Trendy Techie

Fashion, Tech, and Everything in Between


Emerging Atlantic Designers Shine at the Design and Artistry Showcase this Weekend

Welcome to world fashion month, where trendsetters rave about spring and summer fashion half a year before it becomes relevant in the consumers’ minds. The focus of this time of year is often on the big fashion houses and the one-off designers skilled/unique/lucky enough to make it to the runway with the big dogs. But there are thousands – scratch that – hundreds of thousands of designers across the world that are making chic, relevant, ready-to-wear pieces, and that’s what the Design and Artistry Showcase is all about.

One of the best things about Nova Scotia is the emphasis on living local. The Canadian East Coast is rich with food, culture and creativity, and there are often events to showcase all it has to offer, like this weekend’s Design and Artistry Showcase at Sunnyside Mall in Bedford, where emerging designers and artists have set up to reveal their fall collections and latest works. Here’s a first look at the showcase from their VIP launch party Thursday night!

designer_showcase_halifax_sunnyside_mall_bedford_1Sage (Trendy Techie) sizing up a Zafira dress from the fall collection designer_showcase_halifax_sunnyside_mall_bedford_jennifer_atkinson designer_showcase_halifax_sunnyside_mall_bedford_middle_spoon designer_showcase_halifax_sunnyside_mall_bedford_distinguished_designs_2 designer_showcase_halifax_sunnyside_mall_bedford_sage_2 designer_showcase_halifax_sunnyside_mall_bedford_distinguished_designs_1 designer_showcase_halifax_sunnyside_mall_bedford_distinguished_designs_3 designer_showcase_halifax_sunnyside_mall_bedford_sage_1 designer_showcase_halifax_sunnyside_mall_bedford_2 designer_showcase_halifax_sunnyside_mall_bedford_zafira_2esme_coat_designer_showcase_halifax

Featured designers include Zafira, Esme Original, Ashley Reading, Distinguished Designs Jewelry, and Perlae Couture; and featured artists include Jennifer Atkinson and Prince Fuze. The showcase runs September 12-14th.

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top: Club Monaco

trousers: Club Monaco

shoes: Jessica Simpson

necklace: Le Chateau

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Apple’s Announcements are Big, But Not Groundbreaking

Apple Live Event 2014

In typical Apple style, the September 9 keynote was all about grandeur. The tech giant announced its three new gadgets: iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and, moving away from the iBlank moniker, Apple Watch. These releases have been highly anticipated for months now, and though Apple’s announcements were big, they are nowhere near groundbreaking. Here’s why:

iPhone 6 and 6+ are Apple’s way of playing catch-up with the mega-popular phablet trend.

In fact, it’s a wonder that Apple is still considered so ahead-of-the-times, considering they’re only now releasing phablet-comparable phones and still don’t have touch screen devices larger than the iPad. Yes, the camera on the 6 and 6+ is great and the screen resolutions promise great user experience, but when you really look at the specs you see that the iPhone 6 and 6+ are, in effect, bigger iPhone 5’s.

The big takeaways are:

  • Apple has finally introduced NFC (Near-Field Communication) to their phones
  • Apple Pay replaces your wallet and allows you to pay with a tap or a touch
  • Added barometer sensor can track your altitude, making fitness tracking easier (stair climbs, hilly runs, etc)
  • Seamless-transition voice over LTE (VoLTE) allows you to make regular calls over wifi when available, and transition your call seamlessly to cellular when you move out of range
  • Dramatically increased battery life in the 6+ compared to the 5 level series, and marginally increased battery life in the iPhone 6
  • “Improved” processors, though it is unclear at this time how exactly they have been improved

Aside from those, there aren’t many differences, and the iPhone 6 and 6+ are a well-disguised “you were right” from Apple to the makers of existing phablets. Don’t believe me? Check out this awesome article from Mashable comparing the iPhone 6 Plus to its top phablet competitors.


Apple Watch was released to deter people from adopting Android Wear.

Apple Watch faces including Mickey Mouse

The watch will not be available until a yet-undisclosed 2015 date, and some of the most important specs went entirely unacknowledged during the keynote: battery life and durability, two of the biggest buying factors, were omitted (but they sure made a big deal of the emojis and the Mickey Mouse watch face!). So if the watch is not ready to ship, what warrants this announcement at this time? The desire to give Apple fanboys something to wait for while much less expensive Android watches like the Moto 360 (priced at $249, compared to Apple Watch’s $349) start taking their places on thousands of wrists around the world.

