Thursday, 31 May 2012

Interview with Monica de Liz

Monica de Liz is a Montreal-based image expert and style coach. A while back, she entered the gallery, came up to me with a warm smile and said: “Do you mind if I roll up your sleeves? Yes, woman, it’s good to show a little skin! Oh, and I suggest you purchase a pair of white pants to match that top: it would be ravishing!” I was charmed. And yes, I went out to buy the pants. Since, I’ve been addicted to Monica’s newletters, which promote positive thinking and suggest wonderful outfits for every occasion. I hope you enjoy this inspiring interview!

Monica de Liz

How did you start in the fashion industry?
Let me clarify; I don’t belong to the fashion industry because I find it limits women’s personal style to specific colors, labels and trends (just like the mainstream media and celebrity culture). Through workshops I help women make peace with their bodies and transform their image so they are free to express who they are from the inside out with authenticity, confidence and grace. I show them how to dress from a place of acceptance, joy and love versus doubt, fear and worry. My work is based on effective success principles from wise men and women throughout history that I’ve studied and applied to my own life. For that reason, I’m honored to belong to the personal development industry. 

What motivated you to become a style coach?
Growing up in Brazil our family had limited financial resources; my mom was a maid and my dad a carpenter. Our lives completely shifted from stability to chaos when my father left. I believe what got me into this career path was my mother’s courage, determination and resourcefulness to make the most out of the little she had to dress, educate and feed two girls. She worked very hard as a maid during the day and knitted beautiful sweaters at night to earn extra money to buy us school books and make sure we looked the part. Her refusal to accept that just because we were born into a less privileged class of society, we had to live as such has been my motivation to inspire women to be more. I’m committed to bring about a new age where women take full responsibility for creating the life they want versus waiting for a relationship to fulfill their dreams.

How is hiring a style coach different from hiring a stylist?
If you wish to use your wardrobe as a self-discovery tool to re-invent yourself, I’m your woman. My style coaching program has powerful transformational exercises that integrate body-mind-spirit to help you identify and overcome self-limiting-beliefs which may prevent you from being happy in your clothes and the skin you are in. If you are addicted to the latest fashion trends and only wear designer labels, then I’m not for you. A stylist selects clothes to put together a specific look for editorial photo shoots, print or television advertising campaigns, music videos, concert performances and any public appearances made by celebrities, models and public figures.  

What is the best purchase you ever made?
Michael Kors Sunglasses for $34 at Winners that normally retail for $300!

Fashion-wise, are there any major fashion don’ts?
Badmouthing another woman. Objectification of women on TV. Hypersexualisation of girls in advertising. Photo-shopping images of women in fashion magazines.

What does fashion mean to you?
For me, fashion is all about self-expression. Dressing is a non-verbal language. You never have a second chance to make a first impression. It’s the art of using your clothes as a tool to sell your experience/knowledge/skills for personal advancement and growth.

Which modern day icons do you look up to?
Chanel for her courage to be true to her unique style.
Diane Von Furstenberg for her visionary business spirit.
Gloria Steinem for her pioneering activism to promote equal rights between men and women.
Madonna for her ability to constantly re-invent her image year after year.
Oprah Winfrey  for her commitment to teach wisdom to the masses through her own life experience.

What songs are you listening to at the moment?
Dance Again (Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull)
Glad You Came (The Wanted)
Keep Your Head Up (Andy Grammer)
We Are Young (Fun featuring Janelle Monae)
Top Of The World (Raghav)

Are there any trends you are excited about this spring?
I never follow trends, I create my own.

How would you describe your personal style?
Creative. Daring. Fun.

What are three items every woman should have in her closet? 
A pair of dark blue jeans, a little black dress and a basic tailored suit.

What’s next for Monica de Liz?
Product Development: Books, DVD’s, Accessories, iPhone App!

For more information on Monica de Liz, please visit her website by clicking HERE.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Currently Craving (Floral Dress)

My new obsession is floral dresses. In the spirit of my Alex McLeod post, I’m thinking that this little number would be a perfect fit! What are you craving this week?

