On November 28th the TORI.XO 7th Annual Jewellery party, will take place at one of my favourite locations in all of Halifax. The Granville Mall, which most of you may know as that beautiful pedestrian street next to NSCAD.
There are so many things I love about this particular patch of Halifax. I mean just look at it.
The first time I saw the images above was back in 2004, while I was applying for an exchange semester from my University in Australia (COFA, UNSW).
I was looking for a European city with a great jewellery program where classes were taught in English. My professor at the time, Vaughan Rees, had done his masters at NSCAD, he spoke of Andy Warhol, an amazing school and a European flare.
So I did a bit of research and five minutes later I was looking at images of stonemason architecture, granite façade and the cobblestone streets surrounding the college.
I promptly filled out a few forms and in the fall of 2005 I arrived to Halifax. After my first few days at NSCAD I fell in love with the school and the quaintness of the surrounding streets and maze of historic buildings.
Ten years later, Granville street still finds way to capture my heart.
You may know that at this location, we shot the cover of the Halifax Magazine , but you may not know that in the late 1800’s, one of these buildings was home to a jewellery studio and shop front. Today we know this place as The Flower Shop.
And I couldn’t be more happy to share with you that Charlotte Pierce, it’s owner and operator, has agreed to host our next TORI.XO event.
The latest in TORI.XO designs inspired by lace with the introduction of chocolate diamonds will debut at this event.
We couldn’t be more excited to have our 7th annual jewellery party here. We hope you can join us for a night of jewellery, music and champagne.
Save the date and please mark an XO on November 28th.
Charlotte at work in The Flower Shop that once was a jewellery shop in the 1800's
The Lace and Chocolate diamond collection will debut at our 7th Annual Jewellery Show.
This year we had the privilege of participating in Atlantic Fashion week next to some of the finest designers in Atlantic Canada.
Mo Handahu - Clutch Culture - Photograph by Brent McCombs
A favourite for Fashion week - Style size hoops (now available online!) photographed by Meghan Tansey Whitton
This September I was invited to go to Belgium to attend a friends wedding reception in a Chateau in Brussels.
How could one resist! The Castle Party was oh so grand with champagne flowing and the bride and groom glowing.
On the days surrounding the occasion I set out to find the infamous Brussels Lace.
"What I love most about travel is the adventure - the art of getting lost in a city and stumbling across doorways that lead to little gems."
I was on my way to a flea market, walking the cobblestone streets of the Grand Place, Brussels when I stumbled upon the doorstep of my dream museum “ Musée du Costume et de La Dentelle” (Museum of costume & lace).
Inside was the most extensive collection of lace I had ever seen. Drawers upon drawers of century old lace, preserved behind glass doors.
The intricate details were mesmerizing.
Next stop on my lace tour of Belgium was one of the oldest flea markets in the city “Place de Jeu Balle”.
Located in a cobblestone square a couple of blocks from the Grand Place, this market was filled with every antique imaginable.
I scouted the markets for what I was looking for and found nestled in an old trunk troves upon troves of Brussels lace.
Day 3 of my travels to Belgium brought me to the quaintest and well preserved mediaeval cities in Western Europe - Bruges.
I would recommend anyone visit this town whilst in Belgium, located about an hour outside of Brussels.
I loved the old houses on the river, the cobblestone streets and main square in the centre.
Down one tiny street tucked away in a little door was an old lady who has been making bobbin lace in Bruges for many decades.
The piece she was working on would take 2 months to complete.
From my train rides and boat trips through Belgium I have sketched some designs inspired by the lace I found.
Your very next TORI.XO piece may be embellished with some century old Belgian lace.
Lace Museum -
Place de Jeu Balle - Brussels
Best Chocolatier in Belgium
Yesterday was an exciting day in the history of TORI.XO.
Halifax Magazine invited 5 fashion influencers of Halifax for the September Issue feature article.
We met on location at NSCAD fashion department (where I began the brainstorming of my business 9 years ago!) We had a lot of fun in amongst the mannequins and gorgeous old building I love so much.
The issue is set to be launched mid September. I feel so privileged to be included with such fashion influencers as Gary Markle, Lisa Drader Murphy, Mo Handahu & Angela Campagnoni.
Here are some pics from the behind the scenes of the shoot
NSCAD FASHION DEPARTMENT
The Fashion Influencers: Mo Handahu, Angela Campagnoni, Lisa Drader Murphy, Gary Markle, Tori Poynton
Vanity Fair inspired cover shoot!
We just wrapped our Summer Look-Book photo-shoot.
We had so much creative talent involved from Photography to Styling, hair and make-up and our gorgeous summer collections model.
We were on location bright and early at the stunning Crystal Crescent beach (Nova Scotia).
It all felt so surreal. These collections were inspired either by travel or actual dreams. Bringing in full circle the process of visualizing them in my head, sketching the design, making each piece at my studio and now having them photographed and modelled.... can't wait to share with you the results.
In the mean time, here are a few happy snaps from behind the scenes.
Photographer: Meghan Tansey Whitton
The face of TORI.XO summer 2014 - Shayla Bond
The whole crew making magic happen with the Mermaids Amulet collection.
Stylist extraordinaire, Nadine LaRoche
Hair and Make up on location Emily from Urban30 blow-dry bar
OUR CREATIVE TEAM: (Left to Right: Juan Cruz, Tori, Iain, Nadine, Shayla, Emily, Meghan, Riley)
Keep your eyes out for the Summer look book online soon.
It's not everyday you get to shake hands with a Prince
Yesterday the Royal couple Prince Charles and Camilla paid a visit to Pier 21, next to the TORI.XO studio.
