Monday, February 28, 2011

Gossip Girl "Empire of the Son" Fashion Round-Up





I'm cheating on Chuck. With Dan! OMG. How did this happen? It's his hair, I think. It's come along way since his Lonely Boy days. It's gotten to a magical Patrick Dempsey stage when all you can think about is running your fingers through it. The sad thing is, I'm not even that embarrassed about it. Well, as long as he stays away from Serena. Serena and anyone associated with her give me instant rage. 

Item of the Week: Joe Fresh Trench Skirt





Tomorrow is March and there is snow outside. Meanwhile, there are countless stores filled with cute spring clothes. Well, I can't wear it yet without freezing, but last week I picked up this cotton trench skirt in khaki at Joe Fresh. I love it! It's so amazingly simple and can go with a casual top or a more dressy one. I'm thinking maybe a lace blouse, a trench coat and pumps.




Once the snow melts.

$39 CAD at Joe Fresh.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Red Carpet: Oscars!





Well, that was lame. The promise of my lover in another life, James Franco, and Anne Hathaway certainly did not deliver. If anything, the most fascinating thing about the whole thing was guessing how many doobies Franco smoked backstage and whether or not he was going to bust out a bag of chips and crack open a can o' beer on stage.

Fashion-wise, it was a big letdown in comparison to The Golden Globes. Oscars, by nature, are very polite. They sit in their seats. They don't drink. And they don't take big chances. Anyhow, here is my best dressed list!


Honourable Mention: Annette Bening in Naeem Khan




Spectacular dress on a spectacular actress. Perhaps the only reason why it's an honourable mention is because it's black. I always seem to give colour an edge. But the beautiful construction lines elongated her already gorgeous figure. The little sleeves and the V-neck were really age-appropriate: not too sexy, not too matronly, but just right. Also, I think she should have won (no offense, Natalie!). 


5. Gwyneth Paltrow in Calvin Klein




I hated her singing. I'm sure she did too, having to follow Florence Welch. Oh well, sometimes life sucks even for Goopy. Her Calvin Klein gown, on the other hand, really worked for her. Its simple, no fuss silhouette is just exactly what Gwyneth stands for: a sort of an impossibly perfect icy WASP figure. The long, no fuss hair just added to the gorgeous simplicity. No more singing, okay? 


4. Amy Adams in L'Wren Scott




I've always been a huge fan of Amy Adams as an actress. I think people often overlook her acting ability due to her the-girl-next-door good looks. I think she is one of those actresses that will just get better and better with age. Keep in mind that this was already her second Oscar nomination. But this was her first big hit on the red carpet.  She didn't do the prom princess Marchesa thing. Instead she opted for a simple sapphire L'Wren Scott reflecting her maturity and growth as an actress. And seriously: her beat down of the crazy sister in The Fighter will go down as one of my favourite film scenes ever! 


3. Florence Welch in Valentino Couture




Florence Welch is a magnificent figure. She is impossibly tall and regal, not unlike Tilda Swinton (who sadly didn't show up!). I don't see her wearing a boring ass strapless Marchesa but she is not afraid to go pretty. I think this pale yellow Valentino Couture gown proves exactly that: she can be pretty and still stay the magnificently cool Florence. Hair down always helps to achieve the oh-look-I'm-so-effortless thing.  


2. Michelle Williams in Chanel Couture




She is a beautiful little fragile bird-like creature and this is exactly how I like to see her: really playing up those delicate soft features. I suppose that it's not a coincidence that all the gowns I chose have a crew neck or at least a demure neckline. What I hate the most is tits on show, unless the tits in question are spectacular (hello January Jones at the Globes!). 


1. Cate Blanchett in Givenchy Couture




When Cate Blanchett decides to show up, no one stands a chance. She is so ahead of everyone else: her talent, her taste level, her sophistication, her bone structure... I wrote a whole post on this Givenchy collection so I don't have much more to add than that it's absolutely sensational.

What did you think of the show? Best dressed? Worst dressed?

PS. Funny fact: I worked with Cate Blanchett's younger sister on a UN project once. She looks more like Angelina Jolie than she looks like Cate. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Beauty Fridays: It's All About Hands





After my O.P.I Axxium post last week where I proclaimed that I have chubby baby hands, a couple of readers actually emailed to tell me that I do not have chubby hands (thanks, but let's face it: my hands are chubby) but that I do, in fact, have baby hands. This is true. They look great for 30. I'm pretty sure I'll get to be one of those old ladies without wrinkly hands and hopefully a face to match (cause it's creepy when they don't). My hand care routine actually involves several products. 

First things first: don't skimp out on dish soap. Unless you use gloves every time you wash a dish, go with a gentle, natural, eco-friendly alternative like Sapadilla or Method.


