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A Dash of Style: Tie A Scarf On

Head Scarf: Ms. Richie digs it.

In my head, like to believe I am a scarf connoisseur.  If there was a TLC show about people that hoard scarves, perhaps I would be an unsuspecting candidate for intervention.  I have a plethora with a storage bin for Fall/Winter and a separate one for Spring/Summer (like some people with food compulsions, I don’t like it when they touch).  While many people often use scarves in the winter for functional reasons, I don’t think people are as comfortable throwing one on as a fashion statement.  It’s the combination of right scarf with right outfit that can ruin one’s confidence: you try it on with your ensemble, you second-guess your choice, you think better of it and leave it draped on the couch before heading out the door.  Sadness. Whoa-whoa-whoa.   

I would like to share with you my grains of wisdom concerning one of my Top 10 fashion accessories of my life.  My best scarves have been dug out of bins in vintage shops or by accident in a boutique, while perusing for a friend’s birthday present (one for me, one for you).  It’s not necessary to buy every type of scarf as they really should be investment pieces that you can mix and match with your current wardrobe and lifestyle. 

Scarf as headband. You know you love it.

  • Beachy Scarf – Rectangular scarves are best for tying on top of your head like a headband.  The ends can often be left to dangle at the nape of your neck or for the fashionistah-adventurous, tied in a giant bow positionned behind your ear.  Very Blair Waldorf.  The other option is to tie it around your forehead a la hippie Nicole Richie.  The fabric should be a light chiffon or silk and probably in a solid or a subtle pattern (mini polka dots or paisley would be cute).  This look should be reserved for the beach, a music festival a la Coachella or lazy Sunday afternoon in a hipster neighbourhood – you want to avoid looking like the OVER-TRY.

Free people trench: Kick your trench up like 10 notches with a silk scarf.

  • Belle de Jour Approved – If I had a dollar for every girl I saw wearing a trench coat on the sidewalk, I would have like $20 a day.  Differentiate yourself from the crowd by tying on a silk scarf in a fantastic Pucci-inspired pattern or in a brightly hued damask.  Since the structure of the trench requires something more dressy, opt for a square or a more elaborate pashmina.  For a square, fold the scarf in half, creating a triangle and tie the ends at the nape of your neck.  Borrowing from menswear, you can also take a longer silk rectangle, tie it at your collarbone and tuck it into your trench.    

Art Nouveau A-Go-Go: How wild is this Echo scarf? Sure to illicit ooh's and ah's.

  • This Old Thang – If you’re out and about running errands in your skinny jeans, flowy tank, cardi-wrap and ballet flats, why not accentuate your casual cute style with a ruffle scarf, a tie-dyed cotton jersey or a fringey infiniti?  These are stylish options with zero fuss.  What about one with tassles or mini pom-poms?  I could go on for days.  And if your staple ‘errand outfit’ is very basic in style, why not pop it with a vibrant colour that accentuates your face (turquoise flatters almost everyone)?

Echo Knit Ruffle Scarf: I like the gauzy ruffle look of this ruched scarf.

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April 24, 2010   2 Comments

WWBWW: What Would Blair Waldorf Wear?

This Saturday, I am co-hostessing a Champagne High Tea for my good friend A’s Bridal Shower at The Windsor Arms Hotel.  Our theme for the day is all things hoity-toity as we have many elaborate party plans in Yorkville, thus, I set a Dress Code of “WWBWW” – the acronym translated is obviously ‘What Would Blair Waldorf Wear?’  Blair, is of course, one of the title characters from the Best Show Ever, Gossip Girl.  Fashion guru and Costume Designer for GG, Eric Daman manages to create a distinct signature style which evolves from season to season. 

In Gossip Girl’s 3rd season, we have our favourite Upper East Side socialite transplanted into NYU college life.  My friend J said she would come dressed with, I quote, “..a more grown up Blair Waldorf style, something tweed with killer shoes.”  Haha.  Blair’s look is definitely worth imitation as it bridges chi-chi poo poo preppy with romantic and sexy.

