Friday, July 30, 2010

Beauty Fridays: Greener Pastures

Elie Tahari F/W 2010

Fall is all about earth tones, particularly deep greens and golds (which sort of remind me of Christmas). For Elie Tahari's F/W 2010, Bobbi Brown created a spectacular earthy two-toned eye look of greens and golds. I love how easy and wearable this look is. It definitely captures the spirit of fall.

Thankfully, had already done most of the research for me. On the upper lid, apply "Sandy Gold" cream shadow and then sweep over the crease with "Gold" chrome shadow. Line the upper lash line with a blue/grey metallic shadow. I recommend "Starry Night" because the "Indigo" that was used for the show is no longer available.

Bobbi Brown "Sandy Gold" Long-Wear Cream Shadow

Bobbi Brown "Gold" Chrome Eye Shadow

Bobbi Brown "Starry Night" Metallic Long-Wear Cream Shadow

Sweep "Sandy Gold" along the lower lash line and then use a green "Forest" shadow as a liner. Bobbi Brown used "Bash" but it's also no longer available, so "Forest" should do the trick.

Bobbi Brown "Forest" Metallic Eye Shadow

Of course, you can always try it out with similar shadows you have at home.

Bobbi Brown eye shadows are available at Holt Renfrew in Canada ($26 CAD) or online at Bobbi Brown ($20 US).

Thursday, July 29, 2010

CHANEL Espace Parfums

Les Exclusifs de CHANEL ($240 CAD for 200ml)

We've all heard of CHANEL's Nº 5, Coco, Coco Mademoiselle, Allure, Chance... But have you heard of N°22, Gardénia, Bois Des Iles, Cuis De Russie, Eau De Cologne, 31 Rue Cambon, N°18, Coromandel, Bel Respiro, 28 La Pausa, Sycomore and Beige? If you have, congratulations: you are a true CHANEL scholar! But if you haven't, that's because they are from the Les Exclusifs range and available only in select CHANEL stores, now including the newly redesigned CHANEL beauty counters at Holt Renfrew's Vancouver and Toronto stores.

CHANEL Espace Parfums at Vancouver's Holt Renfrew

Welcome to the world of luxury fragrance. Les Exclusifs have taken up residence in Espace Parfums: a space with an interactive Olfactive Bar where you sit down on plush tweed chairs for a tête-à-tête with a CHANEL Fragrance Expert and begin a journey of discovering your ideal fragrance. There is no spray-and-sniff or those silly coffee beans, CHANEL's fragrances are organized in a laboratory-like system of ceramic blotters -- this is less tiring on the nose.

My nose got a healthy dose of CHANEL, experiencing over twenty fragrances in one sitting. I've always been a Nº 5 gal, but after getting a sniff of Les Exclusifs, my heart is set on Gardénia, a creamy floral scent created in 1925 by Mademoiselle Chanel and her master perfumier Ernest Beaux. Chanel loved having her home filled with white flowers and the Gardenia was her favourite (other than, of course, the Camellia, which has no scent). Les Exclusifs are the spirit of Chanel bottled up. I love hearing the stories behind each fragrance: they are a little peek into Chanel's life, like a seductive storybook time for adults.

Visit CHANEL Espace Parfums at Holt Renfrew in Vancouver and Toronto.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Shoe Wednesdays: Bass "Glenbrook" Oxford

I love Bass shoes. I bought these classic tassel loafers a few months ago and I have to say, for the price, you are getting top notch craftsmanship. Bass has been providing classic quality leather footwear since 1876 (Michael Jackson wore the famous loafer) and they clearly know what they are doing. This high-heel oxford is just as relevant now as it was back in the day.

They remind me of the iconic oxford flats that irresistible Audrey Horne wore in Twin Peaks. Of course, Blair Waldorf wears two-tone oxfords too (here and here). Very preppy indeed.

Audrey Horne in Twin Peaks

$95 CAD at Gravity Pope.
$69 US at Bass.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Item of the Week: H&M Cape

Here is a little cape to get everyone excited for the fall. I love capes: there is something so old-Hollywood about them. I imagine Grace Kelly walking around the streets of Monaco in this cape, accessorised with one of her many Hermès scarves, of course.

If you don't own a cape yet, now is the time.

$69.95 CAD at H&M.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Beauty Fridays: Burberry Beauty

Burberry Beauty 2010 campaign

I admit it, I'm a Burberry trench coat fanatic: I own two, which, considering my limited budget, is a lot! So when I heard that their entire beauty line was inspired by the iconic trench, I was immediately intrigued. Last week I attended the Burberry Beauty launch at Holt Renfrew (their exclusive Canadian retailer) and the line didn't disappoint. The colours are classic yet fresh -- just like Burberry -- echoing that trademark "English Rose" look the label is known for. At the Burberry counter, you'll find light and neutral shades that enhances one's natural beauty. It's the "no make-up" make-up!

