What I Wore: Design Lab

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It’s officially spring, and with any luck, pretty soon we’ll be able to put away our winter coats and boots, shed those opaque tights, and finally wear pretty clothes and shoes. I can’t wait! Recently, I got to preview Hudson’s Bay’s new Design Lab collection, chock-full of boho caftans, eyelet two-pieces in pretty pastel shades, faux suede, crochet, fringe, and lace…oh my! Checking out the collection made me feel even antsier about warmer temps – so many cute pieces to add to my closet!

I was lucky enough to pick my faves and take them out for a spin at Toronto’s Allan Gardens Conservatory – a place where it’s summer all year long. I chose this sassy floral two-piece, so stretchy and comfy, that it works even on a curvier girl like me. With an athletic-inspired lace bomber jacket, this is the perfect outfit for those warm spring days…brunch, date, whatever. And those blue flowers –instant pick-me-up!

Check out Hudson’s Bay’s Design Lab collection here and let me know which pieces you love!

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What I Wore: Top, Skirt, Jacket – Design Lab (Hudson’s Bay); Bag – CHANEL; Shoes – Alexander Wang

This post was sponsored by Hudson’s Bay, all opinions are my own.

Photo Credits: Max Kopanygin

What I Wore: Something Borrowed, Something CHANEL

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When CHANEL offered to dress me for their Fall 2015 runway show, I couldn’t believe my luck. Feeling like Cinderella for the day, I picked out this stunning tweed and lace blazer, paired with a patent red cross-body bag, matching pearl cuffs, and of course, my recent fave CHANEL ankle booties. There were lots more options at our fitting, but sadly, as someone who’s no longer a size 2, fitting into samples presented a bit of a challenge. Where is the fairy godmother to shrink one a size or three, when you really need her?!

But no matter, I still loved the outfit I ended up choosing, and happily wore it to the show, to visit Coco Chanel’s apartment, at Cafe Marly, and back at the rue Cambon boutique, giddily running around Paris in CHANEL. I paired the blazer with my fave top from the Canadian brand Pink Tartan, because even during Paris Fashion Week, it felt right to #WearCanada.

At the end of the three-day Discover CHANEL program, I had to hand over the borrowed things, feeling a little sad to say good-bye to the beautiful pieces I had a chance to wear. Regardless, I was still so happy that I got to have a bit of a celeb experience…on a much smaller scale, of course, but still…borrowed clothes or not, the memories are forever.

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I Wore: Jacket, Bag, Shoes, Cuffs, Earrings – CHANEL; Top – Pink Tartan; Pants – Zara; Sunglasses – Dior

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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Shopping: H&M’s Conscious Exclusive Collection Spring 2015 Lookbook

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Every spring, I look forward to checking out H&M’s newest Conscious Exclusive collection, and this year’s is finally here! Fronted by Olivia Wilde as the face of this season’s campaign, the collection is full of timeless pieces that I love. Take the cape blazer for example…how sick does it look on Olivia?! It’s a perfect blend of masculine and feminine and frankly, I need it in my life. Same can be said about the rest of the collection, rendered in neutral colours, and classic silhouettes.

“I love the Conscious Exclusive collection at H&M, both for the look, and also for its ethics. This is how all fashion should be: great style that’s naturally more sustainable,” says Olivia Wilde.

H&M’s new Conscious Exclusive collection was created using sustainable materials like hemp, organic linen and organic leather, and will be available worldwide on April 16. Are you loving this year’s collection? Share in the comments!

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More after the jump!
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Discover CHANEL: 51 avenue Montaigne

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It’s hard to describe the feeling of a dream coming true, but I will do my best. As I was getting ready for my long-awaited trip to Morocco, I received the most amazing news – not only was I invited to attend the CHANEL Fall-Winter 2015/16 show, but I was also among the 5 bloggers selected to participate in the Discover CHANEL program that was to be held over three days in Paris. I think after the initial shock wore off, doubt set in, and I spent the next couple of weeks in a state of disbelief, sure that somehow I was dreaming this entire scenario up, and that I would soon wake up to realize that it was all the result of my fevered imagination. Spoiler alert…it was not a dream, but it was certainly a dream come true.

