Friday, 29 June 2012

Camping in Style (ya, right)

We Quebecers have been lucky with long weekends. We celebrated our national holiday last week, and now Canada Day. Long weekend galore! Can I hear a woot woot? It seems as though every lunch break has been spent talking about what we’ll be doing with this blessed day off. Strange how we feel like we can do so little on Saturday and Sunday – but add a Monday to the mix and the world seems endless with possibilities. From what I’ve been hearing, the thing to do is go camping. Eek: I am not a camping-chick. Why would I want to sleep in a bag? Why would I want to be in such close contact to mosquitoes? Why would I want to pee with a flashlight? Why would I want to eat three days worth of hot dogs? OK... so the hot dogs are a bad example... because really, that could win me over.  Nonetheless, I want to prove to you that I am versatile and open minded, so here is my homage to you campers: your very own PartyMixTape Camping Post.

Old Navy Womens Lightweight Camp Shirts / Ray-Ban Classic Aviator Sunglasses / Barneys New York Regimental Stripe Folding Umbrella / Forever 21 straw hat / Fyrkat Charcoal Picnic Grill / Missoni Printed bandeau bikini / Hunter boots / Bring a book! ...and pants... and bug repellent!

Happy Canada Day to all of you! And happy Fourth of July to our southern neighbours!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Urban Poet: Sean Hart

I just discovered the work of French street artist Sean Hart. “I am a poet,” explains Hart, “and my poetry is a weapon loaded with the future.”

I am an outlawed
I am not for sale
I am the distance between self-censorship and freedom

As I viewed Hart’s artistic production - his most notable series being Shine – I got to thinking about how words have a deep correlation to their context. Take “open the door.” It the kind of sentence I say when I come home with my arms full of groceries. It’s the phrase you might hear whispered by a giggling friend moments before a surprise party. But here, Hart takes three mundane words and gives them a new – eerie – meaning. You can almost picture him, painting incognito in the dead of night.

All photographs by Sean Hart

The same is true of the following images. One piece was created in warm Brazil and the other in an undisclosed location. I know which one I’d rather be at! (Well... neither when you stop and think about it... but palm trees trump bed bugs in my book.)

In a recent article discussing Hart’s work, RJ Rushmore from Vandalog writes “those photos look more likely to be photoshopped than the finished piece … Hart's website says [the photos are] legit. I'm not sure it really was painted. But I'm not sure it's important either way.

What do you think? How would you feel about Sean Hart’s work knowing it was created on a computer screen instead of in the streets? In fact, how do you feel about street art?


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Interview with Jessica Di Pierro

Meet Jessica Di Pierro, an interior designer and project manager for de Man design & mobilier. The designer reveals images of her upcoming projects and shares with PartyMixTape readers her thoughts on buying her first home, working in the design industry and hanging art.

Interior designer Jessica Di Pierro

What is your passion?
Of course interior design is definitely one of my passions, but I have to say that everything having to do with beauty and aesthetics is in my range.  Not only have I studied fashion marketing, but I also took theater production where I would work on costumes, decors and lighting… that was such an incredible learning experience.  I even took makeup classes and worked on a few music videos and local movie sets.  Tinkering, painting, gardening, gift wrapping, you name it.  So if I really had to describe it, I guess you could say that my biggest passion is to work with my hands and enhance the hidden beauty in different elements.  It gives me a great sense of satisfaction.

How did you start in the interior design industry?
A few years back, I owned a furniture import and distribution company with my now husband and was really looking to get into interior design.  So I started taking night classes.  Unfortunately, the program got cancelled before I could finish. In the meantime, we sold the company, got married and became pregnant right away. I had nine months off, so I took that time to renovate our house and really enjoyed it. After giving birth, I was lucky enough to spend all my time at home with my wonderful daughter. When she started daycare, I decided I would finish what I had started. So I went back to school full time and graduated.  I worked for myself for awhile and am now happily employed at de Man design & mobilier. 

