Aleks Susak Opens Toronto Summer Showroom

Canadian designer, Aleks Susak, has officially opened her Toronto summer showroom featuring latest pieces from The Silk Collection. Also, luxury leather handbags will be introduced featuring gold leaf embellishments and hand-painted motifs.

The Silk Collection is a luxury line of hand painted silk garments that are unique and one-of-a-kind. Inspired by the rich history of silk fabric, it is a fusion of traditional artisanry combined with modern design. Each piece within the collection is created in a careful multi-step process, where the fabric is first cut to shape, individually painted and then hand sewn with immaculate attention to detail. An expression of individuality, The Silk Collection represents style that embodies beauty, femininity and timeless elegance.

Launched in 2014, Creative Director, Aleks Susak, designs and produces ready-to-wear pieces specializing in luxury silk garments that are made-to-measure, hand-painted, and one-of-a-kind. Aleks combines traditional cuts with modern fabrics. One of the most recognizable aspects of Aleks’s work is the ongoing mix of art and fashion, as well as traditional artisanship, where hand crafted elements are present in almost every collection.

The showroom is located 247 Macpherson Avenue, Unit 105.
[Avenue Road and Dupont Street]
Mon-Fri (11 AM to 7 PM)
Sat-Sun (10 AM to 3 PM)
Or by appointment

@ALEKSSUSAK

#WEARART

#ASTHELEATHERCOLLECTION

#ASTHESILKCOLLECTION

WWW.ALEKSSUSAK.COM 

Through the artist’s eyes

Taking the stage as a classical artist is exciting and glamorous but it takes years of practice and dedication. Education plays a vital role in every performer’s musical career – I, too, know from experience. Singing or playing in front of people is the easy part. How you get this is another story.

With events like Operanation, aspiring students are given the chance to learn from the best in the business as they embark on a life-changing musical path. Yes, again, I may be biased, but there is nothing I love more than seeing the arts and education flourish together hand-in-hand.

Canadian Soprano, Simone Osborne has been hailed as “a joy to hear” (Los Angeles Times) with “a sweet and clear sound, sensitive phrasing and gleaming sustained high notes” (New York Times). As one of the youngest winners of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, she is also an alumni of the Canadian Opera Company Studio Ensemble. As an active attendee, we take a look from the artist’s point-of-view.

As an artist, define your interpretation of Operanation.

I have always seen Operanation as the COC’s invitation to a young generation of Torontonians who may have yet to experience the Four Seasons Centre and the operatic art form in all of its glory. It’s an incredible introduction to opera thanks to collaborative performances with pop musicians, creative exhibitions, amazing food and drinks at the most glamorous venue in the city. In short, it is a night where guests are welcomed in true COC style, and everyone leaves feeling welcome, inspired, excited and eager to return for a full blown performance. Operanation shows the whole city that opera is meant for everyone, regardless of age, income bracket or experience. It breaks down the walls and shows people just how accessible and sensational opera can be.

You are a graduate of the Ensemble Studio – what does the support of the Operanation event mean for all current members?

The success of Operanation makes a huge difference in the lives of the young Ensemble Studio singer. Becoming a professional opera singer takes time, dedication and an incredible team of experts to show you the way. The COC brings in the very best singing teachers, coaches, language specialists, agents and masterclass teachers from all over the world. It gives each young singer a stipend to take additional singing lessons and pays each singer a living wage so that they can spend all of their time and energy honing their craft. This would not be possible without the financial support that comes from Operanation every year. By buying a ticket to Operanation, you are directly impacting the lives and growth of these young Canadian artists.

 What is your favourite part about attending as well as hosting the VIP dinner?

I love the feeling of giving back to a company that has been unbelievably supportive of me and of my career. The dinner is always exquisitely curated with a creative theme, wonderful food and great company. It’s a perfect way to meet other interesting, young professionals with a love of the arts. It’s a real VIP experience with fabulous conversation, lots of laughs and some stunning private performances. 

What are your thoughts on this year’s theme?

I love a slightly general theme because it opens the floodgates for tons of creativity. The fashion at Operanation is ALWAYS a highlight, so I love that “A Night of Curiosities” leaves enough room for attendees to go in whichever direction they choose. It also lays the ground work for some brilliant artistic collaborations, creations and experiences over the course of the evening.

Can you share anything about your fashion choices for the evening’s festivities?

I’ve been living out of my suitcase for the past three months, so I had to pick up a new piece for Operanation this year. As the host, I like to blend in a bit rather than completely clash with the artists or other speakers, so I’ve decided on a black, sequined Aidan Maddox number which should do the trick for both the glam dinner portion and full blown party mode for the rest of the night. Usually, I like to wear Canadian designers to Operanation, (last year, I was fortunate enough to be dressed by The Room at the Hudson’s Bay, and was gifted a gorgeous Sid Neigum gown) but given my busy travel schedule this month, a quick shopping trip was all I could manage, and there wasn’t anything quite right within the Canadian designed options. Next year!

Finally, if you can (even though you’ve performed so many), what is your favourite opera?

It would be impossible to pick a favourite opera to see or hear, but my favourite to sing is “Lucia di Lammermoor”. What soprano doesn’t dream of a 20 minute ‘mad scene’, dressed in a huge white wedding gown, covered in blood from head to toe, and brandishing a dagger. To me, it’s the soprano pinnacle.

There’s still time to purchase tickets by going online or by calling COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231. 