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On Day 1 of Discover CHANEL, I arrived at 51 avenue Montaigne, ready for the tour of the beautiful boutique and a private fitting (!!!!!!!). At the boutique, I met Alvin and Columbine, bloggers from Singapore and Sweden, and got to hang out with fellow Canadians – the Beckerman sisters Cailli and Sam. We were a rowdy bunch, and after checking out the impressive avenue Montaigne boutique (opened in 2012, inspired by Coco Chanel’s apartment, and designed by Peter Marino), we rushed into the VIP room to rummage through racks and tables of clothing, accessories, and jewelry prepared for us by the amazing CHANEL team.

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Not being a sample size girl, I still managed to find several things that fit me, and in the end, selected a timeless chevron-print tweed blazer, red patent leather crossbody bag, and two pearl cuffs to wear to the next day’s show, as well as a cashmere cardigan and a tweed chainlink necklace to wear on the last day of the tour. With a shopping bag full of CHANEL goodies, I went back to our Airbnb and just stared at it all for a bit…trying to soak up the feeling of having so many CHANEL pieces at my disposal. Not going to lie…it felt pretty amazing. Almost as amazing as knowing that next day, CHANEL’s Fall 2015 show awaited… (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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3 Bags and 3 Muses in CHANEL’s Latest Ad Campaign

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If you’ve been waiting for that promised ad campaign, featuring Kristen Stewart, Vanessa Paradis, and Alice Dellal, your patience has finally been rewarded, because CHANEL released these images of the new (and not so new) CHANEL handbag muses, wearing three iconic bags from the brand. Shot by Karl Lagerfeld, these images feature some of the coolest it-girls around, and I have to say that I’m obsessed with Vanessa’s photo, especially since she’s not a twenty-something ingenue. I love that Karl continues to work with her, and that she continues to be the face of CHANEL many years later.

The idea behind the campaign was to feature each woman with a CHANEL bag that best embodies her – Vanessa with the Girl, Alice with the Boy, and Kristen with the 11.12. As a huge fan of the brand, I do find all three bags dreamy, but if I had to choose one, it would be the Boy. Besides the romantic story behind the name of the bag, I love how easy that bag is…how it can be dressed up or down, with a comfy strap that can be worn cross-body, or on the shoulder…CHANEL Boy Bag is definitely a fave of mine.

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If you were curious about what the three muses had to say about their bag choices, here’s a little insight into their faves!

Dellal on the Boy: “Since discovering the Boy, I have found it a permanent fixture in my wardrobe. It’s a ‘fuss-free’ bag; it is very modern! The Boy bag was my first job with Chanel, it was the beginning of a unique journey.”
Kristen Stewart on 11.12: “For me, the iconic handbag (the 11.12) is just like the house of Chanel, fundamental and modern, two qualities not usually shared.”
Vanessa Paradis on the Girl: “I like the fact that it blends in with clothes or against the skin with infinite gentleness.”

And there you have it…three CHANEL muses, with three stunning CHANEL handbags. Which one is your fave? Share in the comments.

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More photos after the jump!
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What I Wore: Toronto Tourism Magazine

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Last September, when I first went platinum, I had an amazing opportunity to participate in a photoshoot for Toronto Tourism Magazine. Alongside 3 other stylish Torontonians, I was invited to wear one of my fave outfits and talk about my style…and so I did.

Now, nearly 6 months after the shoot, the magazine is finally out, and it feels a little surreal. The mag is available for an entire year at various Toronto locations, and I take up a full page! Sorry for bragging, but this is kind of amazing. You can see the virtual copy of the magazine HERE, and check out the other stylish Torontonians featured.

I Wore: Dress – Lanvin; Clutch – Prada; Cuff – H&M

Photo Credits: Angela Lewis

Shopping: H&M Studio Spring 2015 Collection Lookbook

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With winter getting on my last nerve, any refuge from the frigid cold is very welcome…especially when it comes in the form of a drool-worthy lookbook. So if you need to feel like spring is just around the corner, feast your eyes on this H&M Studio Spring 2015 lookbook, which features lovely prints, flowy fabrics, and the promise of sunny days and minimal layers. This time around, I also included menswear photos, because some of the pieces are just too good not to share. I’ve been known to shop the menswear section often, and this time, I’ll be hunting down that space-tastic top to add to my growing sweatshirt collection.

H&M Studio S/S 2015 will be sold worldwide from March 12th, and I wouldn’t wait to hit up the stores if I were you. The printed pajama-like suiting, tie-dye slipper sandals, and luxurious leather jackets will fly off the shelves like all those other special H&M collections usually do.

Happy Shopping!

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See womenswear and menswear collections after the jump!
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