Special Concert. He’s smoking & I’m melting…

That’s why they called him the ‘King’, baby…

Steeped in controversy, I ask you not to remember him as a tv shooting, pill popping, Nixon loving, toilet dying celebrity, but rather as the swaggering, Tura Sultana loving, ultimate entertainer, fried peanut butter n’banana sandwich eating, good to his Mama, King of Rock & Roll

Patti Smith At The Chelsea

A queen in my eyes, our next ferocious Cap is none other than Patti Smith. The Godmother of Punk, Patti pushed the boundaries of sexuality, music, poetry and photography. When the biz told women they had to show tits & ass to be respected as an artist, Patti Smith said, fuck that noise! {I’m paraphrasing, but come on, you could totally imagine her saying that}. A total babe, Patti’s tumultuous affair with the enigmatic Robert Mapplethorpe, allowed them to explore sexuality & poverty on the explicit surface of 35mm black & white film. Patti’s raw and dynamic stage presence in ties and mens clothing played with the masculine/feminine aspects of the self with complete sincerity. How many ‘punk’ tweeny boppers have copied Patti’s style without any flavours of grittiness, true androgyny or unbridled passion. The Answer; None! I can count on my hand the women who’ve shaped punk music & Patti’s influence are still seen today. Don’t believe me? Watch the video below and call me in the morning. If this rendition of GLORIA revs your motor, the AGO is doing a retrospective of her work, so keep your peepers peeled.


Today marks the birth of an infamous Capricorn lady who continues to mesmerize us post humously. Janis Joplin was an icon. She represented the incredibly free and wild style of the 60s; her clothes are to die for…An unfortunate member of the 27 Club, this brash Texan was taken from us too soon. Her voice was ground shaking; no one song soul like Janis did. She was the epitome of hippy chic, replete with rose coloured glasses, thick Kashmiri embroidered blouses, feather boas and strands upon strands of necklaces & frizzy hair. Dick Cavett adored her and the nation mourned her when it all ended in that motel room.

Sadly, our mysterious nature can lead us to some very shadowy places. Climbing great heights,  looking behind us, we can sometimes become hypnotized by the dark chasm; its very easy to slip backwards into the darkness. Today would have been her 69th Birthday. Where ever you are sweet girl, I truly hope you found the unconditional love you so deserved & which was denied you in this lifetime.

Other Notable Trailblazing Capricorns…

Martin Luther King Jr.


Dian Fossey


Andy Kaufman


Muhammad Ali



January 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

La Vida Loca

Ribbon _Around _A _Bomb_Howling_Antiquity_Vintage_Toronto

Frida is still in town & if you snowblink, she’ll vanish. After what was a nourishing, awakening sort of day, my love for Ms. Kahlo has swelled to epic proportions and I’m gushing. As for the accident that could paint, Diego’s work will shake your foundation and having you applauding. The man is a master, and relinquish all your feelings regarding what a bastard he was to Frida at the door, because his work, actualized before you is breathtaking. The Bull Fighter will captivate you… But straight up, this is a Frida lovefest.

Thank you for painting the flowers so they won’t die.


I just adore this image. Frida, at Casa Azul, smoking, wearing fabulous flowers & finery, accompanied by a hawk. Not just a hawk, but her hawk. Masi {my incredible aunt} & I, both realized that hawks are our power animals; we never knew we felt the same way about these majestic birds of prey. Masi is also the person who introduced me to Frida Kahlo’s work; she also said that a life well lived was a passionate one. She had huge, framed, posters of Diego’s masterpieces; golden brown hands clutching & gathering calla lilies. One summer Masi took me & Jasmine to the McMichael to see a precious selection of Frida’s sketches. I was captivated. I sent this image as a gift to Masi for her birthday.

Adios Mariquita Linda

Frida the Cover Girl

“La Real Frida Kahlo”

Imagine these home movies projected upon a large wall. Moved beyond words, I marvelled as the image of these two giants of Mexican painting looking longingly at one another. Diego was her great accident; but just like with the bus, the injuries and the pain, she fought back. Complex as she was, Frida was an indomitable spirit. She painted when everyone thought she was Diego’s new chica. She painted when everyone thought she was awful. She painted when people thought she was a genius. And most importantly, she painted while in a full body cast, in a wheel chair and in hospitals. The imagery and colours flowed from her with an unstoppable prowess. It is no wonder why so many people the world over adore her. People like her, those who are on fire, we can’t help but watch them, mesmerized.

She was life on fire, who wore Mexico proudly in her hair, around her neck and in her heart. Her embroidered pesant blouses were to die for. Her jagged jade necklaces and woven, braided hairdos were enchanting. While others scoffed at Mexico, she scoffed back, ” I’d rather sit on the floor in the market of Toluca and sell tortillas, than have anything to do with those ‘artistic’ bitches of Paris.
I’ve never seen anyone like her before and I don’t think I ever will.