Sheer Eye Shadow ($33 CAD); Effortless Mascara ($36 CAD); Sheer Foundation ($72 CAD); Lip Cover ($36 CAD)

A few of the stand out products are: the Sheer Foundation, which gives the skin a beautiful healthy glow (and doesn't cover-up my beloved freckles); the Sheer Eye Shadow, which has a very creamy powder texture (I loved "Khaki," a gorgeous colour somewhere between khaki and army green); the Effortless Mascara, which leaves lashes voluminous but not overdone; and the Lip Cover, which provides an array of stunning natural shades of nudes, mauves, pinks and reds (my colour pick is "Heather Rose," mauve with just a hint of orange). Did I mention that the lipsticks have a magnetic snap enclosure?

Burberry Beauty counter at Vancouver's Holt Renfrew
(Photography by Ian Sheh)

Visit the stylin' Burberry Beauty counters at Holt Renfrew in Vancouver and Toronto.

Product and campaign images courtesy of

Thursday, July 22, 2010

If I Were Rich I Would Buy... a Darcy Miro Silver Cuff

Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but sometimes all one really needs is a little bit of oxidized silver to make us sparkle... especially when it's a one-of-a-kind hand-sculpted cuff by metalsmith Darcy Miro! She has recently teamed up with Unholy Matrimony to create a series of warrior inspired pieces, resulting in highly original jewelry with extraordinary shapes and textures (bubbly, coral-like, woven). The amount of detailing is astonishing; I can just stare at these forever. Now, if I only had one on my wrist!

$2860 US at Far Fetch.

PS. Yes, she does diamonds too, just in case I ever got really rich!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Shoe Wednesdays: ETRO Brocade Studded Boots

The last time I wore brocade on my feet, it was my grandma's slippers. Well, these are certainly not granny in any way. Etro is, of course, known for their kaleidoscopic prints but I didn't know that applied to their shoes. Now that I do, it's love! If Marie-Antoinette was alive today, she would wear these.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

To the Max

Aquascutum F/W 2010

Oh, yes! I've been telling people for years about how much I love long skirts but most of the time I end up getting funny looks. They're so gorgeously 70s, which is my favorite decade. This fall, maxi skirts are back full force, from classic clean tailoring by Aquascutum and Michael Kors to flow-y prints by Dries Van Notten and ADAM. Thankfully, even H&M is jumping on the bandwagon!

Michael Kors F/W 2010

Dries Van Notten F/W 2010

ADAM F/W 2010

H&M F/W 2010

Will you be rocking a maxi skirt this fall?

Runway images courtesy of H&M image courtesy of H&M.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Item of the Week: VPL "B" Bra

I'm not a fancy lingerie girl. They are for special occasions only, like a once-a-year type of deal. I much prefer basic sporty undergarments, usually out-of-the-box Calvin Klein. But basics can be boring, so — thankfully — there are designers like Victoria Bartlett of VPL (Visible Panty Line) to keep women like me happy. Bringing together lingerie and sportswear, VPL garments are comfortable yet hip, with a little bit of a vintage feel. Gorgeous lines and impeccable detailing are making me wish I had one in every colour!

$94 US at Ron Herman.

Also available in other colour combinations at Net-a-Porter(taupe/yellow) and Barneys (navy/orange/taupe) and SSense (lilac/navy).

Friday, July 16, 2010

Beauty Fridays: Ruffian's Crescent Moon Mani

Ruffian F/W 2010

I was going to title this post "Over the Moon" because that's how I feel about this manicure. It's stunning! This is the third incarnation of the Ruffian (in collaboration with CND) moon nail, this time inspired by Wassily Kandinsky's galaxy paintings of planets, moons and stars placed against a dark backdrop (I didn't think nails could be so deep with feelings and all).

The nails are pre-made chrome tips with matte midnight blue painted over. You can buy similar ones from Dashing Diva. Below is a fun how-to video for all the geeks out there.

Not loving the acrylic alternative? You can always attempt a DIY, like on For those less skilled (like myself), I would suggest using Sally Hansen's Color Quick Chrome Pen in "Gold Frost" and going over the matte blue base. It might end up looking cleaner.

Does anyone want to try?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Visionaire "Spirit" McQueen Tribute

I've spent a small fortune on Visionaire before. Particularly on issue 45, featuring my little BFFs in forms of Gucci, Vivienne, Margiela, Garçon and Pucci. One of the best purchases I've ever made.

