Monday, May 31, 2010

Item of the Week: MAJE Striped Lace Top

I'm not sure where I discovered Maje but I'm officially obsessed. Guess what? Nobody in Canada carries it. Oh well, I guess that's why online shopping was invented. Thankfully, it's extremely reasonably priced.

Maje was created in 2000 by a chic Parisienne Judith Milgrom. Soon after opening her first store in the Saint Germain district, her garments quickly became favourites on the stylish streets of Paris. Maje is slowly, but surely, making its way across the globe. Perhaps over time, it will make it here too.

Maybe it's because the label hails from Paris, but I seem to be really attracted to all of Maje's stripey things. I especially love the play on the classic Breton stripe with the addition of the soft lace. It's part sailor, part lady. Just perfect.

$200 US at Net-a-Porter.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Beauty Fridays: "Whisper Shades" by La Prairie

I had the pleasure of meeting celebrity make-up artist Raychel Wade, a colour ambassador for La Prairie cosmetics, while she was in Vancouver earlier this month. It was my first introduction to La Prairie, and who better to introduce the line?

La Prairie is known for being the ultimate luxury cosmetics brand with some creams extending over a $1,000 mark. They are especially famous for their signature patented "Cellular Complex," a formula that enhances nutrient absorption of skin products. In addition to their skin care collections, La Prairie's colour collection also contains the cellular complex.

Raychel introduced me to La Prairie's current summer "Whisper Shades" collection. The La Prairie customer prefers classic, natural shades but still leaves room for a little colour experimentation, something Raychel Wade is a strong advocate of. "Whisper Shades" provides an emphasis on nude, pink, and coral shades for lips and lilac, army green, and gold (by contrasting black powder liner) for eyes.

Cellular Treatment Eye Colour Ensemble ($95 CAD)

I thought the eye palette colours were just gorgeous. Lilac, being one of the hottest colours this summer, works so wonderfully against the army green. The black powder liner is something that La Prairie's 5-pan palettes will offer each season.

Cellular Lip Colour Effects ($55 CAD)

I also loved Cellular Lip Colour Effects gloss. It's extremely creamy and rich, a little dab goes a long way (a good thing when you factor in the steep price). I opted for "Guava Spice," a sort of a coppery peach, very warm colour with a hint of metallic.

Cellular Radiance Cream Blush ($95 CAD)

I also fell in love with the Cellular Radiance Cream Blush, which is not part of "Whisper Shades" collection. It also happens to be one of Raychel's favourites. It's very sheer and light, not greasy at all (even on my oily skin). I chose the "Peach Glow" shade because I thought it was downright perfect for summer. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the blush packaging is probably the most beautiful I've ever seen. It even came in its own little grey leather case (not kidding).

I feel like I've just entered into a whole new realm of luxury where creams are made of platinum and lipsticks are made from caviar. What a wonderful place to be.

La Prairie is available at Holt Renfrew in Canada.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

How Do You Wear It? Fashion Targets Breast Cancer

Rethink Breast Cancer launched their eighth annual Fashion Targets Breast Cancer campaign in partnership with Joe Fresh earlier this month. What began as a tribute by Ralph Lauren to his late friend Nina Hyde sixteen years ago, became a worldwide phenomenon. In Canada alone, over $1.5 million was raised in the past decade.

So how do you wear it?

Upload your picture wearing your FTBC tee to Rethink Breast Cancer Facebook page for a chance to win a trip for two to Toronto Fashion Week and a $500 Joe Fresh gift card. It runs until June 15 so hurry up (I'm getting mine this weekend)! Click here for all the details.

$12 CAD at Joe Fresh.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Shoe Wednesdays: Miss Sixty "Heather" Heels

I admit that I have never been a fan of Miss Sixty nor have I ever owned anything from the label. But there is a first time for everything and if anything was going to turn me into a Miss Sixty believer, it was these shoes.

It may sound odd, but I have a bit of a wood fetish. I think it may have been all those years spent in architecture school. Anyway, I can never seem to resist a beautifully carved wood heel, especially in combination with thick criss-cross straps that happen to be a fusion of black patent leather, suede, ribbon, and elastic. It all works somehow.

$239 CAD at

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Velvet Dreams

Ralph Lauren F/W 2010 RTW

Summer hasn't even begun and I'm already thinking fall. It's never too early to start planning! Sometimes you just have to think ahead.

Welcome back, velvet! I've missed you. You are going to be everywhere next fall: pants, dresses, coats, blazers, and shoes. Velvet is so luxurious and regal, and meant for royalty.

