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Before Blair Waldorf, There Was Sydney Rutledge

Gossip Girl Season 5 Sneak Peek: I love it when Blair makes her "ugh" face.

Ooh la! I thought since Blair Waldorf  has been a perennial top search (creeping my own stats), I would give you a fashion and cultural trivia mashup.  We all adore the celluloid rich snob, glorified in fictional form yet loathed in real life (see/ Olivia Palermo).  But before there ever existed the perfectly barrel curled, pouty Upper East Side Blair (Leighton Meester) another brunette wrecked havoc on her clique of hangers on’s and wannabe friends.  Let’s pay homage to the original tween villainess, Sydney Rutledge (Sarah Michelle Gellar) from 90’s daytime BOP-era soap Swan’s Crossing.

There is a Sarah Michelle Gellar renaissance of late with her long-awaited return to television on Ringer this Fall.  I am beyond excited.  Buffy fans will always LOVE her.  Obviously, I speak for my people.  But before she played the Chosen vampire slayer, or stole the Emmy from Susan Lucci, she played the manipulative and scheming rich girl Sydney Rutledge.  Gellar was cast as the popular only daughter of the mayor whose character was embroiled in a love-hate relationship with her neighbour/ex-boyfriend/familial rival Garrett.  Ridiculously, the plots involved pool parties, secret rendez-vous and daily tween dramas in which Sydney was always the puppetmaster.  Clad in oversize polka dots, white jeans, chiffon blouses, sheath dresses with contrast piping and trademark red lipstick (at 13 no less!), her character always got the chic-est wardrobe.    

If you woke up extra b*tchy (rhymes with twitchy), you might ask yourself, “Hrmm, what would Sydney wear?”

Nautically is clearly tops: Sydney favoured a loud stripe of the blue, black or red variety.

Here ye, here ye polka dots! Don't just stand there! Say something nice about my Alice + Olivia Louisa Dress! Moi improvising a Sydney Rutledge-esque quote

She would totally wear these Tory Burch Riding Boots. Hello outfit of champion equestrian.

Sydney's matte red lipstick: Even if you get pushed into the pool at the club, your red lips will never fail. Outline, apply lipstick, blot, reapply.

"Friends" carry your shopping for you. Sydney in a classic shell with matching cardi. P.S. Do you know how impossible it is to find fashion pics of Sydney Rutledge? It's impossible. Ugh! Pre-internet??!!


August 28, 2011   No Comments

Moroco Chocolat & Channelling Blair Waldorf (Again)

Decadent Sweet Treat: Moroco Chocolat. Photo courtesy: BlogTO

If you’re like me, you’re ever on the search for new and dramatic ways to channel Blair Waldorf.   Forgive my tendecy to reference soapy teen dramas;  I confess I watch way too much Gossip Girl.  Fortunately, my fashionistah girlfriends are game and rise to the occasion every time I set a strict dress code. 

Our latest foray was a birthday brunch for my loveable, top friend J who is fancy in a down-to-earth way.  We had a delightful ladies brunch at Moroco Chocolat (99 Yorkville Ave.), a french inspired patisserie and cafe in Yorkville.  Clad in the deepest hues of eggplant and mauve and accented in swirling white framed mirrors, the requisite crystal dog statue and lucky white elephants, the Paris decor matched the sumptuous menu.  They offer rich sipping chocolates, fondue platters, lattes with a side of chocolate, mimosas and the fluffiest pistachio macarons (among 11 other flavours).  I’m a vegetarian but I was drooling over the birthday girl’s sweet and savoury french toast which was swathed in bacon, cheese and a healthy dose of syrup.  Insert heart attack

On to the outfits…  For Spring, half of the fashionistahs chose Chiffon Floaty Things in a grey-beige.  Watch for this colour combination as it will be the perfect transitional neutral paired with neons and brights.  My bestie C, went with an homage to Chuck Bass, wearing a striped nautical blazer with heavy navy piping juxtaposed with a polka dot cotton t-shirt.  There she goes fashion risk-taking: mixing prints!  Our birthday girl, never one to disappoint, chose a cape in yellow and black plaid paired with a black sweater and grey bezel statement necklace.  Ooh la!

