Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gossip Girl "G.G." Fashion Round-Up

If you are a dork like me, then you'll remember that the Gossip Girl pilot began with Peter Bjorn and John's "Young Folks." It brought back memories to the show we all once loved, the show that brought us catty teenage joy and a new found fondness for headbands. This week, Gossip Girl celebrated its 100th episode, and I really wish the celebration was a happy one. Sadly (and most of my commenters tend to agree) we have lost the show's most enticing character, Blair Waldorf. Her sass and quick wit has been unrightfully wasted on this ridiculous royal storyline that engrossed a hefty chunk of the last two seasons. The writers left the real Blair behind at the top of the Empire State Building, where she might as well still be waiting for Chuck.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Item of the Week: Givenchy Shark Tooth Necklace

It was by far my favourite piece of jewellery from the S/S 2012 shows. And I find that odd, considering that there are no sparkly crystals and/or bows attached to it. It's an aggressive, somewhat morbid trinket, worthy of a warrior hunter. Except in this case, it's a sharply tailored urban warrior. 

Givenchy S/S 2012

Of course, it comes in a shiny pale gold finish, making me want not only one, but two. While the white resin appears very elegant, there is something wonderfully gangsta about a giant piece of metal hanging off one's neck. 

$681 (small) and $892 (large) at LuisaViaRoma (pre-order). 

PS. I spot a DIY.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Beauty Fridays: Oil Fix

La Licious 'Sugar Kiss' Body Oil ($34 at Kiss & Makeup
Pangea Organics Pyreness Lavender with Cardamom Body Oil ($26 at Pangea Organics Canada)

I'd previously mentioned in this Weleda interview that when it comes to body care, I prefer oils to lotion and creams. I still use creams from time to time, mainly for my hands and feet, as I worry sometimes that I'll stain delicate silk garments (some oils tend to have a yellow tint to them). Otherwise, winter or summer, my body care regimen is all about the oils. From the recent ones I tried, a couple stood out, so I figured I'd share them with you. Especially since winter is prime time to kick up your moisturising routine. 

The first one is a delicious Sugar Kiss by La Licious, utilizing coconut oil with sweet almond oil and macadamia nut oil for a sweet-smelling and very moisturizing combination. It does kind of leave you smelling like a sugar cookie all day, but that could be a very good thing.

And the second one is Pyreness Lavender by Pangea Organics (I recently reviewed a couple of products from this line). I'm a huge devotee of lavender and its calming properties, so this one is a no-brainer. I love using this after a muscle straining day (read: gym), after a long bath, or before bed (because lavender is dreamy). 

1) Apply oil immediately after showering while your pores are wide open, so it can absorb into the skin on a deeper level;
2) Ditch your shaving cream and try using oil instead to get an incredibly close shave; and
3) If you are worried about staining your clothing, opt for clear oils or lighter colour oils -- both of the ones above fit in that category.

Tell me about your winter body care routine -- does it change? 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

PRADA Spaces (or Why I Love Prada)

Prada catwalk, Office of Metropolitan Architecture (Man SS 2012)

You may or may not know that my background is not in writing, or in fashion for that matter. I spent eight years studying fine art and architecture, both in which I still dabble occasionally (the former more than the latter). This long, and sometimes exhausting, academic ordeal made me appreciate Miuccia Prada, and the culture that surrounds the name PRADA, more so than any other luxury label today.

Prada 24 Hour Museum,  Office of Metropolitan Architecture (2012)

Prada is a culture, a clique for the discerning and for design-minded individuals that transcends way past fashion. Miuccia Prada is, to me, one of the most interesting individuals in the industry. This is a person that holds a PhD in Political Science, was an avid women’s rights activist, and who also, curiously, studied mime for five years before deciding to join her family's business of manufacturing handbags and launching the label into the world of luxury. I'm not sure if this unique, non-fashion background has given her a different outlook on how we experience something so straightforward as clothing, but Prada single-handedly changed the game of visual presentation.

