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10 Things I Love About You

This post is inspired by the great teen comedy 10 Things I Hate About You, starring an angsty Julia Stiles (whatever happened to her?) and hottt KB material Heath Ledger.  Of course, an adorable, baby faced JGL (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is in it too!   This film was a modern adaptation of The Taming of The Shrew, a very amusing rental if you feel like reclining on your Ektorp (Ikea’s #1 selling couch) in your leisure outfit on a Friday night. 

After less than six months in the virtual web, my little blog Love Collage has reached 10,000 hits.  I love writing so it makes me truly humbled to know that you enjoy reading.  While I will imperfectly attempt to use iambic pentameter (Shakespeare’s metered rhythm) to express to you my loyal followers in poetry no less, the depth of my appreciation, please no judging. 

10 Things I Love About You

In the Winter or in the Fall, you are with me through it all.

You let me muse on random things,

From smokey eyes to cocktail rings.

You like to keep up with stylish girls,

from New York to London, you’ve seen it all. 

You love hipsters too yet wonder why.

You do funny things that make me cry.

You have a heart and mind that wants to know,

Astrology, Akon’s new collabo, the latest trends in Vogue.

You have a laugh that makes me smile.

You adore a casbah decorated in Morrocan tile.

You love the sexual tension of Chuck and Blair.

You hit that dancefloor with fringe and flair.

Like a gloomy day, a ray of sunshine through the fog,

I love you most, because you read this blog.

The LC's muse: Rachel Bilson in Chanel

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January 27, 2010   1 Comment

"September Is The January of Fashion."

Vogue, bring back the Supermodels! Keep your collector's editions.

So true Candy-Pratts Price.  Last night, I took in an evening show of The September Issue, a behind-the-scenes documentary which provides a glimpse into the creation of the most influential edition in the year and the struggle between creative goddess, Fashion Editor Grace Coddington and the magazine’s astute and powerful Editor-in-Chief, Anna Wintour.  With her icy demeanor and demanding industry perfectionism, she is known as the basis for the title character in The Devil Wears Prada

Such is the fashion business, shrouded in fantasy and glamour, sprinkled with stories of catty behaviour and flights of primadonna.  For any hardcore fashionistah, the film is a MUST to see the reality of the industry – the editors watching couture shows in Paris, previewing collections with designers to wielding their stake with major retailers.  While the movie shows both the light (creating beautiful imagery, supporting fresh design talent) to the dark (editors slamming collections before they are shown or stressful last minute re-shoots two days before closing the issue), it also highlights the individual passion and poignancy of the stories which led these creators to their ultimate destiny at Vogue.  

Anna Wintour is judging you in her Chanel boucle jacket.

Anna Wintour is judging you in her Chanel boucle jacket.

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November 21, 2009   No Comments

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

Living Beautifully Is In The Details

My philosophy on interior design is:  “Fill your home with beautiful things and you cannot help but live beautifully each day.”  Waking up inspired by magnificent colours, luxuriating in soft fabrics and sinking on a dog day afternoon into a cozy couch with a cup of tea, that’s the life!  Creating a beautifully designed abode can be daunting for some, but it is wonderfully relaxing to come home to a nest which is truly an expression of your style.  

elle decor 2

Delicately cool blues and Louix the XIV antique chaises.

Much like fashion design, interior trends come and go but the best dressed homes are the ones which emanate character and reflect one’s personality.  Magazines are inspirational and aspirational, providing a great basis for us to create our fanciful dreams.  As a fashionistah, I find myself drawn to Elle Decor and Vogue Living, as well as coffee table books on Paris apartments, travels through India and Morrocan zilij (mosaic tilework).  My aesthetic is a fusion of opulent styles ranging from British Colonial, turn of the century France mixed with Asian influences and personal mementos and artwork. 

Elle Decor: Paris Meets Casablanca. I love the muted pastels with the sparkle of crystal and glass of porcelain.

Elle Decor: Paris meets Casablanca. Loving the muted pastels mixed with the crystal chandelier and gloss of porcelaine.

Be not afraid.  Here are some tips for adventures in interior design:

  • Start with colour – Let’s consider a white wall as a blank canvas, on which you are the artist with free reign!  The lighter the colour the larger the room appears and inversely, the darker, the smaller a room’s look (makes a lofty room cozier).  If you are unaccustomed to risk-taking, perhaps choose a shade as an accent wall.  Such as painting a wall with a fireplace a chocolate brown, leaving the rest of the walls white.  Hot colours for 2010 (so fashion forward) are caramel yellows, reds with magenta undertones and citrus greens.  Beiges and greys are always ‘in’ neutrals and you can always punch these up with accent decor in stylish colours.
  • Select key pieces – Furniture is a long-term investment.  Ensure you select wisely in furniture styles which will last.  A well selected sofa or coffee table will endure through trends and should be durable enough to host a party of friends over time.  Refurbish flea market finds by reupholstering with bright hued damasks or with a fresh coat of paint.  Voila! You have just acquired a unique piece at a fraction of the cost.
french bedroom company

Will you marry me? I think I'm in love with this Provencal chaise with matching stool from The French Bedroom Company.

