Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Shoe Wednesdays: Zara Glitter Heels




It's rare I'd go for such a slim strappy sandal -- I like a chunkier silhouette. But there is something really elegant about this simple shape. I always imagine it paired with YSL's Le Smoking, or something else menswear inspired. 




Well, it does have that '70s thing going on (or, if you prefer, a 2011 Tom Ford thing) with the disco theme. For someone that's not really into glitter, this is the second glittery shoe I posted this season -- I think for $89 I can justify my sparkling curiosities. 

$89 at Zara.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gossip Girl "Rhodes to Perdition" Fashion Round-Up





This episode was a big tease that ended up being a big letdown. Please, writers: you promise us a Studio 54 extravaganza and we end up with an episode where they don't even leave the house. I was all disco ready, and already thinking of all the possible celebrity cameos (Bianca Jagger, Grace Jones, Gloria Vanderbilt...). I love CeCe. If she was a real person, she would probably make an appearance on my Style Icon roster -- I love rich society ladies that wore Halston in their heyday. Speaking of rich society ladies, we had Nate stumbling through his first days as editor-in-chief of The Spectator, waltzing into the office with fancy hair and a slick suit, and declaring: "The Spectator publishes truth!" Easy there, Jerry McGuire. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Item of the Week: Madewell 'Slowdance' Skirt





I love long skirts, maybe even more than short ones. Part of it is maybe my romantic side (I've seen way too many period films) and part of it is the comfort of movement. I personally can't think of anything else that's more feminine and so unrestricted at the same time. 




And it's so easy to style, whether it's with a simple t-shirt, a cozy sweater, or -- for more dressy moments -- a pretty blouse. Madewell's 'Slowdance' (great name!) is pleated perfection. So much so that I want one in every colour, although forest green is now so beautifully season appropriate.

$138 at Madewell.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Beauty Fridays: Pangea Organics Facial Scrub and Mask






I'm always thrilled when new products arrive at my desk., especially ones formulated with ingredients I haven't previously tried. Colorado-based Pangea provided an immediate sense of intrigue, from its slick branding to its penchant for a slew of unexpected ingredients. We're talking beans, pine, willow—the good stuff we tend to overlook. 

The first hero product is the Facial Scrub, formulated with Egyptian Geranium, Adzuki Bean and Cranberry. It's coarse, but gentle enough to use daily. Cranberry (as with all berries) is well-known for its antioxidant and anti-aging properties, and for its ability to fight sebumvery beneficial for oily complexions. Then we have Adzuki Bean, which is a new one for me, beauty-wise, but it's been touted as a Japanese beauty secret for centuries now as a powerful exfoliant (raw and ground-up). This scrub does a wonderful job, leaving skin silky smooth.





I wasn't surprised to learn that the Facial Mask is Pangea's best seller. Its main ingredient is Japanese Matcha Tea and we've all heard of the benefits of consuming green tea in every way possible. I'm sure everyone has at one point or another been exposed to some type of a green tea mask. This one also has some clay, some algae (been fascinated with this for a while), essential oils, and the all-powerful Acai and Goji berries (superfruits!). As expected, it smells very green, almost ocean or forest-like—very soothing. Twenty minutes later: glowing, refreshed skin. The best result, of course, occurs when used togethera triumphant duo.

Pangea is available across Canada. Visit www.pangeaorganicscanada.com to view the complete list of retailers.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Lanvin-esque


Runway: Lanvin F/W 2011
H&M gold necklace ($19.95 at H&M)
Topshop metal and stone necklace (£40.00 at Topshop)


The jewellery from Lanvin's F/W collection is some of the most beautiful I've ever seen. I love the combination of Art Deco geometry and delicate florals. There is a quality about it that almost appears futuristic, or at least a 1920s Metropolis version of the future. Of course, being Lanvin, they are also incredibly expensive, so all season I've been eyeing Lanvin-esque pieces from more affordable designers, as well as fast fashion options. 
Runway: Lanvin F/W 2011
J.Crew 'Crystal Brûlée' brass necklace ($130 US at Net-a-Porter)
Miriam Haskell floral necklace ($430 US at Sophie's Closet)
Runway: Lanvin F/W 2011
Lizzie Fortunato 'Wheat Field' bracelet ($248 at Violet)
Miriam Haskell pearls and flowers bracelet ($434 US at Sophie's Closet)
Topshop cut out rose bracelet (£10 at Topshop)


