Fashion Week: Your Manipulative Boyfriend?

As NYFW moves into its third day of slicked hair, muted shades, and Karlie Kloss, the whole spectacle begs the question, ‘why on earth does this matter?’. Now, let me clarify: the question of why ‘fashion’ in general matters is a completely different inquisition than what I am asking and could perhaps lead to quite the philosophical, or at the least, sociological argument. What I wonder is, with summer coming to an end and our eyes fixed on fall, why are we previewing styles that won’t affect us for 7 months – or for a Canadian such as myself, a solid 9.
Since I am only a lowly consumer of fashion, my grasp on the industry lies only in photos from, tweets from fashion houses, and fashion blogs through which I vicariously live. But I am the majority in this instance and I am led to believe that I am not the only person asking this question. This is what I am forced to conclude:

What is an actual delay in production for fashion houses is also one of their nastiest and most maniacal plies on those who are financially inclined to actually buy their product. It’s like dangling the dream and taking it away. They show their consumers exactly what they will be longing for over the grueling winter (something that New Yorkers specifically will be subjected to), and leave the fashion hungry, pent-house residing, incredibly wealthy individuals to what has now become their sad, outdated wardrobe. Everything shown in the early Spring that was lusted after until now seems as though it has lost its magic and the Wu lover’s heart wants only to wear the boudoir inspired, sheer material graced, spaghetti strapped dress. Like a young girl writing in her diary that she will never love another who is not Helmut Lang Spring RTW 2014, hearts are shattered and minds are consumed. That is, until this same girl, one year older but none-the-wiser, turns her diary entries to her unwavering love of rag & bone F/W 2014. Fashion Week then becomes a manipulative boyfriend whose most contestable qualities are outshined by an uncontrollable and unexplainable desire for luxurious material and impressive construction.
Would we have it any other way?


On Glowing, Jen Rade, and Macarons

   Are there people who dislike award season? And before you comment on this post “I do.” in order to declare your nonconformist ways, know that I do realize you exist. What I am unable to grasp is why? Even if you don’t care for the red carpet – or rare musical performances, or sad/funny/uncomfortable acceptance speeches, or simply the ability to kill it with an anecdote that at least one person is sure to understand – there is always a great deal of sparkly stuff.
As humans, we love things that sparkle – otherwise fire wouldn’t have been so popular, we wouldn’t be fascinated with stars, and Tiffany wouldn’t be successful. Ergo, if you are a human you have a reason, nay it is in your nature, to love award season.
    Naturally, I was both elated and honored when I received an email asking if I would attend a conversation with Hollywood stylist Jennifer Rade about red carpet trends, beauty and the power of Jergens Natural Glow for looking red carpet ready on a daily basis.
    Upon arrival at the Jergens Glow Suite I was greeted by a very beautiful woman with a fancy accent who led me into a room full of more beautiful women (some of whom had even fancier French accents). It was then that I noticed the plethora of food, treats, and jewelry and while awkwardly eating a chocolate covered strawberry contemplated how I even got invited to such a place.
    Before I could process this thought entirely we were discussing our favourite looks from the Oscars and all mouths were agape as we looked at photos of Charlize Theron in her most perfectly structured and flowing Dior Haute Couture gown. This incredibly elegant look was accompanied by a pair of diamond studs, a buzzcut and most importantly, gorgeous glowing skin – a facet of Therons look that stylist Jen Rade says is crucial: a look we can achieve at home through Jergens Natural glow, which will give you this glow without the stench of a sunless tanner.
    A 30 minutes discussion later and I found myself in awe of the fabulosity that is Jennifer Rade, resigned to lathering myself in Jergens, and still holding onto a macaroon that I had grabbed but then felt weird about eating while people were talking.


