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Canadiana Cool

Northern Cool: Hayden in 'the parka' & Rachel in 'the hbc' coat

All the Canadians I know are super patriotic.  Having the good fortune to experience travelling abroad, I come back realizing how lucky and blessed I am to live in a nice, clean, peaceful country with civil liberties, where people still say please & thank you and hold open doors for strangers.  And now I belt out the anthem.

Fortunately, I don’t own a television because everyone is also coming down with a serious case of Olympic Fever.  Besides those red mittens Oprah has been raving about, there are a few Canadiana fashionistah statements that keep us warm on cold winter nights.

  • HBC Blanket Coat – Rachel Bilson was spotted this week strolling in the streets of Vancouver in her Smythe designed Swing Coat.  There is also a lovely version designed by Erdem with crop sleeves and styled to be worn with long leather opera gloves.  You die!
  • Minnetonkas – There’s something lovable about booties that are suede and fringey.  Makes me want to paddle out in a canoe and sing “Colours of the Wind.”  Hopefully in a few weeks it will be warm enough for Minnetonka’s. 

Kate Moss working the fur chubby and Minnetonkas.

  • Expedition ParkaHoly Canoli!  Is it just me or are you experiencing this too?  Every time I see a reallyx3 good-looking guy downtown, he is wearing one of those Arctic functional, patch covered, Canada Goose down filled Parkas with the super soft fur (must be chinchilla) lined hoodie.  I swear I am NOT making this up. 

The Expedition Parka: A gajillion dollars and made only for HOTTIES? I wonder.


February 25, 2010   No Comments

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


January 27, 2010   1 Comment

In Search of Emo

Hipster Love: Rachel & Hayden...should really be Adam. Hellooooo!

A True Story:  The other day, I invited my dance poppet I to visit me for brunch, a bookstore perusal and a leisurely stroll along the Queen West West block.  Since I live in the Fashion & Design district, the streets are teeming with hipsters within a 10 mile radius.  I told my friend to wear skinny jeans to assimilate to his surroundings (like camouflage). haha.  When we passed another civilian male in skinny jeans, I assessed and compared the “tightness” by whether or not I could observe ankles.  I said, “If there was a war on skinny jeans, you would win that battle.”  Comedy ensued. 

The emo hipster is Seth Cohen on the O.C. or Serena Van Der Woodsen’s wannabe trustfund artist boyfriend (for 5 seconds) Aaron Rose on Gossip Girl.  It’s the starving artist at the local cafe writing on his iMac whilst sipping an espresso, the rocker sidling up to the bar at the Dakota ordering what’s on tap.  Is it life imitates art or the other way around?  Personally, I think hipsters are cute.  Generationally, we will always have an archetype of the free-spirited artist which represents a certain time and place.  The hipster is to now as hippies were to the seventies and beatniks were to the fifties.  Makes sense, non?

If I had to describe the hipster, I could break it down by wardrobe… 

  • The essential t-shirt – Deep V American Apparel t-shirt in the lightest weight organic cotton, displaying just the merest hint of chest hair.  You couldn’t consider yourself one if you don’t own it.  

"This old thing? I got it at American Apparel."

  • Facial accoutrements – Emo glasses, the dark rimmed, dramatic kind even for the non-visually impaired.  I suppose it’s a 1950’s homage to retro.  Your vision is perfect?  Dude, that’s lame!  Fake it until you make it.  And throw in some facial hair to complement the hobo look.
  • Lumberjack chic – The city has some rough terrain and no outfit is finished without a dash of a buffalo check, be it on a canvas sneaker or a fringed scarf casually wrapped just so.  When you see a trend stick for more than 3 seasons, it will likely endure. 

Kicking it hipster x 10: Buffalo check canvas runners. What??!


December 28, 2009   No Comments

Style Challenged? Just Ask R-Bils

Midas Touch: RBils on the cover of FASHION mag

Midas Touch: RBils on the cover of FASHION mag

Based on the enduring success of my post She Is My Style Icon and statistical data, I know that I’m not the only one obsessed with Rachel Bilson.  She’s just so sweet, pretty and cute, like a petite chouette (tiny cabbage, French term of endearment).  I think there is something to be said about diminutive starlets and their fashion forward risk-taking.  Translating the trends can be like navigating the murky waters of a dirty pond but when done successfully, a well pulled together outfit looks fresh and excitingly new, inspiring others to follow suit.  Without risk, there is no reward!

Paparazzi friendly outfits: RBils works the boho mini with fitted blazer and booties. Fashion contrasts. Love it.

Paparazzi friendly outfits: RBils works the boho mini with fitted blazer and booties. Fashion contrasts. Love it.

Rachel Bilson has this way about her.  Everyone and their mother loved her Californian character on The O.C. I often refer to bohemian outfits with brown suede slouchy boots as “inspired by Summer Roberts.”  Her style is effortlessly cool and youthful.  It’s no wonder Generations X-Y, mimic her style cues.  Let’s call this the “RBils Effect” – here are some of her trademark looks.