Sapadilla Dish Soap (at Whole Foods)


Next: moisture, and lots of it! I've recently received Consonant Body's Organic Hand Cream and  I'm hooked. Between this and Weleda's Skin Food, my hands will never be dry again.

DEAL: Until February 26th, bring in your old hand cream to BeautyMark and trade it in for a free Consonant Body Organic Hand Cream. While supplies last, of course! 

Consonant Body Organic Hand Cream ($20 at BeautyMark)


There is nothing worse than chipped, weak nails getting caught on everything. After being a biter for years and a serial nail polish abuser, I'm fairly obsessed with keeping my nails strong. There is simply no better nail strengthener than Butter's Horse Power. 



Butter London Horse Power ($24 CAD at BeautyMark)


Then there are those unsightly overgrown cuticles that we have to worry about. Between manicures, I use SpaRitual's cuticle pen to take care of those.


SpaRitual Cuticle Pen ($19.95 CAD at BeautyMark)


And finally, keeping those cuticles moisturised takes work too. Sometimes cream is just not enough. I use Essie's Apricot Cuticle Oil several times a week before I got to bed. Plus it smells delicious. 

Essie Apricot Oil ($12 CAD at BeautyMark)


Yes, this will probably be the one and only time that you'll see dish soap on this blog. 

PS. The image above is from YSL Fall 2010. I am still dying to try this manicure. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Spring Skirts at FAR FETCH







SPONSORED
As you know, Far Fetch is one of my favourite online stores, especially when browsing for "If I Were Rich, I Would Buy" items. I love the way they organize their items into Lux (luxury brands), Lab (emerging designers) and Cult (well, cult!). There is also a healthy selection of vintage to choose from. Far Fetch is a catalogue of more that fifty retailers all over the world and items are literally far fetched!

So let's talk about designer skirts! Minis, maxis, pencils, leather, prints, florals! All stunning and eager to make their way into my (your) closet.

LEATHER GOODS



COMME DES GARÇONS frill detail skirtACNE 'pacific' leather skirtKIMBERLY OVITZ scully suede skirt


Who doesn't need something leather? Or at least leather-detailed? I love the simplicity of Acne and Kimberly Ovitz, but the ruffles on Comme des Garcons is making me swoon.

BLACK & WHITE GRAPHICS


PAUL SMITH BLACK LABEL floral print pencil skirtLILITH striped tulip skirtPAUW pleat detail skirt


Powerful black and white prints are my favourites, especially when combined with an architectural silhouette like Lilith. But I'd be pretty happy with the pencil too!

ROMANTIC FLORALS


TORN BY RONNY KOBO peasant skirtD&G floral skirtPAUL SMITH floral pencil skirt


Spring is not spring without some florals and lace. Delicate little Ronny Kobo lace and romantic florals by D&G and Paul Smith, oh how pretty you are!

COOLER THAN THOU




MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA hawaiian style skirt ($291 USDRIES VAN NOTEN pleated skirtSACHIN + BABI FOR ANKASA makayla layered skirt 


I named this group 'Cooler Than Thou'. Just look at them! Now imagine wearing Maison Martin Margiela's fringe skirt and twirling around. Yeah, happiness.

Want more? Check out FAR FETCH boutique clothing!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Shoe Wednesdays: Opening Ceremony Lace Platforms





I think these shoes have that love-it-or-hate-it quality. I love them, of course, which is why they are here. It's like someone took grandma's church shoes and gave them growth hormones. That platform just comes out of nowhere and goes "Pow Pow Pow!" 



I have a thing for lace, especially the white/cream kind (except at weddings -- too obvious). It's the romantic in me. And, please, how cute would these look with shorts?




$575 US ($589.79 CAD) at Shopbop.

PS. Make sure you check out all the other platforms by Opening Ceremony. They really got it goin' on. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New York Fashion Week: Monochrome 40s



Donna Karan


For those new to the blog, I usually don't review single fashion week shows (that would take forever) but I do group some of my favourite themes from each fashion week together. For S/S 2011 coverage, I had: 


I liked a lot of shows at New York Fashion Week but it's almost always the same usual suspects that stick with me, namely Donna Karan and Michael Kors. While last season may have been about the 1960s, there is a strong reference to 1940s silhouettes. Daytime coats and suits with broad shoulders first appeared in the 1940s when women took charge in the workplace while the men went off to war. I love the simplicity of Donna Karan's tailoring: clean, American, and no-fuss. Then there is the adorable-as-always Marc Jacobs. But don't be fooled, these gals are all business.


Marc Jacobs


Michael Kors celebrated his 30th anniversary in the fashion biz with perhaps his most glamorous collection to date. The furs alone make me want to cry. Think Katherine Hepburn (the style superior Hepburn) and Lauren Bacall: strong and powerful, yet ultra feminine figures. 


