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The Love Collage & Trend Trunk Gift Card Giveaway

Hello dearies, Are you having a very merry holiday thus far?  Are you snuggling by the fire roasting marshmallows while it’s snowing and freezing rain?  Are you dancing around your living room in your fluffy slippers and legwarmers to indie covers of Christmas classics?  Just moi!

Vintage Cherry Dress: I bought this at I Miss You Vintage but I never wore it. Could be yours!

Vintage Cherry Dress: I bought this at I Miss You Vintage but I never wore it. Could be yours!

To thank you for your continued love and support, click on the link below to get a free giftcard from The Love Collage and Trend Trunk.  You can also peruse my closet for goodies by clicking on the Trend Trunk badge on the left under “SHOP MY CLOSET.”  Click here: xo Vanessa

Michael Kors boots with 100% proceeds going to The Corsage Project.

Michael Kors boots with 100% proceeds going to The Corsage Project



December 22, 2013   No Comments

Living Like A Los Angeleno

Fun factoid: The iconic Hollywood sign was once an advertisement for "Hollywoodland," a real estate development

As a whirlwind living, globe-trotting fashionistah, my passport gets its fair share of stamp abuse from Customs Officers. 

Dramatic re-enactment:  Officer “Do you have anything to declare?” Me “I had fun.” Not True Story. Don’t try this at the airport. 

The sunshine state has its fair share of shoreline beauty but the glam factor is much like a Hollywood backdrop: airbrushed, re-touched and made for television.  For those who have high expectations of LA because of an unhealthy diet of non-reality programming, you my friend, may be a smidge disappointed.  When it comes to truly enjoying a trip, my friends often seek my advice and I theirs.  Here’s the real deal on California dreaming…

  • Baby Do You Like My Ride?  Conquer your fear of the freeway and perhaps rent a behemoth SUV (Cadillac Escalade anyone?).  Los Angeles wasn’t made for passengers, pedestrians or taxicabs.  You will see most of the city by renting a vehicle and driving through the many boroughs.  It will be just like that time Di got on the Freeway in Clueless.  The most important thing to remember is that Downtown LA is sketch but neighbourhoods get progressively tony as you move westward – Hollywood, West Hollywood, to Beverly Hills and the coastal towns of Santa Monica and Malibu.

"But this is an Alaia??!!" If you drive, stay alive...and don't wreck your dress. Make sure you don't stop in shady neighbourhoods at night.

  • Rush, Rush – That’s the sound of my heart bursting out of my chest as I hiked up the Hollywood Hills…or the name of a Paula Abdul song and video starring Keanu Reeves.  Park your car at the foothills of Griffith Park and walk your way to the top.  You might catch a glimpse of an off-duty starlet working on her fitness but you will certainly be rewarded with panoramic vistas of the Los Angeles skyline.  You can also take a break by visiting Grifith Park Observatory, unleashing your inner astronomy nerd.  Who doesn’t love a good Planetarium??

Griffith Park Observatory also has a water fountain in case you're parched from your hike.

  • Shop ‘Til You Drop – Any true fashionistah knows you never pay retail.  “Bahh!”  Adjacent to the Beverly Center is Nordstrom Rack (perhaps one of the best I have EVER been to).  My friend J’s hair got progressively wild as she desceded into her shopping shame spiral.  The greatest scores are for designer jeans and contemporary LA-based labels.  For those stalking the Zoe (as in Rachel Zoe) or you’ve got cash-money to burn, you can try the designer vintage emporium Decades on Melrose.

West Coast Style: Channel Lauren Conrad or Whitney Port. California girls like a mix of boho and casual dressy.

  • Eat Then Exercise – While it sounds as though, you may want to go easy on the carbs, the culinary delights in LA abound.  Try the Farmer’s Market at 3rd & Fairfax, a maze of local and gourmet food stands adjacent to the outdoor shopping complex The Grove.  To cool down in the heat, stop for a self-serve fro-yo and top it off with delicious toppings (cheesecake bits, fresh fruit, candies galore) at Yogurtland.  Nosh on brunch and rub shoulders with LA hipsters and undercover A-listers in West Hollywood at Taste, Toast or Joan’s.

Meet me at 3rd & Fairfaix: Get your savoury & sweet on at The French Crepe Company.


