Break the Mold
By Marlan Menuau
Fellow Real World Models,
First of all, I would like to extend my most humble appreciation for your return. I’m glad the first article given from a man’s point of view didn’t bore or disappoint you too much. That said, what’s your take on the actual state of men’s fashion? Doesn’t it do just that, as you gaze at this collection called life (where the catwalk is your itinerary from point A to point B - whichever and wherever they may be)?
Kurt Andersen wrote a piece earlier this year that makes me ponder several questions, such as: “Is he right?” Have we indeed excelled at recession proofing the male wardrobe so much that we can’t imagine men in anything else? This isn’t empirical analysis in the slightest, but with the youth seemingly clinging to the breath of magazine stylists and traffic-induced bloggers (all of whom state what is visually attractive for a man), I find myself like an extra in the opening credits for Weeds: my clothes are made of ticky tacky.
“Why is it so?” Could it be argued that men’s styles are at the very edge of metrosexuality and inching a revolution in any way would head us toward a style stereotypically reserved for a genre with whom the mainstream heterosexual male does not wish to be confused? I mean, the very word “metrosexual” didn’t see the light of day until recently...that is, if you deem the mid-nineties as recent. Either way, the “it” word is hipster - ironically a person who doesn’t want to conform to be à la mode. Don’t believe me? Then believe Google.
So we groom ourselves to look like we don’t want to follow fashion trends, until that itself becomes the fashion trend. However, if you try something not yet vetted as okay to adorn, slander, cyber-bullying and libel will cloud your sunny skies of fashion experimentation. Am I getting this right? Then I say NAY, ladies and gents.
The ultimate goal of fashion, I believe, is to express your inner attractiveness. Meaning that even though I am not attracted by men, I am still flattered if they find me attractive (a silver medal to an “Oh my God! I want you” from the single staff here - I love you girls - but it’s nice to feel visually appreciated). That said, as much as we can all sing Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful, we don’t harbor the same beauty. So how is it that we, as men, look like we come from a chain supply? Are we in a McDonald’s era of men’s style?
I personally don’t think so. I’m sure there are brave fashion aficionados who will interpret women’s high end couture du jour and tailor that for the lesser sex. I thank my own mother for teaching me basic elements of sewing so I can deconstruct a pair of grey pants, buy an African print, and use the pieces to make a great man’s trouser...or reconstruct it with baroque-inspired elements around the pockets; homophobic slurs be damned.
We can be different because we ARE different. Break from the herd and beat your own path, fellow black sheep. What would be your daring design, if you could make it? Let me know or show us on Twitter or Pinterest.
Until next time,
Q&A with Ottawa Fashion Week designer Carrisa McCaig
By Deanna Spagnuolo
That’s right: Ottawa Fashion Week is making its way back to the capital for another fashionable fulfilled week. Many local and national designers will be featuring their Spring/Summer 2013 collections and first-timer, Carissa McCaig of Copious is one of them.
She seamlessly blended the theme of girly-girl with country tea party for her debut collection at OFW.
“For me, whenever spring and summer come around I instantly start feeling like I want to be back home,” Carissa said. “I grew up just outside of Ottawa in the country, in pretty clothes where it’s more relaxing.”
She flaunts a sense of style that’s every bit as jazzy as the outdoor concerts you can attend in one of her pieces. You’ll be seeing a lot of flirty dresses with bright purples, oranges and yellows with teals and pinks. She also has a lineup of tops and bottoms that are sure to be dressy yet comfortable.
“The biggest thing I try to cater to is price point,” she said. “I always think about affordability; people want to spend money on clothes that they can wear for a long time.”
Carissa graduated from the International Academy of Design and Technology in Toronto five years ago and finally felt that she was ready as a designer to be in OFW.
“It takes time to put together a whole collection. It’s not as easy as some people think, it’s not about a bunch of separate pieces, it’s what the collection looks like as a whole. I was really proud how with this collection, you can mix and match all the different pieces.”
For weeks Carissa has wanted to fast-forward the clocks to the start of OFW, in the meantime, she took some time to answer a few questions about herself.