Combing her different passions; here is Di Pierro’s proposal for a local hair salon

What is the best purchase you ever made?
My best purchase is our house!  It’s not new, it’s not a palace, but it’s got great energy. It’s just the right size for our family and making it our home has been great so far.  It’s my own canvas and a constant work in progress, but as they say: “Your work is never done when you own a house.  There’s always something to do!”  

What are some of the common mistakes made by homeowners?
With all the decorating magazines and interior design shows on air these days, people have many tools to learn the basics and have also very much improved at creating balanced environments.  Still, the most common mistake, in my opinion, remains the positioning of furniture.  Some people seem to think that every piece of furniture needs to be against a wall.  Actually, bringing the furniture closer to the center of the room will make the room look bigger.  Another very common mistake is hanging art pieces too high.  Easy trick: eye level, when standing, is always a safe height.

Note the artwork by Karine Bassal on the far left!

Is design art or science?
Both, I guess!  The art part definitely comes in the conceptual phase.  That’s when the juices are flowing.  Everything after that is very technical. There is a whole set of plans that need to be made for each project and they do require a whole lot of precision.

What would be your recommendation for “what to do first” in a decorating project?
I think it’s important for the people living in a space to sit down and take some time to properly define the exact purpose of the room they wish to renovate or redecorate.  Make a list of the different functions you’ll use it for and define the different areas.  Don’t be afraid to list your priorities. That should usually define your starting point.

Which designers do you look up to?
In the fashion industry, Karl Lagerfeld has great style designing classic pieces with a modern touch.  But I also love the eclectic signature of Betsey Johnson.  She has a way of merging ideas, patterns and textures together and making them work.  I really admire that.  In interior design, I love Frank Lloyd Wright’s structured modern masterpieces.  With great architecture, airy interiors, functional furniture, they transcend the test of time.   

How amazing are these 3D renderings? This is one of the services offered by Jessica Di Pierro to help clients visualize the completion of a project. You may contact her by clicking HERE.

What songs are you listening to at the moment?
A lot of radio!
Some nights – FUN
Back in time – Pitbull
Fallout – Marianas Trench
Wide Awake – Katy Perry
Lullaby – Nickelback
Wild Ones – Flo Rida

Are there any trends you are excited about this spring?
I really love all the bright nail polish colors!!  It’s hard not to buy every single one of them.

What’s next for Jessica Di Pierro?
I’m grateful for what I’ve accomplished so far and feel very blessed for what I have.  I take life one day at a time.  So who knows what will come next!

Monday, 25 June 2012

It's all about Books, Camels & Pools

Is it just me, or is Kate Spade knocking it out of the park this year? And I mean this literally... remember THIS post from March? Well, it’s no surprise the annual Fashion 2.0 awards agree with me, honouring Kate Spade as Top Innovator. This reward was given in regards to the brand’s involvement with the online community and their overall interactions through social media. A well deserved prize, if you ask me. Not only have I enjoyed Kate Spade’s blog, Pinterest and Twitter, most importantly, I’ve been more than impressed with the brand’s rejuvenated collections. Finally, some colour and humour! Here are my favourite collections of the season:

First up: The Book Clutch. A delightful combination of fashion savvy and book worm! You can also find Romeo & Juliet, The Importance of Being Earnest, I Married Adventure and soon, Pride and Prejudice and The Great Gatsby. Which one would you choose?

For those who know me well, you will not be surprised that I fell hard for Kate Spade’s Camel Collection. Could this be any more quirky and smile-worthy?

Finally, with this heat wave, I can’t help but adore Kate Spade’s Pool Party accessories. This pool clutch (complete with a miniature ladder) is on my Currently Craving list. And it’s on sale! Hubby, are you reading this? My birthday is coming up!

Shop Kate Spade by clicking HERE.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Hot Nail Polish Trend

I have gone overboard with my love for blue nail polish. Any brand, any shade, any day: I’m digging it. As an art consultant, I have many liberties regarding my fashion statements, so blue nails are perfectly acceptable at the office. Lucky me! Have you been rocking this trend? Do you have a favourite nail polish brand or colour? If so, please do share!

