Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Glamour Puss

The epitome of girliness: black lace with blush coloured accents.

Zara tulip dress / H&M bow / Valentino shoes / Lauren Elan Caitlin necklace and heart shaped bracelet (a special edition for Vday!) / Madewell lingerie / My girl D’s favourite shopping stop, Jacob, now sales nail polish. 3$. Seriously. 3$.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Shoe Art

We’ve all done it: bought a pair of shoes that’s so glamourous that we never ever dared to wear them. Ugh. I hearby swear never to do that again... unless... I buy one of these:         
Chewing gum shoe by Kobi Levi / Blue & Butterfly shoes by Alexander McQueen / Lace shoes by Valentino

True shoe-lovers believe that shoes are akin to works of art. This is literally the case with Brian Jungen’s Prototypes of New Understanding. For this series, the Canadian artist created aboriginal masks using Nike Air Jordan shoes, thus confusing the concept of authenticity... clever, clever. Click here to read more.

Do you sometimes wish you could be a shoe designer? (Me too!) Check out Upper Street, a fantastic site which permits you to design your own shoes. Dreams come true on this blog, people, dreams come true.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Style 101

Recently, I’ve been remembering how fun university was. In this spirit, The Kikster and I went to our alma mater for a conference given by one of our professors at the time. As enjoyable as it was, it was also a reality check. I am so grateful for the work I did back then, and happy to have my diplomas hanging on the wall… but yup, I’m done with quoting Walter Benjamin and the overuse of the word “semiotics.” But you know what is undeniably cool about university? The university-look! And I’m certainly not ready to stop rocking it just yet!  

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Interview with Karine Bassal

I met Montreal-based artist Karine Bassal in 2004, and attended her first exhibition three years later. I am the proud owner of a fantastic 20 x 20 inch painting, which depicts a close-up of a bright blue eye with lashes so lush and skin so velvety, it makes me envious. Painted in oil (and not air brushed as many believe), Karine’s paintings portray women who are strong, confident, and not afraid to look at you directly in the eye.  

1. Nat P. by Karine Bassal / 2. Best purchase: leopard heals! / 3. Loving Mark Rothko / 4. The best thing about MTL? The Jazz Festival / 5. Number one music choice: Janis Joplin / 6. Loving Andy Warhol / 7. Everyone needs a little black dress / 8. Gin and tonic with lime, please! / 9. MM byKarine Bassal

What best defines your style?   
I can't say that I am inspired by just one thing or current. Words come to mind: clean, fresh, sharp, crisp, intense, colourful, edgy... these could be use to describe my aesthetic. I love love love artists Andy Warhol and Mark Rothko. As far as personal style, being the mother of an active two year old, I don't feel like I have much of a fashion style these days. But I used to be a bohemian/hippy/rocker-chick all rolled into one!

Karine Bassal, Madonna, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches (SOLD)
Photograph taken by Christine Guérette, Dimension Plus    

Your husband is a musician. Which are your top three songs?
My all-time-favourites-no-matter-what are anything by Janis Joplin, Tori Amos and Rush (Sam Roberts and Led Zeppelin would be numbers 4 and 5... I'm just sayin'). I love these singers/bands because they are classics that I will never get sick of listening to. They make me feel the most like myself! However, when I’m running on the treadmill, my right-now-favourite-songs-but-I-doubt-I'll-be-listening-to-them-20-years-from-now are "Good Feeling" by Flo Rida, "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO and "Moves like Jagger" by Maroon 5.

What is your morning ritual? 
Cheesy but true... my favourite morning ritual is rocking with my son Louka while he drinks his milk and we read books for a half hour. It's a relaxed and snugly way to wake-up and ease into the day before the craziness starts.

What’s the best thing about living in Montreal?
That’s easy: the Jazz Fest. You get awesome shows for free and great people watching guaranteed!

Karine Bassal, La muse (sepia), oil on canvas, 30 x 60 inches (SOLD)
For special orders, please follow the links: Karine Bassal and/or Dimension Plus.

What’s the best fashion-related purchase you have ever made?
My little black strapless dress from Bedo and my 4-inch leopard heels. Oh, and earrings.  Earrings can make you look good with very minimal effort!

