What I Wore: It’s a Cape, It’s a Coat!

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I am conflicted about fall. There’s a number of things I dislike about it (waking up in the dark, cold weather, rainy days), but sometimes the stars align and you get such a perfect autumn day that it makes you forget all about the negatives (and the inevitable winter).

On one of those perfect fall days (cool, but sunny) I finally got to wear my beloved H&M Studio Fall 2014 cape jacket, and it was lovely. The coat kept me warm, while those cape sleeves let my body breathe without feeling like I’m being roasted alive. It’s a keeper, I tells you! I also got to wear my knee-high boots for the first time this season…I didn’t wear them nearly enough last year. And there you have it…just a couple of weeks ago, I was all about summery dresses, and now I am fully into fuzzy, furry, warm outerwear. Isn’t Canadian weather fun? And by fun, I mean unpredictable and completely nuts.

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What They Wore: Chanel No. 5 “The One That I Want” Party

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Speaking of amazing parties…What I wouldn’t give to be a fly on the wall at this CHANEL bash! Earlier this week, the brand celebrated the release of the latest CHANEL No 5 “The One That I Want” ad campaign, shot by Baz Luhrmann, and starring Gisele Bundchen. And while the short film is definitely mesmerizing, this time, I couldn’t take my eyes off the stylish attendees instead. Just look at Crystal Renn! That gown! That hair! That makeup! So damn beautiful! And Poppy Delevingne! I’m in love with her kaleidoscopic dress and bright clutch. Granted, I’m not as obsessed with Poppy as I am with Crystal, but finally seeing pieces from the CHANEL Dubai Cruise 2015 collection outside of the context of a fashion show is definitely making my heart beat faster. Here’s hoping more celebs will wear these stunners to red carpet premieres and such – SO much potential here.

As for the belle of the ball – Gisele – well, she looked beautiful, of course, as she always does, but my heart belongs to Crystal Renn and her starry gown, and her fierce eyebrows, and her flawless face. Dear Karl, I nominate Crystal for the next CHANEL campaign. Please and thank you.

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More photos and campaign video after the jump!

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What I Wore: On The Street

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One day during NYFW, I was walking down the street, giddy from my delicious Shake Shack lunch date, when a man stopped me on the street and asked me whether I was a blogger. Since we were quite a ways away from Lincoln Centre, I was a bit taken aback when he asked me for a photo, but nevertheless obliged. I think you can actually see the apprehension in my eyes…but I’m really glad I stopped to chat with this man.

His name is Mangue Banzima and he’s a street style photographer. By now, I’ve spent a ton of time going through his site and Instagram, looking at the beautiful photos of people on the street. He has a very warm and approachable personality, and it’s reflected on his subjects’ faces…well, except mine that is. Hopefully, we can have a re-do another time, Mangue. Sorry for the bitchface in some pics.

This post is also the very first time I’m posting a photo of myself with my newly-ish silver/grey/platinum hair. It’s actually been nearly a month since I dyed my locks, and it’s decidedly less grey and more blonde now. But thanks to Mangue, I have it captured in all its silver fox glory. Stay tuned for my hair story about entering the Khaleesi/Gandalf hair territory. Happy Friday!

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I Wore: Dress – Finders Keepers (eLUXE); Leather Vest – Urban Outfitters; Boots – Saint Laurent (Winners); Bag – CHANEL; Earrings, Cuff – H&M


Photo Credit: Mangue Banzima

What I Wore: Summertime Sadness

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This is my last outfit post from my birthday trip to France…I know I’ve milked it for months now, but I guess I just didn’t want to let it go. And now that it’s October, it feels pretty appropriate to say good-bye to summer, and hello to fall. Those of you that follow me on Instagram, already know that I dyed my hair, so the next outfit post will definitely show off that new side of me…but in the meantime, here’s the last bit of summer in October. 

I’ve always thought of Monaco as a very glamorous place. Before visiting, the word brought on visions of Grace Kelly, fancy hats, fast cars, and gleaming sailboats. But reality wasn’t quite as fabulous. Perhaps rainy weather had something to do with it, or maybe the fact that we visited on a Sunday, when all the shops and restaurants were closed, but I just didn’t love it.

Sure, there are a few pretty buildings to look at, and the views of the sea are pretty breathtaking, but underneath it all, it felt more than a little gauche – the casino that charges an entrance fee, show-offs in their tricked-out cars, horrible food at the only restaurant open for business, over-the-top yachts…none of it felt glamorous. Perhaps I would have a different view of the place, had we stayed overnight…apparently the parties and the clubs are a must-do in Monaco, but something tells me I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed those either. Do I sound like a crusty old lady yet?

Either way, we made the best of our little day-trip, enjoying the views and the public art, but to be quite honest, we couldn’t wait to run back to the train station to catch the next train back to Nice and our cozy, yet decidedly not-so-glam apartment.

Have you ever been to Monaco? Did you have a different experience? Share in the comments.