Wearing Essie’s Mint Candy Apple

Above: NARS, Kutki / Ciaté, Skinny Jeans / Dior, St-Tropez / Essie, Bikini so Teeny / Chanel, Coco Blue / Illamasqua, Force.  On this long weekend celebrating Quebec’s National Holiday, I’d say blue is the perfect choice! Happy weekend!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Summer Wardrobe Essentials

The summer season has officially begun and Montreal has been hit by an intense heat wave. As a non-owner of air conditioning, I can assert that it is hot. When I think “seasonal change,” I think "closet overhaul!" For many, this can be a daunting (and expensive) task. Relax: PartyMixTape has you covered. Simply add these seven fashionable staples and voilà, you’ll be ready for summer in no time!

MSGM floral print dress / Trina Turk necklace from Banana Republic / Karen Walker Eyewear Number One Sunglasses / Bailey Shorts in teal green / Dip Hem Maxi Skirt from topshop / Thakoon for NARS Nail Polish in Amchoor and Koliary / Oscar de la Renta Dakota brushed-leather wedge sandals

Your shopping list:

·       A flowery dress. Believe me; you’ll thank me for this purchase. You’ll be whipping it out next time you’re invited to a pool party, wedding or baby shower. It’s versatile and oh so cute!
·       A statement necklace. Be daring. Now’s not the time for black!
·       Cat-eye sunglasses. Retro, fun and summery, cat-eye frames are the best fit for this season.
·       Short pants. White, blue, patterned, follow your fancy! No ifs and buts, add some short pants to your weekend look.
·       A maxi skirt or dress. It’s essential for the hot summer months. Who wants to wear clingy clothes when it’s this warm?
·       Bright polish. Whether you are fashion-forward or conservative, nail polish is an easy way to add a daring pop of colour.
·       Killer heels. They will help you make an impact from head to toe!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Good Day Sunshine

On this über hot day, what did you do to stay cool?
Top: Bedo / Pants & Shoes: Zara / Arm Candy: Isabelle May

Monday, 18 June 2012

What's In My Medicine Cabinet

(Hubby spotted me in the bathroom, and asked:  “Umm... Em? What are you doing?”  Taking a picture of my side of the medicine cabinet!  “Why?”  Because girls like to know things like this!   He responded with a bewildered look and walked off.) 
I’ve been asked by friends and PMT readers if I’ve tested the beauty products I recommend on this blog.  Here’s the proof that I have not only tested them – I actually own them...  and many more.

1. Degree “Fresh Energy”: Not glamorous, but hey, important! / 2. Nivea eye makeup removal cream for those days when I think waterproof is a good idea... / 3. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Toner: I loved the tester so much, I purchased the full-size bottle / 4. Avène’s Micellar Lotion (being allergy-prone, this is my fav makeup remover) / 5. I’m not a perfume aficionado. But I do love Chance by Chanel and enjoy testing out scents by Jo Malone. In the background, you can also spot Jennifer Aniston’s fragrance... I think my next purchase will be Beach by Bobbi Brown / 6 . Avène Gentle Purifying Scrub: To be honest this is not ideal for people with rosacea. But a monthly scrub feels nice! / 7. Clinique’s Redness Solution: This was my go-to moisturizer until I discovered number eight / 8. Kiehl’s Panthenol Protein Moisturizing Face Cream (looove it!) / 9. Dental floss! I like Crest Glide / 10. You’ve read about my love for Bio-Oil when I named my Top 10 beauty products (did you buy it yet?)

What are your favourite beauty products?

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Happy Father's Day!

This is a picture of my Dad and my Hubby, being foolish on our wedding day. I’m blessed to have parents who love my husband like a son.

Happy Father’s Day to the best dad ever! He is a mathematical genius with an intense passion for fractals (how many daughters can say THAT about their dad?). He is a world traveller and an avid reader. But what’s best about my Dad is that he drove me to school every day and let me choose the radio station. He listened to me sing along to all the teenybopper boys’ band without a single complaint. He reads every book I recommend, listens to every CD I gift him. He has a twinkle in his eye throughout my long-winded stories and laughs at my wordplays. We both think each other is pretty awesome. Love you Dad!  xox

Friday, 15 June 2012

Life According to my Pinterest

What a beautiful day! Don’t you just love the beginning of summer? This month, according to my Pinterest, I’ve been craving all shades of tropical blue. (Talking about blue, I wanted to give a shout out to fellow Montreal blogger, Danina, who rocked a bluey-minty outfit this week. Check it out by clicking HERE!)