I had a brief encounter with his highness and we exchanged a few words.
The jewels that I chose to wear were the Filete Hoops, fitting for spring and matched my Marimekko Dress.
Back to making jewels today
F O O D • F A S H I O N • C U L T U R E
V & A (Victoria and Albert Museum) Free admission
Exhibitions: The Glamour of Italian Fashion, 1945 – 2014
5th April – 27th July, 2014
I was lucky to be in London for this timely exhibit. The Glamour of Italian Fashion is a comprehensive look at Italian fashion from 1945 to the present day. I was enchanted by the Pucci’s, Dolce & Gabbana’s and fell in love with the Valentino gowns on display.
On show was the desirable emerald and diamond piece by Bulgari worn by Elizabeth Taylor. (see picture above)
TORI.XO Highlights at the V&A:
Jewellery room: prepare to be mesmerized by one of the best collections of jewellery on display to the public in all of Europe. Upon entering the dimly lit room is a flash of gemsTo my right is a cabinet, 2mtrs x 2mtrs, containing an alphabet of gems from Aquamarines to Zircons. The room continues with a timeline of over 3,500 jewels from over 800 years ago through to today’s contemporary jewelers.
Ironwork & Keys @ the V&A
With a fascination for antique keys, this room held over 100 keys dating back hundreds of years. The selection and beauty of ironwork on display was like nothing else I had seen before.
Matisse: Cut Outs
17th April – 7th September.
This is a MUST see exhibit for any Matisse lover in London.
Book tickets in advance online.
Each room exposes the mind of this master. From the very first cut-outs in the early years to some of the grander pieces Matisse ‘painted with scissors’ in the 50’s. The 2 dimensional collages come to life when you see them up close with the brush strokes of each colour made by applying gouache to paper.
My favourite part of this exhibit was learning of Matisse love of snorkeling in Tahiti where many of his inspirations in later years were drawn from (and is the inspiration for the TORI.XO 2014 collections also)
If you are in London on a Saturday make sure to pay a visit to Notting Hill.
Here you will find an array of antiques and bric-a-brac at the Portobello Rd Markets. Eye-catching pieces I scouted on this trip were teapots and teacups, beautifully carved woodblock stamps and of course the signature essence of TORI.XO – Lace. Mixed in between the classic pastel coloured houses of Portobello Rd are the veggie and flower stalls and further down the street is a local food market too. Bring cash and empty bellies and a trunk to carry your treasures.
I had the privilege of having a local show me around Camden Lock and Camden Markets. It is quite the maze and juxtaposition of finds:
from funky vintage stores (where I picket up a 1970’s Marks & Spencer navy blazer) to prints from the 1800’s to the latest trends in T-shirts and touristy items.
Camden Town is a place of colour and vibrance. If you meander into the side streets make sure to check out the ever-changing street art. A stroll along the canal past the London Zoo is a nice afternoon thing to do.
Welcome to the world of Harrods, a place for royalty to shop. Doormen greet you upon entering and the staff are ever so friendly. I had my eye on a Dior ring (Paraiba blue tourmaline, white gold and diamonds) and the sales clerk insisted I try it on. “Oh…..if you insist!” I was then guided towards the Fabergé exhibit of jewels and infamous eggs on display for Easter, a rare opportunity to see these creations up close. I pondered through the floors of classically British fascinators to the high-end fashion designers and UK leaders in fashion such as Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen.
Old Bond Street & New Bond Street
This is some of the most expensive real estate in the world (ever played Monopoly) so you can imagine the shops that exist within. I enjoyed walking up Bond st taking in the window displays of these boutiques.
This is the pride and joy of affordable fashion in London
They have a fabulous section now dedicated to showcasing upcoming designers of the UK. I picked myself up a gorgeous silk floral jumpsuit for the summer by a rising label LOVE.
Home to London’s historical Jewellery quarter. Each storefront is home to some of the finest diamond jeweler’s and gem dealers in the world. Weekdays are quiet but weekends you find couples lining the streets choosing where to shop for their wedding bands.
I had been craving the Indian Cuisine of London for a while and this definitely satisfied. Located in Chelsea, this dinner went above and beyond my expectations. It was quite fine dining, so not your typical hole in the wall, but definitely worth it. Being a vegetarian I ordered the veggie platter, which came with about 8 mini samplers of from the menu including the ever so tasty raita (thanks for the recommendation Cedar!) The fresh mango cocktail went down quite smoothly too. 5 stars from TORI.XO for this place.
A plethora of local produce to be found here with aromas to entice the taste buds.
After a visit to the Tate Modern & London Tower make sure to have some lunch here.
And then afterwards sample some of the best coffee in London at Monmoth coffee http://www.monmouthcoffee.co.uk/
Surprisingly healthy British cuisine offered here. I like to eat as healthy as possible meals when I travel and this catered perfectly with a menu titled “Super Healthy Meals”. All produce used was local and the meals living up to their title.
The menu was in vogue with the latest trends in healthy eating too.
Dalesford Organic, Notting Hill
We shared a divine Sunday afternoon in the sun at this Healthy restaurant with a dear friend. The salad bar of options was very generous and the and if you are looking for healthy options, they can be found here.
For the best panoramic views of London and a taste of greenery spend an afternoon strolling around Primrose Hill.
The famous river of London runs all the way through the city.
Put on your running shoes and enjoy the breeze for a jog along this lengthly river.
There are boat rides you can take from the Tower of London that will offer scenic views also.
London Eye, Tower of London, London Bridge, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace…