Friday, October 29, 2010

Calvin Klein BEAUTY Giveaway Winner...

is Sarah Marlayne! Congratulations!

For another chance to win and to get a free 2mL Calvin Klein "Beauty" eau de parfum rollerball, enter FASHION magazine's It Touches Everything Photo Contest by uploading a photo of something you find beautiful.

Thank you everyone for your fun and insightful entries! Looks like everyone is still crushing on Marky Mark...I mean Mark Walhberg.

Beauty Fridays: Cat Eye

Devi Kroell F/W 2010

One of my favourite looks is the exaggerated cat eye with a bare lower lid, which is why I adore Devi Kroell's fall presentation make-up. It's hard to master and, after years of trying, I'm finally starting to achieve a somewhat acceptable version (but much less dramatic). The trick is to use a really precise fine liner, one that doesn't smudge. Thankfully, I found a few great ones over the years. Vancouver's own Geisha Ink is my absolute favourite: the finest, most precise tip and with amazing waterproof abilities. Some other stand-outs are by Kiss Me, Stila and, surprisingly, Joe Fresh.

GEISHA INK Liquid Eyeliner ($30 CAD at BeautyMark)

KISS ME Eyeliner ($35 CAD at BeautyMark)

STILA All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner ($26 CAD at BeautyMark and Sephora)

THE STEAL: JOE FRESH Fine Pen Liquid Eyeliner ($6 CAD at Joe Fresh)

I suppose you could always use a cream shadow and a fine brush but I'm more of an all-in-one convenience kind of gal. If you don't know how to do the cat eye, check out the Faces by Sarah You Tube channel -- it's how I finally mastered it (I only do the top lid though).

PS. I'm categorizing looks from shows as "trends" even though most of them are pretty timeless. It's more to keep things on the blog well organized.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Shoe Wednesdays: Pierre Hardy for GAP Peep-Toe Wedge

Here it is again: affordable Pierre Hardy. I'm loving his Gap collaboration this fall. It's a lot more refined that the last and a lot more "Pierre Hardy." The general composition of the shoe is beautiful: the suede body with the clean black leather trim lines and, of course, the little peep-toe. I know I've featured a lot of ankle boots lately but, really, a woman can never have too many ankle boots. I stand by that.

The other boot is pretty amazing too!

$195 CAD at select GAP stores starting today (Robson St and Park Royal locations in Vancouver).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Toronto Fashion Week: Canadian Safari


Sometimes I wonder if all the designers get together for a spa day and decide what the major theme is for the season...just kidding. But honestly, it seems like almost everyone in Canada decided to go on an African safari this spring. Nothing to complain about here. I love this look.

Line's knitwear is some of the most beautiful around on the current market (even more so now that Lutz & Patmos has ended their ten year run) and the little olive crop sweater is so adorable with the high waisted khaki shorts. As I said before, Joe Fresh is really polishing their basics and giving them a cleaner and more sophisticated feel. I adore Pink Tartan's take on the animal print with their giraffe maxi dress. Rachel Mara delivers beautiful prints year after year and this boho tribal wrap dress is no exception. Here's to Canadian safari-ing!

Joe Fresh

Jessica Jensen

Pink Tartan

Rachel Mara

What does everyone think of Toronto Fashion Week? How does it compare to other notable Fashion Weeks?

Gossip Girl "Easy J" Fashion Round-Up

Before we start, I'm going to share some insights from Mr. Tim Gunn on Miss Taylor Momsen.

"What a diva! She was pathetic, she couldn't remember her lines, and she didn't even have that many. I thought to myself, 'why are we all being held hostage by this brat?" (E! News)

Hahahahaha, dying!

Last week I said that I missed Little J. I take it back. Not because I don't like her whiny character, but because she is just so damn hard to look at. That awful ringlet braided yellow hair, the panda eyes, the lipstick from the "Twilight" collection...Ugh. It hurts. The lace and sequins Pucci dress itself was quite nice but the styling was horrid. Serena would have worn that dress sans sheer tights, with her hair up and minimal makeup. What a waste. I hope Little J gets into Parsons: she's got lots to learn. Somehow "whore" did seem appropriate.

Pucci F/W 2010 dress
Low Luv x Erin Wasson cuff
Dolce Vita shoes
Carlos Fachi bag

Of course, Jenny did one good thing and sparked a little somethin' somethin' between Chuck and Blair. You could cut the sexual tension with a knife. As for Blair's wardrobe, it was underwhelming yet again. The first one was cute (in fact, I was eyeing that Alice & Olivia skirt the other day) but nothing spectacular. The bland beige Victoria Beckham dress should have been worn by Miss Porny Eyebrows and not Blair. The best part of her wardrobe was her silk pajamas at the end of the episode (update: I found two close matches: one from Marni and the other from J Crew. I suppose one could always crop the pants into shorts). Amazingness. Can't wait for Chuck to take them off. Make-up sex is the best.

I loved Serena's looks this episode. The styling of her first ensemble was sheer brilliance: two clashing golden prints accompanied by an embroidered knit Givenchy vest, perfectly put together (including Serena's golden hair).

Porter Grey F/W 2010 top
Givenchy embroidered knit vest
Tibi Byzantine skirt
Stephen Dweck bracelet

Then there was the "boob" outfit. On anyone else this would have been a complete fail, but on Serena it just works. Maybe it's her magical boobs but I don't even mind the skinny pants with the silly ankle zippers undone. I know, I'm hypnotized. But I guess Mad Men's Joan's hot-but-rapey husband is not as hypnotized as we originally thought he was. He seems to be working with Miss Porny Eyebrows and the white-trashy Jail Guy. Again, why do all the new characters have to be evil?

Maxime Simoens F/W 2010 jacket
Haute Hippie pants

Brian Atwood shoes

Kotur purse

Although she just learned the term "reverse psychology," Lily looked as sophisticated as always. She wore a dress by this week's other notable cameo, Isaac Mizrahi (side note: I used to be obsessed with Isaac Mizrahi. Remember Unzipped? It was the best. The flamboyance, the artistry, the drama, the Naomi... The best. I'm going to watch it tomorrow.) I'm going to also brag a little because I own Lily's necklace. Did you see it glow in a certain light?

Isaac Mizrahi F/W 2010 dress
Devi Kroell large wooden clutch
Stephen Dweck bead necklace

I have a feeling this Porny Eyebrows/Jail Guy thing is going to go on forever. Yet they said goodbye to the adorable Clémence Poésy so soon.... It's been awhile since we've seen Dorota and Vanya. What about the baby? I want to see the baby!

God bless Tim Gunn.

Until next week. You know you love me.


It Girl

PS. Thanks to CW, InStyle and Gossip Girl Fashion for the tips.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Item of the Week: Lanvin Leopard Print T-Shirt Dress

I haven't quite gotten into leopard as much as I expected this fall. Remember the epic Hail to the Leopard post? Well, accessories are one thing, but every time I try on a leopard garment, it feels too loud and makes me feel kind of cougar-y and cheap. But I would certainly wear Lanvin leopard! Clean lines, a conservative but sexy silhouette and the signature Lanvin unfinished silk trim. It's not a runway piece and I stumbled upon it as I was browsing Lanvin's newly launched e-store. I was daydreaming about the H&M line and somehow ended up looking up all things Lanvin. Self torture really. I don't have $990 US to spend on a dress. November 23rd can't come soon enough.

$990 US at Lanvin.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Beauty Fridays: Calvin Klein "Beauty" + GIVEAWAY

I've been obsessed with Calvin Klein as long as I can remember. Calvin Klein is responsible for so many iconic fashion moments. From underage nothing-comes-between-me-and-my-Calvin's Brooke Shields to classy Christy Turlington to Mark Wahlberg's abs to waifish Kate Moss. Calvin Klein, as a brand, lived a sort of double life. On one end, the brand made a name for itself for selling sex, a job they have been doing extremely well since their first jeans ad in 1979 featuring Patti Hansen and took it over the top with risque ads of Kate Moss. On the other end, the brand has been known for its sophisticated take on American sportswear and New England WASP elegance, a look they captured brilliantly in the Eternity campaign with the timeless Christy Turlington.

