What They Wore: Met Gala 2015 Recap

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Ok, so first things first – to me, The Met Gala is all about taking risks, embracing the theme, and going all out. This event is not the time to pull out your LBD, your prom dress (I’m looking at you, Elizabeth Banks!), or your ice-skating get up (unless the theme is ice-skating, that is). With that said, I don’t think Beyonce, who so many consider the Best Dressed of the evening, brought her A-game. She wore a gown that revealed a lot of skin, not unlike JLo, and completely failed at embracing the night’s theme – “China: Through the Looking Glass”, and while my top picks are probably not going to be crowd-pleasers, I firmly stand by my choices.

My top looks of the night included FKA Twigs in a crazy-cool Christopher Kane dress (yes that’s a penis, and no, Robert Pattinson does not deserve her hotness), Georgia May Jagger in an Asian-inspired Gucci robe, Solange in a Giles Deacon flying saucer amazingness, which totally did not adhere to the dress code, but was so bonkers I loved it, Chloe Sevigny in a very theme-appropriate JW Anderson creation that is sure to land her on some Worst Dressed lists, but I thought she pulled off flawlessly…I also loved Grace Coddington in silk pajamas. I know, it’s pajamas…but it’s Grace effing Coddington, and she had a flight right after…and she looks awesome and comfy.

In other Met Gala news, SJP wore a dress designed by H&M (!!!), and Emily Ratajkowski wore a pretty Topshop frock…fast fashion on the Met Gala red carpet? I never thought I’d see the day. I loved Dakota Johnson’s CHANEL handbag, which was super cute…and while her disco-ball dress did look smashing on her, perhaps she should’ve opted for something a little more fancy. I have to say that I didn’t love Rihanna’s “omelet” gown, but I’ll take it over what Kanye West’s wife wore any day…Also, there’s a photo I can’t find right now, one where Rihanna’s going up the red stairs and it looks like an image from a fairy tale. Points to RiRi for taking a risk.

I also thought Anne Hathaway, Miley Cyrus, Carey Mulligan, Diane Kruger, and Keri Russell deserve shout-outs for their awesome outfits last night…they weren’t my faves for the occasion, but were notable nonetheless. Lastly, Emily Blunt looked lovely in a caped Prada…but there’s something about this look that’s just not doing it for me…perhaps if it was in a different colour?

So here you have it, my recap of the Met Gala 2015…Share your faves after the jump!

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Shopping: Converse x Missoni Spring 2015 Collection

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Converse x Missoni collabs hold a very special place in my heart, combining fashion and function in some of the best-looking kicks I’ve ever seen, these are my casual-wear go-tos. Which is why I’m so excited about the latest collaboration between the two brands for Spring 2015! Featuring the iconic zigzag pattern in All-Star and All-Star Lux wedge silhouettes, and fun colourways like Egret, Periwinkle/Citrus/Berry, Carnival/Peppermint, and more, these are true must-haves for all fashion lovers out there.

In Canada, Converse x Missoni collection is available at Hudson’s Bay, Brown’s Shoes, Little Burgundy, Town Shoes, Gravity Pope, Groovy and Boutique X2O. From personal experience, I know that they sell quickly, so call ahead and put your pair on hold.

Happy Shopping!

You Are Invited: Design Lab Launch Party at Hudson’s Bay Yorkdale

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I’ve written about the fun new Design Lab collection back in March, and now that it’s finally warm enough to wear floral rompers, lace dresses, and fringed slips, Hudson’s Bay wants to invite you all to check out the collection in person! On May 9, join some of Canada’s top fashion bloggers (and little old me) at Hudson’s Bay Yorkdale to celebrate warm weather, cute clothes, and Design Lab!

Come for a fun shopping afternoon with your girlfriends, and stay for the delicious candy bar, foil tattoos, YSL touch ups, and a braid hair bar! Who What Wear will be at the event, snapping pics of the most stylish attendees, and there will also be an amazing giveaway of a $1500 gift card to spend on your own Design Lab summer wardrobe. Sounds like fun? Come and hang out with us next Saturday!

