27 March 2010

g is for gossip girl, serena

Next on the list is Serena van der Woodsen, the oh so classy socialite who has charmed every boy in the Upper East Side, including her current arm candy Nate Archibald. To go with her flirtatious nature is a very unique wardrobe; casual chic by day, and sultry temptress by night. With her long legs, it seems like any outfit would look stunning on her - and who can resist that infectious smile? Certainly not Nate, Dan, Aaron, guy from Europe, Carter, Tripp... I'm sure I've forgotten someone! Here are my four favourite outfits from the girl who has it all.

With her signature blond cascading hair, a bold jacket and a killer purse suit Serena just fine. I'm in love with her gorgeous Valentino red-brown leather jacket, perfectly paired with J Brand jeans - enough edge without being over the top. A more grown-up look, but offset with the plunging neckline, Serena opts for a Ralph Lauren pinstriped blazer, Michael Kors knee-high boots (beautiful) and the most amazing Celine hunter green purse. Effortlessly fashionable.

Hello short hemline! Serena isn't scared to show a little leg, and who would be when wearing a breathtaking green Vena Cava dress? And even though a few were skeptical about her Stella McCartney number, I loved it - sexy but sophisticated. Don't we all wish we had excuses to dress this good?

 To create your own Serena-worthy look for less, here are some tips! I chose a soft leather jacket from H&M paired with dark skinny jeans, complete with Chinese Laundry over-the-knee boots ($100) and a gorgeous Alexander McQueen hunter green bag ($$$$). Transfer into nighttime: A little black dress accented with lace ($25 Forever 21) but contrasted with a bold shoe ($92 alloy.com). I love a little cobalt (which is super popular at Zara) so I paired the look with yet another McQueen purse for an example, and simple cross earrings ($13 Target). So find that inner It Girl and show her off - but if you're hoping for a little more edge, keep reading for Part III: Little J!

24 March 2010

g is for gossip girl, blair

The people who know me well, know that I'm a total sucker for Blair Waldorf fashion. There is something about that girl that screams chic. Recently though, I've been taking a liking to Little J and her black edgy ways, and even Serena (although she's a bit too vintage for my own style). I've chosen the infamous Gossip Girl for 'G,' because that little TV show has influenced my own fashion choices since Season One. I decided to choose my favourite looks from all of the three seasons combined to showcase; There's diversity in each of the three girls that can speak to anyone - be sure to watch new episodes Monday at 9pm!

First and foremost, I must start with Queen B. From day one her outfits have done nothing but amaze me! Classy and put together, with her signature headband and manipulative nature, she never fails to deliver great style. It took me forever to choose four favourite looks, but I finally decided.

I chose these two sophisticated outfits because of the absolutely amazing embellishment and bold details. Blair's deep red coat is to die for, but her bow brooch really makes the outfit - as does her smile! See how you can get a similar look below. And the drama queen herself completely outdoes herself in a stunning beaded Diane von Furstenberg skirt and lace Nanette Lepore blouse. I love the soft and hard balance which adds a great edge to a prim outfit.

Oh, the ruffles. It's one of my favourite trends for the spring season, and Blair pulls it off perfectly. Her mint green Walter chiffon dress is iconic, paired with the raspberry Louise Green hat - I don't think anyone else could wear it as well as she does. In a more dramatic approach, the Bill Blass ruffled top is one of my favourite elegant, but sexy, looks Blair has ever worn. A simple black skirt is all she needed, a perfect backdrop to an incredible halter!

Not everyone can afford designer clothes (I know my bank account wouldn't allow it), so I pieced together these Blair-worthy outfits, but for half the price! The first look is a Keegan plaid coat ($50) -  paired with cream tights and a black hobo purse (like this one, Forever 21 $30) is perfectly accented with the bow brooch, mimicking Blair's. ($14 Oasis.com) For a more girly and Audrey Hepburne inspired look, this ruffled chiffon dress from Nordstrom ($68) is perfect offsetted with a beaded corsage necklace, simple black pumps ($20 Forever 21) and the signature bow headband ($5 Forever 21). I hope you embrace your inner Queen B - and if not, watch for Serena's laid back style coming up in a few days!