Ralph Lauren mixed his signature equestrian chic with a little bit of Boho inspired softness. Velvet worked perfectly to combine the two concepts. Alexander Wang went velvet head to toe, which included thigh high velvet socks (hey, don't diss it 'til you try it). There were dresses too, most notably Giorgio Armani's stunning jade-coloured cape dress and Nanette Lepore's long velvet gowns (always reminds me of Scarlet O'hara's dress made from drapes). And yes, shoes! Nina Ricci of course.

Alexander Wang F/W 2010 RTW

Giorgio Armani F/W 2010 RTW

Nanette Lepore F/W 2010 RTW
Nina Ricci F/W 2010

Velvet is dreamy.

All images courtesy of

Monday, May 24, 2010

Item of the Week: Maison Martin Margiela "Origami" Tote

Maison Martin Margiela is the ultimate designers' designer. Although it's not clear who is designing for the house at the moment, the design concept is always consistent with the original vision. And what's the concept? Turning design conventions on its head with clever detailing, always clean and minimalist. Every time I look at a Margiela piece, I immediately exclaim: "I wish I would have thought of that!" For example here, what appears to be the bag's base flipped sideways is actually a studded zip pocket. Oh how very clever.

The only drawback with Margiela is the price point. However, I do believe that due to absolute genius alone, it is worth every penny.

$1,355 US at Net-a-Porter.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Beauty Fridays: Top Knots

Magdalena Frackowiak at Lanvin s/s 2010

The top knot was one of the hottest hair styles gracing the spring runways. It's a pretty classic style, one that goes well with almost everything - like a chignon, but with a little more "POW!"

I've selected three very different top knots: the messy (Lanvin); the sleek (Marc Jacobs); and the textured knot (Richard Nicoll).

To achieve the messy top knot a la Lanvin, volume is key. Back comb and apply hair spray generously (very generously) to create texture. Once your hair resembles a bird's nest, fasten it into a high ponytail. Then, sweep it around and fasten with bobby pins. It should feel pretty loose and bouncy.

Kasia Struss at Marc Jacobs s/s 2010

The sleek top knot a la Marc Jacobs is a very traditional bun (and yes, sumo wrestlers are very fond of it). Neatly brush the hair and sleek it using gel or paste. Twist the hair into a tight knot and secure with bobby pins.

Anya Kazakova at Richard Nicoll s/s 2010

For a happy medium, try the textured knot a la Richard Nicoll. Instead of using the entire hair volume, a whole bunch of small hair sections are gathered to create an appearance of a textured top knot.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Swimming with DVF

Some women fear stilettos, some women fear skinny jeans. I have one and only one fear when it comes to fashion: SWIMSUITS!

Just the thought of it gives me major anxiety. The thought of being in the change room, almost fluorescently pale and out of shape, trying to squeeze myself into a tiny piece of Lycra - it really takes all the fun away from shopping. This stuff is tight, the sizes are messed up... I could go on and on. I always look for something with a fun print, something playful and sexy. But in the end, I always end up buying the same old suit: something black, very sporty, nothing very sexy, and very, very boring.

But this year, I've made it my resolution that I will no longer fear this outrageously priced little piece of fabric. Mark my words, swimsuits everywhere: I WILL CONQUER YOU!

There is one name in fashion that I trust when it comes to fit and that is Diane Von Furstenberg. She knows a woman's body and has made a career of creating collections that flatter most. I hope she will be my savior.

String Bikini in Garden Animal Cool (Top: $95 US; Bottom: $90 US)

"Lorena" Bikini in Garden Animal Small Warm (Top: $94 US; Bottom: $96 US)

"Bonita" Bikini in Garden Animal Small Warm (Top: $140 US; Bottom: $155 US)

Ring Bikini in Beach Leopard Sunkist (Top: $98 US; Bottom: $92 US)

Ring One Piece in Beach Leopard White ($220 US)

I love her collection of very updated and contemporary animal prints. They are very young and playful. There is a wide choice of silhouettes offered, from a very tiny bikinis to vintage-inspired high-waisted bottoms. The best thing is that most are available as separates because many women are not the same size in the top and the bottom.

Beautiful work as always DVF! (use code SHIPSWIM for free shipping)

PS. What are some of your favourite swimsuit designers?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Shoe Wednesdays: Marc by Marc Jacobs Lamé Leather Espadrilles

I think these are just adorable. I love espadrilles, the ultimate summer shoe. An espadrille that's not a wedge is very refreshing. The one inch platform gives it just enough of a lift. Although I'm usually not big on lamé, there is something deliciously intriguing about the combo of lamé and rope. Sort of a disco queen meets Earth mother.