Any favourite quotes?  
Gin and tonic with lime, please! (laughs) I’ll go with "In the end, we only regret the chances we didn't take, the relationships we were afraid to have and the decisions we waited too long to make..." These are words I live by.

Photograph taken by The Village Gallery

Monday, 23 January 2012

Neon is the new black

This weekend, I went to MAC searching for the perfect “every day eyeshadow.” Vanessa, a wonderful beauty consultant on St-Denis, was quick to suggest pale pinks and beiges... No... that’s not quite it, I said. She then turned around and picked out an intense acid yellow (see number 6). Are you kidding? EVERY DAY EYESHADOW? Oh, but it was perfect!
This got me thinking that sometimes, the most unexpected pop of colour can also work as a neutral. Will you be rocking neon this year?
1. Michael Kors / 2. H&M / 3. Rebecca Minkoff / 4. Aviator mirrored sunglasses (Designer unknown) / 5. J Brand jeans found at Billie / 6. Three Ring Yellow, MAC Cosmetics / 7. Spike the Punch necklace from Etsy / 8. Michael Kors

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Shoe Love

There is one thing you should know about me: I love shoes. Oh, I love a lot of things, but shoes are my weakness. I’m told it’s a problem (hubby, are you reading this?) but I don’t know why. The household rule is that I can’t buy more than fit in my bedroom closet, but I have come up with several devious ways to get around this problem... and my office space suffers the consequences.  

That being said, I truly deserve a new pair. New Year = New Shoes. Seems like a logical equation to me. (And no, MOM, my last pair was bought in December two-thousand-and-ELEVEN. Jeez!)

What’s your pick?
1. Zara / 2. Christian Louboutin / 3. Michael Kors / 4. Nine West / 5. Zara / 6. & 7. Valentino / 8. Pretty Ballerinas

Thursday, 19 January 2012


Last night, The Kikster and I had an evening of gallery-hopping planned out. Here are the highlights:  

1. OPUS, by José Toirac
Imagine this: you walk into a room and are faced with a black screen on which numbers appear, voiced over by Fidel Castro. There you have it: the conceptual work Opus, by Cuban artist José Toirac presented at DHC Art. For this piece, Toirac edited a speech given by Castro in 2003, leaving only the portions where numbers were mentioned. I thought it was a good comment on politics, on our media, and on our tendency to reduce human life to mere numbers.
If you have never visited DHC Art – I urge you to do so. Opus was one of many fabulous works on display. Chronicles of a Disappearance will continue until May 13, 2012.

2. SANTOS, tapas bar

In an attempt to find refuge from the cold, we fell upon the exquisitely designed tapas restaurant Santos. It was the perfect setting for our long winded debate regarding “commercial” art versus “university-derived-slash-intellectual” art. We did a nauseating amount of artist-name dropping, and it was delightful!

I adore contemporary art. A black canvas: yes! A urinal re-baptized Fountain: sure! A taxidermy dog biting on a lace thong: bring it on! But sometimes, I just don’t get it. And you know what? That’s OK.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Colour of the year

My good friends will remember that in 2001, I rocked the colour coral so hard, it was downright embarrassing. Coral sweater, coral t-shirt, coral gauze skirt, coral loafer:  eek.  Brace yourselves my friends, because according to Pantone, the colour of the year is Tangerine Tango! Hello, youth!
From top to bottom : Tangerine Tango Paint swatch from Pantone / Champagne spritzers from Martha Stewart wedding / Decor from Pantone / Dress from H&M / Detail of Georges Mamàn’s Portrait de ville variation 307 / Décor from Upstage Montreal

Check out Glitter Guide for their tangerine-y vision!

Monday, 16 January 2012

Iris Apfel for MAC

Please let me be this cool when I’m ninety. P.S. Did anyone else think of John Currin when they saw this image?

Iris Apfel & Scarlet Ibis lipstick. Shop MAC Cosmetics to find out more.
"Inspired by a rare bird who has always be ahead of her time."