Vintage ads: Patti Hansen, 1979; Brooke Shields, 1981; Christy Turlington, 1989; Mark Wahlberg, 1992; Kate Moss, 1993

With Francisco Costa at the helm, Calvin Klein has taken up a softer, more feminine aesthetic, one that is brilliantly bottled in the new fragrance, "Beauty." It's an elegant fragrance with a base of jasmine and calla lilies. Clean and not overpowering, "Beauty" allows for women like me to grow with the brand: from a lustful teenager, mildly obsessed with Kate Moss, that wore "CK One," to a pure, confident, wise and sophisticated woman. It's a campaign that Diane Kruger is a perfect spokesperson for. In other words, a very grown-up Calvin Klein.

$89 CAD (50ml) at The Bay

GIVEAWAY (open only to Canadian residents):

A 50ml "Beauty" can be yours. Just tell me what your favourite Calvin Klein moment (yes, you can say Mark Wahlberg's abs) was over the past forty years. Comment below until Friday, October 29th at noon (Vancouver time), and if you're lucky, nothing will come between you and your Calvin.

I'm the It Girl for Barefoot Contessa

I was thrilled when Barefoot Contessa asked me to be one of the bloggers serving as guest stylists for their Main Street location. I've done window dressing before but it's been a while so I couldn't wait to get my hands on some dress forms.

Barefoot Contessa is known as Main Street's girlie haven. It's a store named after a 1950s film staring Ava Gardner, and is very much a blast from the past. The place is filled with pretty vintage furniture and knick-knacks like bird cages and old picture frames. Inside you'll find an array of feminine dresses, cute separates accented with lace and intricate details, an amazing selection of accessories from Vancouver's favourites Toodlebunny and Pyrrha, and even some things for the little ones.

I styled four outfits in an I'm the It Girl theme: 1) a weekend casual look of jeans, a kimono sleeve sweater and a crossbody bag; 2) a casual Parisian-inspired look consisting of black shorts, a sailor-T, and a ruffle trench coat with my own butterfly scarf; 3) an evening look featuring a cream lace ensemble and a little leather jacket; 4) a "work" Mad Men-inspired outfit with a black pencil skirt, a brown turtleneck and an adorable tweed cape-like coat with a ruffled hood. Each look was topped with I'm the It Girl buttons, because there is no better accessory than narcissism...haha.

Unfortunately, it was really bright and glaring outside. Even though I took pictures during the day and at night, I wasn't able to get a single good picture of the whole outfit. I guess you'll just have to check it out for yourself (on display until Wednesday, October 27). My lovely friend and fellow blogger, Carolina of Closet Full of Nothing did the other window (it's so cute).

Barefoot Contessa
3715 Main Street (& 1928 Commercial Drive)
Vancouver, BC

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Paris Fashion Week: Things I Would Like to Be Buried In


They say Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, was buried wearing her favourite Kenneth Jay Lane couture belt. Sometimes - because I'm kind of morbid - I think about stuff like this. If there is fashion that is truly "to-die-for," it's gotta to be from Paris Fashion Week (other than Couture shows, of course). So many shows, so many themes, so many beautiful things (and so little time to review them all). But which ones would I consider taking to the grave with me? The answers are:

1) the minty yellow Lanvin gown that would automatically grant me Goddess status wherever I'm going;
2) the bright yellow Giambattista Valli masterpiece for the same reason as above;
3) the fiery red Haider Ackerman ensemble to keep the glamour alive;
4) the quietly elegant pastel dress by Dries Van Noten because quiet elegance is timeless (who knows how long I'll be there for); or
5) the soft pink Chloe ensemble just in case I want to take up ballet in the afterlife (you never know!).

Giambattista Valli

Haider Ackerman

Dries Van Noten


My idol Nan Kempner once said that "I tell people all the time I want to be buried naked. I know there will be a store where I'm going." Well, no offense Nan, but I'd like to take a little something just in case.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Shoe Wednesdays: See by Chloé Lace-Up Ankle Boots

These were runners-up on my "maybe I should get these?" list and they lost out to last week's Rachel Comey's. If, for some reason, I needed more than four (yes, four) pairs of brown/tan high-heeled ankle boots, I would have gotten them! Otherwise they are perfect: loafer-like and just sporty enough to wear with jeans, leggings and sweatpants (I'm coming around on this trend).