November 13, 2011   No Comments

The Love Collage Presents Creative Heart Collective Fall Show & Sale @ The Gladstone Hotel

The Love Collage presents Creative Heart Collective Fall Show and Sale for local artisans, crafters, designers, bakers and retailers.  The mission of the event is to give artists, entrepreneurs and retailers an opportunity to connect and showcase their wares with the community in a fun and inviting atmosphere.  We will be hosting a FREE Community DIY “Magnet-ic Attraction” where attendees are invited to make their own magnets and we will be giving away artisan crafted door prizes.

The focus for the show will be:

  • Emerging and local artists (small sized artwork, prints, cards)
  • Indie arts and crafts (toys, art/craft supplies)
  • Fashionable artisan gifts (jewellery, accessories)
  • Gourmet food (baked goods, preserves)
  • DIY presents
  • Apparel & Vintage

Date:  Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Time:  12pm – 6pm

Place:  The Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West

This event will be taking place during the weekend of Queen West Art Crawl.  From Trinity Bellwoods Park to Parkdale, hundreds of artists will be showcasing their work.  Enjoy special art exhibits and installations in galleries and cafes open to the public.  Such a wonderful way to take part and experience the vitality of the Toronto art scene – engage, get inspired and support local!  To preview all the ah-mazing exhibitors and vendors, check out the website

This truly has been a labour of love (aka blood, sweat, tears, etc) but it has been worth it to be able to bring such a talented group of artists and artisans together!  Hope to connect with you there! xoxo The LC

It's a ring thing: Bijoux Vintage Jewellery

OMFG! You will go ba-na-na-s for Mehrnaz's fashion illustrations and artwork! Take a sneak peek at

Holy yum-town! Lemon curd cupcakes from Lydia's Gourmet.

Be there! Creative Heart Collective Fall Show & Sale chez The Gladstone Hotel Ballroom.


September 13, 2011   No Comments

Copenhagen, Birthplace of the Hipster

Postcard Perfect: Nyhaven is only a block long but it is packed with tourists from morning 'til night.

Copenhagen, Denmark.  Not a place I would necessarily put on the list of places I MUST visit in my lifetime but definitely somewhere that I was intrigued enough to travel.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much I admired the city and now feel the overwhelming need to pay it forward.  A cool destination known for its numerous canals, expansive landscaped parks, historic houses, Scandinavian design, outdoorsy lifestyle, tall blondes and the birthplace of the hipster.  It very much reminded me of my beloved Toronto with its friendly inhabitants, clean streets and trendy enclaves.  I could tell you about the tourist traps but you really want the inside scoop.  Perhaps my little travel gems shall persuade you to add it to the list?  Not really, sort of, maybe, yes.

Stroget is the main shopping area, a pedestrian friendly cobblestone maze of shops from the high-end luxury (Louis Vuitton) to the fast fashion, cheap and cheerful H&M and Gina Tricot.  The department store Illum houses an impressive assortment of housewares and decor.  Wandering into its less boisterous sidestreets, you will stumble upon antique dealers and the more eclectic independent boutiques and cafes.

Bright whimsical Gronlykke with its vintage textiles and curious tchotchkes.

Pale blues: My idea of heaven is being surrounded by embellished fabrics, Eastern decor and colour blocked.

Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer – It’s a fact:  Danes like to work on their tans.  And we love them for it.  Insert *staring problem*  With many bike friendly paths, recreational parks and designated swimming areas on the canals (such as Havenholmen), many people were taking advantage of the milder than usual climates.  Locals lounge on the grassy noles, enjoy people watching, listening to live musicians or taking a refreshing dip in the clean canals. 

Locals beat the hottt, hottt heat by jumping into the canal. Not thinking it would be so scorching hot, we left our bikinis in London. I was very disappointed that we didn't get to jump off this faux boat. Moral of the story: Always pack a bikini.

Waffles & Weiners – Every day the smell of freshly made waffle cones would waft through the air like gauzy puffs of sugar and butter clouds.  Inhale deeply and feel intoxicated by the rush of endorphins.  Known for the quality and variety of their hotdogs and toppings, many carnivores indulge in the street meat offerings as a snack or meal.  So overpoweringly delicious was the scent of Frankfurters, I was HIGHLY tempted to give up my vegetarian ways.

You can't miss the scent of freshly baked waffle cones on the corner of Toldbodgage.

