When I helped promote the Braderie de Mode Quebecoise in Gatineau this past fall, my eyes were opened to what felt like hundreds of Canadian (Quebec-based) designers. I always knew our neighbours to the east were super stylish (Montreal, I’m looking at you!), but to see so much talent gathered under one roof was pretty amazing.
One of the Canadian designers who completely captured my heart is Nadya Toto – her Italian background translates to minimalistic, yet sophisticated designs, but what I love best is the touch of whimsy and femininity. I walked away with this simple long sleeved sheath dress in burgundy. I’ve worn it many times already because it checks off all my boxes; effortless, relaxed (it’s so comfortable), and chic. This is one of those pieces where you truly reap the power of a good investment purchase. Not only is it classic, but it’s a great foundation piece from which to build so many great looks.
Give her website a browse; it will be worth it. I often fall into the trap of thinking that sustainable style and ethical fashion mean scouring the web for hours to find the right combination of style and sustainability (plug for shopeitheror.com where you can find Canadian-made clothing all in one place!) when we have some amazing Canadian designers in our own backyard.
Dress: Nadya Toto // Boots: AGL at Nordstrom (old, great alternative here) // Scarf: Toria Rose (old, alternative here) // Coat: Mackage, old and altered, but love this one // sunnies: Kate Spade at Merivale Vision Care // Good hair day (sorry, felt like it had to be mentioned!): Fiorella at Rinaldos (the power of a great cut – this is what it looks like 4 months grown out!) // pics by: Melody Iafelice
It’s the middle of winter, we’re all hibernating, and maybe you’re just feeling blah. It’s easy to scroll through your instafeed and Pinterest and get inspired by some amazing outfits and fashion and think a little retail therapy is in order to spice up your life wardrobe.
Sometimes we need to shake things up, and I believe our wardrobe has just what we need – the trick is in restyling the pieces you already have to create something new. Here are three ensembles, or outfit formulas (I think I’m going to use this word way more often) that you might not have thought of but that are easy to create from your existing wardrobe:
monochromatic: maybe you found yourself jumping on the pink train last year, or you have so many neutrals you don’t know what else to do with them – a monochromatic look is always polished, and playful if done in a fun hue. Given my limited wardrobe I kept my monochromatic look in the cream family but if you rock this in anything other than grey, black, cream or navy, major kudos to you.
Coat: Mackage / Top: Judith & Charles from ShopAlfred.com / Culottes: Thrifted but love these / Boots: UGG at Nordstrom / Sunnies: Kate Spade at Merivale Optometric
canadian tuxedo: this classic ensemble should never be underestimated. If you add a feminine element like a heel, interesting jewelry or a colourful neck scarf, your friends with think it’s groundbreaking.
Jeans: Alexa Chung for AG at schad / Top: a hand-me-down from my cousin! But here’s a great option / Booties: Club Monaco / Coat: Value Village but I love this one / Purse: Naked Vice at schad / Neck Scarf: Vintage but here’s a beautiful one / Sunnies: Kate Spade at Merivale Optometric
tone on tone: similar to a monochromatic look, this type of outfit is great if you have a lot of the same colour in your closet. A two tone outfit in a colour that suits you is a creative mix of colours that is still unexpected but easy to pull off. Again – major props if you do this in anything other than a neutral colour.
We often hear the words “shop local” but acting on them isn’t always easy. In the next two weeks however, you’ll have your chance at the Braderie de Mode Quebecoise on October 7/8 at the Hilton Lac Leamy in Gatineau.
Imagine this: a room FULL of fashion from sumptuous designers hailing from Quebec – discounted anywhere between 50-80%. Not only is this a great occasion to increase the Canadian content in your closet, but it’s an opportunity to meet the designers. You’ll recognize some big names like Mackage and Soia & Kyo, but I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know some of the other designers and have put together a little sneak peek – a fashion preview if you will, with fall fashion trends in mind and how to wear them:
Graphic sport, athleisure – comfortable style has been increasingly popular season after season; Proenza Schouler did this so well on the fall runways, and here – Melissa Nepton has a fabulous take on uber wearable style with her signature classic undertones. This graphic black and white dress is swingy, and made of a fabric that feels too comfortable for real life. Seriously. To transition this dress to fall, I’ve added a turtleneck underneath and underscored the geometric feel with a pair of earrings from Anne-Marie Chagnon – who, by the way – needs to be on your list of discoveries; not only because she spent 10 years creating jewelry for Cirque du Soleil, but because her pieces are truly works of art. I’m loving the mixed textures of these earrings – leather, gold and pewter – a stunning combo.
