Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Shoe Wednesdays: House of Harlow 'Natalia' Leopard Bootie

I kind of struggled about posting these, but hey -- they are beautiful. Just this one time (okay, maybe a few times), I'll overlook the fact that they are designed by a celebrity designer. At least Nicole Richie seems serious about it (not just a fad) and her collections are mostly pleasant in that boho kind of way.

But these boots are really pretty: very high and very leopardy without getting into the "lady of the night" category. Also, the curvy cut ankle line will make it work on most leg shapes. You know by know I have a soft spot for leopard, especially of the chunky kind. Seems like something Edie Sedgwick would have worn back in the day. But much higher.

Other celebs-turned-designers I don't mind: the Olsens, Alexa Chung and Gwen Stefani. And soon, Kanye West (fingers crossed).

$295 at Shopbop and Bloomingdale's (for those in the States).

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

F/W 2011: Dreamy Florals

Jil Sander

I love this season's big florals. Red, orange, green... the colours of fall. Continuing on from his stellar S/S florals, Raf Simons' incredible field blooms are among my absolute favourite prints of the season. I actually already have something in my closet that highly resembles it (it's vintage). 


I suppose Kenzo is known for his florals, and this season is no exception. It was difficult to feature just one piece -- gorgeous after gorgeous.


This may also be cheating since Erdem always does florals as well. I love this little dress and how it accentuates the waist with that forest-y print (it usually does the opposite!).

Peter Som

This Peter Som is gorgeousness. Hopefully someone will rock it on the red carpet. I vote for Carey Mulligan or Emma Stone.


I'm not even sure that this is even a floral, although Mulberry has many. I just wanted to post a picture of this cute model Schnauzer strutting down the runway.

A little taste of spring for dreary winter months... What do you think? Floral love?

PS. NYFW starts next week. S/S 2012 here we come!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Item of the Week: Alexander Wang Leather/Tulle Shirt

I caught the last half of MTV Video Music Awards last night and was thoroughly annoyed by the over-the-topness (sure, that's a term) and the try-hardness (also a term) of many of the presenters and performers. The thing is, it's been a long time since a female pop star came along that really understood her place in the realm of pop culture -- and moved things along for the rest of us. It made me miss Madonna. A lot. 

Before pop stars decided that all they needed to do to impress was some gimmicky outfit, or a very bad Al Pacino impersonation, there was Madonna, a true pop icon that dictated things because they mattered to her -- and, thus, to us. Through all her many reincarnations (as calculated as they could have been), she always seemed very genuine about it. I remember being a preteen and trying to stay awake past midnight just to catch a glimpse of Justify My Love, Bad Girl or Erotica on MTV (in those days, they actually censored these things), being in shock and awe of her. I understood she was much more than music: she had things to express. She was art; she was everything to me. This one is for you M.

$450 at Net-a-Porter.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Beauty Fridays: Fall Graphites (Yes, Nail Polish Again)

Chanel F/W 2011

I love this picture of Abbey Lee Kershaw backstage at Chanel. The girl is beautiful, the rings are divine and nails are just the way I love them: short, round and painted in Chanel's latest. The said nail polish is Chanel's 'Graphite', a murky shade of dark silver to match Chanel's post apocalyptic fall mood. 

Chanel 'Graphite' ($24 at Holt Renfrew and The Bay)

In the probable case that 'Graphite' is sold out at your local Chanel counter, there are lots of alternatives. Everyone is raving about Revlon's 'Carbonite' but I wasn't able to find it. Instead, I have some other dark and gloomy options. 

NARS 'Gallion' (21 at NARSHolt Renfrew and The Bay)

My favourite new release is actually NARS' 'Gallion', a very dark deep smoky grey with a metallic finish (slightly less sparkly and more daytime appropriate). NARS always has outstanding seasonal polish shades. 

Butter 'Chimney Sweep' ($17 at Beautymark)

Butter's 'Chimey Sweep' has been around for a while, a mainstay in their collection. And for a reason -- perfection in a bottle.

Jacob 'Tuxedo Chic' ($6 at Jacob)

Jacob? Yes, Jacob! I was surprised when I received their debut collection of nail polishes. Available mid-September, Jacob's polishes are a great and affordable 3-Free alternative. The colours are gorgeous (there is a beautiful metallic blue as well). A nice one from a Canadian brand.