Prada "Magic Mirror," Office of Metropolitan Architecture (2000)

To coincide with the launch of Fondazione Prada in 2002, Prada began enlisting creative architecture geniuses (I refuse to use the word "starchitect" as it makes me cringe as much as "fashionista" these days) like Rem Koolhaas of OMA (Office of Metropolitan Architecture) and the dynamic duo of Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron (known simply as Herzog & de Meuron) to re-design the shopping experience, all with the same careful programming usually reserved for museums and libraries.

Prada Epicenter, SoHo, Office of Metropolitan Architecture (2001)

The inaugural project was OMA's Prada flagship in SoHo, completed in 2001, a space that prompted exclamations like "Oh, you're going to New York? You must see the Prada store!" from people that previously cared so little about the triangle-shaped logo that embellishes $2,000 handbags. Its space is vast, with very little devoted to the product, with a singular wave gesture making up for most of the store's interior. The space utilized new "Magic Mirror" technology, also designed by OMA, a plasma screen invisibly built into the large mirror surface, allowing customers to see themselves both from the front and the back simultaneously. Koolhaas went on to design Prada's Los Angeles store, countless runways, and the most recent project, the 24 Hour Museum. 

Prada Aoyama, Herzog & de Meuron (2003)

Perhaps the flashiest of Prada projects comes courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron, with their flagship in Aoyama, Tokyo. In comparison to Koohaas' elegantly resolved interior solution, this one is a monster...but a beautiful one at that. This six-storey, sharp-angled shape, reveals its smooth, interior infrastructure through concave and convex windows (“bubbles”), and is visually aggressive, something necessary in a city like Tokyo. Inside, an almost clinical shopping environment: part store, part kaleidoscope to the great city.  

Prada Aoyama, Herzog & de Meuron (2003)

Prada consistently redefines the way fashion is experienced, whether it's through her runway presentations, through her stores, or even (and this is not a stretch) through the label's website -- as a space in itself. 

Images courtesy of OMA and Herzog & de Meuron

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Blue, Blue


Elizabeth and James Pullover Hoodie ($395) and 'Kayden' Pants ($295); Diane von Furstenberg 'Raiko' Jacket ($645); Vince Crossover V Neck Dress ($320)

After its absolute runway domination last season, bright blue returns as one of the brightest shades for spring. With that said, blue -- in any range -- is one of those colours that has almost become a neutral (probably thanks to blue jeans), so it becomes super easy to work it into one's wardrobe. 

House of Harlow 1960 'Riley' Clutch ($225); Ray-Ban ($129); A Peace Treaty 'Cachibo' Earrings ($198)
O'Clock Gold Face Watch ($47); Maison Martin Margiela Open Toe Booties ($835); Alexander Wang 'Prisma' Tote ($685)

I scoured through SHOPBOP's sea of blue, and found some things I would be more than delighted to add to my wardrobe. You know, mostly the usual suspects like DVF, Maison Martin Margiela and Alexander Wang. But my favourite? The blue Ray-Bans. Although if this was a turquoise feature, it would be these aviators by Matthew Williamson

Shoe Wednesdays: Marc by Marc Jacobs 'Wertmuller' Wedge

How high is too high? Are these too high? They claim to be only five inches, but to me they seem Lady Gaga insane. Needless to say, I want them. I like towering over everything (it's such a rare occurrence, being 5'6"). It's all about the mega platform -- reminds me of the Fendi stompers I lusted over last spring.

Imagine floating so high above the ground? Would you dare?

$400 at SSense.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Gossip Girl "Father and the Bride" Fashion Round-Up

That was the lamest bachelorette party ever. Where was Dorota? Maybe this show went downhill once they demoted Dorota's role as Blair's main minion. Dorota was there through everything. She deserves to be involved in the storyline, even if she's just making Saketinis. 