You know it's LOVE when your bf matches outfits to yours. That or maybe he's gay. Whatever.

You know it's LOVE when your bf matches outfits to yours. That or maybe he's gay. Whatever.

  • Tailored to a T – Blair’s petite frame looks good in fitted and structured clothing.  Inspired by Queen B, I have chosen to wear a 3/4 length, fitted black column dress with ruched sleeve detail (kind of Art Deco) and a matching wide, cinch belt. 
  • Colours made for a Queen – Rich jewel tones and royal blues/purples highlight her uppercrust pedigree.  As we head into Fall, accent blacks and greys with bright colours.  These are also great backdrops for shiny and glamourous chandelier-like accessories.
  • Romantica! – Ruffles are also her trademark, as are pretty chiffon blouses tucked into slim mini skirts.   
  • All That Glitters – Blair likes to dress up.  Didn’t you love her gold brocade Burberry day dress with Alexis Bittar brooch?  She also wore a lovely canary yellow satin dress with black lace and crystal detail.  I also believe it’s never a bad thing to be overdressed, so long as you have a fashionistah buddy to be your partner in crime.  I always coerce my bestie C by nonchalantly, inserting this line into conversation, “Sooo, I’m going to wear a dress.  Feel free to co-ordinate.”  Plus, I think it’s fun to show up to an event semi-matching your best friend.  Like a set of bookends.  Looks good in photos.
  • Family Heirlooms – Pearls, diamonds, swarovski crystals, lace emboidery, these are all reminiscent of her style.  Since much of her clothing is simple, the more elaborate the accessories the better.  Details are the epitome of luxury and fashionistahs will comment on the attention to details.  For example, “Oh, I like how you matched the tiny bow on your gloves to the pearl necklace and the design on your lace tights.”  Statement is everything!
  • Beautiful Uptown Girl – Blair hair is that perfect loose tendril achieved by using a 2″ barrel curling iron.  It’s the same look that Olivia Palermo wears on The City.  Her makeup is always fresh and minimal with a hint of rosy blush, nude or coral lipgloss and creamy brown eyeshadows.  So lovely!
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October 15, 2009   2 Comments

Chuck Bass Is A Sexy MF

Regularly on the LC, I don’t like to use expletives because I’m a lady.  But Chuck Bass is worth it.  Insert girlish giggle.  

Lately, the Tuesday watercooler talk amongst fashionistahs is how hotttx3 Chuck Bass is looking these days on Gossip Girl.  Recently we watched the Season 1 pilot and if you calibrate the current three piece suit wearing, suspender sporting, barely legal Chuck to the highschool peacoat jacket, Jonas Brother hairdo there is no comparison.  For you LC followers that have yet to fall head over heels, allow me to gently influence you and finish with convincing, closing arguments. 

5.  Skinny wrists – Everyone who knows me, knows I like them skinny.  I realize I talked about manorexia before but there is something to be said about guys on the leaner side.  I once dated a hipster who said he drank vodka sodas only because there were fewer calories.  Hahaha.  Kind of like reduced fat bacon.  It’s just better.  Not that I eat bacon.

Boys born in the 80's are SO cute. B/W check in GQ.

Boys born in the 80's are SO cute. B/W check in GQ.

4.  Wall Street Style – It’s quite enjoyable that the hairstylists have decided to retire Chuck Bass’ Dep hair gel, don’t you think?  This polished haircut is showing off his chiselled bone structure and faux glow to a great affect.  I’ve never seen anyone else pull off the yellow tie with red suspenders and a charcoal suit so well.  And this is including Michael Douglas.  As far as accessories go, although Godfather-esque, Chuck Bass might successfully bring back the pinkie ring.

This outfit screams, "Generational Wealth & Trustfund."

This outfit screams, "Generational Wealth & Trustfund."

3.  British Accent in Real Life – Smooth, smutty, smarmy voice aside, Ed Westwick who plays Chuck has a Brit accent in real life.  You can close your eyes and listen to him say,”blah, blah, blah” and it’s still hotttx3.

