Friday, September 30, 2011

Beauty Fridays: Salmon Pink

Nina Ricci F/W 2011

This look from Nina Ricci made my Top 5: Fall Beauty Trends on Vitamin Daily. It's a gorgeous technicolour salmon, right? And another brainchild of Pat McGrath but, unfortunately, it was a pigment that she mixed especially for the show. No worries, I tracked down a few close matches. 

MAC 'Spring Fresh Salmon' ($17.50 at MAC)

This one is an exact match but it was produced in limited quantities last year (if you have it, lucky you!) so, chances are, it will be a tough find. Also give 'Vegas Volt' a try -- it's a coral orange-y pink and pretty similar. 

NARS 'Bolero' Matte Lip Pencil ($30 at NARS)

But you'll be able to track down NARS' 'Bolero'. It's new-ish and a very rich salmon pink. I love using NARS' lip pencils for high intensity colour. 'Bolero' also comes in a gloss form, if you prefer a little shine. 

A couple of others to consider: Revlon's Super Lustrous Lipstick in 'Pink in the Afternoon' ($9.99 at Shoppers Drug Mart) and Chanel's Rouge Allure Lipstick in 'Coquette' ($40 at The Bay).

Salmon, salmon... What do you think? Will you try?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

You're Invited to Party with H&M!

Since starting this blog, I've written about H&M more than any other line. For good reason, of course. For many of us, it's a go-to place for quick pick-me-ups and an occasional designer steal, always on trend and always keeping us coming back for more. This fall, H&M is opening another Vancouver (well, Burnaby) location, in Metrotown. And you, as my readers, are invited to attend their grand opening party on Wednesday, October 12th, 6-9pm.

That's right! The first 100 readers to RSVP to with the subject line "I'm the It Girl" will get on the exclusive guest list. The opening will coincide with the launch of their new Conscious Collection, a wonderfully floral and sustainable addition to our autumn closets. Enjoy 20% discount on the entire store, while you sip cocktails and nibble on yummy treats.

You will also be automatically entered to win exciting prizes like gift cards or pieces from the Conscious Collection. Trust me, you will want something from the Conscious Collection -- it's gorgeous. 

Spread the word. See you on October 12th!

PS. The list is now full. Looking forward to meeting you all!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Shoe Wednesdays: Repetto 'BB' Ballet Flats

I talked about Repetto's quintessential ballet flat over two years ago when my blog was still young, naive and unread. Let's give Repetto a second look!

In 1947, Repetto was launched in Paris by Rose Repetto, inspired by her son, the famed choreographer Roland Petit (who just passed away this summer). Originally, the shoe was meant for dancers only and it appeared in two styles: the pointe and the soft dancing slipper. While it gained popularity with dancers, the shoe was not meant to be worn outside in the real world. 

Well, not until 1956, when the sensational Brigitte Bardot walked into the Repetto shop and asked Rose Repetto to design her a pair of red ballet slippers to wear in her new film …And God Created Woman (Et Dieu créa la femme). And voilà, history was made. Sixty years later, the 'BB' ballet slipper (also known as the 'Cendrillion') has appeared in countless colours and has been re-interpreted by Karl Lagerfeld and Comme Des Garcons. Often imitated, never replicated, Repetto is the original ballerina flat.

By the way, thanks Brigitte. And happy 77th birthday!

$265 US at Net-a-Porter and $275 CAD at Gravity Pope.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

London Fashion Week S/S 2012: Sleek Geometries

Jean-Pierre Braganza

I've always said that London Fashion Week is my favourite. Not because I think the clothes are the best, but because it's the least commercial. It features mostly independent designers that are not part of large conglomerates like the Gucci Group, LVMH, and, to a lesser extent, Prada. This means every collection the designers put out could potentially make or break them, and that's a tough thing to deal with. Of course, most do have financial backing and investors, but it's on a lesser scale. 

The last couple of years saw the rise of the print and a few designers were catapulted into household names, most notably Erdem and Mary Katrantzou. But at the same time, there is a quiet minimalism that's also emerging. London, being known for exceptional tailoring, provides a great environment for innovative silhouettes to emerge. Plus, anything that moves us away from crap like House of Holland and the Fashion East collective (or whatever it is) is a great, great thing. 

Thomas Tait

There are a few exciting names to keep an eye on, two of which are Canadian: Jean-Pierre Braganza and Thomas Tait. Both are young and incredibly talented. Tait's focus has always been the silhouette (he told me so in this interview for The Block magazine), while it appears that Braganza has abandoned overly-complicated shapes and simplified things.

