Balmain X H&M Collaboration Confirmed!

Kendall-Jenner-Jourdan-Dunn-Balmain-H&M-Fall-2015-Olivier-Rousteing
If like me you’ve been impatiently waiting to find out about the next big H&M designer collaboration, today’s the day! While walking the red carpet at the Billboard Music Awards, Balmain’s Creative Director Olivier Rousteing has announced the big news – #HMBALMAINATION is coming to a store near you this fall! And to give you a taste of the things to come, models Kendall Jenner and Jourdan Dunn accompanied the designer on the red carpet in looks from the upcoming collection. At first, I couldn’t believe that the signature velvet embellished blazer was going to be a part of the H&M collab, but it sounds like it is! I foresee things getting crazy come fall.

Right now, there’s not much else to share about the collab except for the date – November 5th, 2015 is the date the collection will hit the stores. More to come!

Who’s excited about Balmain x H&M collab? Share in the comments!

Kendall-Jenner-Jourdan-Dunn-Balmain-H&M-Fall-2015-2
More photos after the jump!
[Read more…]

Styled By Nelia: Summer Trends from Forever 21 +

styled-by-nelia-forever-21-plus
Ever since Forever 21 opened their new store at Yorkdale, I’ve been obsessed! Huge selection spread out across the 27,000 square foot boutique – what’s not to love?! Well, last month, I got to check out the brand’s plus size collection, aimed at the curvy girl who loves trendy clothes. While most fashion-forward brands don’t carry plus sizes, Forever 21 + collection goes up to size 3X, and carries a wide selection of cool girl essentials season after season. On the latest episode of Styled By Nelia, I helped Andria to incorporate a few key trends for the upcoming summer season.

Joggers
While skinny jeans are a staple for many curvy girls, wearing tight jeans in the summer may not be the best idea, which is why I am such a huge fan of tailored joggers. These versatile pants come in a variety of prints and fabrics, can be dressed up or down, oh, and the super comfy stretchy waistband doesn’t hurt either! If you’re looking for a cool alternative to your trusty jeans, give these pants a try.

All White Everything
White on white is a huge trend this year, and is a fashionable way to keep summer heat at bay. Curvy girls can get in on the trend by choosing figure-flattering silhouettes, loose layers, and a mix of shades of white for a fresh and fashionable look.

Boho
This trend is a summer staple, and is the easiest to incorporate into your wardrobe. Pick up a brightly-printed maxi dress, a fringed caftan thrown over a pair of flared jeans, or a flower-child crochet lace top…your options are limitless!

So tell me, do you love Forever 21 + selection at Yorkdale? What’s your fave trend for the summer? Share in the comments!

Photo and Video by Max Kopanygin

Giveaway: Visa Checkout x Indigo Great Canadian Summer Collection

visa-checkout-indigo-great-canadian-summer
Sponsored Post

I shop online a lot – for heavy things like books, for items not available in stores, and on sites that offer free shipping and free returns. Everyday I visit my fave online stores and peruse the new arrivals. It’s easy, convenient, and pretty addictive. Yet when it comes time to paying for the items in my virtual shopping cart, I tend to get frustrated. If I’m shopping on my phone, typing in my credit card details becomes an ordeal, and when I am comfortably curled up with my laptop, somehow my credit card is always in another room of the house, forcing me to go on a mini treasure hunt, when all I want to do is remain on my couch. The struggle is real, y’all.

I’ve considered saving my credit card details on my most-visited shopping sites, but have never felt like it was safe enough to do so. And so, I carried on fumbling with my card each time, cursing under my breath, wishing for an easier solution. Well, my prayers have been answered! Introducing Visa Checkout!

Visa Checkout provides a single account sign-in that can be used on all devices, making online shopping even more convenient and enjoyable. All you have to do to take advantage of Visa Checkout is:

Create a username and password
– Enter your payment and shipping info (one time only!)
– Look for the Visa Checkout button when shopping online, enter your username and password, and you won’t have to worry about inputting your payment/shipping info!

Visa Checkout is available at many Canadian online retailers, with lots more joining each month. You can see the full list here: http://checkout.visa.com/shopping

And in case you’re paranoid about credit card fraud like me, Visa Checkout gives shoppers a secure way to pay online with Visa’s advanced security tools and Zero Liability for consumers in case of fraud!

But that’s not all! Until May 31, Canadians who use Visa Checkout on Chapters.Indigo.ca will receive 20% off their purchase! Currently, I’m obsessed with everything on Indigo’s site – from the colourful and inspirational “Be Amazing” Pillow, to the Great Canadian Summer collection that includes this Stacking Drink Dispenser and party-ready Mason Jars, to this beautiful Annie Seaton art print. There are also great cookbooks that will help me be the coolest hostess this summer. And I can stock up on these summer must-haves at 20% off by simply using Visa Checkout.

GIVEAWAY!!!

