What I Wore: Miami Ice

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I don’t know about you, but I am officially sick and tired of winter. This past weekend (Valentine’s Day and Family Day long weekend) was so frigid (felt like -40!!!), that going outside felt like an act of bravery. Le bf and I did manage to go out for dinner on Valentine’s Day, and I did make it to the gym one morning, but the rest of my long weekend was spent on the couch, wrapped in a fluffy blanket, drinking hot tea, and watching movies. Hybernation is the only way to survive, y’all. Which is why we haven’t shot any new outfit posts lately…and also why I am trotting out my last What I Wore post from our long-ago trip to Miami.

I didn’t post it originally because we didn’t take a lot of photos that day, but beggars can’t be choosers, so here it is now…a couple of months later…all sunshine and pretty colours. Makes me want to get away again! Luckily, our next trip is coming soon, but not soon enough!

So tell me, how are you surviving winter? Wherever you are…

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What I Wore: Wynwood Walls

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One of the things I was most looking forward to in Miami was a visit to The Wynwood Walls. After seeing dozens of photos of beautiful murals, painted doors, and even flower walls, I knew it was going to be a very special place, and that we couldn’t miss it. Of course, being a fashion blogger, I had to pose in front of several of my favourite walls, as one does. But there were so many more that le bf and I got to admire, wondering why Toronto’s graffiti alley isn’t as well-known. Although, no offence to our graffiti alley, the murals we got to see in Miami were definitely not your usual street art – those were intricate, interesting, and expertly-painted murals, not your run of the mill “tags”.

We saw murals painted by Kashink, Lakwena, Maya Hayuk, and of course, the infamous flower wall by Fafi – all women artists, who kick ass at street art, which has primarily been a boys club until not too long ago. Inspiring and so very cool to see.

After exploring street art of Miami, we hit up Miami’s new Design District for a delicious lunch at Mandolin, where we sipped unsweetened iced-tea, and nibbled on delicious cheese saganaki, bulghur salad, and kefte, on their lovely patio. One of our most memorable meals in Miami to be sure.

Post-lunch, we climbed into a cab, driven by a crazy woman (she literally drove us crazy), and returned to South Beach to relax by the pool at our hotel. Just another day in paradise.

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What I Wore: Grey on Grey

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Ever since I went grey, I’ve had to make some adjustments in the way that I dress. Out went my fave poppy hues like yellow and red, replaced by grey, taupe, white, and black instead. And though once in a while, I am still tempted to pick up something bright, I am really enjoying this subdued palette for now. It makes me feel more grown up and sophisticated.

I thought I’d get bored of this “no colour” phase, but if anything, it just makes getting dressed in the morning a breeze. A few staples like grey cashmere sweaters, slim-cut black pants, and classic black and white dresses, mixed with kitty flats for a bit of whimsy are all I really need lately, and I don’t mind one bit.

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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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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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Mother’s Day: Gift Guide 2014

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Though it certainly doesn’t feel like it, May is here, and with it – Mother’s Day! If you still haven’t figured out what to buy for your mom, as usual, we have some ideas to help you in your search. From a personalized leather tote, to a fancy perfume, to a bottle of delicious bubbly, to a pair of comfy pajamas, there’s something for every mom (and every budget) on our list.

What will you be picking up for your mom this year? Share in the comments!

1. Monogram Travel Mug – Indigo
2. Atlas Bangle – Tiffany and Co
3. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Gear – Best Buy
4. DOLCE & GABBANA Dolce Eau de Parfum – The Bay
5. Nespresso VertuoLine – The Bay
6. Personalized Leather Tote – Cuyana
7. Les 4 Ombres – CHANEL
8. Listen to the Squawking Chicken by Elaine Lui – Indigo
9. Pajamas – Joe Fresh
10. Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne – LCBO
11. D/N Bag – ela handbags
12. Orchid Statement Necklace – Banana Republic
13. Embroidered Floral Topper – Ann Taylor
14. Canapile Heels – ALDO
15. YSL Volupte Sheer Candy Lip Balm – Sephora

More after the jump!

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Toronto Fashion Week: Fall 2014 Roundup

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I suppose it’s not a bad thing that spring is taking its sweet time getting here, because last month’s Toronto Fashion Week Fall 2014 shows feel as relevant as ever. Even if I am getting quite fed up with my winter clothes, I wouldn’t mind wrapping myself in some covet-worthy leather jackets, beautiful printed dresses, and fuzzy mohair sweaters that I saw on the runways in March. This season, thanks to Best Buy Canada and VIVA Beauty from Best BuyI was fully prepared for the craziness of fashion week – my survival kit included a fancy Canon DSLR camera, complete with a brand new SD card, and some beauty goodies to get me through the week looking fresh – it was a lifesaver! This season, I also didn’t attempt being in several places at the same time, but selected a few days and a few designers to support, and I have to say that it really worked out well for me. I didn’t feel as burnt out as usual, and I still got to see and shoot some amazing Canadian designers at work.