Generations of breeding and wealth had to come together to produce me. I have more in common with Marie Antoinette than with you. You may be popular at some step-Ivy safety school, but the fact is the rabblers still rabble and they need a queen. Blair Waldorf

16 March 2010

f is for free people

With Spring right around the corner, my style is definitely changing with the season. I'm saying goodbye to all-over black and hello to browns, grays, and pops of colour! One of my favourite labels goes by the name 'Free People,' and I've finally realized that their gossamer dresses and whimsical barn-like feel really are freeing people. I've been drooling over this Philadelphia-born brand for a while as I receive their catalogue via e-mail, but it's finally making an appearance in Canada! They've set up shop in Toronto's Hudson Bay Flagship store, and are planning on coming to Vancouver in the near future. For now you can find Free People at Plenty, Aritzia, Liquid Clothing, Vincent Park Clothing, and The Block Clothing.

There is something about a skinny-fit khaki that I love and am in desperate need of. I first noticed a pair in Zara, but I'm even more in love with this slouchy chino ($79). Hitting right above the ankle, it's both casual and sexy paired with cute strappy heels. They would also go great with this adorable cream top with delicate lace sleeves ($69) - girly and comfortable!

If there is one accessory trend train that I'm hopping on this season, it's feathers. They're popping up everywhere from earrings to necklaces to headpieces, and what a perfect addition to any outfit. These deep orchid feather earrings ($18) add such a statement to pulled back hair and minimal makeup; bonus, they match incredibly with this dress ($130), perfectly titled 'My Rapture.' With the embroidered necklace and all-over sequin embellishment, this is a perfect night on the town dress for spring!

This season, for me, is all about being comfortable while looking my best. These fold-over shorts ($38) are made for days lounging on the deck with friends, and would look amazing paired with a gladiator sandal. If I do ever wear a tee, it's slouchy but detailed, exactly like this with the cinched sleeves. Loose hair, soft makeup and great accessories make this outfit effortless, but stylish at the same time. It's timeless - exactly how Free People wants their clothes to be worn!

Follow Free People on twitter here, and visit their very cute blog here.

I'm in love with this video, Free People Girls. The label used fan pictures and past photos from their catalogues to create identities - sandy, meadow, lou, candy and ginger - for who a Free People girl really is (all of us).

11 March 2010

e is for elizabeth sorrey

Emerging accessory designer and artist from Vancouver, Elizabeth Sorrey is one amazing talent. I had the opportunity to interview her about a month ago, and as you will see, she is one of the most humble girls I've met to date. With a neutral earthy style and laid back personality, Liz embodies what it means to be an artist. Currently studying at Trinity Western University, she definitely has a dream and is striving for it. Newly engaged, she's got that glow about her - she and her beau are so perfectly matched, as he's one heck of an artist as well. Liz sells her handmade hair accessories here on Etsy, and a new collection of pieces will be available during the summer months. She's basically my family, and I can only begin to describe how genuine she is. Myself, Liz and Kelly Swanson ventured into a concealed underground parking lot full of graffiti for a photo shoot, and the pictures showcase Liz's style perfectly! She is absolutely beautiful inside and out, and that beauty is reflected directly into her art and handcrafted items.

Tell me a little bit about your headpieces – when did you start making them?

I started last year actually. I was getting tired of always being forced to do certain things in art school – I just wanted to do something with my hands. It became my outlet to do what I wanted, when I wanted!

What made you want to start selling them?

I would wear them, and so many people would comment on them. With positive feedback and support, I found the site Etsy.com and figured, if other people are making the same things I am, why shouldn’t I sell my own?

