Friday, 30 March 2012

Safari Chic

When I saw this photograph on Pinterest, it was love. There is something about it that is both carefree and totally unexpected. As summer is fast approaching (or so I tell myself), I know safari chic will make a comeback... it’s one of those trends that has a sneaky way of coming back every year. Below, you’ll see my take on desert fashion. Will you be rocking your cargo pants in 2012?

1. Ollie & Nic Gerry Giraffe Print Scarf (in camel) / 2. Madewell Biltmore straw hat / 3. Michael Kors Oversized Madison Chronograph Watch (Horn) / 4. Equipment blouse, Brett Silver Multi / 5. Yves Saint Laurent Cotton-gabardine trench dress / 6. Quicksilver cargo pants / 7. Michael Kors Open Link Horn Bracelet / 8. Yves Saint Laurent Tribute python sandals / 9. Michael Kors Earrings, Horn Hoop Earrings

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Rainy Wednesday

It was snowing this morning. Yuk. And to think that I was wearing flip-flops two weeks ago! This is my Spring Brights post all over again! For those who don’t believe in global warming, I’ve got nothing except: seriously?

As I walked to the subway, I felt the snow turn into rain, and my good hair day turn into a bad hair day. Pout. It got me thinking that I desperately needed to purchase some fashionable rain attire… First on my list, Hunter boots. Do you own a pair?
The lovely Blair Eadie from Atlantic-Pacific

Monday, 26 March 2012

New York, New York

I’ve been fortunate to visit New York City several times. But I want my trip with the girls to be extra special. We’ve reserved at Le Cirque, scheduled in a trip to MoMa, the Guggenheim, a walk on the High Lines, hopefully a lunch at the Standard Grill, and of course a *little* shopping on 5th avenue. Do you have any suggestions to help make this trip epic?

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Escape to Paris

‘Tis the season when I start to get antsy and want to escape the last bits of cold. I can’t complain since I’ll soon be in NYC with the girls and then jetting off to Germany with Hubby. But don’t you just wish you could fly to Paris for the weekend, shop, eat some cheese, drink some wine and come back in time for Monday? I know I do. Here’s what I’m packing in my imaginary suitcase:

1. Nine West / 2. Sonia Kyriel / 3. Make it Happen / 4. Asos / 5. Revlon Lip Gloss / 6. Sonia Kyriel / 7. Nordstrom Tasha Floral Bangles / 8. Irene Neuwirth Mint Chrysoprase teardrop earrings with pave diamonds, a whooping 10,000.00$ / 9. Valentino / 10. Equipment blouse / 11. Deborah Lippmann, Girls Just Want to Have Fun / 12. H&M pants, less than 20.00$!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Happy Bachelorette, Sue!

This weekend, I am off to my hometown to celebrate with my friend Sue. Along with her twin sister Isa, Sue and I met in kindergarten. I was dubbed “the third twin,” a nickname I adored. On Saturday, we will be celebrating Sue’s bachelorette party. What a milestone! And to think that I had my first sleepover at their home; I participated in my first lip-sync concert with them (a New Kids on the Block cover, of course!); I had my first food fight with them (don’t fight with ketchup, kids); we sang along to the Beatles all through our youth (and still today); they made me watch The Three Amigos too many times, and made me jump in the pool to test out how freezing it was (very, was always the answer). We grew up together. So here’s a post for Sue, in honour of her upcoming Big Day.

All images via Pinterest

Sue, je suis tellement fière de la femme que tu es devenue et de la vie que tu as bâtie. Quel bonheur – quel honneur – d’être encore dans ta vie après 25 ans. Prépare-toi pour une fin de semaine incroyable! Je t'aime!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are well aware that stripes are all the rage. How about rocking a different type of stripe? Change it up by adding these geometric patterns to your wardrobe.

P.S. Thank you for encouraging PartyMixTape. Over 6000 pageviews in two and a half month is such a fantastic start! Many many thanks to all of you!