Which one will you try? If you already have a graphite shade, please do share! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shoe Wednesdays: Nine West Python Mary Jane

Dear Shoe Gods, thanks for this one! An extremely beautiful shoe at an extremely decent price. After last week's profane decadence of a Chloe boot, I really really needed this. Since most women (including myself) don't spend over $1,000 (well, sometimes we might indulge) on a pair of shoes or boots, I always try and find reasonably priced alternatives, although a reader last week disagreed when I said that $1,000+ is expensive: "Do you call $1095 for a pair of boots expensive? Seems the perfectly reasonable price." Hey, my new best friend, can I come over for a cup of tea to your gold house so we can further discuss?

Anyhow, from what I've seen of Nine West's F/W offerings, I'm super impressed. It's possibly their best collection to date, coupled with a great advertising campaign. As for the quality of shoes, for the price, Nine West is at the top of their game. These mary janes feature not one, but two of the F/W Pantone colours: Deep Teal and Phlox not to mention the ever so covetable python -- two three hits in one!

$140 ($99 US -- not fair!) at Nine West.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Accessories and F/W 2011 Colour Trends

Summer, at least in retail terms, is over and stores are now fully stocked with fall clothing. While I've been continously covering F/W trends and my infatuation with Klein blue, it's now time to take a look at some of the other colours making their way into our fall wardrobes. Blacks, whites, greys, reds and blues are usually mainstays season after season, but it's the fun shades that mark specific seasons. Who knows, maybe years from now you'll go, "Hey, remember the summer of Honeysuckle?" As you know, honeysuckle is the colour of the year and is still going strong for fall, accompanied by some new friends. Let's look at them in the form of accessories this time around! My fabulous intern Shakeira and I have selected our fave shoe and bags for each shade.

Prada boot; Givenchy bag

One of my favourites is Bamboo, a very warm, almost mustard, yellow. Most prominently seen on the runways of Hermes, Acne and Fendi, Bamboo is a great way to bring a little sun into our wardrobes. I love it in combination with grey and black on this Prada boot (sigh).

Longchamp bag; Pierre Hardy shoe

Hello Emberglow! The lovely child of red and peach. It's almost a neutral; it won't overpower whatever else you're wearing.

Diego Dolcini bag; Pierre Hardy shoe

Honeysuckle demands attention, so, chances are it will overpower everything else. Let it. Again, it was everywhere: coats, dresses, shoes, bags, jewellery... what a colour!

Nancy Gonzalez bag; Christian Louboutin boot

Seems like purple was a big thing around this time a couple of years ago. Well, it's back in form of Phlox, which I suppose is sort of a classic purple. On the runways, it was presented beautifully by Yves Saint Laurent. I feel like purple is one of those fall/winter things that works best around the holiday season -- very festive.

Chloe shoe, Prada bag

Cedar is kind of a soft, warm grassy green. It's all over the place, mainly in accessories because it's so lizard-like. I love the colour-block snakeskin texture of the Chloe shoe. Or any of the Prada boots and bags!

Mulberry bag; Balenciaga shoe

I feel that Deep Teal is another colour destined for the holiday season. You'll be seeing it a lot in silks and sequins (Dolce & Gabbana) come November. A big player in accessories too, from high street to low street, everyone must have something teal. Tip: Nine West has great versions of this colour right now. 

Camilla Skovgaard shoe; Tila March bag 

Sometimes a brown is just a brown. Never excites me that much and Coffee Liqueur is just that: brown. That said, it is a great neutral colour to have in your wardrobe so you can mix it with more exciting ones.

Mulberry bag; Altuzarra boot

Same with Nougat. I can't tell whether it's a warm beige or just a beige. Definitely not as exciting as Camel from last year. Anyhow, it's funny to see how many colours Mulberry can pimp the 'Alexa' bag in. Why not Honeysuckle? 

Raphael Young boot; Anya Hindmarch bag

As I'm going through these more muted tones, I'm getting increasingly more negative, haha. Maybe Orchid Hush works better in clothing? 

Nicholas Kirkwood shoe; Fendi bag

Let's finish on a positive note with Quarry. It's kind of like Orchid Hush's more exciting blue sibling -- very desaturated and very neutral member of the grey family. Overall I love this colour, particularly in accessory form. Although a coat would be lovely too.

I'll be revisiting some of these Pantones for Item of the Week and Shoe Wednesdays. Any particular shades catch your eye?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Item of the Week: J.Crew 'Edie' Tote

It's back to school time for many. Thankfully, not for me (my third fall of freedom!). But if I was going back to school, I would be looking for a new bag, hopefully one that can fit my laptop, lunch and usual things. Of course, one ideal option is the Cambridge Satchel which I featured back in the June.

Another option is a tote, which has always worked better for me (my shoulders can't support a lot of weight). This giant tote by J.Crew will fit pretty much anything and then some. I love the bright red colour: a sure way to keep things cheery when things get tough.

