CHANEL Paris Seoul Cruise 2016 Collection

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Cruise collections are my favourite! Most of the time they invoke thoughts of impossibly glamorous getaways, fancy yachts, gleaming sailboats – the whole nine yards. And CHANEL cruise collections (and shows) are always ones to watch. Not only because they actually take place in those impossibly glam locales, but also because it’s never just a fashion show – it’s a performance and a spectacle.

For CHANEL Cruise 2016 collection, Karl Lagerfeld set his sights on the South Korean metropolis Seoul. Paying homage both to the traditional Korean dress and colorful fashions of wildly popular K-Pop bands, the collection was a candy-crush-coloured dream. Among my favourites were the printed PJ-like set, colourful tweeds, pastel striped errythang, and the most beautiful (and intricate) choker necklaces. This colour-loving girl was thrilled with pretty much every piece from the collection…with the exception of shoes. I am really starting to miss Karl’s creativity when it comes to runway footwear. Here’s hoping Spring 2016 will give us some exciting shoes to look forward to.

What do you think of CHANEL Cruise 2016 Collection? Share in the comments!

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More after the jump!
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Toronto Fashion Week: Hayley Elsaesser Spring 2015 Collection

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As I wrote last year, last season of WMCFW was one of the best…but if I’d made one mistake that week, it was not seeing the Hayley Elsaesser Spring 2015 show. I think it was late, I was tired, and apparently stupid, because Hayley’s collection was one of the highlights of Toronto Fashion Week last season. Full of gloriously fun printed pieces, the Heavenly Bodies collection was deliciously cheeky, yet wearable…and after perusing the photos the day after the show, I was mad at myself for not sticking around.

Well, this season, I’m not going to make the same mistake. Hayley Elsaesser’s Fall 2015 show is definitely one of my most highly-anticipated tickets of the season, and I can’t wait to see what this cool Canadian-born/Australian-educated designer has dreamed up this time around.

And since spring is technically here, I just wanted to let you know that a lot of Hayley’s Heavenly Bodies pieces are now available for pre-order. Sadly, at $970 I just can’t pull the trigger on my fave handsy sequin tee dress, but the mouthy maxi is much more affordable and just as cute.

What do you think of Hayley Elsaesser’s whimsical collection? Are you into it? Share in the comments.

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More after the jump!
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Discover CHANEL: Breakfast at CHANEL, Brasserie Gabrielle, and Back to THE Apartment

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*If you are catching up, you can read the first Discover CHANEL installment here

Every season, despite dozens of fashion presentations happening from New York to Tokyo, CHANEL runway show remains one of the most highly-anticipated collections and shows to see. Not only to check out the next masterful/curious/intriguing collection, but also to admire the setting that Karl Lagerfeld and his team dream up season after season (icebergs, demonstrations, supermarkets, oh my!). What I’m trying to say is…CHANEL shows are never ever boring, which is why I was so excited to finally be able to attend one in person.

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Arriving at the Grand Palais early in my “something borrowed” CHANEL outfit, I saw street style photographers milling about, stylish (and not-so-stylish) peacocks walking back and forth, hoping to catch photogs’ eyes, security vans patrolling the perimeter, people handing out promotional breakfast packs to the hungry attendees (Macarons for breakfast? Don’t mind if I do!). Sensory overload, even before I set foot inside the grand venue.

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As part of the Discover CHANEL program, my fellow bloggers and I got to go inside at the same time as the photographers, and before anyone else, so that we could check out the interior as it was intended. Welcoming us into the Brasserie Gabrielle, were impeccably-dressed “waiters”, and as I stepped into Coco Chanel-inspired French brasserie set at the Grand Palais, my jaw practically dropped to the floor – it was overwhelming. Attention to detail was immaculate – Parisian bar stands stocked with all of the usual breakfast accouterments from boiled eggs to Viennoiserie, fully-functioning coffee machines, where I totally ordered a cuppa since I didn’t have time for one before the show, reserved tables for the VIPs (of course, the first thing I did was find Anna Wintour’s table), mosaic-tiled floors…it was all perfect!

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I resisted going to my assigned seat, hanging out around the bar area to people-watch, as one would at an actual brasserie. I spotted Grace Coddington’s red mane, Patrick Demarchelier settling into his booth, Giovanna Battaglia talking to friends excitedly, Carine Roitfeld posing for photographers, Hamish Bowles snapping photos of the bar with his cell phone, I even saw Karl Lagerfeld surrounded by a sea of black suits before the show.