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Happy feelings

If my friend AJ taught me anything, it’s to embrace colour and buy TOMS shoes. Following this thought process, here are a few things I discovered while window shopping this weekend:

1. Tonic Living pillows / 2. Jonathan Adler bookends from Ludovik / 3. Yellow Pop TOMS shoes found at Little Burgundy / 4. My obsession: moleskine notebooks / 5. Chanel’s new spring collection / 6. Lauren Elan Josie Wrap Bracelet in yellow / 7. Michael Kors Ariana wedge sandals

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Pass the sizzurp

I have many things on my art-related wish list:  A work on paper by Betty Goodwin, a Serge Lemoyne painting, a Jim Dine heart sculpture, anything by General Idea... (Pleeeease let me win the lottery soon!) But one piece on my wish list that is not out of grasp is a silkscreen by the young and oh-so-hip street artist WhatisAdam:

WhatisAdam, Maple Sizzurp, Edition of 16

The French-Canadian in me just can't help but love this maple syrup can look-alike. It’s as if Andy Warhol had tailored a print to my cultural heritage. FUN FACT: I heard through the grapevine that Dominion & Grimm, the trademark owners of the original maple syrup can, spotted WhatisAdam’s Maple Sizzurp and send him an email. Surprisingly, this email did not include a cease and desist threat... Nope. Just a simple request: In exchange for a print, they would provide the artist with a full licensed agreement and a case of maple syrup. Now that is, quite literally, a sweet deal.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Snowed In

Once I fall in love, I love forever. Case in point: my hubby… and then, there is Danse dans la neige by artist Françoise Sullivan. I had seen these photographs in Art History books, photographed myself numerous times dancing in the snow (ah, to be a student again), but nothing beat seeing them in person during a retrospective exhibition at the Montreal Fine Arts Museum in 2003.  

Improvised by Sullivan, Danse dans la neige is a dance routine for which she let nature guide her movements. The choreography was recorded on film by Jean-Paul Riopelle and simultaneously photographed by Maurice Perron in 1947. In 1947, people!

Since Montreal is covered in snow thanks to yesterday’s storm, it seems fitting to be thinking of an impromptu homage to Sullivan.  

Get the look!

1. Bedo / 2. Bracelets by Isabelle May / 3. Hat from Zara / 4. School of Hard Rocks and Cocktail Bling from Essie’s new collection

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Compare / Contrast (Spade vs. Beliveau)

A common reaction when my clients look at artwork is to compare it with something they have seen before. In fashion as in art, we see several trends emerging at the same time. Who came up with what first; and does it even matter? Sometimes a good comparison is just plain fun.
Kate Spade’s new collection Make Headlines Travel Edition versus Paul Béliveau’s Vanitas Series

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


This summer, D and I saw the Jean-Paul Gaultier show at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Who’s not sporting striped shirts now? Whether you’re a fashionista like Olivia Palermo or an avant-garde artist like Andy Warhol, you’ve rocked stripes. Don’t have any in your closet? Get shopping!

1. Stripes galore at H&M / 2. Zara / 3. Coach / 4. Dior Velvet Eyes, I’m simply dying to try this / 5. Chanel / 6. Lauren Elan
On a side note, a newspaper article was left on my desk regarding purchasing art as an investment. At a recent auction a few weeks ago, the Canadian art world was taken aback when Jean-Paul Lemieux’s 1910 Remembered broke records by fetching a staggering 2.34 million dollars… guess why? Oh, I suspect it’s because striped shirts are just that cool.  
Under his white jacket... stripes!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Top 10

Is that a new lip gloss? Did you try that mascara? Oh yes. I’m that girl. The girl who asks the important questions. Everyone has their go-to products, here are mine: 
1. Cover FX, pressed mineral powder foundation with SPF 10 / 2. My new favourite: Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Fétiche (did you hear that Johnny Depp & Vanessa are rumored to be breaking up, gasp!) / 3. Chanel, Illusion d’ombre in Mirifique / 4. Lancôme, Hypnôse Doll Lashes (creepy ads, great results!) / 5. Mac blush (they are all great!) / 6. Lancôme, Black Eyeliner / 7. Mac, Grain eye shadow, a perfect base colour / 8. OPI for Sephora, Only Gold for Me nail polish / 9. Artdeco Lip Gloss / 10. Butter London, The Full Mounty (gold is the new pink!)

