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Posts by Patricia Gajo

THE NUTCRACKER MARKET

I was about nine years old when I saw my first ballet – The Nutcracker. What little girl doesn’t dance around in her PJs and dream of being Clara? (Although, personally, at that age I was more interested in leaping around in a tutu than hanging out with any Toy Soldier.) Thus began a love affair for classical dance that never really faded, even after a very discouraging Ballet For Adults class. Some things, I’ve discovered, you just have to start at a young – and pliable – age.

CELEBRITY-SPOTTING IN MONTREAL

The who, where, and why you might care. A few days ago after a few late night cocktails at Barroco Restaurant (312 rue St-Paul ouest) in the Old Montreal, gal pal Mary* and I moseyed over to Le Papillon Rose (1071 côte du Beaver Hall) to fete our buddy Josh’s birthday (forever 39, right darling?) Josh – despite being PR man for Hype energy drinks – is a decidedly laidback dude. Mary, then, was a perfect study in contrast when actor Owen Wilson walked through the doorway and she shrieked, “Owen Wilson!” (In her defense, it was a very ladylike shriek; I don’t think everybody noticed.)

JEAN PAUL GAULTIER WAS HERE

Yes, I’m sorry to report that Couture King Jean Paul Gaultier has left the building – that is, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. But don’t fret, fellow fashion fanatics. He’ll be back sooner than you think to launch his retrospective The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, which makes its international debut right here in Montreal before continuing on to Dallas and San Francisco. Mark your calendars now, people: June 17 to October 2, 2011.

SHOW & SELL – BARILÀ POP-UP SHOP

Barila Fall/Winter 2010 Campaign from Le Genou de Claire on Vimeo. Ladies, start your engines. Montreal-based fashion label Barilà is opening a pop-up shop. For ten days starting Nov. 14, get your fill of edgy frocks at major discounts. I’ve seen this local brand’s rocking show at Montreal Fashion Week; now it’s time for you to see the collection up close – and bring it home. To kick off Day One of this temporary boutique, there will be a special grand opening event with cocktails and nibbles. Plus, designer Sabrina Barilà will also be in the house to mix and mingle. I caught up with this super-stylish lady to chitchat about her ideas, her pop-up shop, and, of course, her clothes.

DOWNTOWN BEAUTY BARS

GET GLAMMED UP WITH THE GIRLS – OR GO SOLO Sometimes all you need is an express mani or basic facial. Other times you need a slow, luxurious treatment to go with your girly gabfest. (Foot scrub, leg massage plus French pedicure, anyone?) Of course, it doesn’t hurt to add a cocktail or two in there. Either way you choose to glam-it-up, a string of beauty bars have recently opened in the downtown core. All of them also offer exclusive or hard-to-find product lines for sale; so why not throw in a little shopping while you’re there?

LET IT SNOW – WARM UP TO WINTER IN ECO-FUR

Fur is fabulous – and recycled fur is even more so. Montreal designer Mariouche Gagné has carved a cosy little niche for herself and called it “Ecoluxe.” At Harricana, her beautiful all-white boutique near the Atwater Market, shoppers can sift through racks and shelves of re-cycled fur products: everything from full-length coats to chic aviator hats to cuddly teddy bears.

BUSINESS BLACKBOOK: WHERE TO EAT YOUR NEXT POWER LUNCH

Toqué is arguably Montreal’s most revered restaurant. It is a white tablecloth institution that has long been known for its fabulous service, contemporary décor, and extraordinary tasting menus. I’ve celebrated some special occasions here, including a very romantic Valentine’s Day dinner. (Note to any gentlemen readers: My date got bonus points for having superb taste in venues.)

HOTEL PLACE D’ARMES CELEBRATES ITS 10TH ANNIVERSARY

Last Thursday the Antonopoulos family celebrated the tenth anniversary of their Hotel Place d’Armes with an all-out bash. Boxing circa 1930 was the evening’s colourful theme, so lucky invite-only guests (like me) were entertained by some live fist fighting in a miniature ring, “cigarette girls” (serving sushi) dressed in feathers and flapper dresses, an oyster bar, drinks aplenty, a slick jazz band, and guest of honour Lucian Bute , the Montrealer who recently defended his super-middleweight title after a spectacular knockout match with Jesse Brinkley on Oct. 15 at Montreal’s Bell Centre.

A TASTE OF JAPAN IN MONTREAL

When one colleague is an ex-Kendo warrior (ok, slight exaggeration, but he does have the outfit and the sword) and another is Montreal’s answer to Astro Boy (it’s his hair), it’s easy in this office to let a Japanese fetish flourish. Surely though, we here at The Montréal Buzz are not the only ones who gravitate toward the Land of the Rising Sun. Fellow Japanophiles, here are some Montréal spots to hit for a quick Japanese fix.

SHOP ‘TILL I DROP

So What makes a gal happier than shopping for clothes and jewellery? Well, for me, it’s shopping for clothes and jewellery on sale! Twice a year, thousands of like-minded fashion hounds block their calendars to hunt for amazing deals at La Grande Braderie de Mode Québécoise held at the Marché Bonsecours in the Old Montreal.