You can purchase this one at H&M. I also recommend this dress from ZARA.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Alex McLeod at Galerie Trois Points

When I was invited to Alex McLeod’s solo exhibition at Galerie Trois Points, I was expecting a sculptural installation. To be fair, gallery owners Jean-Michel Bourgeois and Émilie Grandmont-Bérubé had warned me that McLeod’s work was computer-generated. Yet the image on the invitation seemed so real, so... three-dimensional... that I assumed “computer-generated” was just some overused artsy lingo, like “mixed-media,” which has come to describe most art forms.

Alex McLeod, Blood Clouds 3, Digital rendering C-Print, 2011, 40" x 60"

I entered the gallery, faced with McLeod’s hyper-realistic computer-generated photographs. Reminiscent of the 3D optical illusion images that used to torture my eyes and brain as a child, McLeod’s work depicts illusory landscapes which merge abstract forms, curvilinear vegetation and strangely believable sci-fi globules. The overall composition is both chaotic and hypnotic. Despite the artist’s intention to make the images appear as though they were photographed in situ, each composition was entirely created in the digital world. They do not exist in “real life.” In a world where the search for truth is omnipresent, it is refreshing to view an exhibition which blurs the boundaries of our reality.

Alex McLeod, Magic Eye, Digital rendering C-Print, 2011, 40" x 60"

If, for any reason, you remain unconvinced that Alex McLeod is one to watch, know this: a) After graduating from the Ontario College of Art and Design in 2007, he exhibited in New York, California, Barcelona, Toronto and Montreal (to name a few) b) Kanye West is a fan (tell me you aren’t impressed) and c) He and I (McLeod that is, not Kanye) share the same birthday. Enough said!

For more information on the artist, contact Galerie Trois Points. The show is on until June 16th, so hurry up!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

30 minutes: Push it

The Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports  found that triathletes ran nearly 20 percent longer when listening to music that matched their pace than those training in silence. (Those who know me just laughed out loud. Full disclosure: I’m in no way a triathlete!) But, hey, if upbeat music can enhance my *performance* at the gym, I’m listening (pun intended)! So pack your playlist with these new songs: ft. Eva Simons – This is Love  4.57
Jennifer Lopez ft. Pitbull – Dance Again  4.27
Cheryl – Call my Name  4.29
Flo Rida – Whistle  3.46
Dragonette – Let it Go  3.34
Jay Sean ft. Pitbull – I’m All Yours  4.09
Rihanna – Where Have You Been 4.14

My idea of a workout (image via)

Have you seen our previous workout posts? What songs do you rock out to? 

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Life according to my Pinterest

My addiction to Pinterest continues to grow. The Kikster (who lovingly follows, but refuses to pin) keeps saying “I don’t get it. It just looks messy.” Messy? It a cornucopia of awesomeness! Tell me: what does your Pinterest say about you? Mine shows that I love fashion, have eclectic taste in art, like sweets a little too much, and this week, it’s saying that I’m obsessed with the colour red!

Check out April’s  edition of Life according to my Pinterest.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Date Night

We are in a celebratory mood here at the Hubs-and-Emily-Casa. Time for a well-deserved date night! I’m wearing my new Zara dress, my go-to Isabelle May bracelets and debating which colour to paint my nails: Turquoise and Caicos or Action?

Wishing you all a wonderful evening!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

How to wear mixed prints

Today, I stepped out with my green polka dot dress and an oversized leopard umbrella. Somehow, with my black Kate Spade patent leather bag, the overall look was quite chic. It got me thinking about the does and don’ts of mixing prints. We’ve been told time and time again to stay away from contrasting patterns and textures, but now’s the time to break away!

RVEN Cotton-silk gabardine tuxedo blazer / Stella McCartney sunglasses / Current Elliott Haystack floral print stiletto pants / Michael Kors brushed gold tone watch / Modstrom beige and white tank top / Anya Haindmarch gold glitter Valorie clutch / Alexander McQueen skull silk-chiffon scarf / Tory Burch ballet flats in pink patent leather

The easiest way to master this trend is to incorporate pieces with a similar color scheme and/or print size. Here, I chose to combine a floral motif, large stripes and a very subtle skull print. You’ll notice that I kept the accessories in similar shades and anchored the outfit with a solid blazer. Make sure all patterns are unique enough to offset one another. And most importantly: Have fun with it! 

Which prints do you like to mix and match?