2.  Come Hither Eyes – OMG, stop undressing me with your eyes.  I mean, okay, go ahead.

1.  KB Animal – As any other GG fan, I live for Blair and Chuck.  They have craaaazy sexual chemistry together.  Even though they’re just acting, he looks like he would be really skilled at KB-ing.  I think part of his appeal is his Bad Boy image.  Schwartzie has been throwing in a lot of kissing scenes lately.  He knows what the ladies want.

The best kind of KB-ing involves 1) Chuck Bass and 2) Presents in both hands.

The best kind of KB-ing involves 1) Chuck Bass and 2) Presents in both hands.

And in conclusion,  Chuck Bass is the kind of guy you might not date in real life because he’s like a vice you can’t shake, the monkey on your back, the dark secret you should have left in Tijuana. You know he’s bad for you but you just can’t help yourself.  Why not take the shame away by enjoying this guilty pleasure with your friends.  He’s only celluloid. 

I rest my case.  Obsess weekly http://www.cwtv.com/shows/gossip-girl

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October 2, 2009   1 Comment

Countdown to Gossip Girl Season 3

This morning when I arrived to work, I discussed the imminent return of GG season 3.  There are only 3 days until the show of my life returns.  If you haven’t caught the fever, I’m disappointed.  But I strongly urge you to rent the box set from Blockbuster and lay like a slug on your couch to catch up.  I know you can do it if you focus.  I have faith in you.  Then on Tuesday you can debrief with your friends by the water cooler.  Oh just succumb to peer pressure!

Dirrrty: Blake & Leighton licking ice cream on the cover of Rolling Stone. Love them!

Dirrrty: Blake & Leighton licking ice cream on the cover of Rolling Stone. Love them!

Here are the Top Reasons why I think you will LOOOOOOOOVE Gossip Girl:

5.  Fashionistah’s Choice – If it’s good enough for Anna Wintour it’s good enough for you.  I don’t think Devil Wears Prada would put Blake Lively on the cover of Vogue if she didn’t see how influential this teen dramedy is.  And The September Issue of Harper’s Bazaar had Leighton Meester grace its cover.  “September is the January of fashion” – quote from The September Issue. 

4.  The Smut Factor – Yesterday I popped by my friend H’s office and she was telling me that she had lettuce wraps while catching the GG fever.  She could not believe it took her so long to hop onto the GG train, especially with all the episodes getting progressively smuttier.  She particularly liked Chuck’s dirty uncle, the coke-snorting, Armani wearing baaaad boy. 

3.  Little J is OOC (out of control) – Oh you remember your rebellion too…or you wish you were that bad.  I would really like to see Jenny get veryx3 bitchy this season.  I think that would be quite enjoyable.

2.  Champagne Wishes & Caviar Dreams – Couture dresses flown in from Paris for prom.  Formals at the Ritz and chauffeurs for private school.  Doesn’t it sound fabulous?  Remember Robin Leach and Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous??  Was this before your time (ah, you were just a zygote then)?  Well it’s cancelled and something needs to take its place.  The fantasy and dysfunction of the super wealthy is best enjoyed during prime time. 

1. CHUCK BASS.  No explanation needed.

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September 11, 2009   2 Comments

DCWFGG (Dying, Can't Wait For Gossip Girl)

Everyone I know is addicted to GG. Do you have the fever?

Everyone I know is addicted to GG. Do you have the fever?

Why does Josh Schwartz know what beats inside a teenage girl’s heart? How did he come up with The O.C. (Seth & Summer Forever) and now this creative gem? Maybe he was a really, really popular mean girl in a past life only to be reincarted as a Jewish Emo-geek (not that there’s anything wrong with that).  I can’t even count the number of women I know that obsessively watch Gossip Girl or even the men that unabashedly admire Chuck Bass for his smut factor.  Gossip Girl returns on September 14th and I, like yourself, am waiting with baited breath for the fashion, the drama, the scandal, the comedy.