$349 CAD at The Bay and online at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Le Monde Exclusif du Maison Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton RTW S/S 2011

You'll catch me butchering the French language when I get excited about all the fine things that hail from there: coq au vin, foie gras, fromage, cabernet sauvignon, Serge Gainsbourg, Lanvin, Chanel, Hermès and, of course, Louis Vuitton. And now, I can butcher "Maison Louis Vuitton" all the time since Vancouver will be opening one at the end of the year! Yes, the Louis Vuitton store has been here since 1996 but it wasn't a "maison," and will now be expanding to a two story, 10,000 square feet shopping heaven. A "maison" designation is very prestigious and there are only four in North America. A space within a space, Maison Louis Vuitton brings together all aspects of the brand: the iconic leather goods and luggage, a bag bar, accessories, current prêt-à-porter and resort collections, as well as gallery space dedicated to contemporary art and a VIP suite.

Maison Louis Vuitton designed by UN Studio, Tokyo

The final product may not be as spectacular as the one designed by UN Studio currently being built in Tokyo, but Vancouver will get its perks. In an interview with Daniel Lalonde, former president and CEO of Louis Vuitton North America, in their current issue, Montecristo magazine offers some insight into the iconic brand's core values and the development of the Vancouver flagship.

Daniel Lalonde on the cover of Montecristo (Autumn, 2010)

During his tenure with Louis Vuitton, Lalonde launched the "Core Values" campaign: an ongoing series of ads featuring international pop culture icons in inspiring surroundings (my favourite one to this day is of Francis Ford and Sophia Coppola). "For Louis Vuitton, such an organic brand, iconic, we wanted to refocus, on travel. That is what the brand was originally all about," says Lalonde. He is right: we all dream of jet-setting with a full set of LV monogram luggage. But, as with every exciting brand, there are two sides of Louis Vuitton: the classic and the now.

early 20th century LV luggage ad

We have Marc Jacobs to thank for "the now." Keeping a century-and-a-half-old house relevant is not an easy task. Always keeping one eye on tradition and one eye on the hot, current and upcoming, Jacobs knows that the key to heading a contemporary brand is marking its relevance in the popular culture. This idea is exactly where successful collaborations with artists Takashi Murakami and Stephen Sprouse and conceptual projects with architects Zaha Hadid and Shigeru Ban grew from, not to mention exciting new ventures with the Louis Vuitton Young Arts Project. As with all Maisons, the Vancouver store will feature a commissioned installation by an artist, and Vancouver's Steven Shearer -- who happens to be Canada's representative at the 2011 Venice Biennale -- has been selected. This is no way a coincidence, as Louis Vuitton is always one or two steps ahead of the game: "This brand has an extremely long-term vision. It is now 150 years in length, and in some ways we look at the next 150... In terms of marketing strategy: we are on a continuum,” states Lalonde.

artwork by Steven Shearer (image courtesy of W magazine, October 2009)

Louis Vuitton RTW S/S 2011

Maison Louis Vuitton (coming soon)
Hotel Vancouver
633 Granville St
Vancouver, BC V7Y 1E4
(604) 687-4644

PS. Who wants to practise French with me at the LV Bag Bar? Je voudrais acheter ce sac, s'il vous plaît...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Shoe In: Q&A with Abel Muñoz

"Eumachia" S/S 2010

Amazing shoes arrive in my inbox on a regular basis from names like Christian Louboutin and Nicholas Kirkwood, but rarely do shoes like these arrive from a fellow Canadian. Not to downplay Canadian talent -- we have a lot -- but we are not exactly known for shoe design. That’s all about to change, with some remarkable fresh talent emerging from Canada, one of them being Toronto-based Abel Muñoz. Having studied shoe design in Milan following a career as a graphic designer, Muñoz's focus is to carry on the artisanal craftsmanship of handmade shoe making, the art form that it was prior to the introduction of mass production. His limited edition S/S 2011 collection, titled "Pompeii," is very much an ode to this craft: meticulously constructed and detailed top quality leather shoes that every woman is bound to covet.

