Friday, June 29, 2012

New & Noteworthy: ILIA Multi-Stick

Tenderly, I Put a Spell on You, Cheek to Cheek, All of Me

Joining ILIA's already stellar line of tinted lip balms and lipsticks are the brand new multi-sticks. Debuting in four colours for now, the sticks are a welcome companion to one's breezy summer routine. A quick swipe on the cheek, a little blend, and you've got yourself an all-day glow. The sticks are smooth (but not greasy), dry to a powdery finish with very little to no shimmer -- that's what makes them great lipsticks as well. I've been alternating between Tenderly (a light pink) and I Put a Spell on You (tangerine) for that "no makeup" makeup look. The convenience of a 2-in-1 product is such a novelty, especially during the summer months when our purses tend to get tinier and tinier. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

If I Were Rich, I Would Buy... The Impossible Collection of Fashion

I own a few pricey books, but none this expensive. If I could choose to be a "type" of a fashion writer, I would be Valerie Steele, who is currently a Director and Chief Curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. (If you remember, she quoted me in her Daphne Guinness book.) I'm at my happiest when I'm geeking out over fashion history. No front row at whatever fashion week will ever compare to being able to search through the archives of Les Arts Décoratifs and compare stitching practices between centuries. 

Callot Soeurs, 1908

Steele's new The Impossible Collection of Fashion coffee table book has a fairly straight concept: 100 of the most iconic dresses of the 20th century. Her selections are both expected and unexpected. I love that she starts with Callot Soeurs, four sister couturiers at the turn of the century that never seem to get the credit they deserve.

Jean Patou, 1925
Gabrielle Chanel, 1925

The book also starts with one of my favourite quotes: "Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman." It's a quote by Coco Chanel, which was masterfully repeated by Sigourney Weaver in one of my all time (and I mean ALL TIME) favourite movies, Working Girl

Christian Dior, 1947

André Courrèges, 1968
Yves Saint Laurent, 1970

Alexander McQueen, 1996

Junya Watanabe, 2000
Hussein Chalayan, 2000

I love books like this that focus on one thing, without the distractions of fancy or celebrity photography. The emphasis is on the dress, and its evolution during the century. It sure is pretty, although I'm not sure why they couldn't make it more economical.

You think they'll do a softcover eventually? Hope so. 

$695 at Assouline

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Shoe Wednesdays: Joe Fresh Platform Sandal

So simple. Kind of Celine-esque. I always try (but sometimes forget) to pair my Item of the Week with the week's shoe, and this time I think they are a perfect match. Although, in addition to beachwear, these platforms could go with pretty much anything, especially wide-leg trousers. 

Joe Fresh is now available outside of Canada in New York City. Everyone else: patience, patience....

$49 at Joe Fresh

Radiant in Swimsuits


Very soon, summer will be in full swing and we’ll hopefully be spending our weekends on a beach or poolside, maybe with a cocktail or two. This is a big deal, a time to shed all those winter layers. 

In the past, I’ve avoided swimming during my period, missed crucial training days (yes, I did some water sports in the past) or, even worse, missed out on fun in the sun with my friends. Silly thinking on my part, especially since there are trusty products out there like Tampax® Radiant™ tampons, designed to prevent leaks even in water. 

And with all the cute swimsuits right now, you’re not going to want to miss even one beach day this summer. I just picked up the sweetest swimsuit by DVF, modeled after her famous wrap dress. No period will keep me away from this beauty! 

ENTER TO WIN: Check out ChickAdvisor’s Girl on the Go contest this month for your chance to win a luxe bag, products from the Always® & Tampax® Radiant™ collection and other goodies.  

*Contest ends July 17, 2012. Approximate retail value of prize is $300 CAD. Offer open to Canadian residents of the legal age of majority. Winners will be notified by email during the week of July 18, 2012. ChickAdvisor is the contest sponsor and has sole authority to award prizes or disqualify users for any reason. Click through for full contest rules.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Big Three

Today is a 3rd anniversary of my blog. My first post was about Michael Jackson. Although I cringe at some of my early work (here's a lesson: if you do something long enough, you get better at it), I've written a lot of stuff -- 875 posts to be exact.

Shall we do a Top 10 in chronological order? Let's!

On a recent flight, I watched Hearts and Crafts, a film about the craftsmen and craftswomen at the Hermès factory. I cried a little. I still believe I hold some good karma with Hermès, so who knows? Maybe one day a Kelly will arrive into my life.