Visionaire is more than a magazine. Each issue is a limited edition, collectible piece of art. It's no surprise that the next issue is a tribute to the great Alexander McQueen. Visionaire had been working on this issue for a while now, even before his tragic death. In the aftermath of McQueen's passing, the editor Cecilia Dean (the greatest editor in the world bar none) turned the issue into a stunning tribute titled "Spirit" featuring contributions by Steven Klein, Mario Sorrenti and my personal favourites Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin.

There are sceptics saying that it's too pricey and whatnot, but, for me, when it comes to great and stunning books, there is nothing to argue about. Get this: the pages are embedded with wild flowers seeds that, if one chooses to plant and water, will grow into real flowers. No kidding! A vision, for sure.

Shit, I'm broke. Oh well, I'm getting it anyways.

$295 US at

Shoe Wednesdays: Jeffrey Campbell "Darci"

This is the last sandal for the season, I promise. I can never resist a great nude. They are so rare and hard to find. These JC shoes are light and simple with a nice thick heel to keep the foot sturdy.

I must say that I've resisted writing about blogger favourite Jeffrey Campbell for so long because I find the label to be all over the place. I'm over it now and they are my go-to shoes for cheap, chic and comfy.

$107.44 CAD at Nordstrom.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Item of the Week: Joomi Lim Square Bangle with Spikes

I've been crushing on spikes a little lately. It's kind of a weird thing for me since I'm usually more of a girlie girl. But these Joomi Lim spike bangles are quite elegant while being super badass at the same time. Love.

$84 US at Joomi Lim.

PS. And I love the way Jessica Alba wears them here.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Beauty Fridays: Coral Nails (Yes, More Coral)

Oscar de la Renta S/S 2010

I promise that this will be the last coral post this summer. Yes, I am a tiny bit obsessed (there were the cheeks and then the lips) and I just had to come full circle. Just don't wear it all at once! There are many shades of coral but I love the really bright ones. Summer perfect!

Dashing Diva "Miranda's Law" ($8 US at Dashing Diva)

OPI "Tropical Punch" ($11 CAD at selected nail salons)

Essie "Coral Reef" ($12 CAD at BeautyMark)

Butter "Macbeth" ($17 CAD at Beautymark)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Independent Fashion Bloggers Links à la Mode

links a la mode

Questions, questions

Edited by: Jennine Jacob, IFB

They say the only dumb question is one you don't ask, and these days the questions keep coming and the answers? Well, we try. In the fashion world... Lady Gaga, is she really doing it for the girls? What does working with Terry Richardson do for/against her cred? Should we question the ethnic headdress trend? Has fashion blogging become overloaded and narcissistic? What's the real price of our clothing? And more importantly what should we wear to a movie date!?! Oh man, the questions they keep coming. Luckily this week's roundup has some answers.

Links à la Mode: July 8

If I Were Rich I Would Buy... an ALAÏA Perforated Leather Tote!

"Oh, no. You don't understand, this is an Alaïa," Cher Horowitz exclaimed when held at gun point at a gas station in Clueless. I would have been just as upset because Alaïa is "like a totally important designer." I think Cher could see into the future where Azzedine Alaïa would become a living legend. The rules of seasonal collections and fashion weeks no longer apply to him: he shows what and when he feels like and every single piece he does, whether it's a couture gown, a shoe or an accessory, is instantly considered an investment.

So if I were rich, I would buy this perforated Anglaise leather tote to tide me over while I patiently waited for one of his body-con bondage dresses (because he invented them!). Don't you know? The most beautiful women in the world wear Alaïa!

Naomi wearing Alaïa in Elle circa 1990

$2,200 US at Net-a-Porter.

PS. Yes, this is a new feature. I like to torture myself.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Shoe Wednesdays: L'Autre Chose Peep Toe Sandals

My absolute favourite store in Vancouver is Gravity Pope. There is no denying it: I could spend countless amounts of money there on shoes, shoes and shoes. Not only do they have everything that I already want, but the store is also constantly introducing me to new lines, and new frontiers in the world of shoes. Like L'Autre Chose (meaning "The Other Thing"): this is not just a shoe, it might actually be a religious experience (just look at the rest of the collection!). I'll be saving my pretty pennies for L'Autre Chose!

$425 CAD at Gravity Pope (and there is a phyton version too!).

Master Control: Q&A with Design + Conquer

"Falkor" headpiece ($236.72 US on Etsy)

I discovered Design + Conquer after randomly clicking on a link posted by one of the 300 people I follow on Twitter. Being immediately drawn to its unique forms and materiality, I blogged about the label’s S/S 2010 collection a while back. Since then, Design + Conquer has been gathering a loyal following among fashion professionals, and has appeared in Fashion and Elle as well as gracing the runway at Toronto Fashion Week (with Jessica Biffi).