Abel Muñoz has already caught the fashionable eyes of the legendary Jeanne Beker and supermodel Coco Rocha, and has the editors of Women's Wear Daily, Elle and Flare swooning. And of course, I'm swooning too: Muñoz knows that a true way to a woman's heart is through a stiletto heel (um, not in a literal sense, of course).

"Petronia" S/S 2011

You were a graphic designer and magazine art director. What sparked an interest in shoes?

My interest in footwear design is not recent. I’ve been interested in accessories design and all facets of design since I can remember. Footwear design has always been something I have thought about.

How does your background in graphic design influence your shoe design? And how does shoe design differ from other design?

I think that all forms of designs are interlaced. I tend to streamline and incorporate graphic elements in my shoes. I guess that’s where the influence comes into play. Shoe design is probably one of the most complex forms of design as the human foot is three-dimensional and involves ergonomics as well.

"Sabina" S/S 2011

Tell us a little bit about your design process. What influences you?

I am influenced by the world that I live in. All I know is that the ideas usually just come to me. I start the drawing process once I am happy with the outline of the design. I go on to materials and colour selections, then I submit the concepts to the factory and start working with my modelistas on the development of the collections.

Do you have a style muse in mind when you are designing?

I don’t have a style muse in mind per se, but I do have a type of woman in mind. I design for women who want to be different, strong, and independent. Women who are not afraid of spending money on something new, unusual and fashion-forward. 

Is there a style icon you would love to see sporting your shoes?

Yes I have a few in mind, Coco Rocha is one of them and she already wears my shoes. I also would like to work with Lady Gaga and Rihanna.

Can you comment on Canadian style? How do you think Canadian women fare in comparison to the rest of the world?

Canadian style is fairly conservative and mainstream. There is not enough access and coverage of national and international up-and-coming avant garde designers. Since most retailers only bring in the standard brands everyone ends up looking the same. I think that with the help of online shopping and discount e-tailers, out of reach product will become available to Canadian women and will improve their sense of style.

"Calpunia" S/S 2011

What’s the most played song on your iPod?

Anything from the latest Metric disc, Kylie Minogue’s newest, Dragonette, and lots of Guetta remixes of Kelly Rowland.

Describe Abel Muñoz in three words.

Simplicity, Creativity, Ambition.

"Semele" S/S 2011

Abel Muñoz shoes are available in Canada at Ogivly in Montreal, George C and the (soon to be open) Pink Tartan flagship store in Toronto, as well as in the United States at Deliciouz in Walnut Creek, California and Garbarini in Denver, Colorado.

Item of the Week: Joe Fresh Cream Faux Fur Coat (With Some Bragging Thrown In)

To celebrate the opening of the first stand-alone Joe Fresh store in Canada -- located in Vancouver (conveniently across from Holt Renfrew at 540 Granville Street) and not in Toronto for once -- I thought it was fitting to feature one of their stylin' faux fur pieces. Like I said before, I own a lot of Joe Fresh. Canada's answer to the Gap and the Japanese powerhouse Uniqlo, Joe Fresh is perfect for basics as well as some of-the-moment pieces that won't break the bank.

The opening was pretty damn spectacular: an all-day event which consisted of a free outdoor concert and a special VIP party which I was honoured to be invited to. As you know, I don't cover very many events, but when there are major fashion celebrities involved, how could I resist bragging?

Adrian Mainella

Along with Joe Fresh's Joseph Mimran and his wife and partner Kim Newport (of Pink Tartan), plus the editors of all the major Canadian fashion magazines, rock stars, hockey players and top models, a couple of my longtime fashion crushes were also in attendance: legendary model and one of the faces of Joe Fresh, Irina Lazareanu, and Fashion File's Adrian Mainella. I knew I just had to take the opportunity to fanstalk them a little bit. Both being Canadians, they were incredibly cool, humble and sweet. In fact, Adrian emailed me this lovely picture of Irina and -- get this -- I somehow ended up on the dance floor with Irina and proceeded to chat with her while we stepped out for a ciggie (I usually try to avoid these, I swear!). Unreal, right? Ah, the glamourous life.

Irina Lazareanu (photo courtesy of Adrian Mainella)

$89 CAD at Joe Fresh (it's a steal).