Do you have any fun plans this weekend? Hubby and I are looking forward to spending some quality time with our baby niece. She arrived with her mom and dad last night. She’s just a-do-ra-ble! I’ll tell you all about it on Monday, I’m sure! Cheers, Emily xo

Check out May’s edition of Life According to my Pinterest.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Recommendations: MC & AJ

We conclude our “Recommendations Series” with my friends MC and AJ:

MC’s Recommendation: Top 5 mascaras

“I am a mascara girl. It is the fashion item I cannot live without: it simply never fails to help me tie my look together. As well, it takes very little time and effort to put on, which means an easy and quick way to provide maximum impact! I wear mascara on a daily basis and own several tubes from different brands; my daily choice depends on my mood or the look I’m going for. I also like that, even though mascara can be a luxury item if you purchase it from a designer cosmetic brand, some great products come at a very affordable price, which means I can indulge in having a wide variety of options to choose from! Through time though, one thing has never changed: I always go for the blackest of blacks. I was blessed with long lashes, but not very thick ones, so whether I am seeking a natural look or something much more dramatic, you’ll see that this selection represents my favorite «volume enhancing» mascaras… of the moment, of course!”

1. Benefit: They’re Real
2. Cover Girl Lash Blast
3. Almay Get Up and Grow
4. Dior Show
5. Revlon Grow Luscious

AJ’s Recommendation: Rock the dress

“When E asked me to talk about one thing I couldn't live without, it was a challenge. As she and the girls know, I often change my mind about fashion and I usually go through intense love phases, the most recent ones being Lush products and Banana Republic clothes. Some people would call them "obsessions.” I say "Whatever!” I just find it hard to stay faithful to one specific product - I like change and novelty too much! My current obsession is dresses for work. Right now, I'm rocking my H&M dress bought in New York with a short black jacket and a vintage beige belt. Adding black shoes and Ju Things accessories and there you have it: my power dress outfit! It actually makes me believe I can do anything, because I'm sexy, and I know it - I work out! Of course, I also have my winter power dress: a navy dress from Banana Republic, a beige belt and beige cardigan with cute Mary Jane shoes - oh, bring it on! If dresses were banished from work - or if dresses were extinguished - I would probably consider skirts, but it would never be the same!”

Image via

What is the one item you could not live without?

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

What to Wear to the Office

I received a new (and intriguing) request on PartyMixTape’s facebook page:  “Dear PMT, I work in a rather serious environment (some people say I have a top secret job), but I like my outfits to be fun and appropriate for the young 30 year old that I am. Could you suggest a couple of looks that are seriously fun for the office?”
Well my dear 007, here is a selection of clothes which could easily be mixed and matched to create several “seriously fun” work-appropriate outfits. In my opinion, the trick is to combine classic elements (hello beige pants!) with pops of colour (a bold scarf or bright jewelry). When in doubt, a fun dress is always appropriate, both for work and an after-work drink!

Shopper Basket from Zara / H&M jacket / H&M dress / Panel Peplum Shell from Topshop styled with Lauren Elan Elise necklace / Lauren Elan Bowie bracelet / H&M skirt / Nine West Caress pumps / Michael Kors sarong scarf / Michael Kors classic beige pants / Michael Kors iPad leather clutch / Michael Kors long sleeve linen cardigan / H&M green ballet pumps

Every working woman should have the following items in her closet:
1 x   Large purse in which you can fit everything you need
1 x   Classic blazer
1 x   Fun dress
1 x   White shirt
1 x   Statement jewelry
1 x   Simple skirt
1 x   Heels
1 x   Flats
1 x   Sweater
1 x   A cute cover for your iPad or iPhone... because what’s life without a little luxury?
1 x   Pants

Monday, 11 June 2012

Movie Date & Brunch at Accords

This weekend was quite busy with work. But don’t worry: I had time for dinner and a movie with Hubby. (We saw sci-fi movie Prometheus... man, am I a good wife!) I also indulged in some shopping (yay, new flowered pants from Zara’s), spent some quiet time reading and of course, enjoyed my classic brunch-date with MC (for which I dressed up in my new pants, and Isabelle May bracelets).