“I hope the exit is joyful – and I hope never to return – Frida.”


Go Go Go to the AGO!


Ribbon Around A Bomb Image courtesty of :

The Howling Review: 2012

January 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

You Were One Helluva Ride, 2012!

Now that 2012 is officially over & done with, I finally feel able to sit back & soak it all in. It was a year of thrills & frills, but it didn’t stop the punk rock for even a second! Adventures waited like cautious cats around corners, and school continued to open my mind by pushing my limits.

Travel was an absolute highlight! I was to finally explore & see all the splendor that is New York City. Having written & reviewed The Big Apple at  length, I’ll just say this; I long to go back.


In September, I hinted at my trip to London, which proved to be a very different, but amazing journey. Having returned to Great Britain, after 7 years for the wedding of my cousin, revealed just how much I had missed my ole stomping grounds. In between all the festivities I managed to hunt & capture some lovely pieces from places you may not have suspected. I’ll be sharing those insights shortly…


But I’ve got to be honest; returning from such a whirlwind trip had me feeling blue and revisiting it was just too heavy. It’s never easy saying Goodbye. 

Back home, I snooped, sifted & sought out local procurers of vintage treasures. But what excites me about 2013, is the continuation of these ventures by way of a new locale. 2012 wasn’t just a year of foreign travel as I moved from my Lil’Italy digs in Toronto’s westend for a groovy  new apartment in the Bohemian East. As you can imagine, this exit was more like an exodus; having to pack up 6 years was no small feat. At one point, my bedroom literally looked like it barfed all over itself. Although blanketed in snow, I really can’t wait to get out & explore the antique shops of Queen Street East, the Cabbagetown yard sales and unique flea markets & pop shops searching for austerity.


Could this be the year I find that powder blue typewriter?

Aside from eating & breathing it, I certainly shopped, watched, wore, and heard vintage. One of my many resolutions is to post more; its no fun keeping a bargain to yourself!

Shaking off the shoulda’,could’a, would’as of the past year, I find myself eager to start the next one with an invigorated thirst for adventure, self-exploration and of course inspiration. Having seen and tasted the fruits of 2012, its certainly whet my appetite. I won’t forget what I’ve learned and strive to keep the spirits of all that bewitched my senses alive through my drawings, photos and postings. My resolution list is as long as my arm, but 2013 beckons, and I’m hot on its heels with a laughter in my heart, and fire in my eyes!




Apocalypse Now: Welcome to the New Age…

December 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

We Didn’t Go *BOOM*! Let’s Celebrate! 


Huzzah! Call-ooh Call-ay! Thanks to our modern ignorance & adoration for the dramatic, December 21st, 2012 was NOT the End of Days many thought it would be. The sun rose magnificently in the east & the moon is now beaming down upon us.  Those sneaky Mayans! They were referring to a New Age of Enlightenment that is about to dawn on us. I just hope we can get our collective s**t together & finally embrace unity, peace & love.

But for this delicious moment…

Get down with your bad self!





September 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

Trouble is Coming…


Y’all ready for this?

By decree of King Freddie {who is Queen, technically } I am hereby elected to swoop upon Great Britain to bring merriment & mischief from the colonies!

May it be known that I shall be venturing to London for a very auspicious event; the marriage of my darling cousin. But fear not my Happy Howlers, I intend to search for the thriftiest of thrifty treasures. Be sure to look out for my self-imposed, Charity Shop Challenge.

I shall be Fearless.


Because, This is My Life


But I shan’t forget to enjoy a Sunday Afternoon…

No matter how many times I’ve been to London, I still get get lost in straight-laced mod day dreams & technicolour visons of punk mohawks. Its been 7 years & I’m so curious as to where this infamous cities pulse is beating the loudest? I promise to savor every moment & share my delectable adventure. Until my return, I bid all my Happy Howlers, a fond adieu

“The City so Nice, They Named it Twice”

September 18, 2012 § 2 Comments

“New York, you’re perfect. Don’t please don’t change a thing”


I know, trust me I know. I’m aware of what I sound like; carrying on like a gushing girl about a city I only just met. This is the last one, promise. But I couldn’t just leave things on the note of reviewing shops; this was an adventure! Come on, this is New York City we’re talking about after-all. 

Having beaten its never-ending pavement, savored it’s paletas & spending time with old friends, NYC has elegantly wormed its way into my heart. There is always something so special about places by the sea.