DESIGN LAB LAUNCH EVENT
WHERE: Hudson’s Bay Yorkdale
WHEN: May 9, 2015 2-4pm
RSVP: HERE or HERE

Shopping: Holt Renfrew’s H Project x ela Handbags x Burt’s Bees Collaboration

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It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of ela Handbags. Each season I try to add at least 1 piece of ela’s special brand of “humble luxury” to my wardrobe, and I am always tempted to buy more, as cool new styles arrive. Well, now, thanks to the new collaboration between Holt Renfrew’s H Project, ela Handbags, and Burt’s Bees, there’s yet another ela bag that I have added to my bag rotation, and it’s a good one!

H Project has partnered with ela, Canadian accessories brand co-founded by Ela and Martin Aldorsson, and Burt’s Bees, to create an exclusive, limited-edition ‘editor’s pouch’ in support of Pollinator Partnership Canada– the largest non-profit organization in the world dedicated exclusively to the protection and promotion of pollinators and their ecosystems. The pouch was designed in Canada, featuring a stunning floral motif, and comes with three beautiful Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Lip Crayons – all that for only $50! 100% of proceeds will go to the Pollinator Partnership Canada, so you can feel even better about your purchase.

The clutch will be available at Holt Renfrew stores across Canada starting May 1st, just in time for Mother’s Day. Share your thoughts in the comments!

Photo Credits: Holt Renfrew

What I Wore: Jardin Majorelle

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After months of dreaming about visiting the Majorelle Garden in Marrakech, le bf and I have finally made it! With shocks of saturated blue, yellow, and orange all around us, fountains, birds, and all kinds of cacti on display, the botanical garden was even more beautiful in real life than I’d imagined. Owned by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé since 1980 (memorial erected in his memory can be found at the garden), Jardin Majorelle was teeming with tourists, but even with a line-up to get inside, we still had a lovely time exploring the grounds.

For fans of Yves Saint Laurent, the Love Gallery is a must-visit. The designer created the colourful “LOVE” posters, which he sent every year as New Year’s greetings to his friends and clients of his fashion house. At the gift shop, I was trying not to go crazy, but the “LOVE” postcards were so beautiful…I probably got way too many, intending to one day frame my faves.

After an hour or so at the garden, we jumped into a cab to go back to our riad…we chose a freezing day to visit the garden, and were definitely not dressed appropriately for the chilly weather. But even with my teeth chattering…I had a tough time leaving this enchanting and peaceful place behind. I’ll always have these photos to remind me of its beauty…and hopefully will have a chance to visit again.

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Shopping: COS To Open Canadian Stores in Toronto and Montreal in Fall 2015!

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After a few days of speculation it’s been finally confirmed – COS (Collection of Style) is set to open 2 stores in Canada this fall, one in Toronto and one in Montreal. And while initially, I was 99% sure the Toronto store was going to be at Yorkdale like all the other new arrivals to Canada, it seems Toronto’s mink mile has won this round. Slated to spread out across three floors at 85 Bloor St W (formerly a Tiffany and Co location), COS will be in good company with neighbours like CHANEL, Dolce and Gabbana, and J.Crew in the vicinity. In Montreal, the store will find a new home at 1310 Saint Catherine West, with a one level boutique.

Oftentimes referred to as H&M’s more upscale sibling, I am pretty sure COS will find its niche here in Canada, what with their stylish, yet timeless wares, and a cult-following in Europe and North America.

How do you feel about the news? Share in the comments!

Photo Credits: COS

Style Fille: Olivia Wilde in H&M Conscious Exclusive Collection

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H&M’s latest Conscious Exclusive collection hits the stores today, and while I already got to shop it yesterday at the brand’s pre-shop in Toronto, I wish this cream cape blazer that Olivia Wilde is wearing here was available too. I ended up picking up the black version, which is also pretty amazing…but I was really hoping to steal this entire look, seeing how I already own a similar Led Zeppelin tee. Oh well, I guess I’ll settle for the black blazer with a white tee instead…should be just as good.

Are you planning on shopping this collection today? Check out the lookbook and be prepared for crowds! Let me know which pieces you picked up, and whether you love Olivia’s look as much as I do.

