Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Shoe Wednesdays: Stubbs & Wootton Slipper

So, obviously I'm totally behind on jumping aboard the Stubbs & Wootton train. Two weeks ago, my friend wore a bespoke design, and then last week I saw them featured on, and on Joe Fresh's Joe Mimran's feet during our backstage chat. So I guess they are a thing. And, um, Kanye wears them (although he's lost his sartorial cred due to Kim and that horrific thou-shall-not-speak-of collection, plus the new songs are really no good, but let's not hold it against Stubbs & Wootton). 

The label is based in Palm Beach (makes sense) and the slippers are made in La Mancha, Spain, a place known for quality shoe making. The smoking slipper in itself is one of the loveliest silhouettes on a woman's foot, provided that it's not a heel. My favourites are the tweeds and tartans, although the velvet is always classic.

$400 at Stubbs & Wootton.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Toronto Fashion Week S/S 2013: Unttld

We've arrived at the last fashion week of what seems to be like a neverending stretch known as a Fashion Month (for us in Canada, it's more like Fashion Months), and while I loved many of the Toronto collections, I really just want to talk about one, Unttld. It's always a honour to be present at a presentation so obviously considered a game-changer. Such was the case with Unttld's S/S 2013 collection, sure to be a turning point for designers José Manuel St. Jacques and Simon Bélanger.

A Japanese influence was apparent in both concept and execution. Using Haiku poems as a starting point, Unttld's narrative moved thorough the changes in the season, starting with stark, stormy black, moving onto earthy greens and breeze whites, before finally arriving at fiery, sunny bronze.

The opening sculptural numbers recalled the pleated work of Issey Miyake, setting up the collection with a high dose of drama that seemed to be leading towards a dark storyline, and maybe a too obvious one. But it got lighter and sunnier, a genuine surprise for many. It almost seemed like one was watching the birth of something. And perhaps we were, judging by the amount of high profile buyers in the audience. This young Montreal-based label is the talk of the town.

View the complete collection at

PS. Head over to Vitamin Daily for my coverage of Mikhael Kale and Joe Fresh presentations.

Photography by George Pimentel

Monday, October 29, 2012

Item of the Week: The Sleep Shirt

I love good sleepwear, and this one is truly special. Part of the reason is that it's designed by my colleague Alexandra Suhner Isenberg, who some of you may know as the blogger behind Searching for Style. Before becoming a writer, Alexandra worked as a fashion designer at Sonia Rykiel and ran her own lingerie label. After a short break from design, she returned with The Sleep Shirt, a chemise inspired by a vintage Victorian find at London's Spitalfields Market. 

Tailored in Canada, this unisex one size shirt is made of 100% cotton, and soft on the skin and luxurious to sleep in. Its charmingly understated branding makes it a unique gift -- much better than silly  holiday-themed pyjamas. 

$195 in Vancouver at Rebecca BreeViolet Boutique, The Cross, or online from

Friday, October 26, 2012

Catwalk Beauty: Slim Silhouette Nails

Chanel Fall 2012 Couture

I love nail art but rarely wear it myself. I  suppose it's because I'm such a minimalist at heart. But when I spotted these Chanel "slim silhouette" nails awhile back during couture week, I thought "how lovely" and "must do this."

Chanel Fall 2012 Couture

Since I'm in Toronto this week, I visited the super talented Leeanne Colley at Tips Nail Bar, the city's #1 nail expert, to recreate it. Not being a pink polish girl, I opted for a beige (and improved it, I think!).

my nails by Leeanne Colley

Leeanne, being the authority that she is, told me that the slim silhouette nail appeared a season earlier at Prabal Gurung's Spring 2012 show (check out the "how-to" here). How did I miss this?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Shoe Wednesdays: Carven Bow Pumps

I featured the slingback version of these last spring. I'm glad that Carven is continuing this style, because that means that, eventually, I can get them. I love the little dainty shape, and the vintage heel, that's neither pointy or round, but rather square-ish (missing this silhouette in my closet).

Like I said before, the oversized floppy bow just kills me.

$685 at Net-a-Porter. (Also in saffron yellow.)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Item of the Week: J.W. Anderson x Topshop Varsity Jacket

Topshop was barely open for a few minutes here in Vancouver, and I already had a slew of items in my changeroom. They were all by J.W. Anderson, the latest Topshop collaborator. I ended up walking away with this varsity jacket because, as you know, I've been wanting one forever and ever.   

