Monday, August 31, 2009

Fall Picks Part 2 - 90's Minimalism

I don't know about you, but I'm getting pretty tired of the 80's inspired looks that's been going strong now for a while. Back in May, I thought the 90's were back, but I was more along the early 90210 vein. Strangely enough, Alexander Wang was recently quoted that Saved by the Bell is among his style inspirations.

Thank goodness Fall 2009 is not about channelling Kelly Kapowski or Zack Morris. Instead, designers like Stella McCartney, Jil Sander, Helmut Lang, Alexander Wang, and of course, the master of this era, Calvin Klein, have taken to a clean and slim silhouette for the season.

We've already seen grunge grace the runways, but the minimalistic 90's look is about streamlined sheaths, slim pants and jackets, and tower-high heels. Sharp tailoring is key, and palettes are kept to simple shades with no patterns. To punch up the look, I suggest pairing accessories in bold colours with clean, almost masculine feel to mix things up.

Above: Jil Sander White Dress and Red Polished Leather Clutch
Below: Jil Sander Beige Sheath and Elizabeth and James Jolie T-Strap Pumps

Ashley Olsen has been wearing this trend for quite some time now, and pretty much anything the Olsen twins touch turn into a massive following. I expect no less here.

Above: Elizabeth and James Laurent Shirt and Bop Basics Cashmere Tube Scarf

Above: Roland Mouret Navy Coat and Alexander Wang Cut-Out Jersey Top and Skirt

Alexander Wang, as I alluded to in my Part 1 post on the biker look, has taken to this look whole-heartedly. Cut-outs, another key look for Fall, is rolled into the clean cut looks above and below.

Above: Alexander Wang Rivet Trimmed Wool Jacket

In my teen years during the 90's, I thought this look was really bland and boring. Now wizened, I know it's anything but.

How, and will you, wear the 90's? How do you suggest keeping it current?

Above: Alice + Olivia Exposed Back Minidress

Images courtesy of Shopbop, Net-A-Porter, Helmut Lang,

I was always a long-haired girl...

..till yesterday when I decided to cut my mid-back length locks into this asymmetrical bob. I thought there was going to be a lot more anxiety and maybe tears but surprisingly, I was really ready. I've had some horrendous hair mishaps in the past, and very bad luck involving stylists (my hair person bailed on me on my wedding day, because he supposedly missed his flight from Vegas that morning - wtf was he doing in VEGAS on the morning of my big day?).

Fortunately, Simon at Masterpiece Hair is a Jedi with shears. Alas, no tears.

A while ago, I was tagged by The Anthology with the Stylish Blogger Award, and HauteWorld kindly reminded me I didn't list out my ten things that make my unique style. So, here we go:

1. I always take cut and proportion into consideration - being pint sized means I follow some rules that elongate and flatter. Hello micro-minis!

2. I'm never afraid to be who I am and wear what I want, when and where I want it.

3. I am a style chameleon, able to mix and match according to my mood. I can go preppy to punk to pretty on the same day.

4. If something looks "nice", it's not good enough. Nice is over-rated.

5. I will splurge on luxurious handbags, because there's nothing better than a buttery soft, high quality bag...

6. ...except for posh shoes. You can't have too many pairs.

7. I am not much for costume jewelry, as I prefer very special signature pieces. These are usually custom made (designed by me), or purchased somewhere in the world on one of my trips, or poached from mom. It helps that my uncle is a jeweler, and my mom's collection is probably worth more than my house.

8. I have an obsession with leather - I love the smell of it when I clean my saddle, tack and riding boots, and I love how well-worn leather feels.

9. I actually wear glasses most days to work - in fact I have about 4 pairs of them!

10. A pair of good boots and sunglasses instantly upgrades anything I'm wearing.

Sorry about the terrible quality of these pictures - I'll fix that shortly but I wanted to get some pics up soon since my friends and readers have been asking.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fall Picks Part 1 - Motomania

We're two days away from September - can you believe it? As sad as that is, I am excited about putting away the flip flops and slips and trading it for boots, leather, and layered scarves.

By reader request, I present to you part 1 of 4 posts with my fave fall 2009 trends. The first: Motomania.

Biker chic for means plenty of leather (jackets, shorts, pants, skirt etc.), zippers and studded everything, destroyed and skinny jeans, and lots of boots (take your pic: flat, spiked, ankle, cut-out). Although hard-edged, this is a more feminine and luxe motorcycle look that has plenty of sexy pieces which cling to the female body.

Immediately Above: Preen Shrunken Leather Biker Jacket and Frye Engineer Boot
Opening picture: Vintage leather shorts from Rock Paper Vintage

I wasn't sure about the whole harness trend until I saw the below one from Norwegian Wood - paired with the blouse, it's a lot more tamed.

Above: Norwegian Wood Punk Ballerina Leather Harness from Shrimpton Couture and BE+D Garbo Tote

I've been looking for a bustier for a while now, and this one is definitely on the wild side. I'd love to pair that with a slouchy blazer.

Above: Kettle Black Studded Bustier and Luxury Rebel Kelsey Open-Toe Booties

I had to include this Diesel helmet because it's actually damn sexy. I'd so wear it with the leather shorts.

Since Alexander Wang single-handedly brought back zippers and the buckled boot, I've included pieces below from his inspiration. And he'll do it again with my next Fall Pick.

Will you rock any of these looks for Fall 2009?