Girls On Bikes

I can faintly hear the sounds of bike-loving-city-dwelling boys across the world sighing and ripping tape as they meticulously and strategically cover the ceiling above their beds in a collage of this: Free People’s latest catalogue featuring beautiful, effortless young women on bicycles. Bike enthusiasts everywhere will be, I’m sure, pleased that their hobby is not only healthy but also apparently quite fashionable and while I’m not entirely well-versed on the concept of the “hipster” and whether or not they approve of their interests being validated by the masses, I do believe that they can appreciate the abundance of ill-fitting frocks accompanied by partially groomed locks. Let us also keep in mind, hipsters, that the Free People label is not yet entirely mainstream and is very vintage-inspired; two things I know you are fond of. The campaign also features a great deal of flowers, balloons and an adorable pup so the appeal is essentially universal.
Because my experience with bicycles only goes so far as a leisurely peddle through Stockholm and Copenhagen (not to mention, a literal run in with a parked car when I was 8 years old) I was extremely concerned about the dangerously close proximity of the dresses to the spokes and chains of these flower adorned bikes. God forbid one of these beautiful garments be torn or stained … it was not until after this thought that I became concerned for the safety of the actual people wearing the dresses. My fear subsided, however, as I began to read that accompanying this lookbook, Free People will also be selling the accessories gracing the campaign bicycles and that this includes a crochet “skirt guard” which I can only assume is the saving grace of the campaign models. It was at this point that I began wondering whether or not the catalogue had convinced me I wanted to trade my Hyundai in for an abundance of fake flowers, some string, and a bicycle more than I wanted the clothing… seconds later I concluded that I want the clothes more, I will always want the clothes more. 


The Everlasting Tug and Pull

Michael Kors, Reed Krakoff, Michael Kors, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Rodarte

Something has been weighing on me, and it’s not my extremely thick, extremely warm, and totally defeminizing winter jacket – or maybe it is. It has come to my attention lately that as followers, executors, and fans of fashion we are constantly being led in different directions in terms of whether or not our clothing is designed to be merely an accessory for our nearly nude bodies or whether it is meant to have an effect similar to my aforementioned winter jacket. This tug and pull became most evident (and to say the least, confusing) for me during the showing of 2012 spring lines - yes I’ve been ruminating on this for quite some time. Major fashion houses like Dior and Chanel gave our eyes the pleasure of pieces that were complex, long, full … and made almost entirely of transparent materials. But barely-there fashion is not a new art, in fact it has been gracing our runways for decades, with Jean-Paul Gaultier peeping a nipple or two through countless garments over the years, and even providing the 1992 world with the famous image of Madonna, clad in a floor length black gown, which could have been quite conservative if her breasts were not entirely nude. And so perhaps this should be our benchmark and reference point for the great debate between barely-there and what can sometimes only be described as dressing for the convent.
Spring 2013 has once again left me baffled because while skirt and dress lengths are shown as very appropriately hitting around or below the knee, designers like Michael Kors have created skirts that unzip high enough so that you may pleasure the world with a view of your crotch (shown above) – and perhaps this look is meant for the beach, but does this also mean we are now meant to wear long sleeves to the beach? The sheer confusion is unrelenting!
This is what we are left with: Reed Krakoff is showing a long blazer paired with translucent shorts and blouse; Michael Kors is showing high neck lines with the shortest of shorts; Marc Jacobs is suggesting we pair layer upon layer with peeps of flesh; and Rodarte says let’s go for gusto and cover it all up sans one leg – Angelina style. 
This is the answer: Hypocrisy is in next season. Whichever way you dress in one direction, make sure to even it out equally in the opposite manner and if someone asks why, just reply “I don’t know, Madonna made me do it”.


Holiday Garb

dress - Forever21, cape - FCUK, shoes - H&M

I spilt coffee on myself twice today, from two separate cups of coffee. 
It is not often that one catches yours truly in such a body hugging number, but this outfit was created for a style panel assignment on how to dress for a holiday party - and even this gal likes to get a little sassy for a party every once in a while. The perfection of this outfit for me has to do with the fact that I'm just almost wearing the most obnoxious colour combination ever - a very festive red and green - but by taking two colours just off centre of the christmas colour duo I've created something less abrasive and more "current". 
I sincerely hope you all enjoy whatever holiday you celebrate at this time of year. For me, Christmas day will involve a lot of eating, green velour track suits, and annoying my family with christmas carols on the ukulele. 