Ann-Sofie Back Atelje

Then there is one of my favourite new-ish designers, Ann-Sofie Back Atelje, who made a name for herself as the creative director of Cheap Monday. She has such a knack for making such simple things so distinctive. There is a solemn simplicity, almost a zen experience.

Emilio de la Morena

And, finally, there is Emilio de la Morena, whom I absolutely love (although, there are too many dresses). One could say he is a designer's designer, always creating with an unique concept in mind. This collection was developed by a "hanging" technique, pieces built by literally hanging different elements off of one another. Given the concept, it's a surprisingly serene result, one of layered minimalism.  

Gossip Girl "Yes, Then Zero" Fashion Round-Up

Gossip Girl is now in its fifth season and while the glorious days of Constance Billard are long gone, it's still a pleasure to watch. While I normally prefer shows with a little more substance -- Mad Men, The Wire, Breaking Bad, The Good Wife -- Gossip Girl offers something no other show does: escapism into a fantasy world that is far fetched and unattainable. Yet somehow there are moments of reality that allows one to become emotionally attached to the characters. Who could forget Blair's face after asking about Chuck's refusal to say those "three words, eight letters"? Or Chuck's face upon finding out his father had just passed? Or even Rufus' face after realizing he had to let Lily go? Four years later, we are still here, escaping into the world that's both familiar and mythical at the same time. That, dear readers, is great television. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Item of the Week: Marc by Marc Jacobs 'Uma' Sweater

We haven't talked about cable knit sweaters yet. I love them. Not the sad-looking cerulean blue one that Andrea Sachs wore in The Devil Wears Prada, but the cozy luxe ones that make you wish you were hanging out at some lavish country estate in Scotland, or somewhere in the Hamptons.

Last fall, Prada had some of the most beautiful sweaters I've ever seen. But their prices were devastatingly expensive (I'm glad I was able to get that headband though). But this cinnamon-coloured merino sweater from Marc by Marc Jacobs is much more attainable and also elegant enough to be worn with ladylike skirts.

TRIVIA: Cable knit or 'Aran' sweaters originated in the early 1900s in Ireland, where they were originally crafted by fishermen’s wives. The cable patterns were not just for aesthetics, they had special meanings. The honeycomb pattern is a symbol of the hard-working bee. The rope cable symbolizes the wish for safety and good luck. The diamond is for wealth. And the basket weave represents a fisherman's basket, a hope for a plentiful catch. Really cool, right? Clothes with meaning.

$248 at Shopbop online and in Vancuver at Holt Renfrew

Friday, September 23, 2011

Beauty Fridays: Pony Up!

Vera Wang F/W 2011

To those that don't have long hair: I'm sorry, this post won't be relevant to you. Sure, there were lots of slick ponys this season -- Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren -- but I'm head-over-heels over with two very messy ones. 

Like the elastic-free pony tail at Vera Wang. It's actually pined. Hair stylist Orlando Pita for Moroccanoil gathered the top half into a very low ponytail and then tucked it under using bobby pins, letting the rest of the hair fall.

Proenza Schouler F/W 2011

The other amazing pony tail is courtesy of Proenza Schouler. This is a half pony, half braid. Paul Hanlon of Fekkai gathered the hair mid-length, separated it into three sections and made one plait only, before securing it with an elastic.

Both brilliant, right? But they will both require some hairspray to keep in place. I would actually suggest using a medium hold one before and after styling.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Little Lace Dress

By Malene Birger 'Senita' Dress ($460 at My Wardrobe)
Wilfred 'Helena' Dress ($175 at Aritzia)
Obakki 'Amelia' Dress ($440 at Obakki)

I'm sure everyone is keeping an eye out for a lace dress, one that you can wear for special occasions and that will hopefully carry from season to season. Maybe some of you have gotten Lanvin or Marc Jacobs? (If you did, can we be friends? Like friends that share things?) And some of you may have gotten H&M's adorable lace frock

Carven Lace Dress ($1147 at Far Fetch)
Rare Long Sleeve Lace Dress ($65.05 at ASOS)
DVF 'Zarita' Lace Dress ($340 at Holt Renfrew and Saks Fifth Avenue)

But if you are still on the lookout, here are a few more lacy options that Shakeira and I selected, all black and navy, two colours that are the most versatile. Think classic style, Audrey Hepburn strolling the streets of New York, maybe danish in hand. Nothing is quite as feminine and pretty as lace.