· Who is your favourite designer?
I hate that question because it changes every season. Rodarte is someone who I’m inspired by; he does a lot of pleating. I always click on his fashion show first to watch online.
· What is your favourite colour?
· What’s your life mantra?
‘She was thrown into the sea but she didn’t drown.’ When I went to France I read it in a book and it helped me with designing this collection, I said it to myself fairly often.
· What are your life goals?
I would like to own my own store one day and have my collections in it. I’m doing my life goals right now: doing fashion full time.
· What’s on your bedside table?
A note pad and a pen, always. And a current book, Lamb.
· What’s your favourite book?
Growing up as a kid I read The Belgariad. It’s about a prince and a princess, so being a kid that would’ve been my favourite one.
· What’s your favourite piece of clothing in your closet?
Definitely my Gap dark jeans, those get worn all the time. And my vintage ‘I <3 NY’ t-shirt. I’ve had it since college and I wear it often.
· Makeup you don’t want to live without?
Definitely my blush. I’m a pretty no-frill girl when it comes to makeup. If I always have that and a good mascara, I’m good to go. And my honey lip balm from Lush.
· Best style advice you can give?
Dress for the body that you have, not the body you want. I notice it all the time walking down the street and it bothers me. Love the body you have.
· Proudest moment?
Getting into OFW. This collection was a labour of love and it got put together in a month and my whole family came together to help cut fabric.
· Android or iPhone?
iPhone. I’ve always been a Mac girl and I’m not really tech-y so I like how they take care of themselves.
· Favourite food?
I like all kinds of food. If I had to be honest...it would be cereal. I eat a lot of it. My favourite is Cap’n Crunch, my mom always has it for me when I go home. And Life is my favourite healthy kind.
· Favourite colour of nail polish?
I bite my nails so I never have them painted, but on my toes I like different hues of red. And I tried hot pink this summer and that was really fun.
· Country music or pop?
Country if I had to be with those two. I’m not a big searcher of music. Civil War, they’re country-ish, are my favourite and I’d definitely recommend them.
· Favourite movie?
· Favourite fashion blog?
Right now I’m really into Ribbons and Bows. I really like her and I just found her and she’s a Toronto based girl.
· Who is your idol?
Definitely my mom, for sure. She’s a hardworking lady and had a career and a family.
· Favourite fashion trend?
Right now I’m loving how the non-opaque tights are back in. It’s kind of like a 90s fad and I love it. I’m excited to try it. I also like the fit and flare pants.
· Who would you most like to create an outfit for?
Carrie Bradshaw. Going through fashion school she was always it.
Step 2: Location, Location, Location
By Marlan Menuau
Fellow goats, I bid you welcome to the inaugural article for The Black Sheep Fashion, or as I like to call it, BSF. Why? Aside from the phonetic similarity with the acronym BFF, it can stand for equally true: Better Styling Finders.
While I did mention this is my inaugural post, the title bears no errors. Finding a place suitable to purchase pieces that align with your sense of style, your wallet’s, or card holder’s, yearning for financial status quo or a possible weight gain is the second step in a guide for a timeless wardrobe.
With the global market, thanks in part to the interwebs, being ever so closer to reach, where would you go spend your hard-earned (enter your local currency here)? As I am sure you are aware, you can buy your styles online from your favorite store or designer, but what then of your plastic?
Enter the private selling sites. Unlike possible invites to sample sales on Facebook (which I personally recommend), the private selling site always has sales. Always. Of several brands you may know, as well as others, lying in wait of a celebrity sponsor for people to sheep to...that said, your wool is cut from a different cloth, rebellious trailblazer!
Beyond the Rack being the top Canadian choice for ladies, there is something, well, missing for my taste. Sites embracing the male quandary of “what to wear” like the now defunct Montreal-based modasuite.com are close to non-existent. My tastes are in line with a more masculine look of the site itself, rather than feeling as if I should fray myself thru high heels and alluring lingerie to find a vest, some shirts, and a pair of jeans.
With that in mind, fellow goats, I present to you two sites that won’t make you question your sense of online direction: gilt.com & hautelook.com. Both American-born, with HauteLook hailing from SoCal and Gilt representing the Big Apple, they both have a rather neutral or masculine layout, in terms of how their sites are styled. For those residing Canada’s capital, you should have a hands-on idea of what kind of fashion HauteLook holds, with its mother company Nordstrom taking over the location of Rideau Centre’s Sears in the near future. As for those gentlemen seeking to travel, or adventure thru wine glasses, it would be advantage GiltGroupe.
Look them over, buy to both heart and wallet’s content, and have your wardrobe reflect your gilt-free and haute-couture savvy (puns intended) personality.
From one BSFer to another, you’re welcome ; )
Please Define Needs Versus Wants
By Lauren Lavallee
Nestled in Westmount, on luxurious Sherbrooke Street, is a distinctive boutique by the name of The WANT Apothecary. Brothers Dexter and Byron Peart saw a gaping niche in the market for sleek and timeless quality leather satchels, cases for MacBooks or iPads, and ran with it, fashioning an impeccable – and rare – lifestyle conceptstore in Montreal.
They outsource their tip-top leather from Norway, their cotton from Turkey and rely on Italian crafting for the assembly. With names such as Trudeau, de Gaulle and Malpensa each piece is appropriately titled after a major airport. The line is targeted toward the impeccably dressed world traveler. Already know to the industry for their WANT Les essentiels de la vie leather transportation collection, the twins are frequently featured on fashion's renowned photojournalism blog, The Sartorialist. They have also worked for houses such as Sixty and Diesel Canada. Having always been in the fashion industry, they draw inspiration from culture, diversity and, quite evidently, travel. After pursuing their own ventures for an extended period, the moment was right for a reunion and to build up – and around – their collection in order to create a complete vision.
From the street, the red brick pre-war edifice hosting The WANT Apothecary is welcoming. Black and white marble mosaic spells WANT on the first step approaching the boutique whose interior was brought to life by an interior stylist.
Based around the concept of an antique pharmacy, the use of glass, dark wood racks embellished with rusted microscopes and leather-bound books, as well as cast-iron shelving builds the ambiance, while white walls, a dark floor and clusters of large bulbs as lighting bring out the modern aesthetic. The use of glass encasements to display jewellery, maroquineries and small items alike, have the latter simply begging to be picked up off their personal cushions. Top-quality beauty products can also be found in vintage-feeling bottles, neatly lined up near the cash.
The concept of a lifestyle store such as Colette in Paris or The Webster in Miami hits a high note amongst trend followers. The storehouse carefully selects minimalistic pieces for both men and women from well-known, yet exclusive collections. This selection includes names such as Acne, Filippa K, Nudie Jeans, Maison Kitsuné and Arc’teryx Veilance; most of these companies hail from Sweden, which seems to always be one step ahead in the street style and fashion game. As for the selection of coveted creams, soaps and candles, a recurring theme of natural or biodegradable is apparent. Aesoap and Ursa Major are both known worldwide for their high-quality concoctions of herbs.
Please note: Need - something you have to have, Want - something you would like to have. We will not be held responsible for wants turning into needs when readers visit the boutique and lust over the immaculate Acne knit for the fall season. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Port of Pain and Pleasure
By Lauren Lavallee
Operating out of a state of the art penthouse in Montreal’s Old Port is raven-haired creator Travis Taddeo. Originally from Calgary, this innovative designer moved to Montreal at the tender age of 19 in order to pursue his studies at LaSalle College. The Metropolis' pulsing nightlife was the ideal niche environment in which to dress his closest friends and, ultimately, everyone else took notice. Graduating from design in 2007, his collection was launched one year later and took the multicultural city by storm. Amidst his contacts with stylists and modeling agencies, he gained a loyal following in the industry, specifically through his strong conceptual combination of youth and rebellion, which catered to fashion risk takers.