This weekend, MC and I followed Zurbaines’ suggestion and reserved at Accords, one of Old Montreal’s new hip restaurants. First and foremost, let me tell you that both the terrace and the latte were to die for. Heaven! As you can see, the presentation of the food was exquisite. But would I recommend it for brunch? Well... not if you like traditional eggs and potatoes. My strawberry French toast with basil sorbet was certainly impressive, but I guess my tastes for brunch are a bit more primitive. That being said, I will definitely be going back to try Accords, but next time I’ll reserve for supper. After all, their claim to fame is their impressive wine cellar; and from what I saw, it’s a definite must-try! Hope you had a happy weekend!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

The Nautical Look

The weather is finally feeling like summer! I wish I could spend the day at the beach or sailing on the ocean. I need sun! Inspired by THIS image from Pinterest, I present to you two nautical looks which are perfect for our Montreal weather. Both showcase the same 25$ Old Navy shorts, proving yet again that a true fashionista doesn’t need to spend all her savings to look amazing and on trend. Which look do you prefer?
Small bottle of Moet & Chandon / Bobbi Brown Beach Fragrance (this is on my wish list) / Single Digit Tote Bag from Sea Bags (love this eco-friendly company!) / Coriander Ava Silk Shirt by Equipment / Old Navy Shorts / Tory Burch Flip Flops

Major Blouse by Equipment / Old Navy Shorts / Yves Saint-Laurent Rouge Pur Couture in Corail Legende / Capri Cuff by Lauren Elan (read our interview with Lauren by clicking HERE) / Tory Burch Dash Tote / Tory Burch Casey Flat Sandals

Friday, 8 June 2012

My Mom's Recommendation: Add a Scarf!

We’ve read about the one item The Kikster’s can’t live without; we’ve seen D’s choice… now, here is my mom’s!

“The item I can’t live without…  A scarf!  My signature look is a beautiful pashmina on a black dress. A scarf can tie an outfit together, give your face a pop of colour and keep you warm on a cool or windy day.  A scarf is THE quintessential fashion accessory.  There are so many textures, shapes and styles from which to choose!  While scarves can be investment pieces (I have one with mink fur balls!) it is usually easy to find something trendy for a small amount.  And yes, there are scarves for every season.  Have fun!”

“The scarves I selected illustrate my recent appreciation of pink and bright patterns. These choices can bring a pop of colour to a rainy day. Bring on summer, I say!”

Thursday, 7 June 2012

D's Recommendation: Sephora on your B-day

The women in my life continue to share their recommendations with PartyMixTape readers. Here is D’s suggestion: 

"A few years ago, I discovered Sephora and, since then, your favourite blogger E, MC, AJ and I have spent many hours walking up and down the aisles of this beauty-lovers-paradise, from Ottawa to Las Vegas to New York."

"As a Sephora Beauty Insider member, I get a free product for my birthday. Every year, when January rolls around, I start to get excited about what Sephora goody I will get. I must say the last two years did not disappoint. In 2011, I loved the Philosophy Vanilla Birthday Cake sample so much that I ended up buying a big bottle that I’m still working on (this heavenly scent is for special occasions only!)"

"The 2012 gift, however, has been my favourite so far. I received a pack of two mini Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment lip balms, and they rocked my world. The clear one smells like lemon and makes your lips feel smooth and healthy, and the tinted one (I got Rosé) adds a touch of colour for a casual, yet put-together look. Once again, Sephora, you got me. As soon as I’m done with the samples, I will be buying the full version of the product. Can’t wait to see what my gift will be next year!"