I’m glad you decided to! Etsy has so many interesting items, I love it.

Anything that you can find in a store, you can find on Etsy. It really supports everything handmade.

I agree. So how long does it take you to make one of your pieces?

It depends on what it is. Each feather is glued down individually, so sometimes up to an hour – but if it’s a clip, usually less.

And how do you determine your price range?

I pretty much decide on how much I, myself, would want to spend on something that was handmade by someone else. Usually my prices are about $5- $25, depending on how much time was spent and the materials used.

Speaking of materials, I hear you get your feathers from an actual peacock farm?

Yes! I found this one peacock farm in Langley and took home a bunch of materials from there. Other feathers I’ll order offline, even from other suppliers on Etsy.

Great! And about the type of headbands you use, they’re pretty comfortable?

I either use a soft elastic or a very skinny metal band, which won’t hurt your head, or clips, which you wouldn’t feel at all. It all depends on what people’s preferences are, really.

Of course! And I know you do custom orders as well. How do you like doing that?

Oh, I love it. I like working one-on-one with the customer to find the different styles that they want. A couple have been for dance competitions, so I’d make ones that were a little bit more glam, and then others just for friends and what not.

Awesome. So, I know you’re very artistic, of course – where do you get your inspiration from?

Well, you see these headbands everywhere now, so I’m not completely original! But I love putting my own spin on things. I take a lot of ideas from the 1920’s flapper girl, with the bold feathers – and then putting a modern twist on it.

A little vintage plus a little contemporary?

Yes! It’s all about mixing old and new together.

And does this artistic flare run in the family?

Oh yeah. My mom was an interior designer, and also a florist, so she loved doing art with her hands. My uncle was also a great artist – so I guess all my creativity ran from my mom’s side.

Seems like it! And you’re putting this creativity of yours to work at school?

I’m taking art in school – I want to eventually become an art teacher. I’m also doing graphic design and teaching ESL, which is amazing. I love the two because they’re both a way to communicate, visually and linguistically. It may seem like an odd connection, but it works.

It sounds like you have a great career path ahead of you. And also an exciting new path – married life! You’re newly engaged, congratulations!

(Laughs) Thank you!

Do you plan to continue your handmade art after marriage?

For sure, I would love to. I’ve always dreamed of having my own studio where I can create things and paint.

Continuing with your dreams – last question! How do you see yourself and your art evolving in the next five years?

My dream is to be able to travel, anywhere and everywhere. I want to be able to hopefully use my art and my schooling during my travels, and I guess where I go will determine the results!

What she's wearing: Black skinny pants from Zara, gray shirt from Old Navy, dark green bow from American Apparel, burgundy gloves from H&M, black Volcom jacket and beige leather boots from Aldo.

07 March 2010

d is for derek lam

I've been a fan of Derek Lam since his fall 2009 ready-to-wear show, and fell in love with his 2010 spring line. It captures the perfect spring colours that are popping up (chartreuse, pale blues) and there's just a sleek, sophistication about his designs that makes me swoon. Lam worked for Michael Kors before venturing out on his own; he now has his own label, is creative director of Tod's, and has an amazing interior eye. His loft is absolutely breathtaking - simple, elegant and rustic.

Derek Lam's spring ready-to-wear is one of my favourites on the runway. It's flimsy, feel-good, and equipped with incredible shoes. I loved the oxford-style stiletto and the way each shoe matched with the outfit to perfection. The symmetry and accentuated waists are what I'm currently in love with in my own wardrobe, and Lam executes his vision so well; even the model's hair is wispy and timeless.

Even though designer pieces are obviously not in the average-person's budget, three of my favourite pieces from the Derek Lam lookbook are the ivory bucket bag, navy jersey dress, and calf odesa heels. (All $800+) I'm in definite need of a purse that sports the over the shoulder strap, but also has the handbag option - so chic! Jersey dresses are my new obsession, of course, with the long sleeves and short hems, they are perfect for warmer weather. And I think the shoe speaks for itself.