Monday, 21 May 2012

Big Day x 2

It all started on Friday night with champagne, a manicure and doughnuts. Sue, Isa and I had all the fixings for our slumber party. The next morning, we woke up early, unable to sleep any longer and ready to meet the hairdresser and makeup artist. Soon, it was time to watch Sue walk down the aisle where she married a wonderful man, and a great friend of mine, Stéphane. It was a fantastic ceremony, followed by an epic reception. My legs still ache from six straight hours of dancing! ...To think that I had my first sleepover at Sue and Isa’s when I was seven years old. Time flies! What an honour it is to be part of it all.

Image via

Today is Mel’s wedding day. Just a few hours ago, she walked down the beach to say I do to her now-husband Jonathan. I wish I had sand between my toes at this moment – and I wish I could tell her in person how beautiful she is on this special day. I can’t wait to see the pictures! 

Thursday, 17 May 2012

You are not Banksy

You’ve seen street artist Banksy’s graffiti in books and magazines. You may even have seen his work in person or watched his documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop, which made waves at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010. Banksy’s work is recognizable, yet his true identity remains shrouded in legend and mystery. No better artist from whom to appropriate imagery. (There isn’t much chance of him suing for copyright!)

Along comes news photographer Nick Stern, who decides to replicate Banksy’s iconic imagery by using real life models. The flower-throwing rioter, the caveman, the kissing policemen, the maid and even Jesus holding his shopping bags have been recreated in a studio setting, where props were carefully chosen and models cast. “I just hope Banksy likes what I have done,” says Stern.

The rioter: Banksy versus Stern

The maid: Banksy versus Stern

The guard: Banksy versus Stern

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Why nails are the biggest trend

Whether your fingertips are painted with a discreet nude, vampy red, bold blue or pantone-inspired tangerine, the color on your nails speaks loudly to your sense of style. When tastes and trends seem to be ever-changing, nail polish provides an easy way to update your look with minimal effort and money. Here’s a little glimpse of the trends to come and those that were:

1994 Vamp: Created to mimic the colour of dried blood, this shade was made popular by Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction (remember how revolutionary it was when she rocked the super short nails? Thank you, Uma, thank you!) / 2006 Black Satin: Lindsey Lohan and Madonna were sporting this gothic-glam shade. Black Satin flew off Chanel’s shelves – to the point where bottles were sold on eBay for 100$! Chanel saved the day by making Black Satin a permanent addition to its collection – ouf! / 2010 Particulière: The greige craze began here! If Victoria Beckham is wearing it, so are we! / 2011 Péridot & Nouvelle Vague: It’s a tossup between greenish metal and tropical blue. Chanel actually started waiting lists for these shades before they were made available to the public. / 2012 June: Have you purchased it yet?

Monday, 14 May 2012

How to rock Bohemian Chic

Last week, I invited readers to send me their requests. The next day, The Kikster wrote on PartyMixTape’s facebook page: “I have a challenge that might take you out of your glam-comfort zone: put together three bohemian-chic outfits, that are age-appropriate for the thirty-something bracket.” Here are not three but four (I got carried away) bohemian-chic outfits that merge both our personal styles. (P.S. She’d probably die rather than wear the deer ring in Look 2… that’s all me!)  

Look 1 Casual-Sunday-brunch-bohemian: Gucci Printed silk crepe de chine blouse / Illesteva Frieda round-frame steel sunglasses from Net-A-Porter / J Brand Nina Cargo Short / House of Harlow 1960 Tribal Ring with Coral Cabochon / Aldo sandals

Look 2 Casual-bohemian: Helmut Lang Looped Silk Top / House of Harlow 1960 Tasseled Chevron Earrings with Black Leather / Bangles Set from Macys / Embroidered spiral bag from Debenhams / BALMAIN Blue Vintage Jeans / Wildfox Couture Jewelry Deer Ring in Gold / Cobra Society Najet woven wool and leather loafers

Look 3 Date-night-bohemian: Stella McCartney Thigh-split jersey tank dress / Oscar de la Renta necklace / Silvian Heach Wedges Cliffer / Plaited Leather Shopper from Zara / House of Harlow 1960 Antiqued Arrow Ring in Rose Gold