Dress: Melissa Nepton, Turtleneck: Lord&Taylor, Pumps: Rachel ZOE at schad, Blazer: H&M, Sunnies: Kate Spade at Merivale Optometric, Earrings: Anne-Marie Chagnon
Ca Va de Soi
Knitwear becomes popular as the temperatures drop, but this season knits came back in a big, lovely, romantic way; whether in comfy sweater dresses or demure cardigans, Balenciaga and Chanel had head to toe knitwear looks, and I’m a BIG fan. So naturally, Ca Va de Soi pulled through (pun totally intended) with this fabulous oversized sweater which I wore as a dress paired with over the knee boots. You will find how versatile knits are; toughen it up with some ripped denim and a killer heel, but always remember; these classic sweaters make the perfect backdrop for an eye-popping accessory.
Sweater/Dress: Ca Va de Soi, Necklace: Anne-Marie Chagnon, Boots: Stuart Weitzman at Browns Shoes, Sunnies: Kate Spade at Merivale Optometric
Keeping it ethical – friendly fashion is very much de rigueur; Stella McCartney is notoriously conscious about her materials, and if you’re a conscious shopper, you’ll love Message Factory and OOM Ethikwear for their sustainable fabrics and oh so comfy pieces. I LOVED the versatility of this neckline – it can be worn as a cowl neck but I’ve worn it off the shoulder for an on-trend take on this piece.
Dress: Message Factory, Shoes: Winners, Sunnies: Rayban at Merivale Optometric
Friendly fashion also comes in the form of footwear – that’s right, friendly footwear that is. Ahhh! Mes Pieds specializes in foldable flats that are perfect for on the go lunch errands, or relief after an event in heels. After trying on this pair, I couldn’t help envisioning super chic travel attire.
Of all the trends on the Fall 2016 runways, lingerie is likely the hardest to pull off. Slip dresses, lace, silk – what is typically reserved for bedtime has now come to the forefront of many a style blogger’s look, but a little can go a long way. Enter Blush Lingerie – their bralettes and bras are so sweet, you’ll want to show them off. I’ve paired a bralette with a deep V-neck sweater – the juxtaposition of textures and flats keep it from looking too vampy. Give it a whirl – you’ll be so glad you did.
I am so excited to report that this is only a small taste of the designers you will find at the Braderie; over 60 designers will be participating so you can bet there will be plenty to explore – it’s a fabulous opportunity to discover some solid Canadian fashion – I can’t wait to see you there!
For more info visit: http://www.braderiedemodequebecoise.com/
The item that my closet was missing this time around was a pair of flat ankle boots. Undeniably, flat ankle boots are to fall what mai-tai’s and life-vests are to yachts: Completely necessary. Since I hadn’t yet found a pair that suited my criteria I whipped out a pair of thick work socks and put on my metallic brogues to replicate the adequate amount of coverage that would keep me warm and still emulate a nonchalant style that I was happy with.
But what do you think? Was this a good substitute for a flat ankle boot?
I know I’m a little late in joining the 2014 party, but a far away trip and the resulting jet lag kicked my proverbial butt. I have to admit that I was surprised at my own excitement to being back and ready to work at the beginning of a bright new year. You see, normally returning from a beautiful vacation results in me being sad for an indefinite period, but it seems as though this time is different. It could be because I’ll be working as Assistant Editor at Press the Fashion magazine (yay! Check out their site if you haven’t visited yet) which I’m really excited about, or it could be due to the fact that I’ve decided to work on building my styling portfolio more seriously. Either way, it seems as though having creative professional goals has made returning to reality a little easier.