$395 US at Net-a-Porter.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Gossip Girl: "Last Tango, Then Paris" Fashion Round-Up

Where do I even begin? That was spectacular!

Chuck. Chuck! Chuck? Why? Well, I know: you've always wanted it. We remember your roof moment with Jenny in Season 1. Don't pretend it hasn't crossed your mind before. But of course, in the world of Gossip Girl, deflowering teenage virgins directly leads to getting shot on the sketchy streets of Prague.

And Jenny? All the screw-up moments have been leading to this, the final fall and demise. Because nothing says "fall from grace" like sleeping with Chuck Bass. And that was really uncomfortable, awkward and dirty (just like teenage sex that I remember). Brings a whole new level to the term "shame f**k." Having said that, it made sense for Jenny's character. Her self-esteem has been slowly chipped away since she stole that Valentino gown in Season 1, and it's been bad karma ever since. It's hard to be from the wrong side of the tracks, or in Jenny's case, the wrong side of the bridge.

And what did she wear during this whole debacle? What Jenny always wears: black and leather. She is Serena-in-training but dirtier.

Topshop dress
Moschino t-strap shoes

And who is Serena to be all self-righteous? She is the ultimate cheater. I think she has ADD when it comes to boys. And by the way, Serena: "We just fell asleep talking" is the lamest excuse of all time. From one boy to another and back again like a million times! I'm getting tired just watching her. It's always the same lame old excuse about her needing to find herself. Isn't that what she always does? I mean, does she do anything but think about herself? Oh yes, but this time she gets to do it in Paris!

And yes, she looks amazing all the time! She wears sky high Louboutins and a plunging top dress to the hospital in the middle of the day. And then wears a Yigal Azrouel cocktail dress for no reason at all, just to hang out in Blair's room.

M.C.L. by Matthew Campbell Laurenza cuff

And then there is Blair, so adorable and hopeful. But so un-Blair like. Because the Blair we know and love would have been way craftier at letting Chuck know that she was running late. She would have known Chuck wouldn't even wait a minute before attempting some self-destructive thing like, at minimum, getting drunk and high out of his mind. And the Blair we know would have done everything in her power to stop him. But really, all she had to do was text him. But in that case, the outcome would be Blair and Chuck getting engaged at the top of the Empire State Building at the age of 19. And how boring would that be?

Un-Blair as Blair was, she did wear one of my favourite outfits this season: the adorable Sariah floral dress under the bright green Barney's cape paired with happy yellow Louboutins and a matching Longchamp satchel. It matched her hopeful mood.

Sariah "Yvonna" dress
(available at Scoop NYC; arriving to Barneys in a different colourway this summer)

Sariah dress (see previous)
Barneys CO-OP cape

MCL necklace
Christian Louboutin "New Simple" pump

Longchamp "Gatsby" satchel

She stayed hopeful in her packing-for-Paris outfit. I love her Parker sailboat shirt. It foreshadowed her travel bug. It's true, nothing mends a broken heart better than French boys. I can't wait to see Blair's Parisian style next season.

Parker pintuck sail boats blouse
Topshop skirt

Noir bracelet

Is this the end of Blair and Chuck? I don't think so. And how hot was slutty Nate? I didn't forget about Georgina! She is just lame. I wish they would have brought back Nelly Yuki instead. I love her. And I love Carter. Can he come back? God, I love this show.

Until next time - in Paris! You know you love me.


It Girl

PS. Congratulations Vi! Like Blair and Serena, Eric Daman's "I Know You Want It" is travelling to Europe! Portugal to be exact!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Item of the Week: Urban Outfitters Lace Collar

I've been looking for detachable vintage collars ever since I laid my eyes on the adorable 60s looking one that was paired with Zara's "Miu Miu" dress.

When I was a kid, my mom always used to style my school uniform with lace and crochet collars. She had at least half a dozen. She would attach them to my sweaters and cardigans that I usually wore with a crisp white dress shirt and a navy blue pleated knee-length skirt. How very Blair Waldorf of my mom.

This Urban Outfitters lace collar hits the spot just right. It's slightly more oversized than the ones I wore in my childhood. I love the vintage feel and how it can transform a very ordinary garment into a special one. My mom would approve.

$30 CAD at Urban Outfitters.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Beauty Fridays: GliSODin Skin Nutrients Advanced Detox Formula

$125 CAD / 30 sachets

After the success of my GliSODin Skin Nutrients Advanced Brightening Formula month-long trial, I decided to embark on the Detoxification Formula. I'm not new to detoxing - I've completed a couple of different ones before and they've all been really strict diet-wise. GliSODin provides a simple list of what to eat, what to eat in moderation (2-3 times/week), and what to avoid. Most things are pretty common-sense like avoiding sugar, processed foods, and alcohol and eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish. Good stuff like meat, dairy, coffee, and red wine are allowed twice a week, and of course I took advantage!