Designer high street collaborations are the evil stepsisters. But they are sure fun to party with.

Ever wonder how runway looks "magically" appear on the racks of our favourite fast fashion retailer? Guess what? It's all predetermined.

4. Givenchy Spring 2011 Couture (January 27, 2011)
This piece was less about about Givenchy and more about what it means to be a couturier. But did you know that each outfit in this collection required 2,000 hours of cutting and 4,000 of sewing? That's right. 

I just adore London-based Silvina Maestro and look forward to seeing her career blossom. 

The most beautiful film ever made -- simple as that. Maggie Cheung wears a qipao like no other and Tony Leung smokes a lot of cigarettes.

7. Style Icon: Tina Chow (June 21, 2011)
Out of many, many style icons I've featured, Tina Chow is the most fascinating (sorry, Nan!). Hopefully one day I'll hunt down one of her jewels

Elizabeth Taylor's estate auction was insane, but the story of this legendary pearl is freaking epic. (Queen Mary Tudor is certainly rocking a scowl face for someone that's wearing the biggest pearl in the world.)

9. Daphne Guinness (and Me) (December 29, 2011)
Oh, yeah: remember the time I was quoted in Daphne Guinness' book? 

10. PRADA Spaces (or Why I Love Prada) (January 26, 2012)
Prada consistently redefines the way fashion is experienced -- bar none, the most influential designer of the last decade.

Most importantly, thank YOU for reading.

xoxo, Anya

Monday, June 25, 2012

Item of the Week: Mara Hoffman Carnival Swimsuit

I'm pretty sure Mara Hoffman makes the most beautiful swimsuits at the moment. Her vibrant prints exude summer and her silhouettes are super flattering. Of course, I'm always attracted to the risqué cutout ones, except they are a rarely a good idea (for example: once you sit down, everything turns to mush). But this particular shape is smart -- the one-piece-meets-two-piece -- and the black band accentuates the most important part of the body (when it comes to swimsuits), the waist. 

$235 at Net-a-Porter

Friday, June 22, 2012

Beauty Fridays: Flawless Fuchsia

Iekeliene Stange in Costume Magazine (June 2012)

I've gone through most of the spring nail colours, except for my all-time favourite: fuchsia. I like my fuchsia deep and creamy, preferably without any shimmer. There is currently a slew of fuchsias in my nail polish drawer (you guys, it's a terrifying sight), and I'm unable to part with any of them. But you know, if faced with a life or death situation, I would only save one. 

CND 'Smoochie' ($11.50 at Spa Boutique)

CND's 'Smoochie' is the best, creamiest fuchsia I've tried. One could even get away with just one coat; the formula is that great. 

I really love Iekeliene Stange's look above: bronze lids with fuchsia lips and nails (Chanel's 'Rose Exuberant'). Going to copy it this weekend. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

From the Closet: Eddie Borgo Cone Earrings

I adore these Eddie Borgo earrings for two reasons: 1) it's Eddie Borgo; 2) my dog Bun got them for me for my birthday this year.

I rarely wear spiky things but Bun thought I'd like these and -- guess what -- the little guy was right. The sharp cone shape is at once elegant and threatening, which is exactly how I like to imagine my sense of style to be. Although most of the time, it ends up being cute by default.

PS. I don't how you style bloggers do it -- it took me 1/2 hour to take a decent photo of myself. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Shoe Wednesdays: Soludos Espadrilles

When I was a kid my parents would always buy me a few pairs of espadrilles every summer -- they were summer staples for us. I remember the first time that I "met" this type of shoe.  I thought it was the weirdest thing ever: a piece of rope topped by two pieces of canvas. But soon I learned to love them, their lightness and carefree nature. 

Until New York-based Soludos came along a couple of years ago, great quality espadrilles were really hard to find in North America, and I looked everywhere. They would always have something wrong with them: usually the jute sole was all wrong. These are all right -- the only problem is choosing which colour to get. 

$42 at J.Crew. Also available on

Radiant in White Jeans

 Emmanuelle Alt on Jak & Jil


White jeans are a summer staple. They are light and breezy, and go with everything. Vogue Paris editor-in-chief Emmanuelle Alt wears them all year round (and she knows her stuff). 

