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My Heart Skips a Beat For Balenciaga

Richie about town flaunting her Balenciaga. Such a versatile day bag for bohemians.

It’s no secret that the ubiquitous Balenciaga bag designed by Nicholas Ghesquire is one of many “It” bags among celebs.  It has been for a few years and that is telling of the style’s endurance among those the Hollywood darlings that have short fashion attention spans.  Chi-chi girls collect them in every shade and trot them out like it’s not a thing.  Like the Hermes Birkin or the Fendi Baguette, it’s one that should be tucked away for safe-keeping to hand down to your daughters.  Definitely future vintage appeal. ie. “OMG, mom you were sooooo cool!” 

If Vogue was to do a feature on Must-Have bags over the century, this one would definitely be selected to epitomize the mid-2000′s.  The classic features motorcycle zippers, vintage lambskin, stud hardware and convertible straps.   There are variations of the famous style which range from clutch to two handled tote.  My personal favourite is the Giant Work style which comes in a delicous gelato rainbow of colours such as Praline, Maldives, Pebble, Raisin and Pomegranate.  Of late, I have been on my bestest behaviour in regards to fancy designer purchases but the Balenciaga has been on the top of the list of “Things to Buy When I Shame Spiral (instead of eating my feelings).”

Oh beloved Balenciaga.  How I adore thee. Let me count the ways. 

Purple Lovah: Balenciaga Arena Giant City

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November 19, 2009   No Comments

The Real Gypset: Boho Luxe Chic

Gypset

Great Bohos think alike: I would have chosen that outfit too while reclining on my divan in my personal teepee.

Gypsy+Jetset=Gypset.  Do you love it?  Sadly, I did not coin the term.  This afternoon, as I perused the lovely shelves of curated books at Type (883 Queen St. West), I came upon my favourite style of dress which is Bohemian Luxe Chic.  This worldly style is heavily influenced by nomadic gypsies who have a layered, ethnic look fusing one culture to another as they caravan from town to town, country to country. 

The difference is that Gypset combines the opulant lifestyle of rockstars, musicians, artists and bon vivants who travel the world absorbing the multitude of styles and integrating luxury details.  It’s a ratatouille of batiks, fringe, suede, embroidery with decadent sequins and fur.  Sounds delicious, non?

MK and Ashley Olsen embody this style as does Nicole Richie post-Simple Life with their braided hair, flowy chiffon dresses matched with fur vests and suede boots.  How does one so effortlessly achieve this look?  Here are some pointers on picking up a few items whilst on vacation to re-create this signature style:

  • Dazzle Me With Sequins – OMG, I die for sequin tunics, especially the bright hued gauzy ones with a deep-V and embellishment around the collar.  While in Maui, I picked up a white one with a colourful graphic floral and coins accenting the collar and sewn around the sleeves. 
  • Pleasantly Peasant - These simple bohemian tops often pop with colourful floral embroideries.  Details such as crochet, lace trims and mini tassles also add a home made effect. 
  • Animal Instincts - This could mean a sherpa vest, a Mongolian hat or fur lining on a Chinoiserie jacket.   
  • Travelling Influences – This means picking up prints which are indigenous to a faraway place – Indonesian batik, Kashmiri pashminas or Egyptian moneybelts.  Layering the textures and ethnic designs enhance the visual interest of the outfit.  
  • Just Add Rock n’ Roll – The finishing touch which gives the Gypset flare is the rock n’ roll edge.  Picture yourself thrashing around a stage with your long suede vest, leather pants and lace up booties.  Instead of rolling on a tour bus, pack up your entourage, throw your clothes into your Louis Vuitton luggage and hit the road on your horse and buggy.
olsen twins

Boho Conoisseurs: MK & Ash mix and match

Glamour Gypsy: Ballet Russe meets the Commune

Gypsy Glamour: Ballet Russe meets the Commune. Perfect for Coachella.

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November 8, 2009   2 Comments

The New Vocab: Rachel Zoe-ism's

Are you following the shenanigans of Rachel, Brad and Tay-Tay?  On her BravoTV show The Rachel Zoe Project, we go behind the scenes of celebrity styling, RZ comes up with some quick quips, has her own entourage of comedic stylists and some highly quotable dialogue.  While RZ gets a lot of flack for needing to eat a cookie now and then, she has been quite influential in making stylish stars out of Liv Tyler, Mischa Barton and Anne Hathaway (to name a few).  Methinks she was responsible for burying Nicole Richie’s pink Juicy tracksuit in a pet cemetary and converting her to a more lovable, bohemian style.  A girl after my own heart, Rachel often shame spirals when on a vintage shopping trip.  Who brings home four rolling racks of clothes after 20 minutes? Wild.