That said, Apple Watch does look like it will be one of the better wearables once it comes to market, with vast customizability and, as always, impeccably beautiful design both on the OS and hardware. With Siri integration, Apple Pay usability and a strong emphasis on fitness, Apple Watch has the potential to take a dominant place in the wearables market. The biggest downside, aside from no left-handed version available (at least not appearing in the keynote or press as of the time I write this post), is that ONLY users of the newer Apple ecosystem will be able to use the watch, as it must be connected to an iPhone (5 or later) in order to function. Finally, it is worth mentioning the name, “Watch,” which plainly attempts to encompass the entire smart watch market by snagging the fundamental word for multipurpose-wrist-worn-device. As reflected in the twittersphere, people are still calling it the iWatch anyways.


In short, the problem with Apple’s new products is they feel on-trend, not futuristic.

Many of the features we see implemented in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have been present in competing brands’ devices for years, and the Apple Watch feels like a rushed attempt on Apple’s part to reserve a portion of the smartwatch market before Android gains monopoly. Coupled with extreme technical difficulties with the live stream and a new album release by U2, today’s 2014 Apple keynote would have fallen on more starstruck eyes if it had taken place about five years ago.

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Celebrate Fashion, Tech and Business at the World’s First Startup Fashion Week

Breaking alert: the fashion industry is no longer an old boys’ club. Though fashion houses still define much of the trends, they no longer have autonomy over what becomes successful and gets sold or worn by the masses. The voracious nature of today’s social media-driven world puts much more of the power in the hands of smaller companies and startups who, in the past, would have been limited geographically, but who now have millions of eyes on their work through the internet.

But not only has the elitism of fashion changed, the definition has as well. With the concept of wearables being redefined every day, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes something more technology or more fashion. There’s an emerging growth of wearable tech, retail tech, and fashion tech startups, that don’t necessarily fit in at the fashion weeks and the technology conferences. It’s time we showcase them in their own right, and celebrate this new niche of fashion startups. Enter Startup Fashion Week, the world’s first and only fashion week that celebrates fashion, tech and business.

Startup Fashion Week Toronto October 2014

Startup Fashion Week will take place in Toronto on October 7-9, 2014, and will feature three main events: Future of Fashion Evening Forum (Oct. 7); the Business of Fashion Full Day Conference (Oct. 8), and an evening showcase and closing party (Oct. 9). Speakers and guests from around the world have been confirmed, showcasing not only the local talent but the global startup community as well. Speakers include Veronica Becker of Beacon and Lively, Vatche Pirjanian of Pochetti, Mazen Elbawb of Heddoko, and more. For a full list of speakers and participating startups, visit the SFW site.

Startup Fashion Week Speakers Toronto 2014

Says Jodi Goodfellow, Managing Director of SFW, “Startup Fashion Week will not only create a much needed dialogue in Canada on how technology is influencing fashion, but it will also create various types of visibility and awareness for startup designers and entrepreneurs. It takes a community to build a business in fashion and our efforts are to recognize opportunities to strengthen the local economy and support entrepreneurs.”

Part of the proceeds of Startup Fashion Week will go to Wear White 4 Women, a charitable campaign empowering at-risk women to find new lives. Conference attendance costs $195 for the three-day pass, and tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite.

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How SENSOREE’s Biometric Fashion Makes Your Mood a Conversationalist

You’ve seen fashion-tech, you’ve seen health-tech, but have you seen all three in one? SENSOREE‘s mood sweater – yes, you read that right! –  began as a research project to make a wearable technology for people with ADHD and autism, conditions that are both heavily connected to emotional state. Unlike the heat-sensitive mood rings that had little girls in a frenzy, Sensoree uses “therapeutic bio media” to monitor the body and respond with visual and tactile states, creating an extension of the self and making the wearer’s mood a silent but powerful contributor to the conversation.

Sensoree mood sweater aroused state

The GER: Mood Sweater has grown beyond its therapy roots into an interactive fashion project that projects the wearer’s mood to light up the room. For example, the pink glow of the collar in the image above means the model is “ruffled” – that is, excited or aroused. SENSOREE has assigned a range of colours to various moods as follows:

Sensoree mood light colour chart

Here’s how it works: sensors located on the hands read excitement levels through the palms, and translates that data into a palette of colour values. The high, bowl-shaped collar contains LED lights that shine onto the body and through the fabric to create an ambiance of the wearer’s mood – or, as SENSOREE calls it, “Extimacy.”

noun: externalized intimacy

Sensoree GER: Mood Sweater blue lighting

SENSOREE’s concept of extimacy is a new form of bodily communication. Like facial expressions and silent gestures, extimacy conveys one person’s feelings to another in a way beyond words. This is why the Mood Sweater would benefit wearers with severe forms of autism, which may hinder their ability to convey the way they are feeling. With a mood sweater, friends and family can tell how the wearer is feeling and know without disturbing them whether or not they are open to company.