Amy Hackerling, the genius director behind Clueless, directed this episode. It made no difference.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Item of the Week: StyleMint 'Broadway' T-Shirt

Few things are as classic as a Breton stripe tee. A few iconic images come to mind: first being the gamine Jean Seberg in À Bout de Souffle (check out my Screen Style post), getting flirty with Jean Paul Belmondo; the second being the young Coco Chanel, with her wide-leg trousers, looking very cute and boyish; and the third being the sexy Brigitte Bardot reclined on top of a red car, in matching red pants and red Repetto slippers, in Et Dieu Créa la Femme. 

This pima cotton one by StyleMint is as classic as it gets, with its scoop neck, 3/4 length sleeves, and striped with a bright royal blue. 

$29.99 at StyleMint (now shipping to Canada). 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Beauty Fridays: Scarlet Ibis

Jason Wu S/S 2012

I was going to save this look for actual spring, but since its star lipstick is selling fast, now is the time. Models at Jason Wu's spring show sported the brightest acid-red lipstick, courtesy of MAC. This vivid orange-red is 'Scarlet Ibis,' from 90-year-old style icon Iris Apfel's capsule collection. The colour was inspired by one of her favourite birds: the Scarlet Ibis, obviously. 

MAC 'Scarlet Ibis' ($17.50 at MAC -- sold out online, but still available in stores)

Okay, there was a little bit of "cheating" on makeup artist Diane Kendal's part. She applied a dab of Pro Acid Orange Pigment on top to intensify it a little. But 'Scarlet Ibis' on its own is pretty damn close to what it looked like on the runway. Magnificent! No wonder it's selling out like hotcakes. 

NARS 'Heat Wave' ($30 at NARS)

If your local MAC counter is already out, no worries, NARS has a colour pretty similar to 'Scarlet Ibis'. Try 'Heat Wave' for the same matte intensity, and a hint of orange. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

If I Were Rich I Would Buy... Globe-Trotter Luggage

I've been travelling a lot lately, for both fun and work. Which just made me realize: my luggage is seriously lacking. A few months ago I attended a little press event at Betty Hemmings Leathergoods in Vancouver, and that's where I first set my eyes on Globe-Trotter

Of course I fell in love with it right away. And so did Queen Elizabeth when she selected it as her luggage of choice for her 1947 honeymoon, still using it today for most of her travel needs.

The brand was founded in 1897 (just a couple of decades after the launch of Louis Vuitton) by David Nelken, an Englishman living in Germany. He moved back to England in 1901, where Globe-Trotter remains. Today, each one of these wonderful luggage pieces is handcrafted using the same techniques the brand has been using since its beginnings (you should check out the video). They did, however, add a trolley option, incorporating super handy wheels into the original design.

Erdem x Globe-Trotter

What's the price you ask? It ranges from around $900 for the little vanity case, to around $2,000 for the large suitcase (I love the 'sour lemon' ones from J.Crew). But if you really want to get fancy shmancy, then you can get a bespoke design, or one of the cool limited editions like the one above by Erdem. In that case, things can get really expensive. But we like that, don't we?

What kind of luggage do you have? 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Shoe Wednesdays: Pierre Hardy Metal-Trimmed Sandal

I have a feeling I'll be posting a lot of pastels in the next few months. They are everywhere. This thick-strapped black and pastel (metal!) sandal immediately caught my attention with that giant buckle. And probably because it snowed in Vancouver yesterday and I was longing to be somewhere hot, wearing a skimpy top, rolled up jeans, and something strappy on my feet. Sigh. 

Are you feeling pastels for spring?