One of the highlights of my week was Beaufille. The latest collection from Chloe and Parris Gordon was full of standout pieces worthy of a good catfight. Loose silhouettes, paired with cleverly placed slits and hook-and-eye embellishments, embossed leather and of course the piece that stole my heart – the red moto jacket of my dreams – it was all very wearable, modern, and oozed the cool factor. Definitely my favourite collection from the Canadian sisters. The only thing I hate about this is the fact that I’ll have to wait forever (6-8 months) to get my hands on my fave pieces.

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As usual, the Joe Fresh show was complete and utter mayhem. Even without a top model headliner, the show was packed, with people spilling out of their seats, and for good reason too. Once again, Joe Mimran showed a collection of affordable pieces that still managed to get hearts racing, and that will pretty soon be available not only in Canada and the US, but in 23 other countries worldwide! Not too shabby for a brand that began at a grocery store, non?

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But despite the big expansion news, Joe Fresh Fall 2014 collection was as Canadian as they come, what with a ton of cute jackets (wool, moto, puffers, you name it!), intarsia sweaters, and faux fur dominating most of the looks. But perhaps because winter and I, we are done professionally, my personal faves were the lovely dresses printed with ethereal images of landscapes and nature. Once these hit the stores, be prepared to fight me for them. Elbows up, ladies!

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Pink Tartan Fall 2014 was another collection quite heavily influenced by Canadian winters. While Kim Newport-Mimran stuck to her signature ladylike aesthetic, she mixed in a few unexpected patterns and fabrics, making this one of my favourite Pink Tartan collections ever (with the exception of this one).

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The collection was very “glam cocktail hour at the chalet”, what with cozy intarsia sweaters, black and red buffalo check, fur stoles, and ginormous fur mittens, mixed with full skirts, metallic dresses, and leather pants. Practical and chic? I would like one of each, please and thank you.

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Always a personal favourite, Mackage Fall 2014 show definitely did not disappoint. With scattered faux maple leafs lining the runway, the models rocked some of the best outerwear pieces I’ve seen all week. Clearly, co-creative directors of the brand Elisa Dahan and Eran Elfassy know what Canadians both want and need from their winter wares – style and function, and boy did they deliver!

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Fur trims, quilted leather everything, pops of fuchsia, Black Watch tartan pieces, oh my! It was unfair how good everything looked…and also quite dangerous for my wallet. And don’t even get me started on their bags! Simply put…this collection was the bomb-dot-com.

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Toronto Fashion Week: Best Hair and Makeup Looks For Fall 2014

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Greetings Lovely Readers! Toronto Fashion Week has officially wrapped up and although I’m still exhausted, it was a phenomenal experience watching the hair and makeup “magic” happen backstage.

Here are my favourite hair and makeup looks from the Fall 2014 season of WMCFW, with some handy tips on how you can achieve the same results at home. Enjoy!

Hair by Redken

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Pink Tartan hair was one of my absolute favourites last week. The collection told the story of a Canadian girl living a normal everyday life so the hair reflected that natural and lived-in look. The hair was set off-centre, with soft waves and looked pretty without looking structured. They really wanted the hair to have movement, making it look effortless.

Star Products: Pillow Proof Primer, Forceful 23 Super Strength Finishing Spray

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As a huge fan of Joe Fresh, I was very excited to see what the fall hair would look like. For hair, Joe wanted to have a more bohemian feel so the models wore a dishevelled side braid with lots of texture. Again, they didn’t want it looking too polished but rather wanted something with more of a grunge feeling with soft wisps framing the face. One great tip that Jorge Joao, Lead Stylist for Redken gave us was to take the elastic and tie the hair at the top before you start the braid. Once you are done, cut the top elastic so your hair and braid looks fuller and not as structured. The big focus of this look was to make the models look chic and effortless.

Star Products: Pillow Proof Primer, Redken Fashion Waves 07

Narces

Narces hair had more of a classic feel to it. It was all about being sleek, stylish, but again without looking like you spent hours doing your hair. As a result, sleeked back, smooth hair was pulled into a classic small bun at the base of the head. As with other looks, hair was once again primed with Pillow Proof Primer, prepped with mousse for texture and then finished off with Forceful 23 Super Strength Finishing Spray to get rid of flyaways and give the hairstyle that polished sleek finish. Definitely a look you can wear to the office or after work for some drinks!

Star Products: Pillow Proof Primer, Redken Full Frame 07 Volumizing Mousse Foam, Forceful 23 Super Strength Finishing Spray

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What I Wore: WMCFW

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Toronto Fashion Week has come and gone, and while I am incredibly thankful to have been able to attend some amazing shows, witness backstage magic first-hand, and meet so many interesting (and oftentimes talented) people…I have to say that by Day 5, I was wiped out. Even three days of fashion shows combined with my 9-5 was enough to require a weekend of R&R, which is exactly what the doctor prescribed. I’m the doctor, in case you are wondering.

And while I’m still working on my #WMCFW coverage, I thought I’d share my fashion week outfits. From my red ALDO shoes, to my Joe Fresh coordinates, to my fave falconwright clutch, I tried to infuse Canadian and Canadian-made pieces into my outfits for each day of fashion week, as captured by the amazing street style photographers Mauricio Calero and Max Kopanygin. Thanks, boys!

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