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The Best Things FASHION Editors Bought, Read and Watched in 2018

Come December, there’s nothing quite like looking back at a year gone by and reflecting on the various things that brought us joy. Here, FASHION editors share the favourite things they bought, read and watched in 2018.

Noreen Flanagan, Editor-in-Chief

The Best Thing I Bought This Year
A pair of “Spectator-ish” two-toned shoes at a little shop I like to go to in Milan, called Marco. These shoes attract more attention than a golden retriever puppy when I’m out on the street. They even charmed Manfred Mugler when I interviewed him in Montreal in the fall for an upcoming feature. I walked in the room and he got up and started tap dancing in front of me after declaring he loved my shoes.

The Best Thing I Watched This Year
I had to chance to catch Network on Broadway starring Bryan Cranston and former FASHION cover star Tatiana Maslany. In this age of #fakenews who doesn’t love to be in a theatre and be asked to yell out: “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

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The Best Thing I Read This Year
I just finished reading Educated by Tara Westover. Like The Glass Castle—another fave—this memoir is a compelling and ultimately inspiring story about survival and re-invention. But more than that, it’s a testament to the power of knowledge and the importance of seeking out the truth.

Benjamin Reyes, Video Editor

The best thing I bought this year
It’s hard to tell if I’ve become complacent or if Netflix’s good movie selection is getting more diminutive every year, but I was looking for a change. That’s when I discovered (a.k.a was Facebook-ad-targeted by…) a new streaming service called Mubi, which is a catalog of 30 foreign/indie/ciritically-acclaimed films constantly on rotation. While not every film is a hit, it’s been a great way to open myself up to new cinematic experiences.

The best thing I watched this year
I’m a sucker for coming-of-age films so Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, Mid90s, definitely makes my list this year. In the counter-nostalgic vein of The 400 Blows or Dazed and Confused, it focuses less on story and more on causality, while giving precedence to world-building and atmosphere.

The best thing I read this year
National Geographic’s “Planet or Plastic?” issue was one of the most impactful things I’ve read concerning our plastic consumption. The scientific articles are accompanied by hauntingly beautiful photographs, including collages made from plastics found in dead animals.

Pahull Bains, Associate Editor

The Best Thing I Bought This Year
I’d been wanting to add a Céline handbag to my collection for ages but it was only this year, after it was announced that the brand’s feminist creative director, Phoebe Philo, would be replaced by Hedi Slimane, that I decided to dip into my savings and nab a Philo-era bag for myself. I went with the classic ‘Belt’ bag in grey, and every time I swing it over my shoulder I feel like I’m carrying a piece of fashion history with me.

The Best Thing I Watched This Year
It’s a two-way tie for me between the independent film Mouthpiece and Nanette, a comedy special on Netflix.

Every year at TIFF, I watch dozens and dozens of films, up to five in a single day. Which means, by the end of the 10-day festival, it’s hard to keep track of which ones I loved or enjoyed the most. Despite that, there are always a few that stand out, usually the ones that deeply moved or intrigued me. This year, one of those films was Mouthpiece. Based on a play by two Toronto female playwrights, and directed by legendary Canadian filmmaker Patricia Rozema, the film focuses on a young woman in the days following the death of her mother, as she grapples with the fresh wounds of grief and also begins to reflect on the complex lineage of feminism she inherited from her mother. It’s a powerful, thought-provoking and deeply emotional film that stays with you long after you walk out of the theatre.

I am very late on the Nanette train, because this comedy special by Hannah Gadsby arrived at Netflix over the summer to massive acclaim and I only watched it, like, last week. After months of every single person in my social circle, not to mention all the culture critics I follow online, raving about it, I flicked it on thinking it would never live up to my expectations. But WOAH. By the end of Gadsby’s one-hour set, which was filmed live at the Sydney Opera House last year, I was in tears. Unlike any comedy set I’ve watched before—heck, unlike anything I’ve watched before—Nanette is a searing indictment of toxic masculinity, homophobia, and the self-deprecating practice of stand-up comedy itself. It’s funny, it’s clever, but it’s also heartbreaking in its honesty, and I genuinely think you will walk away a better human being for having watched it.

The Best Thing I Read This Year
This year has been quite the rollercoaster for women. The Harvey Weinstein exposé last October set off a chain reaction, ushering us into a new year and a whole new world. A world in which women were DONE—done playing nice, done staying quiet, done following the rules of a misogynist system. Yep, women were angry. And Rebecca Traister, writer-at-large for New York magazine, captured the angry, righteous energy of the zeitgeist and distilled into a potent book. Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger traces not just how women’s anger is ridiculed—because it means we’re overemotional, unstable, and oh you know, hysterical—but also the ways it has shaped history, powered revolutions, incited change. The book’s release was fortuitous—a week after the Kavanaugh hearings, when women’s anger had reached boiling point—but its message is poignant and timeless.