$795 at Net-a-Porter.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Gossip Girl "The End of the Affair" Fashion Round-Up

I was so angry at this episode, which is why I procrastinated on writing this post. There were elements I liked...okay, only the fact that they skipped the whole post-crash drama (well, kind of). The rest was so unnecessarily backwards. Like medieval times backwards, where our favourite character Blair has been demoted to a superstitious, delusional weirdo that promised God (nothing against religion; just this storyline) that she'll marry the Prince if Chuck survives (post-traumatic stress disorder is not an excuse for this amount of stupidity). This is dumb. Beyond dumb. I can't even talk about it. What happened to our Queen Bee? We haven't seen her in years it seems. Over the holidays I watched the first season from start to finish -- the brilliance that it once was.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Item of the Week: Diane Von Furstenberg 'Lensley' Top

While we wait for S/S stuff to slowly roll onto the racks, there is the joy known as the Resort collections. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that they were not that exciting. They mostly cover topics like "what to wear to the beach?" or "what to wear after the beach?" But sometimes a trend emerges that proves to be really intriguing. Like this season's surprisingly wearable scuba thing (I wrote a short article about it for ElleCanada.com), with its tight silhouettes, geometric panelling, and neon colour palettes. 

DVF Resort 2012

Which is precisely why I love this top by DVF, a very subtle, sporty combo of neon lime silk and sheer black crepe. It's hard to see, but there is an adorable little collar adding femininity to the garment. I also love the thick black stripe camouflaging the chest area (a bra-less possibility?). 

$275 at Net-a-Porter.

Red Carpet: The Golden Globes

Here we go again, my bi-annual foray into red carpet style. I don't know why I choose to cover the Globes and the Oscars, since the really good stuff usually happens at the Venice Film Fest, Cannes, or even TIFF (probably because they are less gown-y and more cocktail-y) but there is something about these award shows that I'm attracted to (maybe it's the element of sap). As I explained last year, I'm not so much into gowns in the traditional (well, red carpet traditional) princess-y sense. So you will probably never see a strapless mermaid number on this blog (although it might happen -- never say never, right?). Here are five women that stood out for me last night, and avoided looking like they were going to the prom. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Beauty Fridays: Tangerine Glaze

Milly S/S 2012 (photo by Jennifer Graylock)

You probably know by now that Tangerine Tango is Pantone's Colour of the Year for 2012, meaning that you'll be seeing a lot of orange-hued items this year. Like these amazing nails at Milly's S/S 2012 presentation (especially combined with this wicked magenta lipstick). The colour in question here is CND's 'Electric Orange', a highly saturated, almost neon version of this year's star shade. 

Butter 'Jaffa' ($17 at Beautymark)
CND 'Electric Orange' ($11.50 at Spa Boutique)
Deborah Lippmann 'Lara's Theme' ($20 at Kiss & Makeup)

Butter, of course, has its own tangerine hue, the creamy 'Jaffa'. And Deborah Lippmann collaborated with supermodel Lara Stone (I love her) on an irresistibly bright 'Lara's Theme', a shade I've been wearing for over a month. Can't get enough of Tangerine glaze.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Screen Style: Downton Abbey

Ah, Downton Abbey, my newest sartorial obsession. Yes, the show is really nothing more than a glorified soap opera, with somewhat far-fetched storylines like a disfigured, amnesia-ridden soldier returning to claim his heirdom. Oh, yes, he is also a Titanic survivor. Having grown up watching Dynasty, I'm into it. Deeply.

But somewhat silly story lines aside, the cast is a delight and, boy, do they wear clothes wonderfully! We first meet the aristocratic Crawley family in 1912, in the magical world of Edwardian fashion. I often forget how beautifully luxe this pre-war era was, as it often gets overlooked for its hipper, younger flapper cousin.

Downton Abbey's heroine is the beautiful Lady Mary Crawley, a wealthy, somewhat-young woman with a slew of young suitors (but a weakness for hot Turkish ones). Lady Mary is a picture of Edwardian elegance. She has two sisters, both equally beautifully dressed, although one is lacking Mary's elegance (I suppose these soaps always have an "ugly duckling"). They have a gorgeous American heiress mother, Lady Cora, and a spitfire grandmother, Violet the Dowager Countess, sassily played by Dame Maggie Smith. 