I think Forever21 should start paying me to show their clothes on here because it seems like it is pretty much the only place I shop lately. To tell you the truth, I've got a pretty debilitating shopping addiction and for the frequency of which I go to the mall, Forever21 is pretty much the only place I can afford. BUT, it has an excellent bang for your buck, so who's complaining right? Certainly not me.



Chilly Sunday

shirt and skirt - Forever21; boots - Spring!
 It is cold as you know what today. There's something you all should know about us bloggers: we have to get really good at making faces that don't express the actual temperature we are experiencing. Sorry if this ruins anything for you. This is my sunday best (parka not included) featuring an unfortunate Marilyn Monroe skirt experience. Bundle up friends!!



For The Style Savvy Gal Pal

There are many things that I have in common with Oprah. I don't think I have to list them off for your because they are fairly obvious - okay fine, we're both incredibly kind, powerful, and like to accentuate our point my sing-talking - but what you may not know is that Oprah and I both have a bunch of favourite things that we like to tell people about during the holiday season (the least obvious of our similarities). The reason I bring up Oprah is this:
The issue with shopping for gifts for a fashion conscious lady is that trying to buy clothing can be incredibly risky. That being said, I am of the belief that the best gifts are those that are useful and practical, that I can find joy in on a regular basis. With this in mind, I have complied a list of my personal favourite things that you can keep in mind when shopping for a friend, girlfriend, or family member. Unfortunately the one thing I lack that Oprah has is buckets of money, so I can't throw my favourite things at you. Everything on here, however, is incredibly affordable so you can spread the love without breaking the bank.

1. For a book loving gal pal: Jonathan Safran Foer's "Everything Is Illuminated". While this book was published many years ago, it is the sophomore novel by the genius behind that incredibly sad, yet heart warming "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close". I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a novel with a bit of quirk. While it is not yet one of my favourite things, I have Grace Coddington's Memoir, "Grace" on my Christmas list.
2. Nail polish: there is not a young lady I know who doesn't adore a good nail colour and who wouldn't love to have these incredibly season-appropriate shades. Here I have (from left to right) Essie's Go Overboard, OPI's Manicurist of Seville, and Essie's Mint Candy Apple.
3. Things that smell good: you literally cannot go wrong. I douse myself in carried away every morning when I exit the shower and am delighted when I'm falling asleep at night to the scent on my arm. And that Sweet Pea candle smells like summer and love and happiness - so these are a no brainer.

4. The best gift I have ever received is this jewellery box. It is so practical and such a smart gift for any girl who collects trinkets and who is also prone to losing things. If you are shopping for a gal who sounds anything like that - I have done your job for you.
5. Vera Wang's Lovestruck. The most delish perfume around. It is girly, sophisticated, and light. Not to mention the wow factor of the bottle is always a plus as well.

6. Persona charm bracelet - This brand of jewellery is such a smart and thoughtful gift idea. It is so affordable and personal and can be found at any People's store (which is in literally any Canadian mall). That gorgeous bead is their 2013 feature bead and it is so sparkly and shiny it makes me drool. That baby is obviously a statement on its own, but these bracelets can be personalized with different beads - another plus is that once you gift someone one of these bracelets you will never be at a loss for a gift again, as you can keep contributing to their bracelet by buying new charms. So gorgeous on their own of even with a stack of bracelets. Their website:

Don't underestimate the power of music as a gift. If you've been sucked in by a particular album, share it with someone! My suggestion, the self titled first album from The Lumineers. It's beautiful and yummy and should be heard by everyone. Of course if your style savvy gal is into euro dance beats, she may not enjoy this particular album.