Though not yet available on the market, SENSOREE has opened up pre-ordering for a limited run of 100 mood sweaters, which will be custom-sized, signed, and numbered by SENSOREE. As it says on the pre-order page, this is bespoke design for the unique individual, where technology becomes personal.

Would you wear a mood sweater?

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This is not a sponsored post. All images belong to SENSOREE.

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Photo Diary: Snapshots of Italy


July and August were a whirlwind of travel, exams and projects, during which I visited seven countries, took an impromptu detour through London and Paris to get to Italy (full story here), and spent time at Microsoft Headquarters with some of the top tech students in the world at the Microsoft Student Partner Summit (watch the recap and hear the CEO Satya Nadella’s inspiring words here!). In all the buzz I’ve shown you some pictures and videos, but haven’t yet had the chance to share this set of photos from my time in Northern Italy. From the hairpin turns of the Mendola Pass to the green waves of Lake Garda nestled between the mountains, the beauty in Northern Italy is astounding. Take a look!

hairpin_turns_passo_mendola_photography riva_del_garda_mountains_view_italy_photography riva_del_garda_swan_photographysage_riva_del_garda_photography bar_in_grocery_store_italy_photographypasso_mendola_italy_2014_photography grape_vines_riva_photographytiny_italy_alley_sage_photography mendola_dog_photography sage_flower_garden_italy_photography jesus_shrine_photography riva_del_garda_chapel_photography

Even in the smallest of towns there is no shortage of grandeur and grace. It’s one of the most peaceful places I have the pleasure of visiting, and I am so grateful to be a citizen of bella Italia.

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Trendy Techie Featured on Independent Fashion Bloggers


Now that fashion month has kicked off, one of the things that we’ll be thinking as the new season hits the runways is, “Is it wearable?” Well, not just the runways, in technology too. The “Internet of Things” gives us some interesting accessories to incorporate into our look. And just in time too… with school back in session, what better way to accessorize, than with things that make you smarter?

Every week, Independent Fashion Bloggers hosts a roundup of the top picks of the week. This week my post, How to Wear a Fitband With Any Outfit, was chosen – and featured in the main image! Here’s the full list, pop on over and check them out!

Independent Fashion Bloggers Best of the Week

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The Best 3D Printed Fashion You Can Buy Right Now (and Will Actually Want to Wear)

Ever since Dita Von Teese debuted her striking 3D printed dress by artist Francis Bitonti (pictured above), fashion houses have been clamoring to release the next big thing in 3D printed fashion. We’re seeing fantastical concepts coming out, more and more of them emerging on the runways, and with the month of world fashion weeks beginning we can expect to see 3D printing taking a lead role even beyond the more avant garde looks of the year. But what about the consumer end? It’s one thing to watch models donning digitally-constructed garments for the few moments it takes to walk down a runway, but it’s another thing entirely to purchase and wear a 3D printed piece of your own. Here are my top 3 choices for accessible, made-to-order, ready-to-wear 3D printed fashion that you can buy right now and will actually want to wear.

1. Strvct Shoes by Continuum Fashion

3D printed shoes may sound uncomfortable and clunky, but these ones, which come lined with a patent leather insole, are impossibly light and incredibly strong. Inspired by fairy tales, these shoes take a structural and modern approach to the airy transparency of Cinderella’s glass slippers. From platform to pump, the Strvct line can be digitally produced in a range of heights and styles to fit your royal preference.

2. ALUMO Bowtie

Whether you’re going to a party or a job interview, this dimensional bowtie is certainly an accessory to be remembered. Made of metallic polished plastic, this lightweight bowtie slots on to the top button of your shirt for style that looks and feels effortless.

3. Nail Jewelery by The Laser Girls

Elaborate nail art is incredibly popular on Instagram and Pinterest – but the Laser Girls take that to a whole new level. Their 3D printed nails come in a variety of designs and colours and are made-to-order depending on your size. Stay tuned for my feature of their Dragon nails coming soon!

BONUS: Be Your Own 3D Designer and Make with Shapeways

Shapeways is a company that facilitates the production and distribution of custom 3D printed pieces. You can browse the site to find awesome things to buy, which will be printed to your specifications and sent to your home. Or you can submit your own model and have your design printed and sold on their digital marketplace! As fashion weeks approach, I expect that many models and attendees will be wearing 3D printed accessories with their ensembles – and no doubt some of them will be custom designed. Why not try your hand at 3D modeling and make your dreams of designing come true?

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This is NOT a sponsored post.


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