Michael Kors


This single look by Prabal Gurung is enough (for me) to cement the fact that he indeed is the next great designer. It's a very fresh play on an otherwise very classic Veronica Lake 1940s Hollywood siren look. The degrade fur makes it...where do I get one of those? 


Prabal Gurung


One colour head-to-toe, who needs more?

Next week: London.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Gossip Girl "While You Weren't Sleeping" Fashion Round-Up



Dan: "What kind of pizza do you want?" 
Blair: "Gourmet, I suppose."


How did this happen? Why am I rooting for these two? Dan Humphrey and Blair Waldorf? Crazy. Maybe they have both been Freaky Friday'd but they make so much sense. Like I said last week: they are both kind of dorky in their own respective ways and intellectually superior to the rest of the gang. Plus, their parents are not married to each other, because that would just be gross. Double gross. 

I've been in Blair's mis-matched, sleep-deprived shoes before many times. Over-ambition, more often than not, leads to failure. Girls gotta learn to chill. Hopefully with Dan Humphrey watching classic films (Philadelphia Story!) and eating pizza. Well, at least she took the fall wearing nearly perfect outfits styled with Blair-approved designers: Alica + Olivia, Milly and Bensoni. Who else is dying over this blazer? Plus, I'll take mis-matched Roger Vivier shoes anytime!


Alice + Olivia 
Milly dress


Item of the Week: Rag & Bone Long Feather Skirt




I think I may prefer this skirt on the runway sans the lining, but I'm glad Rag & Bone decided not to skip on it for us normal people. Last thing I want is to play daytime peekaboo with my skirt. While many women may disagree with me, I believe there is nothing sexier than a flow-y and feminine long skirt.  This one is total perfection, from the colour to the construction to the delicate chiffon. 




$395 US at Shopbop (also comes in black).

PS. I'm currently loving so many other Rag & Bone pieces, especially the 'Carmel' dress.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Beauty Fridays: O.P.I Axxium Soak-Off Gel





I've been meaning to try O.P.I Axxium mani ever since I tried Bio Sculpture back in September. They are both semi-permanent soak-off gel polish solutions. I met made my appointment with Tessa at Suki's downtown salon where she not only applied the mani but also walked me through the process. She was kind enough to let my chubby baby hands take pictures of each step. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Next Big Maestro: Q&A with Silvina Maestro





In midst of all the newsletters, press releases, blog-related things, junk and personal emails, sometimes I'm lucky enough to receive something in my inbox that is absolutely breathtaking. When an email arrived from Silvina Maestro, the first thing I thought was "How is this designer not famous?" Well, she is well on her way there. 

This collection is only her second but behind her stands an impressive resume. A graduate of Central Saint Martins, the London-based designer previously worked at Givenchy in Paris, where she assisted Riccardo Tisci designing the Ready-to-Wear jersey garments. Aside from Givenchy, she has also worked for Emilio De La Morena, Nicholas Kirkwood and interned for Alexander McQueen. To add to her already impressive pedigree, she has recently been selected as one of the ten finalists for the prestigious Fashion Fringe competition by John Galliano. 




The S/S 2011 collection, titled "Flowers Grow Pale in Twilight," is a phenomenal combination of exquisite draping and construction skills with romantic poeticism. Inspired by composer Gustav Mahler's "Song of the Earth," this entirely black and white collection reflects the composition's narrative in which, after a loss of a close friend, the air turns cold and flowers lose their colour.

I caught up with Silvina to learn more about her background, inspirations behind her collections and her fashion heroes.




What was the moment that made you decide to become a fashion designer? 

I think I always knew. I’ve been sketching since I was four years old. I taught myself how to pattern cut and sew by reading books and magazines and I was making clothes for myself when I was nine. When I started reading Vogue I knew I had to come to London, that’s where everything seemed to be happening and I just had to do it. I then went to study Law and Literature until it finally happened and I made it to London to study at CSM.


  


I love hearing stories about Central Saint Martins. When did you graduate and who were some of your classmates? Any scoop?

I graduated in 2005, I had some very talented classmates who now have very good jobs in the industry. Saint Martins is a great place to study. It’s a very competitive environment but really great if you are prepared to work hard.




For your current S/S 2011 collection, your inspiration was Gustav Mahler's "Song of the Earth." Are you always inspired by music and how do you choose your inspiration? 

I’m always inspired by music. Music is a central part of my life. I DJ and sometimes produce music as well, although I haven’t been doing it for a while. Fashion takes up all my creative time so I just listen to it now. I don’t think I choose my inspirations, they just come to me. They are things I love and that I have bubbling in my head, especially music, art and poetry. 




Who are some of the designers that you personally admire?

