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A Refresher on Statement Shoes

Carrie's shoes always do the talking. Denim studded Loub's. You die.

This weekend gaggles of women and their gays clamoured into poorly ventilated theatres to watch the shenanigans of the fabulous foursome of Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte.  Even as a fan of the original series, I must say that SATC2 was low on substance, enjoyable enough but definitely charged with high-style.  It’s a must-see for all fashionistahs because of the amazing clothes and shoes. 

Admittedly, I was giving many women the ‘Manhattan Onceover’  not to be mean but to fully appreciate their fashion choice from head to toe.  To my utter disappointment, there were very few Statement Shoes in attendance.  I was totally prepared to stop a random to squeal, “your shoes are sooo cuuuute!”  I believe compliments were meant to be shared.  And vice versa, nasty thoughts should be buried deep in the backyard beside your first pet hamster.

Lovely shoes are the ultimate finishing touch.  With great shoes on, you are more likely to sash-ay chantay down the sidewalk and turn the corner with a fierce stomp and swagger.  Very Naomi Campbell or RuPaul.  For me this summer, I choose caramel leather gladiator t-straps with a high wooden heel.  My friend G appeared in her boho fashionistah chiffon maxi with similar black and blush pink leather stiletto gladiators.  We were on a mind-path. 

Another interesting option is to explore the wovens such as the birdcage bootie, a hybrid of the classic weave in the form of a peeptoe boot.  Have you ever thought of purchasing sandals with cutouts reminiscent of laticework?  They look so pretty in metallic leathers (silver or gold) which is delicious with a tan.  If all else fails, pop your look with a mega-watt bright colour.   

Boutique 9 Demi Wedge in Silver Metallic

Another reason to love Ms. Richie: House of Harlow Snake Trimmed Heel

This is less preppy, more SEX-y: Tory Burch Ankle Cuff Sandal

Summer Vernis: Nouvelle Vague, Riviera & Mistral will look so sweet on your sandal toes.

If you are in search of an in-depth dissertation on what makes a statement shoe, please take a refresher by reading Statement Shoes: The Medium Is The Message.

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May 30, 2010   No Comments

Sex & The City 2 Week: Carrie Takes Morrocco

 Champie check! Caftan check! Chiffon tent check! Wait a minute…where is the hookah?

Can you feel it?  It’s a strange euphoria taking over fashionistahs around the world.  They are ripping apart their closets for the ‘perfect outfit,’ scheming with girlfriends to confirm a hotspot for Cosmopolitans and breathlessly, anxiously waiting for SATC2 to premiere.  God help the straight man that accidentally goes to the theatres next weekend.  No doubt, it’s gonna be an estrogen overload with the requisite gays thrown in for good measure. 

I am extremely overjoyed that this installment takes place in the North African dessert as I am confident that its influence on pop culture will ripple effect.   If you follow the LC, you know that boho luxe is my favourite wardrobe choice.  Everyone who followed the HBO series, often concludes which character they most resemble in personality and style.  Of course, I choose Carrie Bradshaw

J’adore Dior t-shirt with boho circle skirt and the best coral studded gladiator stilettos.

Oh Patricia Field, you sass you.

  • Vintage Carrie – I love how Patricia Field (costume designer & NY emblem of downtown cool.  I mean, what is NY without Pat Field??) mixes her wardrobe high and low, matching the casual with dressy.  An homage to early SATC, Carrie wears her trademark ‘J’adore Dior’ t-shirt.  Maybe we should do the same? Ladies, dig into your jewellery boxes and dust off your gold script nameplate necklace.  It’s so 90’s retro.
  • Turban Town – I like Carrie in a turban.  It works for her.  I mean, when in the Arabian desert…  My friend A, infamous ‘fashionistah-eccentric’ from the ‘What Anna Wore’ post has been trying to promote the wearing of turbans for a few years now.  Somehow the trend has yet to catch on.  A few years back, I hostessed a bridal shower where I asked invitees to make wedding dresses out of toilet paper, ribbon and tulle.  As creative director of her team, the model’s toilet paper Vera Wang was accompanied by a turban.  Of course, I had to declare them the winners.   

