Monday, 29 October 2012

Trend Alert: Wedge Sneakers

Now this is a blast from the past! I remember being in sixth grade and wanting to be on the basketball team solely (solely – get it?) for the cool sneakers! Thanks to the designer Isabel Marant, I’m given a second chance to rock the look! Wedge sneakers... a gift from heaven. They elongate your legs and keep your feet comfortable. What’s not to like? Wear them for a shopping date with a buttoned-down shirt and skinny jeans; to a party with a sharp tailored jacket and black leather tights or even to brunch with a contrasting girly skirt! To avoid having your pants bunch up at the ankle, be sure to get them hemmed accordingly.

Clockwork from top brown shoes: 1. See By Chloe Tan Wedge Sneakers / 2. Steve Madden Olympiaa Sneakers / 3. Carvela Kurt Geiger Sparkle Wedge Sneaker / 4. Chloe Red Wedge Sneakers / 5. River Island Black Wedge High Tops / 6. Isabel Marant Bazil python basket sneaker / 7. Isabel Marant Betty leather and suede wedge sneakers

Image via

Sunday, 28 October 2012

An Artsy Fartsy Halloween

When it comes to Halloween, women tend to go down the sexy route. We don’t dress up as cats, we go as sexy pussy cats. Sexy witches! Sexy angels! Bad, bad cops, wink wink… This year, let's do something innovative! My friend Misha once rocked the coolest costume EVER when she dressed in bubblegum pink with a sneaker tied to her head… she was Gum under a shoe! The following year, she went as a Tornado. Animals and small objects were affixed to her clothes with string. She’d twirl around the room and they'd fly out. As you can imagine, it turned out to be quite a dangerous (and tangly) costume...

Here are a few art history related costumes I found on the web: LOVE them! Searching for simpler ideas? How about dressing up as Andy Warhol or Salvador Dali?

1. René Magritte’s Son of a Man a simple yet high impact costume! / 2. Roy Lichtenstein, Girl with Hair Ribbon. Now this takes commitment and a steady hand! / 3. Here is a couple going as Grant Wood’s American Gothic... if they’d only lose the smile, it’d be perfect! / 4. Jan Vermeer’s Girl with the Pearl Earring: If Scarlett Johansson can pull it off, so can you! / 5. Strike the pose! I’m impressed by this recreation of Banksy’s Flower Chucker... it reminds me of Nick Stern’s photographs... / 6. Add flowers and a unibrow, and there you have it: you’re Frida Kahlo!
Special shout out to my girl MC: Happy Birthday!!!  

Thursday, 25 October 2012

How to Layer Frames & Objects

There is a new trend in home décor: Layering. One would think that it’s an easy style to pull off... simply take a bunch of artwork and place it haphazardly on your mantle or bookshelf. Please, no! Be smart about layering your art. Here’s how: 
All images via

Step one: Pick images and objects that you feel would create an interesting grouping. They should be different sizes, but share a similar colour palette.

Step two: When visiting your local framer, keep things simple. If the frames are too ornate or too thick, it will be hard to layer evenly. Use glass and not exposed canvas, as an object could easily poke into an artwork and create a long lasting indentation.
Step three: The more you overlap, the higher the chances of losing the images you were hoping to show off. Notice how, in the following examples, there are no more than three consecutive levels.

Step four: Be careful! Sturdy the larger frames to your wall (by adding hooks and nails) or inserting a thin ledge or groove to your shelf. You want to be sure to prevent them from toppling over!


Wednesday, 24 October 2012

San Diego & Street Art

When I was in California, Hubby and I went to San Diego, where Hubs had a little business to attend, leaving me to my own devices. First stop: the Museum of Contemporary Art! Since I appeared to be the only visitor there, I decided to start up a conversation with the staff. Turns out, like me, they were street art enthusiasts. They were kind enough to draw me a city map, where I spotted some awesome pieces. Check it out: 

Here is a small ceramic piece I found by the French artist Invader in downtown San Diego.