Photo Credits: Lainey Gossip

What I Wore: Beautiful Marrakech

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Last month, after the whirlwind Discover CHANEL program in Paris, le bf and I took some time off to travel to Morocco. I’ve always been intrigued by this North African country, hearing stories of delicious food, beautiful crafts, and breathtaking locales, so the excitement factor was high. Since our schedules were pretty tight, we decided to spend our time in Marrakech, Fez, Chefchaouen, and Casablanca. And while I’ll be sure to share my faves from each city later on, today, I wanted to focus on what I ended up wearing.

While planning our trip, I was googling anything and everything I could find about Morocco and the appropriate way to dress there. As a predominantly Muslim country, yet time and time again described as “not so conservative”, Morocco was a mystery to me…as was the “dress code”. I knew that local women mostly covered up head-to-wrist-to-ankle, but that tourists were technically allowed to wear whatever…though wearing things that expose too much could lead to potential harassment.

My goal on this trip was to be respectful of local customs, while looking cute, and staying comfortable. There’s no way I was going to cover up wrist to ankle in 30-degree weather, but shorts and strappy dresses were out too…or were they? To stay true to my style, I ended up packing my fave slip dresses, but brought a few printed caftans to throw on top, creating somewhat modest-looking outfits. I also packed a few midi and maxi dresses, ones I could wear with a leather jacket on cooler days, or with a scarf draped around my shoulders and cleavage. For train rides, I made sure to bring a few pairs of comfy, loose-fitting pants and tees. I also brought my wool fedora, both to cover up my hair, and to shield my face from the sun.

Another thing I was grateful to have read about before my trip is footwear. Word of advice – don’t bring open-toe sandals to Morocco, unless you plan on spending time poolside or on the beach. Don’t bring your fancy shoes either, because if you plan on wearing those in the medina, you may end up ruining both your shoes and your feet. Most streets in old towns of Marrakech and Fez are paved with slippery cobblestones, and with streams of people everywhere, there’s a good chance your feet will be stepped on, and if that’s not reason enough, I have two words for you – donkey droppings. I brought an old pair of comfy ALDO shoes that were pretty worn out, and on our last day in Fez, after they’ve served their purpose, I threw them out. Highly recommended.

In the end, our trip was lovely. I avoided the harassment that I’ve read so much about, and felt comfortable and confident throughout. I did see tourists in short-shorts, strappy camisoles, and skimpy dresses, but was happy that I chose the more modest route. At the end of the day, I think Morocco is progressive enough for you to wear whatever you like, so it really is up to you and what you’re comfortable with. I’ll be posting more looks from my Moroccan adventures throughout the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned!

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Toronto Fashion Week: Best Beauty Looks from Fall 2015 Shows

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Another season of World MasterCard Fashion Week has ended and as always, I am here to give you a quick recap on my favourite beauty looks from Fall 2015 shows and how to achieve them, so let’s get to it!

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Hayley Elsaesser was the belle of the ball last season with her bright and quirky spring collection. And her “Midnight Cowboy” fall line was just as good – a combination of 70’s glamour with a touch of Uma Thurman from Kill Bill.

Grace Lee the Head Makeup Artist for Maybelline started her beauty look with a sheer natural palette using Dream Wonder Liquid Touch Foundation and Face Studio Master Prime in Blur + Illuminate all over the face. She then created a translucent smoky eye look using a mix of molten brown shades (Plum Fusion and Taupe Crazy) and added a highlight in the form of Color Tattoo’s Tenacious Teal to the center of the lower lid. The eyes were then finished off with Brow Drama and Lash Sensational Mascara. For the two-toned lips, Grace used Color Sensational Lipstick in Rebel Bloom first as the base and then Vivid Rose on the center of the lips to create an ombre effect.

Redken’s Head Stylist Jorge Joao decided to incorporate blocks of color to the hair to reflect Hayley’s vibrant style. Hair was primed with Pillow Proof and then flat ironed to sleek perfection. He then made two tight braids on each side, which were then wrapped around to created 2 side buns. The ends of the braids were left sticking upwards, creating an almost bird-like effect. The look was sealed with a healthy dose of Control Addict 28 to keep stray hair in place.

Essie’s Lead Nail Artist Rita Remark was inspired by the animal print Hayley had in her collection and decided to recreate it on models’ nails. By blotting one color on top of another she was able to create a fun yet versatile look. Rita used Naughty Nautical, Meet Me at Sunset, Butler Please and Mod Square to achieve this exciting combo.