Fashionistah Adventurous: I’ve never seen anyone pull this off in real-life. Will you be the first?
  • Living In Truth – For all the ‘ra-ra girrrl-power’ that SATC brings for us womenfolk, you know that there are going to be some bad apples that try to ruin it for the whole bunch.  Buy your tickets in advance and get to the theatres at least an hour early to secure your seat.  The last thing you want is a Friday night catfight.  I can envision it now: some girl puts her chartreuse capelet on a row of seats, another woman hit with the crazy-stick throws it on the ground and refuses to move her Jimmy Choo’s.  Someone pulls out her Louis Vuitton switchblade, hair pulling, chipped mani’s and parody ensues.  Note:  These are the same women that fight in line while waiting to pay at Christmas.   
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May 20, 2010   1 Comment

Dashiki Chic: For The Love of Caftans

She's a fan: MK Olsen sports her vintage Halston with Louboutins and the ubiquitous messy, side braid.

As a fashion pioneer, I am taking it upon myself as my life’s dharma (social obligation) to promote and encourage the modern wear of caftans, or Dashiki Chic as I like to call it.  While it is my ‘go-to’ fashion statement while overseas on vacation traipsing about white sandy beaches, I think I will try to work the look while back home.  There is something hippie-dippie 1970’s retro about the look which I quite adore.  I have an internal freakout (akin to finding lost treasure) every time I find a really good one. 

Take note, RZoe accessories with gold cuff and gi-normous cocktail ring.

Daily Boho Fashionistah – For running errands or sitting on a blanket reading a book in a park, I can think of no outfit to rival its comfort or cuteness.  Yes, I admit I used to shake my head when my mother wore her oversize muu-muu around the house, but this take will be different.  Think a soft cotton batik or ikat, braided belt with embellished gladiators, channelling Talitha Getty in Morrocco.  We should get an expert to pour us some mint tea and drink out of those delightful colourful, gilded glasses.  You’re digging it too, aren’t you?  

Good Evening Habibi (my darling) – A fancier caftan look involves two of my favourite things: chiffon + sequins.   A bit boudoir meets Arabian desert princess, paired with a smart pair of stilettos, you cannot go wrong.  This look goes best with a dramatic smokey eye.

Damn! Rachel Zoe in another AH-MA-ZING caftan, probably vintage. If there was a world war on best caftans, she would kill everyone.

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April 17, 2010   No Comments

I Declare A Bohemian Spring

Italian Vogue: Sasha Takes a Morrocan Holiday

It’s six days into January and after a few days of snowfall, I can tell you now, “I’m over winter.”  The only vestige of hope is my impending vacation to warm Miami.  That, and that the retail flip is starting to take place.  It’s when last season’s merchandise retreats and the selection of Spring 2010 gradually begins to overflow onto the floor. 

What excites me most is that it’s going to be a Bohemian Season.  As a self-proclaimed boho-chic fashionistah, this means wearing jewelled caftans, adorable lace up gladiators, layering floaty chiffons and tying scarves in our hair…Essentially walking around like MK, Ash or Nicole Richie.  Say “Pruuunes!” (Very inside joke: The Olsens say ‘prunes’ when taking photos to achieve a pouty lip)

Iconic photo of Talitha Getty by Lichstein

Although many of today’s starlets adopt the luxe hippie, the roots of the Gypset look are steeped in the swinging 1960’s, iconically by Brits Talitha Getty or Marianne Faithfull.  During the decadence of this era, Londoners took flight from the city and lived lavish lifestyles in Morrocco.  You will see the trend really emerge when SATC 2 comes to theatres in May.  I am sure Carrie Bradshaw will be trekking through the dessert in Marrakesh, wearing a sequin tunic to ride a camel and her ‘J’Adore Dior’ to smoke a hookah.

What are some modern updates to avoid looking like a pauper?

  • Gold with Coral – This will be a very strong look for Spring.  All pastel hues of blush pinks, tangerines and pale yellows will be in, so you have a multitude of choices to choose from.  Both red and orange coral will be popular and these colours will be prominent in jewellery, clothing and accessories.   
  • Updated Vintage Caftan – I am very particular about my caftans as I never want to look like my mother roaming around the house in something that appears like a shapeless potatoe sack.  The best tunics have a cinched waist or the pattern/hue is feminine enough that it flatters. 

Dashiki chic: Freaking out over these vintage patterns for caftans

  • Striking Embellishment – One of the reasons why I love boho is because of the uniqueness of the style, the over the top exaggeration and the fashion contrast of messy and put together.  You can find this in unfinished edges with gilded details clashing with a sweet floral and fringed leather.  It’s a veritable ratatouille, a hearty fashion soup, shall we say.