Look 4 Friday-night-party-bohemian: Shakti Necklace from AllSaints / Haute Hippie Embellished Lace Gilet / Alexander McQueen Skull Chiffon Scarf in Black and Red / Bobi Jersey Maxi Skirt / House of Harlow 1960 Marley clutch in Red Snake / Alexander McQueen Enamel Skull Ring / House of Harlow 1960 14KT Gold Tassel Smoky Crescent Earrings / Christian Louboutin Summerissima python and leather sandals

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to the very best mom. You are loving, hilarious and encouraging. You have taught me to smile with my teeth, be independent and express my love and gratitude to those who surround me. You have taught me about honesty, about having an open mind, about appreciating what I have and working hard for what I  want. Thanks for making me ME and thanks for being YOU! xox

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Weekend Uniform & Stikki Peaches

I am a creature of habit. Since Hubby is often hard at work on the weekend, MC and I have begun a tradition of brunching on Saturdays. We have our routine: MC chooses an up and coming restaurant and after, we walk around the city. With time, we have come to realized that we both have a "weekend uniform." Hers involves several layers, always a gorgeous scarf, an oversized carry bag and recently, her favourite Orange Flip lipstick. Mine is the following: 

A striped top; this one is H&M / I am obsessed with this H&M necklace. I can’t believe I hesitated to purchase it / A pair of Ralph Lauren sunglasses / Dark skinny Miss Sixty jeans / My favourite floral scarf found at Zara’s / Smashbox’s Melondrama lipstick (last seen here) / Essie’s new colour Action / A pair of Michael Kors flats (because I’m cool but I also enjoy being comfortable) / A great purse. This one is Michael Kors’ Bedford textured-leather tote.

Last weekend, we brunched at Le Pourvoyeur, and I swear to you, they have the best latte I have ever tasted. We then walked through Montreal’s Little Italy, hunting for wheat paste graffiti by the anonymous street artist Stikki Peaches. Here are a few pics:

Word on the street is Station 16 will soon be working with Stikki Peaches to create a limited edition print – so stay tuned!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Monday, 7 May 2012

Colourful Wedges

Yesterday, the lovely Alison wrote the following request on PartyMixTape’s facebook page: “Hey PMT, I need help finding bridal wedges (because heels sink in the grass and I need about 3 - 4 inches). They must be cool and colourful. Your mission should you choose to accept it.” CHALLENGE ACCEPTED – and completed!

For this challenge, I chose to stay away from all cork and straw heels as I felt they might appear too casual for this special occasion. After all, Alison is a bride and as such she merits la crème de la crème of wedges. I saw the most exquisite pair of Christian Louboutin glitter wedges, but our BTB was clear about wanting colour. (And try as I might, glitter is not in our colour wheel.) Finally, you’ll notice that I gravitated towards red, orange and tangerine. Am I the only one who thinks that a bride wearing red shoes is the epitome of glam?

We start off strong with a pair of orange Jimmy Choo’s. Wow-za!

Here is a decadent tangerine wedge by Kate Spade.

A budget friendly pair of Franco Sarto, found at Le Château

I. need. these. A gorgeous pair of suede wedges by Michael Kors.

Happy shopping, Alison! And to all you PartyMixTapers, do not hesitate to forward any requests or challenges! I’ll gladly help out in any way I can! Cheers,

Sunday, 6 May 2012


A few days ago, PartyMixTape turned four months old. That’s 91 posts and over 11,000 page views. My baby blog is slowly growing up! It’s thrilling to share tidbits about my varied interests. Undoubtedly, one of the very best things about having this blog is reading your lovely comments and gaining like-minded followers. Through these, I have discovered new blogs, facebook pages and Pinterest-addicts.  

In the comment section below, please tell us more about your blog and your interests! What are you blogging about? Are there any subjects discussed on PartyMixTape that you would like me to discuss more often? More art? More fashion? More interviews? Let me know and help PartyMixTape grow! (And don’t forget to follow! ...I couldn’t resist the extra rime!) Happy Sunday, E.

Image via

Friday, 4 May 2012

Guest Post: A Royal DIY

Hi! I am Geneviève, a Quebecoise archaeologist currently based in Chicago where I study the material history of taste, hospitality and food in the British Empire. As such, I am obsessed with design, manufacturing processes and everything that touches the aesthetic of everyday objects.