Behind the Elixir

We are now two weeks away from the most sought after cultural party of the year. Operanation will attract anyone who is anyone from all over the city and beyond. We can only imagine the preparation and planning behind an event like this so who better to ask than this year’s co-chair Randi Bergman. 

The talented freelance writer and editor, too, is no stranger to the Operanation scene. Since 2014, she has been co-chairing; this year, along with Kristen Burke and Ben Kizemchuk. What is there not to like about planning something so extravagant – right? “I love seeing all the ideas coming to light and watching people discover them for the first time. The Four Seasons Centre is also just such a beautiful venue – it feels very surreal to watch that many people engaging with your concepts”, says Bergman.  So, where do you even begin?

MC: What inspired this year’s theme?

RB: The theme always begins with the year’s selected opera. This year’s is Elixir of Love, which centres around a travelling salesman selling not-so-legit love potions. We took the idea of the mysterious potion and ran with it – creating this very surreal idea of a cabinet of curiosities opening for the night. You never know what you’ll find!

MC: Can you share some of your top priorities when it comes to planning Operanation?

RB: I spearhead all things creative for the event, so that means everything from the theme to the decor to the activations. I work really closely with the COC team (they’re the ones who do the REAL work!) as well as the committee to dream up ideas that will be engaging, fresh and super fun for the crowd.

MC: We have to ask you as well what your favourite opera is.

RB: I am far from an opera expert. Probably something really obvious like La Boheme or La Traviata.

Tickets can be purchase online or by calling COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231. 
*Randi’s photo courtesy of Jenna Marie Wakani

Detox Passport

Today, we live in a world where convenience is key when it comes to accessing all of life’s necessities, sometimes, by just the click of a button. There is nothing wrong with efficiency and saving time, however, the result does have its consequences.

Specifically, when it comes to food, I think it’s safe to say that we are all guilty to giving into packaged meals, supplements, you name it. Life is hectic, a typical nine-to-five day doesn’t really exist anymore, and most of us don’t realize, in general, the amount of toxins we take in every single day.

With that said, balance is crucial and whether you are a budding professional conquering the boardroom or a traveling musician or opera singer, detoxifying your body can do wonders.

Emily and Erica are the founders behind Detox Passport – a 28-day program specialized to cleanse four important organs of elimination in our bodies. After returning from a life-changing trip to Bali, a growing passion turned into a reality when they decided to pursue a vision in expressing preventative health. I had a chance to learn more and chat with these two passionate ladies.

When should someone embark on a detox program or what are the signs people should pay attention to?

Since our world has become filled with toxic elements, detoxing is something that should be done at least twice a year to keep your body functioning at its optimal capacity. If you’re feeling sluggish, have trouble losing weight, get headaches, have bad skin, low energy (relying too much on caffeine to get by – we hear you!), or just don’t feel like your most vibrant self – these are all tell-tale signs that you need a detox.

What are the benefits of detox?

Detoxing can make the difference between struggling to wake up and start your day, to literally bursting out of bed with energy. We’ve had some of our participants comment on not only how well they’ve been sleeping (from previously having insomnia) to how much easier it is to get up in the morning with energy. We’ve also had heard from our detoxers that they get complimented on how smooth and glowing their skin looks, only a week into doing the detox. It’s amazing how many different areas of our lives become affected once we start taking care of our bodies through simply cleansing and nourishing.

Can you share some more feedback on your four tea blends and the reason for choosing the various ingredients for each?

We’ve formulated 4 unique tea blends that target a different organ of elimination each week (4 in total), in the sequence that will be most helpful for the body to cleanse.

First week focuses on the colon, removing all of the old debris stuck to the intestinal walls (sometimes there for years!) The colon cleanse also works to tonify the intestinal muscles, improving their motility and elimination, which is very different than using a laxative, which simply creates a dependency that the body then relies on.

The second week focuses on the liver and gall bladder, which is like the master processor of toxins in the body. It’s one of the largest and most vital organs we have, performs over 500 functions (including blood filtration, production of protein, bile, and hormones, as well as the maintenance of thousands of enzymes), and we suffer a lot when it’s not functioning optimally! It’s so common these days to have a sluggish liver, which creates a backlog of toxins to be processed by the body and poor energy among other things as a result.

Weeky three focuses on the kidneys, our water filtration system! This dynamic duo removes waste products from the body, to be filtered out through urine. They also produce hormones that regulate blood pressure, filter excess toxins from blood, and absorb minerals. When your kidneys are working slower than normal, harmful waste and fluids can build up in your body, creating all the most unpleasant feels – including weakness, fatigue, puffy eyes, inability to concentrate, and water retention to name a few.

Finally, the fourth week focuses on the lymph and blood, which is the final step of this cleanse. If your other organs of elimination haven’t fully been able to do their job – the toxins end up here, circulating and wreaking havoc! At this point, you’ll likely notice your skin suffering from outbreaks, rashes, or skin conditions like eczema for example, as toxins attempt to leave your system. The body is intelligent – and this is a huge sign you need a cleanse.

How can you fit your detox program into a busy schedule such as a performer?

Detoxing doesn’t have to be difficult! Our recommendation is to take the teas twice a day – morning and night. You can also make a big bottle to take to work with you if time is rushed, and simply drink on the go. As far as healthy food prep goes, we focus on simple, whole foods. Meals are easy and usually take 5-10 minutes to create. We’ve made it straightforward with simple guidelines to follow in our Detox Guidebook. If you’re a person that likes to eat out, we recommend getting to know the healthiest spots near you (if you live in Toronto, we’ve curated a list for you – along with discounts that can be claimed across the city).

For more information, visit detoxpassport.com