Usually constructing his collections around a specific mood, Taddeo has a tendency to highlight this convention with a descriptive title for each particular assortment. In 2009, the collection was based around the perplexing idea of disruptive calm. For the 2011 SS season, Taddeo was enthused with the concept of negative celebrity in the media and how society should not worship it as much as it does. The following winter, garments were based around the theme of a woman awaiting an atom bomb disaster. Altogether rather sombre moods.
This season’s show, however, represented another type of exploration: his first menswear-only collection. The presentation took place in a spacious art gallery a mere block away from the creator's atelier. The understated feel of the location made way for the clean-cut designs that were being paraded down the runway to a trancy ambient soundtrack that floated throughout the event. The floor-to-ceiling windows allowed natural rays of light to flood in, thus eliminating the need for artificial light and reinforcing the clothes' street wear slant.
For this season’s silhouette he stuck to the sheath, which is close to the body and yet allows some movement. The colour pallet consisted of neutrals such as black, white and grey, with an accent of electric blue. Layering was a key statement for the season and was done in an unconventional way, such as deconstructed leather vests over thin, sheer camisoles. The street wear vibe was also present in the accessories, made evident by the minimalistic, white high-top leathers sneakers, the presence of grey sweatpants and the combined use of paisley and tracksuits. When observed closely one could detect the intricacies of the designs, like the jogging pant's sharp tailoring. Large pendent accessories, such as pulleys and oversized hooks, channelled a warehouse or nautical theme. Bondage-inspired harnesses and collars were strapped to the exterior of the attires, but their monochromatic colour scheme rendered their addition quite subtle.
Taddeo has a very exciting SS/13 with the introduction of his collaboration with the Rise x Aldo program. Despite it still being a new concept, Travis will be in good company as major label creators such as J.W. Anderson have previously participated in the project, enabling young visionaries to complete their outlook with a footwear capsule collection.
With increased exposure, it is only a matter of time until Taddeo's work explodes and turns into a household name in the tight-knit fashion industry, not unlike what happened to the subject in last issue's article (see Girls Who Are Boys Who Like Boys to Be Girls). For now, though, enjoy the exclusive photo diary provided by model and part-time lover, Vince Robitaille.
Contributor Lauren Lavallee
Hot @ 175, Holt Renfrew turns 175 years old
By Deanna Spagnuolo
It’s safe to say that Canada’s most upscale retailer, Holt Renfrew, has aged better than the finest cheese and is still looking hot at 175. Internationally, fashion lovers will be flocking to stores to celebrate the trendiest birthday bash ever, and jumping through hoops to stock their closets with party favours in the Holts signature colour, magenta.
To mark this milestone occasion, the luxury clothing store commissioned some of fashion’s biggest names, like Michael Kors, Armani, Valention and Paul Smith, to bring swanky exclusive souvenirs. Holt’s Hot @ 175 magenta collection features items that will cater to your stylish needs whether you’re a retro reveller or a classy chap. Snagging these items will be like a happy birthday to you AND to Holt Renfrew.
To school you in a bit of Holt’s history, we’ll start at the very beginning; in 1837, William Samuel Hendersen set up shop in Quebec City, and began selling a wide variety of hats. The shop was originally known as William Ashton & Co.,
but by 1860 the owners had moved on and the shop became known as Renfrew & Marcou. The boutique had such an influence on fashion and quality that Sir John A. MacDonald was spotted in the shop buying a fitted coat, which he later was painted wearing in his parliamentary portrait in Ottawa. The company was even appointed to be the Queen’s royal furrier.
In the span of 100 years, the company has enchanted Canada and other countries with timeless classics that can be found in their now antique catalogues, the first being released in 1891. To commemorate the birthday of the century-old company, a store was opened in downtown Montreal, and just 10 years later, Holts became the first store in Canada to sell Dior couture.
Through the years, Holts has demonstrated a fierceness in the fashion world, opening up stores nation-wide and being the go-to place for designer couture, especially when the Westons took ownership in 1986 and created a “renaissance” for the store, just as big hair, big shoulders and big accessories were coming out. The Westons are the main reason new designers are featured at Holts and you can thank them for building a store near you.