Check in tomorrow to read my mom’s choice!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Kik’s Recommendation: Jeans, Jeans, Jeans

While rehashing my blog with Hubby (oh yes, the many perks of being married to me!), I came to realize that PartyMixTape not only addresses issues of fashion, music and art. It also talks about the wonderful women in my life: The Kikster, D girl, MC, AJ, my mom, etc.  
I decided to ask these women to share one item that they could not live without. Here is Kiks' answer:
Image via

“The item I can’t live without is jeans!  Simple, but so true!  I live in jeans, I work in jeans and if I could, I would sleep in jeans.  I L.O.V.E my jeans!  Medium to dark wash, flare or boot-cut, mid- to low-rise, capris, cut-offs (yes, I'm a child of the '80s) or simply rolled at the bottom.  Dress 'em up, dress 'em down, with heels, wedges, boots or flip-flops - it's all good.  They're my thing.  If jeans were banned tomorrow morning I would have nothing to wear except my strapless black dress, which isn't really appropriate for working in my studio... My recommendation to PartyMixTape readers is to shop at Jeans, Jeans, Jeans! If you can, head over there during the week, because the weekend crowd can get crazy. I guarantee you will find the best fit for your figure – without breaking the bank!”

Check in tomorrow to see D’s choice!

Monday, 4 June 2012

50 Shades of Grey (minus 40)

So we’ve all read the 50 Shades Trilogy. (Oh shush! If you haven’t read it, you’ve secretly debated purchasing it for your Kindle.) These books have created quite the uproar! Book clubs everywhere shun the idea of reading it, yet discuss it before their reunions. Ha! Why not embrace a book that’s getting people to read? OK, so what if we've learned more than our share about whips? But seriously, am I the only one who wished E. L. James had given more detail about Anastasia’s dream-worthy wardrobe?

Here it is: 10 Shades of Grey, PartyMixTape style!

Paisley skull t-shirt by Alexander McQueen / Retro-inspired round sunglasses by Stella McCartney / Fern printed scarf by Stella McCartney / Current/Elliott The Boyfriend mid rise distressed stretch denim shorts / Ponte Rolled Sleeve Blazer from topshop / Michael Kors Adena Platform Pump in Slate Grey Suede / Rag & Bone Hamilton Boxy Tee / Halston Heritage grey pleated maxi skirt / Crystal Arrows necklace by Isabelle May / Burberry Timepieces: large check stamped bracelet watch

Did you read any good books recently?

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Guest Post by TheModernCool

This week, I invited Magda from TheModernCool to write a guest post. As a London blogger, who better to give us a little insight into the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee? Enjoy this fun post about dressing for the races! Cheers, E. 

Yesterday, 2nd June, marked the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. As part of the Jubilee Weekend celebrations in London, the Queen attended the Epsom Downs races. This marked the beginning of the summer social events calendar.

So, not only did you get invited, you have accepted and now you have have your ticket too! Great! But what are you going to wear? If you are lucky enough to be at the Queen’s stand (Epsom) or the Royal Enclosure (Ascot), there are some very strict rules regarding what you can and cannot wear.

First of all: the dress! While there is quite a lot of liberty in terms of dress styles (and at the races you can surely spot some really odd ones!), there are some dos and don’ts that you need to be aware of. Any type of formal day dress or a tailored suit will be fine, as long as the dress is “modest” length (no more than 2 inches above the knee). Straps are fine too, as long as they are more than one inch. Strapless dresses or string strap are not allowed. If the dress has cut-outs, they must be covered by a pashmina or a jacket.

Probably the biggest thing is the hats. There is almost full liberty when it comes to hat styles and in fact you can spot some really outrageous ones around  - eccentricity is rather welcome in this regard. If you are going to Epsom races, you may wear a fascinator (as long as it’s quite substantial), but from this year onwards fascinators are no longer allowed at Ascot: a hat it is, then!

Men are required to wear either black or grey morning suit with a tie (no cravats!), black shoes and of course a top hat.

All sounds great, but you still don’t know what to put on? Why not try this outfit:

And don’t forget – you are in England – so you may want to bring a fancy umbrella with you to.... unless you like your hats soggy, that is.
Love xx
M. from TheModernCool