Some of us tend to avoid lighter colour clothing during that time-of-the-month, often reaching for darker (and sometimes even baggy) clothing. Of course, it’s all psychological: the dreadful fear of leaks. Well, fear no more, leak protection technology has come a long way. 

Instead of putting them aside for the week, I’ve been practically living in my Madewell Rail Straight white denim, period or not, thanks to leak-proof (with LeakGuard™ protection!) Tampax® Radiant™ tampons. As the days get hotter, so does my affinity for pale clothing. Heels, flats: everything goes. But there is truly no better companion to white denim than a classic sailor tee. 

ENTER TO WIN: Check out ChickAdvisor’s Girl on the Go contest this month for your chance to win a luxe bag, products from the Always® & Tampax® Radiant™ collection and other goodies.  

*Contest ends July 17, 2012. Approximate retail value of prize is $300 CAD. Offer open to Canadian residents of the legal age of majority. Winners will be notified by email during the week of July 18, 2012. ChickAdvisor is the contest sponsor and has sole authority to award prizes or disqualify users for any reason. Click through for full contest rules.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Screen Style: The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

Having just watched Moonrise Kingdom, I thought I'd revisit another Wes Anderson cinematic treasure, The Royal Tenenbaums. Even though his characters are hardly fashion enthusiasts, they tend to become iconic for their idiosyncratic uniforms. For his first three features -- Bottle Rocket, Rushmore (my favourite), and The Royal Tenenbaums -- the director worked with costume designer Karen Patch, who was very much a part of the dream team that included Anderson's co-writer Owen Wilson.

The beauty of Anderson's films is that they could take place in any decade, and that's especially true to the clothing. Part of the appeal and the tragedy of the characters like Margot and Richie Tenenbaum is that their clothing choices peaked at the time their careers reached their heights before their ultimate demise. For Margot, it was in her teens; for Richie, sometime in his late teens/early 20s.

They are both stuck in their adolescence and bound forever through their sartorial choices. The heavily kohl-eyed Margot appears to have only worn one style of dress (excepting the pink bikini during her brief marriage to a Jamaican reggae artist) her entire life: her piqué collar Lacoste tennis dress. Considering the rest of her ensemble, which involves a Hermes 'Birkin' bag (probably a contrast to her by her mother, who carries a 'Kelly') and a toffee-coloured mink coat (custom created by Fendi furriers) -- matching Richie's camel coloured suit -- the dress is an ode to her brother, a one-time pro tennis star. Since her romantic love for him can never be, it is all she can hold on to. 

She wears tomboyish brown loafers (probably by Bass) and her hair is bluntly straight, parted on the side with a child-like plastic barrette. Margot's style is allegedly modelled after Nico, whose song "These Days" plays when Margot meets her step-brother Richie for the first time in years. It's one of the most breathtaking moments of the film. 

Of course you've seen it.

Further reading:
Gwyneth Paltrow's Tennis Dress, Clothes on Film

Monday, June 18, 2012

Item of the Week: Le Mont Saint Michel T-Shirt Dress

I know this dress looks pretty plain, but once temperatures (finally) reach +30C, it will be the only thing I'll want to wear. As you know, I've been on a French brand kick lately, having recently featured Saint James. Well, here's another cotton wonder that dates back a century, and this one also calls itself a "saint."

Le Mont Saint Michel was founded in 1913, and in 1998 it was purchased by Alexander Milan of the famed Tricotages de l’Aa stitch factory (they produce fabrics for the likes of Agnes b and Joseph). He combined the knitwear traditions of Tricotages with the workwear aesthetic of Le Mont into one powerhouse label, with collections ranging from simple t-shirts to intricate sweater coats. 

$155 at Madewell.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Beauty Fridays: Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder

I test a lot of products. (You should see my bathroom counter -- there isn't an inch of free space.) But only a few of them make it into my daily routine. From the moment I tried Make Up For Ever's HD Microfinish Powder last year, I knew it was a keeper. Think of it as a magic eraser for your face. Sounds too good to be true, I know. If you are like me, and starting to show signs of aging (hello, fine lines and unwanted freckles!), then you might welcome the powder's ability to slightly blur those, um, imperfections. 

Its 100% translucent mineral silica powder softens the skin's appearance, especially through the camera lens. It's the secret of many, many celebrity makeup artists, as it reflects light. If you use too much, you'll end up looking like these scary celebrities (thanks!), but if you use just a little, it's magic.