Super warm wool with genuine leather sleeves, this varsity number might just take me through November (in Vancouver, at least.) 

$250 at Topshop at The Bay.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Secrets of a Beauty Insider: Jessica Desjardins, Beautezine

I've only recently been introduced to Beautezine, but it's very quickly become a weekly read. Not only is Jessica Desjardins one of the most thorough bloggers when it comes to product reviews, but her self-made "lookbooks" give me tonnes of ideas (her recent Karl Lagerfeld x Shu Uemura look was eye-opening -- literally!) This Ottawa-based beauty darling also has enviable photography skills that make her a true pro in the blogging world. As a top beauty blogger, I imagine she's accumulated a hoarder-worthy amount of products, so I was curious which ones are the true stars. 

Beauty Motto
Makeup should make you feel beautiful and confident. Whether that's a little, or a lot, it's all about personal creativity and preference.

Morning Ritual
I wake up at 7am, grab a cup of coffee and check my emails, answer comments and read blog posts from other blogs that I follow. Then I hop in the shower, get dressed and usually apply a bit of foundation and concealer (as long as I'm not trying any new ones), so I have a blank canvas ready for testing new products or doing a look. Next I get cracking on photos, posts and testing.

The Desert Island
MAC Pro Longwear Concealer.

Beauty 911
Murad Clarifying Mask -- it works well to calm stressed out skin, but it also makes for an amazing over-night spot treatment!

The Steal
L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Waterproof Mascara -- no high-end mascara I've tried compares to this one.

The Signature Scent
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb.

Vacation Hot Spot
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic... my paradise!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Shoe Wednesdays: Isabel Marant 'Berry' Boot

After getting super sick of seeing the sneaker wedge and the 'Dicker' boot (which I inexplicably still covet) everywhere, I was delighted by this pointy cowboy boot. (I blame this partially to being in a midst of a Friday Night Lights marathon, where the women make cowboy boots look like necessary companions to just about everything.) 

This is a stunning, stunning runway boot (and I assume available only this season). Its only flaw is the price -- ouch (a knock off is underway, I'm sure).

$1155 at La Garconne (also in black).

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Screen Style: Reality Bites (1994)

Here's another '90s throwback from my childhood, along with Clueless and Party Girl. I loved, loved, loved Reality Bites. I wanted to be Lelaina (Winona Ryder). I wanted to date Troy (Ethan Hawke). I wanted a best friend as witty and retro-looking as Vickie (Janeane Garofalo). I wanted to not end up with a yuppie that is Michael (Ben Stiller, who also directed the movie), although now, looking back, he's very dateable, albeit neurotic.

Not surprisingly, the heartthrob that was Troy is now on many "most hated characters" lists (including Patton Oswald's), but back then -- to a teenage girl -- he was dreamy and unwilling to compromise his artistic soul for... ugh, make it stop. Lelaina, on the other hand, is still a pretty great character, and stylish one at that. And part of it is due to Winona Ryder's ability to capture that realm between awkwardness and stylishness (Kristen Stewart also has this ability), making everything look almost, but not quite, effortless -- a good place to be.  

As a recent college graduate with a degree in film and no job prospects (I've been there!), Leilana's clothing fits nicely in that commercialized grunge moment when grunge was no longer a real thing. In other words: Marc Jacobs, without actually using his clothes. So, oversized t-shirts and faded '90s jeans (best jeans ever, before they got too skinny -- usually Levi's 501s.), a shirt dress that says "I'm smart," some kind asexual grandma floral frock, a pair of Chucks, and a clog-type of a shoe or -- even better -- a Mary Jane clog for special occasions. She has cool, sweet, unkempt hair and wears no makeup. She smokes a lot and says things like "the most profound, important invention of my life: the Big Gulp." 

All of it sounds dreadfully boring but so charmingly '90s. It'd be rare to see a mainstream twenty-somethings romantic comedy these days without the characters being decked out in designer duds and having some cool job (like, the male lead would be an architect and the female protagonist would work in publishing, or something like that). So when dreamy, greasy-haired slacker Troy says "You see, Lainie, this is all we need: a couple of smokes, a cup of coffee... and a little bit of conversation," you buy it. It was good enough for '90s. I wonder what Lelaina and Troy are doing now? (I bet you he's 40 and insufferable, and she works for CW.)