Interestingly, so much of Lanvin's collection reminds me of Miriam Haskell, who became known for her flora and fauna motif jewellery back in the 1950s. I wonder if she may have been a source of inspiration for Alber Elbaz. Just lovely. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Shoe Wednesdays: Alexander Wang 'Chloe' Sandals





There is so much going on with this shoe, yet somehow it doesn't appear too complicated. This silver, grey and blue beauty is from Alexander Wang's Resort 2012 collection, probably the sportiest of all his collections thus far. 




I suppose this shoe would be like a Wang running shoe: several different textures making up the body, with the foot slipping into the plush bright blue suede, and then secured in place with the magic of Velcro. I'm thinking this one would stand out in the sea of platform pumps and bejewelled strappys at whatever parties you plan to attend this holiday season. 

$525 at Shopbop (also in a red/black combo). And while you're at it, check out the leggings too.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gossip Girl "All the Pretty Sources" Fashion Round-Up





Okay, that was so good! The writers pulled it together for at least one episode and delivered something that almost echoed the magic of the Constance Billard days. Great dialogue, a slew of priceless, snarky one-liners, and, most importantly, magnificent clothes! 

We finally saw Blair and Serena return to their old friendship, and we saw the beginning of a new one: Dan and Chuck's. Although, oddly, they've always kind of had a mutual respect for each other... or enough intrigue on Dan's end of things to write the Charlie Trout New Yorker story. The two of them together are magical: both young, brilliant, and disillusioned. I could use a whole episode of pot, room service, and The Matrix Trilogy -- interestingly, it was also one of the most age-appropriate moments on the show yet.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Item of the Week: Maje 'Kumy' Clutch





Oh, Maje: Paris' best kept secret that Canada hasn't discovered yet. Of course, select items are available at Net-a-Porter, but it's not enough. It's safe to say that out of 28 looks from Maje's F/W lookbook, I could easily find a home for at least 26 in my closet (provided I have the funds, of course). The label's streamlined designs with a girlish charm makes Maje the epitome of Parisian chic. And a reasonably priced one at that.

This clutch, of course, is a beautiful example of that: a soft, feminine, and very streamlined shape. I love the bright orange colour. Honestly, Maje is number one on my Paris shopping list -- April can't come soon enough.  

$285 at Net-a-Porter.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Beauty Fridays: Gold & Glitter




Essie 'Golden Nuggets' ($10 at Beautymark)
Deborah Lippmann 'Nefretiti' ($20 at Beautymark & Holt Renfrew)
Butter 'West End Wonderland'($20 at Beautymark)
OPI The Muppets Collection 'Warm & Fozzie'($10.95 at OPI retailers)


The gold glitter season starts now (or actually, last week). It's a small window of opportunity, lasting only about six weeks before the holidays -- any longer, and it can get a tad bit tacky. Other than being glistening and party-loving, a great thing about glitter polishes is that they seem to last forever. I like my glitter to be a bit more subtle: just a little hint is all it's needed. Here are four shades, ranging from pure gold to more of a golden bronze. And one of them is the brainchild of Fozzie Bear, the most popular in the Muppets' line (I bet you Miss Piggy is pissed).

Any personal golden favourites?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

From the Closet: Maison Martin Margiela Handbag





My love for Martin Margiela knows no bounds. Part of it is the intrigue that nobody knows who he is, and part of it is the sheer genius behind his designs. But let's go back to the former. He's as elusive as one can possibly be in today's digital age (not even Gossip Girl could get this one). And in an industry where so much marketing value is placed on the designers' image, his ghost-like presence has propelled the fashion label into its third decade, with an impressive $100 million in yearly sales.

The ghost theme has been ubiquitous in every one of his collections, whether it's faceless models, an entire collection of white garments, or an entire collection of black garments (or in 1993, both simultaneously at two different locations). Margiela is logo-less. Well, there are a couple of logo-like things: a grid of numbers 0 to 23 sewn by four little white pick stitches -- it's as elusive as it gets.