The Cape is to Blair Waldorf as Sequins at breakfast is to Serena Van Der Woodsen

One to Watch: She did Chuck Bass Nautical Meets Pearls


February 24, 2011   No Comments

She’s In Fashion

There is this very delicious Suede brit pop song circa 1999 titledShe’s In Fashion that makes me want to bop around my room trying on clothes and dancing.  I mean, isn’t that what you do in the privacy of your bedroom when a really good tune comes on?  Let’s live in truth…together.  On a sidenote:  Back in my teens, I used to crush madly for Suede’s lead singer, Brett Anderson.  I loved him in all his gangly glory, but manorexics don’t age well.  There’s a rule that as you get older, you have to choose your face or your @ss.  Truly, you can only love manorexics in their prime. 

The Brett of my youth. I won't attach an 'After' pic because it's far too depressing.

I really fell off the party bandwagon this December (sadness, whoa-whoa-whoa…) but I am optimistic for a full recovery in January.  Plus, I am extremely enthused to jump start the New Year.  The year 2011 feels very fortuitous.  Here are my party-girl picks that I think will have people giving you the Manhattan Onceover and whispering, “She’s in fashion.”

My oh my: Alice + Olivia Priscilla dress combines my love of bustiers, feathers and a pouffy hem.

Channelling Blair Waldorf: While you need the confidence of a Blair to pull off the ridiculously oversize Susan Daniels headband, an evening out is a great excuse to go gi-normous.

Remember that Debbie Gibson song Electric Youth? Like that but cobalt mascara from Buxom.

Nude Attitude: Topshop Chunky Chain Bag

Pump It Up: Steve Madden Glitter Heel


December 28, 2010   No Comments

Your Saving Grace on Chilly Days

Are you an accessory person?  Or more specifically a ‘warmwear accessory’ person?  I am not talking about sporting a functional tuque to keep your ears from forming icicles or wearing fleece gloves while raking the lawn.  I mean, working with the dipping temperatures and a few outerwear accessories to dazzle onlookers.  If the price of wearing a hat is static-y hair, then why not do what you can to earn a few snaps along the way? (BTW, keeping a tiny spritz bottle of water or hairspray should do the trick on fly-aways.)

You can’t escape the chill but you can darn well look super-cute while sipping a cup of warm apple cider, strolling along leafy pathways, enjoying the brisk air and sunshine.  Very Autumn in New York, less the much older male companionship of Richard Gere. 

Some very fetching Fall looks that will have randoms saying “Hi pretty girl” in the streets (true story):

Do as the French: Norbis Beret keeps warmth in while making a statement in a vibrant turquoise.

Leopard Part 3: Adrienne Landau Fur Scarf. Non-stop loving!

Is it a scarf, a sweater, a snood? Ever Eternity Scarf has crazy versatility to suit your every mood.

Tra-la-la: A good cape is hard to find. When in doubt, channel Blair Waldorf in her 50-denier black tights, bright pumps, opera gloves and cape. Trust.

For more Blair Waldorf style, check out WWBWW: What Would Blair Waldorf Wear?


October 12, 2010   1 Comment

The Sweater Set

Hark! September!  Are you a bit panicked about it, like I am?  Three consecutive days of dreary clouds and cold winds were sending shivers up my spine.  I made two pots of peppermint tea and proceeded to swaddle myself in a snuggly blanket to combat the chills.  How odd that one week, I’m sweltering with a fan on full blast only to trade it in the following week for a space heater.

My preference is for an ideal Fall:  sunshine topped with the sounds of blowing trees, kicking up harvest hued leaves with my suede slouchy boots and wrapped in a cozy knit sweater.  I think September is the BEST time to transition your wardrobe by picking up a handful of new sweaters.  You can always go for the traditional cable-knit option, but here are a few shapes and looks that I would like to persuade you to consider…

Alice Ritter Wool Cape: Dolman sleeves are so underrated.