Memories? Ok, go.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Item of the Week: GAP Military Cape

Finally a great piece from GAP. (I feel like it's been a long time). Here's one of those ingenious transitional items that's super handy to have in one's closet. It's a cape, and capes are the best because you can wear the chunkiest sweater underneath and it will still fit roomy.

To add to the genius, this one comes with a detachable fleece lining, when you need a little extra warmth.

$128 at GAP.

Friday, October 12, 2012

New and Noteworthy: Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Éclat

As a daily user of the Touche Éclat pen, I had crazy high expectations for the new Touche Éclat foundation. They were all met, and then some. 

I have super freckle face (not quite Lindsay Lohan, but not far off. Okay, maybe more Julianne Moore, which is much, much better), so a foundation that's too cakey does weird things to my skin tone: it ends up with an unsightly grey undertone. So I always look for sheer foundations that let the freckles "breathe." Touche Éclat is light and sheer, but has buildable coverage, in case you need a little more for certain occasions. 

Most illuminating foundations have some kind of a pearly finish (in some cases, actual pearls), but Touche Éclat opted for golden pigments that reflect light and define your facial contours (you'll still need your pen to highlight). With 22 shades, it was easy finding the right one, which hasn't always been easy for me (with freckles). Bonus: even though it doesn't say so on the package, Le Teint Touche Éclat is powered with SPF 19, which is all really one needs in winter time. 

$55 at Sephora and Yves Saint Laurent beauty counters. 

P.S. Did you know that one Touche Éclat pen is sold every 10 seconds?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Paris Fashion Week S/S 2013: Le Sportif

There are lots of tuxedos and quintessential brooding Parisian looks we could talk about, but I kind of like the sporty side of spring. Some looks are, of course, a little ridiculous (um, Chanel's hoola hoop bag), but fun nonetheless.


In some fantasy world, this is exactly what I would wear to the beach. This swimsuit is a superb combo of sporty and sexy. The bag on the other hand... it could make for an intriguing beach activity.

Stella McCartney

I love this Stella collection: it's very sculptural and sporty (yes, there are a couple of boxy fails). The idea of a sheer sweatshirt is a novel one -- I would love to add it to my closet.


I've always been a huge fan of Hussein Chalayan (proud to own one of his coats) and a couple of years ago he bitched out Kate Moss for being a "designer." This is a great collection by him, very commercial, very wearable. 

Junya Watanabe

Like Chalayan, Junya Watanabe is all concept and it's not one that is for everyone. These space-age, anime fabrics were contributed by Puma, so technically one could do a whole bunch of outdoorsy activities in them. Next time I go for a hike, I'd like to take this jacket with me. Does it glow in the dark?

Paul and Joe

Here is something so simple: a white knit maxi dress with a sporty silhouette (so much better than the strappy ones). I suppose nothing is too novel here -- it's just lovely.

One more fashion week to go: Toronto, which I'll be attending. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Shoe Wednesdays: John Fluevog Loafers

I've always loved John Fluevog's mens' shoes, but I was so-so on their women's shoes, mostly because a lot of them felt "witchy," spool heel and all. Not the flats, though -- they are pretty perfect. Everything about this shoe is just right, from the colour combo (I seem to be really into two-tone stuff lately), to the shape, to the detailing. 

John Fluevog first gained notoriety in the early '90s, with some swanky high profile celebrity fans like Lady Miss Keir from the Deee-Lite (remember how popular her style was? No? Check out this Rookie article.) and Madonna, who wore them in Truth or Dare. And he is from Vancouver, which makes things even sweeter.

$219 at Gravity Pope.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Item of the Week: Heidi Merrick 'Jeffrey's' Coat

You may remember this sensational coat from my interview with Heidi Merrick back in May. When her F/W collection arrived at Oliver and Lilly's here in Vancouver, I was tempted (but my wallet wouldn't allow) to buy the whole thing... well, maybe five or six pieces. I opted for the 'Sark' skirt only because I'm in desperate need of prints.

I love this coat's menswear silhouette and the two-tone palette -- that electric blue lapel is just fantastic. It's the kind of coat you'd cherish forever and ever.