I admire Yves Saint Laurent a lot. He was so talented and fragile at the same time, with an impeccable taste. He loved art, music and literature, and he influenced the way we dress today probably more than anyone else. I also admire Coco Chanel for building an empire out of nothing but her sheer determination and talent. Her elegance was unparalleled. It proves that it does not matter where you come from but what you decide to do with your life. I also love Cristobal Balenciaga for his pure, architectural couture; restriction sometimes shows more passion than permissiveness. 




Even though it's ready-to-wear, your work definitely lies more towards the Avant Garde than everyday wear. Who is your ideal costumer? 

My ideal costumer is someone whose beauty radiates from within. Someone intelligent and refined. Someone who appreciates art and beauty.  Anyone who can find beauty in my clothes. 

You designed ready-to-wear jersey pieces for Givenchy. Any plans to return to the material or sportswear? 

Jersey can be a very luxurious material to work with, especially if you work with cashmere or silk jerseys. That’s the side of it that interest me the most. The famous Mondrian dress by Yves Saint Laurent was done in jersey, for example. And Coco Chanel was one of the first to use it in a luxury context. It’s a wonderful material and I always think of including it in my designs. 


What has been the proudest moment in your career so far? 

Working at Givenchy and for Alexander McQueen was amazing but making my loved ones proud is the best reward my career gives me. 

You have the coolest name! Is it real? 

Yes, is real! My family originates from Spain. 

Where/how can we buy Silvina Maestro? 

You can contact sales@silvinamaestro.co.uk.

Visit Silvina Maestro at silvinamaestro.co.uk.  

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Shoe Wednesdays: Pour La Victoire "Cypris" Platform





Is it summer yet? So many sandals that I want to blog about but can't. This one is more of a shoe than a sandal, right? Right.

I love Pour La Victoire shoes because they are mid-price range but tend to look (and often feel) expensive. It's probably because the silhouettes always recall familiar designs of higher value. This one obviously inspired by Nicholas Kirkwood with that violent looking platform. And, of course, colour-blocking is always phenomenal when done right.


 


A reader emailed me last summer to ask me if it's okay to wear socks with sandals. It's my personal fashion mantra to never say no to anything (it's all about having fun) so I said it was okay. But let me reiterate: a sock with a chunky sandal like this is okay; a sock with a slim sandal like this one is probably not okay.



$220 US at Endless and in grey/black at Shopbop. Also, arriving in Vancouver at One of a Few mid-March, just in time for real spring. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gossip Girl "It-Girl Happened One Night" Fashion Round-Up




I hate when CW doesn't give me a picture of Chuck to satisfy my weekly fix. Instead I have a million pictures of the annoying Serena. She started this episode by whining and continued throughout. Yes, Serena, some people do need to go to school and work at the same time. And, yes, spending their Valentine's Day with you may not be their top priority.


Mai cami and shorts
Nili Lotan button-down 
American Apparel socks

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Eight glasses a day? Not a problem at all if Aquafina® comes into the mix. And when the summer finally comes around, I plan to sip on my Fuji Apple Pear on ice. 

Want to try? Easy. Just fill out this short survey and you might get an A+!

PS. “Like” Aquafina Canada page on Facebook and stay tuned for great contests starting up in March.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Item of the Week: Club Monaco "Tila" Sleeveless Jacket





It's amazing, isn't it? As is most of the fresh spring and resort deliveries at Club Monaco. Theme: sailor meets safari.  I'm completely in love with this jacket, as I am with its long sleeve counterpart. It's got a little bit of the Louis Vuitton S/S 2010 feel with two different textures, layers and oversized pockets. 




I'm also loving the "Joan" silk maxi skirt which I chose for my feature on Vitamin Daily. I got the navy one. I have a feeling Club Monaco is going to suck up a lot of my money this season!

$169 CAD at Club Monaco. Club Monaco is also available online on Shopbop.

PS. Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Beauty Fridays: Chanel Couture You Can Wear!



Chanel Spring Couture 2011


Forget about red lips for Valentine's. If you're going to be smooching all night, it will rub off everywhere! Instead, apply some lipgloss and make it all about the eyes. 

My favourite beauty moment from the recent spring couture shows was definitely Chanel. They took something so simple as a cat-eye and put a little twist on it. Using Chanel’s Stylo Yeux Waterproof long-lasting pencil in 'Ebène', creative director Peter Philips drew a very thick diagonal line starting at a half point on the upper lash line. You'll need some rose-y blush too. I love how it's placed so high on the cheek, touching the eye.





CHANEL Stylo Yeux Waterproof long-lasting pencil in 'Ebène'  (#10)


The pencil is supposed to be amazing but I haven't tried it (hello, Chanel PR!). However, I tried this look last week using my fave Geisha Ink and it was a success! My husband kept going on about how pretty my eyes looked (more so than usual). 

Like it? Love it?