Even in 1947, Canada was dedicated to Holts. The official wedding gift to Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip was a fur coat designed by Holt Renfrew. To show Canadian fashionistas how dedicated Holts is to them, here are some fabulous items from the Hot @ 175 collection:
Smythe blazer: This hip hugging design creates the sought-after “hourglass” shape. Also love the shiny collar which gives it a glam-edge.
Christian Louboutin Lady Peep Platform Trash pumps: Their “look at me” downtown style in Holts classic magenta colour is much needed for strutting around town.
Etro Magenta printed jersey top: Show your top notch magenta colours in this printed long sleeve top that any girl would be lucky to pair with some cool pastel jeans.
Alice + Olivia magenta peplum dress: The quintessential dress of the season in an eye dazzling colour.
Paul Smith magenta lines suit: A classic suit, lined with an unexpected pop of colour.
Canada Goose trillium parka: Warmth and style wrapped up in one adorable package.
Max Mara Pacato handbag: 'Textured style' summarizes this timeless carryall quite nicely.
Valentino couture bow pump: Must-have couture exclusive to Holts. Run down and grab a pair of these charming and dimensional peep-toe pumps.
Kate Spade New York Daycation tote: Adds an eye candy pop of colour to any outfit.
Jimmy Choo magenta sandal: Strappy? Check. Hot colour? Check. Perfect height? Check. The ultimate shoe that fits all styles.
Giorgio Armani Rouge d’Armani Sheer Lipstick in Pink 500: Who doesn’t love a luscious lipstick in a kisser-popping colour?
Roberto Cavalli magenta jersey dress: Everything about this dress screams uptown fashion, from the elegant cut to the quaint hardware to the stand-out colour.
Kate Spade New York polka dot iPhone case: Pink and polka dots, need I say more? This is the epitome of cute iPhone cases.
Pendleton magenta throw: Aztec print style, and looks cozily warm.
Kenneth Jay Lane multi strand pearl necklace and crystal flower earring: This necklace has got class to it and the dainty flower charm can either be dressed up or, done right, take on an edgy look to be dressed down.
To view the full collection, click here!
Girls Who Are Boys Who Like Boys To Be Girls
By Lauren Lavallee
There is something so powerful yet demure about a woman sporting a menswear inspired pant paired with a shapeless leather statement jacket. Although many trendsetters have quickly adopted this unisex look, it still requires a certain amount of confidence to do so. With all of the modern and sportswear inspired garments seen on exclusive runways, such as Alexander Wang or Phillip Lim, it is easy to see why the Montreal native, Rad Hourani, has had much success with a similar concept.
He credits his creative ways to a background that is literally blank. With no formal education concerning fashion design, this designer found himself free to construct without restraint.
He openly admits that it is pure curiosity and innocence that has led him to his realization. His haute couture line emerged in 2007, paving the way for similar yet lesser-priced RAD by Rad Hourani collection. Presenting every season at Paris Fashion Week, Rad has seduced many of fashion's finest—including Anna Wintour—and earned respect from fellow couturiers. His designs find themselves on back-order mere hours after the runway show due to their instant availability.
The essence of the collection embodies sharp lines, modern yet functional cuts as well as a sombre colour pallet. During the design process, detachable sleeves, snaps and discrete zippers are included to entirely transform an item. By combining different textures such as fine jersey, crepe and leather, he constructs pieces that possess the quality of being fully customizable by the wearer. Not only transformable, the luxury couture collection is also considered unisex. When Paris or New York fashion week is in full swing, the designer often sends out both male and female models sporting identical looks, only subtly tailored to their different needs.
For this most recent presentation, androgynous-looking long-haired men and masculine-looking young girls were cast to re-enforce the anti-conformist vibe.
Amongst the models this season was the stunning David Chiang (pictured to the left); prominently recognized for closing the last Alexander McQueen show when Lee was still at the helm of operations.Meeting him in Milan, I instantly fell under a spell thanks to his sharp bone structure and locks so black they shone blue.