$719 at Oliver & Lilly's. (Tan/black available from Shopbop.)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Catwalk Beauty: Fresh Smoke

Chanel Fall 2012 Couture

Everyone is all over the makeup from Chanel's Spring 2013 show, but I think its smoky predecessor from Fall 2012 Couture is lovelier. What I like about this particular smoky eye is that they only used one shadow colour, thus avoiding that traditional tri-colour system (you know, darker colour in the crease, etc.).

Smoky eyes tend to be a nighttime thing, but Chanel kept it looking fresh and dewy, and totally daytime appropriate. The trick is to keep things clean and precise, not too smudgy-smudgy. Three steps, and done. Chances are you already have similar colours at home.

1) Take your blue/gray metallic shadow and sweep it (I love that they just use the foam applicator)  across the upper lash line through the crease and then underneath the lower lash line. 

2) Then trace the top lash line with a thick black liner (no cat-eye flicks), and going a bit gentler on the lower line. Be generous with your mascara and apply to both top and bottom lashes. (Falsies might be too tranny for this look off the runway.)

3) To finish, trace a pale beige line along the inner rims to open up the eyes.  You'll be surprised what a difference it makes.

This is probably the most youthful smoky eye I've ever seen. You like?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

If I Were Rich, I Would Buy... '60s Courrèges 'Eskimo Lunettes'

Vogue Paris (February 1965)

Paying $750+ for sunglasses is a little steep, especially if they make you look like a crazy person. However, if I were rich, that little problem wouldn't stop me from picking up Courrèges' iconic space age shades. 

Sometimes I wish the present looked the way they imagined it would back in the '60s, a future in which everyone would wear white all the time, and copious amounts of eyeliner. 

Jean Shrimpton in 1966 (photographed by Peter Knapp)

Yes, I would wear these, provided that they are as functional as everyone says they are. I probably wouldn't drive in them, but in my imaginary world, I would have a driver, so who cares. Or maybe I'd just wear them on my head like Jean Shrimpton.

$1000 M Vintage Sunglasses Collection and $750 on Etsy

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Shoe Wednesdays: Loeffler Randall 'Nanette' Booties

When I was a kid my Barbie had booties just like this, only they were white with a pink cap-toe -- so not as great as this classic combo of camel and black. They also didn't have the ingenious angled ankle line, that makes legs look long (maybe because she didn't need it -- that crazy Amazon!). 

$395 at Shopbop.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Milan Fashion Week S/S 2013: Japonesque

Milan Fashion Week gets smaller and smaller every year. It's partially due to the poor Italian economy (what a mess!), and the fact that many Italian designers are choosing to show in Paris instead. Still, out of only 34 shows, definite themes emerge. In this case, we have five designers (okay, four, but I'll explain later) taking on a traditional Japanese dress: a kimono. 


I have a friend that hates Etro. I think she's crazy, of course. I love their prints and loose, perpetually-vacationing silhouettes. As usual, this show was print happy, with gorgeous exotic florals, but some of my favourite looks came from plain solids. I sort of have a version of this outfit in my closet: my karate Dogi. 

Emilio Pucci

Peter Dundas took Vietnam as a point of inspiration for this collection, resulting in an array of beautiful textures, from white on white embroidery, to Pucci's signature lively patterns, to prints with Asian motifs like -- surprise! -- dragons. Don't you just want to wake up in the morning, slip this kimono jacket on, and proceed straight to the poolside?


There were major Geisha moments at Prada, particularly in the sillhouette, which echoed the folding and wrapping of kimono dressing. There is such beautiful crispness to the duchesse satin, and, of course, the beautiful Warhol-inspired flowers. 


And there are the Japanese wooden shoes as well that I think are really great, sans the silver socks. The shape is like a piece of furniture. 

Aquilano Rimondi

Venice Carnival and Fellini are cited as inspirations behind this collection, but there is definitively an element of Kabuki chic and references to Japan. Here is another stunning wrapped silhouette with an intense print.

Gabriele Colangelo

There were no Japanese influences cited by Gabriele Colangelo, but there is certainly something kimono-esque happening here. I guess it's in the sleeves and the proportions. (This is a stellar collection by Colangelo -- adding to my to-watch list.)