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I also snuck a photo of Anna Wintour mid-interview, hiding behind her signature shades; I felt like a naughty child or a stalker, but if Anna minded, her face didn’t show it. Before I knew it, the ushers were gently, yet firmly asking us to take our seats, and so I did, ready for the main event.

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I found my seat just in time, as models began walking through the revolving doors, entering the brasserie, but after doing the obligatory runway walk around the room, some models would settle in at the bar to grab some OJ, while others would pile into the comfy booths for a chat or a selfie session. It felt fresh and unexpected to see models laugh together, order food, and basically show off the collection in action. As the show came to an end, models did not leave their various perches, but stayed behind for a sort of an installation presentation, where attendees could grab photos of the models up-close, as well as sit down next to them for a minute of make-believe – breakfast with supermodels at Brasserie Gabrielle, anyone?

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As for the collection itself, this was one of my favourite CHANEL collections in a while. Dubbed the “French Collection”, it had all the staples that are expected from CHANEL – emblematic tweed, exquisite little black dresses, to-die-for bags, spectacular coats, but in line with the setting, there were also cheeky plate minaudieres, fork and spoon bags, pencil skirts in a fabric reminiscent of those brasserie mosaic floors, bomber jackets adorned with bows, skirts that looked like they were made out of folded white napkins (surprisingly cool!). While some pieces were very tongue-in-cheek, others were simply chic. Even the kookiest of pieces were still wearable and covetable, and very much in line with the spirit of CHANEL.

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Being able to see many of those pieces up close after the show was a pleasant (and a very welcome) surprise. While Karl jumped behind the bar to serve orange juice and answer questions, many of the attendees (myself included) jumped at the chance to snap close-ups of the stunning collection, admiring both the models and the clothes in front of us. Most of the photos in this post were snapped by me, so you can probably see just how close we got to the models and to the sublime clothes.

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After the show, our chic crew piled into a van to be whisked away to Coco Chanel’s rue Cambon apartment. Having visited the apartment in the past, I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be able to go there for the second time! You can read my post about the first visit here. Once again, I could almost feel Coco Chanel’s spirit in the lavish surroundings. The place felt more familiar the second time around, but the visit was just as special as the first time. This time, I took some videos of the apartment, which I’ll be sharing in the original post soon.

Giddy from our visit, the bloggers and I headed back to rue Cambon to do some shopping after lunch, excited for next day’s visit to the CHANEL handbag factory! (to be continued)

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More photos after the jump!
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Paris Fashion Week: H&M Studio Fall 2015 Runway Collection

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Paris Fashion Week is upon us, and as in the past few years, my fave fast-fashion brand H&M presented their Fall 2015 Studio collection in Paris. With a studded front row, that included Audrey Tautou, Solange Knowles, Mark Ronson, and Olga Kurylenko, and a slew of the most in-demand models strutting their stuff on the runway, this was definitely one of the hottest tickets of the season.

Once again, I tuned in to watch the show live online, while making my wishlist for next fall. After all, even though this was a Paris Fashion Week runway show, the major appeal is that the clothes shown will be affordable. No need to break the bank.

Unlike in the past, however, this year’s wishlist was shorter than I had expected. There were several standouts like the psychedelic sequinned top that my closet seriously needs, the green chevron-printed tunic that I’d happily wear as a dress, a couple of patent leather jackets perfect for fall, an orange beaded sweater of my dreams, and a furry topper that I fell in love with. But the rest of it just wasn’t my cup of tea. Perhaps because I don’t love wide trousers, or because the colours weren’t vibrant enough for this magpie…but most looks from the collection left me a little underwhelmed. Hopefully when the pieces hit the stores, I’ll feel differently, but even if I don’t, there are plenty of looks from this collection that I’m going to be coveting next fall.

H&M Studio is H&M’s limited-edition collection of key seasonal pieces, with its own dedicated design team. The Fall 2015 collection will be available in 200 stores worldwide, as well as online (sadly not in Canada), from September 10. So tell me, did you love H&M Fall 2015 Studio Collection? Share your faves in the comments.