Other than then sheer joy of napping in Sheep Meadow, absorbing all its greenery with soothed eyes, was seeing my dear friends Sara & Dave again. I must extend my warmest gratitude to them for their generous hospitality & their refreshing company. There is nothing like being reunited with old friends in a new place to give one perspective. I love you both dearly, & I wish you all the best; take a big ole’bite outta’ that apple!


Riding on a well oiled subway system {yes, TTC I’m looking directly at you & your 2 measly lines}, I appreciated it’s design & the mind-boggling amount of people that keep it running so smoothly. Could it really have been built by just digging ditches? The true jewel in Manhattan’s iron crown is Central Park. Being only moments away from Strawberry Fields, and from where John was taken from us, the Imagine mosaic was covered with tourists, like ants to fallen ice cream. Über cheesy, it sadly took away from its impact. But upon finding the plaque devoted to peace, I did get choked up. Instead of bolstering his image as a martyr, I chose to remember John during happier times. Forgive the obvious Beatles video, but it truly rang sweetly in my mind during my time there.


~ The High Line & Greenwich~


Walking along the wonder of the High Line, I was inspired by Joshua David & Robert Hammond’s sustainable vision. It truly is a wonder, strewn with flowers, fountains and reclining chairs. This portion of the  trip was a feast not only for the eyes, but the stomach. First, I happily got my greedy hands on a paleta or Mexican popsicle. This particular paleta was made of passion fruit & I sprinkled that heavenly chilli & lime powder liberally. So refreshing!


In Greenwich the yums continued; we took Sara & Dave to a lovely vegan resto, Gobo; excellent Asian inspired cuisine. After dinner we ventured into 5 points, paying hommage to Stonewall & getting pizza for a $1. Random. And where else other than Greenwich can one find designer gowns swinging gently in the evening breeze, shining in the lamp light.


~Brooklyn & Williamsburg~

Saving the best for last, I could hardly forget to mention the spectacular borough of Brooklyn.

In the words of Alexa Chung, who said it best,

“I would say that Williamsburg is sort of my lover. Whereas {Toronto} is more like my husband. And I love my husband & I’ll always be with him, but Williamsburg is so exciting”.

Brooklyn hums with a vibration that should not be mistaken with electricity; it is far more vibrant & potent.

Bagel Robots on Bedford

I was only there for a blink of an eye, but this neck of the woods, slip on like a pair of worn in boots. Speaking of which, Chad literally stumbled upon these YSL beauties, sold to him by these beauties; on the street, literally from a bag & with smiles


This place attracts a wildness; those who are unabashed & happy to be alive. We met so many lovely people & were treated with grand hospitality by citizen & bartender alike. Special shout out to Dylan, Scott & Karen. Finding a classic way into our hearts, the food was divine. Anna Maria’s Pizza & Pasta is the pizza place. The Brooklyn accent is the real deal in this joint where you get to yell out your order & hear it echoed.

Anna Maria Pizza & Pasta

I haven’t had chicken in years, but my God, Foodswings could have fooled me. This place claims it does American classics, vegan style; they are not joking. We ate the most incredible ‘chicken’ drumsticks made from what must have been seitan. It came off the bamboo bone just like the real deal. I highly recommend the vegan Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks with the vegan ranch dip; it’s literally smothered in a delectable hot sauce. I ate so fast, sorry no pictures! But my favorite, the holy grail, was my mission to eat a fish taco. After running on empty, Rosarito’s Fish Shack was worth the slog. We arrived just in time for Happy Hour {brilliant concept, which Toronto should whole heartedly adopt!} & had the most succulent fish & shrimp tacos, replete with $1 Maine oysters {unreal!} & 2 for 1 margaritas! Every bite was a blessing on their patio.


But we got to experience a true treat! The exalted, the fierce & the fine, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings!!! She gave a free show in Williamsburg Park {which technically isn’t a park}  that got the whole crowd grooving. New Yorkers, like me, love to get down to some soulful beats; trust me, Ms Jones delivered! Most memorable quote of the trip belongs to Chad when he said, “This music makes me feel Black & Sexy”. Can I get a hell yeah!

This last memory is one of my dearest. After exiting some shop, Chad immediately rushed me to a vendors table, exclaiming this was something we had to do. An artist, possessing a vintage instant camera offered her unique services & developed the print on the spot. I was intrigued, but I hate getting my photo taken. Reigning myself in, we posed, she aimed & fired! Below is the process & the result, remarkable! It is now a most cherished token.






New York, New York, you are the belle of the ball & everyone in the free world wants a dance. You gladly oblige as you glide across the dance-floor with rhythm & charm. Your wit is a breath of fresh air, your gown is jaw dropping, but you can hold your liquor & swear like a sailor. In this grand city, there is truly something for everyone & if you haven’t been, it’s alright, just tell her I sent you.

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