Above: Preen Line Stretch Miniskirt and Alexander Wang Buckled Booties
Images courtesy of Shop Bop, Net-a-Porter, Shrimpton Couture, and Diesel.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wounded Knee

There's usually not much good that comes out of putting a pavement rash on your knee, especially when you've fallen off your hot new bicycle. The little pink machine and I went for a nice ride on Saturday, and everything was going stellar until, well, I wiped out on a sharp corner coming down a big hill. It was quite silly really, but lucky for me, nothing more than a bad skinning.

To turn a bad into a good, I decided to do some consolation shopping at Vincent Park, a local boutique which coincidentally was having a sale. With my bandaged up knee, I hobbled up the narrow staircase in search of goodies.

I picked up this pretty pink floral skirt, 2 pairs of skinny jeans for $70, and a shirt for hubby. That and eating an ice-cream sandwich helped make the pain go away.
Due to popular request, I have paired the outfit with my paint splattered purse that people love or loathe. You decide.
Silk button-up sleeveless shirt, Sisley
High-waisted floral skirt, MYNE Ashley Ann from Vincent Park
Brown cropped jacket, Miss Lau, from Hong Kong
Equestrian belt, Urban Outfitters
Wedges, DKNY
Paint splattered purse, from Toronto
White bone necklace, Simply Sublime

Monday, August 24, 2009

Virtual Hugs and Kisses

I love the circle of friends I've made through It's a Beautiful Life, and it's always fun discovering new people and their perspectives on style. I received the Stylish Blogger Award from my good friend at The Anthology (who had in turn received it from two of my other fave blogs, Dream Sequins and Haute World) and I'd like to share the love by passing it onto some of these wonderful, stylish peeps.

Option8 - Quelle I love your quirky, edgy style, your funky makeup, and of course your hard-ass commentary. Keep it up, and please come to Yaletown for lunch soon for some hockey boys action.

Room907 - Room907 and his recently expanded team open my horizons everytime I visit. Be it style, travel, gourmet, or culture, it's got me covered "Head to Toe" in all matters cool.

Being High Maintenance
, Not Bitchy -MizzJ doles out style and beauty tips with a sassy 'tude that makes me smile.

Style Quotient - Vancouver's newest street style blog which shows the rest of the world we know how to rock our style as hard as anyone in Paris, New York or Tokyo.

I've Got a Lust for Life - Olivia aka Wildcat has the most wild rocker-i-don't-give-a-shite-look I've seen anywhere, and I can't help but fall in love with her mix of eclectic mix of vintage wear. Her photos, some of which are for vintage shop Spanish Moss, are incredible.

Happy blogging - you all really inspire me.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

In Bloom

I couldn't resist stopping by this local community garden near my house on my way to the Sunday Market. The sunflowers are at their height of gorgessity in full bloom; there was one with such a big smiling face that it must measure wider than my head. And certainly much taller than little ole me with their strong green stalks, climbing high towards the sun. I only noticed afterward that my granny-style bolero had multi-coloured sunflowers all over too.

My garden has fared very well this year, and I'm so happy the violet hydrangeas came back after a hard winter.
I believe this is a hibiscus, another one of my favorite flowers along with orchids, plumerias and lillies.
Red and white petunias in my flower boxes, which nestle alongside some leafy foliage. In another box, I have sweet peas which are now blooming.
I also planted baby cherry tomatoes for the first time, three pots of them on my south facing patio. They've provided a steady harvest which I've put to good use in salads, pastas and on the grill. My favourite way to use them is in this simple Jamie Oliver summer pasta recipe - the "sauce" doesn't require any cooking. The heat of the pasta gently wilts the tomatoes, just enough to release their bursts of flavour.
Being an earth-child Taurus, I can't help but to love my garden. What are some of your favourite flowers in the garden?

Turquoise Sun Dress, Guess
Crochet Bolero, from Hong Kong
Orange Sequined Belt, Abercrombie and Fitch
Oversized Floral Beach Bag, from Fine Finds
Puka Necklace, from "Cheapie Cheapie George" at Cabarete Beach, Dominican Republic

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I Wannabe a Stella Girl

I know it's hard to look ahead to fall when it's still so warm out but it's the inevitable. The good news: lovely fall clothes and boots to look forward to! And that includes Stella McCartney's Ready-to-Wear Fall collection, for which the designer wanted to bring back the "Stella Girl" of the nineties.

Playing with classic lines and fabrics, McCartney re-invents the basics and adds a modern yet timeless elegance. Taking a transition from her sporty yet feminine spring collection, her fall line takes a cue from menswear influences while balancing the pretty Stella girl. The result is a mix of clinging houndstooth sweater dresses, drapey men's jackets and de-constructed lace, tulle, and silk slips for the evening.

Some of my favorites includes the red boyfriend blazer (very eye-catching), the faux-fur coat (so luxe and cozy) and the lace-sleeved slipdresses (meow!). I also liked McCartney's take on the strong-shoulder trend; she plays it soft and loose with her blouses, and she extends the eye down the arm with exaggerated sleeves. Sequined leggings are big this fall, and MCartney has taken that one step further and created a whole sequined suit - very elegant.

All pictures courtesy of

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Vintage Era

Inspired by the vintage-wear of wonderfully stylish bloggers such as The Anthology, The Stylish Wanderer, and I've Got a Lust for Life, I've been giving vintage a second look. I must admit, I haven't shopped at a vintage store in years, mostly because I got too impatient to look through the piles of bric-a-brac to get to the good stuff. When I was younger, vintage was all I ever wore, and when I got to uni, I stopped shopping vintage.

This era is about to end, and especially judging by the juicy finds at Spanish Moss Vintage. I'm crazy about these dresses, some saucy and some sweet.

All images from Spanish Moss Vintage.