1. Fossil Jules Patchwork Wristlet / 2. Forever 21 / 3. Andreia Chaves Naked Shoe / 4. Forever 21 / 5. DKNY three quarter sleeve geometric panel system dress / 6. Etro oversized geometric gold-tone necklace / 7. DVF mint and orange wool silk blend scarf / 8. Burak Uyan   

Tuesday, 20 March 2012


Spring has sprung here in Montreal! To celebrate, here are a few cheery images I found on the web this week. I’m loving everything mint! How about you?
Images via here, here and here
Although I’m super excited about wearing shoes instead of boots, a blazer instead of my winter coat, I can’t help but think of our poor Planet Earth…

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Interview with Antoine Tavaglione

My first contact with Antoine Tavaglione (aka TAVA) was through Station16, a print shop in Montreal. The owner of Station16 told me “He’s one to watch”, and when I saw the work, I knew he was right. I’ve since referenced TAVA’s work several times on PMT, most recently in the post Art for the Fashion Lover.
A mix of pop art, political banter and high fashion, TAVA’s work has been showcased across Montreal, in both museums and galleries. You’ve got to love his confidence. When I asked him about his take on appropriation and copyright, he replied “I don’t lose sleep over it!” (Clearly, I got the politically correct version, seeing how his website boasts that the artist “isn’t afraid of being roughed up by Popeye.”) Keep reading to learn more about this Montreal artist:
The artist with Ballon

What is a typical day like?
I wake up, draw, get lighted headed, eat and draw, draw, draw...and then I worry about neglecting my girl in the midst of all that drawing.  

What influenced your artistic production?
A little while ago, I was in Italy visiting one of my friend’s relatives. I noticed that above his uncle’s bed hung a large carving of Benito Mussolini, the Italian dictator. I naively said, “So I guess you are a fan of his.” His uncle replied, “quando parla e come il pane,” which translates literally to “when he spoke, it was like bread,” meaning that Mussolini’s words were like poetry. I became fascinated with Mussolini’s influence and how, still today, a minority of Italians really like the man because he apparently did very good things for his country. The first series I ever created was based on Mussolini and other fascists. I presented this series during a solo exhibition in 2011 titled Che VU? Italian for “What do you want?” All my paintings and illustrations were based on dictators. This is the moment I started to take my personal artistic career seriously. I’ve grown tremendously since. It's where the milk idea started.         

Why the dripping milk?
I see milk as a symbol for food. Milk is the main source of nourishment that some dictators took away from their people. They would gulp it down and toss the leftovers back to them! The milk became iconic for me. In my art, I began pouring it on cartoon characters to better play up the political mockery. Clients have purchased my paintings of Mussolini without questioning what they were buying. I’m surprised to see that some of my darkest pieces have been purchased to decorate a child’s room. The clients knew that their kids would enjoy them on an aesthetic level. I like that I can cater to such a large demographic. 

Why use the pseudonym TAVA?
It's a name that I have been using since I was a kid. My dream was to create all kinds of products and label them Tava: Tava underwear, Tava clothing, the Tava car... Branding as always been a focus of mine, my area of expertise. I have helped several companies build their brand. Why not apply this knowledge to my own art? I’m inspired by artists like Keith Haring, Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons because of how they treated their personal brand.

Like these artists, you’ve worked with both painting and silkscreen. Do you feel that one medium is more representative of your aesthetic than the other?
Silkscreen fulfills my need to create repetition and keep that repetition perfect and constant. It does not, however, replace the rawness of painting and drawing.

Your designs can also be found printed on clothing.
Yes, I am the creator of the Dirty Thoughts t-shirt line. It's something that I always wanted to do. I have always been passionate about and immersed in the fashion industry and I worked a very long time in retail. It was natural jump for me.

Talking about fashion, what is the best purchase you have ever made?
I shop all the time. My best buys are usually shoes, glasses and watches. My style is Shabby Chic!