His unique proportions also fit Rad Hourani to a tee, with his ultra thin shoulders and impressive height. The Vancouver native paved the way for gender-bending models such as the exquisite Andrej Pejic (Pictured on the right). I should also point out that Chiang was selected to star in the artistic short designed to present the season's collection.
Rad Hourani does not design with a clientele in mind, nor a specific time or location. Without restraining the buyer, the success of this unique concept speaks for itself. The brand is for the effortless downtown crowd and for the just plain RAD.
Enjoy Rad Hourani's Spring/Summer 2012 Unisex Collection #8 Video
The epitomes of this season come in a wide palette, with the key colour being deep red, like the blood off the lips of the flawless vampires in True Blood. The strongest trends seen on the runways are leather outfits, fabulous fur, everything 1940s, boxy silhouettes, and printed patterns, to name a few. These slightly maximalist styles are making your laundry list of fall must-haves a long one, and the best place to shop is in your grandmother’s closet, snagging the retro pieces of velvets, furs, tweed, and chunky knits that are making the sartorial mark.
“Transitioning into fall is tricky,” says Rosina Mahlangu of Capital Fashion Consulting in Ottawa, Ontario. “You usually need a good blazer, cardigan, shoes and a bag. You can still wear some cute summer dresses, just with tights because you still want to enjoy all the summer things.”
This fall is menswear inspired, with elegant dashes of femininity like opulent tops and form-fitting peplums, mixed with fitted suits and long coats.
To have this season’s novelties in the palm of your stylish hand, here are the must-have items to complete your look of modern granny-chic for this season:
o Printed or coloured pants: Last season was focused on the statement high-low hemline with skirts and dresses. Though those will still be frilling around in the fall (with a pair of girly tights added to keep warm), the key item this season is fun printed or coloured pants, and whether they be skinny, cropped or flared, all retro and modern styles have been resurrected for the fall.
o Printed blazer: Intricate prints sparked a pattern on the runways. They ranged from plaid to paisley, floral, textile and lumberjack-style. Patterns tailored for standing out on the streets got the high-fashion treatment.
o Detachable collar: They won’t make you fly off to Never Never Land, but with these Peter Pan-inspired must-haves you’ll be able to make any outfit stand out, especially if the colour contrasts your top.
o Textured sweaters: Perfect for crisp fall weather, chunky knits can be loose or form-fitting and can substituted as a jacket. Pair them with a belt and skinnies and you’ll have a designer-endorsed outfit.
o Fur: Opt for old-world elegance and regal sophistication, or head on over to the completely different end of the spectrum with furs dyed in every colour of the skittles rainbow. Items to look out for are scarves, vests, jackets and fur-collared tops.
o Peplum top: Sent from the clothing trunks of the 1940s to pep up the chilly fall days, peplum tops are getting all the cheers from designers for their flattering and girly allure. They go great with a pair of skinnies or a pencil skirt.
o Cape: Whether their pattern is in the brought-back baroque style, mimicking tapestries, or is comfortable and cozy wool, you can bet your bottom dollar that capes are going to be the new staple to keep you fashionably warm.
o Leather jacket and pants: A leather finish recently stood out on runways, but you don’t need a steel horse to be able to pull it off. Leather is one of the top fabrics of the season; the maximalists will even be donning full-blown leather outfits. Adding it to your wardrobe will give it the much needed dimension that this season demands in an outfit.
o Tights: To pair with your summery dresses, whether they are playfully colourful or sexy and textured.
o Long coat: Runways had an abundance of military-minded clothing for an admiral-chic look. Though the look has less pageantry than the traditional military garb, pea coats have returned, leaving out the epaulette for a more modern military look.