Heart palpies: Inside RZ's closet. I endorse gold metallic too.

Heart palpies: Inside RZ's closet. I endorse gold metallic too.

While on the surface it seems like the stylist life is glamah and drama, there is a lot of gross sweating, schlepping of garbage bags filled with apparel, not so sweet (read bitchy) PR girls and high-maintenance primadonnas.  You think Kate Hudson woke up that stunning?  Well, it takes an army to put one starlet into a couture gown, tape her boobs in, blow out her hair and apply fox-fur eyelashes. Rachel does it with aplomb and an outrageously hilarious sense of humour. 

It’s fashion darling.  No one is going to live or die.

Quotable Rachel Zoe:

  • “Shut it down.”
  • “I die. Ba-na-nas.”
  • “Every girl deserves a red carpet moment.”

Stalk Follow our girl Rachel as she gives sage fashion advice on www.rachelzoe.com and obsess over watch her navigate the fashion jungle on The Rachel Zoe Project.

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September 23, 2009   No Comments

Pa'ia, Maui…It's Oh So Boho!

The morning of our departure from Lahaina (location for MTV’s Maui Fever) set amid the west coast of the island, I put on a silk bohemian maxi dress fashioned from vintage saris with a bikini.  After packing up our luggage, the cabdriver hopped into the driver’s seat of his minvan and asked, “So where to?”  I said, “Pa’ia.”  Shocked, he exclaimed, “Really?  I haven’t gone there in ages.  It’s like the place is stuck in a time warp with all those hippies.  You’re certainly dressed appropriately.”  I smiled gleefully as he noted my cunning Nicole Richie-esque fashion choice.  To the North!  Bohemia, here we come!

I was prepared for Paia, the coolest little town on the North Shore of Maui (on Frommer’s Top 10 List).  My friend J had advised me that I would looove it, knowing that I had a pechant for all things boho.  If you were to displace the Hamptons into a Hawaiian island, this would certainly be it except less preppy more Grateful Dead.  Perfectly highlighted blonde hottie mothahs and their sun-kissed, cool kids in Roxy hoodies intermingle with the T&G (tanned and gorgeous) local hippie surfers in tie-dye.  You can spend two days here to take in the shopping, sights and sounds.  Friendly locals greet you on the streets with a drawn out “Alooohaaaa” (say it like Keanu Reeves would say ‘duuuude’) and watch the crashing ocean waves as the sun sets.  Just like a Jack Johnson video (“Uke-lu-ke-le-le, eating banana pancakes..”) but for real and with rainbows.

  • Slumber Party:  Paia Inn – Stay at this Boutique Inn (the only hotel in town) owned by hottie hipsters in straw fedoras and the gorgeous models that love them.  Seriously.  This cozy inn has a few rooms, free Internet service, Free Trade organic coffee and baked goods, a trail to the beach in the backyard and a prime location on Baldwin.
  • Hippies Like Shopping Too:  There are a plethora of cute little shops along the main drag.  Get your fix of the HOTTEST swimwear at Maui Girl, like Swarovski encrusted paisleys, animal prints or designers like Rosa Cha.  Insanely cute but bring your credit card. For casual wear like tie-dyed tanks or bright batik cotton jersey dresses, try Mahina.   Trendsetters should hit up Alice in Hulaland for accessories, fashion forward flip flops and a nice selection of dresses.  Check out Indigo which dazzles with beautiful Indian and Asian accessories and home furnishings.
  • Chill Out:  One Gelato Company and Anthony’s Coffee Co. serves some delicious flavours of ice cream.  Try something tropical like Pineapple or a Dulce de Leche.
  • I like your Board Shorts.  Stalk Surfer Boys:  You know where all the hottt surfer boys hang out?  They’re buying seaweed at the Salad Bar and filling up on hemp (aka maui wowie) granola bars at Mana Foods.  It’s how they keep their 6-packs so tight.  Grab a beach mat, soak up the sun on Baby Beach (Paia Bay) or Ho’okipa and enjoy their natural beauty while you watch them paddle out to seek the perfect wave.  Be entertained for hours, for free.