So basically, instead of taking GliSODin in pill form, you take it in powdered drink form twice a day. The powder consists mostly of a GliSODin formula plus berries, Chardonnay grapes, Alpha Lipoic Acid, milk thistle, broccoli and other goodies (read the complete list of ingredients). It tastes like a very earthy smoothie, and not horrible.

The first couple of days I didn't notice anything different but by second week I started breaking out and having mild headaches. This is normal as the toxins are leaving the body. In fact, I must have been a toxic mess before I started because I still continued to break out a week after I completed the detox. It was really frustrating! But then it was all over and I could see the results. My skin looks rejuvenated. Oil production is under control and overall texture is much smoother. I'm really pleased with the results but it did require some patience.

I am back for another round of the Brightening Formula to help with those stubborn dark spots. It seems that I may have become a GliSODin lifer.

Available at Spruce Body Lab and The Arbutus Club in Vancouver.

For more information and the complete list of stockists, visit

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Style Icon: Alexa Chung

By popular request, the latest I'm the It Girl style icon is Alexa Chung. As I stated earlier, the word "icon" (at least on this site) is reserved for only those that are truly deserving (you will not be seeing Lindsay Lohan here); those that have impacted pop culture in a significant way, inspiring the next generation of fashion; those that have made a contribution to fashion by respecting the art of design (in other words, not "famewhoring").

Alexa Chung has achieved all of the above, becoming this generation's icon to the hip young girls (similar to the way my previous style icon Chloë Sevigny impacted the previous generation). What is interesting about both Alexa and Chloë is that their styles, regardless of the price mark, appear to be attainable. They both mix high-end, vintage, DIYs, and the fashion of us mortals (H&M, Uniqlo, and Topshop). They both have successfully dabbled in fashion design: Chloë for Opening Ceremony and Alexa for Madewell. And they have both laughed off their status at the "IT girls," Alexa even stating that "there’s not much to being an It girl. It’s really quite a depressing title to hold." Whatever, Alexa: you have a bag named after you so just deal with it!

V magazine (October, 2009)

For those of you that are not familiar with Alexa (perhaps because you live under a rock somewhere), here is a quick rundown.

Hailing from Privett, Hampshire, Alexa Chung was discovered by a modeling scout while still in high school which led to appearances in Elle Girl and CosmoGIRL. She got her first big television break in 2005 in a scripted reality show (under the pseudonym "Jackie") called Shoot Me which chronicled a bunch of young models around London. She went on to host a series of pop-culture shows like the Vanity Lair and her now-cancelled talk show on MTV, It's On with Alexa Chung. While her achievements as a TV host may be questionable, Alexa's real talent seems to be in fashion. She is currently a contributing editor of British Vogue and has launched her first collection for Madewell (coming out Fall 2010) to great reviews.

Vogue UK (March 2010)

Almost everything looks good on Alexa because she appears to wear everything with ease like she just threw it on five minutes before leaving the house. Of course, it doesn't hurt that she is ridiculously gorgeous with piercing blue eyes and stunning bone structure - a classic beauty. And also: who has legs like that? Those are ridiculously long and skinny!

At one point I had over fifty images of Alexa's casual and formal looks in my folder aptly titled "Alexa," so I had to edit down to my absolute impossible task! Most of her outfits have an element of surprise to them. For example, she pairs a cocktail dress with a pair of loafers, a casual cardigan and an oversized bag or mixes very feminine elements with very masculine ones. Enjoy!

In a Comme des Garcons "Play" cardigan paired with a white lace dress.

In a 3.1. Phillip Lim dress paired with a back moto jacket carrying Mulberry's "Alexa" bag.

In a Sophia Kokosalaki dress paired with a Uniqlo cardigan, pink Chanel bag and silver loafers.

In Chanel.

In Louis Vuitton.

In a Marchesa dress carrying the Mulberry "Alexa" bag.

In Calvin Klein.

In a Kooples blazer with a Louis Vuitton bag.

In 3.1 Phillip Lim with Phillip Lim.

Alexa Chung for Madewell F/W 2010

I look forward to seeing how her style evolves over time. I'm sure I'll be featuring her again few years from now.

Further reading:

I Want to Be Alexa Chung
Alexa Chung: Today I'm Wearing, Vogue UK (for Alexa's day to day looks)
Alexa Chung for Madewell Fall 2010 lookbook