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What I Wore: Saint-Paul de Vence

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I am so hopelessly behind on posts, that even though I don’t even look like the photo above, I still have a few of these to go. And while it’s currently 13 degrees in Toronto, this post is all about summer heat and vacation glow. Seeing these pics makes me want to pack up my bags and hightail it out of Canada for a destination much warmer than Toronto. Alas, I just got back from New York, and as a 9-5er, vacation days are a precious, precious commodity not to be trifled with…so, I suppose fall is inevitable.

These photos were taken while on a day trip to Saint-Paul de Vence, one of the oldest medieval towns in the French Riviera. There were beautiful art shops on every corner, delicious honeys and jams sold at charming little shops…The sun was scalding that day, so we made a pit stop at a small gelato shop, watching a local wedding at the nearby church. Happy faces, delicious ice-cream, honking limo, and lots of bougainvillea bushes is what I remember the most from that day. We walked up and down the winding cobblestone streets, completely charmed by this tiny town, and all of a sudden, the lengthy bus ride from Nice seemed really worth the hassle. If you’re ever in the area, try to stop by Saint-Paul de Vence. It won’t take very long to see, but you’ll be glad you did.

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What I Wore: From Odette to Colette

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While I usually tend to avoid the touristy Latin Quarter in Paris, this year, it was on my “to go” list. Why? Odette. After seeing countless photos of those photogenic French puffs on Instagram, I knew I had to try them. So after a leisurely stroll from our Airbnb apartment, we found ourselves in front of Odette. The place was tiny with limited seating, so we grabbed some petit-choux, and began to devour them right on the street. My verdict – they were ok. The coffee ones were my fave, but in general, I found them way too soggy and not as good as the ones from Nadege in Toronto. Nadege offers petit-choux that are light, fresh, decidedly not soggy, and so very flavourful. They may not be quite as pretty as Odette’s, but in my opinion, they are way superior in all other aspects.

After our petit disappointment, we walked back towards our Parisian apartment, exploring rue Saint Honoré. As some of you may know, rue Saint Honoré is home to one of the coolest shops in Paris – Colette, so of course, that’s exactly where we ended up. We nosed through the store’s trendy book selection, picked up some souvenir postcards, featuring Anna Wintour and other fashion notables playing soccer (it was World Cup season after all), and gawked at the gorgeous clothes displayed on the second floor – designs from Christopher Kane, Carven, Kenzo, Mary Katrantzou, Comme des Garcon, and so much more. There wasn’t a huge breadth of items available, but the curated pieces were enough to set my heart aflutter.

Sadly, I limited myself to postcards, and a fragrant melon that I picked up at a fruit stand nearby. The melon was sweet and the postcards were adorable, and even if I didn’t buy any fab clothes, my day was still quite perfect. As cliche as this may sound…I don’t need much when I’m in Paris…a walk through its charming streets is all it requires to make me realize just how freaking lucky I am.

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Inside Coco Chanel’s 31 Rue Cambon Apartment

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Coco Chanel – designer, muse, visionary – was one of the world’s most complex and enigmatic fashion powerhouses. One whose life and life’s work still transfix and inspire hordes of fashion lovers (myself included) decades after her passing. So when I received an invitation to sneak a rare glimpse at Mademoiselle’s private apartment on rue Cambon in Paris, I may or may not have done a few cartwheels around my living room to celebrate.

On the morning of my appointment, I stopped to enjoy the anticipation of the big moment by grabbing a coffee and some viennoiserie at the nearby café, watching the rushing passerby, completely oblivious of my big day. The enormous grin on my face did nothing to conceal my joy.

Upon arriving at 31 rue Cambon, I was treated to a private walkthrough of the Parisian flagship boutique, where one could find an impressively extensive selection of Chanel pieces. Looking for that rare bag? Boutiques on rue Cambon and rue Montaigne are your two best bets. However, word to the wise – it’s ridiculously easy to get distracted from your original mission and end up overspending. It’s all just too tempting, and as I mentioned, the selection is amazing. Proceed at your own risk.

After having the boutique all to myself (crazy, I know), I was warmly welcomed and taken up the winding mirrored staircase on the chicest tour of my life.

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On the second floor above the Rue Cambon boutique, I was guided into the Haute Couture salon floor with its large sitting room, several salons, and piece-de-resistance – the haute couture closet. Hanging inside was the spring 2014 Haute Couture collection, worn by the likes of Keira Knightley, Diane Kruger, and Rihanna. And since those exquisite pieces are one-of-a-kind, I actually got to touch the exact outfits that those beautiful celebs got to wear. Don’t be fooled by Rihanna’s seemingly curvy bod, that purple dress she wore to the fall 2014 show was definitely an XS or smaller.

Seeing the actual haute couture pieces inside the closet was pretty surreal. I got to see just how intricate every detail is on each and every single piece, and how dazzling haute couture is in real life. Oh, to one day be able to wear one of those dresses…what a dream!