And if you’re like me and you fall in love with Hawaii, you will start to tell people, “I’m from the Big Island.”  More info on Paia Town, click on http://www.paiamaui.com

Baby Beach (Pa'ia Bay) Pickup: "Aloha babelicious!"

Baby Beach (Pa'ia Bay) Pickup: "Aloha babelicious!"

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September 9, 2009   No Comments

Mallorca…Ibiza’s Classier, More Stylish Sister

Now that the days of summer are soon coming to a close, many of us are left wondering what foreign destinations we should hit to prolong our tans and get our dose of Vitamin D.  Many of my friends are packing their bags for the European islands in September and October.  These are wise choices as the weather is still quite mild, vacation prices dramatically drop from the June to August high season and the often jam-packed tourist spots become more bearable.

When one mentions Spain, people often think of the most popular party-hopping island – Ibiza.  Sure, it’s good enough for Leo DiCaprio and his entourage of hanger-ons and models, but we’re older and wiser and can do without the throbbing progressive house and overzealous kids puking on the cobblestone streets.  It’s like trading up from Cancun in your university days for Cabo in your late 20′s.

Last Fall, I influenced (aka gently pressured) my friend A to take a trip to Mallorca for her 30th birthday.  I consider Mallorca, the up and coming, underrated sister island to Ibiza.  She’s cooler, she dresses better and she doesn’t give a damn if you don’t know it.  According to Conde Nast Traveller (arbiter of taste & style), a more European jetset and stylish crowd come here to soak up the sun in September and early October.  Style.com did a feature on Mallorca street fashion – this consisted of tanned girls in maxi dresses, jewelled gladiators, designer sunglasses and wide-brimmed straw hats.  G-l-a-m-o-u-r-o-u-s!  (Canadian spelling). We stayed in Palma de Mallorca which was like a mini-Barcelona on an island.  You can explore the city in four days but if you want to travel around and enjoy all parts of the island, I would recommend a week stay and a car rental.

Mallorca appropriate? Think Richie Style - maxi dress check! Balenciaga check! suns check!

Mallorca appropriate? Think Richie Style – maxi dress check! Balenciaga check! suns check!

The best parts of our trip were the scenic architecture, the delicious food, the yachts on Palma Bay, the local nightlife and mostly Spanish hospitality.  Here are some of my recommendations:

  • Llado’s Mansion – Tucked within the cobblestone streets of the Old City near the Cathedral, this former artist’s mansion gives you an inside look at what it would be like to live inside a mega mansion a la Romeo & Juliet.  Beautiful paintings hang in originally decorated rooms.
  • La Boveda – This authentic Spanish tapas restaurant gets lined up before the doors open.  Then, it’s a mad dash to find a seat.  But the place makes up for its popularity in swift service, delicious food and live music (Bambo-leo anyone?).  If you’re lovely and sweet, they’ll pour you free shots (vip services!)
  • Passeig Maritimo @ night - I read in Lonely Planet that locals do not hit the bars until 2am.  Somehow, I could not believe it.  Then after a long day of walking and sightseeing, we took a siesta only to wake up at 1am. We decided to put on our best Topshop dresses and stilettos to walk onto the street.  I felt a bit sketchy but in two seconds there were throngs of young people and even more exiting packed buses.  Surreal!  Bar tables and carpets are set up outside while servers take your drink order, local hips sway to salsa and bachatta on the sidewalk!  Crazytown!  Most bars do not charge cover so the crowd hops from one destination to another. The action does not simmer down until 5am when you call it an evening with a nutella crepe and an Extra Strength Tylenol.
The yachts of Passeig Maritimo

The yachts of Passeig Maritimo

  • Puro Beach -  Yes it’s kind of a splurge but you deserve it.  Spend your last day at the spahh, listening to DJ spun chill-out mixes at this day resort which overlooks the Palma Bay.  Wear your sequined tunic and embellished bikini like the girls of MTV UK’s ‘Living on the Edge’.  Nothing beats having a Pina Colada while tanning. Nothing. Oh wait, maybe served by a senor muy caliente (hottt guy).

    Ahhh…It’s like I died and went to Puro Beach. This pretty in real life.

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September 3, 2009   No Comments