Top: Shepard Fairey & Invader / Bottom: Vhils & a faded wheat paste by Os Gemeos

Monday, 22 October 2012

How to Wear Burgundy Pants

After going through a season of devotion towards green pants (remember this post?), I’ve switched to burgundy. A surprising fall neutral, wine-coloured pants can easily be worn at work or for a night out on the town. Since purchasing mine at ZARA's, I’ve worn them almost daily and have become quite skilled at mixing and matching to give a fresh new look every time. Don't be shy to combine with shades of emerald, marigold, navy, and of course, winter whites! 

Look 1: Stella McCartney Alyss draped silk blouse & Kenzo x Vans print sneakers / Look 2: 3.1 Phillip Lim silk-chiffon and crepe de chine blouse & Gucci Mischa suede ankle boots / Look 3: Etro Tweed Poncho & Marc by Marc Jacobs lace-up shoes / Look 4: 3.1 Phillip Lim satin-twill peplum top & Valentino studded calf hair pumps.

Here are a few wonderful examples of how to rock the oxblood/wine/burgundy (pick your synonym) trend!

Friday, 19 October 2012

The Essentials for your Evening Bag

Have you ever gone out with your girlfriends and been asked: “Can I put my ID in your purse? I have no more room in mine.” Yes, we have all been there. I was once an offender myself. That is until I became smart about purchasing cute evening bags that are actually functional.

Here is a picture of my favourite Kate Spade camel clutch, which I received on my 30th birthday.

If your clutch does not fit all your needs, i.e your cash, your ID, your makeup, your cell phone, your keys and some form of candy or breath mint: please buy another bag! ...Now, you might have read “candy” and thought “I don’t need candy in my bag,” oh but you do. We women tend to get hungry at unexpected moments. And when we do, we get complain-y. Be a sport, and start chewing on a piece of gum or pass one along when you see a friend start to fade. Please share this wisdom with all the women in your life!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Sunny Disposition

Oh yeah... Did I mention that I’m the luckiest girl alive and that I recently spent a week in the heavenly state of California? Truth be told, I’ve never travelled as much as this year – I feel both giddy and blessed at the idea. Since fall/winter has so quickly washed over Montreal, it was fun to pack my summer brights before storing them for good and feel the sun on my snow-white skin once again.

1. I dare you to name one other tree that can brighten up your day like a palm tree / 2. Welcome to California! Wearing my silver bangles on the plane and my summery Isabelle May bracelet / 3. On trend with Song nail polish by Butter London / 4. Hubby and I’s first stop: yup, In-n-Out! I couldn’t wait to take a bite of my burger before snapping this shot.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Currently Craving: Andy & NARS

Hell yeah! Once in a while, I’m bamboozled by pure genius. That's right: I said PURE GENIUS! PartyMixTape readers, feast your eyes on NARS’ new collection inspired by the great pop icon Andy Warhol! Beauty and art rolled into one… Oh dear, this is going to be an expensive weekend! Happy Friday!


Andy Warhol , Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 1964


Thursday, 11 October 2012

YSL's Controversial Rebranding

Have you heard? Yves Saint Laurent is now Saint Laurent Paris. Clearly, they’ve been hanging out with Prince too long. The name change was announced in June. The brand eagerly published a first look at the new logo on facebook and fans were not pleased. “More suitable for fine chocolate than for luxury clothes” commented a follower. “Why would you change something as iconic as the YSL logo,” said another.
Saint Laurent’s CEO later confirmed the news by stating: “This change celebrates our legacy and heritage, while boldly marking our ambition for the future. It will allow us to return to the fundamentals of YSL and revive the spirit and the intentions that reigned over the creation of ‘Saint Laurent Rive Gauche’ in 1966: principles of youth, freedom, and modernity.”
In early October, the brand held its first fashion show, presenting their updated image to the world. After months of hoopla about the name-change, critics were expecting something… well, unexpected. Fashion critic Cathy Horyn scathingly wrote that the “clothes lacked a new fashion spirit (…) Even the colors seemed flat, suppressed.” Ouch.
How do you feel about this so called facelift? Are you missing the YSL logo already?
P.S. As I write this post, I’m blasting Daft Punk’s mix for Yves Saint Laurent’s fashion show (argh, I mean Saint Laurent Paris…)

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Interview with Vanessa Sicotte

I met Vanessa Sicotte a few months after becoming addicted to Damask & Dentelle, one of Québec's leading design blogs, which she launched in 2009. When Vanessa entered the gallery where I work, she whipped out her iPhone and said “Let me tweet that I’m here!” It was love at first tweet.