  • Casual Chic – Skinny jeans, ballet flats or stiletto booties, quilted Chanel purse.
  • Summer Flirt – Fitted jumper shorts or Full Mini with Fitted Shrunken Blazer, quilted Chanel purse.
  • Luxe After Dark – Here’s where her style varies, from sleek, glamourous satin dresses to flowy chiffon cocktail to fitted sexy silky dresses.  She can pull anything off without the ‘tart’ factor.
Rachel hits Milan Fashion Week. Say Ferragamo 3x fast.

Rachel hits Milan Fashion Week. Say Ferragamo 3x fast.

She has been lauded by many fashion rags as a Contemporary Fashion Icon.  Last year, DKNY scooped her up to design a successful diffusion line called Edie Rose.  She often lands on the covers of fashion magazines and is asked about her enviable style.  This Spring, InStyle invited RBils to contribute to the magazine by answering readers most troubling fashion dilemmas.  So if you’re still wondering ‘What to wear?’ just as RBils.

Look for RBils next on the cover of the November 2009 Lucky and on theatre screens in New York, I Love You.


October 18, 2009   No Comments

Big Bang Theory

Guess which Olsen.  Perfectly coiffed Ash goes side swept with layers.

Guess which Olsen. Perfectly coiffed Ash goes side swept with layers.

Now and then bangs make the beauty headlines of Allure, getting declared as the hair trend of the season.  Bangs have been part of my life for more than a decade (hard to believe).  When I was little, I used to have a very full bang with pin straight hair to my shoulders.  I looked like a little kewpie doll.  In my university years, I wore my hair extra long and my friend G (the tallest, quirkiest, mod Asian girl you ever met) who worked at Vidal Sassoon begged me to cut bangs for a student training night.  Of course I agreed (who doesn’t love free blowouts?) and she worked her magic transforming my simple hairstyle into a Judy Jetson-esque graphic bang. Haha.

After I grew out my hair to do a side sweep, everyone I know has insisted that I keep them because the bang is the epitome of my style.  Now I like to keep my bangs a longer side sweep kind of like Mr. Muggs, much to the chagrin of my hairstylist and Perfect Man T.  Another fun look with the bangs is the sideways bun with wispy layers falling casually on the sides. 

Another reason to obsess over R-Bils.  Gorgeous multi-tonal hair with bang and without. Love.

Another reason to obsess over R-Bils. Gorgeous multi-tonal hair with bang and without. Love.

Bangs can dramatically change your appearance.  Personally, I think they can make you look younger and more playful.  If you plan to take the plunge with your hair, make sure to bring a picture ripped from a magazine for inspiration.  Great bangs are no accident.


September 24, 2009   1 Comment

I Fall For Fitted Leather Jackets

R-Bils goes cropped cutie, Paris likes it rough in motorcycle & Cameron goes shrunken bomber

R-Bils goes cropped cutie, Paris likes it rough in motorcycle & Cameron goes shrunken bomber

You know Fall is officially here when you wake up to the crisp morning air, you have to shut your windows and break out the feather-down duvets.  Brrr!  I’m still in semi-denial that Summer is gone but in order to avoid a serious cold, I suppose I will start to layer my clothes.  On a positive note, this means we can break out our transitional jackets.  Hurrah!

Growing up, the leather jacket was a wardrobe staple.  We used to troll vintage stores like The World and Black Market to find the kind that were gently worn in the right shade of camel, chocolate brown or black.  The ones we liked the most often had three buttons in a blazer style.  I definitely consider a good quality leather jacket an investment piece.  A great one will have classic styling that will endure from season to season.  Both warmth (practical) and great fit is a must.  Leather stretches so make sure you find one that fits well since after a few wears it will mold to your body. 

Today’s leather jacket is extremely versatile – you can dress it up or dress it down and it can go from day to night.  Undoubtedly, you will get your money’s worth if you search for one that meets all the aforementionned criteria.  See/CPW (cost per wear) in Cute Math post.

Leather jackets come in a variety of designs but here are three styles which are timeless and super stylish:

  • Motorcycle – This is the traditional James Dean style with zippers and lapel collar.  Looks great with black leggings.  Since it has a more masculine, boxy shape pair with something fitted underneath like a sweater dress.
  • Cropped – I’m mad for cropped anything.  This style is a sweet version of the leather jacket so it goes well paired with empire dresses or more fitted tunic style tops, skinny jeans and ballet flats.  Adorable!
  • Bomber- The best bomber styles I have seen have elaborate knitted collars and cuffs.  The more shrunken the better as it should emphasize your curves.  Very Top Gun.

Take a style hint from fashionistah R-Bils by pairing your leather jacket with a pretty chiffon dress.  It makes evening girly looks more edgy. Mix it up.  I do adore fashion contrasts. 

Rachel mixes leather with chiffon. Genius!

Rachel mixes leather with chiffon. Genius!


September 17, 2009   No Comments