Wherefore art thou Hipsters?  Maybe you would expect more gentlemen of the Sprockets variety (see/ Mike Myers SNL circa 90′s) but I would classify the gents as ‘Modern Dandies’ with their perfectly coiffed pompadours, trimmed facial hair, v-neck cotton t-shirts, walking shorts and deck shoes.  Could you expect any less from the city that brings you the most accessible street fashion?  Vesterbro is the up and coming sketchy area you will find them and the street where they are most likely to congregate is on Istedgade.  Is your curiosity piqued?  See/ The Copenhagen Report

Wherever there are artsy types, you will find Hipsters in the hood. A small pocket of hip in Norrebro (aka Norre Bronx).

OMG, this outfit! Sasha working a 70's vibe in the H&M Fall Campaign. I mean, those burgundy boots paired with coral! Photo courtesy H&M

I tried to find the best representation of the 'Hipster Pompadour' and it really is based on the Elvis model (who btw, is looking super hottt in this picture taken before he started on the banana, bacon, fried peanut butter sandwich diet). Run-on sentence.


August 8, 2011   No Comments

Mysteries of Granada

For me, part of the allure of travelling is learning about the cultural roots of a destination.  It is most intriguing to discover the daily rituals of long-lost inhabitants and about the historical influences that shaped the culture of present day.  Granada, a city tucked in Southern Spain retains much of its Moorish heritage with its winding streets, dusty stone masonry and arab souks.  Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, the majesty of ancient Granada continues to inspire awe and wonder.

Mystical and Spiritual: Come with me inside the Nasrid Palace's inner courtyard.

Alhambra – Perched atop a hilltop vista, the entrance to the vast grounds of the Alhambra is a steep hour & a half trek uphill.  Book your ticket a week in advance as entry is regulated to half hour intervals and regularly sells out weeks in advance.  To make the most of your tour, take at least a half day to stroll the grounds in their entirety.  From the glorious vibrant zilij and ornamental inscriptions of the Nasrid palaces, to the lush gardens of Generalife and the panoramic tower views of the city, there is much natural beauty to take in on your excursion.

The Hammam traitionally consisted of a warm bath, massage, steam and cold shower.

The Arab Baths – Take a brief tour of the remains of the Banos Arabes, a non-descript building which leads into many ancient adjoining chambers housing steam rooms and communal baths.  Stare aimlessly at the interesting ceilings accented by rays of sunshine gleaming through the star motif carvings.  Then book a relaxing traditional arab bath at The Hammam of Granada, quietly nestled in the Albaicin.  Enjoy an early evening doing the water circuit (cold, tepid and hot followed by a steam) and sample a cup or two of refreshing Morrocan tea in your bikini.  Glide onto the streets with your post-spa high, recline on a fountain while sampling a new flavour of gelato.  ‘Tis life!

Beware Gitanas (gypsies) in the Albaicin. Do not accept random herbs or palm readings from strangers. Trust.

Alcaiceria – Due to Spain’s proximity to Northern Africa and the Middle East, there are many exotic influences that continue to dominate the city landscape.  The Alcaiceria, once the Moorish silk bazaar, now houses numerous souvenir shops.  Brightly woven textiles, tooled leather purses, Morrocan teacups, evil eyes, filigree lanterns and harem pants can be purchased in the narrow lanes (a gypset’s heaven on earth).

You may not be near a beach, but the city has a definite boho vibe: Tibi Lava Print Caftan

SATC 2: You could totally wear this on vacation in Granada. To-tal-ly.


June 27, 2011   1 Comment

VENDOR CALL: Creative Heart Collective Fall Show & Sale Sept 18 @ The Gladstone Hotel

The Love Collage presents Creative Heart Collective Fall Show and Sale for local artisans, crafters, designers, bakers and retailers.  The mission of the event is to give artists, entrepreneurs and retailers an opportunity to connect and showcase their wares with the community in a fun and inviting atmosphere.  We will also be hosting FREE community workshops where attendees are invited to participate in arts and craft activities.

The focus for the show will be:

  • Emerging and local artists (small sized artwork, prints, cards)
  • Indie arts and crafts (toys, art/craft supplies)
  • Fashionable artisan gifts (jewellery, accessories)
  • Homemade food (baked goods, preserves)
  • DIY presents
  • Apparel & Vintage

Creative Heart Collective is looking for high-quality artisans, bakers, artists, crafters and local retailers to exhibit and sell their work on Sunday, September 18th, 2011, 12pm – 6pm.  This daytime event will be taking place at The Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West) in The Ballroom (click to view images).

Submissions will be accepted until Saturday, July 30th, 2011, however, please apply early as the number of available spots is limited and will be curated on a first-come, first-served basis.  For more detailed information on how to apply, please visit


June 23, 2011   No Comments