If you are a costume drama devotee (which I sort of reluctantly am) then you'll notice that many of the costumes are in fact recycled from other period films and series (recycledmoviecostumes.com keeps track of these things), like ones worn by Helena Bonham Carter in A Room With A View (love this film!), Emma Thompson in Howard's End, and Radha Mitchell in Finding Neverland

Costume designer Susanna Buxton also scours for original Edwardian or turn-of-the-century pieces, sometimes reworking them to create garments for the characters. "The red dress is made from a turn-of-the-century Spanish evening dress. We sourced beautiful silk chiffon and had it pleated for the front. We built layers for the final effect, with embroidered lace laid over the deep-red satin under-dress," explains Buxton. 

The youngest of the sisters, the ever so forward-thinking Lady Sybil, makes a rather scandalous tribute to Parisian couture legend Paul Poiret, by commissioning an Arabian inspired harem ensemble, much to her grandmother's disapproval (but then again, the Countess disapproves of pretty much everything). Downton Abbey enters the 1920s next September, which I'm sure will prompt many stunning costume moments (maybe even a flapper costume or two). But the one we are all waiting/hoping for? Whatever dress Lady Mary chooses to finally (FINALLY) marry the dreamy Matthew Crawley in. It better happen... these types of shows have a way of messing with your heart. Over and over. 

Are you watching? Please tell me you are.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Shoe Wednesdays: Dieppa Restrepo 'Dandy' Woven Loafer

My grandpa wore woven shoes like these. They were brown and sometimes he wore them with socks. Of course, I adore this ruby red, sort of a Dorothy Gale-as-a-tomboy hue. These pretty loafers or smoking slippers are by Dieppa Restrepo, a label I truly love. I'm thinking they would prompt many boyish ensembles, preferably paired with cute ankle socks (because grandpa was always right).

Did your grandpa(s) have cool shoes too? Please share.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

WIN: $200 from d a c e

Whisper Skirt ($300); Melodie Coat ($364)

Those of you that live in Vancouver, or Canada for that matter, might be familiar with d a c e, one of this country's strongest designers. d a c e is now in its tenth year and has developed a loyal following for its distinct clean lines, and femininity that is best described as being of a romantic nature. Some of my most stylish girlfriends get something d a c e every season -- a tradition I should adopt.

Here's your chance to snag something pretty. Not only is d a c e offering 45% off of anything on dace.ca with code ITGIRL45, but one lucky reader will be treated to a $200 gift certificate.

It's super easy! Just fill out the form below for a chance to win. Both the discount and the giveaway run until Monday, January 16th at 11:59pm (PST). Good luck!

The giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Jenn P! Hope you get something nice from d a c e. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Item of the Week: J.Crew 'Toothpick' Jean

Nothing beats the blue jean, but these pastel coloured ones from J.Crew are spring manifested. I love this Crayola-like palette for the season -- a nice departure from primary colours. J.Crew's straight leg 'Toothpick' (I feel that the name is a little...dumb) jean comes in an array of fun shades: bright papaya, neon persimmon, light citron, and festival green. I love the idea of wearing them under a winter coat in anticipation of warmer days ahead. 

I must say that I was ecstatic when I walked by the "J.Crew coming soon" sign while holiday shopping on Robson St. in Vancouver. Can't wait! 

$126 at J.Crew.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Beauty Fridays: Looped Pony-Bun

Carolina Herrera S/S 2012

This little looped pony-bun from Carolina Herrera is definitely my favourite hairstyle for spring. Mostly because it's a very sleek and sophisticated version of the hairdo I accidentally sport every single day -- the lazy pony-bun one makes when both a ponytail and a bun seem like way too much work.

It's the brainchild of Orlando Pita, who is a big fan of interesting pony/bun hybrids -- like, remember the pinned one from Vera Wang F/W 2011

Before blowdrying, Pitta prepped the hair with Moroccanoil Light Oil Treatment (it's better for blonds and fine hair) and parted hair down the centre. To achieve ultimate smoothness, he used Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream before gathering hair into a ponytail, backcombing it for a little volume, and then looping it around and tucking it underneath the elastic. 