Coat: Mackage // Pants: Zara (I love these Marc by Marc Jacobs and they’re on serious SALE !) // Boots: Ugg (old – but I love this flat version!)// Gloves: a glove shop in Rome // Purse: Preferably Purses // big thanks to Anna Pipin for taking the photos and finding this amazing turquoise house in Centretown
With all this cheery optimism for the year ahead it may seem odd that upon my return my first instinct was to wrap myself back up in black. Isn’t this year all about dressing with colour, texture and quirk? Didn’t January’s Vogue praise the unpredictable joy in breaking the rules and dressing to the beat of your own bright, bejeweled drum?
Even though we should all be channeling our inner Liza Minnelli to embrace the “new us” for the new year, it felt great to step back into the comfort of my warm Mackage coat and Zara waxed denim. I have done much running around, waiting, traveling, meeting, planning, thinking and organizing in these pieces and they always take me effortlessly from one task to the next. Sometimes all we need is a little familiarity to get us into a working groove.
Dear Readers, I played hooky today on the usual Workwear Wednesday post. You’ll have to forgive my lack of preparation for a post on prints (how’s that for alliteration and me wildly assuming you enjoy my workwear posts! Let me know if you would prefer something else to inspire your lovely thoughts!) and instead enjoy a little outfit post that I’m proud to say was shot by the big frenchman over the weekend.
This outfit is made up of all my favorite closet items; my uniform pieces so to speak. With the exception of my wedding shoes of course – which you may have already seen here. If you were to create this kind of outfit, what would your uniform pieces be?
Do you wear suspenders? I love them. Sometimes they can be tricky to wear but if done right, they look fun and do a great job of holding your pants up. Other times, especially for those ladies who are well endowed, they can get in the way of-er-things, and look better when hanging off one’s hips. Either way, in the photos below, you’ll see I’m sporting mine in the upright position with and with my jacket hanging off my shoulders in the extremely impractical style that is seen outside of Fashion Weeks the world over. I had a really hard time moving my arms in this photo.
But I digress; how do you like suspenders? Do you own a pair?
Fur Vest: Saraz Closet (similar here) // Leather Jacket: Mackage (similar here) // Scarf: Vintage // Pants: Diesel (old) // Belt: JCrew (love this new one here) // Sunglasses: Tom Ford // Purse: Louis Vuitton // Big thank you for photos by Julie
It’s been so cold here in Ottawa lately and the outfit above is one of my favorite ways to stave off the chilly weather. Enjoy!
What is the best consignment find you’ve ever had?
Mine was a Mackage coat that I found for $40 in St.Jovite, a tiny one-street town just outside of Mont.Tremblant.
We were on our way home from a weekend of skiing and I saw a little sign in a somewhat dilapidated building that called to me. I’m serious. I made my then-boyfriend (today my husband, thank goodness he’s used to stopping at random shady looking establishments – that’s where the best deals are) turn around and stop at this little country store that was selling used clothing and knick-knacks.
This was about 5 years ago, and I hadn’t yet heard of Mackage, the Canadian company renowned for their leather goods. But I recognized a gem when I saw it … buttery soft leather the colour of sand, finished with long thick wool cuffs and collar and lined with silk. It was in perfect condition and the tag said “Made in Canada”. At a time when everything was being outsourced to China, I snatched it up and never looked back.
Now I have several Mackage coats, some wool, others leather, but have been paying full price since that wonderful day in St.Jovite. I don’t mind the price tag however, because I’ve had all of my Mackage coats for over 3 years and they all look and feel amazing. No buttons falling off and not a thread out of place. The leather wears beautifully and the wool gets softer every season.
A Canadian company that was started by two childhood friends, Mackage makes outerwear into more than something to keep you warm. Their coats, capes and jackets are tailored to give the wearer a slim silhouette without having to don a parka and risk looking like an oompa loompa, thanks to cashmere and wool blends.
Here’s a look at some of their Fall 2012 runway collection and a few of my favorite pieces. They have since branched out into ready to wear, but I will always be on the hunt for one of their leather jackets.