It was difficult narrowing it down to just six. Some wonderful dresses that didn't make the cut: Michael by Michael Kors; French Connection; Tibi; and Topshop

Which one is your favourite?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Shoe Wednesdays: Alexander Wang 'Anais' Loafer Pump

I'm usually not a huge fan of Alexander Wang shoes. I usually find them to be clunky and often very visually busy, sometimes over-designed with too much hardware. But that's not the case with 'Anais', the most perfectly little elegant loafer pump. A lot of loafer pumps tend to look a bit, er, matronly, but not Anais. 

Especially in metallic colours... I adore the silver. It makes me think of Cinderella, if she ever decided to head to university instead of marrying her Prince. I wonder whether she had that option?

$650 at Shopbop (for pink metallic ones, head to Net-a-Porter).

PS. I also love this Marc by Marc Jacobs loafer pump -- it too has tassels.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New York Fashion Week S/S 2012: Tropical Fever

Altuzarra S/S 2012

Here we go again. Fashion weeks are in full swing and there are a million gorgeous looks to dream of. As usual, I'll be summarizing each city's fashion week by choosing one (only one!) theme or trend that stands out to me: something new, something that excites me for the upcoming season. 

Peter Som S/S 2012

While not a major trend (yet!), New York took us on an island holiday. From big bright florals to updated Hawaiian prints (thankfully not accompanied by a fat guy with a cigar and an umbrella drink), our spring wardrobe will hopefully get a little tropical.

Proenza Schouler S/S 2012

I particularly love Proenza Schouler's and Richard Chai's play on the traditional Hawaiian print, focusing on one flower and repeating the motif over and over. Both of these looks are outstanding, Chai's in particular. 

Richard Chai Love S/S 2012

I usually reserve a print recap for London Fashion Week, but I'd thought I'd skip the obvious this time around -- it will force me to focus on something else. Perhaps minimalism?

Thoughts on the tropical prints? Love? 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Item of the Week: Madewell 'Silk Safari' Shirtdress

Sorry for the late post today -- I was battling dodgy Internet connection at my hotel here in San Francisco. But the good news: Madewell is just a couple of blocks away and I've paid it a couple visits. 

I couldn't resist picking up this dress since it's an updated, longer version of one of my beloved Madewell wrap dress. Both are everyday dresses with an ability to be dressed up (maybe with some high heels and lots of jewellery) or down (with my trusty Rachel Comey 'Mars' boot). It was a tough decision between black and burnt sienna, but, ultimately, black was more versatile.

And I couldn't resist also picking up the silk 'Traveller' tunic in olive (from last week's post), 'Rail Straight' jeans in black, 'Silk Drafters' blouse for my friend Lisa, and 'Mona' pumps from J.Crew. I love shopping for basics.

$168 at Madewell.  

PS. Are you on Instagram? I am! Follow imtheitgirl for personal tidbits.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Beauty Fridays: New & Natural Lip Care

eos Smooth Spheres ($3.99 at Shoppers Drug Mart)

These irresistible eos Smooth Spheres arrived on my desk a month ago and I've been using them religiously, switching through different flavours according to my mood. They are brand new and come in six different flavours, all fruit. My favourite is the Honeysuckle Honeydew, although Lemon Drop, armed with SPF 15, is very handy on those sunny days (if we have any left). Plus, it's a pretty fun and cute thing to pull out of your bag.

100% Natural Lip Roll-On ($5 at The Body Shop)

Another new, all natural lip product is The Body Shop's roll-on oils. Yes, it's for lips, and yes, it's pure oil. The oils leave lips moisturized with a light sheen -- think of it as a non-sticky gloss. I love having these little oils around for other uses as well: as a fresh scent or cuticle oil in emergencies, especially the orange one.

Have you had a chance to try these yet? 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Back To Basics

Talula 'Peyton' Blouse ($110 at Aritzia)
Club Monaco 'Thea' Crape Shirt ($180 at Club Monaco)
Theyskens' Theory 'Bama' Chiffon Blouse ($285 US at Net-a-Porter)

Sometimes we spend too much time focusing on attention-grabbing items, and more often than not our closets fill with lace, prints, ruffles and bows (well, at least mine). We tend to forget to stock up on basics, like the perfect long sleeve silk blouse, an item you would reach for over and over again. Such simplicity always recalls the style of Lauren Hutton, Sofia Coppola and Tilda Swinton (particularly in that pencil skirt ensemble from Cannes).