I recently threw a Gossip Girl party (all about playing dress up & parties with strict dress codes) where invitees were asked to come in their best GG interpretation.  Here are a few pointers on throwing your own bash:

  1. Invitations set the tone of an amazing party.  Avoid the Evite and send a proper card in an envelope.
  2. Ask friends to come in their favourite GG character. My bestie C came as a very accurate portrayal of Blair Waldorf including suspenders, kilt, patent peep toes and brunette hair extensions. (“Do you know how many stores I searched to find red tights?”).  My friend J came as Dan Humphrey complete with grandpa blazer and tie loosened in a ‘I mock private school dress code’ kind of way.
  3. Let’s get this party started.  Greet friends at the door with a champagne cocktail.  In a champagne flute, add 3/4 glass champie, 1/4 strawberry-orange fruit juice and garnish with a slice of starfruit.  Both delicious and aesthetically attractive.
  4. Have an array of finger food appetizers available for munching displayed on silver tiered plate stands.   
  5. Play your top episodes of Season 1 & 2 and initiate the uninitiated.  I dare say that GG fans are just as rabid as Twi-hards.  We selected ‘The Pilot (when Chuck had yet to reach his current hotness level) and The Daredevil’ episode where Little J plays Truth or Dare at Blair’s Sleepover.
  6. Award prizes as creative outfits should be recognized – I gave out “Best Hair & Makeup”, “Best Overall Gossip Girl” and “Best GG Interpretation of a Spring/Summer 2009 Trend”  I got a lot of flack/laughs on the last one.

In the true vein of Gossip Girl, this party would not be authentic unless everyone is fairly inebriated by the end of the night, people say things perhaps they shouldn’t have, secrets come out of someone’s voluminous hair and another ends up doing something they will regret the next morning (tabloid-worthy!).  Make sure your chauffeur (or cab) picks you up.

A final note.  Question:  What’s worse than a hangover?  Answer:  A champagne hangover.  You know you love me.

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August 25, 2009   No Comments

Tea for Two or Two for Tea…

If someone asked me, I would say I’m a coffee in the morning gal, tea in the afternoon.  While tea has always been a big hit with the British, it’s getting pretty trendy in North America.  Teashops are popping up everywhere in posh neighbourhoods and different varieties of loose leaf and artisanal blooming teas are becoming widely available in grocery stores.

Last summer, I took a two day intensive  Tea Workshop at The Tea Emporium in uptown Toronto.  Super nerdy, I often asked, “Is this going to be on the quiz later?”  Here are the funnest grains of wisdom that I learned from my time in tea la-la land.

  • Tea is made from the tea plant, Camellia Sinensus.  Herbal teas are known as tisanes because they are not derived from this plant.
  • There are white, green, oolong, black and puh erh teas.  These all differ based on their drying and fermenting process. Warning:  True tea enthusiasts will slap you if you think you can drink White Tea in Lipton tea bag.
  • Afternoon Tea with petit fours and sandwiches originated with the (pre-socialite) Duchess of Bedford, who would stave off hunger pangs prior to dinner by receiving guests with tea and cakes, followed by walks in the fields.  
  • While the concept of High Tea conjurs up images of Blair Waldor drinking tea pinkie up at the Ritz, its origins lie with the common folk who used the term to describe a heavy lunch consisting of copious amounts of meat and potatoes, with tea.
  • At Starbucks, you ask for chai tea, but translated this means “tea-tea.” In India, the tradition of tea sellers making tea on the side of the road still remains (called chaiwallahs).
As seen on The Fabulous Life: Pret-a-Portea @ The Berkeley, London.

As seen on The Fabulous Life: Pret-a-Portea @ The Berkeley, London.

The most ridiculous High Tea I have ever had the great luxury to enjoy was at The Berkeley in Knightsbridge, London.  They have a Pret-a-Portea where biscuits are fashioned into bikinis and tiny cakes are decorated like mini Chanel clutches.  The tea sommelier describes each as they are based on the Fall/Winter collections.  You can literally high tea for hours.

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August 24, 2009   2 Comments