My bag is a consummate Margiela ghost, floating in a limbo between past and present, with its vintage yet undeniably stark minimal appearance. This one is a rarity.

Join Banana Republic and VitaminDaily.com for… ‘Holiday Style in the City'





Meet Editor-in-Chief Sarah Bancroft and bloggers Anya Georgijevic (that's me!) and Kelsey Dundon. These fashion aficionados will showcase the very best looks for each holiday occasion from the office party to dinner with the in-laws. The VitaminDaily.com team will also be on hand to personally answer your questions on holiday style and gifting. Guests will receive 25% off the new collection, complimentary cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a special gift with purchase.* Also, enter for a chance to win a $500 Banana Republic holiday shopping spree.




Wednesday, November 23, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Banana Republic, 1098 Robson St.
RSVP: intern@taitpr.com
Twitter: #BananaRepublicxVitaminDaily for event updates

*Gifts with purchase while supplies last. Discount applicable to regular-priced merchandise only.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Shoe Wednesdays: Nine West 'Lil' Mary Janes






I've been loving Nine West lately: so many chic and colourful styles at a price most of us can afford. It's also a great place to look for lookalikes from your favourite runway collection. This 'Lil' Mary Jane immediately reminded me of Fendi's F/W for its teal, pumpkin and yellow colour mixture, the almost exact colour combination that opened the Fendi show.




I've mentioned before that Fendi's collection was one of my favourites of the season -- a sort of a prim and proper librarian with a knack for bright shoes and tights.

$130 at Nine West (and here is the Fendi version over at Saks Fifth Avenue).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Leather Fragments



Runway: The Row F/W 2011
Zara coat with leather sleeves ($199 at Zara)
By Malene Birger 'Igano' leather-paneled wool-blend cardigan ($595 at Net-a-Porter)
Sandro t-shirt with leather sleeves ($180 at The Bay)


Some of my favourite runway looks this season involved leather detailing. Yesterday I featured a Roots varsity jacket with leather sleeves, which was just one of many that appeared on runways (see Isabel Marant and Rag & Bone). Leather sleeves also made appearances on coats, shirts, and sweaters, from The Row, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Celine, just to name a few. There is something so wonderfully sporty about it, a bit tough, almost armour-like.

Runway: DKNY F/W 2011
Topshop leather collar boyfriend coat ($340 at Topshop)
Tibi tuxedo jacket ($475 at Net-a-Porter, Shopbop)
Elizabeth & James 'Sammy' leather-trimmed crepe tuxedo blazer ($595 at Net-a-Porter)


Then there was the tuxedo-inspired slim leather lapel, a look very much borrowed from classic menswear. It's an elegant, gentleman's image, one that Marlene Dietrich would have loved to borrow. Seen on countless runways -- most notably at Balenciaga and Haider Ackermann -- the leather lapel is a luxurious, slick touch to everyday silhouettes.


Runway: Balenciaga F/W 2011
McQ Alexander McQueen leather panel dress ($776 at Far Fetch)
Topshop faux leather panel sweater ($56 at Topshop)
by Malene Birger 'Isodora' leather and stretch-jersey pencil skirt ($695 at Net-a-Porter)


Leather panelling was sort of a wildcard when it came to its placement, sometimes appearing in logical fashion, on the shoulders or down the middle of the garment, and sometimes appearing almost randomly. I particularly loved it at Balenciaga, in its most patchy occurrence. Again, a little leather goes a long way.

PS. Big thanks to Shakeira for the research.  

Gossip Girl "The Big Sleep No More" Fashion Round-Up





I'm trying so hard to care about Serena/Charlie/Nate/The Spectator, it's exhausting. But I guess what's good is that they've brought back Gossip Girl as an actual plot line (I did enjoy her headline: “Nate Archibald’s cougar and her cub in pride war.”), because for a while (probably since Jenny left), she didn't really do much. Are we ever going to find out who she is? Wouldn't it be funny if it was, like, Rufus?  