All Black Everything

jacket, skirt, necklace - Forever21; blouse - The Gap; shoes - Steve Madden

I have to be honest: First, I judge people based on what they are wearing. NOT based on how much they paid for their clothes or where their clothes came from - because I care not for that - but I believe the way an individual chooses to put together an outfit can say a lot about their personality. Second, when I see a gal dressed entirely in black I usually frown and wonder why her soul hurts so much? I'm sure you can agree, however, that winter time causes a greater affinity for dark clothing and thus ending up black-clad from head to toe is not a difficult thing to do. As with everything, a little creativity and thought can go a long way when it comes to dressing in the colour of grieving and there are some simple tweaks that can be made to bring your outfit from sad to ... fab (I had to).
An easy way to avoid looking like you're wearing a cat suit when going all black is to pair articles of clothing that have different fabrics or textures. The blouse I'm wearing here contrasts against my jacket and skirt because it is chiffon while the other garments have a thicker consistency. In the same vain, wearing leather shoes against knit socks will cause the pairing to not look like a boot and to have an obvious separation. The reason I chose to forego full-on tights to keep the legs warm in this situation is because showing skin from the thigh to the knee creates a break in the drab colour and opens up the outfit, creating distinct lines for the skirt, jacket, and socks through the contrast of the black on white of my winterized legs. Finally, a chunky necklace paired with a stack of bracelets brings a little shine to the outfit and the brown-red leather purse reminds us that there is colour to be found in the world and that winter is only temporary. 

Also, I'm very happy to say that this will be my first contributing post for Fashion Magazine's Style Panel. YAY!


DIY Peplum Top

Well, it seems as though I am the sickest gal around (in this case I'm talking physically ill) and since my mom has left me to be sick all alone, which is extremely boring and sad, I thought I would finally get around to posting a DIY I completed a few weeks ago.
Here is the reason I have been hesitant to post until now. This is a project I kind of just started without thinking about how I would explain it to you all afterwards. And because it involves cutting up old clothing I am at a loss for how I would create an instructional video. I did manage to capture some photos throughout the process and will try to explain to the best of my abilities through them.

This DIY project requires:

  • an old dress
  • scissors
  • a sewing machine (if you are not familiar with using a sewing machine you can always do this by hand, it may just be a tad more difficult)
  • a long piece of ribbon (long enough to tie around your waist and into a bow)

Step 1: Grab an old dress

Step 2: Cut the dress horizontally a few inches below the waist line 

Step 3: cut the bottom half of the dress down the side seam (vertically) so that the fabric lays out as a single layer, then cut in half horizontally

Step 4: Gather the two long bottom pieces - you want to try and make it so that these pieces are each just over half the length of your waist **

Step 5: sew together your two gathered pieces - create the seam on the "wrong side" of the fabric so that it is not entirely visible on the "right side" of the fabric - if you need a reference point for this look at any other seam on your dress. You will now have one long gathered piece

Step 6: Attach your gathered piece (which should be the same length as your waist) to your ribbon. Centre it so that your ribbon is equally long on either side of the piece of fabric. Attach the "wrong side" of your fabric on top of the ribbon so that when you look at the fabric from the front you see the entire ribbon. For good measure: hem the sides and bottom of the peplum portion of the shirt.

... the "right side" of your fabric will look like this once the gathered material is pinned to the ribbon

Step 7: Tie that ruffly piece of work around your waist and...

You've got a peplum top!!

Questions are of course welcome! Try it out and let me know what you think!!

** side note on gathering: if you have never gathered before, you want to choose a wide stitch option on your sewing machine and sew a straight line along the top of your fabric (about half an inch from the top) it is IMPORTANT to only "back tack" (which ties off your seam) on one end of the seam - this way you have one open stitch at the end of your straight seam. Pull on one thread of your open stitch and you will notice that the fabric bunches up on the thread - this is gathered fabric - move it down the thread with your fingers until it reaches the desired amount of gathering.