Once in a while, I have the pleasure of meeting people like Vanessa, who are passionate, driven and extremely generous with their time and knowledge. I am pleased to say that since our first encounter, she has become host of Canal Vie’s Sauvez les Meubles, a television show which encourages viewers to reuse and recycle when renovating or decorating their home. Read my interview with the interior designer to find out her tips of the trade and which colour she predicts you won’t want to live without.

Vanessa Sicotte, creator of Damask & Dentelle and host of Sauvez les Meubles

What inspired you to create Damask & Dentelle?
I got inspired to create D&D back in 2008 when I was only a blogger writing about my décor boutiques “Coups de Coeur”. The company came later after I saw a need for information in the industry. Damask & Dentelle's website was launched in October 2009 and is now recognized as one of Québec’s leading design blogs and web directory with a devoted following. As the curator of the site I am also a design blogger and trend observer. I created Damask & Dentelle as a way to reach out and share finds of Québec’s design boutiques, artisans and professionals to the consumers as well as people from the design industry.

You recently started hosting Sauvez les meubles at Canal Vie. Tell us more about this project:
Sauvez les Meubles is a new TV show airing since September, on Québec’s Canal Vie. Its concept is adorable (hey I am a little biased)! My mandate is to decorate a room in a couple’s home using their existing vintage furniture, hand-me-downs from family members and thrift finds… all for less than $500. I try to suggest as many cool DIY ideas as I can to give people the most bang for their buck and so far we’ve had some awesome reveals.
Reduce, reuse, recycle! Check out some ideas by clicking HERE.

Many new homeowners feel overwhelmed when purchasing a house. What is the first thing they should focus on?
With square footage at its peak rate in the city, one must find creative ways to maximize storage and function without neglecting style.
Think vertical. A great example of that is to extend your kitchen cabinets to the ceiling to store pots and pans that you seldom use.
Mirror effect. Mirrors have a way to refract light and make a room appear larger. I use them a lot in small places as a way to give rooms sparkle and glamour.
Go ghost or go big. Visual clutter can really hinder a room’s proportions. In order to counter that effect I either make great use of translucent surfaces like Lucite and glass, or I simply use fewer but larger pieces to furnish the room. There is nothing worse than seeing a tiny living room with a slew of tiny spindly chair legs everywhere.
Make a statement. I am a firm believer that small rooms are the perfect place for statements such as bold wall coverings or moody paint colours. Since the area to cover is small, the print will not be overbearing and yet it will give the tiny mudroom or powder room a lot of flair & personality.
Are there any new trends that you are excited to tell us about?
I am very much into neon right now. Maybe I was too young to really enjoy it the first time around, but I seem to be binging on highlighter colours. Another trend in which I am heading head first, is Kelly Green (I actually would go as far as to say that it will be THE colour of the year in 2013). It is a vibrant, fresh and crisp shade of green. It can be made to nautical, preppy, eclectic or classic, and best of all… all greens go well together. No trouble here trying to match shades of green.
Check out how Vanessa suggests you decorate with green by clicking HERE.
What are some of the common mistakes made by homeowners?
Not trusting their instincts and buying everything at once, from the same place. It is better to have a void in the room than to pack it up with things that are just fillers. The perfect piece of furniture will eventually find its way and fill that void as if it belonged there. Also, I often recommend to people to be mindful of the craftsmanship and provenance of the products they buy. Cheap (and I don’t mean inexpensive here) will always be just that… cheap.
What is a typical day like?
It starts early and often ends very late. My son calls me before 6am every morning and then the hustle bustle begins. I usually get to work around 8:30 and check all of my social media accounts as I rely a lot on social media for my business. On most days I will visit a store or two and squeeze some appointments with clients in the middle. The early evenings are spent with the kids and then work starts again after they go to sleep. I started my own business for the liberty it would give me, but I have to admit, I have never worked so much in my life. Luckily, I absolutely LOVE what I do so it makes it all better.
Name your top three songs:
Tom’s Dinner
Karma Chameleon
And Anything Ben Harper