I am going to be completely and utterly honest with you all. I hate pants. I loathe them with a passion. Always have, and I predict that I always will. That being said, when I was accepted to participate in an exchange in Mexico for 6 months through my university, the first question that crossed my racing mind was, “What on earth am I going to pack?” Well, this is the point where I disappoint all of you stylish folks out there. I procrastinated, and procrastinated some more, and didn’t end up packing until the wee hours of the morning before I left. Needless to say, I was not in any state to make wise fashion choices; I hurriedly packed and then was on my way to Mexico. Upon arriving, I realized that I had not brought a single pair of pants. Not a pair of jeans, slacks, capris... nada! The closest thing I had was one lone pair of leggings. So, for a total of 6 months—181 days—I did not wear pants, and joyously danced around in dresses every single day. I have always been a girly girl, actually preferring dresses to pants, which meant I was a VERY happy camper.
So what's the story with me and pants? Well, it has been a rocky relationship from the start. When I was a child I always fought in favour of wearing dresses, even when inappropriate for the occasion. I didn’t care; I was a girl, I wanted to wear a dress and that was that. I suppose that as a child I preferred dresses because I idolized all of the Disney princesses in their divine gowns. Nowadays my preference for dresses is not only style based, but has practical foundations as well. I am not a size 0, and I have got some (a lot of) junk in the trunk. Pants just don’t fit me well. We're opposed like fire and water. I don’t find them comfortable; I constantly experience the little gap you get in the back (I like to refer to it as the teepee) and am constantly pulling them up. They also require the persistent humiliation of the wiggly dance in order to hike them up when they sag further down onto your hips, threatening to produce the dreaded “muffin top”.
For any of you ladies that share my pain, or for those of you that would like to explore your natural femininity, dresses are a lively, ladylike substitute. Let’s review the many ways you can proudly showcase your dainty side. We are going to hit every end of the dress spectrum, from casual to formal, and show you how to relish your womanliness over 181 days of dresses.
The Trendy Dress
Every year there is a new “it” dress. You know exactly the one I’m talking about; you see it in all the stores, on all the stylish girls, and you quickly realize that you NEED one of these dresses in your closet ASAP. The high-low dress was clearly the “it” dress of 2012. From runways to sidewalks, it had a presence.
Now, when we're talking about the trendy dress, it is not something you want to blow your entire paycheck on. Your best bet is to find one at a decent price, in a seasonal colour, and wear it to your heart's content. It may not last you until next year, but it will provide you with a summer full of fashionable fun. This high-low dress from Forever 21, in sunshine yellow, combines the trendy dress with the fluorescent fad of the summer, and was a steal at a mere $20 dollars.
It’s not a dress, and it's not pants, but it incorporates the best elements of both; it offers the comfort of a dress, while maintaining the convenience of pants. This spring and summer rompers were absolutely everywhere. From clubs, to beaches, to restaurants, rompers made their presence known. My favourite way to wear a romper is in a comfortable fabric, preferably with a flirty floral print. That it is a transitioning piece is key. To me, the ability to shift between occasions highlights a romper's functionality. I want something I can wear to the beach with flip flops and a hat, or make appropriate for a lunch or mall date by adding some sassy sandals or playful jewelry. This romper from Guess contains that essential versatility. I have worn this romper literally everywhere! I have worn it to the beach, out to a pub for drinks, travelling through Belize, and even lounging around the house (so comfortable). To dress it up I like to add a few gold accessories, and voila! This kind of accessorizing immediately takes it up a notch and qualifies the outfit for less casual affairs.
No dress list would be complete without the famous little black dress. Our dear Audrey Hepburn, among many others, typified this quintessential classic. Since the colour is so timeless, the best way to modernize the LBD is to play with lengths, shapes and materials. Try lace, a floor length maxi, or a peplum dress in jet black, and jazz it up with some bold accessories. The ruffle details on this LBD from the Canadian store Tristan allow it to be simultaneously sweet and sexy.
Now that we’ve covered the little black dress, I’d like to introduce you to fashion’s newest contender for the coveted “classic” title: the little white dress. The little white dress is summer’s version of the beloved LBD. Please proceed with caution: do not approach this look without a beige bra and panties in hand! No matter how thick the fabric of your dress, beige is without a doubt the route to go. This white lace number is from Olivia; a lovely boutique in Montreal.