Monday, November 14, 2011

Item of the Week: Roots 'Sorority' Jacket





Not many things that are fashion related originate from our continent, but a varsity (or "letterman") jacket is a true American original. Its roots dating back to 1865 at Harvard University, when the school's baseball team began embroidering an old English style "H" to their shirts and sweaters. The trend  eventually spread to other schools and evolved into the varsity jacket that we know today: boiled wool with leather sleeves. 

However, these days the varsity jacket has also become very sophisticated and streamlined. The really great ones eschew the traditional letter logos, and opted for a more minimalist design. This 'sorority' jacket by Roots is the best I've seen so far (although Rag & Bone has a nice one too). 

$358 at Roots.

PS. Check out Flare's fashion director, Liz Cabral, in her Roots varsity jacket paired with a sequin Arthur Mendonca dress -- flawless.   

Friday, November 11, 2011

Beauty Fridays: Gold Dust Woman



Emma Watson


I rarely use a celebrity as a source of beauty inspiration. All the good stuff usually happens on the runway, and not on the red carpet. Of course, every once in a while an actress decides to take a risk beauty-wise, resulting in something spectacular. 




Back in July at the Harry Potter premiere, the super lovely Emma Watson showed up with the most dramatic eye makeup, like ever. It's fair to say that beauty blogs went gaga over it, especially my friend Janine over at Beautygeeks. I've held off on posting it because I thought it'd make a splendid holiday look. So: old news, new use. 



Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream Waterproof Shadow in 'Gold' ($25 at Sephora)



First, prime the living daylights out those lids. You don't want any oil to make things smudgy. I use Urban Decay's Primer Potion. (My reader Sandy suggested Too Faced's Shadow Insurance a couple of weeks ago -- anyone tried it?) Go for the gold first, before the charcoal.



M.A.C 'Carbon' Matte Eyeshadow ($18 at M.A.C)


Then, pretty much cover the whole lid with a matte dark grey shadow (on Emma, the shadow reaches the brow, but it's not necessary), blending it to the gold accents and leaving the gold around the tear duct untouched.  

And finally, a big pow of gold dust. Following the upper lash line, use the clumpy cream shadow again to apply the golden spots, or if you want to get really creative, try gold glitter (Make Up For Ever has a great one) or even actual gold leaf like Liquid Leaf from a craft store (I think it's safe, right?). 

So... amazing, right? First holiday party, and I'm busting this out (okay, maybe a little less dark). 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Shoe Wednesdays: Diane Von Furstenberg 'Finn' Platform




Oh, how I love forest green! It's one of those shades that just feels like home: warm and comforting. With her shoe line, as well as with her clothing, Diane Von Furstenberg prefers classic silhouettes. We'll never see a ground-breaking (pun not intended) shoe design like we see from other designers, but there's nothing wrong with that -- DVF is about the classic woman.




The beauty here is really in the details: the lizard-embossed leather heel and platform. And what a glorious platform it is, a hefty 1/2 incher. A shoe like this always reminds me of the 1940s, like something Lauren Bacall would have worn. 

$295 at DVF and Shopbop.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gossip Girl "I am Number Nine" Fashion Round-Up





"As faithful minions through the years, you each get a chance to be immortalized as a bridesmaid in my royal wedding. But legally I must warn you not everyone will survive the tryouts. So... I've drafted a waiver for you to sign in case of a catastrophe," explained Blair to some familiar old faces from when Gossip Girl was an amazing show. For a second, there was a tiny glimmer of hope that Nelly Yuki was going to make an appearance. But why should she? As a soon-to-be Yale graduate, she has the life Blair always wanted and Blair is, well, chasing a life only five-year-olds want: a Princess' life. Princesses are boring, at least on screen. Like Mia Thermopolis in The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (yes, I'm a big fan of the first one). It's only fun when it's a fish out of water type of thing, and the show hasn't really addressed that much. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Item of the Week: Charlotte Taylor 'Dromedary' Dress





I was pretty excited when I got the news that Anthropologie will be carrying Charlotte Taylor. I had the pleasure of interviewing her for The Block magazine last spring and, sufficed to say, I was intrigued by her print design, which is curious to say the least. Penguins, ants, crabs, and camels have taken over garments that are otherwise quite restrained design-wise. 


