I wear black

Glamover – It’s like a hangover, but glam by hallaek

No better time than as the holidays approach to relax, spend time with friends, and (if one is of legal age, of course) partake in an alcoholic beverage, or eight. You’re not like all the rest, though. When you go to a holiday party, heads turn. As you weave through the room various people grab your arm, asking where you got that and how you thought to pair velvet with sneakers — you’re just too fabulous, perhaps even for life itself.

So the night ends and you won the eggnog chugging contest, which was easy as you were the sole participant, but what does this tell of the future? Surely the morning after tossing back festive liquor won’t be a nice one, in fact it’ll likely be a naughty one, but either way this is you and you will not partake in this hangover nonsense. There is hope for you, oh breathtakingly cool one, as hangover’s got a new friend: her name is ‘Glamover’ and she is fierce, just like you.

Glam-o-ver (noun):

  1. Ill effects caused by drinking an excess of alcohol whilst being fabulous.
  2. A fabulous thing that has survived from the past.

Google definitions don’t lie.

The curse of glamover sufferers is that outsiders assume our morning-after pain is lesser than theirs, which is not true, it just looks better aesthetically. Underneath the sunnies, fur, and jewelry are the deafening moans of a very hungover person.


Make your hangover fab. Make it a glamover.

DIY Sunday: Jewelry Toques by hallaek

Judging by that title one may deduce that I am lacking creativity, and am Canadian; hopefully no correlation is made between the two. I am slowly (willingly) transforming myself into a cat, because why not, so that plus cold weather spurned a Eugenia Kim purchase. I still felt like partaking in the arts & crafts, though I blame my lack of effort in title-ing due to already being ‘hat-ready’ for winter. I’m saving my ingenious wordplay for the post featuring knit cat ears.

In the first of our DIY Sundays, assuming crafts become a staple hangover cure, the inspiration was a knit beanie with varying gem pieces sewn onto it. While the original hat had a clear design, it would be easier for our purposes and much more on-trend if we approached the bedazzling in a more relaxed way — think accidental bling. A few quick shopping stops to grab a hot glue gun, some plain toques, and cheap junk jewelry to break up and without spending more than $30 each we were set.

Most of craft time was spent staring at our hats, as if Matilda-styles gems would start floating and dancing and landing in place looking sweet, but that didn’t happen so we had a potato chip break. Eventually we all got quiet and down to business and within a couple of hours we had three very different looking hats in front of us — because we were all wearing them all night, inside.

Mine began as an explosion of jewels from one corner, but then I draped an old necklace on it/over my eye and as a huge fan of things I can hide behind, was sold. Christianne’s is definitely an explosion of various bling and she even sewed it all down, so you know she’s legit. And Jacinta, whose idea sparked the evening’s activity, created a kind of traditional zig-zag pattern, only entirely in beads and jewelry — both hers and Christianne’s look like something you would pay $60 for at Club Monaco, or J.Crew. Then mine looks like I wore a hat, then I wore a necklace, but on my forehead. Art!




Try it yourself!

Maison Martin Margiela for H&M by hallaek

So as you may know or can read, I went to the pre-shop at H&M for their latest designer collaboration with Margiela. The line is basically a round-up of Margiela’s biggest hits over the past two decades, so for those of us with (lesser) aspirations like owning an absurdly oversized coat by MMM this was our one and only chance do so at a more acceptable price-point.

In all honesty, H&M isn’t always a fav of mine especially when a known designer comes in because the items often seem more like novelties and end up a waste of time, sanity, money, and let’s be honest: their sizes are rarely forgiving. Thank you, Martin Margiela and your penchant for women in enormous menswear. I have always wanted clothing, well-cut clothing, that doubles as a blanket, bed, shelter — yet still holds a shape that reminds the public you aren’t homeless, it’s just how you dress. Also, with a blog named after the fact that I rarely wear colour, I swoon at lines made up mostly of neutrals. All in all, this line was screaming for me to swim in it, pretend I am androgynous, and someone who casually wears Margiela.