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More photos after the jump!
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NYFW Spring 2015: Street Style Hair Trends

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As the latest season of NYFW is coming to a close, I want to revisit some photos I took at the tents last September. As I was shooting, I noticed a trend – fun hair colours! From platinum, to grey, to red, to pastel, to rainbow, people were making loud fashion statements with their hair colour.

Perhaps I was biased and only captured what I wanted to see, since at the time I was freshly platinum, but after shooting for a couple of days and spotting dozens of fun hair shades, I knew I wasn’t imagining it. With spring and summer just around the corner, I thought I’d share these photos in case you needed some hair inspo for those warmer days ahead. Enjoy!

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More after the jump!
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CHANEL Couture Spring 2015 Collection

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Karl has done it yet again! Another stunning couture collection for CHANEL, complete with a magical garden set, full of mechanical flowers that bloomed as the show began. Flowers – a huge theme for CHANEL Couture Spring 2015, were not only blooming on the runway, but on gowns, luxe beanies, and bags. Speaking of those couture toques…how cool were those?! They probably cost more than my entire wardrobe, but imagine wearing one of those during our harsh Canadian winters? Instant mood lift!

Surprisingly, there wasn’t much to see in terms of the shoes…flat black boots were worn by all models, which paired with those wide-brim, chiffon covered hats and veils had me reminiscing about Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice, 90’s silhouettes in full force.

And of course, those gowns. Thousands of sequins, plastic flowers, and beads – all attached by hand – hours upon hours of work all culminating in these couture gowns. Exquisite, artful, and fun. I felt like a few of those were specifically made to accommodate Keira Knightley’s pregnancy, so don’t be surprised if you see the actress wearing one of these stunners on the Oscars red carpet.

What did you think of CHANEL Couture Spring 2015 collection? Are you into Karl’s floral fantasy? Share in the comments!

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Rewind 2014: A Year in Photos

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It’s official…2014 is out, 2015 is in! But before we move on to all things new and exciting, I wanted to do a little revisiting, in part to look back on the wonderful year that 2014 was, and in part to have this post for posterity, and in case I ever need a reminder of some awesome things I did last year. If you hate those “me, me, me” posts, then this one may not be for you. Sorry (not really).

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2014 started out pretty well for me, unlike 2013 (credit card fraud galore!), I kicked off the year with a brand new video segment I created in partnership with Yorkdale and Max Kopanygin, called Styled By Nelia. Since January, we shot 9 segments, with 9 amazing retailers, and plan to shoot lots more in 2015. Since I truly hate to be on video, this was a huge challenge for me, but I got more and more comfortable with every episode we shot…and hope to get a little better with each video going forward.

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In February, I had the pleasure of participating in a photoshoot for eLUXE’s Spring 2014 lookbook, featuring Canadian bloggers. And as I will find out later, this will not be the last collab with eLUXE that I would shoot in 2014.


At the beginning of 2014, I also go to test out the Olay Regenerist Luminous skincare line, with beautiful results. Freckles, be gone!
More after the jump!
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Toronto Fashion Week: Best Beauty Looks From Spring 2015 Shows

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Another season of World MasterCard Fashion Week came and went in a whirlwind of lipstick and hairspray and I am here you give you a quick recap of the most noteworthy looks of Spring 2015.

Make Up

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Haley Elsaesser had one of the more unique looks of the week. Haley’s “Heavenly Bodies” collection reflected a very bright, sparkly mix of pastel colours and prints. To prep the skin, Maybelline’s Head Makeup Artist Grace Lee used Dream Finish BB Cream, making the skin  look smooth and flawless. After highlighting the bridge of the nose, top cheekbones and eyes, she finished the look with two-toned red and pink lips. Color Whisper in Faint for Fuchsia was applied on the top lip and Color Whisper Oh La Lilac on the bottom.
Star Product: Maybelline’s Color Whisper in Faint for Fuchsia and Oh La Lilac

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Matthew Gallagher’s collection was inspired by the “Rebirth of Spring”, so the make-up reflected this through a mix of soft nude/bronze colours. Skin was made to look fresh and dewy with Dream Wonder Liquid Touch Foundation, contoured with bronzer and then highlighted (with focus on the top of the cheekbones and underneath the brow). Lash Sensational Mascara was applied generously on the lashes, with the final touch of Color Elixir by Color Sensational in Breathtaking Apricot lightly blotted off to give it a worn-in look.
Star Products: Lash Sensational Mascara in Black and Color Elixir by Color Sensational in Breathtaking Apricot