Monday, 8 October 2012

Fall Cleaning & Thanksgiving

Today was a gloriously productive day! I went through all my unsorted papers (I’m not proud to say some dated back five years), broke our shredder (that was not the *glorious* part), cleaned the bedroom (because honestly, how many knickknacks does a girl need?), cleaned the kitchen cabinets and cooked those recipes a mere-mortal never has time to cook: scalloped potatoes and stew. I’m on a roll and feeling quite proud with myself!
Fall food is so gorgeous! Check out the following recipes: Sweet Spiced Pumpkin Soup, Crispy Baked Parmesan Green Bean Fries & Nutcrackle, a chewy Nutella cookie. If you like these images, be sure to follow me on Pinterest!

Today is also Canadian Thanksgiving – which is why I have a day off to brag about how productive I am. Saturday and Sunday were spent visiting Hubby and I’s families in Quebec City. I say YAY to good wine, good turkey and relaxing family time. On a day like this, I can’t help but write up a short list of all the things I am thankful for… starting with my loving husband who makes me laugh like no other, my family who goes out of its way to support and encourage my every dream, my friends because they are unbelievably awesome… but then, I’m also thankful for living in a beautiful and peaceful country, for having a roof over my head, having the chance/time/money to visit my family regularly, for being healthy, for working in a field I am passionate about… all in all, I’m pretty darn thankful for this beautiful life! I hope your Monday was equally bright and happy!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Currently Craving: Armani’s Maestro Skin Perfector

Remember when I felt like a rock star for interviewing Michelle from At the time, I asked her about upcoming must-have fall products. She mentioned a few eyeliners and mascaras, and ended with this infuriating teaser: “The last product is a new foundation but I'm not sure that I'm allowed to mention the brand or the concept yet. All I will say is that it's like nothing you've seen before, and it blows BB Creams out of the water.” Try as I might, she would not spill the beans. Well today, SHE HAS, describing it as “FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC!”
The must-have beauty item I’m picking up this weekend is Giorgio Armani’s Maestro Skin Perfector. In the words of Linda Cantello, Make-up Artist for Giorgio Armani Cosmetics: “It’s not a foundation, it’s a complexion perfector. A whole new generation of make-up that feels incredible, looks invisible and makes skin appear luminous every time. Anyone can wear it.”  Will you be giving it a try?

Update: Check out the review by clicking HERE!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Transitioning from Summer to Fall

I received an email request last weekend – and it’s a great question! “We've definitely moved into fall but I still want to wear some of my summer clothing, with its bold and fun colours. Any suggestions for a smooth transition?”

We purchase such beautiful spring and summer items only to disregard them once the leaves start to change. As a challenge, I revisited two older posts I wrote celebrating flashy colours and fun accessories: Summer Wardrobe Essentials and Spring Brights. I then combined them to my new Five Trends to Update your Fall Wardrobe. Here are the results:


(For more information regarding individual items, see links above.)

Keep an eye out for interesting summer/fall colour combinations. For example, turquoise is a great match with kaki and emerald. Navy can be mixed and matched with most bright shades, such as green, yellow and orange. Don’t be shy to add a few bright pink accessories to a plum ensemble or a neon necklace to a charcoal dress. You can also play with textures by combining summery silks with fall knits. To help you out, here are few pictures of some of my favourite bloggers as they transition from warm to chilly weather.
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