JNBY Grey Silk Blouse ($365 at JNBY)
Madewell 'Traveller' Tunic ($128 US at Madewell)
Equipment 'Daddy' Washed Silk Shirt ($230 US at Net-a-Porter)

It's so chic, paired with just about anything: any type of pant, any type of jean, any type of skirt. The way the silk hangs and contours the body... it's a statement on its own. Style it simple by leaving it on its own, or play up its feminine side with a beautiful necklace (pearls like Coco) or a pretty scarf. My plan this year is to stock up on as many white and neutral colours as I can. I already got the grey JNBY one. They cut things really beautifully. Plus, it's the perfect shade of grey. 

Are you a fan of simple silk blouses? Which one is your fave?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Shoe Wednesdays: Zara Snakeskin Ankle Boot

Zara is on a roll right now with designer "inspired" shoes. One can find budget versions of pretty much anything. I suppose this snakeskin boot would be Zara's answer to Dries Van Noten. Well, they are almost exact copies, give or take a shade. So, naturally, I love this shoe.

Dries Van Noten F/W 2011

Sure, the Dries Van Noten ones are a tad (okay, maybe much more) superior. It's all in the details: that wood heel and those dreamy snakeskin soles (you can't see them, but they are there). But with Zara, we can pretend like we just stepped off the runway. Nothing wrong with that. 

$159 at Zara (not online).

*Zara image courtesy of 5inchandup

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Collecting Vintage Costume Jewellery, FLARE Magazine

Well, I can now cross "Get published in Flare" off my bucket list. Here it is: my first article in my favourite Canadian glossy. I've been reading Flare since moving to Canada as a teen. In many ways, it was my first introduction to Canadian fashion and lifestyle. Really an honour. 

The article is a quick survey on collecting vintage costume jewellery, something I've been extremely passionate about. It was an interest originally sparked by Mad Men, seeing all the female characters decked out in glamorous costume pieces from that era. Soon after, I met Sophie Katirai, owner of Sophie's Closet, who educated me in the value of collecting. For the article, I interviewed one of my vintage heroes, Carole Tanenbaum, whose personal collections are, in fact, worn by women on Mad Men. The circle is complete.

The October issue of Flare is now on newsstands across Canada. Happy reading!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Item of the Week: H&M Wool Cape Coat

I promised an affordable week. I know I've been posting particularly luxe things lately, but, truthfully, a healthy closet needs a mix of both. As soon as I saw this cape back in June, I knew it was their standout piece this season. Plus, I love capes....

This adorable cape is ideal for lighter winter days. I love the shape: it's like it can't decide whether to be a coat or a cape so it decided to do both, all with a giant scarf attached to it. But the best thing is the pockets! So many capes fail in the pocket territory (must have pockets). Delightful.

$179 at H&M.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Beauty Fridays: Thick Teal Line

Jil Sander F/W 2011

I know it's hard to look away from the model's (she kind of looks like Jenna Lyons) amazing red lips (Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick in 'Enthusiast'), but notice that beautiful teal liner? Such a simple and beautiful look.

CHANEL Stylo Yeux Waterproof Eyeliner in 'Jade'

The eyeliner used to create it is Chanel's 'Jade' (although I claim that it's closer to teal blue in natural light). It's pretty, isn't it?

NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in 'Abbey Road' ($23 at NARS)

This is a brand new eyeliner by NARS and it lives up to its title. Really strong saturated colour (in comes in many shades) that doesn't smudge. I'm pretty in love with 'Abbey Road', a lovely turquoise to wake up those tired eyes. 

Stila Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in 'Bora Bora' ($29 at Sephora)

For a teal with a bit of sparkle, I just have to recommend Stila's new sparkle liner in 'Bora Bora'. It glides on smooth and the colour is very intense -- a great evening look!

To teal or not to teal? Any other colour liners that captured your attention?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

From the Closet: Golden Baubles

On Martin Margiela: Joomi Lim Spike Bracelet; Club Monaco Bangles
On Gucci: Grandma's Vintage Ring; LeiVanKash 'Olivia' Rose Ring; Vintage Dior Earrings

In my recent survey, most of you asked to see more of my personal style. So here we are: "My Favourite Things," a new feature that will dig deep inside my closet. To start, I thought I'd get a bit playful with some of my favourite golden trinkets. I'm a girl that loves gold, but it wasn't always like that. I avoided it for most of my life until recently. I thought it looked old... oh, how wrong I was! Here are a couple of golden things being modelled by my good friends Martin Margiela and Gucci.