K's fave: Alexis Bittar Jewel Mesh Bangle. Lucite will be BIG too this season.

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January 6, 2010   No Comments

A Vintage Story About Chevrons

I Miss You: "You say, I always hear what I want to..." (Lisa Loeb)

Our story begins innocently enough on a winter’s walk to get some fresh air.  In between shivers, I decided to pop into a few vintage shops as the stretch on Ossington between Dundas and Queen West is dotted with tiny independent boutiques.  Knowing that I was so close to temptation, I threw caution to the below zero wind and entered one of my favourites, I Miss You Vintage (63 Ossington Ave.). 

I Miss You NEVER disappoints with an ever-changing and meticulously curated selection.  To melt your heart, there are soft Italian leather clutches in a rainbow of colours majestic blue to flashy red, a dazzling case of 1950’s brooches, unique cinch waist-belts and vintage designer frocks from Pucci.  Sensory overload!  Lately, I have been giving friends Snakeskin fever, as in I peer pressure gently influence them to take home some python.  I resisted for a minute before settling on a black A-line dress trimmed in bright yellow accented with a rainbow chevron skirt.  It’s so fun and different, it’s guaranteed high ROC.   

Chevron-town. Very chi-chi rugs.

The Chevron pattern is a zig-zag stripe either woven into the fabric or formed by sewing two striped pieces of material intersecting at a sharp angle.  The style has a very vintage feel and is often associated with Missoni, the italian design house that utilizes the pattern as its trademark.  I love chevrons since they remind me of my tweens purchasing little 70’s dresses with this pattern.  I see you have just added chevron to your fashion vocabulary… and perhaps wardrobe? (insert raised eyebrow & gently influencing).

Killing me so cute: Missoni caftan with chevron print. Ba-na-nas!

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December 30, 2009   No Comments

Get In It to Win It: Dress For Success!

This time of year calls for merriment, champagne popping, tunes non-stopping.  Perhaps I shall pursue a new career in rapping? 

My wardrobe has a disproportionate amount of cocktail and party frocks.  It’s an embarrassing 4:1 ratio dresses to pants.  Truth be told, girls at holiday parties always want to be one of the most sparkling and radiant diamonds in the bunch.  It’s social mortification (“Gasp! OMG, she is wearing the same dress as you!”) to show up with the exact same outfit as someone else.  This inevitabley leads to consciously staying by the punch while she is on the dancefloor.  Too much labour!

I would like to share a few thoughts about what makes a striking statement dress that will get you “High ROC’s” (return on compliment) in the Snapbox (a la Elle Woods, Legally Blonde 2).   

Put your hands up in your hair for Alice + Olivia's LBD

  • Little Black Dress – Truth:  I am not a big advocate of party dressing in black.  If you really must LBD it, pleasex3 make it interesting and exciting by adding rhinestones, some leather and a heaping serving of tulle.  Subtle does not exist in my fashion dictionnaire.  This version is so fun and flirty, you will be KB-ing with your choice of suitors in no time.  And why not punch up your dress with some flashy stilettos in a cerulean blue or a layered ruffle fuschia?

Robert Rodriguez sequin floral dress

  • Colour Me Gorgeous – Bright solids like this cobalt blue chiffon assymetrical mini dress from R-Rod will make a statement.  Colour is one of the easiest ways to flatter your skin tone.  With sequin appliques and an interestingly slouchy dolman sleeve, people will take notice to your attention to details. 

Violet BCBG: Swag me in mauve fabric

  • Grecian goddess – BCBG is my go-to for the best cocktail dresses.  Here we have a lovely pale mauve ruched mini dress with one-shoulder and rhinestones appliques.  Super flattering and you don’t need much jewellery because the dress is fairly embellished in a bib necklace style.  Draped chiffon is so pretty in photos, especially in action shots.

DVF Maxi Dress: It's a party on my dress!

  • Beach Optic Floral – If you keep up with the resort trends, floral prints will be in bloom for Spring.  Pardon the cheesy pun.  Be the first fashionistah on your block to sport the look in a Pop Art, colour kaleidoscope, graphic maxi, like this version from Diane von Furstenburg.  If you are fortunate enough to spend the holidays away on vacation, this one should be packed in your suitcase.
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December 22, 2009   No Comments