$35 at Sephora

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Beach Bag Bingo


Club Monaco Julie Straw Tote ($175)
Rebecca Minkoff Canvas Stripe Diamond Tote ($195)
Anya Hindmarch Fruit & Vegetables Tote ($295)

Beach season is in full swing and we all need a bag to hold all our beach essentials. Usually in my bag are two sunscreens (one for face and one for body), lip balm, hair brush, a great book, at least a couple of magazines, and a towel, of course. I alternate between several beach bags (leather, canvas, plastic), but they are always totes. 

Marc by Marc Jacobs Nylon Tote ($198)
Rag & Bone Simple Tote ($175)
Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent Cove Large Silkscreen Beach Tote ($247)

LeSportsac Clear Beach Tote ($98)
Tory Burch Jesse Tory Tote ($225)

Enjoy! (And don't forget sunscreen.)

Shoe Wednesdays: Zara Metal Cap-Toe Pump

Every time I wear my many Zara shoes, they always get mistaken for something much fancier. "Are those the new Celine sandals?" and "Nice Isabel Marant boots!" were the two most recent comments. I'm always so proud to exclaim, "Oh, no - they are Zara!" like I discovered some mystical secret to great shoes, a passage through a magical door where everything appears to be "designer" but costs less than an average restaurant dinner. 

Louis Vuitton S/S 2012

Here is yet another "oh is that?" shoe moment. I'm referring to Louis Vuitton's cap-toe pump from the S/S 2012 collection. If you squint hard enough...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pandora, the First Mannequin

French Pandora (1750)

In my recent readings, I came across a sweet little piece of fashion history: the Pandora. Before fashion magazines and runway presentations, a Pandora was the only mannequin used to relay the latest in vogue. During the 18th century, these little 12" dolls jet-setted around Europe, showing off their respective outfits of origin. For example, when Marie Antoinette was still Maria Antonia, the pre-teen Archduchess of Austria, and was in training to become the Dauphine of France, the French court would send her mother Pandoras wearing the court fashions of the moment, and her mother would then have them replicated for her young daughter.  

French Pandora (1785)

Other than for the purposes of young Marie Antoinette, the Austrian court didn't care much for fashion. Pandoras (also known as "poupées de la Rue de Saint-Honore") mostly travelled between Paris and London, where the British Royal family patiently waited to see what the French dressmakers concocted. This was especially so during Marie Antoinette's reign, when her dressmaker Rose Bertin was creating the most exuberant fashion to ever walk this earth. Usually two dolls were sent: a "big Pandora" dressed in evening wear, and a "little Pandora" dressed in daytime garb. 

English Pandora (1755-1760)

Once the dolls' clothing was copied by court dressmakers, the Pandoras would make their way to the window displays of posh dressmakers and, once they were on their way out of being in vogue, they would be sent to New York (the poor New Yorkers were always a season behind!). 

But the craziest thing is that people were so crazy about fashion, that, even in times of war, the poupées enjoyed diplomatic immunity, and were often given cavalry escorts to ensure their safe arrival. Now that's travelling in style. 

Images courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum (English Pandora) and (French Pandoras).

Monday, June 11, 2012

Item of the Week: Roots French Tote

If you've been reading my blog for over a year, then you'll remember a tan and fuchsia version of this tote. Back then I compared it to Céline's famous Cabas tote for its simplicity and two-tone leather combo. A year later, I still think the Roots version is pretty swell, especially this tan/green combo.

Yes, the Céline version is more structured, the leather is more luxurious, and it has a crispness to it, that is undeniable Céline. But it's also at least 10x more expensive than its Roots counterpart. Not exactly twins, but they could be distant relatives. 

$188 at Roots.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Beauty Fridays: Blue, Blue, Electric Blue

Stella McCartney S/S 2012 

I've always shunned away from this look, deeming it as one of those runway-only things. But this season's Stella McCartney show changed my mind, with its electric blue-coated lash and dewy, clean skin. It doesn't look too crazy, right?

Here's why: makeup artist Pat McGrath first applied a coat of black mascara (CoverGirl LashBlast 24 Hour Mascara in Very Black) on both top and bottom lashes, and then finished them off with a couple of coats of blue pigment. This gives the lashes less of a cartoon-y look, and makes it surprisingly wearable (for us normal non-catwalkers). 