You can certainly swap Moroccanoil with any rich styling cream to achieve the look. So easy and simple, I'll be sporting it for years to come. I'm all for lazy, yet refined chic. You?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year = New Gig

December has kept me very busy as I began contributing to ELLECanada.com. It's an ongoing thing so, if you need an extra dose of my writing, make sure to pay ELLE Canada a visit. So far I've delved into the exotic world of hair oilslooked at scuba dressing, manifested personal style essentials, reminisced about Kate Middleton's hair styles (yes, I'm a fan), and much, much more. 

I'm really honoured to add ELLE Canada on my resume alongside my past work with The Block and FLAREand my current gig as a beauty editor at Vitamin Daily. Without getting super sappy about it, 2011 has been a great year for both the blog and my writing career. I'm the It Girl was awarded a Canadian Online Publishing Award and was shortlisted for a P&G Beauty & Grooming Award last year. And let's not forget the little mention it got in the Daphne Guinness book -- still ecstatic about that one!

Here's to 2012! Thanks so much for reading.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Shoe Wednesdays: Tod's 'Gommini' Driving Moccasin

January is a very boring month in fashion. All the fall merchandise is picked over, spring hasn't arrived yet, and all we have to satisfy our shopping urges are resort collections, which, frankly, are not that exciting when it's 0°C outside with a rain cloud so dark one would think it was 5pm during lunch hour.

But what we do have are glorious classics. This is one of those special Shoe Wednesday posts that's meant to be quasi-educational. We've looked at Repetto's 'BB' flat, Ferragamo's 'Vara' and 'Varina', and now we have the unisex wonder that is Tod's 'Gommini' driving moccasin. 

Diego Della Valle, founder of Tod's (W, March 2009)

'Gommini' dates back to the late 1970s, the same time Tod's was founded. Diego Della Valle, a third generation shoemaker, left a career in law to help his father manage his shoe manufacturing company. Proud of their high quality shoes, Della Valle got the idea to create a pair for Italy's wealthiest and most stylish gentleman, Gianni Agnelli, a primary shareholder of Fiat and a notorious playboy. Della Valle, being brilliant and all, designed the world's softest, most luxurious driving (Fiat!) moccasin with 133 rubber pebbles on the sole. Agnelli, of course, was ecstatic and wore it everywhere -- and this is a huge deal considering Mr. Agnelli has been voted as one of five best-dressed men in the history of the world by Esquire magazine. How's that for celebrity placement?

'Gommini' (roughly translated into 'little bits of rubber') became the most coveted shoes by Italy’s elite, for both men and women. Having grown Tod's brand into a major luxury label, Della Valle never compromised his father and grandfather's values of craftsmanship. Today, this famous moccasin is still made with same intricacies as it was 35 years ago. Its younger bow-adorned sibling, the 'Heaven' loafer, was born shortly after. 

$445 at My Theresa (available in Canada at Holt Renfrew). 

Further reading: "Power Player" by Andrew Roberts, W magazine

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Item of the Week: 3.1 Phillip Lim '31 Hour' Bag

Happy New Year everyone! I always start the new blogging year featuring a new bag -- the current object of my affection. Last year, the lucky sack was Celine's 'Clasp' bag, an ongoing (unrequited) love of mine. The year before, it was Mulberry's 'Alexa' bag, which I'm so over now (glad I never got it). This year, it's the new '31 Hour' tote, targeted to a woman “who needs more than 24 hours in a day” (I guess that would be me).

It's a beautiful oversized city and travel tote. I love the way it folds into a shamefully large clutch, or into a neat little package to fit under the seat in front of you, hopefully on an exciting trip somewhere far (in my case, both New York and Paris in the first half of 2012). It looks like it could fit just about anything, and my heart too. 

$750 at Barneys (available now in red, black and white, and later this month in two-tone combos).