I collect a lot of vintage pieces, although most of them are from my grandma's (she hated this purple stone!) -- it's more special that way. The Dior earrings cost a whopping $35 at a vintage store. Joomi Lim and LeiVanKash (both were Items of The Week!) came from Sophie's Closet, easily my favourite online jewellery destination. Lastly, everyone should have a string of gold bangles. They can be $10 or $500 -- it doesn't matter. 

And for those wondering, Martin Margiela and Gucci, along with some of their other friends, came from an issue of Visionaire magazine.

Screen Style: American Gigolo

I was pretty obsessed with American Gigolo as a preteen. I had seen Pretty Woman and was completely enamored by it. After reading an article on Julia Roberts, I found out that the handsome male lead, Richard Gere, also played a prostitute a decade earlier -- a male one. This blew my mind; I had no idea such things existed.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Shoe Wednesdays: Miu Miu Glitter Pumps

I couldn't resist posting these. The little five-year-old girl in me is screaming with joy while the adult me is trying to figure out how to justify the purchase of a gold banana-looking glitter pump. It's an interesting line between love and hate. 

Who am I kidding? It's love. It's grown-up Dorothy Gale after she grew tired of those ruby slippers. Really, who wouldn't love owning these? Perfection in glitter.

$630 at Net-a-Porter (I really got to stop spending so much time there. I promise next week will be an affordable one). And you've seen the boot version, right?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Item of the Week: Carven Double-Breasted Wool Jacket

Carven. I absolutely adore this line which began as a couture house in 1945, folded, and re-launched a couple of years ago as a small ready-to-wear label. To me, it's the epitome of French chic: sportswear with a flirty twist. I mean, just check out the almost flawless F/W collection -- it's so pretty. The Carven girl is prim and proper (in French terms bonne manière), sporting studious looking coats, knee high skirts and little white collars. 

I've been looking for a coat/blazer hybrid, one that can look great with almost anything. I love this soft grey wool jacket with humongous pockets and elbow patches (no, really -- it does have elbow patches). There is something so inexplicably feminine about it -- such pretty lines. 

$895 at Net-a-Porter (available in Canada at Holt Renfrew). Okay so a little expensive, but I think this one is a lifer (you know, you'll have it forever). Are you a Carven fan? 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Beauty Fridays: Couture Colour Luxeblend Crème Hair Colour

A couple of weeks ago I committed a cardinal beauty sin: I coloured my own hair using store bought hair dye. Those that have been reading this blog for a while know that I spend a fortune on covering up my genetically predisposed greys, some of which have been around since my late teens. To be honest, I haven't DIY'd colour in ages and I don't know what took over me -- I just bought Couture Colour on a whim while shopping at Sephora. Maybe I was so impressed with their Pequi Oil Treatment that I blindly followed. 

Well, there is the good and the bad. The bad: Couture Colour needs to re-think their photography because their Dark Brown, which looks very chocolaty on the box, is actually an almost-black. It's not just me: after checking the Sephora customer reviews, the consensus is that every colour indeed turns out way darker than pictured. The good: the formula itself is great. No awful smells, no itchiness. Yes, it does leave the hair a bit drier after colouring, but one is given a little bottle of the magical Pequi Oil Treatment to compensate for that.

So I guess next time I'll give Medium Golden Brown (pictured) a try. My hairstylist of four years will kill me when he finds out....

Has anyone tried it? Or any other DIY brands?

$34 at Sephora

Thursday, September 1, 2011

If I Were Rich I Would Buy Stay... at La Maison Champs-Elysées

I'm planning a trip to Paris next year and researching places to stay. The reality: I will probably rent an apartment. The dream: La Maison Champs-Elysées designed by Maison Martin Margiela. This hotel, like everything MMM does, is the epitome of decadence for people that pretend not to be decadent. So that would describe me, right? Right. 

On paper it's nothing extravagant, not The Ritz or even Le Bristol, but just a small boutique hotel. But in actuality, it's insane! Well, no -- it's serene.

Like a dream where one is moving in a ghost-like state, passing by images of past and present, it's eerily beautiful. Almost like if you touch it, it would disappear.

While it's focused on minimalism, there is enough colour and warmth to prevent it from feeling, well,  slightly insane. I've pretty sure any of the 'Deluxe Couture' suites would keep me quite tranquil. 

I wonder what one reads when staying at La Maison Champs-Elysées?

I suppose this is where I tell you the price: from 1125€ (okay, okay 225€ if you want to slum it in a small room) a night.