Founded by Vancouver-raised but Calgary-based (the latter city having been my previous home for about 10 years and often garnering a bad rep fashion-wise...undeservingly so, in my opinion) designer Morgan Mallett, who has a background in graphic design and painting, Design + Conquer is certainly set to, well, conquer the jewelry market, particularly for people that like to think and look outside of the norm. Her pieces, more often than not, resemble alien body parts more than jewelry, and her F/W 2010 collection blurs the perimeters between jewelry and wearable art.

All curious references to alien-like creatures and cyborgs are intentional: the main inspirations behind the collection were 80s sci-fi classics like TRON, the Neverending Story, and Star Wars. Additionally, the pieces are made entirely from fabricated plastic polymers, making them flexible and moldable to the body. Mallett has a meticulous eye for designing, art directing, and editing, making this F/W 2010 collection extremely focused and sophisticated, especially so considering she has only been doing it for two years: master control, if I may say (yes, a TRON reference). Who says geekery is uncool?

"Firewall" necklace ($1,009 US on Etsy)

OK, let’s start with some geekery! What is your favourite sci-fi film of all-time? (I love 'Blade Runner').

I also love 'Blade Runner! I don’t think my favourite sci-fi film of all-time has been made yet. I am, however, eagerly anticipating the new 'TRON' movie. Not for plot, but for the aesthetics and mood. I’d love to create designs for a movie, no genre restrictions.  

What is it about the 80s sci-fi aesthetic that inspires you?

Perhaps there’s some nostalgia involved, as I was born in the 80s, but I think it’s mainly the mixture of low and high tech of that decade that attracts me. The 80s was when CG was just stretching its legs, and people were beginning to fully realize its applications. You pair that with traditional model-making, and you get a distinctive (and sometimes amusing!) aesthetic. It fascinates me how each generation crafts its own idea of what the future will be like, and in this process, reveals a lot about itself. For instance, you might see a movie that is visually futuristic, but the social roles of men and women may be antiquated.

Other than geeking out on sci-fi, do you also listen to music while you work? If so, what are you listening to at the moment?

Where do I start! I’m constantly discovering new music and pumping it in the studio. It gives me energy, and satisfies my audio cravings. Right now I’m listening to Telefon Tel Aviv (I got permission from the band to use one of their songs in my F/W 2010 video teaser, Caribou’s "Kaili," and LCD Soundsystem’s "I Can Change." I’m also listening to some 1920s flapper music (makes me feel like I’ve got a gramophone in the studio). I love music so much that I create iMixes for each collection, songs that inspired the designs. I just released my F/W 2010 iMix and YouTube playlists.

"Trooper" cuff ($275.57 US on Etsy)

You’ve studied painting and graphic design. Is Design + Conquer a good manifestation and progression of the concepts and skills learnt in your studies?

For sure. We were encouraged to experiment across mediums during my painting degree, and my graphic design background has taught me a lot about presentation and communication. Both degrees were invaluable experiences, but it’s my experience after graduation that has taught me the most. Formal education is important, but so is learning for yourself in an unstructured environment.

A road to one’s chosen career can be long and winding.... What did you want to be when you were little?

I wanted to be an artist! Always have. I wasn’t aware of all of the different forms and areas of art and design when I was little, but being creative has always been at my core. I was lucky to have a family who encouraged this (my Aunt Joey is an artist in Vancouver).

I think it pays to be different. What were some of the ideas behind the art direction of your lookbook?

‘Elizabethan stormtrooper’ was the original concept, but was refined along the way when the 'TRON' influence grew stronger. I wanted to reference history, and simultaneously create a futuristic look. I chose to photograph the pieces on the model, as this not only communicates the mood of the collection, but also the scale of the pieces, something I couldn’t achieve through product shots alone. I’m adamant about showing diversity in my work - size, age, etc. -and was thrilled to pair with Ben Barry Agency for my shoot. Ben’s agency vehemently promotes size, ethnicity and age diversity in fashion. As a child and teenager, I didn’t see much diversity in mass-media fashion. It’s truly fulfilling to have a voice in the fashion realm, and to express my values through my work.

What can we look forward to for S/S 2011?

I’ll be playing with translucency for my next collection….

Describe Design + Conquer in three words.

Innovative. Powerful. Wearable.

"Bird of Prey" earrings ($86.39 US on Etsy, 20 % proceeds go to the Humane Society for their BP oil spill cleanup efforts)

To learn more about Design + Conquer and for a complete list of stockists, visit

*photography by Noah Fallis