I hope you are all well aware that this is just the tip of the iceberg. I could go on for days about the heaps of other types and styles of dresses out there, and I dare you to explore them all! Like women, dresses come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours. If you are more of a pants person, try a feminine dress one of these days, you may just be pleasantly surprised. If I can wear dresses for 181 days, I am confident that you will be able to handle at least one dress, and that your inner lady will be delighted.
Wishing all of you fashionistas a fun and flirty week!
Courtesy of Contributor Darcy Boucher
Glamour, luxury, and sparkle are just a few of the words that come to mind when you take a look at
the FERI jewelry line. At least that’s what comes to my mind and the minds of countless celebrities that have already discovered and desired FERI. Their actual slogan is: “Design. Function.Exclusivity". And I would daresay they successfully incorporate all 6 of above adjectives into their fine jewelry line.
Global Wealth Trade (the company behind FERI) hit the jewelry market in 2005 with their custom made line of 18k gold and platinum.
In 2007 they established themselves as a luxury jewelry and goods fashion house. Since then, FERI has experienced substantial growth on a global level, with a presence in over 60 countries. The beauty of this is not only are Canadian products being sold and worn in Canada, but Canadian jewelry is making its mark around the world, and it’s about time! FERI dips their toes not only in the fine jewelry business, but in accessories (wallets, purses, sunglasses etc) and timepieces as well.
Now, I know what you are thinking, enough of the blah blah blah -
bring on the jewelry! Coming right up! So what’s on the menu for today’s festivities? First , a look at the FERI Sterling Silver line, followed by the FERI Mosh line, and for the icing on top of the cake, an inside look at a few FERI favourites that are near and dear to my heart.
Diverse is the word I would use to describe the Sterling Silver
line. With 300 items under $300 , 200 items under $200 and 100 under $100, the choice is abundant. I don’t care whether you are 14 or 40 years old; there is something (most likely even a few somethings) here for you! What sets the Sterling Silver line apart from the rest of the market is a sophisticated plating technology that protects the gloss on the jewelry, at a standard that no one other than FERI has achieved . All FERI lines are adorned with AAA cubic zirconia and are top quality.
FERI Mosh is la crème de la crème of the FERI lines.
. Most other jewelry lines stop at 19 karats, but this is where the FERI Mosh line begins. that you will have no trouble committing to a FERI ring.
For anyone that knows me, I am a tried and true girly-girl
. I adore anything feminine or frilly. Give me a pearl (or 30) and I am a happy woman! That being said, the charming pendant on the far left in the pictures below more than fits the bill: it exceeds it! A personal favourite of mine, it is a delicate piece that sweetens up any ensemble, and I wear it more often than I would care to admit (let’s keep that our little secret). You can’t go wrong with pearls; they are a style staple for a reason. You’ll be grinning from ear to ear with either of the two pairs of darling pearl earrings below.
As you are probably already well aware, fluorescent colours are all the rage this spring and summer. What better way to incorporate this trend into your current wardrobe than
with jewelry? Maybe by adding a dazzling pair of earrings to an otherwise plain outfit to spice it up a bit and give it that summer vibe? Or how about a majestic turquoise ring? Still, as fabulous as I think the fluorescent trend is, I must say that it can be a bit daunting. Taking the plunge with a vibrant orange pant or dramatic fuchsia blouse may be a bit nerve-racking for some of you fashionistas, so opting for a piece of jewelry is a much more modest approach to this trend. Test the waters, accept that yes, you ARE in fact fabulous enough to pull it off, and then maybe you can dare to wear that orange pant! (Paired with your FERI jewelry of course!)
Regardless of how you like to wear your FERI pieces, they are a sure way to add sparkle and sass to any outfit
. Personally, the best features of this designer line (other than the jewelry) are that it is Canadian, and Canadian made. Yes, it s amazing that it is in over 60 countries, but the most amazing part of it is that we are starting to borrow less from south of the border. We are realizing the style potential we ourselves have as a nation, and I say amen to that! Bring it on FERI! Canada is definitely ready to shine.
Wishing you all a bejeweled week!