Out of your entire artistic production, do you have a favourite piece?
I particularly enjoy my Wolf, Only Crooks Make Money for what it represents. The city’s dirtiest little secret isn’t merely a matter of black and white. This sly wolf has been sticking his muzzle into the public’s pockets, and he’s got the green to prove it. Union scandals, backroom deals, bribes. He’ll resort to anything to be leader of the pack in a city that isn’t afraid to bare its teeth.

Crooks, Edition of 16 signed and numbered
What’s next for TAVA?
TORONTO, NEW YORK, LA... It looks like it's going to be a busy year!  My work will be showcased in many art fairs across the United States, through an agency that has licensed my kitchen collection and other works. Several labels have approached me to collaborate with rebranding, creating new brands or design consulting. 2012 will also be the continuation of collaborations with En Masse, Cease Art Collective and the silkscreen shop Station16. I plan to work on a show at Fresh Paint Gallery in the near future.

Caffe Latte – Cucina Collection

Antoine Tavaglione’s top three songs:
Cesare Cremonini featuring Jovanotti: Mondo
Jovanotti: Baciami Ancora
Paolo Conte: It's Wonderful

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Kiss me, I’m Irish!

Nah… I’m not. But on Saint-Patty’s Day, we all pretend to be Irish as we drink green beer and tattoo clover leaves on our cheeks. Good times. Did you know that Montreal has one of the longest-running Saint-Patrick’s parades in North America? We’ve been partying it up since 1824. A city after my own heart! Will you be wearing green this weekend?

If I’m dressing in green, I’m doing it in style: 1. Mui Mui / 2. Chloe /3. DVF / 4. Deborah Lippmann, Mermaid Dreams / 5. Valentino / 6. Angelina-Jolie-French drop earrings / 7. Prada / 8. Chanel, Jade / 9. JCrew / 10. H&M / 11. Marc by Marc Jacobs (A-DO-RA-BLE)

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Just Because

I had to share with you this painting by Canadian artist Jennifer McGregor... I wasn’t sure how I’d introduce it to you until I read this quote by Calice Becker on the blog Hip Hip Gin Gin (gotta love that name).  So many things are great just because.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Ju Things

For those who have followed PartyMixTape since day one, you’ve heard of my friend AJ. She is a creative, hard-working, bubbly beam of sunshine! Imagine my delight when she told me that she was working on a jewellery and accessories line for Etsy! Inspired by the “60’s, vintage, mod style and pop art,” her collection, aptly named Ju Things, is great for any occasion!

Check out this great combo: Karine Bassal’s Audrey painting next to a photograph of AJ, modeling her blue and gold button earrings.

If you’ve been lusting over Banana Republic’s Mad Men collection, get yourself a pair of Ju Things earrings or bobby pins to complete the look!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Composition with Red, Blue and Yellow

The mild temperature has encouraged me to go through my wardrobe and bring back some much needed colour. Seeing the great red, yellow and blue items that I had stored over the winter, I got to thinking that if I added a little white, I could be a Mondrian painting!  Sure, Yves Saint-Laurent and many others like DVF and Kate Spade have used Mondrian’s bold graphic imagery for their clothing lines in the past, but these suggestions are a little more subtle!

1. Jimmy Choo Gladis lace-up sandals / 2. Emilio Pucci blazer / 3. H&M Little White Tee / 4. Minnie pants from JCrew / 5. My new Kate Spade Melinda Flicker bag: I’m in love! / 5. Pied à Terre skirt / 7. Vintage Chanel / 8. Toywatch / 9. Patent leather belt by JCrew / 10. Givenchy Shopper in blue

Piet Mondrian, Composition with Red, Blue and Yellow, 1921, Oil on canvas, 39 x 35 cm

Sunday, 11 March 2012


Today, Hubby and I went to celebrate our niece’s first birthday. As far as birthday’s go, I have to admit that THE FIRST is up there in terms of excitement! And to think that this year, I’ll be turning the big 3-0... time flies! So here’s a special birthday post for my baby niece, Elisabeth. I love you dearly and wish you nothing but the very best in years to come. May your life be filled with love, joy and adventure! Happy first birthday!