Leighton Meester, Rachel Bilson and Kate Hudson are wearing Derek Lam in style. I can only hope to someday own one of his designs (or at least visit his Soho store in New York!) I hope you enjoy this emerging fashion designer as much as I do; he's certainly one to look out for!

04 March 2010

c is for coach

I can't even remember when I first learned about the infamous brand Coach, but I've loved it and always will love it. I went down to the States with my parents the other weekend and - what a surprise - the Coach Factory outlet was having a sale! I purchased a gorgeous patent leather tote with signature C's, but the letters aren't in-your-face noticeable, which is exactly what I was looking for. With my new bag on my arm, I decided to mix in a little of my personal style with this post! A few years back I purchased these incredible Coach wedges with bows, and my envelope satchel has been so trusty. It's perfect to wear on those days when you don't want to deal with carrying a big bag, and the over-the-shoulder look is definitely back in style. I paired my Coach attire with a beige trench from Sirens (a total steal, $25) and a gray longsleeved cotton dress from H&M (about $30) with a Calvin Klein belt, a gift from my mom. I can't wait for the weather to warm up even more so I can finally leave the house without tights!


The best thing about Coach is that although it is a luxury designer brand, it's not that expensive! Especially at the outlet factories. My tote was $111, and my shoes were $120 - the envelope purse was only $45! If you do shop at the actual store (Metrotown, Downtown) I've picked out some amazing styles that I'm sadly in love with, but my bank account refuses. The new Kristen Leather Hobo ($298), Canvas Wheel-Away Suitcase ($648) and the Amanda Gold Watch ($298). I will admit that this brand can be at times 'tacky' with the Signature collection of C's, but the understated leather bags and amazing accessories are swoon worthy.

From the Coach Leatherware spring lookbook - this colour is to die for! Perfect addition to any outfit. I hope you all have a chance to own one of these amazing handbags!

b is for basic black

I had so many options for 'B' but I decided to choose the one trend that everyone gravitates towards - black. It's slimming, dressy, casual, girly, edgy - you name it, black is it. What I love about this amazing shade is how for one, it never goes out of style, and two, you can spend a good deal of money on a black skirt or heels, and not feel guilty! I bought my first pair of black leather scrunch boots in Paris and I have literally worn them into the ground (the heel is basically flattened), but even though they cost about as much as I made in a month at the time, I wore, and still wear them with everything! With Spring right around the corner we may tend to shy away from black, but remember, evening still falls after daylight and who's to say you can't bust out a gorgeous black dress, black heels, with a bright clutch? Here are some of my favourite ways to wear black - enjoy!

Taking a tip from the lovely ladies of Gossip Girl, a well fitting black blazer is an essential in any wardrobe. Worn with cuffed sleeves, in a short style or long style, belted, or left open, it instantly dresses up a casual outfit, or dresses down bold evening wear. The 'boyfriend' trend is huge right now and I'm in love with it myself. Rihanna pulls off the blazer perfectly over a red dress - here's a similar style from Bebe inspired by the Kardashians ($129).

Finding the perfect black purse can be difficult because there are so many to choose from. My advice is to go simple and in a larger size - not too big, but not too small. I'm in love with Olivia Palermo's tote and also this amazing croc-print bag from Yesstyle ($65). The perfect amount of detail without being overpowering.

Finally, the LBD - little black dress. Every girl has one, that perfect black dress that makes you feel amazing every time you put it on. I recommend splurging a bit on this staple item because it'll be worn more times than you think! I adore my BCBG Max Azria dress to bits, ($170 on sale!) but I've been on the hunt for a body-hugging long sleeve mini like Jessica Szohr's for ages. I did find one with a slight vertical detailing (shown to the right!) although none with sleeves. Show off your dark side this month, as I'm sure to - black is the new black!