$400 at J.Crew (also in black).

PS. I'm so jealous of Torontonians for getting J.Crew before Vancouver. Argh... I'll be featuring a lot of things from J.Crew in the next few months -- I'm in love!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Beauty Fridays: Metallic Neutrals

Derek Lam and Chanel F/W 2011

I've always feared metallics, but this season's focus on neutral ones is very tempting indeed. Here are two very similar metallic eyeshadow looks by Derek Lam and Chanel. Both equally dramatic, and both very nighttime (wearing this in daytime would result in the dreaded Joan Cusack from Working Girl chic AKA the worst look evah!). 

Estée Lauder 'Modern Mercury' ($34 at Estée Lauder)

Estée Lauder's new 'Modern Mercury' collection was used for Derek Lam. I absolutely adore this mercury shade with a little bit of a green undertone.

Chanel Illusion d’Ombre Cream Shadow in 'Épatant' and 'Émerveille' ($37 each at Chanel)

Chanel introduced new Illusion d’Ombre Cream Shadows this season. 'Épatant' and 'Émerveille' look absolutely gorgeous, although I haven't tried them (should be arriving in stores any day now). Note a bit of a graphite eyeliner added to the runway look.

The Body Shop Shimmer Cubes in 'Blue Moon' ($22 at The Body Shop)

If you're brave and looking to go beyond basic grey tones, then I suggest Body Shop's Shimmer Cubes, another great new product. I particularly like the 'Starlight Silver' cube, again with a slightly blue/green undertone.

Quo Eyeliner in 'Slate' ($10 at Shoppers Drug Mart)

And if you're the opposite and a little shy about embracing big metallics, then go for the eyeliner. I love 'Slate' from Quo's new fall collection. It's just a perfect little metallic touch -- also great for daytime. 

Will you be trying metallics this season? 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

H&M Style Face-Off

It's time to like me. Really really 'like' me.

On behalf of Vitamin Daily, I'm participating in the H&M Style-Off with other fantastic Canadian editors and bloggers. We were each asked to style a mannequin in H&M's latest. My girl is a playful minimalist. She loves clean lines, bright colour and a lot of accessories. Just like me!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Shoe Wednesdays: CHLOÉ Camel Boot

Confession: I don't own a pair of knee high flat boots. Why? I always fall in love with a pair that's incredibly expensive and everything else fails in comparison. The thing is: when that much leather is involved, cheap tends to look cheap and I haven't been able to find a pair that looks as luxe in the acceptable cash range. Every fall, I get enamoured with a pair from Chloe and I wait for them to go on sale. And by the time they do, I'm already saving for spring. A vicious circle. An unfair reality. 

Here is this year's Chloe seduction, a perfection in every way. Flawless leather, flawless colour, flawless shape. That gorgeous metallic ankle cuff on the back.... Oh. Oh. Oh. But blogging about it is almost like buying it, right?

Sure, sure. 

$1,095 (ouch, it hurts!) at Net-a-Porter.

PS. Everyone sing together: "You can't always get what you want."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

If I Were Rich I Would Buy... a Vintage James Galanos Gown

I always feel like fashion history sometimes forgets about the American greats. We always talk about Balenciaga, Chanel and Dior, but we never talk about Mainbocher, Valentina or James Galanos. Although only Mainbocher (more on him later) was officially a member of Chambre de commerce et d'industrie de Paris, they all made an incredible impact on American formal dressing. Lately, I've been looking at the work of James Galanos, a legendary American designer that made beautiful clothing (both ready-to-wear and couture) for five decades before officially retiring from fashion in 1998. 

James Galanos, 1960s

During his career he has designed gowns for Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy and Ali MacGraw, although his most loyal costumer was Nancy Reagan (well, she was very elegant). Galanos was particularly regarded for his ingenious manipulation of chiffon, a material he pushed to its fullest extent so much so that his workmanship was admired by his peers (yes, even the French guys) worldwide. 

This vintage gown is a beautiful example of his chiffon work featuring the incredible ruching and draping. With the striking combination of purple and red (a combination that can either go incredibly right or horribly wrong),  this is a gown that defines timelessness. I'm going to take a wild guess that it's from the early 70s, but if you put it on any red carpet right at this moment, it would stand out in its modern elegenace and kick all the other gowns to the curb. 

I have a black tie event coming up in a month or so. Clearly, I won't be wearing James Galanos. If only I were rich....

$3,900 at

PS. Anyone new to James Galanos? Give your eyes a treat and Google him.