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Discover CHANEL: CHANEL Handbag Factory

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On the final day of the Discover CHANEL program, my fellow bloggers and I were whisked away to a super-duper secret location outside of Paris to visit the CHANEL Handbag Workshop…aka the place where the brand produces their timeless bags. It was the very first time that CHANEL had invited bloggers to visit this workshop, and I can’t explain just how lucky and grateful I felt to be able to see and experience the step-by-step process from development to quality control.

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After being greeted by a giant CHANEL bag installation in the lobby, we were ushered into the room where the development phase takes place. With prototype bags lining the walls, sketches and photographs strewn across a table, we were told that this was the first step in creating a bag. Sketches come to life as prototype bags, before it’s decided whether they’ll actually be produced. With 6 collections per year, this is a busy place, where a bag can go from sketch to production in days.

Moving on, we stopped by the raw materials and hardware rooms. One was full of various skins, leather, and signature chains, while the other had trays of iconic CHANEL bag closures that are put through stringent testing, along with chains and leather, to ensure the highest quality and durability. Being in the raw materials room was so tempting…I was dying to create my own bag out of all the components on hand.

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Next, we popped into a room where leathers like lambskin, calfskin, and others are carefully inspected under special lights that mimic daylight. Each piece has to look and feel perfect before it’s allowed to continue on to production. There’s zero tolerance for imperfections, as expected.

After the hardware and the leather have been thoroughly checked and tested, the next stage of production is cutting. There are three different ways that CHANEL bag patterns are cut: by hand, digitally, or using special metal plates. We watched various methods at work, fascinated by the amount of accuracy it takes to cut those patterns. When dealing with hand-cut exotic skins, precision is even more important, to ensure a symmetric end result, and zero imperfections.

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The most fascinating room of all was the assembly/production room, where CHANEL craftspeople split leather (to make it thinner and smoother), assembled bags, stitched and hammered. It takes 4 to 5 years for each specialist on the site to learn how to perfectly master the techniques necessary for the manufacture. Those working with exotic skins wear masks and gloves to ensure that no droplets mark the delicate surface, even going so far as to use plastic wrap on top of skins to protect them further.

What I learned in the assembly room is that CHANEL bags are actually put together using one of two methods: inside-out, and molded techniques. Most iconic bags are made using the inside-out method, where all of the components of the bag are stitched inside-out like a Ready-to-Wear piece, so that the stitches are on the inside when the bag is turned the right side out. The body and base are brought together with the “bag in bag” technique: the interior bag is mounted inside the exterior bag, assembled by hand, and ensuring a luxurious finish inside and out.

When working with more delicate materials like alligator, and turning the bag inside-out is not an option, the moulding method is used. The outer part of a bag is put together around a mould, and hand-stitched, before the inner flap can be dropped in and stitched together with the outer flap.

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All in all, it takes over 180 manufacturing operations to create one iconic bag, with 80% of the total production time spent on the assembly table. Once the bag is finished, it is then sent to the quality control room, where a team of testers painstakingly check each bag by hand. But thanks to the attention paid in all the other parts of the manufacturing process, the success rate is very high, and most bags that reach this phase of production meet the CHANEL standard.

This room was amazing, as we were faced with rows upon rows of finished CHANEL handbags everywhere – what fashion dreams are made of! And just like that, our magical tour was over. Talking to the passionate craftspeople, seeing the extensive step-by-step process, and learning just how much work and intricacy goes into each and every CHANEL bag made me appreciate the few bags that I do own that much more…and fuelled my desire to run to the nearest CHANEL boutique right after our visit. These bags are truly investment pieces that never go out of style, and knowing that they are made with so much love and attention to detail makes them that much more special.

This was the last day of the Discover CHANEL program – three unforgettable days spent with my favourite luxury brand in my favourite city. From the fitting at ave Montaigne, to the breakfast at Brasserie Gabrielle, to Mademoiselle’s apartment, to the CHANEL handbag factory outside of Paris…it’s definitely one experience I will never forget. And I truly hope that my recaps of the program gave you a fun little glimpse into the beautiful world of CHANEL, so that you could discover it along with me. Thanks for reading, and share your thoughts in the comments!

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