Image via

Friday, 9 March 2012

Interview with Julie St-Amand

I’ve kept an eye out for Julie St-Amand’s work since 2006, when I first encountered her at Galerie Estampe Plus in Quebec City. I love when an artist takes a traditional subject-matter and places it within a contemporary context. Indeed, St-Amand does not depict the cookie-cutter cityscape we are accustomed to seeing in galleries. Rather she focuses on the decay of the urban landscape: the abandoned warehouse, weathered pylons or forsaken buildings.

The artist in her studio
What is a typical day in the studio?
When I get to work, I always end up doing too many things at the same time! There are so many distractions – time flies! It takes me at least an hour before I am settled in and focused. I love to take the time to paint. As to how much time I spend in the studio, I let the painting decide! 

Tell us more about encaustic and how you use wax.
Ah, bees wax… It smells delicious! It is the key element to my painting. I melt the wax on a hot plate and paint directly with pre-coloured wax. I also use untainted wax which I melt in a deep fryer! Bees wax is such sensual material. It has such great transparencies, such luminosity, and depth... I couldn’t live without it!

Who or what influenced your artistic production?
Many people have influenced me. Still today, I am continuously seeking inspiration from the people and artists who surround me. In terms of naming those who have motivated my current production, I’d say Edward Hopper, for his magnificent cityscapes, and Joanne Mattera, author of Encaustic Painting, since she was such a guiding force in my learning of encaustic... But to be truthful, what influenced me the most are probably the people who believed in me and taught me to believe in myself. They are the ones who pushed me to follow my dreams and make them come true.           

What motivated you to become an artist?
When you think about it, it’s a little naive to dream of becoming an artist. But from one diploma to another, from one city to another, it feels as though life brought me to this point. I fell in love with the profession. Today, after seven years of studying visual arts and eight years as a professional artist, I have to admit that being an artist is me! It’s that simple.

Pilône I, encaustic on wood, 24 x 30 (Dimension Plus)

Which artists do you admire?
Betty Godwin, Joseph Beuys, Jasper Johns, Richard Serra, Anselm Kiefer, Gerhard Richter, Antoni Tàpies, and several others whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
I guess I would be an art restorer... or maybe a swing dancer!  

List your top three songs and why:
Take me home by Ian Kelly. It’s romantic, melancholic... and has such a wonderful melody. I also love Tom Waits, especially I don’t want to grow up. And finally, Sta Zitto : Random Recipe. It’s refreshing and inspiring!

Chantier derrière maison ancestral, encaustic on canvas, 30 x 30 (Dimension Plus)

Post scriptum: This interview was originally conducted in French. If you would like the original text, please send me an email at and I’ll send you a PDF copy. If you pass by Quebec City in March, check Julie St-Amand's exhibition Matière-Mémoire at the Gallery Entre Parenthèse.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Match Point

I’m not a sporty girl. I wish I were a jogger or a great tennis player:  A) it would keep me active and healthy; and B) it’s just cool to be good at sports. “Want to play tennis Saturday?” I don’t know? It has a nice ring to it. Hubby tried to teach me, but I’m told it’s not much fun to play with someone who can’t get the ball on the other side of the net... Details, details! But I digress. Kate Spade’s new collection is just too funny; I had to share it with you!  Astro turf trend alert?

Follow PartyMixTape on facebook for extra tidbits, lovely images and some good laughs.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Guess who's back?