Before I could embarrass myself by asking to try on one of the dreamy haute couture gowns, I decided that it was time for the main event – The Apartment. One more flight of stairs later, I found myself sitting on the exact step Coco used to favour while her collections were presented below, silently observing reactions of the attendees – the mirrors weren’t there for aesthetics alone. After several photos on said step, we proceeded to the entrance door, ready to walk into the heart and soul of Chanel.

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Right away, I was transfixed by the abundance of patterns, textures, and colours –  ornate lacquered Chinese screens attached to walls like super fancy (and expensive) wallpaper, golden baroque mirror in the shape of both Place Vendome and the infamous Chanel no. 5 bottle stopper, a pair of Venetian Blackamoors (Coco’s “friends”) welcoming all guests, mixed with decidedly modern sand-coloured carpet. I take refuge in beige because it is natural, and red because it is the colour of blood”, Chanel said once, and that’s precisely what I remembered, standing in that entrance hall.

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Highly superstitious, fond of crystals, camellias, stars, lions (she was a Leo after all), and other animals (always in pairs), Chanel filled her apartment with a myriad of knick-knacks – symbolic treasures that she collected over the years, and that inspired her. She designed the crystal chandelier in her living room, also full of important Chanel symbols – interlocking Cs, W for Westminster, number 5, camellia flowers (makes for a fun game of I Spy!). And that suede beige sofa that could easily belong in a modern living room – also Chanel’s custom design – one that inspired the iconic quilted bags.

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As the tour went on, I learned many fascinating tidbits from Chanel’s life, about her childhood, her lovers, her friends, her work…nearly every piece in that apartment had a story to tell. Virtually untouched, the east-meets-west apartment still serves as a place of inspiration for Chanel’s designers and staff, and no wonder – even though she’s been gone for over three decades now, Mademoiselle’s presence is still felt inside the ornately decorated rooms. And every bit and bob from the apartment could pop up unexpectedly in a bag, a clasp, a garment print, or even influence an entire collection, as some have in the past.

At the end of the tour, standing in the now familiar entrance hall, I was invited to sit down in the infamous Horst chair. I tried to look pensive as Chanel had in the iconic photo, but all my face could do was smile…awed and happy.

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And while the apartment may not be open to the public, I recently learned that Sam Taylor-Johnson’s photographic exhibition of the private apartment of Mademoiselle Chanel, “Second Floor”, will open at Saatchi Gallery in London this September. The series of 45 photographs captures the private rooms of Mademoiselle Chanel at 31 rue Cambon in Paris, giving visitors a glimpse at Coco’s fascinating life. “Shooting at Coco Chanel’s apartment was an unexpectedly absorbing experience,” says Taylor-Johnson. “The essence of Chanel is firmly rooted there in all of her possessions and I truly believe that her spirit and soul still inhabit the second floor.” I couldn’t agree more.

“Second Floor” Exhibit
Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ King’s Road
Friday September 12th, 2014 until Monday September 22nd, 2014
London, SW3 4RY
Free admission

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What I Wore: Let Them Eat Cake

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The Palace of Versailles has always been a place I wanted to visit eventually…what with all the drama, intrigue, excess, and history surrounding this royal château, I knew it would be worth the trek. The only reason that I have avoided visiting Versailles for so long is the fear of endless line-ups and tourists. Usually, with the exception of the Eiffel Tower, we try to stay away from crowded and touristy places, but this time around, we decided to just go for it.

As expected, the place was teeming with people…SO.MANY.PEOPLE! But not to worry, after about 30 minutes of waiting for our tickets, and then lining up to get in, we were finally inside Marie Antoinette’s stomping grounds! The palace was definitely very impressive, with rooms full of beautiful art, ornate doors (and ceilings, and floors), and of course, plenty of historic tidbits to glimpse and learn – totally worth it the wait.

But as cool as it was to see the Hall of Mirrors and the grand apartment de la reine in person, the gardens were a highlight for me. After hours of frolicking around, lying in the grass, sipping iced chocolate on Angelina’s terrace, and taking way too many photographs, I don’t think we covered even half of the massive grounds. I guess another trip to Versailles is in order…maybe next year!

Have you ever visited Versailles? What was your favourite spot? Share in the comments.

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What I Wore: Eye See Paris, Eye See France

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As you can see I am stretching my vacay posts out…mostly because I want to relive those fun moments over and over again, and that’s what these blog posts help me do. So, I hope you don’t mind too terribly.

This dress is one of my absolute faves. It was love at first sight, and after a quick alteration (it used to have a mock turtleneck), it was perfect – eye-catching and fun. I wore it in Paris to celebrate my friend Al’s birthday (Gemini sistahs), and after yet another visit to the Eye-ffel Tower, we spent the rest of the day in a leisurely state of bliss – enjoying a delicious lunch with a perfect view at Frame, grabbing a dessert at Laduree, hiding from the rain at CHANEL on Rue Montaigne, enjoying the scenery at Les Invalides, after hours of wandering around the city. It’s so easy to just do nothing in Paris. Every street oozes with charm, and every streetside cafe beckons you to seat down and take in everything and everyone around you. The city makes you both speed up and slow down, and I couldn’t love it more.

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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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