The Cape – I think the cape is a fancy shape, often worn by Blair Waldorf.  Why not give it a go in a sweater?  While the cape is not for everyone (batwing effect), the key is to balance out the volume with a silhouette that is slender on the bottom (leggings or skinny jeans).   

Elizabeth & James Kyra Belted Cardi

Cardigan, Belted – I love a good belted cardigan.  Cinching a sweater with a leather belt emphasizes a smaller waist.  Also looks quite fetching layered with a pretty floral dress.  Use a skinnier belt for a lightweight cardigan and use a heavier belt for a denser knit.

Double love: Belted & braided, Forever 21 Braided Herringbone Sweater

 Sweater Vest – Sweater vests are a tricky lot.  How do you wear a sweater vest properly?  They look great with a very fitted turtleneck or a 3/4 sleeve cotton jersey top.  If you choose a longer sweater vest, ensure it doesn’t overwhelm your frame (generally should hit no lower than mid-thigh).  I also adore the shrunken versions in a pullover or tiny button up paired with a blouse – very Ali MacGraw in Love Story.   

Call of the Wild: Oasis Knitted Poncho

Poncho, Channelling Pocahontas – I haven’t worn one in a few years but my spider senses tell me that I should get back on that bandwagon.  The most versatile are thinly knit in a neutral colour.  I quite adore this icy blue-grey shade.  Now if the poncho opens up to wrap, that is called a ruana (add to your fashion terminology).

If this barrage of sweaters has piqued your interest in learning the age-old craft of knitting, you can always take a beginner’s workshop at The Knit Cafe (1050 Queen St. West).  I am still knitting the same blue scarf as part of my 2009 New Year’s resolution.  Be forewarned, you can get sucked into a knitting vortex (3 hours go by and you’ve only completely 5 rows of knitting) without realizing until your hand cramps.

Meditate during your knit & purl at The Knit Cafe. Photo courtesy BlogTO


September 7, 2010   No Comments

Gossip Girl: When in Paris, Do As The French

Mademoiselle Leighton and Mademoiselle Blake have landed in gay Paris to begin filming Season 4 of our guilty pleasure, Gossip Girl.  The first stills preview amazing fashions from Monsieur Eric Daman, who kicks it up 10 notches every season.  And now it’s off the radar.  Let’s dissect shall we?  Apres-vous…

Besties B & S taking a stroll on a cobblestone street in designer duds. Ooh lala! C'est la vie.

Fashion Ratatouille – I am loving how Blair mixes two oversize prints of cherries in a halter and a parachute bubble skirt.  How do they achieve this hemline magic?  Small strings are affixed to the hem and a corresponding one midway up the skirt folds to tie.  It’s a variation on the bubble (which is highly underrated as far as I’m concerned).  Serena matches her sequin birdcage mini dress with a boyfriend blazer.  Girly + Menswear.  Well played ladies.

Munching on Macarons – These delectable treats are a french confection, a tiny puff cookie made from whipped meringue and filled with decadent cream.  Kind of like an Oreo, but waaaay better.  They come in a variety of flavours from raspberry and chocolat to green tea or rose; such yummy and beautiful fare be found in fancy patisseries such as Fauchon.

Known for their fashionistah packaging, Fauchon serves baked goods a la chi-chi. If you happen to be in Paris, can you grab me a box?

I’m on Vacay, Can’t You Tell? – Nothing says vacation like palazzo pants.  This outfit combination is killing me (in a good way).  I am adoring the unpredictable colour combination of peach high-waisted floods with a nude silk tank top and emerald green stone necklace.   A tan braided belt (a serious necessity in a wardrobe) and lady-like shoes finishes the look. 

Serena stops traffic in her peach palazzo. Have you ever noticed? European men are so forward. It's like they haven't seen a woman before.


July 5, 2010   2 Comments