How many times have you thrown something out because it was out of style, only to see it back “in” a few years later? That’s how I feel about neon. As a child of the eighties, I did my generation justice by rocking fluorescent yellows, greens, pinks and blues (probably all at once). I was recently having supper with a gal pal who said: “I can’t believe it’s coming back… How will I ever incorporate this trend in my wardrobe?” Challenge accepted, lady! Here are a few examples of how to rock neon without blinding your friends and coworkers. Want more examples? Check out my post Neon is the new black.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Colour Block - The Nail File

I love a good manicure. Last week, my nails were a great shade of gray-blue by MAC, and then a nude by Chanel (and by nude, I mean literally my skin colour... which made me look nail-less... What can I say people?  You win some you lose some.) Today, I am embracing colour, as I have opted for a flashy red-orange by OPI. This got me thinking about the concept of colour blocking which I mentioned earlier this week... I’ve seen so many multicoloured nails both on the runway and on celebrities, and I’m wondering if I’d dare give it a try. For those who know me, this is saying a lot. I’ll admit it; I’m OCD about having matching nails and toenails. Mismatched fingernails seem... reckless! Ha! What’s your take?
Image via / Check out the new spring nail polish collections by Yves St-Laurent, Essie & Deborah Lippman

Mail Art

I thought I’d share with you one of my passions: mail art. Say what? Quite simply, mail art is art that uses the postal system. The post is the artist’s support, as a painter might use a canvas. As an art historian, I am accustomed to looking at art in a museum or gallery. I research the artist’s biography, the techniques, the historical context... What’s fantastic about mail art is that it’s exchanged outside the museum setting. Any correspondence has the potential of becoming art. So next time you are about to write a thank you email, think about how cool it would be to use snail mail. (And maybe you could transform it into art!)

Here are a few examples by Harriet Russell, who, for years, put her local postmen to the test by sending puzzle envelopes (FUN!):

Interested in this topic? Check out works by Ray Johnson, General Idea, Anna Banana, Henrik Drescher, Image Bank, Sarah Jackson, Ed Varney and Frank Warren, to name a few. Or read Pushing the Envelope:  The Evolution of Mail Art in Canada, by yours truly.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Colour Block

Knowing that Bedo’s spring collection was in, I just had to go see. Of course, I ended up purchasing a wonderful colour block dress in shades of tangerine, pink and black. For those unaware of this trend, colour blocking is the pairing of two or more contrasting colours. For example, you could wear a red shirt with a pink skirt to the office, or go out with friends rocking a yellow tank top and a purple clutch… Try playing with the clothes you have, or go shopping and pick out one of these daring combos:

Outfit 1: Cashmere sweater from JCrew with shoes from Zara / Outfit 2: Oasis t-shirt with shoes from Top Shop / Outfit 3: Alice + Olivia Dress with shoes from Zara

Friday, 2 March 2012

Weekend Plans

I’m particularly excited about this weekend as I plan on doing a whole lot o’nothing! My plans include a chick flick with my buddy MC and some spring cleaning. (Hubby is nervous, as I’ve threatened to clean out his closet.) Maybe I’ll add a brunch to this mix, and maybe a manicure in some bright colour, oh, and some shopping since Bedo just came out with its spring collection, and... you see? This is how nothing turns into so much more! Happy weekend to you & keep up with those positive spring-y vibes!

Alice + Olivia Claire Maxi Dress (recently sold out at Northstorm) & bright peonies found on Pinterest (P.S. How much do you love Pinterest? Follow us!)

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Spring Brights

I was all gung ho about spring fast approaching, after all, March sounds quite spring-y. But no. Instead, this morning, Montreal was hit by a giant storm. I lost electricity and was late for work. Pout. Do not worry; the day did not go downhill. In fact, I received the surprise visit of Keren Blankrot, the chief designer at Upstage Montreal. Yay for unexpected coffee breaks!  So in celebration of spring, and of all those moments that make life fun, I am sending out a sunny and bright post to the universe.  COME TO ME SPRING – my wardrobe is ready for you!
1. H&M mint sneakers / 2. Kate Spade sailor stripe yellow scarf / 3. Isabelle May Coral Sunset bracelet / 4. Betsey Johnson yellow floral earrings / 5. Kissing crocodile belt by Kate Spade/ 6. Isabelle May Coralie bracelet / 7. Charles Albert pink jasper ring / 8. Treasure chest necklace by Kate Spade / 9. Balenciaga Green Bag / 10. J Brand bright pink jeans
In the meantime, I repeat the following mantra: