I wear black

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.

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.

Ketchup – This Time it’s Personal by hallaek
February 5, 2011, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Misc. | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Let’s make things easy:
Vote for video #4
Vote for video #3
Vote for video #2
Vote for video #1

You can also: vote on your phone, vote on different computers, vote on different web browsers (Safari, Firefox, Explorer, etc.), vote on your iPad, vote on your iTouch, so many different ways to vote…

"Click here!"

Video #3 is “Private Eye”, so I act like a fool and spy on people. Video #4 is “Red”, so I act like a fool and attempt making ketchup.

Obviously the fire alarm went off.

I’ve talked to a lot of people who watch the videos, but don’t vote. Let’s stop this epidemic of watching sans voting, and let’s start with you. Yes, you. I believe in you. I believe that you can watch those videos and you can vote for them! You have the power to make change happen! So vote now, and help momentarily change a foolish girl’s life.


SNUGGIE CITY? by hallaek
January 23, 2011, 10:48 pm
Filed under: Misc. | Tags: , , , , , , ,

(Definitely not, but…)


I apologize for the first time I used all caps lock self promotion, this time, and for the next two times that this will no doubt be happening. I’m pretty sure I’ve preached this enough, if you really don’t know please just scroll down – I’m very sleepy. If you don’t want to scroll down just click the link above and proceed to click “VOTE FOR HALLAE”, then vote for me, it’s just the easiest! What you’re missing right now:

Cousin It


Working on the third, can’t reveal the theme, but it has nothing to do with the angry mouse below (I just film in class which is where my artistic side emerges). I know, I know…filming in class is just the kookiest. Well you can call me “kooky” or just vote for my videos, I think we both know which option requires the least amount of effort.
…In case you don’t know the latter is the lazy man’s option.

mad mice

A vote for me is a vote for someone you know, even if you know me just a little.

The Profiles
The Videos
The Website

Wha-BAM! (Get it?)

PSYCHIC CITY by hallaek
January 16, 2011, 8:36 pm
Filed under: Misc. | Tags: , , , , , ,


Alright, that’s quite enough of that. But I really would appreciate a wee little vote from your laptop, or desktop, or cell phone, or all of the above (all of the above). The first theme was “…and that’s what happened”, so I went to a psychic for my first time! Ohh, intrigue. What does she reveal? Watch the video to find out. And of course watch them all because they are all really well done and every one is so different from one to the next.

Voodoo Mama Juju


I am currently working on my second video which will be posted on the site I’ve already linked to twice (twice) on Thursday, but figured I would release a “teaser” so that hopefully come the big day you’re just itching to vote! It’s a bit vague, it’s just a teaser, not a full trailer that would be against the rules, so…here it is:


I promise you, it’s pretty embarrassing. Worth a watch especially if you would like to use this video as ammo.

The Profiles
The Videos
The Website


BAM! NYE by hallaek
January 9, 2011, 2:43 pm
Filed under: Fashion | Tags: , , , , ,

Okay, first, let’s talk BAM.

the girls

BAM! is the online reality video series I’ll be partaking in for the next month along with three other girls for the blog She Does The City. We were each sent a Kodak PlayTouch with which we’ll each shoot four videos (one a week) which correspond with four different themes, and no more than two minutes in length per video. I am currently piecing together mine and changing things on the fly…hopefully I’ll get the hang of this by the next one, or the next, but probably the last one.

Oh, I almost forgot the most important part: YOU. That’s right, get your voting index finger ready to click lots for me! (Please.) Viewers will vote on each video and at the end of it all the girl with the most votes wins $1000. I’m not too confident about the grand (the other girls definitely have high cool factors), but I’ve got…Tila.

Ain't she pretty

Trusty blog photographer Tila turned into trusty camera holder Tila. We’ve hit some bumps, and done millions of re-shoots because we’re scatterbrains and thus easily distracted (especially when Say Yes to The Dress is on), but mostly because this is fairly foreign to us. Sure, we take the random video in Disney World waiting for the bus and discussing our celebrity, but I feel like this is different…though not by much. Anyway, please vote, I’ll try my hardest not to be annoying and if I fail then I guess you can hit me or something, but not hard just enough to release a smidgen of frustration.

For now you can go to She Does The City to read our profiles and on Thursday, January 13th our first videos will be up so voting begins! Videos will always go up on Thursdays, so you should probably get out your red marker and calendar now and start circling.

For now, some super NYE pictures. It was my comfiest New Years ever, heels included, thanks to hemlines that hit my ankles. And those boots…those boots…my heart still skips a beat whenever I see them in my bedroom. Thank you, YSL and Holt Renfrew shoe sale.




check out my aquarium



And one last time: BAM!

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