Lobster, anyone?


A bit childish, and a bit granny-like; there is such a sense of fun in the whole thing, perhaps a garment in one's closet that reminds them that maybe, more often than not, we take this fashion thing a bit too seriously.  

$228 US at Anthropologie. (While you're at it, check out the ant dress as well.)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Beauty Fridays: High Art, of the Nail Kind



3.1 Phillip Lim F/W 2011


While I don't condone French manis (or God forbid, pedis) of any kind, or those sticky bedazzled things, I'm all for getting a little fancy in the nail department. While there were many wicked nail designs this season, I'm kind of in love with these three.


 3.1 Phillip Lim F/W 2011


There is something magical about the colour combo on this half-moon mani. The concept for this look was "Yazuka's flesh and ink," using CND's 'Desert Suede' as base, and then 'Midnight Sapphire' for the half moons. 


Ruffian F/W 2011


Of course Ruffian was the first designer to popularize the moon mani (remember this?), so it's natural that they are kind of over it by now. They've moved onto the tuxedo nail! How adorable? Tiny tuxedos were created using CND's 'Asphalt' as base, then topping it off with 'Ice Blue Shimmer' and 'Violet Shimmer', and finally painting on the details with 'Blackjack'.


Prabal Gurung F/W 2011


And for something a little more painterly, how about Prabal Gurung's speckled black ink? Inspired by Chinese calligraphy, these nails complimented the collection so beautifully (check out this dress). Sally Hansen's creamy pale pink, 'Crinoline', was used as a base, and then ink speckles were painted using 'Midnight in New York'. Also kind of Jackson Pollock-y.

Have you ever done anything like this with your nails? I'm thinking they'd be a great conversation starter at an awkward Christmas party. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

If I Were Rich I Would Buy... a Tina Chow 'Meditation' Pendant


My love for Tina Chow is immense, but you already know this (see Style Icon: Tina Chow). In fact, I consider her one of my all-time fashion inspirations.

Whenever I'm vintage shopping, I'm always secretly hoping that I will by some unbelievable chance come across something by Tina Chow. I also dream that when I find it, the person selling it will have no idea of its actual worth and it will be a steal (I dream about a lot of things). But the fact is that they are so incredibly rare, I've never actually come across one in person, or even online. NYC-based Rare Vintage posted some back in the summer, priceless of course. No, I didn't click on the "purchase inquiry" link. I knew they would be way over my budget.





Healing crystals and chakra balancing aside, the object itself is so beautiful. I have a weakness for weaving -- my graduate school master thesis was partially about weaving. And this little bamboo basket was crafted by famous Japanese basketmaker Kosuge Shockikudo (he also collaborated with Issey Miyake back in the 80s). The basket itself is delicate and precious, while the crystal is sharp and powerful. Of course, no one could ever wear it like Tina Chow (well, topless here), but one could dream.

Sold and priceless (I'd guess around $2,000) at 1stdibs.com.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Shoe Wednesdays: Nicholas Kirkwood Lasercut Bootie






So... I didn't win the P&G Beauty and Grooming Award for Best Blog -- the super awesome Michelle Mullins of Lipstick Rules did -- but I did get a little trophy of sorts: these shoes. They were easily justifiable: 1) if I won (and there was a 33% chance), I would have to share the stage with Kim Cattrall (c'mon!) and I needed truly great shoes; 2) if I lost (which I did), at least I'd have the coolest shoes in the room (which I also did); 3) I did win that Canadian Online Publishing Award last week, so I deserved a little prize anyways; and 4) please, it's Nicholas Kirkwood and I've done this splurge before, exactly a year ago. 




A version of them has been sitting on my blog since June, in the form of a little illustration on the right hand side. Yes, I did the drawing and it was a pleasure: the violent looking platform, the skinny heel, the sharp angular lines. Surprise, surprise: it's almost, sort of, comfortable (well, I survived the night). 

$1370 at The Room at The Bay. American readers, head on over to Barneys.

PS. I feel like this is a rare "If I Were Rich, I Would Buy" post come to life.