I also love making things. And today, we are going to make fascinators! Fascinators are diminutive hats made famous in the 1940s and 1950s, but that find their origin in eighteenth century wig toppers. The lovely chapeaux are currently finding their way back into our wardrobe, no doubt thanks to the double influence of Madmen’s costume design crew and the ever-elegant Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.

Image via

I absolutely adore fascinators: they are elegant, whimsical, and overall more manageable and versatile than hats. The following tutorial is inspired by a fascinator I made for a dear friend's wedding in Oxford a few weeks back (Warmest congratulations to Emily and Andrew!). It sounds like a lot of work, but it is actually quite straightforward.

To make a simple fascinator, you will need:

·       A base -- I used a ready-made round straw base but you can substitute any material that is stiff enough to holds its shape under the trimmings, like plastic, foam or even cardboard, in any shape you like.
·       Trimmings -- ribbons, feathers, flowers... I used 50cm of sinamay ribbon (a kind of stiff woven straw) and 50cm of wide nylon ribbon; wired ribbon would also work well.
·       A means of fastening your fascinator -- I personally like the polished look of concealed combs, but you could also use clips or a headband.
·       Heavy thread and needle or glue

(Step 1) Sew the comb to the base.

Check that your stitches are loose enough to allow the comb to move slightly outward when gripping your hair, otherwise it will bend the fascinator out of shape when you wear it. If sewing is not your cup of tea, you can buy fascinator bases with the comb already attached, or glue your base to a headband.

(Step 2) Add trimmings to the base.

I strongly suggest pinning the item in place and trying on before sewing or gluing your trimmings in place permanently: that way, you can see whether you like the way the fascinator looks or whether you want to make some adjustments. Keep track of the location of the comb (or headband) as you assemble your delightful head topper. The comb has to sink into your hair teeth-down to be fastened securely, and this determines how your fascinator sits on your head. For my fascinator, I was inspired by Kate Middleton's iconic Epsom Derby look; I wanted something understated but still worthy of an English wedding, so I simply shaped the ribbons into loose loops.

(Step 3) Stitch or glue the trimmings in place.

Voilà! Easy peasy.

What do you think? Have you included a fascinator or two in your wardrobe rotation lately?

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Red Lips

I have always been a lip gloss girl. But this year, I became obsessed with lipstick; red lipstick to be precise. I have searched far and wide for the perfect shade and here are my favourite:

Shout out to our pretty ladies:  Blogger Keiko Lynn / Orange-Red lips by Jason Wu, seen on Beauty Editor / Sienna Miller / Olivia Palermo

1. Chanel’s Cambon (If you are a fair skin lady, this is a great shade of red with just a hint of fuchsia) / 2. Smashbox’s Melondrama (I love this tangerine colour. Remember seeing it HERE? If you are worried that a true red might be too much of a statement, this could be your solution.) / 3. Revlon’s Orange Flip (Ahh, the classics! MC turned me on to this best-seller shade, and it happens to be a perfect match with my Essie Geranium manicure! This is a bold red with a hint of orange.) / 4. Chanel’s Gabrielle (This lipstick has a wonderful vintage feel. Its claim to fame is that Coco Chanel herself rocked this universally flattering shade. No pink, no orange, this is a very opaque red.) Happy shopping!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Hair Cameleon

I am a hair cameleon. I’ve lived through every shade of blond and brown, been a redhead and sported black. My mother still shakes her head as she recalls my first dye-job which came out deep purple. I’ve changed my hair so many time, my grandmother keeps asking when I’ll go back to my “natural blond” – when I’m actually a brunette. With trends such as ombré and pastel cropping up, hair seems to be the ‘it’ accessory. To this effect, I’ve been meaning to ask your opinion regarding pastel hair. Yay or nay?

Tuesday, 1 May 2012


I was all ready to purchase a monogrammed pendant from Baublebar... until I pressed “proceed to checkout” and noticed that they don’t ship to Canada. Pout. Oh well, I’m going to buy me some books instead! Yay!

Have you read any good books recently? Psst: If you are interested in other art-related books, might I suggest Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton (my favourite!) and The $12 Million Dollar Stuffed Shark by Don Thompson. Happy reading!