Margiela x H&M Wool Jacket  Huf hat, Isabel Marant sneakers, Dannijo necklace 
Margiela x H&M Sweater and Blazer  Fortune Favors the Brave necklace, Charlotte Olympia ‘Kitty’ flats 
Margiela x H&M Camel Coat and Jeans  it’s all eBay, bay-bay…

Thanks again to destructor and ever momager, Christianne, for the snaps.

Situation: Pre-Shop – Maison Martin Margiela for H&M by hallaek

Thanks to the ladies at She Does The City I won entrance into the pre-shop for the highly coveted Margiela collection at H&M the night before it opened to the public this morning at 8 am. Had I not been awarded the best award of all awards allowing my passage through the doors of the Bloor Street H&M into ‘MMMHeaven’ last night, you know I would’ve awoken at the crack of dawn and stood in line with my fellow ‘MMMHeads’ — and I’m sure these very specific fangirl terms I just made up will soon catch on, you’ll see. I thought maybe because it was a pre-shop that the atmosphere would be more relaxed than the chaos I was sure would ensue the next morning, but now I see the naivety in such thinking.

We arrived early expecting to wait in line, and found one that went around the block, but it started moving quickly so we devised our scheme to divide and conquer. Another line that looped around the store’s main level was waiting for us inside. One by one crazed shoppers walked as fast as they could up the escalator, because running is gauche, and as we moved around we looked up to see a lucky lady who had grabbed every single glossy candy wrapper clutch. I heard women all around me sigh with loss as she stacked those purses under her arm and walked off; we all knew that look, that determination: they were hers now. (While there was a limit of four per type of item, everyone came with a +1 so it was easy to sidestep that rule.)

We had four in our group, but it was everyone for themselves on the second floor.

As we turned the corner to face the front of the store where the merchandise was grouped, all we saw was a sea of bodies. The area had been open for about five minutes and already most of it was in huge piles in people’s arms. Not one of us in the gang spoke or even looked at each other, we just dispersed. Ducking down with what I’ll call ‘torpedo theory’ thinking that if I made myself more compact and led with my head I’d be able to weave through the crowd, I went straight to the coats wanting to find the most enormous of anything before some trendy competition grabbed it. I did quite well climbing through racks and saying “sorry” compulsively to trick people into thinking I was polite and not a blood-hungry Margiela fiend, but I hadn’t found an available duvet coat and if anything I had to try on that coat.

Christianne and I met back in line — she had grabbed the last pair of oversized jeans, I stared at her jealously. As we waited, and patiently at that might I add, Christianne taking on the role of pseudo-mother as I’ve mentioned she’s wont to do asked a sales associate if there was any way I could just try on one of the down coats. Obviously there wasn’t anything she could do, but I was just grateful that Christianne asked, what a gal! We went in, tried on, made out like bandits, and then I realized I was missing a certain furry part of my personality. The grey vintage fur I had walked in with was no longer on my shoulders. We had our first casualty.

It all meant nothing if that fur was gone! It was such a find! I started yelling out to anyone who would listen about my lost baby — sorry, fur. Scampering around like Jodie Foster in Flightplan, I finally saw it draped over the arm of another sales associate who I hugged, maybe cried a bit on, and of course thanked profusely. In the flurry of losing something I already owned, I had missed out on my chance at getting my hands on what had drawn me here originally, that damn coat. Someone had put one back, but I watched a woman quicker and less hysterical than I grab it and walk off. I happened to be standing right behind this woman when I reclaimed my fur, and she had turned her back on the down garment. So I snatched it. And it looked horrible on me. And then I realized they were now hanging up all over the place, so there went that dream.

Downstairs I snagged a pair of oversized jeans hanging by the dressing rooms and the two of us, survivors, looked for our lost members. One was in line to pay, the other, Emily, didn’t make it. I hear she went down like a pro though, taking many flutes of champagne with her — in other words the frenzy wasn’t worth it for her, but free booze is always grand. Christianne and I joined our fellow survivor, Adam, in line as we compared our spoils of war. Adam had a white box. All the white boxes upstairs were gone, but there was one in his hands. And in inside was the one bracelet I wanted. “Where did you get that.” I didn’t ask, I demanded. I felt my warrior instinct return, it was on. He calmly replied with their location, like it was no big deal. There were more.

Then we all calmed down, or I did, and my war hero went up and grabbed me my own watch strap bangle and I saved his spot in line. When we woke up, we realized it had all been a dream.

No, not really. After paying, Christianne and I hung back to drink as a means to downplay the cost. Two women approached us, beaten down by the chaos of the second floor, and openly envied our purchases. They had seen us upstairs and knew what we had been holding onto, they would try their luck in the morning at the Eaton Centre. We shared tales of fifteen minutes earlier and the hardships endured, downed our drinks and walked out into the cold. We were both a little lighter and a little heavier, because damn those bags were heavy.

3/4 of the gang

the line

the end

the goods

2nd floor

Thanks Christianne for the pictures, as always.

Lazy Sunday at the Everything to do with Sex Show by hallaek

A Sunday afternoon; the perfect time to relax, sleep off that hangover, eat various breakfast foods — well this past Sunday we took our sausage (literally), and added a side of eggs (also literal). We went to the Everything to do with Sex Show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Being a Toronto native I’d heard of the show before, but this was my first time in attendance. Now having had the time to mull the entire experience over I can say one thing for certain: you need to go to the Everything to do with Sex Show at least once in your life. Just do it ®

The ‘Show was setup like a trade show, but with a focus on audience participation and latex. My best friend/photographer/pseudo-mother, Christianne, and I weren’t interested in spending money (because let’s face it – we gots our sex paraphernalia covered) so we hightailed it to the back where the Dungeon lay in its dirty little corner. There was no photography allowed inside the area, so already you know it’s good, but it was so much more than either of us expected.

A corner with a woman chained to a wooden X whilst being whipped, another with one being tied up to hang from a wooden beam structure, and your casual wooden block over which ladies bend to receive their spanking. There was more to the area, but those were the immovable features. We joined the crowd of spectators, though we felt more like voyeurs, as various women got off on their unique kinks — and I do mean “got off,” that first X-lady did so twice! The crowd was proud of her, so was her ‘whipper’.

In all honesty, we kind of turned back into high schoolers with our shifty eyes and awkward giggles, though glad to report we were over that after the first wave of getting off. We left the Dungeon area to catch the Latex and Lace Fashion Show, and had a chance to chat before the models came on stage. While we had only been there for about 20 minutes, we already met an experience that was unlike anything we’ve ever encountered before, and we didn’t like our reactions to it. Christianne and I consider ourselves to be open, playful, and even kinky, but it wasn’t until then that we realized how secretive we are about our sexuality.

It’s perfect timing to come to the realization that you could be holding back right as a bunch of confident women in skimpy lingerie and skin-tight leather and latex start to strut down the runway, and I mean that sincerely. I’ve been to my fair share of fashion shows and typically the women are the kind of skinny that causes serious self-doubt and unfortunately they rarely look like they’re enjoying what they’re doing, but these models at the Everything to do with Sex Show had an opposite effect on me. Each model had a personality, their own walk, and genuinely looked to be enjoying the whole experience. The show almost wasn’t about what they were wearing, it seemed to be more about their bodies and how proud they were of them regardless of the ensemble. There was short, curvy, thin, booty, bust, even some green hair — basically hands down the best runway show experience I’ve ever had.

The rest of the afternoon was spent weaving in and out of booths to see some of the novelty sex gizmos and gadgets that were alien to us before Sunday and we observed the trend of female guest participation at these various stands. And coincidentally enough as I noticed all these women eager to join in on the fun, I saw a sign on a table of books and DVDs that made mention of “The Feminist Porn Awards” and everything started to fall into place. I am holding onto an old way of thinking when I breach the topic of sex, and that’s clear now. These women that participated and just had fun, they get it. They have no need to worry about what someone might think, because they are comfortable 100% with who they are, and that’s meant pretty literally inside and out.

The juxtaposition of the ‘Sex Show fashion show versus the common one is almost an all-encompassing example of what I realized that day. In the world of fashion we are basically taught to keep things straight lace, just look at the rigidity of what is allowed and not in a typical show. Compared to what is sought after, cheered on, and proudly shown off in the fashion shows of the Everything to do with Sex world, also considering the variety of looks and body types, there is no surprise that I found myself resisting the carefree attitude of the patrons and professionals of the ‘Show.

I am so glad I had the opportunity to attend the Everything to do with Sex Show, because there is no doubt I left having learned a bit more about the world, and something about myself as well. I stand in awe of these people who wear their sexuality on their sleeve, as it were. We are all but mammals, we are all sexual beings, and it’s a shame that we’ve been taught to keep what feels natural and good to us behind closed doors. But then I guess that’s the real reason why the ‘Sex Show is open to the public, so we can have such experiences in a safe and controlled space with like-minded or at least curious individuals, and hopefully leave with a part of you that was once closed a bit more open, or at least a little less buried within.

In other words: time to start werkin’ this booty.

Sexy Sushi at the Everything to do with Sex Show Launch Party by hallaek

Last night I attended the launch party for the Everything to do with Sex Show at Oasis Aqua Lounge, and was able to cross a little something off my bucket list. When I was 15 during TIFF I walked by a basement restaurant and peered in to see naked people covered in sushi as guests casually mingled around, every so often taking a bite of spicy salmon. I had never seen anything like it, besides in the movies, but decided in that moment that one day I was going to eat sushi off a naked person and I was going to like it! Well, last night it happened. I ate sushi off a beautiful naked woman — twice. Her name was Ms. Kitty and she has a shell-fish allergy, but with some leaves between her skin and the sushi everything went swimmingly (fish puns), though it has to be said that she’s a serious trooper.

The Everything to do with Sex Show opens today, Nov. 2nd, so last night was a raunchy kick-off to what’s bound to be an even raunchier weekend. Upon arrival we were escorted upstairs where there was a room that was all bed (no filler) as well as several bed-like-couch things lining adjoining rooms with baskets of condoms and Lysol wipes on each side table. I must say that beyond the human sushi boat, one of the most interesting things I found was how they were able to keep their signage safe-sex informative, yet cuddly — it’s what I imagine signs would like should Disney World open an up-scale sex club.

Before the party I did a bit of research so I would be able to spot the celebrity guests, whose claims to fame varied from porn star to sex columnist to dirty hypnotist, and I was lucky enough to bump into the gorgeous Taylor Stevens, who is a self-made webcam starlet, right off the top. I had been on her website earlier that day, which has shot after shot of her very impressive cleavage, and as a gal who isn’t as stacked up there all I could think about while talking to her was how badly I wanted to compliment her boobs, but somehow I managed to keep that under my hat and talk shop — who knows, I may want to start my own webcam biz someday and she’d be the best person to ask for some advice. She told me she was met with many naysayers when she was embarking on this journey and these haters’ main reason? They thought she was too big for the industry when she started.

It was Stevens’ candour on this matter that really drew me into her, as I have also struggled with my size and what that means for my sexuality, and the fact that she was so open and dismissive about the idea that her size at the time could qualify as an issue, gave me in one word: hope. I felt hope because we need successful women in such industries speaking out honestly and with pride in their voice about those extra curves that so easily draw criticism, when there is absolutely no need for it — and she knew it. Her words for all those people who nit-picked her size in the beginning? “Just watch me.”

As the night progressed outfits became less on and more off, and that includes patrons who had taken a dip in the heated outdoor pool and rejoined the party wrapped in towels. I also saw Ms. Kitty downstairs wrapped in one of those towels, so hopefully that means she was able to wash any shell-fish residue away — I couldn’t get over her, she has that kind of super chill attitude I feel I can only aspire to. The night ended with a burlesque/pole dancing performance complete with a stripped off kimono to reveal nipple tassels, and I knew my night was complete.

Tickets are still available for purchase to the Everything to do with Sex Show where you’ll find essentially all of what I just mentioned plus much, much more. And congratulations are due to Ryan LaPlante who won the pair of tickets I had to give away to the ETDWSS, but don’t let that stop you from checking out the gals, the guys, and above all, the skin! Maybe I’ll see you there? I’ll be the girl with her own brand new pair of nipple tassels, I hear they’re the new hot accessory for winter 2012.

Everything to do with SEX (also, free tickets) by hallaek

I have a pair tickets to give away to the Everything to do with Sex Show, which is running in Toronto in the South Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from November 2-4.

Want these tickets? Then tweet me @hallaek and tell me what you’re looking forward to checking out at the ETDWSS, also make sure to hashtag your tweet #YYZsex and include a mention of the ‘Sex Show at @The_Sex_Show.

If you’ve ever been in contact with me, and I mean even minimal-barely-know-my-name contact, then you know my mum is an OBGYN. No, I’m not telling you what that stands for. Yes, you’ll have to google it yourself. And yes, I suppose it is a bit odd that that’s a piece of information about myself I share more freely than my horoscope, but let’s just call it a quirk. An upbringing with such a mother (who as George W. Bush once put in is in the business of “women loving”) has certainly had an effect on how I view womanhood and sex; in other words for me it is and always has been very open.

Now that you know more about me, and that’s whether you wanted such personal information or not, it should come as no surprise that I am drawn to the Everything to do with Sex Show. It’s no secret that women in the past had been given less leeway when it comes to embracing sex and sexuality since usually it came with a less than desirable label, and while we’re not completely out of the woods yet, it is thanks to initiatives like the Everything to do with Sex Show that a topic that was once taboo and in the shadows can come into the light and be embraced with a ‘good-times’ spirit.

A couple years ago I was looking for something to do that would make me sweat (heyo!) and wasn’t the gym, when I came across pole dancing classes. I had a whole mess of misconceptions about what I was getting myself into prior to the class: that it’d be full of pros, that I’d be laughed out for my awkward idea of ‘sexy,’ and worst of all I kept asking myself, “What am I going to tell people I’m doing when they ask?” While I wasn’t afraid of telling my parents that my new extra-curricular was working it out on a brass pole, since there had always been this open-ness thanks to mom, I was worried about what my friends, acquaintances, co-workers, and anyone else who asked why I was busy Tuesday and Thursday nights would think.

When I got to the class, everything changed. This wasn’t a place where how sexy the woman beside you is was put into competition, and it certainly wasn’t a place where anyone laughed if your sexy improv dancing between moves was questionable. It was a place where you let go of any hold-ups you had outside the room and just accepted your sexuality for what it was, and you got to stretch and dance a bit and have fun while you were at it. I remember walking in to my first advanced class a few months later and upon seeing my new classmates I found myself thinking all those negative things again, and then regretted being the curvy girl in tight shorts — even though I had thought they looked banging before I left the house — beside all these lithe, pole-spinning beauties. Of course, all the women in there were just as lovely, open, and supportive as everyone else I had met so far in this adventure, but I had such strongly pronounced pre-conceived notions about what I thought sexy was supposed to be based on general and public opinion, that it was easy to revert back to that place.

I’ve learned a lot from living with the person I was lucky enough to get as a mom, and my experience pole dancing opened my eyes to some of the stereotypes I was holding onto and thankfully dismissed them. I left that class comfortable with what my version of sexy was, open to the fact that there are just as many personalities within sexuality as within fashion, and just generally feeling more confident. At The Everything to do with Sex Show you’ll find this environment: a place where sexuality is fluid, fun, and easy-going. And if my tale of pole dancing has intrigued you, then look no further than the ETDWSS as a starting point since their Sexy Fitness Zone includes a few pole dancing demonstrations, as well as other fun ways to exercise sexily like partnered yoga and hoola-hooping. And the more I try to picture what sexy fitness hoola-hooping entails the more curious I am — I’m definitely going to be watching that demonstration, and maybe I’ll have a new extra-curricular to spring on my parents.

The ETDWSS also includes a ‘Lace and Latex’ fashion show, burlesque performances, an exotic male review, and a hypnotist. Add erotic art and rooms specifically for the kink you love and the Everything to do with Sex Show has a little bit of something for everyone. Wait, did I forget to mention that there would be Canadian Playboy cover models there? Yeah. You should go to the ‘Sex Show.

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