Monday, 9 January 2012

Llama love

On Mondays, one needs something particularly fantastic to cheer up. A good cup of coffee (check), fantastic art hanging on your office wall (check)… how about a little llama love?
Luc Nadeau’s etching Chez nous, c’est des igloos. I know. It's a camel. But a camel is so close to being a llama, it counts / Madewell’s sold-out (pout) Llama Love Sweater / A friendly llama jar from Etsy

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Food for thought

Oh, Karl. I can’t help but think back to The Reincarnation of Saint-Orlan, a contemporary art project for which French artist ORLAN suffered numerous plastic surgeries to achieve “ideal” beauty. Let’s just say that Mona Lisa’s forehead and Venus’ chin are not ideal on everyone.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Winter blues (red)

Did I mention that one of my resolutions for 2012 was to enjoy winter? Not an easy task when it’s freezing cold and dark by four o’clock. The fact that my boots are no longer waterproof is not helping. One thing that is fun about winter: accessories & holiday sales!

Here’s what’s making me smile this weekend:
1. Bedo / 2. Coach, on sale at The Bay / 3. Michael Kors, or go local by encouraging Montreal designer Annick Levesque / 4. Kate Spade / 5. & 6. Isabelle May / 7. I love expensive shoes like any girl, but these win for comfort / 8. Chanel, Dragon nail polish

Friday, 6 January 2012

30 minutes

On facebook, I have a really fun group named – wait for it – PartyMixTape (!) which deals exclusively with music. A popular request: How do I energize my playlist to maximize my workout?

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Visual culture: Sophie Calle

Everything about my daily life has to do with seeing/looking/observing. As an Art Consultant – you can imagine how I rely on my sense of sight. Even at the gym, I’ll wait the extra fifteen minutes if it means I can get the elliptical trainer with a TV!
It’s quite powerful when a contemporary artist works with the concept of blindness. Take Sophie Calle, who will soon release Blind (“Aveugles”), a hardcover which catalogues the artist’s many interviews and photographs of blind people. How do they define beauty? Do they have any memory of seeing? What is beautiful?
One boy answered: “Green is beautiful. Because every time I like something, I’m told it’s green. Grass is green, trees, leaves, nature too… I like to dress in green.”

Sophie Calle, Blind series

More things green:

my Zara winter jacket

I lust for this Kate Spade ring

Chanel fall 2011 nail polish collection

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Black bird

Last night was date night with my good friend MC. We rushed through dinner to catch an early screening of The Artist. Sadly, we had not planned on the deadly cheap night & holiday combo. The two hour lineup convinced us to call it a night.  On our way back to the subway, I got MC’s thumbs up to purchase this fantastic black feather necklace. MC confirmed that yes, I was cool enough to rock it… and that yes, I would find an occasion to do so.
 Similar found at Aldo
It would make a good match with Jean-Robert Drouillard's Crow series! 

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Life according to my iPod

‘Tis the season for New Year resolutions.  I am one of those rare people who actually enjoy committing to their resolutions. Eye roll. But it’s true. This year, I plan on keeping up with the gym (…), drinking more water (I bought the funniest moustache glass from Urban Outfitters to keep me motivated), enjoying winter (my first attempt), and staying up to date with the Montreal art scene, international party music, fashion and so on (hence this blog to keep me accountable).

Here are a few of the songs playing in my iPod as I attempt to do all of this:

Monday, 2 January 2012

A fresh start

A new year is always so exciting… full of promise, excitement and possible adventure. I plan on having a wonderful 2012 – I hope you do to!  To start off this blog... Here are a few things that I absolutely LOVE this week:

Yves Saint-Laurent Manicure Couture Duo Terriblement Noir. A French manicure that’s black on black? Yes.

François Vincent’s small gouache paintings on board form Galerie Lacerte. My heart melts.

Station 16’s new online shop ...and since I just recommended YSL, why not introduce you to Antoine Tavaglione’s LSY silkscreen. Edition of 15, signed and numbered.

And finally... Flo Rida’s Good Feeling A great start to a day… A good start to 2012!