  • Play with textures and prints – While there is a part of me that loves matchy-matchy, there is also the part that adores fashionable contrasts.  To avoid over the top visual distraction, ensure that the prints have a cohesion.  This can be achieved by 1) either the print or patterns are in the same tone (match cool with cool or warm with warm) or 2) most of the room is monotone or muted in some way, with the print or texture standing out distinctly.  Too many loud prints will compete for attention, giving a sensory vibration which is akin to having two rock records playing at the same time.  Turn that racket off!
  • Artistic expressions – I am exploding with ideas to personalize your home.  From taking beautiful fabric (Try Designer Fabrics, 1360 Queen St. West) or Japanese papers (Japanese Paper Store, 887 Queen St. West) and affixing them to canvases to create your own artwork to having a printshop blow up your travel photos from Greece or India onto oversized giclees.  Mini art galleries can be created by clustering various sizes of framed photographs over an office desk or in a hallway.  Isaac Mizrahi and Michael Kors have this in their homes, so you are in good company!
Pink prints

Totally works: Printed wallpaper, striped headboard and floral accent pillows.

carrie apartment

Carrie Bradshaw's Apartment: Winter whites, creative royal blues and a Marimekko pattern rug complete the look.

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November 13, 2009   No Comments

Sharing is Caring: The Corsage Project

When I was younger, I had a very strong sense of social responsibility.  I often found myself at food banks volunteering or taking up the cause to fundraise for charities I felt were deserving of my time.  The humanity. 

In an effort to retrace my path to my humble teen roots, I recently became involved with The Corsage Project www.corsageproject.ca , a Toronto non-profit which provides free prom dresses for girls graduating from highschool unable to afford the expense of graduation.  Is there nothing better than seeing girls faces light up as they try on the most beautiful gowns, select glittering jewellery, slip on the perfect stiletto like Cinderella and pose with their makeup done like a photoshoot for Top Model? 

When I describe the experience to friends and colleagues, I get goose bumps and I often bring many women to tears.  Teenage years are traumatic and being able to celebrate the accomplishment of graduating and overcoming odds to succeed is a huge deal.  The girls are so appreciative and overwhelmed.  The room buzzes with the excitement and anticipation of Prom. In many ways when we give to others, we receive so much more in return. 

For me, The Corsage Project brings many of my loves together:  Teens+Education+Fashion+Connection=Teardrop Tsunami (this is overwhelming tears of joy).

"OMG, her dress is so Teen Vogue!"

"OMG, her dress is so TeenVogue."

Paying it forward seems like such a basic concept, but many times we don’t know where to start.  Getting involved is a time commitment so you should do something that you’re keenly interested in and feels right.

  • Angel Hair For Kids – Does your hair grow faster than your stylist can cut it?  Ever consider growing your ponytail and donating it to charity.  Angel Hair accepts hair (check website for criteria) donations and creates wigs for children who suffer from cancer.  I did this and it was very cathartic.
  • Daily Bread Food Bank – Even outside of Thanksgiving or Christmas, food banks are always in need of canned goods and non-perishable food items. 
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November 5, 2009   No Comments

Sew Impossibly Chic

A Creative Renaissance.  Everyone is having one.  Lately, my creative energy is erupting like a volcano overflowing with lava.

One deep love of mine is Fashion.  Eat.  Breathe.  Sleep.  Obsess.  Why does this love resonate in every cell of my body?  It’s not so much the consumption part of it (while truth be told, highly intoxicating) it is the artistic component, where you can take a sketched idea, a piece of material, a few shiny notions and create something fantastically beautiful, awe-inspiring and breathe-taking.  I also have great admiration for designers and the creative process as it takes a lot of effort, hard work and determination.  Have you seen Isaac Mizrahi in Unzipped?  (If not, go see it.)

Today I was in a fabric store picking up some sewing supplies and it was sensory overload.  Dupioni silk, chiffon rosettes, beaded trims, french country and damask prints.  Sounds perverse, non?  Knowing how to sew has great benefits – there’s a very Laura Ingalls-Pioneer Village feeling to it.  When I sew, I enjoy the quiet, meditative quality of working independently and the fact that I can make almost anything if I feel so inspired (which is often).

If you have always had a passion for fashion, I definitely encourage amateurs and novices to learn this handy skill.  Here are some basics to get you started:

  • Get a quality sewing machine – You don’t have to spend a gajillion dollars.  There are many affordable options under $150 – from the basic Singer or Brother to more high-tech ones which do custom embroidery and varieties of stitches.  If you don’t think you will use all the bells & whistles, all you need is one that does a basic stitch. Voila!  Think of all the pretty little frocks you will make (so Jenny Humphrey, Gossip Girl Seasons 1-2) or pairs of designer denim you can hem by yourself. 
  • Sign up for a class with a project – Fabricland offers sewing classes for beginners or try a local community centre.  If you’re not the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) crafty type, it can be frustrating if you don’t pick it up right away.  By committing to a course that lasts a few weeks, you will surely attend and feel a sense of accomplishment when you are finished.  One of my first sewing projects in Home Economics class (haha!) was a stuffed bulldog with a monocle.  I was so proud.
  • Find a pattern – While you won’t be bantering with Tim Gunn on Project Runway any time soon (actually, you might be quite ambitious so I take that back), sit down and leaf through a pattern book.  There are ratings on the complexity of each pattern.  Make sure you double check that the type of fabric you select makes sense with the pattern.  Note: Chiffons and silks are trickier to sew because they are slippery.
  • Talk the Talk –  A judy is a woman’s dress form and industry is a size 8.  Seam allowances, sergers, muslins, reversible interfacing.  All these terminologies can be gathered from books, from friends that sew or the workshops you are taking.
  • Walk the Walk – Start simple and keep working your way up to a higher skill level.  Keep practicing.  Don’t give up.  With any art, the more you do it, the closer you are to perfection. 
Are you freaking out like I am? Crazytown Love it.  Vintage Vogue Pattern.

Vintage Vogue Pattern: Are you freaking like I am? Crazytown love it.

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October 29, 2009   No Comments