Beth Ditto x MAC Zoom Lash Mascara in 'Blue Charge' ($18 at MAC)

No need to mess with pigments, MAC's newest collaboration with Beth Ditto (debuts today!) includes a vivid blue shade called Blue Charge. If blue is too much, there are also two more subtle shades in the collection: Plum Reserve, a light violet purple, and New Hue, a deep burgundy. 

Is this something you would try?

Stella McCartney image courtesy of

If I Were Rich, I Would Buy... a Yohji Yamamoto Hat

I don't write about Yohji Yamamoto as much as I should. He makes up my holy trinity of Japanese fashion, along with Issey Miyake and Rei Kawakubo. When I was in high school, I remember seeing the most striking image of Milla Jovovich in a crazy big white hat, and I thought, "What is that?" It was its sheer flamboyance and utter disregard for all maters of human scale that intrigued me. I loved it because I didn't understand it. The hat could have eaten Milla for breakfast.

Milla Jovovich in Yohji Yamamoto, photographed Richard Avedon (1998)

Then during my trip to Paris, and with a much better handle on all things Yamamoto, I walked into the Paris flagship -- the most beautiful store -- and saw what I think might just be the most stunning hat in the world. From certain angles, it looked like one fluid fabric twist, while from the others, its structure appeared robust and tent-like. Unlike Milla's hat, this one is positively sweet, bringing My Fair Lady to mind with that giant bow in the front. Upon speaking to the very nice sales associate, I learnt that the hat in question opened Yamamoto's S/S 2012 show. I didn't have the courage to ask for the price. (Wild guess: $2,000.)

Yohji in Paris (see the eye contact?)

Then the next day, while approaching the famous Cafe de Flore for an afternoon glass of wine, I spotted Mr. Yamamoto himself, enjoying a cup of coffee and some ciggies. We made eye contact -- like, did we ever.

If I were rich, I would have already bought the hat the day prior. And -- who knows -- maybe I would have wore it to Cafe de Flore (although taking the metro might have proven difficult).

PS. Special shoutout to my friends that kept calling my Yamamoto cape "Kumamoto" during a girls' trip to Tofino a couple of years ago -- you know who you are. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Shoe Wednesdays: Robert Clergerie 'Acadie' Espadrille

Another week, another French shoe. I think -- and this is embarrassing -- that I have been living under a rock, because while I knew of Robert Clergerie's existence, I had no idea that this shoemaking house dated back to 1885. Granted, it was under the label Unic et J. Fenestrier for much of that time until its current designer bought it in the late '70 and eventually made it his namesake. 

While Robert Clergerie is best known for his boots (worn by The Beatles in the 1960s), the womenswear collection developed a loyal following in the '90s due to its remarkable craftsmanship (Maison Clergerie has its own design school), and his affinity for platforms. That's where this shoe comes in. Have you ever seen an espadrille this exquisite?

$425 at La Garconne

PS. More on Robert Clergerie in a couple of weeks. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Item of the Week: DANNIJO 'Guilia' Bracelet

I didn't think I'd be so into neon this season, but here I am looking up the hyper-hued on a daily basis. Along with the neon baubles by Assad Mounser (a long time favourite) that I put on my summer wish list on, I'm coveting DANNIJO's bright jewels. This little bracelet should satisfy a neon craving on its own, or when layered with its green/yellow twin. 

$115 at Shopbop

Friday, June 1, 2012

Beauty Fridays: Glossed Over

Louis Vuitton S/S 2012

I've given lipsticks plenty of love on this blog, and while I consider myself more of a lipstick kind of a girl, there's no denying the charm of a deliciously glossy pout. Take for example, the fresh loveliness of Louis Vuitton's Spring 2012 runway look, with that doll-like exaggerated eye, coupled with a creamy peach lip. 

Butter 'Trout Pout' Lip Gloss ($19 at Spa Boutique)

Butter's new foray into lip gloss has proved to be a nice little surprise. This gloss strikes the right balance between moisture and shine, providing one with a nice subtle tint, without having it be overly glossy (because that would be a bad look). 

NARS 'Frivolous' Velvet Lip Gloss Pencil ($30 at NARS)

Also new on the market is NARS' new line of lip gloss pencils. Having been a huge fan of the original matte versions, it's not a surprise that I feel the same way about its glossy sibling. I love the precision of the pencil application, its rich texture, and its longevity. 

Are you a lipstick or a lip gloss type? Or both?

Louis Vuitton image courtesy of