I truly think that this is a quick, safe, and convenient way to shop online, and I’m giving away $100 Visa gift card to help one of you get ready for summer with Visa Checkout and Indigo! Sounds good? See the details of the giveaway below!

– Tweet at us sharing why you are excited to use Visa Checkout (eg: “Hey @styleblogca, I am excited to use @VisaCA #VisaCheckout @chaptersindigo because _____”)
– The giveaway will close on May 22nd at 11:59 EST
– Giveaway Open to Canadian Readers, 18 and older
– Winner will be selected at random

Good luck and happy shopping!
Visa Checkout

Shopping: Converse x Missoni Spring 2015 Collection

converse-missoni-spring-2015-collection
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

hudsons-bay-design-lab-party-invitation
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

ela-handbags-burts-bees-holt-renfrew
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

Beauty: 5 Lifesaving Products You Need This Spring

spring 2015 beauty favourites - got2b - skinceuticals - vichy - chanel - fresh
Spring is kinda/sorta here, and I don’t know about you, but after those long winter months, my skin and hair need some major TLC. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been trying some cool new beauty products that have already made a major difference in the way my skin and hair look and feel, and I hope you like them too.

got 2b All Star MVP Perfecting Cream
After learning about this product at a recent preview, I was intrigued – a BB cream for hair, could it really work?! Well, it does! This product promises to deliver 10 benefits: shape, smoothness, calmer hair, anti-frizz, suppleness, shine, volume, flawless style, shimmer and fullness. And while I don’t know if I noticed any shimmer, it has definitely helped my bleached hair look smoother without losing its volume. If your hair needs a little something-something after those harsh winter months, I strongly recommend this miracle cream.

Vichy Ideal Body Balm
Just like my hair, my skin gets super thirsty in the winter, so to prep it for those glorious days of bare legs and sleeveless tops, a top-notch moisturizer is key. Vichy Ideal Body Balm is a current fave – not only does it smell divine, it leaves my skin feeling baby-soft! Oh, and it sinks right in. Vichy uses active ingredients traditionally used in face care: Hyaluronic Acid and LHA, combined with 10 fundamental oils to deliver firmer, smoother and more radiant skin. Works like a charm!

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
This daytime antioxidant serum isn’t cheap, but it really delivers! Combined with sunscreen, this powerful serum provides “advanced environmental protection against photoaging by neutralizing free radicals that cause accelerated signs of aging.” I apply a few drops to my face before moisturizer each morning, and after only a couple of weeks have already noticed improvements in my skintone. Granted, I have other skin issues right now, but this serum has not aggravated any of my sensitivities, and I feel more protected now that sunny patio days are just around the corner. If you have sun damage, and want to prevent spots and premature aging, this is one kick-ass serum to invest in.

fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask
This mask is part of my nighttime beauty ritual, and I freaking love it! Winter months literally sap moisture out of my skin, and this is the perfect mask to put life (and moisture) back where it belongs. The difference is pretty dramatic, and you’ll be sure to notice the results almost right away. “Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask works in synch with the skin’s natural nighttime recovery process to achieve a lifted, firmer look by the morning.” I apply this on my face and neck at night as the last step of my beauty routine – the smell and texture of this product are great, and it sinks right into my skin (it’s quite thick, so use sparingly). If your face needs post-winter rehab, I can’t recommend this mask highly enough.

CHANEL UV Essentiel
Last, but not least, we all know that sunscreen is super important all year round, but especially so in the spring and summer months, when we find ourselves outdoors more regularly. And while I’ve tried to be good at shielding my face from the damaging rays, I have to say that due to my sensitive skin, I’ve had a tough time finding sunscreen that worked for me…until I tried CHANEL UV Essentiel. This sunscreen is super lightweight, specifically formulated for the face, which means it won’t clog your pores, and it smells amazing too. I’ve been using it daily, and will continue to do so to protect my face from photo-aging and hyperpigmentation. If you hate the idea of adding another step to your beauty routine, I also highly recommend CHANEL CC Cream, which offers both coverage and SPF30, in addition to moisturizing and soothing benefits. Win-win!

And there you have it – my latest “can’t-live-without” beauty products to stock up on this spring. Share your must-haves in the comments!

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

cos-stores-canada-toronto-montreal
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

olivia-wilde-white-cape-jacket-h&m-conscious-2015-3
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

Discover CHANEL: CHANEL Handbag Factory

chanel-making-of-the-iconic-handbag-tweed-how-chanel-bags-are-made-factory
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.

chanel-handbag-factory-visit-how-bags-are-made-12
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.

chanel-handbag-factory-visit-how-bags-are-made-2
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.

chanel-making-of-the-iconic-handbag-tweed-how-chanel-bags-are-made-factory-2
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.

chanel-making-of-the-iconic-handbag-tweed-how-chanel-bags-are-made-factory-3
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!

chanel-handbag-factory-visit-how-bags-are-made-15
More images after the jump!
[Read more…]