Greg Hudson, Features Editor

The Best Thing I Bought This Year
I know I spent my money on stuff other than rent, food, and energy drinks. And yet, I’m having some trouble coming up with one purchase that could rule all of my other purchases. I guess I’ll mention the Rolex Submariner I bought this fall. I got it for a steal of a deal, too. Only $60, when a Submariner usually goes for about $12,000. You just need to know where to shop. Like for instance, a random junk shop on Canal Street in New York City. And so long as you aren’t that familiar with real Rolexes, this one looks pretty good! (It feels like it’s made out of tin though.)

The Best Thing I Watched This Year
You know when you hear a song, and you fall hard and fast, and so you listen to it on repeat for a week, until you’ve memorized every lyric and internalized every chord progression? That’s how I am when I find a TV show or movie that speaks to me. This year, I can’t count how many times I re-watched The Good Place and John Mulaney’s Kid Gorgeous stand up special on Netflix. It’s a little annoying, even to myself, that I can’t talk for more than three sentences without quoting one or both. But at least the quotes are forking hilarious.

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The Best thing I Read This Year

As soon as I was done reading Motherhood by Sheila Heti, I wanted each of my sisters to read it. Heti’s novel (of sorts) is like having a conversation with a funny, brilliant thinker about the pressures women face and put on themselves. So naturally, I wanted to know what my four funny, brilliant sisters thought of it. Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Hungover: The Morning After and One Man’s Quest for a Cure by Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall. Yes, he’s a friend. But as a friend I saw how challenging that book was to write, and I want everyone to see how sharp, wise, well-researched and fun the end product is.

Meghan McKenna, Associate Editor

The Best Thing I Bought This Year
Nespresso pods. After 22 years of avoiding mocha chip ice-cream, tiramisu and Tim Horton’s Iced Caps, I — once a proud non-coffee drinker — was gifted a very fancy Nespresso machine. At the beginning of 2018, it was collecting dust on my counter top. In early spring, I decided on a whim to give double espressos a try. My reaction: WOW, why didn’t anyone tell me what I was missing out on?! I HAVE SO MUCH ENERGY NOW!!! And I’ve been starting my days with one ever since.

The Best Thing I Watched This Year
I wanted to choose A Star is Born, but my colleagues told me that was too predictable. So then, I thought I’d choose another song-filled performance that moved me to uncontrollable tears in 2018: the Broadway musical Come From Away. But technically, that came out in 2016, so it doesn’t work either. So in this same spirit, I’m going with Mary Poppins Returns. I haven’t seen it yet, but I already know it’s going to be my favourite feel-good film of the year.

The Best Thing I Read This Year
We Are Never Meeting In Real Life by Samantha Irby. It’s a collection of essays, which means it is the kind of book I could keep in a miscellaneous tote bag and come back to various points throughout the year. The first essay is a faux application to be on The Bachelor, and in another, she recounts a romantic road trip to Nashville where she scatters her estranged father’s ashes. All of this to say, Irby is wildly funny and wholly unabashed, and for these reasons, you should already be following her across social platforms at @bitchesgottaeat and @wordscience.

Lesa Hannah, Beauty Director

The Best Thing I Bought This Year
Thinx period underwear and a Keepcup for coffee to go. Both enabled me to put less garbage out into the world.

I also found the craziest designer shoe deals of my life at Holt Renfrew. First was a pair of Rochas silver brocade pumps with giant bows. Regularly $995, they were on sale for $199 with an additional 20% off. Then I went back the week after and found Balenciaga’s knife velvet slingback pumps, down from $1120 to $449. As someone who has spent her entire adult life wearing shoes from Zara, Nine West and J.Crew, scoring beauts like these felt like I finally grew up.

The Best Thing I Watched This Year

RBG: The inspiring, ass-kicking life story of Ruth Bader Ginsberg should be required viewing for all. If you don’t walk out of this wanting to assume plank position then something is wrong with you.

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: Though I had to stomach Ricky Martin and Penelope Cruz’s weak performances, Darren Criss had me riveted as serial killer and scam artist Andrew Cunanan. Bonus points for the scene of him dancing to Devo’s “Whip It” in a red leather jumpsuit at an ’80s house party.

GLOW: Aside from the weird way it handled the AIDS plotline, season 2 was just as hilarious as the first. The inclusion of a Harvey Weinstein-esque incident was a reminder that this shit has been going on forever and thankfully Marc Maron’s Sam does the right thing and stands up for his gorgeous lady of wrestling. Also Annabella Sciorra’s ’80s look was nothing short of glorious.

The Handmaid’s Tale: Another show that was so consistently gut wrenching, it kept me curled in a ball. Elisabeth Moss was an absolute baller this season. And the scene where Moira successfully crosses the border and wipes away the dust on a license plate to have it reveal “Ontario” never made me more proud to be Canadian.

***Honourable mention
With astoundingly terrible poofy hair and a smattering of rosacea on his cheeks, Matt Damon’s portrayal of Brett Kavanaugh during his testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Saturday Night Live was the balm I needed after an emotionally exhausting two weeks. It was an amazing send up of Kavanaugh’s OTT white male privilege outrage slash absurdly choked up description of his beloved calendars.

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