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Mackage’s inspiration came from “a hip well-traveled girl on the go”. Smooth, matte skin created the perfect palette for this natural look. Eyes were kept simple, yet strong with a coat of Great Lash Mascara and the new Eye Studio Brow Drama gel on the eyebrows (a new favorite product of mine) to create a strong brow. The lips were the unique part, with Grace creating an ombre look using Color Sensational Creamy Matte in Magenta as the base all over the lips and then taking Color Whisper in Oh Lilac and gently blotting it on the center of the lips. Natural, but really cool.
Also, noteworthy was the fresh take on the models’ nails with Essie’s Lead Nail Artist Rita Remark taking blue polish and placing a dot on the half-moon at the base of the nail. Fun and easy!
Star Products: Eye Studio Brow Drama in Dark Brown

Best Hair Looks after the jump!
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What I Wore: Solange, Coco, and Minnie…Oh My!

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Another WMCFW season has come and gone, and this time I found myself at the tents every single day, and saw more shows than I normally would have. As such, my full fashion week recap is going to be up sometime next week, with my fave new designers, outstanding pieces, and fave collections, as well as the beauty recap from our contributor Aleyda. But for now, here’s a post about all of the fun outfits I wore to the tents last month.

Thanks to a slew of wonderful photographers like Ania Boniecka, Aleyah Solomon, Jenna Marie Wakani, Ryan Emberley and Stefania Yarhi, among others, I was able to document every look from a variety of angles and lenses…candid and not. It’s a bit of an exercise in narcissism, but hey, this is a style blog, what did you expect?! Let’s get to it, shall we?

On day 1, I ran into the lovely Talia Brown, and we were snapped together for FLARE Magazine. I didn’t bother with my outfit on day 1 – mainly because I had a very intense day at the office, so I simply swapped my ankle booties for a pair of ALDO heels, and my work bag for an ela clutch, and that was it.

After the shows, we were treated to a VIP party courtesy of Joe Fresh, with Solange Knowles on turntables. We were literally inches away from this stylish beauty, but I’m still not sure if waiting nearly 3 hours for the privilege was worth it. My feet were crying by the time I got home.

xx, attends the Joe Fresh Cocktail event on Monday, October 20th, 2014.solange-toronto-joe-fresh-style-blog-nelia-belkova

On Day 2, I actually managed to change out of my office clothes, and into a fun faux leather overalls from H&M. Knowing that a Minnie Mouse party was in the cards, I made sure to grab my trusty sequinned Minnie ears, which completed my look that day. To add a bit of Canadian flare to my outfit, I wore one of my fave falconwright clutches to the tents.

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More after the jump! [Read more…]

Chanel Haute Couture Fall 2014 Collection

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I am so excited about Paris Haute Couture fashion week, you guys! If, like me, you’ve been missing the excitement and drama in fashion lately, now’s the perfect time to feast your eyes on the hautest gowns of the upcoming season. And while some couture shows left me bored to tears (or nearly), thank goodness for CHANEL, and of course, Karl Lagerfeld. Love him or hate him, the man’s got imagination.

CHANEL Haute Couture Fall 2014 show featured a variety of surprising elements, including what looked like fancy flip flops worn with exquisite gowns, a pregnant model closing the show (apparently Karl loves the pregnant ladies, who would’ve thought?!), messy feathery up-dos topped with Maison Michel’s tiny hats, and a Kardashian strutting her stuff on the runway. *I wonder if Kim’s jealous of Kendall’s fiery rise to the top? I mean, walking in a CHANEL show and having Karl’s approval has got to be more meaningful than scoring half of that VOGUE cover, amiright?

But no matter, despite the pared down setting (no supermarkets or icebergs at this show), the clothes spoke for themselves. Karl’s modern vision, infused with baroque touches and youthful styling, resulted in a dazzling, but still wearable couture collection. One that I am certain we’ll soon see on various red carpets (most likely on Keira Knightley, Diane Kruger, and the like), and I honestly can’t wait! I especially want someone to wear that poofy feathery blue confection…I think with softer hair, it can look both cool and ethereal…also, I am kind of obsessed with it.

But tell me, what do you think of CHANEL Haute Couture Fall 2014 collection? Are you as obsessed as me? Share in the comments.

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More photos after the jump!

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